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Daily Current Affairs : 27-Feb-2020

Major Topics Covered :










Why in news?

  • Union cabinet has approved the bill after incorporating the recommendations of a Rajya Sabha select committee.

Highlights :

  • It allows a “willing woman” and not just a “close relative” to become a surrogate mother.

  • It will benefit divorced women, widows and infertile couples.

  • The proposed insurance cover for a surrogate mother has also been increased to 36. Months from the present 16 months.

  • It prohibit commercial surrogacy and allows only altruistic surrogacy.

  • Only Indian couples with both parents being of Indian origin can opt for surrogacy in the country.

  • The bill proposed to set up National Surrogacy Board and State surrogacy board along with appropriate authorities in the state and Union territories.

  • It will be tabled in the second half of the budget session beginning next month.

Source : TOI


Why in news?

  • The southern bench of the NGT has ordered the constitution of a joint committee to take water samples from Bengaluru’s Ulsoor lake and neighbouring areas to ascertain whether the lake is being polluted owing to illegal activities.

Highlights :

  • It is based on a suo motu direction based on a report published in The Hindu in 2016.

  • Illegal activities such as discharging untreated sewage, effluents and the dumping of garbage into waterbody affect the quality of the water and the ecology and aquatic life, much required for ecological sustenance.

  • It also affects groundwater as lakes act as aquifers.

  • Contaminated groundwater impacts the health of the people who consume this water.

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • Sri Lanka has formally notified the UN Human Right Council that it was withdrawing from the UN resolution on post-war accountability and reconciliation.


  • Sri Lanka has decided to withdraw from co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka still continues to be committed to achieving sustainable peace and reconciliation through a process designed and executed domestically.

  • However, Sri Lanka cannot pull out of the resolution until 2021, according to former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, whose unity government helmed by President Maithripala Sirisena co-sponsored the resolution.

  • The UNHRC is yet to comment on the development.

  • In 2015, six years after Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war ended, the UNHRC adopted a consensus resolution, asking Colombo to probe allegations of large-scale rights abuses. The resolution, which Sri Lanka co-sponsored, was at that time widely seen as a bold commitment to Sri Lankans and the international community.

  • Amid Tamil leaders’ growing concern over the pace at which Colombo implemented the resolution, Sri Lanka in 2017 sought an extension for two more years to fulfil its commitments.

  • Last year, the Council approved giving another two years for Sri Lanka to take forward a credible probe into the alleged rights violations.

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the setting up of a National Technical Textiles Mission at an total outlay of ₹1,480 Crore.


Aim : It seeks to position the country as a global leader in technical textiles and increase the use of technical textiles in the domestic market.

The Mission will be implemented for four years from 2020-2021 and will have four components.

Research and development :The first component will focus on research and development and innovation and will have an outlay of ₹1,000 crore. The research will be at both, fibre level and application-based in geo, agro, medical, sports and mobile textiles and development of bio-degradable technical textiles.

Market : The second component will be for promotion and development of market for technical textiles.

Exports : The third component will focus on export promotion so that technical textile exports from the country reach from the ₹14,000 crore now to ₹20,000 crore by 2021-2022 and ensure 10% average growth every year till the Mission ends.

Education and Skilling : The last component will be on education, training and skill development.

State of Indian Textile sector :

  • Indian technical textiles segment is estimated at $16 billion which is approximately 6% of the $250 billion global technical textiles market.

  • The penetration level of technical textiles in India varies between 5% and 10% against the level of 30% to 70% in developed countries.

  • The Mission will aim at taking domestic market size to $40 billion to $50 billion by 2024.

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad suggested that the government will soon kick-start the process of revamping the nearly 20-year old Information Technology Act, 2000, with an aim to bring it in tune with the technological advancements with a focus on stronger framework to deal with cybercrimes.


  • An expert committee will be set up with members from the government as well as the industry for discussion on the new IT Act.

  • In the last 20 years since the enactment of the Act, the IT ecosystem has developed beyond recognition. New technology has become very pronounced, the whole ecosystem of consumers has changed vastly and so have the challenges,

  • The biggest challenge is the number of consumers we have to handle. Plus, today, in India, technology has become the centre of digital payment and delivery of services such as GST and UPI. This also raises the question of misuse [of technology]. The vastness of these platforms was not even contemplated when the IT Act came into being

  • The new Act will also factor-in larger issues, including Supreme Court’s judgment on privacy.

  • Since cyber issues have not been adequately responded to in the present IT Act, the Minister said the government may even look at including a separate chapter on cyber issues in the revamped Act.

Source : Hindu


Why in news?

  • Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan announced that a Central Consumer protection authority will be established by the first week of April.


  • Creation : It is being constituted under the Section 10(1) of The Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

  • History : The Act replaced the Consumer protection Act, 1986 and seeks to widen its scope in addressing consumer concerns.

  • Aim : The CCPA, introduced in the new Act, aims to protect the rights of the consumer by cracking down on unfair trade practices, and false and misleading advertisements that are detrimental to the interests of the public and consumers.

  • Jurisdiction : The CCPA will have the powers to inquire or investigate into matters relating to violations of consumer rights or unfair trade practices suo motu, or on a complaint received, or on a direction from the central government.

  • Structure : The proposed authority will be a lean body with a Chief Commissioner as head, and only two other commissioners as members — one of whom will deal with matters relating to goods while the other will look into cases relating to services.

  • Location : It will be headquartered in the National Capital Region of Delhi but the central government may set up regional offices in other parts of the country.

  • Investigation Wing : The CCPA will have an Investigation Wing that will be headed by a Director General. District Collectors too, will have the power to investigate complaints of violations of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and false or misleading advertisements.

  • Powers of the Authority: Under Section 20 of The Consumer Protection Act, the proposed authority will have powers to recall goods or withdrawal of services that are “dangerous, hazardous or unsafe; pass an order for refund the prices of goods or services so recalled to purchasers of such goods or services; and discontinuation of practices which are unfair and prejudicial to consumer’s interes

  • False advertisement :  if the CCPA is satisfied after investigation that any advertisement is false or misleading and is harmful to the interest of any consumer, or is in contravention of consumer rights, the CCPA may issue directions to the trader, manufacturer, endorser, advertiser, or publisher to discontinue such an advertisement, or modify it in a manner specified by the authority, within a given time.

  • While conducting an investigation after preliminary inquiry, officers of the CCPA’s Investigation Wing will have the powers to enter any premise and search for any document or article, and to seize these. For search and seizure, the CCPA will have similar powers given under the provisions of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

  • The CCPA can file complaints of violation of consumer rights or unfair trade practices before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

Source : Indian Express


Why in news?

  • It’s now more than a year since NASA’s InSight lander mission touched down on Mars on November 26, 2018.

Highlights :

About InSight

  • InSight is the first mission dedicated to looking deep beneath the Martian surface.

  • Among its science tools are a seismometer for detecting quakes, sensors for gauging wind and air pressure, a magnetometer, and a heat flow probe designed to take the planet’s temperature.

  • The InSight mission is part of NASA’s Discovery Program.

  • It is being supported by a number of European partners, which include France’s Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA).


Underground rumbles

  • Mars trembles more often than expected, but also more mildly.

  • Mars doesn’t have tectonic plates like Earth, but it does have volcanically active regions that can cause rumbles.


  • Billions of years ago, Mars had a magnetic field. Although it is no longer present, it left behind what NASA describes as “ghosts” – magnetised rocks that are now between 61 m to several km below ground.

  • At a Martian site called Homestead hollow, the magnetic signals are 10 times stronger than what was predicted earlier

Dust Devils

  • InSight measures wind speed, direction and air pressure nearly continuously. Weather sensors have detected thousands of passing whirlwinds, which are called dust devils when they pick up grit and become visible.

The Core : Still to know

  • InSight has two radios. One is for regularly sending and receiving data. The other radio, which is more powerful, is designed to measure the “wobble” of Mars as it spins.

  • This X-band radio, also known as the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), can eventually reveal whether the planet’s core is solid or liquid. A solid core would cause Mars to wobble less than a liquid one would.

Source : Indian Express


Why in news?

  • Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a non-oxygen breathing animal which significantly changes the science’s assumption about the animal world that all animals use aerobic respiration and therefore oxygen.


  • Due to evolution the organism has shed the gene responsible for aerobic respiration.

  • It is fewer than 10 celled microscopic parasite that lives in salmon muscle.

  • It relies on anaerobic respiration.

  • Other organisms such as fungi and amoebas that are found in anaerobic environment lost the ability to breathe over time. The new study shows that the same can happen in the case of animals too.

  • It doesn’t have mitochondrial genome. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell which captures oxygen to make energy.

Source : Indian Express

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