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Thursday, November 21, 2019


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Daily Current Affairs, 21st November 2019

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1) World Television Day: 21 November
•World Television Day is observed on 21 November every year. The day is observed to acknowledge the role of broadcast media. On this day, the journalists, writers, bloggers, and others who are associated with the medium promote the role of television in communication and globalization.

2) World Philosophy Day
•The World Philosophy Day is observed globally on the third Thursday of November every year. This year it was observed on 21st November. On this day, UNESCO highlighted the value of philosophy for the development of human thought, for each culture and individual. The 2019 edition aims to highlight the importance of philosophy in different regional contexts. The goal is to obtain regional contributions to global debates on contemporary challenges that support social transformations. World Philosophy Day was introduced in 2002 by UNESCO.

3) Cabinet approves establishment of the National Institute of Sowa Rigpa (NISR)
•The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister  Narendra Modi approved the establishment of the National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa in Leh, Ladakh. The Institute will be an autonomous National Institute under Ministry of AYUSH with the mandate to undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes in Sowa-Rigpa in collaboration with premier national and international Institutes and facilitate the integration of different systems of medicine.

•The objective is to establish the National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) as an apex Institute for Sowa-Rigpa with aim of bringing a valid and useful synergy between Traditional Wisdom of Sowa-Rigpa and modern science, tools and technology. It will help to promote interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa.

4) Parliament passes Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill 2019
•Parliament has passed the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill seeks to amend the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act, 1951. It has a provision to remove the President of the Congress party as a trustee and clarifies that when there is no Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the leader of the single largest Opposition party will be the trustee. The Bill also allows the Central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of the period of his term, without assigning any reason.

5) Census 2021 to be conducted in 16 languages
•Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed that Census 2021 will be conducted in 16 languages. During Census 2021, a mix mode approach is being adopted for data collection. Census will be conducted in two phases – House-listing and Housing Census from April to September 2020 and Population Enumeration during February 09-28, 2021. The Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) has recommended an amount of Rs. 8754.23 crore for conducting Census 2021 in 16 languages.

6) Kolkata becomes first city to install ‘Third Umpire’ RT-PCR Machines
•The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has installed first of its kind high-end reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines in India for quick detection of diseases like dengue, tuberculosis and swine flu. These machines are to serve as a ‘third umpire’ in situations when medical reports and blood tests reveal contradictory results. The purpose is to give an accurate DNA report on blood tests in order to ascertain the exact cause of illness.

7) Smriti Irani addresses South Asia Safety Summit
•The Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani was addressing the 2nd edition of South Asia Safety Summit in New Delhi. She has stressed the need to ensure the safety of women and children within their homes, and create safe neighbourhoods to protect them against violence and abuse. The summit was joined by over 100 organisations from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and India. The South Asia Safety Summit is Facebook’s annual event to host critical conversations on digital safety and security.

8) Naturalist Sir David Attenborough will receive Indira Gandhi peace prize 2019
•The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2019 will be conferred on renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough for his tireless work to preserve and protect biodiversity. His name was selected for the prize by an international jury chaired by former president Pranab Mukherjee, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.

•This prestigious award, named after former prime minister (PM) Indira Gandhi, has been accorded annually by Indira Gandhi Trust since 1986. It is awarded to individuals or organizations in recognition of their creative efforts towards promoting international peace, development. The award consists of a monetary award of 25 lakhs and a citation. The 2017 Prize had gone to former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.

9) Health ministry signs pact with Gates Foundation for support in innovation
•The Union ministry of health and family welfare signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Under the MoC, Gates Foundation will provide technical, management and program design support through its grantees and other partners, with a special focus on innovation, best practices and enhancing performance management, while working closely with the government.

•The Foundation will support the ministry’s work towards strengthening the primary health aspects such as reducing maternal and child mortality, improving nutrition services and increasing the immunization reach.

10) GRSE delivers ICGS ‘Amrit Kaur to Indian Coast Guard
•Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) delivered to the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ‘Amrit Kaur’, the third in a series of five ‘Fast Patrol Vessels’ (FPV). ICGS ‘Amrit Kaur’ is a 50-metre-long and 7.5-metre- wide medium-range surface vessel, with a displacement of around 308 tonnes. It is capable of performing a rescue, patrolling, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations in the maritime zones of the country.

•The vessel can attain a maximum speed of 34 knots with an endurance of over 1,500 nautical miles. The ship is equipped with three main engines and has advanced control systems, water jet units and an ‘Integrated Bridge System’ constituting all communication and navigation systems.

11) Virat Kohli named PETA India’s Person of the Year
•India captain Virat Kohli was named People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India’s ‘Person of the Year for 2019’ for his animal advocacy efforts. Kohli’s efforts to improve conditions for animals include sending a letter on PETA India’s behalf to officials calling for the release of Malti, an elephant used for rides at Amer Fort, who was reportedly violently beaten by eight men. The PETA awards are given to people or organisations that take initiative in the welfare of animals and violence against animals.

12) IRCTC & KSTDC signs MoU to operate Golden chariot train
•The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corp (KSTDC) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot train. The luxurious Golden Chariot train will start plying from March 2020.

•The Golden Chariot is South India’s only luxury train. The Golden Chariot, which started plying in 2008, began as a joint initiative of the Karnataka government and the Indian Railways. It is an 18-coach-long train with 44 guest rooms. At least, 84 passengers can enjoy the train ride at one time.

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The HINDU Notes – 21st November 2019

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๐Ÿ“ฐ Centre plans NRC exercise all over the country: Amit Shah

Home Minister says there will be no bias, and survey will be repeated in Assam.

•The process to make a National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be carried out across India, Home Minister Amit Shah said in the Rajya Sabha on November 20 and whenever it is done, the exercise will be repeated in Assam, he added.

•He was replying to a question by Congress MP from Karnataka Syed Nasir Hussain. “The Home Minister while speaking in Kolkata recently had said that all those names which didn’t figure in the NRC, belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Christian community need not worry. My question is whether under NRC citizenship can be granted to certain communities and exclude the Muslims,” Mr. Hussain said.

•Mr. Shah said, “I think the member is confused between NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill. NRC has no provision to exclude any person of any religion. All Indian citizens will be included irrespective of their religion.”

•As a supplementary, nominated MP Swapan Dasgupta asked whether the government will make a distinction between illegal migrants and non-citizens? “NRC was undertaken as per the Supreme Court directive. The process will be carried out across the country. No one irrespective of their religion should be worried. NRC doesn’t discriminate against any Indian citizen on the basis of religion. It is just a process to get everyone on the NRC and whenever it is done it is only obvious that it will repeated in Assam too,” Mr. Shah added.

•Trinamool Congress MP Sukendu Sekhar Ray pointed out that 11 lakh Hindu Bengalis were excluded from NRC in Assam and will they be granted citizenship without waiting for the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Mr. Shah said the government accepts that refugees — Hindu, Buddhists, Jain, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis — who left Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious atrocities should get Indian citizenship. And which is why the government will bring a Citizenship Bill, he added.

•Congress MP Ripun Bora said 19.6 lakh persons have been dropped from the NRC. It’s been four months since the list was published but the process of appeal has not yet started. The Home Minister said that in Assam, people whose name has not figured in the draft list, have the right to go to the Tribunal. “Tribunals will be constituted across Assam. If any person doesn’t have the money to approach tribunals, then the Assam government will bear the cost to hire a lawyer,” he said.

๐Ÿ“ฐ The myths around free trade agreements

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GS SCORE Prelims 2020 Test 1 with Solution PDF Download

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GS SCORE Prelims 2020 Test 1 with Solution PDF

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Next IAS Prelims 2020 Test 6 With Solutions PDF

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Next IAS Prelims 2020 Test 6 with Solution PDF

Next IAS Prelims 2019 Test Series

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Current Affairs November 2019 pdf for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020

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Current Affairs November 2019 pdf for UPSC Civil Services Exam 2020

Current Affairs November 2019 for upsc
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The HINDU Notes – 20th November 2019

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๐Ÿ“ฐ Network for intel agencies to share info will go live next year

Network for intel agencies to share info will go live next year
NATGRID will help organisations to access database from a common platform

•The ambitious National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) project will be operational by December 31, 2020, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

•More than half the sanctioned positions are vacant, the government said.

•The NATGRID will enable multiple security and intelligence agencies to access a database related to immigration entry and exit, banking and telephone details, among others, from a common platform.

•The project, initially started in 2009 with a budget of ₹2,800 crore, is an online database for collating scattered pieces of information and putting them together on one platform.

•At least 10 Central government agencies, such as the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing and others will have access to the data on a secured platform.

•On Tuesday, Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy informed the Lok Sabha that “NATGRID has developed application software for proof of technology (POT) which is yet to be fully rolled out. NATGRID solution is planned to go live by 31.12.2020.”

•Mr. Reddy said the progress of NATGRID was reviewed from time to time at the appropriate level, and during the current financial year, ₹84.80 crore had been allocated to the project.

•“Against 119 sanctioned government posts, a total of 53 officers are presently in position; whereas against 123 contractual posts, 21 consultants have been deployed. Central agencies will have access to the data on NATGRID platform in the first phase,” Mr. Reddy said.

•He said NATGRID was exempted from the Right to Information Act, 2005 under sub-section (2) of Section 24.

•He added that “physical infrastructure” is planned to be completed by March 31 next year and “IT Solution to go live by 31.12.2020.”

•Earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed the progress of NATGRID in September.

•The NATGRID links intelligence and investigation agencies. The 10 user agencies will be linked independently with certain databases which will be procured from 21 providing organisations including telecom, tax records, bank, immigration etc. to generate intelligence inputs.

๐Ÿ“ฐ 53 road crashes, 17 deaths per hour in 2018: Annual government report

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The HINDU Notes – 19th November 2019

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๐Ÿ“ฐ No more waiver, Bhutan to levy charges on Indian tourists

New charges necessitated by the sharp increase in tourists from the region, says visiting Minister

•In a major shift in policy, Bhutan plans to levy charges on tourists from regional countries, including India, Bangladesh and Maldives, who at present are exempted from any charges. The new draft tourism policy, which is likely to be finalised by the Bhutanese Cabinet next month, was discussed by visiting foreign minister Tandi Dorji with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and meetings in Delhi on Monday, sources said.

•According to the draft prepared by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), the new charges have been necessitated by the sharp increase in tourists from the region, mainly India, who cross over the land boundaries.

•“The essence of our “High Value, Low Impact” policy (also called the “High value, low volume” policy) is that we will monitor our tourist arrivals depending on our capacity to cater to them,” Director-General of TCB Dorji Dhradhul told The Hindu in a recent interview.

•“Over the last few years the number of tourists has been increasing at a really rapid rate, growing about 10 times in the past decade, and this policy was under threat.”

•The MEA declined to comment on the policy. According an official aware of the discussions, India has "some concern that the measures proposed should not cause too many hassles to Indian visitors," and would want a predictable and reasonable policy. 

•In 2018, of the 2,74,000 tourists visiting Bhutan, the council estimated that about 2,00,000 were from the region, of which about 1,80,000 were from India. In contrast to other international tourists, who pay $250 (Approx. INR. 18,000) as a minimum charge per day per person, which includes a $65 a day “Sustainable Development Fee”, as well as a $40 visa charge, tourists from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives had so far paid no fees, and were able to cross over without visas. According to the new policy, however, they would be charged a Sustainable Development Fee, as well as a “permit processing fee.”

•Mr. Dhradul denied that the new charges were aimed at cutting down tourism numbers, especially from India, in the next few years, but at allowing them to “grow in a sustainable manner.” In particular, the Bhutanese government wants to stop regional tourists from using low-rent accommodation offered online, as this has led to a mushrooming of unregulated guest houses and homestays. This year, the Bhutanese government wrote to popular online accommodation site “Airbnb”, mandating that only rentals certified by the TCB should be posted.

•“After hydropower, tourism is the most important source of revenue, so any impact on tourism does affect us. This is why we are keen to mainstream regional tourism, and bring it on par with our tourism policy for international tourists,” Mr. Dhradul, who was in Delhi for the 10th India-Bhutan Dialogue, added.

•Experts say the measures could deter Indian tourists from visiting Bhutan, and may come in for criticism especially from those wishing to visit from bordering states like West Bengal and Assam.

•“The fees will certainly act as a check on mass tourism of the kind we see from India during festival seasons,” said former Ambassador to Bhutan Sudhir Vyas, who stressed, however, that the “challenges that Bhutan is facing from uncontrolled tourism” are well understood in New Delhi. In October, a Maharashtra biker was detained by the Royal Bhutan police, after he was seen ‘desecrating’ a holy Chorten by standing on top of it, one of a series of incidents where local Bhutanese papers have criticised Indian tourists, who aren’t mandatorily accompanied by guides, for being disrespectful to local culture.

•Even so, the Bhutanese government has been keen to explain their planned changes to the Indian government, officials said, and put off finalising them until Foreign Minister Dorji’s visit to India. During his five day visit this week, when he will also travel to Bodhgaya and Kolkata, Mr. Dorji was expected to discuss issues over hydropower tariffs and trilateral electricity deals with India and Bangladesh, as well as building riverine connectivity in the region, apart from the tourism issue.

๐Ÿ“ฐ Gram Sabha to have power to ban liquor

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