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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 01-August-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. M/o Tribal Affairs receives SKOCH Gold Award

  2. 15th Finance Commission’s HLEG on Agricultural Exports submits report

  3. Perseverance Rover

  4. China ‘testing world’ with its incursions into territories of India, Bhutan: US 

  5. Housing minister launches digital platforms to market residential properties


Why in news?

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) has received SKOCH Gold Award for its “Empowerment of Tribals through IT enabled Scholarship Schemes” project of Scholarship Divison of the Ministry.


  • The 66thSKOCH 2020 Competition was entitled “INDIA RESPONDS TO COVID THROUGH DIGITAL GOVERNANCE” and MoTA chose to participate in DIGITAL INDIA & E-GOVERNANCE - 2020 Competition.

  • This project is a step towards achieving unwavering commitment of Government of India towards realizing the dreams of Digital India and bringing transparency as well as ease in the delivery of services.

  • During 2019-20, under 5 Scholarship schemes, about Rs. 2500 Cr were directly transferred to student’s Bank accounts through DBT to approximately 30 lakh students in 31 States and UTs.  

  • The portal provides facility to States for data sharing through Web services and States can up-load proposal, UCs and SOE online

  • This has brought paradigm shift from Paper based UC monitoring mandated for budget release to data enabled budget release and monitoring process.

Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1642669 )


Why in news?

  • The High Level Group (HLEG) on Agricultural Exports set up by the Fifteenth Finance Commission to recommend measurable performance incentives for States to encourage agricultural exports and to promote crops to enable high import substitution, has submitted its report to the Commission today.


  1. After intensive research and consultations and taking inputs from stakeholders and the private sector through intensive consultations, the HLEG has made its recommendations, major among which are :

  2. Focus on 22 crop value chains – demand driven approach.

  3. Solve Value Chain Clusters (VCC) holistically with focus on value   addition. 

  4. Create State led export plan with participation from stakeholders.

  5. Private Sector should play an anchor role. 

  6. Centre should be an enabler. 

  7. Robust institutional mechanism to fund and support implementation.

  8. The Group has also said that for the success of the State led Export Plan, the following factors needed to be considered:-

  9. Plans should be collaboratively prepared with private sector players and Commodity Boards. 

  10. Leveraging of  state plan guide and value chain deep dives.

  11. Private sector should play an anchor role in driving outcomes and execution.

  12. Centre should enable state-led plans.  

  13. Institutional governance should be promoted across state and centre.  

  14. Funding through convergence of existing schemes, Finance Commission allocation and private sector investment.

Source : PIB ( https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1642669 )


Why in news?

  • NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is on its way to the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth.


  • Humanity's most sophisticated rover launched with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at 7:50 a.m. EDT (4:50 a.m. PDT) Thursday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

  • It will land on 18 Feb 2021 at Jezero crater, Mars.

  • Mission Duration: At least one Mars year (about 687 Earth days)

Source : NASA ( https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8724/nasa-ula-launch-mars-2020-perseverance-rover-mission-to-red-planet/ )


Why in news?

  • China’s territorial claims in Bhutan and the recent incursion into Indian land are indicative of their intentions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, adding that Beijing under Preisdent Xi Jinping was trying to find out whether other countries are going to push back.


  • He said that with its incursions into the territories of its neighbours, China is “testing the world” and “probing to see if we are going to stand up to their threats, to their bullying.”

  • “I think the actions are entirely consistent with what they have been signalling to the world for decades you might even argue since 1989 but certainly since General Secretary Xi (Jinping) came to power,” Pompeo told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a Congressional hearing on Thursday.

  • The secretary of state said China has the desire to expand its power and reach.

  • It is going to take a global effort to confront the Chinese Communist Party, Mike Pompeo said and mentioned the “idea of a new alliance of democracies” for this. He said there was a lot discussions with “friends in the region” about the shape it would take.

  • He said that it is “fundamentally false” to say that the US was “asking nations to pick sides” between Beijing and Washington.

  • “All 10 ASEAN nations have insisted that the South China Sea disputes be settled on the basis of international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). Japan led the G-7’s condemnation of China”s national security law targeting Hong Kong,” Pompeo said.

Source : The Statesman ( https://www.thestatesman.com/world/china-testing-world-incursions-territories-india-bhutan-us-1502912735.html )


Why in news?

  • Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday launched digital platforms of real estate bodies CREDAI and NAREDCO to market residential properties, besides releasing a guide book for affordable rental housing scheme for migrants.


  • The minister launched 'CREDAI Awaas App' and NAREDCO's online portal 'HousingforAll.com' through a video conference.

  • Puri released the knowledge pack of the government's 'Affordable Rental Housing Complexes' (ARHCs) programme, which has been recently launched to provide rental accommodations to migrant and urban poor.

  • The ARHCs scheme, which has been launched under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, will help in providing dignified and affordable living spaces for urban migrants/ poor in need.

  • The ARHCs scheme would also help real estate developers in retaining labour force on their sites, the minister said, adding that rental housing would be beneficial for young people.

  • To achieve the government's target under the Housing For All by 2022, Puri said the ministry has almost sanctioned the entire 1.12 crore dwelling units as envisaged under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (Urban).

Source : New Indian Express ( https://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2020/jul/31/housing-minister-launches-digital-platforms-to-market-residential-properties-2177389.html )

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