Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 20-05-2020


Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 20-05-2020


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  1. COVID-19 Updates – Health Ministry issues new guidelines for workplaces – The Union Health Ministry announced fresh workplace guidelines. With the easing of the lockdown measures and with more offices/workplaces starting operations, the Ministry directed that anyone diagnosed as a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19 should immediately inform the office authorities and isolate themselves. While there was no need to close the entire office building/halt work if one or two cases were detected, a large outbreak would require that the building be shut down for 48 hours and disinfected, it stated. The guidelines make it mandatory to maintain a physical distance of at least one metre to be followed at all times along with use of face covers/masks.
  2. Natural Disasters – 3 lakh evacuated as Amphan hurtles towards Bengal coast – Super cyclone Amphan, which has weakened slightly, is expected to make landfall between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh, the India Meteorological Department (MD) said. About 3,35,000 people in West Bengal and Odisha have been evacuated. The cyclone lay about 360 km south of Paradip in Odisha and 510 km south-southwest of Digha. According to the IMD's current estimate, Amphan would temper down to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ when it makes landfall but it would continue to generate strong winds at 155-165 kmph and inflict severe damage on the Odisha and West Bengal coasts. Telephone towers, powerlines, thatched huts and buildings with weak foundations are likely to be damaged and hoardings could become “flying like projectiles,” Director-General IMD M Mohapatra warned at a press conference.
  3. Jammu and Kashmir – Separatist leader’s son among 2 militants killed in encounter – Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) chairman and separatist leader Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai’s son was among the two Hizb-ul Mujahideen militants killed in an 11-hour-long operation in a congested locality of Srinagar’s old city. Four security personnel were injured, and over 10 houses were damaged. Two rifles were recovered from the encounter site.
  4. Andhra Pradesh gas leak case - SC declines to interfere with NGT order – The Supreme Court did not interfere on Tuesday with an order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which ordered LG Polymers to pay Rs. 50 crore as interim compensation for the gas leak at its Visakhapatnam plant and set up a five-member fact-finding committee to inquire into the incident leading to the death of several innocents.
  5. COVID-19 Updates – Delhi sees biggest spike in a day with 500 cases – Five hundred new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Capital in the past 24 hours, taking the total number to 10,554, said a government health bulletin. This is the biggest single-day jump in the number of cases in the city so far. Also, six more deaths were reported, pushing the toll to 166. Of the total cases, 4,750 people have recovered and 5,638 are undergoing treatment. Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department Padmini Singla said in an order that 300-400 new cases were reported every day, but equivalent number of containment zones were not being declared by the District Magistrates. She directed the DMs to create containment zones as per the guidelines.
  6. Indian Economy - EPF rate cut to benefit employees, employers – The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) said the employees’ take-home salaries would increase while the employers’ liabilities would reduce for May, June and July as the Labour Ministry had notified a 2% cut in the EPF contribution rate. Announced as part of the Centre’s economic relief package to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the contribution rates for employees and employers had been reduced to 10% of wages plus dearness allowance from 12%. The reduction would not be applicable to the Central and State public sector enterprises or any other government-controlled establishment, the EPFO said in a statement.
  7. COVID-19 Updates - Reform or face fund cuts, Trump tells WHO – As the World Health Assembly met virtually to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. President Donald Trump told the World Health Organization (WHO) that the U.S. will make permanent its funding cuts to the organisation and consider leaving it, if it did not commit to “major substantial reform” within the next 30 days.
  8. Afghanistan-Taliban issue – We are not a proxy of any country, says Taliban – The Taliban is not a proxy of any country and it does not want to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations, the group’s political spokesperson said. He spoke about India's policy on Afghanistan soon after the deputy leader of Taliban's Political Office in Qatar, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, was reported to have accused India of playing a “negative role” inside Afghanistan. Part of India's concern over the Taliban’s opinions, especially on Kashmir, stems from the fact that South Block still considers it a terror group and has refused to engage it in a dialogue.
  9. COVID-19 Updates – China tests drug that aims to stop pandemic sans vaccine – A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the coronavirus pandemic to a halt. The outbreak first emerged in China late last year before spreading across the world, prompting an international race to find treatments and vaccines. A drug being tested by scientists at China’s prestigious Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the virus.
  10. Sri Lankan Army war crimes issue – ‘Sri Lanka will not tolerate targeting of war heroes’ Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said the country will not hesitate to exit international bodies that continuously “targeted” its soldiers. “If any international body or organisation continuously target our country and our war heroes, using baseless allegations, I will also not hesitate to withdraw Sri Lanka from such bodies or organisations,” he said, speaking at the11th anniversary of the end of the civil war, marked as “Ranaviru [War Heroes] Day” in the island’s south.
Important Exam Notifications
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Jr Resident, Research Officer, Study Nurse, Lab Technician, Messenger Boy
7th, 10th Class, MBBS
May 31, 2020
Western Railway
Jr Clerk cum Typist
Degree (Civil Engg)      
June 10, 2020
District Health Society, Sonitpur
Supervisor, Cleaner
PG Degree/ Diploma
May 20, 2020
Medical Social welfare Officer, X Ray Technician, Nursing Attendant & Other
10th, 12th Class, Diploma, Degree
East Coast Railway  
Nursing Superintendent, Pharmacist, OTA
Matriculation, Diploma, Degree
May 22, 2020
SLNMCH, Koraput  
Attendant, Laboratory Attendant, Peon
June 6, 2020
VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital 
Senior Resident
May 26, 2020

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    • 1. CONSTITUTION AND LAW (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)
1.1 The right of a journalist under Article 19(1)(a) is no higher than the right of the citizen to speak and express – SC in the writ petition filed by Arnab Goswami

  • In his writ petition, Arnab had sought for quashing all the complaints and FIRs lodged against the petitioner in multiple States and Union Territories.
  • Justice DY Chandrachud, who authored the judgment, observed that, to allow a journalist to be subjected to multiple complaints and to the pursuit of remedies traversing multiple states and jurisdictions when faced with successive FIRs and complaints bearing the same foundation has a stifling effect on the exercise of his freedom.
  • Referring to TT Antony v State of Kerala, the bench, also comprising of Justice MR Shah, said that subjecting an individual to numerous proceedings arising in different jurisdictions on the basis of the same cause of action cannot be accepted as the least restrictive and effective method of achieving the legitimate state aim in prosecuting crime.
  • The Court asserted that any reasonable restriction on fundamental rights must comport with the proportionality standard, of which one component is that the measure adopted must be the least restrictive measure to effectively achieve the legitimate state aim.
  • The Court noted that all the FIRs or complaints which have been lodged in diverse jurisdictions arise out of one and the same incident - the broadcast by the petitioner on 21 April 2020 on R Bharat. The broadcast is the foundation of the allegation that offences have been committed under the provisions of Sections 153, 153A, 153B, 295A, 298, 500, 504 and 506 of the IPC.
  • The Court also noted that the FIRs are worded in identical terms and the language, content and sequencing of paragraphs and their numbering is identical.
  • The Court may proceed to quash all the other FIRs and complaints lodged in diverse jurisdictions in the States, leaving open, however, the investigation in the FIR registered in Mumbai. The Court refused to entertain the prayers for quashing of the FIR and the alternate relief sought for transfer of probe to CBI.
  • India's freedoms will rest safe as long as journalists can speak to power without being chilled by a threat of reprisal ~ Supreme Court
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          • 2. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
        2.1 Deadline for fulfilment of contractual obligations of all government projects that were due for completion on or after February 20, extended by up to six months in view of COVID-19 crisis.

        2.2 Most powerful 12000 HP Made in India locomotive of Railway makes maiden commercial run; built by French company Alstom at factory in Madhepura, Bihar. 

        2.3 Dilip Oommen, CEO of Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India, appointed new President of Indian Steel Association (ISA).

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

            3.1 Hotter oceans give rise to super cyclones

            • According to meteorologists and atmospheric science experts Higher than normal temperatures in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) may be whetting ‘super cyclones’ and the lockdown, indirectly, may have played a role.
            • Super cyclone Amphan that is barrelling towards West Bengal is the strongest storm to have formed in the BoB since the Super Cyclone of 1999 that ravaged Paradip in Odisha
            • Cyclones gain their energy from the heat and moisture generated from warm ocean surfaces.  
            • This year, the BoB has posted record summer temperatures a fall-out, as researchers have warned, of global warming from fossil fuel emissions that has been heating up oceans.
            • The BoB has been particularly warm. Some of the buoys have registered maximum surface temperatures of 32-34°C consecutively, for the first two weeks of May. 
            • Cyclone Amphan intensified from a category-1 cyclone to category-5 in 18 hours, an unusually quick evolution.
            • Last year Fani, a category 4 cyclone, which swept through the Odisha coast, was again fuelled by high temperatures in the BoB.
            • While tropical cyclones in these seas are a typical feature of the summer months and play a role in aiding the arrival of the monsoon.
            • Warming around India is not longer restricted to just the BoB but also the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. 
            • Another researcher said the elevated ocean temperatures this year could, in part, be explained by the lockdown. Reduced particulate matter emissions during the lockdown meant fewer aerosols, such as black carbon, that are known to reflect sunlight and heat away from the surface.
            • Every year, increased particulate pollution from the Indo-Gangetic plains is transported towards the BoB and this also influences the formation of clouds over the ocean.

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

            4.1 India, U.S. to get together on vaccine trials - Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP)
            • U.S. and Indian scientists have been collaborating on key research questions fostering the development and testing of safe, cost-effective vaccines against a range of infectious diseases that could save innumerable lives in India, the United States, and around the world.
            • This will increase the listing a number of other ways in which the two countries are working together.
            • The VAP, or the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP), is a 33-year collaboration between the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with other partners.
            • Meanwhile, 50 ventilators from the United States are expected in India shortly, as part of the donation of 200 ventilators announced by President Donald Trump last week.
            • The ventilators, which will be paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), are part of $5.9 million in funding announced to date for India.
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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 Nominations for the World Heritage List 2020

                          • The Minister of State of Culture and Tourism has recently informed Lok Sabha that India has submitted two nomination dossiers namely ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ and ‘Monuments and ‘Forts of Deccan Sultanate’ for inclusion in the World Heritage List for the year 2020.
                          • Dholavira: A Harappan City - The City of Dholavira located in Khadir island of the Rann of Kutch (Gujarat) belonged to the mature Harappan phase. It was excavated by R.S Bisht in 1985. It demonstrates a highly organised system of town planning with perfected proportions, street-pattern and an efficient water conservation system that supported life for more than 1200 years (3000 BCE to 1800 BCE) against harsh hot arid climate. The water conservation methods of Dholavira are unique and measures as one of the most efficient systems of the ancient world.
                          • The presence of a three-tier zonation comprising of a distinct upper (citadel, bailey) and middle (having a distinct street-pattern, large scale enclosure and a ceremonial ground) towns enclosed by a lower town (with narrower streets, smaller enclosures and industrial area), distinguishes the city of Dholavira from other metropolises of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
                          • Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate - The ‘Monuments of the Deccan Sultanate’ demonstrates the convergence of national and international styles of Islamic architecture and their intersections with the prevalent Hindu architecture of the period southern Indian in present-day Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.  
                          • It comprises of four components namely,
                          1. Bahmani Monuments at Gulbarga, Karnataka - It primarily comprises the Gulbarga Fort with the Great Mosque in the Fort, Jami Masjid and the Haft Gumbad complex with seven tombs. Gulbarga was the first capital of the Bahmani dynasty.
                          2. Bahmani and Barid Shahi Monuments at Bidar, Karnataka - It includes monuments at Bidar dating from late 15th to the early 16th centuries comprise of the Bidar Fort, the Madrasa Mahmud Gawan, the Bahamani tombs at Ashtur and the Barid Shahi tombs. The significant feature of Bidar is the sophisticated system of gates and sluices (A sluice is a water channel controlled at its head by a gate.) that could be used when required to flood segments of the moat and thus preserve water.
                          3. Adil Shahi Monuments at Bijapur, Karnataka - These monuments date from the late 15th to the late 17th centuries. These are an ensemble of 80 small and big monuments including the fortifications, gates, water systems and tanks, several mosques and tombs and palatial structures. The most remarkable monuments within the fort include the Gol Gumbaz which is the second largest dome in the world.
                          4. Qutb Shahi Monuments at Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh - It comprises of Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar that symbolize the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. Golconda is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty. The tombs of Qutb Shahis are a mausoleum complex comprised of the tombs of the Royal family and the officials who faithfully served them. Charminar is a ceremonial Gateway built to celebrate the foundation of Hyderabad, a new Millennial City, in 1591 A.D.

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                                • 7. POLITY (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
                              7.1 J&K Domicile Rules Notified
                              • J&K administration notified the J&K grant of domicile certificate procedure rules 2020 
                              • A fast-track process set in motion to issue the certificates within a stipulated time of 15 days.
                              • The new process will allow West Pakistan refugees, sanitation workers and children of women who married non-locals to apply for jobs in J&K.
                              • Central govt. officials who have served in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for a total period of ten years, are eligible for the certificate.
                              • Children who can produce Class 10 or Class 12 certificate from any J&K school will also be eligible for domicile certificates.

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

                                    8.1 World Hypertension Day observed on May 17

                                    • Hypertension is a primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease which cause a range of health problems such as strokes, vision loss, dementia, heart attacks and chronic kidney disease. Another name of Hypertension is high blood pressure. It is also known as the 'Silent Killer' as it often does not exhibit any symptoms during its early stages.
                                    • According to statistics, it has been estimated that nearly 1 billion people are affected by hypertension worldwide, and nearly one-half of this population are unaware of their condition. This figure is predicted to increase to 1.5 billion by 2025. Therefore, since 2005, around the globe, World Hypertension Day is celebrated every year to raise awareness about the silent killer.
                                    • The guidelines lower the threshold for hypertension from systolic BP 140 mm Hg/diastolic BP 90 mm Hg, and eliminate the category of pre-hypertension.
                                    • World Hypertension Day is organised by the World Hypertension League (WHL) which is an umbrella organization. WHL is composed of 85 hypertension societies and leagues from all over the world.
                                    • Theme - The theme of WHD for the past five years has been 'Know Your Numbers' with the goal of increasing high blood pressure (BP) awareness in all populations around the world.  
                                    • The World Hypertension Day was first inaugurated in May 2005 ever since it has become an annual event. 
                                    • Types of Hypertension disease - 1. Primary hypertension; 2. Secondary hypertension
                                    • Primary hypertension: Primary hypertension is also known as essential hypertension. Most adults with hypertension are in this category. It's thought to be a combination of genetics, diet, lifestyle, and age.Lifestyle factors include smoking, drinking too much alcohol, stress, being overweight, eating too much salt, and not getting enough exercise. Changes in your diet and lifestyle can lower your blood pressure and risk of complications from hypertension.
                                    • Secondary hypertension: Secondary hypertension is when there's an identifiable- and potentially reversible- cause of your hypertension. Only about 5 to 10 percent of hypertension is the secondary type. It's more prevalent in younger people. An estimated 30 percent of those ages 18 to 40 with hypertension have secondary hypertension.
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                                          • 9. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3)
                                        9.1 Not Available Today

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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 -
                                                        • Gorakhpur terracotta was granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Chennai-based GI Registry recently.
                                                        • World Creativity and Innovation Day was celebrated by the United Nations on April 21.
                                                        • Well known lawyer Ashok Desai died at the age of 77 in April 2020.
                                                        • India’s foreign exchange reserves were US$ 475.56 billion in the week to March 27, 2020.
                                                        • Famous Journalist Patil Puttappa passed away in Hubli, Karnataka on March 17, 2020 at the age of 99.
                                                        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 - 20-05-2020
                                                        Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 20-05-2020
                                                        Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 20-05-2020
                                                        PT's IAS Academy
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