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Daily Current Affairs : 4-Dec-2019

Major Topics Covered :

  1. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BEING OBSERVED- 3 DECEMBER

  2. GLOBAL MIGRATION FILM FESTIVAL ORGANISED IN DHAKA

  3. INDIA BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY TO MAKE ENTIRE HAJ PROCESS DIGITAL

  4. WATER CONTAMINATION

  5. GDP and GNP

  6. SAMJIYON- NORTH KOREA

  7. NATO LEADERS TO MEET TODAY TO MARK 70TH BIRTHDAY OF ALLIANCE

  8. ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA TO IMPLEMENT “POLITICAL PARTIES REGISTRATION TRACKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM” (PPRTMS)

  9. RATNA STATUS TO CPSEs

  10. NARWHAL - UNICORN HORN



INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES BEING OBSERVED- 3 DECEMBER

Part of GS- 1 Social Isssues


Why in news?

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is being observed today. This day is observed on the 3rd of December every year to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development and to increase awareness.


Highlights:

  • The theme this year is - Promoting the Participation of Persons with Disabilities and their leadership: Taking Action on the 2030 Development Agenda.

  • Our correspondent reports that a number of events are being held across the country to mark the occasion

  • The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3.


Source: AIR


GLOBAL MIGRATION FILM FESTIVAL ORGANISED IN DHAKA

Part of GS- 2 IR


Why in news?

The Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) was organised in Dhaka on Monday. The day-long festival screened 15 films on the theme of migration and its various aspects.


Highlights:

  • The GMFF started in 2016 and this year it is being organised across many cities in the world between 28 November to 18 December.

  • The short films and documentaries shown during the festival were selected through a global competition for which 600 entries were received.

  • The jury selected 30 best films out of which 15 were screened in Dhaka.

  • the Global Migration Film Festival is a global initiative simultaneously being run in many countries of the world to draw attention to the issues of internal migration, forced migration and climate change-related migration to engage people in a conversation on the issue of migration.

  • The festival was organised by the International Organisation of Migrants (IOM) and Dhaka University Film Society with the support of the European Union.

  • IOM is the UN migration agency established in 1951.

  • It works to ensure orderly and humane management of the migration issue.

  • ‘Gifts from Babylon’, ‘Just another memory’, ‘Dying for Europe’ and ‘ The power of passport’ among the other films of the festival powerfully depicted the suffering and dilemma of the migrants in various parts of the world.


Source: AIR


INDIA BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY TO MAKE ENTIRE HAJ PROCESS DIGITAL

Part of GS-1 Social Issues


Why in news?

India has become the first country to make the entire process for pilgrims going on Haj completely digital.


Highlights:

  • Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said this after signing the bilateral agreement for next year's pilgrimage with the Saudi Haj Minister in Jeddah.

  • Mr Naqvi said, an online application, e-visa, Haj mobile app, 'e-MASIHA' health facility, "e-luggage pre-tagging" providing all information in India itself regarding accommodation and transportation in Mecca and Madina will be provided to 2 lakh Indian Muslims going for Haj in 2020.

  • The minister signed the bilateral annual Haj 2020 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia with Haj and Umrah Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.

  • For the first time facilities were provided for digital pre-tagging of pilgrims' baggage.

  • This will ensure the Indian pilgrims will get information in India itself about the building and the room allotted to them as well as the transportation details for travel after reaching the airport in Saudi Arabia.

  • This year, a 100-line information centre has been established at the Haj House, Mumbai for providing information regarding the entire Haj process. The E-MASIHA (E-Medical Assistance System for Indian Pilgrims Abroad), an online system to create and maintain the complete health database of Indian pilgrims along with doctors' preions, medical treatment as well as medicine disbursal, has been developed to deal with any emergency in Mecca and Madina.

  • The Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) have also been connected with 100 per cent digital system which has ensured transparency in their functioning and has also ensured better facilities to Indian Haj pilgrims.

  • A portal of HGOs-http://haj.nic.in/pto/ (Portal for Haj Group Organisers) has been developed which contains all the details of HGOs and their packages.


Source: AIR


WATER CONTAMINATION

Part of GS-Water


Why in news?

Ministry of Jal Shakti tabled data on water contamination in Parliament.

Fig: Rural Habitation with Water Quality issues:-


Highlights:

Among rural habitations in Indian states, 55,511 face quality issues with drinking water. As of November 27, this year, 3.22 per cent of rural habitations across all states and UTs, accounting for 3.73 per cent of the population, were consuming drinking water with quality issues, according to data tabled by the Ministry of Jal Shakti in Parliament.

Iron is the most common contaminant of drinking water, with over 18,000 rural habitations affected, followed by salinity that affects roughly 13,000 rural habitations, arsenic (12,000), fluoride (nearly 8,000) and heavy metal.

Rajasthan has the highest number of rural habitations affected by contamination overall, at 16,833. Most of these – 12,182 – are affected by salinity in drinking water, at 12,182.

In terms of arsenic and iron pollution, West Bengal and Assam are the worst affected of the 30,000-odd rural habitations where drinking water is affected by either of these contaminants, over 20,000 are in West Bengal and Assam.

West Bengal has the highest number of rural habitations affected by arsenic contamination, at 6,207, followed by Assam (4,125), Bihar (804), Punjab (651) and Uttar Pradesh (650).

Assam has the highest number of rural habitations affected by iron contamination, at 5,113. It is followed by West Bengal (5,082), Tripura (2,377), Bihar (2,299) and Odisha (2,100)

States and UTs that are not affected by any of these contaminants include Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.


Source: Indian Express


GDP and GNP

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?

A decline in India’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate, the ruling party and the government have offered several arguments to either say the picture is not as bleak as it is being made out to be - Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying “it is not a recession yet.”


Highlights:

The Gross Domestic Product continued its downward spiral for the seventh consecutive quarter, falling to 4.5 per cent in the second quarter (July-September) of the year 2019-20.


This is a fall of 0.5 per cent points compared to the last quarter.


Compared to the second quarter of the year 2018-19, it is a fall of 2.6 per cent points. In the second quarter of the previous year, the GDP growth stood at 7.1 per cent.


The GDP growth seen in the last quarter was slowest in more than six years. The previous low was recorded at 4.3 per cent in the final quarter (January-March) of 2012-13.


When were these notions of GDP and GNP created?


The modern-day definitions of GDP and GNP can indeed be traced back to Simon Kuznets, who was entrusted with the task of creating National Accounts in 1933 by then US President Franklin D Roosevelt.

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According to Financial Times journalist David Pilling (The Growth Delusion, Bloomsbury), “Kuznets’ team travelled the length and breadth of the USA asking farmers and factory managers what and how much they had produced and what they had purchased in order to make their final product”.

The final report, National Income, 1929-32, was presented to the US Congress in January 1934.


The Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

measures the monetary value of all goods and services produced within the domestic boundaries of a country within a timeframe (generally, a year).

The Gross National Product (GNP)

measures the monetary value of all goods and services by the people and companies of a country regardless of where this value was created.


Source: Indian Express


SAMJIYON- NORTH KOREA

Part of GS-1Geography (Location)


Why in news?

North Korea has celebrated the completion of Samjiyon a new city which is leader Kim Jong-un’s signature construction project.


Highlights:

  • Samjiyon County is a city, in Ryanggang Province, North Korea.

  • It takes its name from three lakes in the county, which are collectively known as the Samjiyon.

  • Samjiyon is situated near Mount Paektu.

  • The city is one of the largest economic initiatives Mr. Kim has launched as part of his drive for a self-reliant economy.

  • North Korea is projecting Samjiyon as a ‘socialist utopia’ with new apartments, hotels, a ski resort and commercial, cultural and medical facilities.

  • In December 2019, Kim Jong-un inaugurated a completed expansion, described by state media as a "modern" city with residences and industrial parks.


Source : The Hindu


NATO LEADERS TO MEET TODAY TO MARK 70TH BIRTHDAY OF ALLIANCE

Part of GS-2 IR


Why in news?

The leaders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, will meet today to mark the 70th birthday of the organization in London.


Highlights:

The two-day summit includes receptions at Buckingham Palace and Downing Street plus a working session at a golf resort in outer London.


United States President Donald Trump landed in Britain ahead of the summit.

NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, the alliance needs to address the challenges and opportunities posed by an increasingly powerful China, but added that the alliance does not want to make an enemy out of Beijing.


The twenty-nine member alliance is the world's biggest military alliance.

NATO was founded in 1949 for the collective defence of its members, linking the security of the United States with its European allies against the Soviet Union.


It witnessed the end of communism, defeating the Soviet Bloc without firing a shot.


The talks take place amid a bitter dispute between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Turkey's recent incursion into northern Syria.


About NATO:


NATO is also called the North Atlantic Alliance.


It is an intergovernmental military alliance between North American and European countries. It constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.

Headquarter: Brussels, Belgium.


The alliance is based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed in 1949.

Member Countries: It consists of 29 independent member countries. Three former Soviet states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are members of NATO.


NATO cooperates with a range of international organisations and countries in different structures (as mentioned below): Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC), NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), Partners across the globe: Under it, countries develop cooperation with NATO in areas of mutual interest, including emerging security challenges. Pakistan is also NATO’s partner across the globe.


Source: AIR


ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA TO IMPLEMENT “POLITICAL PARTIES REGISTRATION TRACKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM” (PPRTMS)

Part of GS-2 Polity and Governance


Why in news?

The Election Commission of India has reviewed the system and process of registration of political parties.


Highlights:


The new guidelines will be effective from 1st January,2020.


Accordingly the “Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System” (PPRTMS) will be implemented through an online portal, to facilitate tracking of status of application by applicants.


The salient feature in the Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System is that the applicant (who is applying for party registration from 1st January, 2020 onwards) will be able to track the progress of his / her application and will get status update through SMS and email.


The applicant is required to provide contact mobile number and email address of the party / applicant in his application if he/she wishes to track the progress of the application.


The new guidelines have been hosted on the Commission’s website


The Registration of Political Parties is governed by the provisions of section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.


A party seeking registration under the said section with the Commission has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation in prescribed format with basic particulars about the party such as name, address, membership details of various units, names of office bearers, etc, as required under sub-section (4) of the said section, and such other particulars that the Commission has specified under sub-section (6) of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, as mentioned in the Guidelines for registration.


Source: PIB


RATNA STATUS TO CPSEs

Part of GS-3 Economy


Why in news?

The criteria laid down by the Government for grant of Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna status is given by the Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Prakash Javadekar, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha 3rd December, 2019.


Highlights:

The criteria laid down by the Government for grant of Maharatna, Navratna and Miniratna status to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) is given below:

Criteria for grant of Maharatna status to CPSEs:

The CPSEs meeting the following criteria are eligible to be considered for grant of Maharatna status.

  • Having Navratna status

  • Listed on Indian stock exchange with minimum prescribed public shareholding under SEBI regulations

  • An average annual turnover of more than Rs. 25,000 crores during the last 3 years

  • An average annual net worth of more than Rs. 15,000 crores during the last 3 years

  • An average annual net profit after tax of more than Rs. 5,000 crores during the last 3 years

  • Should have significant global presence/international operations.

Criteria for grant of Navratna status to CPSEs


The CPSEs which are Miniratna I, Schedule ‘A’ and have obtained ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ MOU rating in three of the last five years and having composite score of 60 or above in following six selected performance indicators are eligible to be considered for grant of Navratna status.


Criteria for grant of Miniratna status to CPSEs


Miniratna Category-I status: - The CPSEs which have made profit in the last three years continuously, pre-tax profit is Rs.30 crores or more in at least one of the three years and have a positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna-I status.


Miniratna Category-II status: - The CPSEs which have made profit for the last three years continuously and have a positive net worth are eligible to be considered for grant of Miniratna-II status.


Miniratna CPSEs should have not defaulted in the repayment of loans/interest payment on any loans due to the Government.


Miniratna CPSEs shall not depend upon budgetary support or Government guarantees.


There is one Navratna CPSE, viz. NLC (India) Limited and two Miniratna CPSEs, viz. Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited and Kamarajar Port Limited having registered office in Tamil Nadu.


Presently, there is no proposal with Department of Public Enterprises for grant of Maharatna or Navratna status to any CPSE having registered office in Tamil Nadu.

As per extant guidelines, the administrative Ministry/Department of the concerned CPSE is competent to decide to confer Miniratna status keeping in view the laid down eligibility criteria.


Source: PIB


NARWHAL - UNICORN HORN

Part of GS-3 Environment and Ecology


Why in news?

One of the most mysterious of whale species, the narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is of medium size among the giant mammals, and inhabits the freezing waters of the Arctic around Greenland, Canada and Russia. It’s the only whale that has a tusk.


Highlights:

  • One of the most mysterious of whale species, the narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is of medium size among the giant mammals, and inhabits the freezing waters of the Arctic around Greenland, Canada and Russia.

  • It’s the only whale that has a tusk; and the narwhal’s tusk is the only one in the animal kingdom that protrudes straight like a lance.

  • IUCS Status: Least Concern

  • The tusk is almost always a male privilege, grows through the whale’s lifetime, and can weigh around 10 kg.

  • About one in 500 narwhals grows a double tusk.

  • The tusk has a spiral - the thread runs counter-clockwise along its length, and can be swivelled by the whale up to 12 degrees.


Source: Indian Express


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