25th Oct, 2019-KPSC/PSI Current Affairs
National Unity Day to be celebrated on Oct 31
- National Unity Day will be celebrated on Oct 31st to mark the birth anniversary of Ironman SardarVallabhbhai Patel.
- Prime Minister NarendraModi will visit Kevadia in Gujarat to pay homage to the great leader at the Statue of Unity.
- To celebrate the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, celebrations will be held in more than 600 districts of the country.
- Home Minister Amit Shah will flag off the commemorative Run For Unity from New Delhi’s Major Dhyanchand National Stadium.
CBSE, NCERT to launch ‘Tamanna’ aptitude test for Class 9, 10 students
- In a bid to help students make the right career choices, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) have launched an online aptitude test called as ‘Tamanna’ (Try and Measure Aptitude and Natural Abilities).
What is Tamanna?
- Tamanna is an aptitude test that aims at helping students of Class 9 and 10 make a better choice of subjects, eventually helping them in making an informed decision while choosing subjects in Class 11 and 12.
- The CBSE (Know your aptitude) KYA exam will assess a student’s weaknesses and strengths in academics.
- Tamanna provides information about strengths of students and there is no pass or fail in this test.
- CBSE KYA registration process
- According to the CBSE circular, the registration process for KYA will begin from January 29, 2020 on its official website – cbse.nic.in
- Students can appear for the test using the school’s log-in id on any working day.
Details about use of aptitude test, dimensions measured in the test, construction and standardization of the test, administration and scoring and understanding the meaning of aptitude test scores are available in the test manual.
- CBSE conducted piloting of the test with 17,000 students of Class 9th and 10th across the country.
Indian Railway launches One Touch ATVM for fast ticketing
- Indian Railways has launched ‘one touch ATVM’ at 42 suburban stations of Central Railway to render fast ticketing to millions of commuters over Mumbai Suburban Network. Railway passenger can avail the service of this new machine from today onwards at 42 suburban stations. This new machine will reduce the waiting time of the passengers and allow passenger to avoid standing in long queues.
- The new machine is loaded with the user friendly and uncomplicated procedure which will greatly ease the load on ticketing system of Mumbai Suburban Network. A total of 92 ATVMs has been installed at 42 suburban stations.
The salient features of one touch ATVM
- Passenger can obtain a ticket in just two steps instead of earlier six steps on a regular ATVM.
- One touch ATVM will show one screen display for selecting single/return journey tickets.
- The passenger can select desired station in the distance slab, just press tab “upto station” either for journey tickets or return journey tickets.
- The passenger can get platform ticket also with single touch.
GIA presents ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on J&K, Ladakh
- A delegation of Group of Intellectuals and Academicians (GIA) presented a ‘Report from Ground Zero’ on Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh after setting aside of Article 370 to DrJitendra Singh, Minister of State in PMO.
The delegation briefed Mr Singh about the findings of their observations after field study of the situation there. They briefed that common man across religions, sections and various professional backgrounds in Jammu and Kashmir has expressed happiness about the decision of the Government to scrap Article 370.
- Founded in 2015, GIA is a group of professional women and entrepreneurs, media persons and academicians committed to social-justice and nation-building.
Data on Police organization released
- Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri G Kishan Reddy releases Bureau of Police Research and Development’s (BPRD) flagship publication Data on Police Organizations (DoPO 2018)
- The Data on Police Organization in India is an important compilation of information on police infrastructure, manpower and other resources from all States, Union Territories, CAPFs and CPOs. This publication has proved very useful for various policy analyses and resource allocation decisions at both the MHA as well as the State level. The publication is also widely cited in several researches on police topics.
Major highlights of the DoPO 2018 are as under:
- For the one year, since the 2017 edition of the DoPO, there has been an increase of 19,686 Police personnel in the sanctioned strength of the State Police and 16,051 in the strength of CAPFs.
- There has been 20.95% increase in the strength of Woman Police which pushed up the total number of women personnel in the State Police Forces to 1,69,550. It brings the total percentage of women in the Indian Police to 8.73%.
- During this period, 1,24,429 Police personnel were recruited in the different ranks.
- An increase of 20.41% is noticed in the training expenditure on Police personnel during this period.
- The overall Police Population Ratio (PPR) at the state level stood at 192.95 policemen per lakh population, which shows marginal increase.
- During this period, about 20,149 family quarters of different types were constructed for police personnel.
- Police Stations have increased from 15579 to 16422. This includes Cyber Police Stations whose number has risen from 84 to 120.
- Electronic surveillance has improved, as there has been an addition of 2,10,278 CCTV Cameras. Now this number, as per the latest count, is 2,75,468.
- The “Data on Police Organizations” (as on 01.01.2018) will soon be available on the BPR&D website www.bprd.nic.in, in its “What’s New” section.
ITBP to have two new commands
- The Union Cabinet on approved the proposal of cadre review of Group “A” General Duty (Executive) cadre and non-GD cadre of Indo- Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
- It approved creation of two new commands – Western Command at Chandigarh and Eastern Command at Guwahati – to be headed by Additional Director General and assisted by Inspector General.
- The newly created posts will be filled up according to recruitment rules.
- In the GD cadre, there will be increase in Group ‘A’ posts from 1147 to 1207.
- Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force was conceptualized in the wake of the Chinese aggression on country’s northern borders in 1962.
- The first cadre review of the force was held in 1988 and the strength of the force was increased to 27,298. The second cadre review was held in 2001 and the strength was increased to 32,386. The present strength of the force is 89,429. (ANI)
Data Security Council launches national repository of deep-tech capabilities
- Data Security Council of India (DSCI) unveiled a platform that will enlist businesses and research entities working across 25 areas like Internet of Things, Artificial intelligence and machine learning in partnership with the National Cyber Security Coordinator’s office.
- The platform, TechSagar, will provide actionable insights about capabilities of various companies and startups, academia and research. It will allow targeted search, granular navigation and drilldown methods using more than 3,000 niche capabilities.
- The repository, which currently features over 4,000 entities, was launched by National Cyber Security Coordinator of India Rajesh Pant.
- TechSagar will be frequently updated with new entities and information to maintain its relevancy and usefulness.
- This repository will enable targeted search of India’s tech capabilities and open gates for innovation and collaboration across industry and academia.
DBT releases guidelines for evaluation of Nanopharmaceuticals
- Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan released guidelines for the evaluation of Nanopharmaceuticals, a move that is intended to provide transparent, consistent and predictable regulatory pathways in the area.
- The guidelines are developed by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. They are the outcome of inter-ministerial efforts coordinated by the DBT.
- Nanocarrier based targeted drug delivery is an emerging field with the introduction of nanopharmaceuticals in the market.
- These nanoformulations have higher efficacy, lower toxicity and are safer than the conventional drugs. Indian researchers would be facilitated to undertake research in line with the regulatory guidelines and it is expected that industry will be keen to participate from the beginning of the research pipeline towards product development and commercialization.
- These guidelines are intended to provide transparent, consistent and predictable regulatory pathways for nanopharmaceuticals in India.
- The guidelines will facilitate translational research in line with the regulatory requirements. They will also facilitate decision-making by regulator during clearances to newer products based on nanotechnology and similarly for researchers to get clearance for their products to launch in market.
India jumps 14 places on World Bank’s Ease of Doing business ranking
- India has jumped 14 places to take the 63rd position on the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking. The country was 77th among 190 countries in the previous ranking. In its Doing Business 2020 report, the World Bank commended the reform efforts undertaken by the country.
- India has improved its rank in 7 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices. Significant improvements have been registered in resolving insolvency, dealing with Construction Permits, Registering Property, Trading across Boards and Paying Taxes indicators. India has improved its rank by 79 positions in last five years.
- WorldBank has recognized India as one of the top 10 performers on the list for the third time in a row.India has been adjudged the 9th best performing nation in a list, which also features Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan and China.
- Importing and exporting became easier for companies for the fourth consecutive year. India now ranks 68th globally in trading across border indicators and is performing significantly better. On providing relief to taxpayers’ index, India jumps six places in World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings. India continues to maintain its first position among South Asian countries.
- In the neighborhood, China has moved up to 31st position from the 46th rank while Pakistan rose from 136th place to become the 108th easiest to do business in nation.
- The rankings are based on samples and audits done in Mumbai and Delhi only (the World Bank has said it would be covering Bengaluru and Kolkata too from next year).
- New Zealand and Somalia retained their 1st and 190th spot respectively.
India contributes 7% to global wealth rise, says Credit Suisse report
- Global wealth has risen by $9 trillion to $360 trillion in 2019, according to the Credit Suisse Research Institute (CSRI). India has made a contribution of $625 billion (nearly 7% of total) to the global wealth. The biggest contribution has come from the US at $4 trillion (45% of total) and China at $1.9 trillion (21% of total).
- The average wealth per adult globally stood at $70,849, according to the 10th edition of the Global Wealth Report published by CSRI. Wealth per adult for India at $14,569 is nearly 80% below the global average. The US and Europe have the highest wealth per adult at $417,694 and $153,973, respectively.
- While wealth has been rising in India, not everyone has shared in this growth. There is still considerable wealth poverty, reflected in the fact that 78% of the adult population has wealth below $10,000 says the CSRI report.
- India is a large contributor to the global wealthy list. The country has 827,000 adults in the top 1% of global wealth holders, which is a 1.6% share. Estimates, 4,460 adults have wealth over $50 million and 1,790 have more than $100 million.
- The growth in household debt for India was one of the highest globally at 11.5% versus global average of 4%. Still, it is below that for the developed nations. According to the Wealth Report, personal debt for India is estimated to be at $1,345, or 8% of gross assets.
- Although indebtedness is a severe problem for many poor people in India, overall household debt as a proportion of assets is lower than in most developed countries.
- For India, the growth in financial assets was just 1.4% to $37 billion. The growth was below global average of 2%. For India, personal wealth in India is dominated by property, other real assets and less of financial assets. Non-financial assets grew by 7% to $708 billion. Globally, non-financial assets rose by 3.7% to $ 6.7 trillion.
World Bank Project to Support Climate Resilient Agriculture Small holder Farmers in Odisha
- The Government of India, Government of Odisha and the World Bank signed a US$165 million loan agreement to support smallholder farmers strengthen the resilience of their production systems as well as diversify and improve the marketing of their produce, for increased income.
- The Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture will be implemented in rural areas vulnerable to droughts and largely dependent on rainfed agriculture. It will benefit about 125,000 smallholder farmer households from 15 districts of Odisha managing 128,000 ha of agricultural land. The project will strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers against adverse climate by improving access to resilient seed varieties and production technologies, diversifying towards more climate-resilient crops, and improving access to better water management and irrigation services.
- The Government of India is implementing several missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, which also extensively leverages adaptation of climate-smart agricultural practices and technologies. The project in Odisha is among several such initiatives supported by the government in our commitment to achieve the sustainable agriculture-related targets of the SDGs by 2030.
- The loan agreement was signed by Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, on behalf of the Government of India; Shri Surendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Water Resources Department on behalf of the Government of Odisha; and Mr Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, India on behalf of the World Bank.
- The project will support the rehabilitation of 532 water tanks – expected to irrigate 91,435 ha; promote productivity improvements at the farm level; support farmers to reduce the current emphasis on food grains (especially paddy and wheat) and increase the share of high-value and more nutritious products like fruits and vegetables; and provide marketing support to farmers who are able to generate a marketable surplus.
- The project will also support aquaculture in rehabilitated tanks, help farmer’s access affordable and quality fingerlings, and disseminate improved aquaculture practices and post-harvest management.
- The $165 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and a maturity of 24 years.