Daily Current Affairs : 12-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. AAP RETURNS TO POWER FOR 3RD CONSECUTIVE TERM IN DELHI

  2. THANATOTHERISTES

  3. WINTER RAINFALL IN EXCESS- MIZORAM TOP

  4. SAFER INTERNET DAY

  5. GENDER GAP IN SCIENCE

  6. CRR EXEMPTION FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

  7. NIFM, FARIDABAD RENAMED AJNIFM

  8. DASUOPU GLACIER

  9. WORLD UNANI DAY: FEB 11

  10. ESCAPE CLAUSE



AAP RETURNS TO POWER FOR 3RD CONSECUTIVE TERM IN DELHI

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

  • Aam Aadmi Party has come back to power in Delhi for the third term, winning Assembly elections with a thumping majority of 62 out of 70 assembly seats.


Highlights:

  • This is for the second time that the party has swept the election-winning more than two-third of the seats.

  • In 2015 the party had won 67 seats. Bhartiya Janata Party has won 8 seats, five more than the last assembly. However, the party managed to increase its vote share by over 6 percent from last elections. Point four-six percent voters pressed the NOTA button.

  • The Legislative Assembly of Delhi, also known as Delhi Vidhan Sabha, is a unicameral law making body of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, one of the eight union territories in India.

  • The Delhi Legislative Assembly was first constituted in 1952 under the Government of Part C States Act, 1951.

  • With enactment of States Reorganisation Act, 1956 Delhi was no longer a Part-C State and was made a Union Territory.

  • Delhi Legislative Assembly was re-established through the Constitution (Sixty-ninth Amendment) Act, 1991, followed by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 the Sixty-ninth Amendment to the Constitution of India.

  • It declared the Union Territory of Delhi to be formally known as National Capital Territory of Delhi and also supplements the constitutional provisions relating to the Legislative Assembly and the Council of Ministers and related matters.

  • The Legislative Assembly is selected for period of five years.


Source: AIR


THANATOTHERISTES

Part of GS-3 S&T


Why in news?

  • Scientists at the University of Calgary and Royal Tyrrell Museum have found that a dinosaur fossil, found in Alberta in Canada in 2010, belongs to a new species of tyrannosaur.


Highlights:

  • They have named it Thanatotheristes, which means “reaper of death”.

  • Tyrannosaurs were one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs to have ever lived, with very large and high skulls, and the best known among them is the Tyrannosaurus rex, celebrated in the Jurassic Park series.

  • The 79-million-year-old fossil that the researchers have found is the oldest tyrannosaur known from northern North America. In a statement issued by the University of Calgary, the study’s lead author Jared Voris, whose analysis has identified the new species, said the fossil specimen is important to understand the Late Cretaceous period, which is the period when tyrannosaurs roamed the Earth.

  • The scientists named the genus and species Thanatotheristes degrootorum, after John and Sandra de Groot who found the fossil in 2010.

  • They identified it from fragmentary fossil parts of the skull and the upper and lower jaw bones. Until last year, the specimen lay in a drawer at the Royal Tyrrell Museum.


Source: Indian Express


WINTER RAINFALL IN EXCESS- MIZORAM TOP

Part of GS- 1 Geography


Why in news?

  • In December 2019, 13 states and Union Territories recorded excess/large excess rainfall. In January 2020, this rose to 22 states and Union Territories, according to data tabled in Parliament by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.


Highlights:

  • Rainfall is excess when it is 20-59% higher than normal for the period, and large excess when it is over 60% higher than normal.

  • Mizoram recorded the highest departure, at 296% above normal between December 2019 and January 2020.

  • Normal rainfall in Mizoram during this period is 10.8 mm, whereas the actual rainfall received was 42.8 mm.

  • Mizoram is followed by Tripura, where normal rainfall is 7.9 mm and which received 26.7 mm, marking a departure of 239%, and then by Uttarakhand (217%), Chhattisgarh (167%), Manipur (164%), Uttar Pradesh (142%), Jharkhand (142%), West Bengal (122%), Punjab (119%) and Madhya Pradesh (99%).

  • Out of the 26 states and Union Territories for which the ministry provided information for, the lowest departure was recorded by Arunachal Pradesh, whose actual rainfall (58.5 mm) was 24% more than the normal of 47.2 mm.

  • The ministry said no state reported a loss of crops due to excess rainfall in the months of December 2019 and January 2020.


Source: Indian Express


SAFER INTERNET DAY

Part of GS-3 S&T


Why in news?

  • This year, February 11 is being observed as Safer Internet Day (SID).


Highlights:

  • The SID initiative first began in Europe, but is now recognised in around 150 countries worldwide.

  • Last year, the Day was marked on February 5. Each year, the SID initiative aims to increase awareness about emerging online issues, such as cyber bullying, and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.

  • This year, the theme is “Together for a better internet”.

  • The European Commission website describes SID as “an international event taking place in February every year, which promotes a safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones by children and young people across the world.”

  • It is organised by the Insafe/INHOPE network of awareness centres, that is spread across 30 countries and is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility program (CEF) of the EU.


Source: Indian Express


GENDER GAP IN SCIENCE

Part of GS- 3 S&T


Why in news?

  • TUESDAY, February 11 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, established by the United Nations to promote equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.


Highlights:

  • While some of the greatest scientists and mathematicians have been women, they remain under-represented in comparison to their male counterparts in higher studies involving science, as well as among the top scientific achievers.

Researchers and achievers

  • According to a 2018 fact sheet prepared by UNESCO on women in science, just 28.8% of researchers are women. It defines researchers as “professionals engaged in the conception or creation of new knowledge”. In India, this drops to 13.9%.

  • Between 1901 and 2019, 334 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 616 Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine, of which just 20 have been won by 19 women. The double Laureate is Marie Curie, one of just three women who have won in Physics and one of just five in Chemistry, while 12 women have won the Medicine Nobel.

  • In 2019, the American mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck became the first woman to win the Abel Prize, following 16 male mathematicians. The Fields Medal so far has also been awarded to only one woman mathematician, the late Maryam Mirzakhani of Iran, as opposed to 59 men since 1936.


Women in science courses :

  • UNESCO data from 2014-16 show that only around 30% of female students select STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related fields in higher education. Female enrolment is particularly low in information technology (3%), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%) and engineering and allied streams (8%).

  • In India, a 2016-17 NITI Aayog report compared female enrolment in various disciplines over five years, until 2015-16.

  • The report found that in over 620 institutes and universities, including IITs, NITs, ISRO, and DRDO, the presence of women was 20.0% among Scientific and Administrative Staff, 28.7% among Post-Doctoral Fellows, and 33.5% among PhD scholars.


Why the gender gap

  • Various studies have found that girls excel at mathematics and science-oriented subjects in school, but boys often believe they can do better, which shapes their choices in higher studies.

  • In 2015, an analysis of PISA scores by OECD found that the difference in maths scores between high-achieving boys and girls was the equivalent of about half a year at school.

  • But when comparing boys and girls who reported similar levels of self-confidence and anxiety about mathematics, the gender gap in performance disappeared — when girls were more anxious, they tended to perform poorly.

  • The NITI Aayog report said, “The problem of entry of women in science is not uniform across disciplines. Interventions geared to popularising subjects such as Engineering or the Physical sciences or Chemistry among female students at the school level in both urban and rural areas might be helpful in changing mind-set.”


Source: Indian Express



CRR EXEMPTION FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India has said that the special lending window with Cash Reserve Ratio exemption will be open from 14th of February and incremental loans disbursed under this facility will have CRR exemption for the next five years.


Highlights:

  • This means that banks will not be needed to make additional cash reserve ratio against any incremental loans disbursed to the targeted segments.

  • The window will open for six months ending 31st of July this year, but the Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL) will be calculated as of 31st of January.

  • It asked banks to report the CRR exemption availed at the end of a fortnight under exemptions/others in the Section 42 return, under the provisions of the master circular on CRR and SLR issued on 1st of July, 2015.


About CRR and SLR:

CRR

  • The Reserve Bank of India or RBI mandates that banks store a proportion of their deposits in the form of cash so that the same can be given to the bank’s customers if the need arises.

  • The percentage of cash required to be kept in reserves, vis-a-vis a bank’s total deposits, is called the Cash Reserve Ratio.

  • The cash reserve is either stored in the bank’s vault or is sent to the RBI.

  • Banks do not get any interest on the money that is with the RBI under the CRR requirements.

  • There are two primary purposes of the Cash Reserve Ratio:

  • Since a part of the bank’s deposits is with the Reserve Bank of India, it ensures the security of the amount.

  • Also, CRR helps in keeping inflation under control.


SLR

  • Every bank must have a specified portion of their Net Demand and Time Liabilities (NDTL) in the form of cash, gold, or other liquid assets by the day’s end.

  • The ratio of these liquid assets to the demand and time liabilities is called the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR).


Source: The Hindu



NIFM, FARIDABAD RENAMED AJNIFM

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • The Centre has decided to rename the National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Faridabad, as ‘Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management’ (AJNIFM).


Highlights:

  • NIFM, Faridabad was set up in 1993 as a registered society under the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, with the mandate to train officers of various finance and accounts services recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) through the Civil Services Examination, as also officers of the Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS).

  • The Union Finance Minister is the President of the NIFM society.


Source: PIB



DASUOPU GLACIER

Part of GS- 1 Geography


Why in news?

  • Human activity may have contaminated one of the highest peaks in the central Himalayas hundreds of years before a person ever set foot there.


Highlights:

  • According to a study published in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) indicates that the by-products of burning coal in Europe in the late 18th century made their way to the Dasuopu glacier, about 10,300 kilometres from London, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

  • It is located on Shishapangma, one of the world's 14 tallest mountains, which are all located in the Himalayas.

  • The team analysed one core taken from Dasuopu in 1997 for 23 trace metals. The ice cores operate as a sort of timeline, and show new ice forming in layers on the glacier over time.

  • Paolo Gabrielli from The Ohio State University in the US said, the Industrial Revolution was a revolution in the use of energy adding that the use of coal combustion also started to cause emissions that we think were transported by winds up to the Himalayas.

  • The research team was part of a larger international team that travelled to Dasuopu in 1997 to drill ice cores from the glacier.

  • Researchers say, Dasuopu, at 7,200 metres above sea level, is the highest-altitude site in the world where scientists have obtained a climate record from an ice core.

  • It is possible for researchers to tell almost the precise year a layer of the glacier formed because of environmental clues like snowfall or other known natural or human-made disasters.

  • The researchers determined the ice the researchers evaluated formed between 1499 and 1992.


Source: AIR



WORLD UNANI DAY: FEB 11

Part of GS- Health


Why in news?

  • World Unani Day has observed every year on 11th February. This day is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of great Unani scholar and social reformer Hakim Ajmal Khan.


Highlights:

  • He was an eminent Indian Unani physician who was a versatile genius, a great scholar, a social reformer, a noted freedom fighter, a Unani medical educationist and founder of scientific research in Unani System of Medicine. He was one of the founders of the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.

  • The main objective of World UNANI Day is to spread awareness about health care delivery through UNANI system of medicine through its preventive and curative philosophy.

  • The Unani system of medicine has a long and impressive record in India. It was introduced in India by the Arabs and Persians sometime around the eleventh century.

  • Today, India is one of the leading countries as far as the practice of UNANI medicine is concerned. It has the largest number of Unani educational, research and health care institutions.

  • The UNANI system of medicine originated in Greece. Its foundation was laid by Hippocrates.

  • The system owes its present form to the Arabs who not only saved much of the Greek literature by rendering it into Arabic but also enriched the medicine of their day with their own contributions.


Source: PIB



ESCAPE CLAUSE

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • The Finance Minister used just such an escape route in her Budget maths for FY20, by saying she was taking a deviation of 0.5 percentage points from the fiscal deficit targets set out earlier.


Highlights:

  • The Finance Minister pegged the revised estimates of fiscal deficit as a percentage of the GDP for FY20 and FY21 at 3.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.


What is it?

  • ‘Escape clause’ generally refers to a contract provision that specifies the conditions under which a party can be freed from an obligation.

  • The escape clause under the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act details a set of events in which the Central government can deviate from fiscal deficit targets.

  • The fiscal deficit is the total amount by which the government’s expenses for a year exceed its revenues.

  • Escape clauses provide flexibility to governments to overshoot fiscal deficit targets in times of need, enabling them to respond to economic shocks.

  • To ensure escape clauses are not misused, they are generally allowed only in exceptional circumstances, and with a check on the quantum of deviation.


Source: Business Standard

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