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Daily Current Affairs : 6-Jan-2020

Major Topics Covered :





  5. BLCS (TYPE A & B)


  7. 'SUKANYA'





  12. SARAS Mk 2




Part of GS- 1 Social Issues

Why in news?

  • The world Braille Day is being celebratedon 4 JAN 2020. The day is marked remembering the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille - for people with visual disabilities.


  • Louis Braille was born on 4th January 1809 in the town of Coupvray in northern France.

  • At the age of just 3, he lost both his eyes in an accident. This resulted in the invention of the language of 6 dots- which is popularly known as braille.

  • World Braille Day, celebrated since 2019, is observed to raise awareness of the importance of Braille as a means of communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted people.

  • The Braille Script consists of raised dots arranged in "cells."

  • A cell is made up of six dots that fit under the fingertips, arranged in two columns of three dots each.

  • Each cell represents a letter, a word, a combination of letters, a numeral or a punctuation mark.

  • Braille is essential in the context of education, freedom of expression and opinion, as well as social inclusion, as reflected in article 2 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  • The aim of this initiative is to spread awareness among society about the plight and cause of people with visual disabilities.

Source: AIR


Part of GS- 3 Defence & Security

Why in news?

  • The Chief of the Air Staff formally inducted the Flight Inspection system (FIS) Dornier 228 aircraft into No 41 Squadron, the ‘Otters.’


  • The Dornier-228 aircraft is a multi-purpose, fuel efficient, rugged, light weight twin turboprop aircraft with a retractable tricycle landing gear.

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2015 had signed a contract to purchase 14 Dornier aircraft, which are flight inspection system planes, from state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

  • While the first aircraft was delivered in November 2019, the second is expected to be delivered in early 2020.

  • This aircraft has been exported to Seychelles and Mauritius.

  • The aircraft's cockpit is designed to accommodate two crew members and is fitted with duplicate controls.

  • The modified Dornier 228 aircraft have been acquired to undertake in-house calibration of Navigational aids available after implementation of Modernised Airfield Infrastructure (MAFI) at IAF bases.

Source : Economic Times


Part of GS- 3 Economy

Why in news?

  • India ranks 34th in Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index

  • Government is committed to make policies and programmes for the development and promotion of tourism and the year 2019 witnessed several steps in this direction.


  • As the sector has the capacity to boost the economy, foreign exchange earnings and provide a large number of jobs at every level, tourism Ministry is continuously consulting and collaborating with other different stakeholders to boost the sector.

  • Reducing E-visa fees, decreasing GST rates on hotel room booking and opening 120 new peaks for mountaineering are among the major highlights of Tourism Ministry in 2019. Along with these several steps taken under Swadesh Darshan, PRASHAD Scheme and various other events of Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat were also undertaken during the year.

  • AIR Correspondent reports that in the year 2019, India’s rank in Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of World Economic Forum has moved to 34th position from 65th rank in 2013.

  • Foreign Tourist Arrivals also registered a growth of 3.2 percent last year.

  • The government is working to develop thematic circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme and 77 projects amounting over Rs 6035 crore have been sanctioned till date under this scheme.

  • An initiative called - 'Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan' has been launched for developing tourist amenities at heritage and tourist sites and making them tourist-friendly.

  • E-visa has been further liberalized and visa fee on e - visa has been substantially reduced to increase tourism competitiveness of the country.

  • The Government has also opened more than 120 mountain peaks for mountaineering and trekking for promoting adventure tourism in the country.

Source: AIR


Part of GS- 3 Environment

Why in news?

  • The Forest Survey of India (FSI) released the 2019 report on Forest Fires. It is based on a study carried out by the FSI along forest fire points identified across the country from 2004 to 2017.


  • About 21.4% of forest cover in India is prone to fires, with forests in the north-eastern region and central India being the most vulnerable.

  • The north-east has tropical evergreen forests and, unlike the dry deciduous forests of central India, these are not likely to catch fire easily.

  • Extremely fire prone areas account for 3.89% of total forest cover, very highly fire prone areas account for 6.01% and highly fire prone areas for 11.50%. Together, the three categories come to 21.40 % of forest cover.

  • Central Indian States also recorded a high number of forest fire alerts, with Madhya Pradesh accounting for 2,723 alerts; Maharashtra 2,516; Odisha 2,213 and Chattisgarh 1,008 alerts between November 2018 to June 2019.

What are the Reasons:

  • The reasons for fires here are manmade, particularly in cases where people visit forests and leave burning bidis, cigarette stubs or other inflammable materials.

  • In cases of natural reasons, the scientist pointed to thunderstorms as the most likely cause.

  • One of the major reasons for forest fires in the north-east is slash-and-burn cultivation, commonly called jhoom or jhum cultivation. The fires happen between the months of January and March.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS- 3 Economy

Why in news?

  • The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India, Ltd. (DFCCIL) has began testing a new wagon that will help boost the cargo carrying capacity by four times due to increased length of the train, use of double-stack containers and more payload carrying capability.


  • The new wagon — called BLCS (type A & B) — is currently a prototype.

  • A total of three such wagons have been manufactured.

  • These wagons will be under trial till January 26, 2020.

  • If approved by the RDSO, wagons will be manufactured commercially as per industry requirements.

  • The wagon — used for hauling freight — have been tested by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and are manufactured at the Golden Rock Railway Workshop in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS- Awards and Recognitions

Why in news?

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar will confer the first ‘Antarrashtriya Yoga Diwas Media Samman’ to 30 media houses in New Delhi.


  • Acknowledging the positive role and responsibility of the media in disseminating the outreach of Yoga in India and abroad, the Ministry had instituted the award in June last year to mark the contribution of media in spreading the message of Yoga.

  • 30 Sammans under 3 categories will be conferred.

  • Eleven awards will be conferred under the category of Best Media Coverage of Yoga in Newspapers,

  • Eight under the category “Best Media Coverage of Yoga in Television

  • While 11 awards to be conferred under the category “Best Media Coverage of Yoga in Radio.

  • The award will consist of a special medal, plaque, trophy and a citation.

  • The International Day of Yoga is being celebrated annually on 21 of June every year, since 2015.

  • The idea of International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address at the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September 2014.

Source: AIR


Part of GS- 1 Social Issues

Why in news?

  • Kolkata Police will start the third edition of its 'Sukanya' project on Monday to provide girls studying in schools and colleges in the city with self-defence training.


  • A senior official said that the third batch of 'Sukanya' will start at 100 city-based schools and colleges situated in Kolkata Police jurisdiction.

  • Girl students of VIII, IX, XI and girls studying in the first year at educational institutions in this area will be part of it.

  • Sukanya is an initiative of the Kolkata Police's Community Policing Wing to provide self-defence training to girl students of city-based schools, colleges and universities.

  • The initiative is funded by Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Department of the state government.

Source: AIR


Part of GS- 3 Economy

Why in news?

  • Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) of the central government has completed five successful years on January 5, 2020.


  • Apart from this, the Government of India initiated the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (GSA) in 2018, which was aimed at promotion of social harmony by apprising rural communities of various government welfare schemes and initiatives.

  • As a part of GSA, 21,058 Indian villages with a significantly large number of poor households were able to buy LED bulbs for a special price under UJALA programme.

  • Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP)- is the world’s largest streetlight replacement programme and Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) is the world’s largest domestic lighting project.

  • Both have been spearheaded and implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.

  • Under the SLNP programme, over 1.03 crore smart LED streetlights have been installed till date, enabling an estimated energy savings of 6.97 billion kWh per year.

  • Through the UJALA initiative, over 36.13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed across India.

  • This has resulted in estimated energy savings of 46.92 billion kWh per year and an estimated GHG emission reduction of 38 million t CO2 annually.

Source : PIB


Part of GS- 1 Social Issues

Why in news?

  • Neutral pronoun 'they' has been voted word of the decade by US language experts, beating out other contenders.


  • "They" is used in English by a growing number of non-binary individuals, people who do not identify as either male or female.

  • They prefer the plural neutral pronoun to bypass using the pronouns "he" or "she".

  • Ben Zimmer, head of the American Dialect Society, said that selection of "they" is an indication that how a personal expression of gender identity has become an increasing part of our shared discourse.

  • The recognition comes after US dictionary Merriam-Webster in December named "they" as word of the year.

  • The American Dialect Society had previously named "they" word of the year in 2015.

  • Other contenders in the decade category included #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, climate, emoji, meme, opioid crisis and woke.

  • The 131-year-old American Dialect Society includes linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, editors, students and scholars.

Source: AIR


Part of GS- 3 Environment

Why in news?

  • Gautam Gambhir, former cricketer and BJP MP from East Delhi, Friday inaugurated the first smog tower in Delhi, a prototype air purifier at Lajpat Nagar in Delhi.


  • Smog towers are structures designed to work as large-scale air purifiers.

  • They are usually fitted with multiple layers of air filters, which clean the air of pollutants as it passes through them.

  • In November, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the Delhi government to prepare a plan to install ‘smog towers’ across the capital to deal with air pollution.

  • China, which has been battling air pollution for years, has two smog towers — in its capital Beijing and in the northern city of Xi’an.

  • The filters installed in the tower will use carbon nanofibres as a major component and will be fitted along its peripheries.

  • The tower will focus on reducing particulate matter load.

  • The smog tower installed at Lajpat Nagar is capable of treating 6,00,000 cubic metres of air per day and can collect more than 75 per cent of particulate matters (PM) 2.5 and 10.

  • After the cleaning, the tower releases clean air.

Source : Indian Express


Part of GS- 4 Ethics

Why in news?

  • An employment tribunal in the United Kingdom has ruled that “ethical veganism” is a philosophical belief protected by British law against discrimination.


  • Broadly, a vegan person does not consume meat products and also products that are derived from animals (such as milk, eggs, etc).

  • Veganism is a lifestyle choice to refrain from eating meat as well as products made from or by animals.

  • Ethical veganism is different from ethical vegetarianism — the latter makes a distinction between products made from animals, such as meat, and products made by animals, such as milk. Ethical vegetarianism is opposed to products made from animals in particular.

  • There is also an ethical omnivorism, which permits the use of some animal products and may restrict the use of others based on some ethical criterion, say the authors of the Food Ethics paper.

  • Ethical veganism, on the other hand, has been defined as the view that attaches a positive ethical valuation to a vegan lifestyle.

  • There are two types of ethical veganism-

  • broad absolutist veganism- under which it is always wrong to use any product made by or from animals, and

  • modest ethical veganism- under which it is typically wrong to use products made from or by a range of animals including cats, dogs, cows, pigs, etc.

Source : Indian Express


Part of GS- 3 Science & Tech

Why in news?

  • National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology that the government needs to be the “launch customer” to make Saras Mk2 commercially viable.


  • Saras Mk2 is the first indigenous light transport aircraft of India.

  • It has been developed by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL).

  • The aircraft has been in the making for long.

  • The first prototype flew in 2004.

  • But without the initial push from the government, the manufacturing capacity required for commercial production could not be set up.

  • Presently, the NAL has only one order from the Indian Air Force for 15 aircraft.

  • The NAL has been pitching Saras Mk-2 for the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), since it has the capacity to operate in “ill-equipped”, “semi-prepared” and “unpaved airstrips”.

  • The scheme, launched in October 2016, is aimed at linking areas that have no air connectivity.

  • The 19-seater aircraft, developed with a target cost of ₹50 crore, is at least 20-25% lower in cost than other aircraft in the similar category.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS- 3 Science & Tech

Why in news?

  • During the 107th Indian Science Congress, head of the Climate Change Programme under Department of Science and Technology, spoke about the Centre’s policy on implementing scientific social responsibility (SSR).


  • Under the Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) programme, researchers who are working on a science project funded by any of the Ministries under the Central government will have to undertake activities to popularise science and make it more accessible to the public.

  • The science outreach would be mandatory and researchers had to include this as part of their outcome report.

  • It will be implemented this year after a consultation meeting with all stakeholders.

  • The Department of Science and Technology (DST) would draw up a list of activities which could be taken up under the SSR programme.

  • This could range from going to colleges delivering lectures, writing an article in a magazine or doing something beyond the curriculum.

Source : The Hindu


Part of GS- 3 Economy

Why in news?

  • In significant changes in income tax return filing forms, individual taxpayers owning house property in joint ownership and those who have paid ₹1 lakh in electricity bills in a year or incurred ₹2 lakh expense on foreign travel cannot file their annual income return using the simple ITR-1 form.


  • The government, which usually notifies forms for filing income tax returns by individuals in April every year, on January 3 notified tax return forms for assessment year 2020-21 (income earning year April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020).

  • Returns in ITR-1 Sahaj can be filed by an ordinarily resident individual whose total income does not exceed ₹50 lakh, while Form ITR-4 Sugam is meant for resident individuals, HUFs and firms (other than LLP) having a total income of up to ₹50 lakh and having presumptive income from business and profession.

  • According to the notification, two major changes in the ITR forms have been effected.

  • First, an individual taxpayer cannot file return either in ITR-1 or ITR4 if he is a joint-owner in house property.

  • Secondly, ITR-1 form is not valid for those individuals who have deposited more than ₹1 crore in bank account or have incurred ₹2 lakh or ₹1 lakh on foreign travel or electricity respectively, it said.

  • Such taxpayers will have to use different forms, which will be notified in due course.

  • An individual who "owns a house property in joint ownership with two or more persons" is required to furnish a return of income.

Source: Live Mint

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