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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 07-July-2020

Topic Covered :

  1. US flexes military muscle at China as Beijing draws down in its border spat with India

  2. Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana: New guidelines, online payment, more

  3. 8 lakh Indians may have to leave Kuwait as Gulf country approves expat quota bill

  4. India-China standoff: India resets 'One China' position?


Why in news?

  • The United States is flexing its military muscle at China on behalf of India and other Asian allies and partners, amid signs that Washington is finally ready to take some punitive action against Beijing for its role in spreading the coronavirus pandemic around the globe. 


  • In the clearest sign yet that the White House will not back down from its position as a pre-eminent power in the Pacific and beyond, chief of staff Mark Meadows told that the US military "will continue to stand strong whether it's in relationship to a conflict between India and China or anywhere else." 

  • "We're not going to stand by and let China or anyone the take the reins in terms of being the most powerful dominant force, whether it's in that region or over here," Meadows said.

  • Reference to its military primacy in the region in the context of the India-China stand-off came even as two US Navy aircraft carriers steamed into the South China Sea in a show of force that some Chinese nationalists found unpalatable. 

  • The South China Sea is fully within the grasp of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), and any US aircraft carrier movement in the region is solely at the pleasure of the PLA, which has a wide selection of anti-aircraft carrier weapons like the DF-21D and DF-26 'aircraft carrier killer' missiles.

  • US officials, analysts and lawmakers also believe China is clearly the aggressor and initiated the ongoing border spat with India.

Source : TOI ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/us-flexes-military-muscle-at-china-as-beijing-draws-down-in-its-border-spat-with-india/articleshow/76819389.cms )


Why in news?

  • In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, the Centre has decided to provide some relaxation in the eligibility norms for opening of Sukanya Samriddhi accounts. 

Highlights :

  • Now, a new account can be opened in the name of girl child on or before July 31, 2020, who have attained the age of 10 years during the period of lockdown from March 25, 2020, to June 30, 2020, as per the latest guidelines of the postal department. 

  • The three-month relaxation will certainly help parents of the girl child who couldn't open a Sukanya Samriddhi account due to the lockdown.

  • It must be otherwise noted that a Sukanya Samriddhi account can only be opened up to age of 10 years only from the date of birth. 

About Sukanya Samriddhi Account :

  • Among small savings schemes, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana has the highest interest rates and it currently fetch an interest of 7.6 per cent. 

  • A maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh can be deposited in a financial year 

  • Deposits can be made in lump-sum and there is no limit on the number of deposits. 

  • A parent/guardian can open only one account in the name of one girl child and maximum two accounts in the name of two different girl children.

  • From the date of account opening, deposits in Sukanya Samriddhi account can be made till the completion of a period of 15 years. 

  • Partial withdrawal is allowed after the account holder (girl child) attains the age of 18 years. 

  • Sukanya Samriddhi account can be closed after completion of 21 years. 

  • Account subscribers can make online deposits via intra-operable net-banking and IPPB (India Post Payments Bank) saving account.

Source : TOI ( https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/sukanya-samriddhi-yojana-new-guidelines-online-payment-more/articleshow/76807975.cms )


Why in news?

  • A total of 8 lakh Indians may be forced to leave Kuwait as its National Assembly committee has approved a draft expat quota bill seeking to reduce the number of foreign workers in the Gulf country.


  • The National Assembly's legal and legislative committee has determined that the expat quota bill is constitutional.

  • According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15 per cent of the population.

  • This could result in 800,000 Indians leaving Kuwait, as the Indian community constitutes the largest expat community in the country, totalling 1.45 million.

  • The current population of Kuwait is 4.3 million, with Kuwaitis making up 1.3 million of the population, and expats accounting for 3 million.

  • Amid a slump in oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a spike in anti-expat rhetoric as lawmakers and government officials call for reducing the number of foreigners in Kuwait.

  • Last month, Kuwait's Prime minister Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah proposed reducing the number of expats from 70 per cent to 30 per cent of the population.

  • The expat quota bill will now be referred to the committee concerned for consideration.

  • According to the Indian embassy in Kuwait, there are about 28,000 Indians working for the Kuwaiti Government in various jobs like nurses, engineers in national oil companies and a few as scientists.

  • The majority of Indians (5.23 Lakh) are deployed in private sector.

  • In addition, there are about 1.16 lakh dependents. Out of these, there are about 60,000 Indian students studying in 23 Indian schools in the country.

Sources : Tribune India ( https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/diaspora/8-lakh-indians-may-have-to-leave-kuwait-as-gulf-country-approves-expat-quota-bill-109307 )


Why in news?

  • India on Monday hinted at a possible rethink of its “One China" policy with several Indian officials wishing the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on turning 85.


  • This came amid signs of a possible start to lowering of tensions that had been simmering for two months along the border between the two countries with the people familiar with the development saying that India and China had begun the slow process of pulling out troops from the border.

  • China claims 90,000 sq. km of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh and occupies around 38,000 sq. km in Ladakh which India claims as its territory.

  • Also, under the China—Pakistan “boundary agreement signed in March 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km of Indian territory in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) to China

  • The current tensions are due to China seeking to change its claims and make further inroads into Indian territory in Ladakh.

  • Maybe India does not want to show its hand right now and is saving this option (ie clear indication of a review of the ‘One China’ policy) for a later time," Sibal said.

  • Still, someone like Prime Minister Modi greeting a spiritual leader like Dalai Lama on his 85th birthday could be in no way misconstrued by anyone politically, Sibal said.

Source : Livemint ( https://www.livemint.com/news/india/india-china-standoff-india-resets-one-china-position-11594010212477.html )

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