Daily news will speed up the preparation for the Civil Services Examination and it also plays a crucial role to grasp the current affairs topic comprehensively. Here we have covered most of the topics related to various categories including National, International, Sports, Science and Technology, and so on.
1. Toys (Quality Control) Order, 2020
– The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India today issued a notification, extending the date of implementation of Toys (Quality Control) Order, 2020 as 1.1.2021 in place of 1.9.2020.
– This decision will provide domestic manufacturers an extra time of four months to make necessary arrangements for compliance of standards in view of difficulties arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Indian and U.S. Defense Delegations
– The 10th Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Group Meeting was held virtually on September 15, 2020.
– The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, from the Indian Ministry of Defence and Ms. Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, from the U.S. Department of Defense. DTTI Group Meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and therefore the United States.
– Due to COVID-19, a meeting was held virtually.
– The aim of the DTTI Group is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defense trade relationship and make opportunities for co-production and co-development of defense equipment.
– Four Joint Working Groups focused on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies have been established under DTTI to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains.
– Further efforts to encourage U.S. and Indian industry to cooperatively develop next-generation technologies under the DTTI Group were highlighted by the first DTTI Industry Collaboration Forum (DICF), which happened virtually on September 10, 2020.
– The DICF was convened by Shri Sanjay Jaju, Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Production), Mr. Michael Vaccaro, Director, International Armaments Cooperation, and Ms. Amy Murray, Director, Small Business Programs.
– This forum offers a chance for Indian and U.S. industry to be directly involved in DTTI and facilitates dialogue between government and industry on issues that impact industrial collaboration.
3. Mekedatu project
– The government of Karnataka is likely to take a delegation to bring pressure on the Centre to approve the construction of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir that has been proposed to store water for drinking purposes.
– Mekedatu is a location along Cauvery in Kanakapura Taluk of Ramanagara District of Karnataka.
– To meet Bengaluru’s water problem, Karnataka wants a reservoir across Cauvery at Mekedatu.
The current status of the project is:
- Karnataka State government in 2017 approved Rs. 9,000 crore project.
- Union Water Resources Ministry gave its approval for the detailed project report and is awaiting approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF).
- Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme Court against the project.
4. USA Sanctions against ICC Officials
– The USA announced sanctions which include asset freezes and visa bans against two officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their investigation into alleged war crimes by the USA forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Afghanistan since 2003.
– The USA has considered the ICC a threat to USA sovereignty and announced the strict punitive measures that are generally reserved to be used against terror groups and those people accused of abusing human rights.
– USA had never ratified the “Rome Statute”, which created the ICC in 1998, and thus is not subject to its rulings.
– The USA administration also called ICC a thoroughly broken and corrupted institution.
– ICC’s Stand on USA Sanctions: An unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the Court’s judicial proceedings.
– The USA decision has been criticised by the United Nations, the European Union, 10 members of the UN Security Council, including the UK and France, as well as several international human rights agencies, all of which have called for the sanctions to be reversed.
5. Supplementary Demands for Grants
– The Centre has sought Parliament approval for a gross additional expenditure of ₹2.35 lakh crore for 2020-21.
– The Minister of Finance presented the first batch of Supplementary Demands for Grants for this financial year in the Lok Sabha.
– Out of the gross additional expenditure of Rs 2.35 lakh crore, Rs 1.67 lakh crore is the net cash outgo and Rs 68,868 crore is matched by savings of the Ministries/Departments or by enhanced receipts/recoveries.
Due to Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s supplementary demand includes additional allocations to pay for:
- In March 2020, Relief measures announced as part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana including insurance schemes, food security, cash transfer, help to small companies for paying employees etc.
- In May, 2020, Aatmanirbhar Bharat stimulus package was announced and expected to focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws.
- Grants-in-aid for the State Disaster Response Funds, in accordance with the interim recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.
- Grants for bank recapitalisation
- Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme etc which is suffering from a fund crunch.
6. Methane Hydrates in Krishna-Godavari Basin
– Recently, a study was conducted by the researchers on biogenic methane hydrate in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) Basin at the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI). It is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
– Biogenic Methane is produced from the metabolic activities of living organisms.
– The research team has identified the methanogens that produced the biogenic methane trapped as methane hydrate, which may be a big source of energy.
– Methanogens are microorganisms that produce methane as a metabolic by-product in hypoxic (low levels of oxygen) conditions.
– The ARI team has documented a predominance of genus Methanosarcina in the KG basin, followed by a few other genera Methanoculleus, Methanobacterium.
– Methane hydrate is formed when hydrogen-bonded water and methane gas come into contact at high pressures and low temperatures such as in oceans.