Daily Current Affairs : 21-Jan-2020

Major Topics Covered :

  1. 12TH NATIONAL TRIBAL YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

  2. FIRST SQUADRON SUKHOI-30 MKI AIRCRAFT - TIGER SHARKS

  3. LIBYA PEACE- BERLIN SUMMIT

  4. PATHRI- BIRTHPLACE OF SAI BABA

  5. ICP BIRATNAGAR

  6. “XENOBOTS”- WORLD’S FIRST “LIVING MACHINES”

  7. 50TH WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

  8. WEF’S GLOBAL SOCIAL MOBILITY REPORT

  9. OXFAM

  10. DUBAI - ‘RECIPROCATING TERRITORY’


12TH NATIONAL TRIBAL YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

Part of GS- 1 Social Issue


Why in news?

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr Kiran Bedi inaugurated the 12 th National Tribal Youth Exchange Programme in Puducherry.


Highlights:

• To provide an opportunity to the tribal youth to understand the cultural ethos, language, lifestyles of the people depicting Socio –economic & Cultural Development & Development process unity in diversity aspect of our national life.

• The first programme was held in 2006.

• Two hundred youths from Naxal-affected districts of Chattisgarh are taking part in this week- long programme.

• The programme has been jointly organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and Puducherry Government with a view to ensure development and empowerment of the tribal youths.

• They will be visiting many places to know about the language, customs, culture, arts, dressing patterns, food pattern and other aspects of Puducherry.


Source: AIR



FIRST SQUADRON SUKHOI-30 MKI AIRCRAFT - TIGER SHARKS

Part of GS- 3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

The Indian Air Force has inducted its first squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft carrying the BrahMos missiles in the South at its Thanjavur base in Tamil Nadu on 20th January, 2020.


Highlights:

• The Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Bhadauria inducted the squadron at an impressive ceremony.

• The Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft integrated with the supersonic cruise missiles BrahMos is the strongest maritime combination that we have, in terms of weapon capability.

• The newly reinstated 222-squadron, also known as the Tiger sharks, would serve as a lethal weapons platform capable of carrying both aerial and maritime roles in the Indian Ocean Region.

• Thanjavur is strategically located in the southern peninsula. He said, from there, the Tigersharks can dominate the seas and provide very close and integrated support to the Indian Navy.


Source: PIB



LIBYA PEACE- BERLIN SUMMIT

Part of GS- 2 IR


Why in news?

World leaders committed to ending all foreign meddling in Libya's war and to uphold a weapons embargo at a Berlin summit on 20th January, 2020.


Highlights:

• This was part of a broader plan to end the spiralling conflict.

The presidents of Russia, Turkey and France were among global chiefs signing up to the plan to stop interfering in the war. This includes through weapons, troops or financing.

Libya has been torn by fighting between rival armed factions since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

World leaders committed to ending all foreign meddling in Libya's war and to uphold a weapons embargo as part of a broader plan to end the spiralling conflict.

• But the talks failed to deliver serious dialogue between the warring parties - strongman Khalifa Haftar and the head of Tripoli's UN-recognised government Fayez al-Sarraj.

• It also failed to get both sides to sign up to a permanent truce.


Source: AIR



PATHRI- BIRTHPLACE OF SAI BABA.

Part of GS- 1 A&C


Why in news?

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met representatives from the temple town of Shirdi, who have been upset over the government’s decision to develop Pathri in Parbhani district as the birthplace of Sai Baba.


Highlights:

• On January 9, Thackeray announced in Aurangabad that his government would grant Rs 100 crore for the development of Pathri as a centre of religious tourism and “the birthplace of Sai Baba”.

• Thackeray’s announcement triggered joy and hope in Pathri, a town of 40,000 people about 180 km to the southeast of Aurangabad. In Shirdi, located about 125 km to the west, however, there was anger — and residents of the town that has become synonymous with Sai Baba announced an indefinite bandh in protest.


Pathri: What records say

• In 1975, V B Kher, a Sai devotee and former trustee of the temple trust in Shirdi, announced that it was “probable” that the 19th century saint was born in a Yajurvedi Deshastha Brahmin family in Pathri as one of the five sons of one Parshuram Bhusari.

• In 1978, a trust, the Shri Sai Smarak Samiti, was established to build a temple to Sai Baba at the site where some believed he was born.

• In fact, several authoritative, popular works on Baba either directly mention Pathri as his possible birthplace, or speculate that he may have been from that area. Some of these works were either written by, or quoted those who knew Baba personally. Baba is said to have come to Shirdi in 1872, where he lived until he took mahasamadhi (passed away) on October 15, 1918.


Source: Indian Express



ICP BIRATNAGAR

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepali counterpart K P Sharma Oli will inaugurate Integrated Check Post (ICP) Biratnagar.


Highlights:

ICP Biratnagar has been built on 260 acres of land at a cost of around 140 crore rupees. It has the facilities for immigration clearance of foreign passengers, export and import cargo handling.

ICP Biratnagar - is equipped with all modern facilities like warehousing facilities including refrigerated cargo, electronic weighing bridges, 100% power backup, fire safety, dedicated communication network and 24x7 monitoring through CCTV and public announcement systems. It is designed to handle around 500 trucks per day.

• Adequate facilities for quarantine, amenities for drivers, passengers and security personnel have also been created, along with a wastewater treatment plant. A large scale landscaping and tree plantation has also been carried out to conserve and enhance the environment.

India and Nepal share over 1,850 kilometre- long border which is characterized by a unique and long tradition of free movement of people.

Jobgani-Biratnagar international trade point is one of the important trade points between the two countries. Biratnagar is also the third-largest Revenue Collecting Customs Office of Nepal. India has traditionally been Nepal’s largest trading partner.

• Presently, over 65 percent of Nepal’s trade is with India and also over 65 percent of Nepal’s exports are to India.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepal's Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will also witness the progress of the Government of India supported the post-earthquake reconstruction housing project. India is providing financial assistance for the reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts of Nepal.

Around 91 percent of houses have been reconstructed so far and Govt. of India has reimbursed 696.3 crore Nepali rupees from grant and 310.9 crore from Line of Credit (LoC) to Govt. of Nepal for the beneficiaries of Gorkha and Nuwakot districts.

• India had committed one billion US dollars (US$ 250 million as grant and US$ 750 million as Concessional LoC) for the post-earthquake reconstruction of Nepal during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction (ICNR) held in Kathmandu on 25 June 2015. Source: AIR



“XENOBOTS”- WORLD’S FIRST “LIVING MACHINES”

Part of GS-3 S&T


Why in news?

Scientists in the United States have created the world’s first “living machines” — tiny robots built from the cells of the African clawed frog, that can move around on their own.


Highlights:

• They have named the millimetre-wide robots “xenobots” — after the species of aquatic frog found across sub-Saharan Africa from Nigeria and Sudan to South Africa, Xenopus laevis.

“Scientists have repurposed living cells scraped from frog embryos and assembled them into entirely new life-forms,” the University of Vermont said in a press release last week.

• The xenobots “can move toward a target, perhaps pick up a payload (like a medicine that needs to be carried to a specific place inside a patient) — and heal themselves after being cut”, it said.

• Joshua Bongard, a computer scientist and robotics expert at the university who co-led the new research said the “novel living machines” were “neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal”, but “a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism”.

• The new creatures were designed on a supercomputer at the university, and then assembled and tested by biologists at Tufts University.

• “We can imagine many useful applications of these living robots that other machines can’t do,” research co-leader Michael Levin of the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts, was quoted as saying in the release. “Like searching out nasty compounds or radioactive contamination, gathering microplastic in the oceans, travelling in arteries to scrape out plaque,” Levin said.


Source: Indian Express



50TH WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM-

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

The four day 50th World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland will begin. 53 heads of state or government from 117 countries are participating in the event.


Highlights:

• The theme of this year's WEF is 'Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World'.

• It emphasizes Forum Founder Klaus Schwab's idea that managers have a duty to customers, suppliers and the wider economy, not just dividend-hungry shareholders.

• The focus for this week's annual meeting in Davos will be as much on hearing from climate change activists as on rapid-fire corporate dealmaking in a succession of cocktail-fuelled soirees, organisers insist.


Reports published by WEF:

➢ Global Competitiveness Report, ➢ Global Information Technology Report, ➢ Global Gender Gap Report, ➢ Global Risks Report, ➢ Global Travel and Tourism Report, ➢ Financial Development Report and ➢ Global Enabling Trade Report.


About WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM-

• It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

• It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.

• The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

• The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.

Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.

• Improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.


Source: PIB


WEF’S GLOBAL SOCIAL MOBILITY REPORT

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news? In India, it would take 7 generations for a member of a poor family to achieve average income, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Social Mobility report.


Highlights:

• The World Economic Forum, which organises the well-known annual gathering of the world’s most influential business and political decision-makers in the ski-resort of Davos (Switzerland), has come out with its first-ever Global Social Mobility Report, which has ranked India a lowly 72 out of the 82 countries profiled.

• According to the report, the Nordic economies such as Denmark and Finland top the social mobility rankings while countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa languish at the bottom.


What is social mobility?

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➢ Typically, inequalities are measured in income terms. ➢ This measure has been found inadequate. ➢ As the report states, “many situations exist where, despite high levels of absolute

income mobility, relative social mobility remains low. For example, in economies such as China and India, economic growth can lift entire populations upward in terms of absolute income, but an individual’s status in society relative to others remains the same”. It encompasses several concerns such as:

Relative educational mobility: How much of an individual’s educational attainment is determined by their parents’ educational attainment.


Source: Indian Express



OXFAM

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

Intergenerational mobility: The ability for an individual to move between socio-economic classes within their own lifetime.

Intergenerational mobility: The ability for a family group to move up or down the socio-economic ladder across the span of one or more generations.

Absolute income mobility: The ability for an individual to earn, in real terms, as much as or more than their parents at the same age.

Absolute educational mobility: The ability for an individual to attain higher education levels than their parents.

Relative income mobility: How much of an individual’s income is determined by their parents’ income.

The report, titled Time to Care: Unpaid and Underpaid Care Work and the Global Inequality Crisis, released ahead of the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) beginning in Davos.


Highlights:

• A report published on 20th January, 2020, by Oxfam, the international non-profit focussed on the alleviation of global poverty, underlined what has been said repeatedly by governments, research organisations and a range of multilateral bodies over the past decade or more — that economic inequality, as the report said, “is out of control”, with extremes of wealth existing alongside great poverty.

India’s richest 1% hold more than four times the wealth held by the 953 million who make up for the bottom 70% of the country’s population.


Key Finding:

2,153 individuals, the number of billionaires in the world in 2019, have more wealth among them than 4.6 billion people.

22 of the world’s richest men have a combined wealth that is more than the wealth of all the women of Africa.

• The world’s richest 1% has more than twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people.

• If everyone sat on their wealth piled up in $ 100 notes, most people would be sitting on the floor; a middle-class person in a rich country would be at the height of a chair; and the world’s two richest men would be sitting in outer space.

If you saved $ 10,000 (about Rs 7.1 lakh) every day since the building of the pyramids in Egypt (about 4,500 years ago) you would have one-fifth the average fortune of the 5 richest billionaires.

• An additional 0.5% tax on the wealth of the richest 1% over the next 10 years can create 117 million jobs in education, health and elderly care, etc.

• From 2011 to 2017, average wages in G7 countries grew 3%, while dividends to wealthy shareholders increased by 31%.


Source: Indian Express


DUBAI - ‘RECIPROCATING TERRITORY’

Part of GS- 2 IR


Why in news?

The Ministry of Law and Justice issued an Extraordinary Gazette Notification, declaring the United Arab Emirates to be a “reciprocating territory” under Section 44A of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The notification also declared a list of courts in the UAE to be “superior Courts” under the same section.


Highlights:

Section 44A, titled “Execution of decrees passed by Courts in reciprocating territory”, provides the law on the subject of execution of decrees of Courts in India by foreign Courts and vice versa.

Under Explanation 1 of S. 44A:

According to Explanation-2, the scope of the Section is restricted to decrees for payment of money, not being sums payable “in respect of taxes or other charges of a like nature or in respect of a fine or other penalty”.

• Apart from Dubai, the other countries declared to be “reciprocating territories” are: United Kingdom, Singapore, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago, New Zealand, the Cook Islands (including Niue) and the Trust Territories of Western Samoa, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Aden.

• It also cannot be based on an arbitration award, even if such an award is enforceable as a decree or judgment.

• The decision is believed to help bring down the time required for executing decrees between the two countries. Source: Indian Express

Reciprocating territory” means any country or territory outside India which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be a reciprocating territory for the purposes of this section; and “superior Courts”, with reference to any such territory, means such Courts as may be specified in the said notification.”

S.44A (1) provides that a decree passed by “a superior Court” in any “reciprocating territory” can be executed in India by filing a certified copy of the decree in a District Court, which will treat the decree as if it has been passed by itself.

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