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Daily Current Affairs : 25-Dec-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. YEAR END REVIEW- 2019: MINISTRY OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

  2. IBC ORDINANCE THAT SHIELDS BUYERS FROM PRIOR LAPSES PASSED

  3. CABINET GRANTS EX-POST FACTO APPROVAL TO AMEND THE BENGAL EASTERN FRONTIER REGULATIONS

  4. NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER (NPR)

  5. ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA

  6. SEAFARER CERTIFICATES

  7. TUNNEL UNDER ROHTANG PASS TO BE RENAMED AFTER FORMER PRIME MINISTER ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE

  8. CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF

  9. INDIA'S FIRST LONG DISTANCE CNG BUS

  10. RUSSIA ‘ONLY COUNTRY IN WORLD’ WITH HYPERSONIC WEAPONS: PREZ PUTIN


YEAR END REVIEW- 2019: MINISTRY OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?


The government said it envisions micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to contribute USD 2 trillion to the country's target of becoming USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.


Highlights:


Under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), 65,312 new micro-enterprises have been set up, the MSME Ministry said in its year-end review for 2019.


"The Indian economy is likely to emerge as one of the leading economies in the world, with an envisioned GDP of USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.


Under PMEGP, 5,22,496 employment opportunities have been generated, and margin money subsidy worth Rs 1,929.83 crore has been utilized, the ministry added.

PMEGP is a major credit-linked subsidy programme being implemented by MSME Ministry since 2008-09.


51 SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) Clusters approved earlier are completed and are functional.


The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission in 2018.

11 Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of Solar Charkha Clusters have been approved by the Scheme Steering Committee during current financial year 2019-20.


The Government approved for continuation of Credit Linked Capital Subsidy component under Credit Linked Capital Subsidy-Technology Upgradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) in February 2019.


Ministry of MSME is implementing Technology Centre Systems Programme (TCSP) at an estimated cost of Rs. 2200 crore, including World Bank Loan assistance of USD 200 million, to establish 15 new Tool Rooms and Technology Development Centres (TCs)

RBI Expert Committee under U. K. Sinha on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises made 37 major recommendations.


Khadi has got unique HS code issued by the central government on 4th Nov’19 to categorize its products in export.


The scheme is aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth in rural as well as urban areas.


Source: Business Standard


IBC ORDINANCE THAT SHIELDS BUYERS FROM PRIOR LAPSES PASSED

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?


Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to decriminalize business failures, the Union cabinet cleared an ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 that would ring-fence successful bidders from criminal proceedings against offences committed by previous promoters.


Highlights:


“The amendment will remove certain ambiguities in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, and ensure smooth implementation of the Code," the cabinet said in a statement on Tuesday.


While ongoing investigations against original promoters will continue, the new promoter would be required to extend all assistance and cooperation to any authority investigating an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process.


However, Parliament could not clear the bill as the winter session ended on 13 December. The ordinance will now be sent for the approval of the President.

The amendments will also make IBC prevail over other laws including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.


The move will help in the rescue of bankrupt Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd (BPSL) by the second-largest private steelmaker in the country, JSW Steel Ltd, a transaction that has been complicated due to a probe by the Enforcement Directorate and the attachment of BPSL’s assets.


The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, which approved a ₹19,700 crore bid from JSW Steel to take over BPSL, subsequently stayed the transfer of payment by the bidder to the creditors of BPSL, pending an investigation into allegations of fraud and money laundering by the former owners of the steel mill.


Source: Live Mint


CABINET GRANTS EX-POST FACTO APPROVAL TO AMEND THE BENGAL EASTERN FRONTIER REGULATIONS

Part of GS-2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday granted its ex-post facto approval to amend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations (BEFR), 1873.


Highlights:


"The cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019 issued by the President of India under clause (2) of Article 372 of the Constitution to amend the BEFR," Ministry of Home Affairs said in a release.


The notification will extend BEFR to the state of Manipur to give its indigenous people protection from the provisions of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 and make necessary changes in the said regulation, the official statement added.


The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and came to India on or before December 31, 2014.


Source: Business Standard


NATIONAL POPULATION REGISTER (NPR)

Part of GS-1 Social Issue


Why in news?

The Union Cabinet approved a proposal to conduct Census 2021 and update the National Population Register (NPR).


Highlights:


While the Census will be conducted in 2021, the NPR update will take place from April to September 2020 in all the States/UTs except Assam.


According to the sources, the Union Cabinet has approved a proposal of the Home Ministry to spend Rs 8,754 crore for the Census 2021 and Rs 3,941 crore for updating the NPR.


What is the National Population Register (NPR)?


The NPR is a register of usual residents of the country.


It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR. It includes both Indian citizens as well as a foreign citizen.


The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.


The first National Population Register was prepared in 2010 and updating this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey.


The next update of the NPR will take place next year from April to September with the Houselisting phase of the Census 2021. It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.


What is the meaning of usual resident?


According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, a usual resident is a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.


What is the Census?


The Census is the enumeration of the population of the country.


It is being conducted at an interval of 10 years.


The Census 2021 will be 16th census in the country since the first census happened in 1872. However, it will be 8th census after the Independence.


For the first time, the Census 2021 will use the Mobile App for data collection. It will also provide a facility to the public for self-enumeration.


What are the details required for NPR?


The demographic details of every individual are required for every usual resident on 21 points which includes ‘date and place of birth of parents’, last place of residence, Permanent Account Number (PAN), Aadhar ( on a voluntary basis), Voter ID card number, Driving License Number and Mobile Number.


In the last NPR done in 2010, the data was collected on the 15 points and it did not include ‘date and place of birth of parents’ and last place of residence.


What is the difference between NPR and NRC?


The NPR is different from the National Register of Citizens which excludes the foreign citizens.


According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, notified on December 10, 2003, a Population Register is ‘the register containing details of persons usually residing in a village or rural area or town or ward or demarcated area (demarcated by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration) within a ward in a town or urban area. Whereas, the ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ is a register containing details of Indian Citizens living in India and outside India.


The rules further say that ‘National Register of Indian Citizens’ shall contain the particulars of every citizen i.e. Name; Father’s name; Mother’s name; Sex; Date of birth; Place of birth; Residential address (present and permanent); Marital status ñ if ever married, name of the spouse; Visible identification mark; Date of registration of Citizen; Serial number of registration; and National Identity Number.


What is the link between NPR and NRC?


According to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, notified on December 10, 2003, The Central Government may, by an order issued in this regard, decide a date by which the Population Register shall be prepared by collecting information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of Local Registrar.


The Local Register of Indian citizens shall contain details of persons after due verification made from the Population Register.


Source: Indian Express


ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA

Part of GS- Water


Why in news?

The Union Cabinet on 24th December, 2019 approved the Atal Bhujal Yojana, a Rs 6,000 crore scheme for sustainable management of ground water resources, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.


Highlights of the Scheme:

  • The scheme will cover 8,350 villages of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States.

  • ATAL JAL will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural change with primary focus on demand side management.

  • The scheme envisages active participation of the communities in various activities such as formation of water user associations, monitoring and disseminating ground water data, water budgeting, preparation and implementation of gram panchayat-wise water security plans and information, education and communication (IEC) activities related to sustainable ground water management.

  • Out of the total outlay of Rs. 6000 crores, 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support.

  • The entire World Bank's loan component and Central Assistance shall be passed on to the States as Grants.


ATAL JAL has two major components:


Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building Component

For strengthening institutional arrangements for sustainable ground water management in the States including improving monitoring networks, capacity building, strengthening of Water User Associations, etc.


Incentive Component

For incentivising the States for achievements in improved groundwater management practices namely, data dissemination, preparation of water security plans, implementation of management interventions through convergence of ongoing schemes, adopting demand side management practices etc.


Implementing body: The Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.


ATAL JAL will result in:   

  • Institutional strengthening for improving ground water monitoring networks and capacity building of stakeholders at different levels which will enhance ground water data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination.

  • Improved and realistic water budgeting based on an improved database and preparation of community-led Water Security Plans at Panchayat level

  • Implementation of Water Security Plans through convergence of various ongoing/new schemes of the Government of India and State Governments to facilitate judicious and effective utilization of funds for sustainable ground water management.

  • Efficient use of available ground water resources with emphasis on demand side measures such as micro-irrigation, crop diversification, electricity feeder separation etc.


Impact:

  • Source sustainability for Jal Jeevan Mission in the project area with active participation of local communities.

  • Will contribute towards the goal of doubling the farmers' income.

  • Will promote participatory ground water management.

  • Improved water use efficiency on a mass scale and improved cropping pattern;

  • Promotion of efficient and equitable use of ground water resources and behavioural change at the community level.


Source: PIB


SEAFARER CERTIFICATES

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news?

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Agreement between India and Sweden on Recognition of Seafarer Certificates, pursuant to Regulation I/10 of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-Keeping for seafarers, 1978.


Highlights: The Agreement will pave the way for recognition of,

  • Maritime education and training,

  • Certificates of competency,

  • Endorsements, training and documentary evidence and

  • Medical fitness certificates for seafarers

  • It is issued by the Government of both the countries, in accordance with the provision of regulation 1/10 of the STCW Convention, and cooperation between the two countries in the training certification and management of seafarers.

  • The Agreement will be beneficial to both the countries as Sweden is a ship owning nation while India is a net seafarer supplying nation.


Source: PIB


TUNNEL UNDER ROHTANG PASS TO BE RENAMED AFTER FORMER PRIME MINISTER ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE

Part of GS-1 Geography


Why in news?

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to honour the contribution of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by naming the Strategic Tunnel under Rohtang Pass after him on December 25, 2019, which happens to be his birthday.


  • Highlights:

  • The historic decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass was taken on June 03, 2000 when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.

  • The foundation stone for the Access Road to the South Portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.

  • The 8.8-kilometre long tunnel is the world's longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres.

  • It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres and save crores of rupees in transport costs. It is a 10.5-metre wide single tube bi-lane tunnel with a fire proof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.

  • The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) worked relentlessly to overcome major geological, terrain and weather challenges that included the most difficult stretch of the 587-metre Seri Nalah Fault Zone. The breakthrough from both ends was achieved on October 15, 2017.


Source: PIB


CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF

Part of GS-3 Defence and Security


Why in news?

In a landmark decision with tremendous reform in higher defence management in the country, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to create the post of Chief of Defence Staff in the rank of a four-star General with salary and perquisites equivalent to a Service Chief.


Highlights:

The Chief of Defence Staff will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary.


The following areas will be dealt by the Department of Military Affairs headed by CDS:

  • The Armed Forces of the Union, namely, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

  • Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence comprising Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, Air Headquarters and Defence Staff Headquarters.

  • The Territorial Army.

  • Works relating to the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

  • Procurement exclusive to the Services except capital acquisitions, as per prevalent rules and procedures.

  • The Chief of Defence Staff, apart from being the head of the Department of Military Affairs, will also be the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

  • He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to Raksha Mantri on all tri-Services matters.

  • The three Chiefs will continue to advise RM on matters exclusively concerning their respective Services.

  • CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three Service Chiefs, so as to be able to provide impartial advice to the political leadership.

  • As the Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee, CDS will perform the following functions:

  • CDS will administer tri-services organisations. Tri-service agencies/organisations/commands related to Cyber and Space will be under the command of the CDS.

  • CDS will be member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Raksha Mantri and Defence Planning Committee chaired by NSA.

  • Function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.

  • Bring about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc of the three Services, within three years of the first CDS assuming office.

  • Ensure optimal utilisation of infrastructure and rationalise it through jointness among the services.

  • Implement Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP), and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans (AAP), as a follow up of Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP).

  • Assign inter-Services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.

  • Bring about reforms in the functioning of three Services aimed at augmenting combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.


Source: PIB


INDIA'S FIRST LONG DISTANCE CNG BUS

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news?

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today unveiled India's first long distance CNG bus fitted with CNG cylinders at a function in New Delhi.


Highlights:

  • It can travel around one thousand kilometre in a single fill. Talking to reporters, Mr Pradhan said, this is a revolutionary step which help reduce vehicular pollution.

  • He said, the first long range interstate CNG bus will starts from Delhi to Dehradun. Mr Pradhan said, such type of buses will soon ply between Delhi to Jaipur, Chandigarh and Agra.

  • The project has been executed by Indraprastha Gas Limited, the largest CNG distribution company in the country.


Source: AIR


RUSSIA ‘ONLY COUNTRY IN WORLD’ WITH HYPERSONIC WEAPONS: PREZ PUTIN

Part of GS-3 S&T


Why in news?

President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia is the only country in the world that has hypersonic weapons.


Highlights:

  • Speaking at a meeting with top military brass, Putin said that for the first time in history Russia has an edge in designing a new class of weapons unlike in the past when it was catching up with the United States.

  • The first unit equipped with the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is set to go on duty this month, while that the air-launched Kinzhal hypersonic missiles already have entered service.

  • The missile flies 10 times faster than the speed of sound, has a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) and can carry a nuclear or a conventional warhead.

  • Mach number:

  • Mach number (designated as M or Ma) is the ratio of the speed of the body to the speed of sound in the undisturbed medium through which the body is traveling. E.g. If the body is flying at Mach 2, then its speed is twice the speed of sound in air (which is 332 m/s or 1195 km/hr).

  • It is named in honor of Ernst Mach (1838-1916), a physicist from Austria.

Types of Aircrafts/missiles based on Mach Number (Source-NASA):

Subsonic (M < 1)

Transonic (M = 1)

Supersonic (1 < M < 3)

High Supersonic (3 < M < 5)

Hypersonic (M > 5)

High Hypersonic (M ~ 25)


Source: AIR

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