Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 18-05-2020

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Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 18-05-2020

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    • SECTION 1 - TEN NEWS HEADLINES
  1. COVID-19 Updates - Lockdown extended; States will take a call on infection zones – The Centre extended the nationwide lockdown, first imposed on March 24, for the fourth time till May 31 while giving considerable flexibility to the States in deciding red, green and orange zones of COVID-19 intensity. The Ministry of Home Affairs, in its fresh guidelines for Lockdown 4.0, eased restrictions considerably by allowing inter-State movement of buses and cars, opening of all shops, except those in malls and containment zones, and the delivery of non-essential items through online shopping platforms. Barber shops and salons can also open. The 33% restriction on workforce in offices has also been done away with.
  2. Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package/Indian Economy - Centre throws open all sectors to private players – The Centre has agreed to demands from States to hike their borrowing limits from 3% to 5% of their GDP in light of the COVID-19 crisis, but on the condition that they implement specific reforms. The fifth and final tranche of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, also included an additional Rs. 40,000 crore allocation for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and a new policy welcoming private companies into every sector of industry, while limiting public sector enterprises to strategic sectors only. Corporate enterprises were also offered some relief via changes to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the Companies Act. The total package amounts to almost Rs. 21 lakh crore by the Centre’s accounting, but is heavy on credit-related measures, including Rs. 8 lakh crore worth of liquidity enhancing measures by the RBI.
  3. Operation Samudra Setu Updates - India surpasses China’s COVID-19 tally – INS Jalashwa arrived at the Kochi port from the Maldives with 588 Indians stranded in the island country following the COVID-19 lockdown. This is the second trip by INS Jalashwa, which had earlier reached Kochi with 698 Indians from the Maldives on May 10. Naval vessel INS Magar too had evacuated 300 Indians stranded in the Maldives and brought them to Kochi on May 12 as part of the ongoing Samudra Setu mission to evacuate by sea Indians stranded in different parts of the world. Of the 588 passengers, 487 are from Kerala, said a communication from the Public Relations Department.
  4. COVID-19 Updates - It’s a Rs. 3.22 lakh crore package: Congress  – The actual quantum of the Atmanirbhar stimulus package announced by the government is not Rs. 20 lakh crore or 10% of the country’s GDP as claimed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but merely Rs. 3.22 lakh crore, which is 1.6% of the GDP, the Congress said, hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the final tranche.
  5. COVID-19 Updates - China expert warns of a second wave – Mainland China reported five new confirmed COVID-19 cases for May 16, down from eight the previous day. Two of the five confirmed cases were so-called imported infections, while three were locally transmitted in the northeastern Chinese city of Jilin. The number of confirmed cases in the mainland now stands at 82,947 and the death toll at 4,634. China does not include people who have been tested and found to be asymptomatic carriers in its tally of confirmed cases.
  6. Asia - Afghanistan-Taliban - Afghan President, rival sign power sharing deal – Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah have signed a power-sharing agreement two months after both declared themselves the winner of last September’s presidential election. Mr. Ghani spokesman Sediq Sediqqi tweeted that a political deal between Mr. Ghani and Mr. Abdullah had been signed, in which Mr. Ghani would remain President of the war-torn nation. The deal calls for Abdullah to lead the country’s National Reconciliation High Council and some members of Abdullah’s team would be included in Ghani’s Cabinet.
  7. World Politics: Israel - Israel swears in unity government – Israel’s Parliament swore in its new unity government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz, ending the longest political crisis in the nation’s history. Lawmakers in the 120-person parliament, the Knesset, formally approved the three-year coalition government with 73 voting for and 49 against. One member was absent for the vote. Addressing the Knesset before the vote, Mr. Netanyahu vowed to push on with controversial plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank.
  8. COVID-19 Updates – Lockdown extended– – National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) extends the ongoing countrywide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 spread till May 31. Prohibition on all public gatherings, closure of schools, malls and restaurants, and suspension of flights and Metro services will remain in force till May 31.
  9. Indian Economy – Miscellaneous –  i. Defence minister approves launch of Rs. 400 crore Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS). ii. ONGC awards 49 marginal oil and gas fields to 7 successful bidders. iii. World Bank approves USD 1 billion ‘Accelerating India’s COVID-19 Social Protection Response Program’ iv. Rajesh Goel appointed Director General of NAREDCO (National Real Estate Development Council).
  10. Indian Economy – Data on India’s services trade in 2019-20 released – Trade surplus moved up 2.1% to US$ 80.07 billion. Exports increased by 7.8% to US$ 220.73 billion. Imports moved up 11.3% to US$ 140.65 billion.

Important Exam Notifications
S. No.
Institution
Exam or Post Name
Vacancies or Seats
Qualification
Last Date to Apply
Link for Details
1
Pawan Hans Limited   
Associate, Jr. Associate, Base Assistant
6
Any Degree
May 25, 2020
2
RGIPT
Assistant Registrar, System Superintendent Grade III
18
Degree, PG
June 30, 2020
3
Gujarat University
JRF
7
--
May 26, 2020
4
MOSPI
Young Professional, Junior Consultant,
50
Degree, PG
June 15, 2020
5
DRDO-RAC
Scientist B
167
Degree (Engg/ Technology),
July 10, 2020
6
Dist. Hosp., Gondia   
Medical Officer
10
MBBS, BAMS
May 13, 2020
7
Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital
Senior Resident
10
PG Degree/ Diploma
May 14, 2020
 

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    • SECTION 2 - DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS
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    • 1. CONSTITUTION AND LAW (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)
1.1 Weekly Roundup – Law and Constitution


  • Sabrimala References: SC gives reasons for holding that questions of law can be referred to larger bench in review.
  • SC stays Madras HC’s direction to close liquor shops of TASMAC in Tamil Nadu.
  • Gujarat HC’s judgement declaring State Law Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma’s election null and void stayed by top court. 
  • SC directs constitution of special committee comprising secretaries of union ministeries of Home Affairs and Chief Secretary of J&K to examine contentions raised in pleas seeking restoration of 4G internet in J&K.
  • Pleas seeking extension of the benefits of RBI circular on loan moratorium to all NBFCs: SC issue notice.
  • SC stays Telangana HC order which suspended MCI’s decision to permit surrender of PG Medical Diploma seats.
  • SC to monitor beautification of 18th century garden ‘Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh’; Sets aside NGT    ban on social functions there.
  • No coercive action on petitioners in plea challenging MHA order on full payment of wages: SC
  • SC seeks centre to response on plea for suitable quarantine facilities for frontline medical workers.
  • SC curtails summer vacations; period till June 19 notified as regular functioning.
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          • 2. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
        2.1 Aatmanirbhar Bharat reforms package – Part IV


        • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled structural reforms in eight sectors while announcing the FOURTH tranche of government's Rs 20 lakh crore economic package.
        • Coal Mining – Govt. will introduce commercial mining of coal by the private sector, ending government monopoly on the sector.  
        • Minerals Mining – 500 mining blocks would be offered through an open and transparent auction process. Joint auction of bauxite and coal blocks will be started to enhance the aluminium industry's competitiveness. The distinction between captive and non-captive mines will be removed to allow the transfer of mining leases and sale of surplus unused minerals.
        • Defense – FDI limit in the defence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49% to 74%.  Government to notify a list of weapons/platforms banned for imports, such items can only be purchased from India.
        • Aviation – There will be easing of restrictions on utilisation of Indian air space to reduce travel time and save on fuel. Currently, only 60 per cent of the Indian airspace is freely available. 6 more airports to be privatised. India to become a global hub for Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), tax rates rationalised
        • DISCOMS IN UTs – Electricity distribution companies in Union Territories (UTs) will be privatised for better service and improvement in operational and financial efficiency in distribution.
        • Social Infrastructure – Rs 8,100 crore will be provided as viability gap funding (VGF) for development of social infrastructure.
        • Space – Private sector to be given a major role in India's space programme, including in satellites, launches and space-based services.  
        • Atomic Energy – Research reactor will be set up in public-private partnership (PPP) mode for making medical isotopes for use in affordable treatment for cancer and other diseases.
        2.2 Aatmanirbhar Bharat reforms package – Part V
        • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces FIFTH and final tranche of economic package to combat impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
        • MGNERGS – Rs 40,000 crore increase in allocation for MGNREGS to provide employment boost.
        • HEALTH – Public Expenditure on Health will be increased by investing in grass root health institutions and ramping up Health and Wellness Centres . Setting up of Infectious Diseases Hospital Blocks in all districts  
        • EDUCATION – PM eVIDYA, a programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education to be launched. Manodarpan, an initiative for psycho-social support for students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional well-being to be launched. 
        • Ease of doing business through IBC – Minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings under the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) has been raised to Rs. 1 crore (from Rs. 1 lakh) which will insulate a large number of MSMEs. Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year, depending upon the pandemic situation. Centre empowered to exclude COVID 19 related debt from the definition of “default” under IBC for the purpose of triggering insolvency proceedings.
        • Decriminalisation of companies act violations - Decriminalisation of Companies Act violations involving minor technical and procedural defaults such as shortcomings in CSR reporting, inadequacies in Board report, filing defaults, delay in holding of AGM. 
        • Ease of doing business for corporates – Direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions. Power to create additional/ specialized benches for NCLAT. Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, One-person Companies, Producer Companies & Start Ups.
        • Public Sector – List of strategic sectors requiring presence of PSEs in public interest will be notified. In strategic sectors, at least one enterprise will remain in the public sector but private sector will also be allowed.
        • State Governments – Centre raises borrowing limit of states from 3% of gross state domestic product (GSDP) to 5% in 2020-21. Part of the borrowing will be linked to specific reforms. Reform linkage will be in four areas: universalisation of ‘One Nation One Ration card’, Ease of Doing Business, Power distribution and Urban Local Body revenues.

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              • 3. ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper)

            3.1 Foodgrains production to touch an all-time high of 295.67 million tonnes (+3.67%) in 2019-20 crop year: Government

            • The government has estimated an all-time high foodgrain output of 295.67 million tonne (mt) in in 2019-20, surpassing the previous year’s record production by 10.46 mt. 
            • The government’s third advance estimate has forecast high output of all key commodities from the previous assessment. It issues five estimates every year.
            • Wheat production is likely to be 107.18 mt while rice may touch 117.94 mt — both records.
            • Production of coarse grains and oilseeds is also likely to touch record levels.
            • Pulses production at 23.01mt, however, is lower than the record 25.4 mt in 2017-18.
            • The record production of foodgrain shows robustness of the agriculture system. 
            • Extended monsoon and cold winter with good moisture content in soil helped in record production.
            • Cotton production is estimated at a record 36.05 million bales (170 kg each) — 8.01million bales more on-year.
            • But, production of sugarcane dipped drastically due to heavy rain in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Output is estimated to fall 11.6% to 358.14 mt.

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              • 4. FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)

            4.1 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day celebrated on May 17

            • The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.
            • 17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
            • World Information Society Day - World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, marking the founding of ITU and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973 as Resolution 46.
            • World Telecommunication Day - In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the Information Society raised by WSIS. The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.
            • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day - In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The updated Resolution 68 invites Member States and Sector Members to celebrate the day annually by organizing appropriate national programmes with a view to: stimulating reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council; debating the various aspects of the theme with all partners in society; formulating a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership.
            • Theme 2020: ‘Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.
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                      • 5. GOVERNMENT SCHEMES (Prelims, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3)
                    5.1 Not Available Today
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                            • 6. MISCELLANEOUS (Prelims, Various GS Papers)
                          6.1 Not Available Today
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                                • 7. POLITY (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
                              7.1 International Day of Living Together in Peace observed by UN on May 16

                              • Living together in peace is all about accepting differences and having the ability to listen to, recognize, respect and appreciate others, as well as living in a peaceful and united way.
                              • The UN General-Assembly, in its resolution 72/130, declared 16 May the International Day of Living Together in Peace, as a means of regularly mobilizing the efforts of the international community to promote peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity.  
                              • The Day aims to uphold the desire to live and act together, united in differences and diversity, in order to build a sustainable world of peace, solidarity and harmony.
                              • Following the devastation of the Second World War, the United Nations was established to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. One of its purposes is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems, including by promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.
                              • In 1997, the General-Assembly proclaimed - by its resolution 52/15 — the year 2000 as the "International Year for a Culture of Peace". In 1998, it proclaimed the period 2001-2010 as the "International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World."
                              • In 1999, The General-Assembly adopted, by resolution 53/243, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, which serves as the universal mandate for the international community, particularly the United Nations system, to promote a culture of peace and non-violence that benefits all of humanity, including future generations.

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                                      • 8. SOCIAL ISSUES (Prelims, GS Paper 1, GS Paper 2)

                                    8.1 CSIR-CMERI INNOVATIONS


                                    • Scientists at CSIR-CMERI (Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute) in Durgapur, West Bengal, developed two sprayer units to disinfect indoor areas.
                                    • The two units BPDS (Battery Powered Disinfectant Sprayer) & POMID (Pneumatically Operated Mobile Indoor Disinfection Unit) are designed with two-stage spraying and separate storage tanks.
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                                          • 9. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3)
                                        9.1 International Day of Light celebrated by UNESCO on May 16


                                        • Light plays a central role in our lives. 
                                        • On the most fundamental level, through photosynthesis, light is at the origin of life itself. 
                                        • The study of light has led to promising alternative energy sources, lifesaving medical advances in diagnostics technology and treatments, light-speed internet and many other discoveries that have revolutionized society and shaped our understanding of the universe. 
                                        • These technologies were developed through centuries of fundamental research on the properties of light – starting with Ibn Al-Haytham’s seminal work, Kitab al-Manazir (Book of Optics), published in 1015 and including Einstein’s work at the beginning of the 20th century, which changed the way we think about time and light.
                                        • The International Day of Light celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.
                                        • The celebration will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – building the foundation for peaceful societies.
                                        • The International Day of Light is celebrated on 16 May each year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. 
                                        • This day is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.


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                                                    • 10. FACTS, CHARTS, RANKINGS and EDITORIALS (Prelims + GS Mains)
                                                  10.1 Not Available Today
                                                        10.2 Daily dose of  FIVE Facts -
                                                        • 1.9% is the growth forecast for the Indian economy in 2020-21 made by India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) recently.
                                                        • Chitra Magna is the RNA extraction kit developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) for COVID-19 diagnosis.
                                                        • STPI is Software Technology Parks of India.
                                                        • Well known Footballer Peter Bonetti died at the age of 78 in London recently.
                                                        • The government has sold its 74.5% stake in THDCIL to NTPC for Rs 7,500 crore.
                                                        10.3 Today's best editorials to read
                                                        • We offer you 7 excellent editorials from across 10 newspapers we have scanned. 
                                                        CLICK HERE TO OPEN AND READ!

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                                                          • SECTION 3 - MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)

                                                        Solve the online quiz given, right now. Check scores, and relative performance!





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                                                        PT's IAS Academy: Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 18-05-2020
                                                        Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 18-05-2020
                                                        Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 18-05-2020
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