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Daily Current Affairs : 24-Jan-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. DEMOCRACY INDEX- ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT

  2. AMNESTY INDIA WOMEN POLITICIANS- TROLLING

  3. CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX- TI

  4. ‘ABIDE WITH ME’

  5. SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE

  6. OPHICHTHUS KAILASHCHANDRAI- ODISHA

  7. NATIONAL DATA AND ANALYTICS PLATFORM

  8. SSRC

  9. ‘GATI’-NHAI


DEMOCRACY INDEX- ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT

Part of GS- 2 Polity and governance


Why in news?

  • India slipped 10 places to 51st position in the 2019 Democracy Index's global ranking, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited "erosion of civil liberties" in the country as the primary cause for the downtrend. India’s overall score fell from 7.23 in 2018 to 6.90.


Highlights:

  • The report, “A year of democratic setbacks and popular protest”, was done by The Economist Intelligence Unit — the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, which is the sister company to The Economist newspaper.

  • India was graded in electoral process and pluralism (8.67), government functioning (6.79), political participation (6.67), political culture (5.63) and civil liberties (6.76).

  • In the Asia and Australasia region, India ranks eighth, behind Taiwan and Timor-Leste.

  • The Index categorises India under “flawed democracies”, countries that hold free and fair elections, but have significant weaknesses in aspects of democracy, such as problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation.

  • The report records how global democracy fared, analysing 165 independent states and two territories.

  • India slipped 10 places in the 2019 global ranking to 51st place. India’s overall score fell from 7.23 to 6.9, on a scale of 0-10, within a year (2018-2019) — the country’s lowest since 2006.

  • There are only 22 “full democracies” as compared to 54 “authoritarian regimes” and as many “flawed democracies,” that include the U.S.

  • The average global score recorded its worst value ever, down from 5.48 in 2018 to 5.44.


Source : Indian Express



AMNESTY INDIA WOMEN POLITICIANS- TROLLING

Part of GS- 2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

  • Twitter is a toxic space for Indian women politicians, who face substantially higher abuse on the social media platform than their counterparts in the U.S. and the U.K., according to a recent study given by Amnesty India.


Highlights:

  • In fact, one out of every seven tweets mentioning them is problematic or abusive, with many women targeted by a relentless flow of threats and sexist, religious, racist and casteist slurs.

  • While all women are targeted, Muslim women politicians faced 55% more abuse than others, according to the study of 95 politicians carried out by Amnesty India during the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

  • The Troll Patrol India study trained volunteers to sift through the tweets mentioning these 95 women between March and May 2019. Of the seven million tweets which mentioned them, a sample of 1.14 lakh was analysed.

  • They found that 13.8% of the tweets had problematic or abusive content.


Source: The Hindu



CORRUPTION PERCEPTION INDEX- TI

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • India’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI-2019) has slipped from 78 to 80 compared to the previous year, said Transparency International on 23rd January, 2020, while questioning the “unfair and opaque political financing” in the country.


Highlights:

  • Its score of 41 out of 100 remains the same.

  • The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.

  • It uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

  • In democracies like India and Australia, unfair and opaque political financing, undue influence in decision-making and lobbying by powerful corporate interest groups, has resulted in stagnation or decline in the control of corruption, observed the report.

  • The latest CPI report has revealed that a majority of countries are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption.

  • The 2019 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

  • In the Asia Pacific region, the average score is 45, after many consecutive years of an average score of 44, which “illustrates general stagnation” across the region.


  • China has improved its position from 87 to 80 with a score of 41 out of 100, a two-point jump.

  • Despite the presence of high performers like New Zealand (87), Singapore (85), Australia (77), Hong Kong (76) and Japan (73), the Asia Pacific region hasn’t witnessed substantial progress in anti-corruption efforts or results.

  • In addition, low performers like Afghanistan (16), North Korea (17) and Cambodia (20) continue to highlight serious challenges in the region.

  • According to Transparency International, while often seen as an engine of the global economy, in terms of political integrity and governance, the region performs only marginally better than the global average.


Source: The Hindu



‘ABIDE WITH ME’

Part of GS-1 A&C


Why in news?

  • In the past few days, there has been a controversy about whether the tune ‘Abide With Me’, which is a part of the Beating Retreat celebrations that take place post-Republic Day, would be played this year or not.


Highlights:

  • It is known across the world today, the song was written by Henry Francis Lyte, a Scottish poet, and hymnologist, in 1847.

  • In India, the tune achieved significance after it was propagated by Mahatma Gandhi.

  • The tune became popular in the trenches during World War I. Edith Cavell, the famous British nurse who was shot by a German squad for helping British soldiers escape from occupied Belgium, is known to have recited it the night before her execution.

  • He had first heard it played by the Mysore Palace Band. At Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, it remains a part of the ‘Ashram Bhajanavali’, alongside bhajans like “Vaishnav jan toh”, “Raghupati Raghav raja ram”, and “Lead kindly light”.

  • In India, this Christian hymn has been played as the concluding piece of the Beating Retreat ceremony – which takes place after Republic Day on January 29 – every year at Vijay Chowk, since 1950.


Source: Indian Express



SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE

Part of GS- Award


Why in news?

  • The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, paid homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 23, 2020.


Highlights:

  • Subhas Chandra Bose born on 23 January 1897 – 18 August 1945 was an Indian nationalist whose defiant patriotism made him a hero in India.

Contribution of S C Bose:

  • Bose joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1921.

  • He also started a newspaper called ‘Swaraj’.

  • He was the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of the Bengal State Congress.

  • In 1924, he became the CEO of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

  • In 1930, he became the Mayor of Calcutta.

  • Bose authored the book ‘The Indian Struggle’ which covers the Indian independence movement from 1920 to 1942. The book was banned by the British government.

  • He coined the term ‘Jai Hind’. His charisma and powerful personality inspired many people into the freedom struggle and continues to inspire Indians. He was called Netaji.

  • Bose was sent to prison in Mandalay for nationalist activities in 1925. He was released in 1927 and became the INC’s general secretary.

  • He worked with Jawaharlal Nehru and the two became the Congress Party’s young leaders gaining popularity among the people.

  • He advocated complete Swaraj and was in favour of the use of force to gain it.

  • He had differences with Gandhi and he wasn’t keen on non-violence as a tool for independence.

  • Subhash Chandra Bose was twice elected President of the Indian National Congress, (1938-Haripur and 1939-Tripuri) the country’s most important political force for freedom from the Raj or British rule.

  • Bose stood for and was elected the party’s president in 1939 but was forced to resign due to differences with Gandhi’s supporters.

  • Bose’s ideology tilted towards socialism and leftist authoritarianism.

  • He formed the All India Forward Bloc in 1939 as a faction within the Congress.

  • At the start of the Second World War, Bose protested against the government for not consulting Indians before dragging them into the war. He was arrested when he organised protests in Calcutta for the removal of the monument memorialising the Black Hole of Calcutta.

  • He was released after a few days but was kept under surveillance. He then made his escape from the country in 1941 to Germany via Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. He had previously travelled to Europe and met with Indian students and European political leaders.

  • In Germany, he met with the Nazi leaders and hoped to stage an armed struggle against the British to gain independence. He hoped to befriend the Axis powers since they were against his ‘enemy’ the British.

  • He founded the Indian Legion out of about 4500 Indian soldiers who were in the British army and had been taken prisoners by the Germans from North Africa.

  • In 1943, he left Germany for Japan disillusioned with German support for Azad Hind.

  • Bose’s arrival in Japan revived the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) which had been formed earlier with Japanese help.

  • Azad Hind or the Provisional Government of Free India was established as a government-in-exile with Bose as the head. Its headquarters was in Singapore. The INA was its military.

  • Bose motivated the troops with his fiery speeches. His famous quote is, “Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!”

  • The INA supported the Japanese army in its invasion of northeast India and also took control of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. However, they were forced to retreat by the British forces.


Source: PIB



OPHICHTHUS KAILASHCHANDRAI- ODISHA

Part of GS- 3 Environment


Why in news?

  • A new snake eel species residing in the Bay of Bengal has been discovered and documented this month (January) by the Estuarine Biology Regional Centre (EBRC) of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) at Gopalpur-on-sea in Odisha.


Highlights:

  • This new marine species has been named Ophichthus kailashchandrai to honour the vast contributions of Dr. Kailash Chandra.

  • In 2019, two new species of marine eel, Gymnothorax andamanensesis and Gymnothorax smithi were been discovered by this ZSI centre.


Source: The Hindu



NATIONAL DATA AND ANALYTICS PLATFORM

Part of GS- Polity and Governance


Why in news?

  • NITI Aayog released its vision for the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP) on 23rd January, 2020.


Highlights:

  • The platform aims to democratize access to publicly available government data.

  • It will host the latest datasets from various government websites, present them coherently, and provide tools for analytics and visualization.

  • NDAP will follow a user-centric approach and will enable data access in a simple and intuitive portal tailored to the needs of a variety of stakeholders.

  • NDAP will spearhead the standardization of formats in which data is presented across sectors and will cater to a wide audience of policymakers, researchers, innovators, data scientists, journalists and citizens.

  • The development of NDAP will take place over a period of one year.

  • The first version of the platform is expected to be launched in 2021.


Source: PIB



SSRC

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • The Reserve Bank of India has decided to recruit 35% of the specialised supervisory and regulatory cadre from the market while the remaining 65% will be recruited via internal promotions.


Highlights:

  • The Specialized Supervisory and Regulatory Cadre (SSRC) will comprise officers in Grade B to Executive Director Level.

  • It merged the three regulatory departments (department of banking, non-banking and cooperative bank) into one and did likewise for the three supervisory departments.

  • On November 1, 2019, RBI decided to reorganise its regulation and supervision departments.

  • As a result, there is only one supervisory department which looks after supervision of banks, NBFCs and cooperative banks and only one regulatory department for these three.

  • The move was aimed at dealing more effectively with potential systemic risk that could come about due to possible supervisory arbitrage and information asymmetry.


Source: The Hindu



‘GATI’-NHAI

Part of GS- 3 Economy


Why in news?

  • Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways launched online Web Portal ‘GATI.’


Highlights:

  • The portal has been created by NHAI taking inspiration from the PRAGATI Portal used by PMO.

  • It can be accessed from NHAI Website and contractors/concessionaires can raise any project related issues on the Portal.

  • The issue will immediately come to the notice of every official of NHAI including top management, and immediate action will be taken by the concerned officer, duly updating on the Portal.

  • The issues raised in the GATI will be daily monitored by a team of officers in NHAI and will be constantly reviewed by the senior officers of NHAI and the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

  • This will bring transparency and speed up the decision making giving real GATI to highway construction.


Source: PIB

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