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. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia
An MoU between India and Australia has been approved by the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, for collaboration in capacity building, research and development and making an impact for sustainable groundwater management.
This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is inked between Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga rejuvenation, and Managing Aquifer Recharge and Sustaining Groundwater use through village-level intervention (MARVI) PARTNERS, Australia.
The objective behind this MoU is to promote cooperation in surface and groundwater training, education and research to achieve water security for agricultural, urban, industrial and environmental purposes.
2. Biofortified varieties of 8 crops
Under the objective of transforming Indian thali into Nutri-thali, the National Agricultural Research System under the leadership of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) recently developed biofortified varieties of 8 crops.
This development will have up to a 3.0-fold increase in nutritional value. The rice variety CR Dhan 315 has high zinc; wheat variety HI 1633 rich in protein, iron and zinc, HD 3298 rich in protein and iron and DBW 303 and DDW 48 rich in protein in wheat; Ladhowal Quality Protein Maize Hybrid 1, 2 and 3 rich in lysine and tryptophan; CFMV1 and 2 of finger millet rich in calcium, iron and zinc; CLMV1 of little Millet rich in iron and zinc; Pusa Mustard 32 with low erucic acid; Girnar 4 and 5 of groundnut with enhanced oleic acid and yam variety Sri Neelima and DA 340 with enhanced zinc, iron and anthocyanin content.
These varieties have been developed by utilizing the local landraces and farmer’s varieties. The high zinc rice has been developed from landraces of Assam rice collected from Garo hills and those of finger millets from Gujarat collections of Dang district.
The producing of bio-fortified crop varieties will be expanded and linked with government programmes of mid-day meal, Anganwadi etc. to turn down malnutrition and build India Kuposhan Mukta through naturally enriched food ingredients. This will also guide in the higher income of farmers and will open new avenues of entrepreneurship development.
3. Project STARS
For improving school education, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States (STARS) project. For the implementation of the project, Government has approved 5718 crore with the financial support of World Bank amounting to the US $ 500 million (approximately Rs. 3700 crore).
The STARS project would be set up as a new centrally sponsored scheme under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education (MoE). Initially, the project will cover 6 States namely; Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha.
Besides this project, there is also some similar Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project in 5 states namely; Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Assam.
4. The G20 Meeting
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Saudi Arabian Presidency.
In this video conference meeting, the Ministers and Governors of G20 countries have gathered together and discussed the current global economic outlook and G20’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other G20 Finance Track priorities for the year 2020.
One of the main outcomes of the G20 Action Plan has been the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) which provides time-bound suspension of debt service payments for the low-income debtor countries that request forbearance. The initiative was initially in force till the end of 2020.
In the backdrops of the continued liquidity pressures, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors agreed to extend the DSSI by 6 months, and also they will examine the DSSI by the time of the 2021 IMF/WBG Spring Meetings if the economic and financial situation requires a further extension of the DSSI.
5. The Government of India allows additional borrowing by 20 States
The Finance Ministry has permitted 20 States to raise ₹68,825 crore through open market borrowings. These 20 States had conveyed their acceptance of the first borrowing option offered by the Centre to meet GST compensation shortfalls.
Under this scheme, the States could borrow ₹1.1 lakh crore from the market with principal and interest payments to be paid out of GST cess collections whose levy has been extended beyond 2022.
Articles 293(3) and 293(4) of the Constitution of India requires states to obtain the Centre’s consent in order to borrow in case the state is indebted to the Centre over a previous loan and this consent can also be granted subject to certain conditions by virtue respectively.
In practice, the Centre has been exercising this power in accordance with the recommendations of the Finance Commission.