Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 31-08-2020


Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 31-08-2020


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    1. Research/Study – Lockdown has hit routine health services severely – There have been innumerable stories of the suffering of non-Covid patients across the country during the lockdown and after, and official data is now available to show the extent to which routine health services were unavailable and the scale of its impact. The number of fully immunized children fell by over 15 lakh in the three-month period from April to June compared to the same months last year. The number of institutional deliveries fell by 13 lakh. The registered number of TB patients undergoing treatment fell to almost half of what it was last year. People seeking cancer treatment as outpatients fell by over 70%. Hard-won progress on several national health goals has suffered a jolt.
    2. COVID-19 – India becomes first country to record over 80,000 cases in a day – India added a record 80,092 fresh Covid cases on August 30, becoming the first country to cross the 80,000-mark, even as the week ending August 30 turned out to be the worst till now. The growth rate of cases and fatalities more than doubled compared to the preceding week. The highest peak of 80,000-plus cases comes on August 30, when the number of fresh infections have usually been lower than other days of the week because of a lull in testing during the weekends. The highest peak of fresh cases on a Sunday was last recorded on August 9 with 63,851fresh cases. With over 76,000 fresh cases being registered daily for five consecutive days, the growth rate this week (13.1%) was almost three times the 4.7% growth registered the previous week. This was 5.9% in the preceding week and 10.9% during August 3-9 week.
    3. Economy – Asean agrees to review trade pact with India – After months of inaction and the government’s threat to pull out of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with Asean, members of the trading block have agreed to review the trade pact amid concerns that China is using the treaty to ship goods to India, which is unable to take full advantage of the 10-year-old arrangement. Chief among them is the inability of Indian exporters to get a level-playing field. Indonesia had lowered duties on only 50% of the items, while close to 75% of its products were getting customs duty benefit in India. A similar problem persisted with some of the other Asean members, although those such as Indonesia are not classified as least-developed countries.
    4. Environment & Ecology – 14 lakh affected, 17 killed in Odisha floods – Over 14 lakh people were affected due to floods in five river systems of Odisha. Seventeen people lost their lives in a wall collapse and by slipping into swollen rivers. According to the office of Special Relief Commissioner, 2.65 lakh people were marooned by vast sheets of water in 340 villages and 57,824 people were being served cooked food after their evacuation from water-logged houses. Heavy rain triggered by back-to-back low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal had caused flooding in 20 districts. The floods also caused massive damage to infrastructure. In 11 districts, 107 roads were cut off by the swirling water and 32 breaches on river embankments were detected in five districts. Preliminary assessment of floods suggests 10,382 houses and 1.68 lakh hectare of crop land were affected.
    5. COVID-19 – COVID-19 cases cross 25 million mark – Global COVID-19 infections soared past 25 million on Sunday (August 30), as countries around the world further tightened restrictions to try to stop the rampaging pandemic. A million additional cases have been detected globally roughly every four days since mid-July. Even nations such as New Zealand and South Korea, which had previously brought their outbreaks largely under control, are now battling new clusters of infections. On the other side of the world, Latin America — the worst-hit region — is still struggling with its first wave, with COVID-19 deaths in Brazil crossing 1,20,000, second only to the US.
    6. World – Singapore to offer free tests to taxi drivers, hawkers – Singapore will offer free COVID-19 tests to community groups such as taxi drivers, food delivery workers and hawkers as part of efforts to expand the COVID-19 testing regime. The costs of the tests will be fully borne by the government. The authorities will reach out to the groups progressively. The Ministry on August 30 reported 54 new COVID-19 cases. To date, Singapore has 56,771 confirmed COVID-19 cases. With 110 more patients discharged from hospitals, 55,447 have fully recovered from the infection.
    7. Science & Technology – Flying cars dream closer to reality: Japanese car flies with human inside – There are plenty of flying car projects that are in motion around the world but it still seems like a distant dream for human civilization. However, we might be a step closer to actually execute the dream. A Japanese company has finally built a car that not only managed to take off but did so with a human sitting inside. Japan's SkyDrive Inc. has carried out a successful though modest test flight with a person sitting in the cabin of the car. The aircraft has one seat and operates with eight motors and two propellers on each corner. It lifted about 10 feet into the air and was operated by a pilot. Analysts have said they expect urban air taxis to be common by 2040, with the global market projected to be $1.4 trillion to $2.9 trillion by then.
    8. Constitution & Law – SC ready for physical hearing, but lawyers in under 1% cases agree – Deferring to repeated demands of bar association leaders, the SC had planned to start limited physical hearing of cases on a trial basis from this week, but the move appears to have fizzled out as only 0.8% of advocates agreed to appear in person to argue cases. The court registry displayed a list of 517 regular cases and 170 miscellaneous petitions and sought consent from counsel engaged by litigants for physical hearing. Only in six of the total 687 cases, lawyers from both sides have given their consent to physical hearing. The court has been adjudicating cases through video-conferencing.
    9. COVID-19 – India sees record 10.6L tests in a day, total crosses 4cr – India scaled another high by testing over 10.5 lakh samples in a day to detect Covid-19, taking the total tests conducted till August 29 to over 4.1 crore. The exponential jump in testing capacity and the number of tests have resulted in an upsurge in tests per million to 30,044. Due to increased testing, the positivity rate has remained at 8.5%. The coronavirus death toll due to the disease climbed to 63,498, with 948 people succumbing to it on August 29.
    10. People & Personalities – First female cardiologist of India dies of Covid at 103 – India’s first female cardiologist, Dr SI Padmavati, passed away on Saturday night due to Covid-19. She was 103. Dr Padmavati developed a severe infection in both her lungs, which caused the death. The legendary cardiologist led an active and healthy life till her last few days. Until late 2015, she was working 12 hours a day, five days a week at NHI, which was founded by her in 1981. Such was her contribution that it earned her sobriquet of the ‘Godmother of Cardiology’. She went on to establish North India’s first Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at the Lady Hardinge Medical College in 1954.

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      • 1. CONSTITUTION AND LAW (Prelims, GS Paper 2, Essay paper)
    1.1 Not Available Today
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                      • 2. ECONOMY (Prelims, GS Paper 3, Essay paper
                    2.1 PM Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) - National Mission for Financial Inclusion, completed its six years of successful implementation

                    • Key point –  
                    1. Program was launched on 28th August 2014. It is a key initiative towards commitment of financial inclusion is the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY). Financial inclusion is defined as the process of ensuring access to financial services and timely and adequate credit where needed by vulnerable groups.
                    • Achievements -
                    1. Total Number of PMJDY Accounts (as on 19th August 2020): 40.35 Crore; Rural PMJDY accounts: 63.6%, Women PMJDY accounts: 55.2%. Out of total 40.35 crore PMJDY accounts, 34.81 crore (86.3%) are operative. Total deposit balances under PMJDY Accounts stand at Rs. 1.31 lakh crore.
                    2. Deposits have increased about 5.7 times with increase in accounts 2.3 times between 2015 to 2020.
                    3. Total RuPay cards issued to PMJDY account holders: 29.75 Crore
                    4. Jan Dhan Darshak App - A mobile application was launched to provide a citizen centric platform for locating banking touchpoints such as bank branches, ATMs, Bank Mitras, Post Offices, etc.
                    5. Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) for PMJDY women beneficiaries - An amount of Rs. 500/- per month for three months (April’ 20 to June’ 20), was credited to the accounts of women account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).
                    6. DBT transactions - As informed by banks, about 8 crore PMJDY account holders receive Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) from the Government under various schemes.
                    7. Enhancement in overdraft facilities - OD limit doubled from Rs 5,000/- to Rs 10,000/-; OD upto Rs 2,000/- (without conditions). Increase in upper age limit for OD from 60 to 65 years.
                    • The road ahead -
                    1. Ensure coverage of PMJDY account holders under micro insurance schemes. Eligible PMJDY accountholders will be sought to be covered under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).
                    2. Promotion of digital payments including RuPay debit card. Improving the access of PMJDY account holders to Micro-credit and micro-investment such as Flexi-recurring deposit etc.
                    3. Adding more focus on financial literacy and digital literacy for the common man.

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

                                                        3.1 6th Foundation Day (Aug 27, 2020) of the Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS)

                                                        • Key points –
                                                        1. The government has launched a website and telephone directory for AREAS on this occasion.
                                                        2. State Nodal Agencies (SNAs) for Renewable Energy (RE) interact and learn from each other’s experiences and share their best practices and knowledge.
                                                        3. The Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy (NRE) is the Patron of the Association and Secretary, MNRE is the ex-officio President of the Association. All SNAs are members of the Association.
                                                        • Renewable Energy Initiatives in India -
                                                        1. In September 2019, at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, India announced increasing the renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030 from 175 GW by 2022.
                                                        2. In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), India has pledged to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030.
                                                        3. The Green Energy Corridor Project aims at synchronizing electricity produced from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, with conventional power stations in the grid.
                                                        4. Recently, Indian Railways has contacted solar power developers to meet the net zero carbon emission target by 2030.
                                                        • Sector Specific Initiatives -
                                                        1. Solar Energy - International Solar Alliance One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG), National Solar Mission (a part of National Action Plan on Climate Change), Pradham Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyaan (PM KUSUM), Atal Jyoti Yojana, Suryamitra Skill Development Programme, Solar Park Scheme and Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Scheme, Rewa Solar Power Plant.
                                                        2. Wind Energy - National Wind Resource Assessment programme, National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy 2018, National Institute of Wind Energy, Tamil Nadu.
                                                        3. Waste to Energy - Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Wastes/Residues and Municipal Solid Waste.
                                                        4. Bio Energy - Biomass power & cogeneration programme, Biogas Power Generation (Off-grid) and Thermal energy application Programme (BPGTP).

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

                                                                    4.1 17th ASEAN-India Economic Ministers Consultations was held virtually
                                                                    • Key point –
                                                                    1. The meeting was co-chaired by India and Vietnam.
                                                                    2. The meeting was attended by the Trade Ministers of all the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries viz. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
                                                                    • Agenda covered -
                                                                    1. Commitment to take collective actions in mitigating the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic reaffirmed.
                                                                    2. Commitment for macroeconomic and financial stability and resilient supply chain connectivity, particularly to the flow of essential goods and medicines in the region, ensured.
                                                                    3. The report of the ASEAN India Business Council (AIBC) was placed.
                                                                    4. It has recommended that the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) be reviewed for mutual benefit.
                                                                    5. Discussions on review of the ASEAN India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) took place.
                                                                    6. India’s trade deficit with the ASEAN rose from around 5 billion USD in 2011 to 21.8 USD billion in 2019.
                                                                    • Background -
                                                                    1. In 2003, India and ASEAN signed a Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation to establish an ASEAN-India Regional Trade and Investment Area, which would provide a basis for subsequent FTAs covering goods, services and investment.
                                                                    • The road ahead -
                                                                    1. An immediate review of the agreement and the effective utilisation of the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement will contribute to the realisation of the 2020 trade target of 200 billion USD set by India and ASEAN. Over dependence of India and other countries on China can be decreased by developing a common forum/platform with ASEAN countries.
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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 Weekly Round-up – Banking and Finance
                                                                                                            • RBI unveils ‘National Strategy for Financial Education 2020-2025’ - The Reserve Bank of India on August 20, 2020 launched ‘National Strategy for Financial Education 2020-2025’ (NSFE) that has suggested a multi-stakeholder-led approach for creating a financially aware India. NFSE is based on 5Cs: Content, Capacity, Community, Communication and Collaboration. The Technical Group on Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy (TGFIFL) will monitor implementation of NFSE.
                                                                                                            • RBI frames rules for setting up a new umbrella entity for retail payments - The Reserve Bank of India on August 18, 2020 released the framework for setting up a new umbrella entity for retail payments in the country which will be tasked with setting up, managing and operating new payment systems in the retail space. This has been done to reduce the dominance of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in the system.
                                                                                                            • RBI to introduce a mechanism of Positive Pay for cheques above Rs 50,000 - RBI announced that it will introduce a mechanism of Positive Pay for cheques above Rs 50,000 to reduce instances of frauds occurring on account of tampering of cheque leaves. Cheques will be processed for payment by the drawee bank based on information passed on by its customer at the time of issuance of cheque. In case of any discrepancy, the cheque is returned to the person who has issued it.
                                                                                                            • Ashwani Bhatia appointed fourth MD at SBI - The government on August 21, 2020 appointed Ashwani Bhatia as the Managing Director (MD) of the State Bank of India (SBI) for a term ending on May 31, 2022. Bhatia will be the fourth MD at SBI in addition to Arijit Basu, Dinesh Khara and C S Setti.
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                                                                                                                                              • 7. POLITY (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
                                                                                                                                            7.1 Major happenings
                                                                                                                                            • MP to offer govt. jobs on the basis of score in CET (Common Eligibility Test (CET) test conducted by NRA (National Recruitment Agency); claims to be the first state to do so.
                                                                                                                                            • Rajiv Kumar appointed new Election Commissioner.
                                                                                                                                            • Govt releases SOPs (standard operating procedures) for resuming film, TV serial shoots amid Covid-19.
                                                                                                                                            • DRDO Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy given 2-year extension.
                                                                                                                                            • Centre frames draft policy on data privacy under Digital Health Mission; comments sought till Sept 3.
                                                                                                                                            • Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates medical colleges in Bhilwara and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.

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

                                                                                                                                                                        8.1 A multi-crore scam has been reported in the post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Castes (SC) in Punjab
                                                                                                                                                                        •  Key point – 
                                                                                                                                                                        1. The Central government is planning to bring a single national scholarship scheme by merging all the current scholarship schemes.
                                                                                                                                                                        2. Post Matric Scholarship for SCs is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched in 2006. The scholarship is available for studies in India only and is paid to the students whose guardians’ income is below Rs. 2,50,000 per annum.
                                                                                                                                                                        3. The Central government is contemplating setting up a single national scholarship scheme called PM Young Achievers Scholarship Award Scheme for Vibrant India (PM-YASASVI) for meritorious students which will absorb all the existing scholarship schemes. Students in the Other Backward Class (OBC), SC, Denotified, Nomadic and semi-Nomadic Tribe (DNT) and Economically Backward Caste (EBC) categories will be able to avail the national scholarship.
                                                                                                                                                                        4. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been tasked to implement the Scheme by conducting a merit test.
                                                                                                                                                                        5. Single National Scholarship Scheme will increase the reach of information about the govt scholarships, boost the importance of maintaining a basic curriculum and teaching standards across the country and Help improve the quality and implementation of scholarships.
                                                                                                                                                                        • The road ahead -
                                                                                                                                                                        1. The single national scholarship scheme under PM-YASASVI can be beneficial only if it is implemented properly, the government should leverage the experience of scholarship provider platforms while developing this new scholarship scheme.
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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 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bangladesh's National Padma Bhushan Professor Anisuzzaman died in May  2020 in Dhaka at the age of 83.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Knesset is the Parliament of Israel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in Aug 2020 virtually launched the Fit India Freedom Run, a country-wide event.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Russia is hosting multi-nation Kavkaz 2020 military exercise in Sept 2020.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • ITAT is Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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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hunger,1,Prelims,2054,Prelims CSAT,30,Prelims GS I,7,Prelims Paper I,189,Primary and middle education,10,Private bodies,1,Products and innovations,7,Professional sports,1,Protectionism and Nationalism,26,Racism,1,Rainfall,1,Rainfall and Monsoon,5,RBI,73,Reformers,3,Regional conflicts,1,Regional Conflicts,79,Regional Economy,16,Regional leaders,43,Regional leaders.UPSC Mains GS II,1,Regional Politics,149,Regional Politics – Regional leaders,1,Regionalism and nationalism,1,Regulator bodies,1,Regulatory bodies,63,Religion,44,Religion – Hinduism,1,Renewable energy,4,Reports,102,Reports and Rankings,119,Reservations and affirmative,1,Reservations and affirmative action,42,Revolutionaries,1,Rights and duties,12,Roads and Railways,5,Russia,3,schemes,1,Science and Techmology,1,Science and Technlogy,1,Science and Technology,819,Science and Tehcnology,1,Sciene and Technology,1,Scientists and thinkers,1,Separatism and insurgencies,2,September 2020,26,September 2021,444,SociaI Issues,1,Social Issue,2,Social issues,1308,Social media,3,South Asia,10,Space technology,70,Startups and entrepreneurship,1,Statistics,7,Study material,280,Super powers,7,Super-powers,24,TAP 2020-21 Sessions,3,Taxation,39,Taxation and revenues,23,Technology and environmental issues in India,16,Telecom,3,Terroris,1,Terrorism,103,Terrorist organisations and leaders,1,Terrorist acts,10,Terrorist acts and leaders,1,Terrorist organisations and leaders,14,Terrorist organizations and leaders,1,The Hindu editorials analysis,58,Tournaments,1,Tournaments and competitions,5,Trade barriers,3,Trade blocs,2,Treaties and Alliances,1,Treaties and Protocols,43,Trivia and Miscalleneous,1,Trivia and miscellaneous,43,UK,1,UN,114,Union budget,20,United Nations,6,UPSC Mains GS I,584,UPSC Mains GS II,3969,UPSC Mains GS III,3071,UPSC Mains GS IV,191,US,63,USA,3,Warfare,20,World and Indian Geography,24,World Economy,404,World figures,39,World Geography,23,World History,21,World Poilitics,1,World Politics,612,World Politics.UPSC Mains GS II,1,WTO,1,WTO and regional pacts,4,अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संस्थाएं,10,गणित सिद्धान्त पुस्तिका,13,तार्किक कौशल,10,निर्णय क्षमता,2,नैतिकता और मौलिकता,24,प्रौद्योगिकी पर्यावरण मुद्दे,15,बोधगम्यता के मूल तत्व,2,भारत का प्राचीन एवं मध्यकालीन इतिहास,47,भारत का स्वतंत्रता संघर्ष,19,भारत में कला वास्तुकला एवं साहित्य,11,भारत में शासन,18,भारतीय कृषि एवं संबंधित मुद्दें,10,भारतीय संविधान,14,महत्वपूर्ण हस्तियां,6,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा,91,यूपीएससी मुख्य परीक्षा जीएस,117,यूरोपीय,6,विश्व इतिहास की मुख्य घटनाएं,16,विश्व एवं भारतीय भूगोल,24,स्टडी मटेरियल,266,स्वतंत्रता-पश्चात् भारत,15,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PT's IAS Academy: Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 31-08-2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 31-08-2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 31-08-2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PT's IAS Academy
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