Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 04-09-2020


Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 04-09-2020


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    1. World – FB to ban political ads in week before U.S. election – Facebook says it will ban political advertising the week before the U.S. election, one of its most sweeping moves against disinformation yet as CEO Mark Zuckerberg warned of a “risk of civil unrest” after the vote. The social media giant also vowed to fact check any premature claims of victory, stating that if a candidate tries to declare himself the winner before final votes are tallied “we’ll add a label to their posts directing people to the official results.” And it promised to “add an informational label” to any content seeking to delegitimize the results or claim that “lawful voting methods” will lead to fraud.
    2. World – Afghan govt. frees 400 Taliban prisoners ahead of Doha talks – The Afghanistan government has released 400 Taliban prisoners under an exchange deal with the militants, except for “a few” opposed by foreign nations, and expected peace negotiations to start soon. The two warring sides are set to launch direct talks in Qatar, tying up the end of a contentious and months-long prisoner exchange. Two Taliban officials confirmed the prisoners had been freed but that those opposed by France and Australia were still in custody. Paris and Canberra made protests over the release of the militants because of their links to the murders of French and Australian civilians and troops in Afghanistan.
    3. World – Kremlin rejects accusations that it poisoned Navalny – The Kremlin has rejected accusations that Russia had been responsible for the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny and said it saw no grounds for sanctions to be imposed against Moscow over the case. Mr. Navalny, 44, is an outspoken opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has specialised in high-impact investigations into official corruption. He was airlifted to Germany last month after collapsing on a domestic Russian flight after drinking a cup of tea that his allies said was poisoned. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow rejected any suggestion that Russia had been behind the attack on Mr. Navalny and warned other countries against jumping to hasty conclusions.
    4. Polity & Governance – In past 5 yrs, 60% of question hour lost to disruption – Opposition parties may be up in arms over suspension of question hour in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament but records show that over 60% of question hour’s time in Rajya Sabha in the past five years was wasted due to disruptions. Besides, this is not the first time that question hour has been suspended as it was done so on seven previous occasions, when the Congress led UPA was in power. The research division of Rajya Sabha secretariat, at the behest of Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, went into the records and found that during 2015-19, only about 40% of the total question hour time was used to raise questions and obtain oral responses from the government. Sources said the decision to suspend question hour was taken after presiding officers of both Houses were informed by the parliamentary affairs ministry that the government had consulted different political parties and there was a broad consensus. Only one party, Trinamool Congress, was against the idea.
    5. Business – Bank boards to clear loan rejig by 15th – The government has asked banks to obtain board approval for restructuring of corporate loans by September 15 after the K V Kamath-led committee submits its report in the first week. This was communicated to bank chiefs in their review meeting with finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Most banks have obtained board approval for restructuring of retail loans. The finance minister held a review meeting with the heads of all leading banks and finance companies through video conferencing on Thursday to review their preparedness for restructuring loans of borrowers that have come under stress related to Covid-19. In the meeting, the FM said that Covid-related distress must not impact the lenders’ assessment of their credit-worthiness. Banks have also been asked to be proactive and reach out to stressed borrowers who are eligible for restructuring. According to lenders, the eligibility of corporate borrowers can be determined only after the Kamath committee submits its report on the extent to which a loan in a particular sector can be restructured.
    6. Railways – Railway board gets its first-ever CEO-cum-chairman – Indian Railways has gone the corporate way, at least in its administrative set-up, with the railway board now having a CEO-cum-chairman with members. This is the biggest change since the board was formed in 1905. The decision to have a CEO was taken last year when the government had approved merger of all railway services into one service. The incumbent chief of the railway board was designated as the first chairman and CEO on September 2. The board has four members to deal with infrastructure, finance and other operations.
    7. Economy – IMF confirms India’s GDP worst-hit among G20 – A tweet put out by the International Monetary Fund's chief economist Gita Gopinath confirmed that the Indian economy saw the steepest contraction in the first quarter among G20 countries. “In #GreatLockdown Q2 2020 GDP growth at historical lows. Graph puts G20 growth numbers on a comparable scale, quarteron-quarter non-annualized. Should expect rebounds in Q3 but 2020 overall will see major contractions. China recovers strongly in Q2 after collapse in Q1,” the tweet read.
    8. Economy – Relief for borrowers in moratorium case – The SC has directed banks that loan accounts in the clear till the expiry of the moratorium on August 31 should not be declared as non-performing assets (NPAs) till further orders. The direction was triggered by an assurance from senior advocate Harish Salve, on behalf of the bankers that “no account shall become NPA at least for a period of two months”. The order was passed amid apprehensions raised by individual borrowers and representatives of various commercial sectors on whether their loans would be declared NPAs on September 1, the day after the expiry of the moratorium.
    9. Research/Study – Males account for over 80% accidental deaths – The gender skew in deaths due to accidents and suicides has aggravated over the years with males accounting for over 80% of 4.2 lakh accidental deaths and more than 70% of 1.4 lakh suicides last year. Half a century ago, those proportions were around 63% and 60% respectively. In the case of suicides, this change has happened largely over the last two decades, while in accidental deaths, the process has been more prolonged and driven at to a large extent by road accidents accounting for a larger share of them now than in the past. Data shows that there were 4.2 lakh accidental deaths in 2019. Of these 3.4 lakh were males and just under 81,000 females while 37 were transgender.
    10. COVID-19 – India only country among 20 worst hit with cases yet to peak – While India is setting new records for daily Covid-19 cases, in every other country among the top 20 in terms of cases, the daily addition is now well below the peak value the day when they reported maximum cases. India’s three-day average of fresh cases as on September 3 was 77,387 — 92.3% of the peak of 83,883 official cases — also reported on September 3. In no other country among the worst 20 was this even at 80%. India’s daily tally of Covid cases crossed 83,000 cases for the second consecutive day on September 3. India’s caseload went past 39 lakh to 39,28,110 according to data collated from states. The day’s reported deaths also rose to 1,088.
    Important Exam Notifications
    S. No.
    Exam or Post Name
    Vacancies or Seats
    Last Date to Apply
    Link for Details
    Medical Consultant
    AIIMS, New Delhi
    Scientist B, SRF, Computer Programmer, DEO, Lab Attendant
    Intermediate, Degree, PG, Ph.D
    IIIM, Jammu
    Senior Project Asso. Project Associate-I, II
    B.Tech/ M.Sc. / M.Pharm
    Trainee Engineer -I, Officer-I, Project Engineer -I, Officer-I
    BE/ B.Tech/ B.Sc (Engg), MBA, MSW
    Bundelkhand Medical College, Sagar
    Staff Nurse, Pharmacist Gr II
    B.Sc (Nursing), Diploma/Phar
    DHFWS, Puducherry
    GDMO, Nursing Officer, ANM, Driver, Sanitary Worker
    MBBS, B.Sc (Nursing)/ Dip
    03 to 05-09-2020
    MGNREGA, Tarn Taran
    Technical Assistant
    Diploma/ Degree (CE)
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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 Union Cabinet approves Mission Karmayogi
                    •  Key point –
                    1. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval for Mission Karmayogi, a new national capacity building and performance evaluation programme for civil servants.
                    2. Mission Karmayogi aims to prepare Indian civil servants for the future by making them more creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled.
                    • Important notes –
                    1. The scheme will cover 46 lakh Central government employees at all levels, and involve an outlay of ₹510 crore over a five-year period. An annual subscription of ₹431 will be charged per civil servant.
                    2. PM Modi said this exercise will “radically” improve the government’s human resource management practices and asserted it will use state-of-the-art infrastructure to augment the capacity of civil servants.
                    3. Officers and employees in the government will get an opportunity to improve their performance under the Mission Karmayogi.
                    • How will Mission Karmayogi unfold –
                    1. Mission Karmayogi programme will be delivered by setting up a digital platform called iGOTKarmayogi.
                    2. Empowered with specific role-competencies, a civil servant will be able to ensure efficient service delivery of the highest quality standards.
                    3. The platform will act as a launchpad for the National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB), which will enable a comprehensive reform of the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional and process levels.
                    4. NPCSCB will be governed by the PM’s Human Resource Council, which will also include state CMs, Union Cabinet ministers and experts. This council will approve and review civil service capacity building programmes.
                    5. Besides this, there will be a Cabinet Secretary Coordination Unit comprising of select secretaries and cadre controlling authorities.
                    6. Also, there will be a Capacity Building Commission, which will include experts in related fields and global professionals. This commission will prepare and monitor annual capacity building plans and audit human resources available in the government.
                    7. Finally, there will be a wholly-owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which will govern the iGOT-Karmayogi platform. It will be set up under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013.
                    8. The SPV will be a “not-for-profit” company and will own and manage iGOT-Karmayogi platform.

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

                                                        3.1 World Coconut Day 2020

                                                        • Key points – 
                                                        1. September 2 is observed as World Coconut Day. The main objective of celebrating this day is to create awareness across the globe about the importance of the coconut and its benefits.
                                                        2. The day is especially marked in countries under Asian and Pacific regions by the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) as they house most of the world’s coconut growing production centres.
                                                        • History of World Coconut Day –
                                                        1. The first celebration of world coconut day ever was in the year 2009.
                                                        2. The occasion is to commemorate the foundation day of APCC, which operates under the flagship authority of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).
                                                        3. The establishment of the founding of the intergovernmental entity of ICC or International Coconut community served as the launch of the event.
                                                        4. World Coconut Day is observed to create global awareness about coconut usage and its myriad benefits. It is to highlight the policies and express the plan of action.
                                                        5. Theme for World Coconut Day 2020 –
                                                        6. The theme of World Coconut Day 2020 this year is – “Invest in Coconut to save the world”.
                                                        7. It has been an annual ritual to mark the event with great enthusiasm. A massive turnout of farmers, industrial concerns of coconut productions, and businesspersons attend the event every year.
                                                        8. Awareness campaigns, technical sessions by expert speakers about the advantages of coconut usage and specialised knowledge in coconut farming are included in the event.

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

                                                                    4.1 Not Available Today
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                                                                                              • 5. GOVERNMENT SCHEMES (Prelims, GS Paper 2, GS Paper 3)
                                                                                            5.1 IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launches startup contest ‘Chunauti’

                                                                                            • Key points –
                                                                                            1. Union Minister for Electronics and Infomation Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a NextGen Startup Challenge Contest CHUNAUTI (Challenge Hunt Under NGIS for Advanced Uninhibited Technology Intervention).
                                                                                            2. Chunauti aims to identify the best 300 startups from the tier-2 cities.
                                                                                            3. The contest aims to provide the seed funds of up to Rs. 25 Lakh and other facilities such as cloud services.
                                                                                            4. The start-ups that are in the ideation stage may be selected under the pre-incubation program and mentored for six months and will be paid Rs 10,000 per month for up to 6 months.
                                                                                            5. Application submission ends on 07th September 2020 and results to be announced on 28th September 2020.
                                                                                            6. The Union Minister also laid the foundation stone of the digital training and skilling center of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) at Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
                                                                                            • Highlights –
                                                                                            1. It is a challenge under NGIS to find the products & solutions to address the issues/challenges faced during and post-pandemic situation.
                                                                                            2. Under this challenge, the Ministry aims to invite around 300 startups from areas such as Edu-tech, Agri-tech, and Fintech solutions for masses, supply chain, logistics, and transportation management.
                                                                                            3. Startups working in infrastructure and remote monitoring, medical healthcare, diagnostic, preventive and psychological care, jobs, and skilling, as well as linguistic tools and technologies, are also invited under this contest.
                                                                                            4. The government assigned Rs 95.03 crore over a period of three years for this program. CHUNAUTI will be conducted in a single stage.
                                                                                            5. The 300 startups thus selected through the Chunauti contest will then be with incubation facilities, mentorship, access to venture capitalist funding, security testing facilities, industry connect and advisories in legal, HR, IPR, and Patent matters.
                                                                                            6. The startups will also be provided with cloud services with support from the Government through the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) centers across India.
                                                                                            7. The launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call to help India develop into an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
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                                                                                                              • 6. MISCELLANEOUS (Prelims, Various GS Papers)
                                                                                                            6.1 Weekly Round-up – Accidents and Natural Disasters
                                                                                                            • Telangana: Nine killed in Srisailam powerhouse unit fire - Nine people, including five engineers, were killed in a fire in one of the units of the State-run hydel station of the Srisailam project on the Telangana side of the inter-State border across the Krishna on August 20, 2020 and gradually engulfed the entire area. The left canal of the project serves Telangana while the right canal meets the irrigation requirements of Andhra Pradesh.
                                                                                                            • Carrier that ran aground, spilled oil off Mauritian coast, breaks up - MV Wakashio, the carrier that ran aground on July 25 and spilled oil off Mauritian coast, broke up on August 16, 2020. Scientists say the full impact of the spill is still unfolding, but the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism.
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                                                                                                                                              • 7. POLITY (Prelims, GS Paper 2)
                                                                                                                                            7.1 Weekly Round-up
                                                                                                                                            • Cabinet approves setting up of National Recruitment Agency - The Union Cabinet on August 19, 2020 approved the creation of a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) for conducting a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts. Under the NRA, the candidates by appearing in one examination will get an opportunity to compete for many posts.  
                                                                                                                                            • NRA shall conduct a separate CET each for the three levels of graduate, higher secondary (12th pass) and the matriculate (10th pass) candidates for those non-technical posts to which recruitment is presently carried out by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS).  
                                                                                                                                            • Based on the screening done at the CET score level, final selection for recruitment shall be made through separate specialised Tiers (II, III etc) of examination which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.
                                                                                                                                            • The curriculum for CET would be common as would be the standard. This would greatly ease the burden of candidates who are at present required to prepare for each of the examinations separately as per different curriculum.
                                                                                                                                            • Home Ministry uploads details of proclaimed offenders on its portal - On the directions of the Supreme Court, the Union Home Ministry has uploaded the details of proclaimed offenders across the country on its portal, digitalpolice.gov.in. The portal was launched in 2017 for citizens to file crime-related complaints and seek antecedent verification of prospective employees, tenants and to seek certification of their own antecedents.
                                                                                                                                            • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) was tasked to develop the system. The NCRB launched the online citizen service on August 21, 2020.
                                                                                                                                            • Directors General of Police of all States were asked to mandatorily fill the “proclaimed offenders” details and their photographs on the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).
                                                                                                                                            • The CCTNS software interconnects more than 15,000 police stations and additional 5,000 offices of supervisory police officers across the country and has digitised data related to FIR registration, investigation and chargesheets in all police stations.
                                                                                                                                            • Organisations can get health status using Aarogya Setu through prior consent - Aarogya Setu has rolled out a new feature that will enable organisations to get the health status of their employees or any other user without violating their data privacy, an official release said on August 22, 2020. Aarogya Setu has now emerged as the most downloaded contact tracing app in the world, with more than 15 crore users.
                                                                                                                                            • The new feature called ‘Open API Service’ will help people, businesses and the economy to return to normalcy, and aims to address the fear/risk of COVID-19 infection.
                                                                                                                                            • The service can be availed by organisations and business entities, who are registered in India with more than 50 employees, and they can use it to query the Aarogya Setu application in real-time and get the health status of their employees or any other Aarogya Setu user, who have provided their consent for sharing their health status with that entity.
                                                                                                                                            • The Open API (Application Programming Interface) shall only provide the Aarogya Setu status and name of the Aarogya Setu User with their consent.
                                                                                                                                            • No other personal data shall be provided through the API.
                                                                                                                                            • Registration for the new service can be done at openapi.aarogyasetu.gov.in.
                                                                                                                                            • IIT Madras retains number-one position in list of top innovative educational institutes in India
                                                                                                                                            • The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras has retained its number-one position in the list of top innovative educational institutes in India for the second consecutive year.
                                                                                                                                            • The premier institute has been ranked number-one in the ‘Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements,’ released by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, in presence of Union Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank,’ in a virtual event on August 18, 2020.
                                                                                                                                            • The ranking was launched in 2019 by the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education. 674 Institutions of National Importance, Central Universities and centrally funded technical institutions participated in the rankings this year, as compared to 496 last year.
                                                                                                                                            • Ministry of Human Resource Development renamed as Ministry of Education - President Ram Nath Kovind on August 17, 2020 gave assent to the change in name of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) as Ministry of Education. The name change was among the key recommendations of the draft new National Education Policy (NEP). The Ministry of Education was renamed as the HRD ministry in 1985 during the tenure of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
                                                                                                                                            • Centre releases SOP for resuming film shooting - Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on August 23, 2020 released standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the resumption of production of films and television series. The Ministry has advised that a minimum number of cast and crew be involved, no visitors or audience are to be allowed, and in case of outdoor shootings coordination has to be done with the local police and the administration. Common locations such as sets, cafeteria, make-up rooms, edit rooms, vanity vans and washrooms have to be sanitised regularly. The Ministry has advised the industry to discontinue usage of lapel microphones. Costumes, hair wigs and make-up items for actors should not be shared. Make-up artists and hairstylists have been advised to use PPE. A designated COVID-19 supervisor shall be nominated from among the cast and the crew.
                                                                                                                                            • SC to examine when corruption allegations against judiciary can be made public - The Supreme Court on August 17, 2020 decided to launch a detailed examination into the circumstances under which a person can make public allegations of corruption against the judiciary. The court also decided to hear arguments on laying down a procedure to be adopted if such statements of corruption are made in public against sitting as well as retired judges. The Bench framed the two questions while hearing a contempt case initiated against advocate Prashant Bhushan for his remarks on corruption in judiciary in an interview to Tehelka magazine published in 2009.
                                                                                                                                            • NHAI launches ‘Harit Path’ mobile app to monitor plantation projects along highways - The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (RTH), has developed a mobile App called ‘Harit Path’ to monitor location, growth, species details, maintenance activities, targets and achievements of each of its field units for each and every plant under all plantation projects.  The app was inaugurated by the Union Minister for RTH Nitin Gadkari on August 21, 2020. According to an NHAI release, to commemorate 25 years of its service to the nation, it also conducted ‘Harit Bharat Sankalp’, a nation-wide plantation drive from July 21 to August 15 along the stretches of the National Highways.
                                                                                                                                            • Tribal Health and Nutrition Portal ‘Swasthya’ & e-newsletter ALEKH launched - Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda on August 17, 2020 launched the Tribal Health and Nutrition Portal ‘Swasthya’ and quarterly e-newsletter on health and nutrition ALEKH. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has recognized Piramal Swasthya as the Centre of Excellence for Knowledge Management (CoE for KM) for Health and Nutrition.
                                                                                                                                            • ‘eSanjeevani’ telemedicine service records 2 lakh tele-consultations - The ‘eSanjeevani’ digital platform of the Union government has provided two lakh tele-consultations, the health ministry said on August 19, 2020. The platform was launched in November 2019. The eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of telemedicine services -- doctor-to-doctor (eSanjeevani) and patient-to-doctor (eSanjeevani OPD) tele-consultations.
                                                                                                                                            • Indian Railways procures Ninja drones for security surveillance - The Mumbai Division of Central Railway has recently procured two Ninja unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for monitoring its assets and ensure safety for passengers, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said. The UAVs are being used for surveillance in railway areas like station premises, railway track sections, yards, workshops.
                                                                                                                                            • Rajiv Kumar appointed new Election Commissioner - Former Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar was on August 21, 2020 appointed as Election Commissioner by the Centre. Kumar has been appointed in place of Ashok Lavasa, who has resigned to join the Asian Development of Bank. After retirement, he was appointed as Chairperson of the Public Sector Enterprises Selection Board, which selects top officials for PSUs.
                                                                                                                                            • Rakesh Asthana appointed Director General of BSF - Gujarat cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was on August 17, 2020 appointed as the Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF) up to July 31, 2021. Asthana is at present working as the Director General of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). Asthana, a 1984 batch IPS officer, is also holding additional charge of DG, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). BSF is a paramilitary force guarding India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
                                                                                                                                            • V. S. K. Kaumudi appointed Special Secretary (Internal Security) in Home Ministry - V S K Kaumudi, a 1986 batch IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre, was on August 17, 2020 appointed Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the Ministry of Home Affairs up to November 30, 2022. He is presently working as DG, Bureau of Police research and Development (BPR&D).
                                                                                                                                            • UP: Manduadih railway station in Varanasi district to be renamed as Banaras - The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved the renaming of Manduadih railway station in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh as ‘Banaras’. The name change was requested by the UP government. The MHA is the nodal Ministry if any State wants to change the name of a district or a railway station.
                                                                                                                                            • MP to offer govt. jobs on the basis of score in CET conducted by NRA - Madhya Pradesh will offer government jobs to candidates on the basis of their score in the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) test, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on August 20, 2020. He claimed MP is the first state to take such a decision. On August 9, the Union Cabinet approved creation of a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct an online Common Eligibility Test (CET) for selecting candidates for majority of central government jobs.
                                                                                                                                            • ADB to give $ 1 billion loan for 82-km Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 1 billion (about Rs 7,485 crore) loan for the construction of the modern, high-speed 82-km Delhi-Meerut regional rapid transit system that aims to provide safe, reliable and seamless travel between Delhi and other NCR cities.
                                                                                                                                            • Serving & retired soldiers in Maharashtra exempted from panchayat property tax - All serving and retired soldiers in Maharashtra will be exempted from the Gram Panchayat property tax, Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif announced on August 19, 2020. Till now, the recipients of defence gallantry awards or their dependents were exempted.
                                                                                                                                            • Rajasthan govt. launches Indira Rasoi scheme for the poor - Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on August 20, 2020 launched the Indira Rasoi scheme that will provide poor and needy people with nutritious food at Rs 8 per plate in urban areas. 100 grams of pulses, 100 grams of vegetables, 250 grams of chapati and pickles per plate will be provided to people in 358 Indira Rasois (kitchens) across the state
                                                                                                                                            • Manipur: Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone for 13 highway projects - Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari on August 17, 2020 laid the foundation stone for 13 highway projects worth Rs 3,000 crore in Manipur. The said projects involve a road length of 316 kilometres. Gadkari asked Chief Minister N. Biren Singh to expedite land acquisition for the projects.
                                                                                                                                            • Satya Pal Malik appointed Meghalaya Governor - The present Governor of Goa Satya Pal Malik has been appointed as the Governor for Meghalaya by President Ram Nath Kovind. Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will discharge the functions of the Governor of Goa in addition to his own duties.
                                                                                                                                            • BJP’s Jai Prakash Nishad elected to Rajya Sabha from UP - BJP candidate Jai Prakash Nishad was declared elected to Rajya Sabha unopposed from Uttar Pradesh on August 17, 2020. This byelection was necessitated following the death of Samajwadi Party MP Beni Prasad Verma. His tenure was till July 4, 2022.
                                                                                                                                            • West Bengal: Trinamool Congress MLA Samaresh Das dies at 76 - Trinamool Congress MLA Samaresh Das, who had tested positive for COVID-19 recently, died in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district on August 17, 2020 at the age of 76. He was three-time MLA from Egra assembly constituency in the district.

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

                                                                                                                                                                        8.1 India jumps 4 places to rank among top 50 in Global Innovation Index

                                                                                                                                                                        •  Key point – 
                                                                                                                                                                        1. Marking a major advancement amid the coronavirus pandemic, India has moved up four places to rank 48th in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 report which was released on September 2.
                                                                                                                                                                        2. Compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Cornell University and INSEAD business school, the index assessed 131 economies.
                                                                                                                                                                        • Detailed report –
                                                                                                                                                                        1. Switzerland, Sweden, the US, the UK and the Netherlands lead the innovation ranking.
                                                                                                                                                                        2. South Korea joined the top 10 for the first time while Singapore is at number 8. The top 10 is dominated by high-income countries.
                                                                                                                                                                        3. While the innovation index shows year-on-year stability at the top, there is a gradual eastward shift in the locus of innovation as a group of Asian economies - notably, China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam -- have advanced considerably in the innovation ranking over the years.
                                                                                                                                                                        4. India retained the highest rank in the Central and Southern Asian region, followed by Iran.
                                                                                                                                                                        5. Moving up four positions since last year, India became the third most innovative lower-middle-income economy in the world.
                                                                                                                                                                        6. It ranks in the top 15 in indicators such as ICT services exports, government online services, graduates in science and engineering, and R&D-intensive global companies.
                                                                                                                                                                        7. Thanks to universities such as the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, and its top scientific publications, India is the lower-middle-income economy with the highest innovation quality.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 9. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (Prelims, GS Paper 3)
                                                                                                                                                                                                    9.1 Scientists detect mysterious ‘intermediate mass’ black hole

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key point – 
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Scientists have annoumced the discovery of a black hole — the oldest ever detected — that shouldn't even exist according to the current understanding of cosmic monsters so dense not even light can escape their gravitational pull.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Important details –
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Born of a merger between two other black holes, GW190521 weighs in at 142 times the mass of our Sun and is the first “intermediate mass” black hole ever observed, two consortiums of some 1,500 scientists reported in a pair of studies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A so-called stellar-class black hole forms when a dying star collapses, and is typically three to ten solar masses in size.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Supermassive black holes found at the centre of most galaxies, including the Milky Way, range from millions to billions of solar masses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Up to now, black holes with mass 100 to 1,000 times that of our Sun had never been found.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. This is the first evidence of a black hole in this mass range; it may lead to a paradigm shift in the astrophysics of black holes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    6. The findings, experts believe, support the idea that supermassive black holes could be formed through the repeated merger of these mid-sized bodies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    7. What scientists actually observed were gravitational waves produced more than seven billion years ago when GW190521 was formed by the collision of two smaller black holes of 85 and 65 solar masses.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    8. When they smashed together, eight solar masses worth of energy was released, creating one of the most powerful events in the Universe since the Big Bang.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    9. Gravitational waves were first measured in September 2015, earning the lead researchers a physics Nobel two years later.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    10. Albert Einstein anticipated gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity, which theorised that they spread through the Universe at the speed of light.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Challenge to current models –
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. GW190521 was detected on May 21, 2019 by three interferometers, which can measure a change thousands of times smaller than an atomic nucleus as gravitational waves pass Earth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. According to current knowledge, the gravitational collapse of a star cannot form black holes in the range of 60 to 120 solar masses because — at that size — the stars are completely blown apart by the supernova explosion that accompanies collapse.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. And yet, the two black holes that gave rise to GW190521 were both in the range. This event is a challenge for the current models of black hole formation. It is also a hint of how much is still not known.

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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 -
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Hulhumalé Central Park is being developed in Maldives with Indian assistance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The Union Cabinet recently approved the proposal for leasing out airports at Jaipur., Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram through public-private partnership (PPP).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Arjuna Award winner Chetan Chauhan passed away at the age of 73 on August 16, 2020.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • The RBI recently said that a special liquidity facility of ₹ 5,000 crore is being provided to NABARD to improve fund availability for Non-Banking Finance Companies and Micro Finance Institutions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Defence Institute of Advanced Technology, Pune has developed Medical Bed Isolation System ‘Aashray’ to combat COVID-19.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            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!




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            01-01-2020,1,04-08-2021,1,05-08-2021,1,06-08-2021,1,28-06-2021,1,Abrahamic religions,6,Afganistan,1,Afghanistan,35,Afghanitan,1,Afghansitan,1,Africa,2,Agri tech,2,Agriculture,150,Ancient and Medieval History,51,Ancient History,4,Ancient sciences,1,April 2020,25,April 2021,22,Architecture and Literature of India,11,Armed forces,1,Art Culture and Literature,1,Art Culture Entertainment,2,Art Culture Languages,3,Art Culture Literature,10,Art Literature Entertainment,1,Artforms and Artists,1,Article 370,1,Arts,11,Athletes and Sportspersons,2,August 2020,24,August 2021,239,August-2021,3,Authorities and Commissions,4,Aviation,3,Awards and Honours,26,Awards and HonoursHuman Rights,1,Banking,1,Banking credit finance,13,Banking-credit-finance,19,Basic of Comprehension,2,Best Editorials,4,Biodiversity,46,Biotechnology,47,Biotechology,1,Centre State relations,19,CentreState relations,1,China,81,Citizenship and immigration,24,Civils Tapasya - English,92,Climage Change,3,Climate and weather,44,Climate change,60,Climate Chantge,1,Colonialism and imperialism,3,Commission and Authorities,1,Commissions and Authorities,27,Constitution and Law,467,Constitution and laws,1,Constitutional and statutory roles,19,Constitutional issues,128,Constitutonal Issues,1,Cooperative,1,Cooperative Federalism,10,Coronavirus variants,7,Corporates,3,Corporates Infrastructure,1,Corporations,1,Corruption and transparency,16,Costitutional issues,1,Covid,104,Covid Pandemic,1,COVID VIRUS NEW STRAIN DEC 2020,1,Crimes against women,15,Crops,10,Cryptocurrencies,2,Cryptocurrency,7,Crytocurrency,1,Currencies,5,Daily Current Affairs,453,Daily MCQ,32,Daily MCQ Practice,573,Daily MCQ Practice - 01-01-2022,1,Daily MCQ Practice - 17-03-2020,1,DCA-CS,286,December 2020,26,Decision Making,2,Defence and Militar,2,Defence and Military,281,Defence forces,9,Demography and Prosperity,36,Demonetisation,2,Destitution and poverty,7,Discoveries and Inventions,8,Discovery and Inventions,1,Disoveries and Inventions,1,Eastern religions,2,Economic & Social Development,2,Economic Bodies,1,Economic treaties,5,Ecosystems,3,Education,119,Education and employment,5,Educational institutions,3,Elections,37,Elections in India,16,Energy,134,Energy laws,3,English Comprehension,3,Entertainment Games and Sport,1,Entertainment Games and Sports,33,Entertainment Games and Sports – Athletes and sportspersons,1,Entrepreneurship and startups,1,Entrepreneurships and startups,1,Enviroment and Ecology,2,Environment and Ecology,228,Environment destruction,1,Environment Ecology and Climage Change,1,Environment Ecology and Climate Change,458,Environment Ecology Climate Change,5,Environment protection,12,Environmental protection,1,Essay paper,643,Ethics and Values,26,EU,27,Europe,1,Europeans in India and important personalities,6,Evolution,4,Facts and Charts,4,Facts and numbers,1,Features of Indian economy,31,February 2020,25,February 2021,23,Federalism,2,Flora and fauna,6,Foreign affairs,507,Foreign exchange,9,Formal and informal economy,13,Fossil fuels,14,Fundamentals of the Indian Economy,10,Games SportsEntertainment,1,GDP GNP PPP etc,12,GDP-GNP PPP etc,1,GDP-GNP-PPP etc,20,Gender inequality,9,Geography,10,Geography and Geology,2,Global trade,22,Global treaties,2,Global warming,146,Goverment decisions,4,Governance and Institution,2,Governance and Institutions,773,Governance and Schemes,221,Governane and Institutions,1,Government decisions,226,Government Finances,2,Government Politics,1,Government schemes,358,GS I,93,GS II,66,GS III,38,GS IV,23,GST,8,Habitat destruction,5,Headlines,22,Health and medicine,1,Health and medicine,56,Healtha and Medicine,1,Healthcare,1,Healthcare and Medicine,98,Higher education,12,Hindu individual editorials,54,Hinduism,9,History,216,Honours and Awards,1,Human rights,249,IMF-WB-WTO-WHO-UNSC etc,2,Immigration,6,Immigration and citizenship,1,Important Concepts,68,Important Concepts.UPSC Mains GS III,3,Important Dates,1,Important Days,35,Important exam concepts,11,Inda,1,India,29,India Agriculture and related issues,1,India Economy,1,India's Constitution,14,India's independence struggle,19,India's international relations,4,India’s international relations,7,Indian Agriculture and related issues,9,Indian and world media,5,Indian Economy,1248,Indian Economy – Banking credit finance,1,Indian Economy – Corporates,1,Indian Economy.GDP-GNP-PPP etc,1,Indian Geography,1,Indian history,33,Indian judiciary,119,Indian Politcs,1,Indian Politics,637,Indian Politics – Post-independence India,1,Indian Polity,1,Indian Polity and Governance,2,Indian Society,1,Indias,1,Indias international affairs,1,Indias international relations,30,Indices and Statistics,98,Indices and Statstics,1,Industries and services,32,Industry and services,1,Inequalities,2,Inequality,103,Inflation,33,Infra projects and financing,6,Infrastructure,252,Infrastruture,1,Institutions,1,Institutions and bodies,267,Institutions and bodies Panchayati Raj,1,Institutionsandbodies,1,Instiutions and Bodies,1,Intelligence and security,1,International Institutions,10,international relations,2,Internet,11,Inventions and discoveries,10,Irrigation Agriculture Crops,1,Issues on Environmental Ecology,3,IT and Computers,23,Italy,1,January 2020,26,January 2021,25,July 2020,5,July 2021,207,June,1,June 2020,45,June 2021,369,June-2021,1,Juridprudence,2,Jurisprudence,91,Jurisprudence Governance and Institutions,1,Land reforms and productivity,15,Latest Current Affairs,1136,Law and order,45,Legislature,1,Logical Reasoning,9,Major events in World History,16,March 2020,24,March 2021,23,Markets,182,Maths Theory Booklet,14,May 2020,24,May 2021,25,Meetings and Summits,27,Mercantilism,1,Military and defence alliances,5,Military technology,8,Miscellaneous,454,Modern History,15,Modern historym,1,Modern technologies,42,Monetary and financial policies,20,monsoon and climate change,1,Myanmar,1,Nanotechnology,2,Nationalism and protectionism,17,Natural disasters,13,New Laws and amendments,57,News media,3,November 2020,22,Nuclear technology,11,Nuclear techology,1,Nuclear weapons,10,October 2020,24,Oil economies,1,Organisations and treaties,1,Organizations and treaties,2,Pakistan,2,Panchayati Raj,1,Pandemic,137,Parks reserves sanctuaries,1,Parliament and Assemblies,18,People and Persoalities,1,People and Persoanalities,2,People and Personalites,1,People and Personalities,189,Personalities,46,Persons and achievements,1,Pillars of science,1,Planning and management,1,Political bodies,2,Political parties and leaders,26,Political philosophies,23,Political treaties,3,Polity,485,Pollution,62,Post independence India,21,Post-Governance in India,17,post-Independence India,46,Post-independent India,1,Poverty,46,Poverty and 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 - 04-09-2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 04-09-2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Useful compilation of Civil Services oriented - Daily Current Affairs - Civil Services - 04-09-2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PT's IAS Academy
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