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Daily Current Affairs : 10-Dec-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. SMALL FINANCE BANKS (SFBS)

  2. PARLIAMENT PASSES RECYCLING OF SHIPS BILL

  3. LOK SABHA CLEARS ARMS (AMENDMENT) BILL

  4. HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

  5. HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT (HDR) 2019

  6. WADA BANS RUSSIA FROM INTERNATIONAL SPORTING

  7. PASHU KISAN CREDIT CARDS

  8. MAHARAJA SURAJ MAL

  9. WORLDWIDE ARMS SALES RISE BY NEARLY 5% IN 2018

  10. FINLAND ELECTS SANNA MARIN, THE YOUNGEST-EVER PRIME MINISTER

  11. IS 10500:2012



SMALL FINANCE BANKS (SFBS)

Why in news?

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released, “Guidelines for ‘on tap’ Licensing of Small Finance Banks in the Private Sector”.


Highlights:

Major changes from the earlier Guidelines on SFBs are:

  • The licensing window will be open on-tap.

  • minimum paid-up voting equity capital or net worth requirement shall be ₹ 200 crore.

  • RBI had last issued guidelines for licensing of Small Finance Banks in the private sector in 2014.

  • It was mentioned in the guidelines that after gaining experience in dealing with these banks, RBI would consider receiving the applications on a continuous basis.

  • For Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), desirous of voluntarily transiting into Small Finance Banks (SFBs) initial requirement of net worth shall be at ₹ 100 crore, which will have to be increased to ₹ 200 crore within five years.

  • Consequently, the RBI issued in-principle approval to ten applicants and they have since established the banks.

  • SFBs will be given scheduled bank status immediately upon commencement of operations.

  • Payments Banks can apply for conversion into SFB after five years of operations, if they are otherwise eligible as per these guidelines.


Source : The Hindu


PARLIAMENT PASSES RECYCLING OF SHIPS BILL

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

Parliament has passed the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabha approving it.


Highlights:

  • The Lok Sabha has already cleared it. The bill restricts the use of hazardous materials on ships and regulates recycling of ships.

  • It defines ship recycling as dismantling it at a facility to recover the components and materials for reuse and taking care of the hazardous material so produced.

  • Under the legislation, every ship recycler must ensure safe and environmentally sound removal and management of hazardous materials from a ship.

  • On contravening these provisions, the ship recycler will be liable to pay environmental damages and cleanup operation compensation as prescribed.

  • Shipping Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya moved the bill. He said the industry provides ample employment in the country and ten per cent steel requirement of the country is fulfilled from the recycling of ships.


Source: PRS


LOK SABHA CLEARS ARMS (AMENDMENT) BILL

Part of GS- 3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

The Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah, on November 29, 2019. The Bill seeks to amend the Arms Act, 1959.


Highlights:

  • On the other hand, the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by the Lok Sabha today.

  • It seeks to reduce the number of licensed arms per person and to increase the quantum of penalties for violation of the law. Celebratory firing will now be punishable.

  • Quantum of punishment for illegal manufacture, import or export, possession or buying and selling of firearms without permission has been enhanced.

  • The license period for firearms would be increased from three to five years.

  • Mr Shah said sportspersons involved in archery and shooting need not be concerned about the restrictions on firearms. He observed that celebratory firing has become a big menace


Source: PRS


HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Part of GS- 1 Social Issues


Why in news?

Human Rights Day is celebrated on the 10th December every year to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 as the shared standard yardstick to protect human rights across the globe.


Highlights:

  • The Declaration recognizes that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of mankind are the foundation of justice, freedom and peace in the world.

  • The United Nations’ theme for this year’s Human Rights Day is: “Youth Standing up for Human Rights.”

  • The youth will be celebrated as agents of change and encouraged to amplify their voices against racism, hate speech, bullying, discrimination, and fight for climate justice, among other issues, and engage a broad range of global audiences in the promotion and protection of rights.


IN DETAILED ABOUT NHRC:


The National Human Rights Commission is a statutory (and not a constitutional) body. It was established in 1993 under a legislation enacted by the Parliament, namely, the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. This Act was amended in 2006.


The commission is the watchdog of human rights in the country, that is, the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the international covenants and enforceable by courts in India.


The specific objectives of the establishment of the commission are:

  • To strengthen the institutional arrangements through which human rights issues could be addressed in their entirety in a more focussed manner;

  • To look into allegations of excesses, independently of the government, in a manner that would underline the government's commitment to protecthuman rights; and

  • To complement and strengthen the efforts that have already been made in this direction.


COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION


The commission is a multi-member body consisting of a chairman and four members.

APPOINTMENT

  • The chairman and members are appointed by the president on the recommendations of a six-member committee

  • Consisting of the prime minister as its head, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, leaders of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament and the Central home minister.

  • Further, a sitting judge of the Supreme Court or a sitting chief justice of a high court can be appointed only after consultation with the chief justice of India.


TENURE

  • The chairman and members hold office for a term of five years or until they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.

  • After their tenure, the chairman and members are not eligible for further employment under the Central or a state government.


REMOVAL

The president can remove the chairman or any member from the office under the following circumstances:


  • If he is adjudged an insolvent; or

  • If he engages, during his term of office, in any paid employment outside the duties of his office; or

  • If he is unfit to continue in office by reason of infirmity of mind or body; or

  • If he is of unsound mind and stand so declared by a competent court; or

  • If he is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for an offence.


ROLE OF THE COMMISSION


From the above, it is clear that the functions of the commission are mainly recommendatory in nature.


FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION

The functions of the Commission are:

  • To inquire into any violation of human rights or negligence in the prevention of such violation by a public servant, either suomotu or on a petition presented to it or on an order of a court.

  • To intervene in any proceeding involving allegation of violation of human rights pending before a court.

  • To visit jails and detention places to study the living conditions of inmates and make recommendation thereon.

  • To review the constitutional and other legal safeguards for the protection of human rights and recommend measures for their effective implementation.

  • To review the factors including acts of terrorism that inhibit the enjoyment of human rights and recommend remedial measures.

  • To study treaties and other international instruments on human rights and make recommendations for their effective implementation.

  • To undertake and promote research in the field of human rights.

  • To spread human rights literacy among the people and promote awareness of the safeguards available for the protection of these rights.

  • To encourage the efforts of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the field of human rights.

  • To undertake such other functions as it may consider necessary for the promotion of human rights.


SOURCE: PIB & M. LAXMIKANT


HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT (HDR) 2019

Part of GS- 1 Social Issues


Why in news?

India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index (HDI) - up one slot from the 130th position last year - according to the Human Development Report (HDR) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 9th December, 2019.


Highlights:

Human Development Index (HDI):

  • The HDI measures average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development - life expectancy, education and per capita income.

  • India ranks 129 out of 189 countries on the 2019 HDI - up one slot from the 130th position last year. India’s HDI value increased by 50% (from 0.431 to 0.647), which places it above the average for other South Asian countries (0.642).

  • Norway, Switzerland and Ireland occupied the top three positions in that order. Germany is placed fourth along with Hong Kong, and Australia secured the fifth rank on the global ranking.

  • Among India’s neighbours, Sri Lanka (71) and China (85) are higher up the rank scale while Bhutan (134), Bangladesh (135), Myanmar (145), Nepal (147), Pakistan (152) and Afghanistan (170) were ranked lower on the list.

  • South Asia was the fastest growing region in human development progress witnessing a 46% growth over 1990-2018, followed by East Asia and the Pacific at 43%.


Gender Inequality Index (GII):

  • In the Gender Inequality Index (GII), India is at 122 out of 162 countries. Neighbours China (39), Sri Lanka (86), Bhutan (99), Myanmar (106) were placed above India.

  • The world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030 as per the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It may take 202 years to close the gender gap in economic opportunity - one of the three indicators of the GII.


Inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI):

  • The Inequality-adjusted HDI (IHDI) indicates percentage loss in HDI due to inequalities.

  • For IHDI, India’s position drops by one position to 130, losing nearly half the progress (.647 to .477) made in the past 30 years.


Source: The Hindu


WADA BANS RUSSIA FROM INTERNATIONAL SPORTING

Part of GS- 3 Defence and Security


Why in news?


The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, on 8th December, 2019 banned Russia for four years, from participation in global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory.


Highlights:

  • The ruling means Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.

  • Participants will have to prove that they were not involved in the doping schemes as described by the McLaren report, or they did not have their samples affected by the manipulation.


World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA):

Headquarters: Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Established in: 1999


The World Anti-Doping Agency is a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.

The agency's key activities include monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code, whose provisions are enforced by the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.


Source: Indian Express


PASHU KISAN CREDIT CARDS

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?


The First Pashu Kisan credit cards in India were distributed to 101 animal farmers in Bhiwani in Haryana on 9th December, 2019.


Highlights:

  • Haryana Government has set a target to issue 10 lakh PashuKisan Credit cards by March 2021.

  • Haryana is the first state to implement this scheme.

  • As many as 101 livestock owners have been handed over cards and can use these to pay for animal feed, etc.

  • They can repay within a stipulated period

  • Under the Scheme, banks give Rs 40783 for a cow and Rs 60249 for a buffalo.

  • The credit amount for goat and sheep each is Rs 4063.

  • In the case of a pig, it is Rs 16337 per pig.

  • For Hens, it is Rs 720 per layer and Rs 161 per broiler hen.

  • The card is along lines of the Kisan credit card scheme and will allot credit according to the animal you own.


Source: AIR


MAHARAJA SURAJ MAL

Part of GS-1 History


Why in news?

Members of the Jat community in Rajasthan have opposed the release of the movie Panipat in Rajasthan, accusing its makers of wrongly portraying the 18th century ruler of Bharatpur, Maharaja Suraj Mal.


Highlights:

  • Maharaja Suraj Mal (1707 – 1763) or Sujan Singh was a Jat ruler of Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

  • The Jats, under Suraj Mal, overran the Mughal garrison at Agra and plundered the city taking with them the two great silver doors of the entrance of the Taj Mahal which were then melted down by Suraj Mal in 1763.

  • He was killed in an ambush by the Mughal Army on the night of 25 December 1763 near Hindon River.


Source: Indian Express


WORLDWIDE ARMS SALES RISE BY NEARLY 5% IN 2018

Part of GS-3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

Worldwide arms sales rose by nearly five per cent in 2018. According to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the market is dominated by the United States.


Highlights:

  • The turnover of the 100 biggest arms manufacturers came to 420 billion dollars.

  • US manufacturers alone accounted for 59 per cent of the market, or a turnover of 246 billion dollars, up 7.2 per cent on the previous year.

  • Russia was second in the rankings for arms production, with 8.6 per cent of the market, just ahead of the United Kingdom on 8.4 per cent and France on 5.5 per cent.

  • The study did not include China, for lack of sufficient data, but SIPRI estimated that there were between three and seven Chinese businesses in the top 100 arms manufacturers.

  • The world's largest arms maker remains the US firm Lockheed Martin, as it has been since 2009.

  • Its turnover last year was 47.3 billion dollars. Its sales alone account for 11 per cent of the world market.


Source: AIR


FINLAND ELECTS SANNA MARIN, THE YOUNGEST-EVER PRIME MINISTER

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news?

Finland's Social Democrats elected a 34-year-old former transport minister to the post of the prime minister, making her the youngest head of government in the country's history.


Highlights:

  • Sanna Marin narrowly won vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne, who resigned on Tuesday after losing the confidence of the coalition partner Centre Party over his handling of a postal strike.

  • Former PM Antti Rinne had headed Finland's centre-left five-party coalition since June, and Marin's appointment is unlikely to lead to significant policy changes by the Social Democrat-led administration.

  • Rinne stepped down after several weeks of political crisis over a plan to cut wages for 700 postal workers. Parliament is expected to formally swear in the new prime minister tomorrow.


Source: AIR


IS 10500:2012

Part of GS- Water


Why in news?

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is preparing the ground for enforcement of piped water quality standards in the states.


Highlights:

  • He was speaking at a workshop organised by BIS to disseminate information about the requirements of IS 10500:2012, the piped water quality standard.

  • Unlike the BIS standard for bottled water, which is mostly produced by private companies, the standard for piped water - largely supplied by government agencies - is not yet mandatory.

  • However, it is not yet clear whether the Centre’s own flagship mission to provide piped water to all households by 2024 will implement the BIS standard.

  • Jal Shakti is the nodal Ministry for the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide functional household tap connections to 14.6 crore rural households by 2024.


Source : The Hindu

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