Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services -13-07-2020

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    • SECTION 1 - TEN NEWS HEADLINES
  1. COVID-19 – India’s active cases top 3L, record 29k+ new infections – The number of active Covid-19 cases in the country crossed 3 lakh on July 12 even as fresh infections crossed 29,000 for the first time, with south India accounting for over 10,000 of them. After staying over 500 for two days, daily deaths came down slightly to 492, taking the toll to 23,175. While the focus has been on recoveries, the number of active cases has been rising. It hit the 1 lakh mark on June 4 and went past 2 lakh 23 days later. It has taken just 15 days more to reach 3 lakh. India reported 29,271 new cases, fifth day of record rise, taking the tally to 8,79,060, two days after hitting the 8 lakh mark.
  2. World – Defying US, China and Iran near trade and military partnership – Iran and China have quietly drafted a sweeping economic and security partnership that would clear the way for billions of dollars of Chinese investments in energy and other sectors, undercutting the Trump administration’s efforts to isolate the Iranian government because of its nuclear and military ambitions. The partnership would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.
  3. Polity – Pilot’s rebellion with 30 MLAs puts Gehlot govt. on the edge – The power struggle between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot, that has been simmering for long, spilled out into the open on July 12, threatening the stability of the 20-month-old Congress government in Rajasthan. Mr. Pilot said the Gehlot government was now in a minority after over 30 Congress MLAs and some independent lawmakers had pledged support to him. Mr. Pilot also said he would not attend a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party scheduled for Monday.
  4. Internal security – India to push China for maps to clarify claim lines, actual control – India plans to push the Chinese side for an exchange of maps in the western sector after the process of disengagement and de-escalation is complete and Indian troops go back to their old patrolling posts. Government officials said this would clarify each other’s ‘claim lines’ and actual control, which would make management and patrolling protocols easier. Even after 22 rounds of talks on the boundary question, China has shown no inclination to exchange maps or clarify the LAC, having exchanged maps for only the central sector.
  5. Internal security – Desi AKs delayed, Army eyes US for 72,000 assault rifles – The Army is planning to order another 72,000 assault rifles from US firm SiG Sauer amidst the ongoing heightened military tensions with China as well as the continuing delay in the project to manufacture Russian Kalashnikov rifles in India. The 13-lakh strong Army has already inducted 72,400 SiG Sauer rifles, which are 7.62x51 mm caliber guns with an effective “kill” range of 500-metre, under a Rs 647 crore fast-track procurement deal inked in February 2019.
  6. COVID-19 – Exhaled breath of COVID-19 patients can contain novel coronavirus, study finds – Not just talking, singing or shouting, as the WHO indicated on July 9, but even breathing may spread novel coronavirus into the air. A study published in Nature had earlier found airborne coronavirus in a patient’s breath. A couple of more studies found airborne transmission of the virus during breathing and speaking. A new study posted on July 2 in preprint server MedRxiv has again found virus spread while breathing.
  7. Economy – To wean business away from China, eased FDI norms likely – With an eye to attract more investment and boost domestic economic activity, the Centre is eyeing further easing of foreign direct investment rules, in addition to pushing reforms in mining, banking and capital market sectors. The focus has intensified after the tension with China on the Ladakh border as the government is keen to bolster domestic manufacturing. Sources said the FDI reforms could be announced over the next few weeks.
  8. Society – World Population Day 2020: Focus On "Health, Rights of Women and Girls" – World Population Day 2020 focuses on multiple challenges - health, economic and social - that people across the world are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations Development Programme recommended the introduction of World Population Day in 1989, inspired by the public interest and awareness that was created by "Five Billion Day" on July 11, 1987 when the world's population reached 5 billion. "How to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls now" amid the pandemic is the theme of this year's World Population Day.
  9. Economy – Ficci survey estimates FY21 GDP growth to be in negative territory – Industry body FICCI's latest Economic Outlook Survey has pegged India's growth for 2020-21 at (-) 4.5 per cent as the country continues to see a gradual rise in financial stress. Data shows that while overall growth estimates stand at -4.5 per cent, the GDP estimated for the first quarter of the year is abysmal at (-) 14.2 per cent. FICCI puts India's minimum growth estimate at (-) 6.4% and maximum growth at 1.5% for the year 2020-21.
  10. World – Hong Kong Opposition holds primary vote – Pro-democracy parties in Hong Kong held primary polls on Saturday to choose candidates for upcoming legislative elections despite warnings from government officials that it may be in breach of a new security law imposed by China. Beijing has imposed the new law on Hong Kong targeting acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign collusion with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, in response to democracy protests that erupted last year. The law is the most radical change in Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy since Britain handed the city back to China in 1997. 
Important Exam Notifications
S. No.
Institution
Exam or Post Name
Vacancies or Seats
Qualification
Last Date to Apply
Link for Details
1
National Board of Examinations
Sr Asst, Jr Asst & Other
90
12th Class, Degree
July 31, 2020
http://www.freejobalert.com/national-board-of-examination/55444/
2
Min. of Environ., Forest and Climate Change
Consultant, Research Associate
10
Degree (Engg), PG
21 days
http://moef.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/DOC070920-07092020153606.pdf
3
Hindustan Copper Limited
Trade Apprentic
290
10th Class, ITI
July 25, 2020
http://www.freejobalert.com/hindustan-copper-limited/17142/
4
CRPF
Inspector, Sub Inspector, Asst Sub Inspector, Constable
789
10th, 12th Class, iploma, Degree
aug 31, 2020
http://www.freejobalert.com/crpf-recruitment/6683/#ASI
5
Central Railway
Specialist, CMP, Health/ Malaria Inspector, Pharmacist
    60
 Dip./ De. (Phar), B.Sc, MBBS
july 30, 2020
https://cr.indianrailways.gov.in/cris//uploads/files/1594377936705-CMP_GDMO.pdf

6
APVVP
Theatre Assis., Radiographer, Comp. Operator
63
10th Class, Dip. (Radio.)
July. 14, 2020
https://cdn.s3waas.gov.in/s37dcd340d84f762eba80aa538b0c527f7/uploads/2020/07/2020071072.pdf
7
Directorate of Health Services, Assam
Staff Nurse, Laboratory Technician
768
DMLT, B.Sc
 25-07-2020
http://www.freejobalert.com/directorate-of-health-services-assam/92743/
 
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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 Supreme Court allows email, fax, instant messaging apps like ‘WhatsApp’ for service of notices, summons
  • News  – 
  1. While hearing the suo motu case on extending limitation of statutes (a law or decree made by a sovereign) due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the Supreme Court today allowed for summons and notices to be served through email, fax and instant messaging applications.
  • Background –
  1. The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices R Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna passed the order after hearing submissions by Attorney General KK Venugopal. The AG stated that the government was "not comfortable" with service of summons and notices through WhatsApp because it was "a completely encrypted platform".
  • Under Evidence Act or not - 
  1. However, allaying his concerns, CJI Bobde noted that the "blue tick" feature of the messaging application could prove whether message was delivered or not. "If the two blue ticks are there then it can be proved under Evidence Act, but if the person has turned it off, then it cannot be proven. So WhatsApp can be used (for summons)."
  • Decision - 
  1. The Bench thus ordered that notices and summons, which are an "integral part of court proceedings", can be served through email, fax and instant messaging application.
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              • 2. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
            2.1 Important happenings
            • Indian Railways transported dry chillies from Guntur in AP to Benapole in Bangladesh for first time.
            • NTPC won CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019 under Outstanding Accomplishment in Corporate Excellence Category.
            • Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF) launched hand sanitizer called ‘‘RCF SAFEROLA” containing Iso Propyl Alcohol (IPA) and Aloe Vera extract.

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

                                    3.1 Not Available Today

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

                                          4.1 US sanctions Chinese officials over repression of minorities in Xinjiang


                                          •  Key point -  
                                          1. The US has imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on three senior Chinese officials, including the regional boss of the ruling communist party, for alleged human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in the restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.
                                          • Detailed news -
                                          1. China is accused of mass detentions, religious persecution and forced sterilisation of Uyghurs and others in the resource-rich northwestern province.
                                          2. Authorities there are thought to have detained about a million people in re-education camps in recent years for "vocational training" to counter radicalism and separatism in Xinjiang. 
                                          3. The US and China are currently embroiled in a trade war, and have sent delegations to Washington for a meeting about the tensions.
                                          • What is the situation in Xinjiang –
                                          1. China has been carrying out a massive security operation in Xinjiang, in its far west, in recent years.
                                          2. Human rights groups and the UN say China has rounded up and detained more than a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in vast detention camps, where they are forced to renounce Islam, speak only in Mandarin Chinese and learn obedience to the communist government. 
                                          3. But China says they are attending "vocational training centres" which are giving them jobs and helping them integrate into Chinese society, in the name of preventing terrorism.
                                          4. There have been increasingly vocal denunciations from the US and other countries about China's actions in Xinjiang.
                                          5. In July, more than 20 countries at the UN Human Rights Council signed a joint letter criticising China's treatment of the Uighurs and other Muslims.
                                          • Who are the Uighurs – 
                                          1. Uighurs are ethnically Turkic Muslims. They make up about 45% of the Xinjiang region's population; 40% are Han Chinese.
                                          2. China re-established control in 1949 after crushing short-lived state of East Turkestan. Since then, there has been large-scale immigration of Han Chinese and Uighurs fear erosion of their culture. 
                                             4.2 WHO launches panel to review international response to Covid-19 pandemic
                                            • Highlights - 
                                            1. The WHO, on July 9, said it was setting up an independent panel to examine both its own and other countries response to the coronavirus pandemic.
                                            2. It will be headed by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who will also choose its members.
                                            3. The committee will provide monthly updates. However, the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme will also continue its existing work.
                                            4. The WHO has come under repeated criticism for its handling of the crisis, notably from the US. Trump claims that the organisation had deliberately covered up the early days of the pandemic to support China.
                                            5. The global health body has repeatedly denied Trump’s claims that it promoted Chinese “disinformation” about the coronavirus.
                                            • Why this decision - 
                                            1. The decision to form the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response came two days after President Donald Trump’s administration formally notified the UN that the US is withdrawing from WHO.
                                            • Important facts - 
                                            1. The US is the largest contributor to the global agency. The country had contributed $400 million (approximately Rs 3,040 crore) to the organisation last year – nearly 15% of its entire budget. 
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                                                                • 5. GOVERNMENT SCHEMES (Prelims, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3)
                                                              5.1 Government launches AI-based ASEEM digital platform


                                                              •  Key point -  
                                                              1. Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee-Employer Mapping (ASEEM) portal to help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.
                                                              • Highlights - 
                                                              1. The portal will map details of workers based on regions and local industry demands and will bridge demand-supply gap of skilled workforce across sectors.
                                                              2. ASEEM portal will provide employers a platform to assess the availability of skilled workforce and formulate their hiring plans. 
                                                              3. It refers to all the data, trends and analytics which describe the workforce market and map demand of skilled workforce to supply.
                                                              4. The Artificial Intelligence-based platform will also provide real-time granular information by identifying relevant skilling requirements and employment prospects.
                                                              5. The ASEEM portal has been envisioned to give a huge impetus to bridge the demand-supply gap for skilled workforce, bringing limitless and infinite opportunities for the youth.
                                                              6. The initiative also aims at accelerating India’s journey towards recovery by mapping skilled workforce and connecting them with relevant livelihood opportunities especially in the post COVID era.
                                                              7. ASEEM will be used as a match-making engine to map skilled workers with the jobs available.
                                                              8. The ASEEM portal and App will have provision for registration and data upload for workers across job roles, sectors and geographies.
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                                                                          • 6. MISCELLANEOUS (Prelims, Various GS Papers)
                                                                        6.1 Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry launches ‘India Cycles 4 Change Challenge’ inviting cities to come up with quick solutions for promoting cycling

                                                                        • Scenario - 
                                                                        1. The challenge is launched to inspire Indian cities to implement quick cycling-friendly interventions  and to create extensive cycling-networks using low-cost methods like pop-up cycle lanes, non-motorised zones and set up community-led cycle rental schemes.
                                                                        2. In the longer term, the Smart Cities Mission encourages cities to convert temporary interventions into permanent.
                                                                        3. The Challenge is open to all cities under the Smart Cities Mission, capital cities of States/UTs, and all cities with a population of more than 5 lakh population.
                                                                        4. The India Programme of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) will be the knowledge partner of the Smart Cities Mission to assist the Mission.
                                                                        • Process -  
                                                                        1. The Challenge will run in two stages. Stage One will run until October 2020 where cities will focus on piloting quick interventions to promote cycling and developing a scale-up strategy. In October 2020, 11 cities will be shortlisted and will receive Rs. 1 Crore award and guidance from national and international experts to further scale-up the initiatives in Stage Two, which will be held until May 2021.
                                                                        • Need of Such an Initiative -
                                                                        1. The need for personalized forms of transport is expected to increase as a response to Covid-19. 
                                                                        2. Many cities of world and some cities of India like Kolkata and Guwahati have already started working towards promoting cycling.
                                                                        3. Kolkata has proposed a dedicated cycle corridor by reclaiming parking spaces.
                                                                        4. In Guwahati, the Green lane Foundation, with the support of the Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati and Pedal for a Change, is conducting a survey for citizens to vote for the best routes for bicycle lanes in the city.
                                                                        5. A recent survey by the ITDP India Programme shows that cycling would increase by 50-65% as cities come out of lockdown.
                                                                        6. Increasing cycling can help cities in a green economic recovery.
                                                                        7. Investments in cycling infrastructure have economic benefits of up to 5.5 times the initial investment.
                                                                        8. Cycling for short distances can result in an annual benefit of Rs. 1.8 trillion to the Indian economy.
                                                                        • Institute for Transportation and Development Policy - 
                                                                        1. It was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in New York, USA with offices in China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and the US.
                                                                        2. It has grown from a small band of cycling activists to a leading organization in the fight to curb climate change, and transform streets for a better quality of life in cities.
                                                                        3. In India, the Urban Works Institute - a public charitable trust registered in the country - is ITDP’s network partner that manages the ITDP India Program.
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                                                                                      • 7. POLITY (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
                                                                                    7.1 Digital Accountability and Transparency Act: DATA
                                                                                    • Key point - 
                                                                                    1. In the recent past, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has suggested three-phase transition to mandatory digital payments, accounting, and transactions for the Central government under a proposed project and law called Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA).
                                                                                    • Highlights -
                                                                                    1. The suggestions acknowledge the need of digital public utilities. It not only includes e-services but also makes all government revenue and expenditure data electronic, machine-readable, purpose linked, non-repudiable, reliable, accessible and searchable.
                                                                                    2. Requirement for Digitisation, i.e. 100 % end-to-end electronic data capture. It includes all receipts and expenditure transactions including demands, assessment, and invoices should be received, processed, and paid electronically.
                                                                                    3. Data governance for standards across all government entities. Data standards are rules for describing and recording data elements with accurate meanings and semantics that enable integration, sharing, and interoperability.
                                                                                    4. Technology architecture: All IT government systems should stick to a prescribed open architecture framework while ensuring strong security and maintaining privacy.
                                                                                    • Advantages of Digitisation: 
                                                                                    1. It takes into account off-budget transactions, business continuity (e.g. electronic records cannot be lost or misplaced like files or paper records), and an incontrovertible audit trail. 
                                                                                    2. It empowers Parliament and legislatures to draw assurance that each rupee due to the government has been collected, and each rupee has been spent for the purpose it was allocated.
                                                                                    3. Prescribing data elements for all transactions will guarantee standardisation, eliminate ambiguity, minimise redundant data, and create protocols for integration across different databases.
                                                                                    4. It will also give rise to the use of cognitive intelligence tools like analytics, AI, machine learning, which in turn will support the establishment of budget baselines, detect anomalies.
                                                                                    5. It will also enable data-driven project costing, performance comparisons across departments and agencies, and benchmarking.

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

                                                                                                        8.1 World Population Day observed on July 11
                                                                                                        • Background -
                                                                                                        1. It is celebrated on this day because world’s population reached 5 billion on 11 July 1987.
                                                                                                        2. In 1989, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recommended that 11th July be observed by the international community as World Population Day.
                                                                                                        3. Theme for 2020: How to safeguard the health and rights of women and girls amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
                                                                                                        • United Nations Population Fund -
                                                                                                        1. It is a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly and works as a sexual and reproductive health agency. It was established as a trust fund in 1967 and began operations in 1969. In 1987, it was officially renamed the United Nations Population Fund but the original abbreviation, ‘UNFPA’ for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities was retained. UNFPA works directly to tackle Sustainable Development Goals on health (SDG3), education (SDG4) and gender equality (SDG5).
                                                                                                        • The road ahead - 
                                                                                                        1. Family planning is an effective tool to ensure a stable rise in the population. The government must take the onus to promote awareness and advocate the family planning. There is a need for well-researched planning and implementation on how to harness the population growth for the maximum economic benefit of the society and country.
                                                                                                        • India: population statistics –
                                                                                                        1. India has just 2% of the world’s landmass and 16% of the global population. 
                                                                                                        2. It is the second-most populous country in the world with an estimated population of around 1.37 billion by 2019.
                                                                                                        3. It has been reported that India will soon surpass China’s population.
                                                                                                        4. Mismatch in birth and death rate resulted in faster growth of population in the past few decades.
                                                                                                        5. Poverty and illiteracy contribute immensely to the population explosion.
                                                                                                        6. Children in rural areas are considered as assets, who will take care of parents at old age, also more children mean more earnings.
                                                                                                        7. The level of female education has a direct impact on fertility, as it is evidenced that the fertility rate of illiterate women tends to be higher than those who are literate.
                                                                                                        8. Lack of education prevents women from having full knowledge about the use of contraceptives, of the consequences of frequent childbirth.
                                                                                                        9. Although the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is declining in India, poorer states like Bihar (3.2), Uttar Pradesh (3.0), Rajasthan (2.6) and Jharkhand (2.5) still have TFRs above the national average of 2.2.
                                                                                                        10. Total Fertility Rate (TFR)  - the average number of children born to women during their reproductive years. 
                                                                                                        11. For the population to remain stable, an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 is needed.
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                                                                                                                        • 9. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3)
                                                                                                                      9.1 PM Modi inaugurates Asia’s largest solar plant in MP’s Rewa

                                                                                                                      •  Key point -  
                                                                                                                      1. PM Modi has inaugurated Asia's largest 750 MW solar power project at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh via video conferencing.
                                                                                                                      • Highlights -  
                                                                                                                      1. According to the government, the project will reduce emissions  upto 15 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
                                                                                                                      2. Apart from Rewa, work is underway on solar power plants in Shajapur, Neemuch and Chhatarpur.
                                                                                                                      3. The project will be first to supply renewable energy to an institutional customer, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), outside the state. Delhi metro will get 24 per cent of project's energy capacity.
                                                                                                                      4. Central financial assistance of Rs 138 crore has been provided to Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL) for the development of the solar park.
                                                                                                                      5. The RUMSL is a joint venture company of Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (MPUVN), and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), a Central Public Sector Undertaking.
                                                                                                                      6. The mega solar power project comprises three solar generating units of 250MW each located on a 500-hectare plot of land situated inside a solar park.
                                                                                                                      • PM Modi’s views – 
                                                                                                                      1. Solar energy is going to be a major medium of energy needs not only today but in the 21st century. Because solar energy is sure, pure and secure.

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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 -
                                                                                                                                        • Germany has announced a phase out of coal-fired power by 2038 and nuclear power by 2022.
                                                                                                                                        • eBloodServices app of the Indian Red Cross Society (ICRS) was launched in June 2020 by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare.
                                                                                                                                        • The World Accreditation Day was celebrated on June 9.
                                                                                                                                        • ‘Biodiversity’ was theme of World Environment Day celebrated on June 5, 2020.
                                                                                                                                        • Former hockey player Balbir Singh Sr. passed away in Mohali in May 2020 at the age of 95.
                                                                                                                                        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 -13-07-2020
                                                                                                                                        Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services -13-07-2020
                                                                                                                                        Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 13-07-2020
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