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Daily Current Affairs : 24-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :





  5. WHO-UNICEF-LANCET REPORT - A Future for the World’s Children?



  8. G20 MEET


Why in news?

  • 24th February, 2020 is the 1st anniversary of starting of a new Central Sector Scheme, namely, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN).

Highlights :

  • The scheme was started with a view to augment the income of the farmers by providing income support to all landholding farmers’ families across the country, to enable them to take care of expenses related to agriculture and allied activities as well as domestic needs.

  • Under the Scheme an amount of Rs.6000/- per year is transferred in three 4-monthly instalments of Rs.2000/- directly into the bank accounts of the farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.

  • The cut-off date for identification of beneficiaries with regard to their eligibility is 1.2.2019.

  • The entire responsibility of identification of beneficiaries rests with the State / UT Governments.

  • The financial benefits are released to the beneficiaries on the basis of the data of farmers prepared and uploaded by them on the PM-Kisan web-portal.

  • It helps all farmers irrespective of the size of their holdings.

  • Special provisions have been made for the North-Eastern States where land ownership rights are community based, Forest Dwellers and Jharkhand, which does not have updated land records and restrictions on transfer of land.

  • A comprehensive Monitoring Mechanism has been put in place for effective implementation of the scheme.

  • At the Centre a High Level Committee, comprising Union Ministers of Finance, Agriculture and Land Resources exists to make necessary modifications in the Scheme

  • A Review Committee at the National Level under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary with Secretaries of Department of Expenditure (DEA), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Land Resources and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) as members periodically reviews and monitors implementation of the scheme.

  • The Central Project Monitoring Units (PMU) under JS-level CEO  monitors implementation and publicity etc of the scheme.

  • At the States/UTs level, Nodal Department and PMUs constantly monitor implementation of the scheme  while there are State & District Level Monitoring Committees besides State and District Level Grievance Redressal Committees.

Source : PIB


Why in news?

  • Sri Lanka’s former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the successful regional integration – both economic and security – depends on the SAARC becoming fully functional at the highest levels.

Highlight :

  • Since the boycott of the 19th SAARC summit due to the Uri attack, SAARC has been at standstill.

  • He further said, “SAARC is deadlocked. While BIMSTEC is not a substitute for SAARC, it is, nevertheless a starting point for integration.”

  • He further suggested that a sub-region consisting of five souther states of India and Sri Lanka should be created to tap the population of 300 million people and a combined GDP of $500 billion.

  • “The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay in the world, dotted with famous cities and scenic beaches, including the Andaman Islands and Phuket. Cruise tourism catering to millions of the emerging Asian middle classes, is a new commercial opening for the region” he said.

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • Indian government has been already laying two lane roads through the Namdapha National Park, India’s easternmost tiger reserve, and now a new highway project has been cleared through Pakke reserve in Arunachal Pradesh.

Highlights :

  • Named the East-West Industrial Corridor, the highway aims to connect Bhairabhunda in West Kameng district and Manmao in Changlang district along Arunachal Pradesh’s border with Assam.

  • The project makes no mention of compensation for people likely to be displaced.

  • There will be 40 km elevated stretch through the heart of Pakke Tiger reserve.

  • Elevation is no guarantee against felling of trees and disturbing wildlife in the sensitive PTR. This corridor can be a threat to the adjoining Nameri Tiger Reserve in Assam too

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • Indian imports from China due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been significantly hit leading to impact on India’s business which use Chinese products as intermediate or finished goods.

Highlights :

The three reasons for India’s dependence on Chinese products are –

  • India imports finished goods for re-distribution,

  • raw material for production purposes and

  • spare parts used in assembling goods.

  • Since COVID-19 broke out in January, the trade and industry in China have been hampered and there is no manufacturing or supply of goods. Because of the deadly virus, traders here have stopped importing goods from China and have cancelled their visits to China or other countries where there has been an outbreak of the virus

  • The retail mobile trade is completely dependent on China.

  • In Pharmaceutical industry, China provides a lot of raw materials used in the manufacturing of drugs such as amoxy or para.

  • The toy market sees nearly 80% of its demand met by products made in China, while only 20% is met by Indian manufacturers.

  • This has led to increase in prices of the products and thus harm consumer interest.

Source : Hindu

WHO-UNICEF-LANCET REPORT - A Future for the World’s Children?

Why in news?

  • India ranks 131 among 180 countries in terms of best chance at survival for its children, states a WHO-UNICEF-Lancet report

Highlights :

  • No single country is adequately protecting children’s health, their environment and their future, according to a recently released report by a Commission of more than 40 child and adolescent health experts from around the world.

  • The Commission was convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and The Lancet.

  • The health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at them.

  • The index shows that children in Norway, the Republic of Korea and the Netherlands have the best chance at survival and well-being, while children in the Central African Republic, Chad, Somalia, Niger and Mali face the worst odds.

  • Although India has improved in health and sanitation, it has to increase its spending on health.

  • Globally, the number of children and adolescents who are obese has increased from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016 — an 11-fold increase.

  • The only countries on track to beat the CO2 emission targets by 2030, while also performing fairly (within the top 70) on child flourishing measures are: Albania, Armenia, Grenada, Jordan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay and Vietnam.

  • An estimated 250 million children under five in low- and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential.

  • This report shows that the world’s decision makers are, too often, failing today’s children and youth: failing to protect their health, failing to protect their rights and failing to protect their planet

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • PM Modi in his “Mann ki baat” mentioned the discovery of a new fish in Meghalaya while praising India’s biodiversity.

Highlights :

  • The fish species, that has a scientific name Schistura syngkai, was discovered in Twahdioh stream, a tributary of Wahblei river.

  • Both sexes of the fish have golden brown bodies with blacking lateral stripes and slightly emarginate tail fins.

  • It is a blind fish species that dwells in cave.

  • It is believed to be the largest subterranean fish in the world with a length of 40 cm. Normally it was believed that due to the paucity of food in caves, the fishes were not longer than 35cm.

Source : Hindu, TOI and India Today


Why in news?

  • A new species of snail has been named after the climate activist Greta Thunber

Highlights :

  • It is a species of land snail.

  • Its full name is Craspedotropis Gretathunbergae.

  • It comes from Tropical rainforests and is sensitive to drought and extreme temperature, which are likely to be more frequent due to climate change.

  • It measures only 2 milimeter and have dark grey tentacles, a pale body and a concave shell, whose outer part is greenish brown.

Source : Indian Express


Why in news?

  • The first finance and Central Bank governor’s meeting is being held under Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency. It is being held in Riyadh.

Highlights :

  • Indian FM Nirmala Sitharaman called for closer collaboration between international revenue agencies to investigate tax affairs of offenders who cross borders for escaping tax investigation.

  • She highlighted steps taken by India to deepen corporate bond market and attract FPI in the private debt and government securities market.

  • Due to the challenge of digitalisation, international community needs to design a new international tax system for cost efficient dispute prevention mechanism.

  • US and Europe are divided at G-20 summit on how to tax tech giants like Facebook.

  • EU is spearheading a global effort to regulate the major tech giants.

  • America who dominate the landscape of major tech giants fear that new taxes and increased regulation could stifle innovation or hurt company profits.

  • Several European countries, including France, Spain, Austria, Italy, Britain and Hungary either already have a plan for a digital tax or are working on one, prompting calls for a more multilateral approach to addressing the challenge.

Source : Indian Express and CNBC

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