Daily Gist of ‘The Hindu’, ‘PIB’, ‘Indian Express’ and Other Newspapers: 26 February, 2021

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. Consecration ceremony of Mahamrityunjayatemple

Why in news?

Union Home Minister Amit Shah attended the consecration ceremony of Mahamrityunjayatemple in Naugaon, Assam on 26 February, 2021.

Key points are:

– Amit Shah said that it was a privilege to participate in the consecration ceremony of the world’s tallest 126 feet high Shivling in the Mahamrityunjaya temple.

– The vow of Shri Bhrigugiri Ji Maharaj has been fulfilled. The Union Home Minister said that he prayed to Mahadev for the good health and prosperity of all countrymen.

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– Amit Shah also visited Boroduapilgrimage, the birthplace of MahapurushShrimantShankardev.

– ShrimantShankardev started the new Vaishnav tradition from this holy land and made the Vaishnavite tradition vibrant. It was from here that Shri Shankardev started to give a new devotional culture to Assam and Shri Madhavdev took it forward.

– Besides starting the Bhakti Movement, ShrimantShankardevinitiated several steps for the unity of India.

– Amit Shah also said that Mahatma Gandhi had said during the Freedom Movement that “Assam is very fortunate that Shankardevwas born here 500 years ago, who gave the people of Assam a model that revived the concept of Ram Rajya.”

  1. 2nd Khelo India National Winter Games

Why in news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural address at 2nd Khelo India National Winter Games through video conference.

Key points are:

– Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the second edition of Khelo India-Winter Games is starting from 26 February, 2021.

– This is a major step towards making Jammu and Kashmir a major hub with India’s effective presence in the Winter Games.

– The Prime Minister said that sports has a global dimension and this vision has been guiding the recent reforms in the sports ecosystem. There is a holistic approach from the Khelo India Campaign to Olympic Podium stadium.

– Hand holding of sports professionals is being done from recognition of talent at grassroot level to bringing them to the highest global platform.

– The Prime Minister informed that Institutes of Higher education and Sports University are being established for sports.

– He emphasized the need to take  sports sciences and sports management to the school level as that will improve the career prospects of the youth and will enhance India’s presence in the sports economy.

  1. E-Daakhil portal

Why in news?

E-Daakhil portal for Consumer grievance redressal is now operational in 15 States/UTs. Department of Consumer Affairs is now proactively following up with the states to launch e-filing portal at their ends.

Key points are:

– E-Daakhil portal, launched by National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on 7th September, 2020,  for online redressal of consumer grievances now operational in 15 States/UTs.

– Total 444 locations covered including NCDRC, State Commissions and District Commissions.

– Process to file consumer complaints made easy and simple through e-daakhil portal.

– Digital Portal will streamline consumer complaints redressal system.

– To facilitate Rural Consumers, the Common Service Centres to be integrated with e-daakhil portal.

– Department of Consumer Affairs proactively following up with the States/UTs to launch e-filing portal.

– The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which has come into force from 20th July, 2020, has provision for e-filing of consumer complaints in the Consumer Commissions and online payment of the fees for filing a complaint.

– To facilitate the rural consumers for e-filing, it has been decided to integrate the Common Service Centres (CSC) with the e-daakhil portal.

– As many consumers at Gram Panchayat level may either not have access to electronic modes of communication or unable to use the tools, they may avail the services of CSCs in filing their complaints in the Consumer Commission.

– The work for integration of this portal with CSC is in under process.

– E-filing was launched by National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) on 7th September, 2020.

– Delhi was the first state to implement it on 8th September, 2020.  Later Maharashtra, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Chandigarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka & Haryana implemented facility of e-filling in their respective States/UTs.

  1. New chief for National Commission for SCs

Why in news?

New chief for National Commission for SCs has been appointed namely Vijay Sampla.

Key points are:

– In order to provide the Scheduled Castes of Indian society safeguards against exploitation and to promote their social, economic, educational and cultural development, the Commission was set up by the Government of India.

– The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) was established by amending Article 338 and inserting a new Article 338A in the Constitution through the Constitution (89th Amendment) Act, 2003.

– By this amendment, the erstwhile National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes was replaced by two separate Commissions namely- the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) from February, 2004.

– It consists of a chairperson, a vice-chairperson and three other members. They are appointed by the President by warrant under his hand and seal.

  1. Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2021

Why in news?

Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly passed Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2021.

Key points are:

– The Bill seeks to replace the ordinance promulgated in November last year that seeks to curb religious conversions carried out by fraudulent or any other undue means.

– It makes religious conversion for marriage a non-bailable offence.

– The onus will be on the defendant to prove that conversion was not for marriage.

– The notice period to the district magistrate for the religious conversion is two months.

– In case of conversion done by a woman for the sole purpose of marriage, the marriage would be declared null and void.

– Violation of the provisions of the law would invite a jail term of not less than one year extendable to five years with a fine of ₹15,000.

– If a minor woman or a woman from the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribes communities was converted through the said unlawful means, the jail term would be a minimum of three years and could be extended to 10 years with a fine of ₹25,000.

– The Bill also lays down strict action, including cancellation of registration of social organisations conducting mass conversions.

– The ordinance, passed in November 2020, comes days after the Allahabad high court said in a verdict (Salamat Ansari-Priyanka Kharwar case) that the right to choose a partner or live with a person of choice was part of a citizen’s fundamental right to life and liberty.

– The verdict also said earlier court rulings that ‘religious conversion for marriage was unacceptable’ was not good in law.

– The Supreme Court of India, in both the Lily Thomas and Sarla Mudgal cases, has confirmed that religious conversions carried out without a bona fide belief and for the sole purpose of deriving some legal benefit do not hold water.

  1. International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD)

Why in news?

International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) Symposium on Sustainable Development of Dams & River Basins inaugurated.

Key points are:

– The symposium is being organised by ICOLD in collaboration with the Central Water Commission (CWC), Dam Rehabilitation Improvement Project (DRIP) and National Hydrology Project (NHP) in New Delhi.

– The symposium is being organised to provide an excellent opportunity to Indian Dam Engineering Professionals and Agencies to share their experiences, ideas and latest developments in new materials and construction technologies, advancement in investigation techniques, best engineering practices, dam safety issues, etc.

About International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD):

– The International Commission On Large Dams (ICOLD) is a non-governmental International Organization which provides a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience in dam engineering.

– ICOLD was founded in 1928 and has National Committees from more than 100 countries with approximately 10000 individual members.

– The members are mostly practising engineers, geologists and scientists form governmental or private organizations, consulting firms, universities, laboratories and construction companies.

– ICOLD leads the profession in setting standards and guidelines to ensure that dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.

– It is headquartered in Paris, France.

  1. First country to receive COVAX vaccines

Why in news?

Ghana became the first country to receive vaccines under COVAX – an initiative to reduce vaccine disparity between high- and low-income countries – with 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine arriving in the capital Accra.

About COVAX

– It is a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and two international groups – the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) – which aims to send vaccines to developing countries.

– The majority of its funding has come from high-income countries and international organisations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

  1. India & Mauritius

Why in news?

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between India and Mauritius.

Key points are:

– The India-Mauritius CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by India with a country in Africa.

– CECPA is a kind of free trade pact that aims to provide an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries.

– Under this agreement, countries reduce or eliminate the duties on the products. The countries also give relaxation in the norms to promote the services trade.

– India-Mauritius CECPA: It is a limited agreement that will cover only select sectors. It will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, etc.

– Benefit to India: More than 300 domestic goods from agriculture, textiles, electronics and other sectors will get market access at concessional customs duties in Mauritius.

– Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors, such as professional services, computer related services, research & development, other business services, etc.

– Benefit to Mauritius: It will benefit from preferential market access into India for its 615 products, including frozen fish, speciality sugar, biscuits, fresh fruits, juices, mineral water, beer, alcoholic drinks, soaps, bags, medical and surgical equipment, and apparel.

– India has offered around 95 sub-sectors from the 11 broad services sectors, including professional services, R&D, other business services, telecommunication, environmental, health, etc.

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