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National Current Affairs August 1st Week 2019

RS passed the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill:

Rajya Sabha passed the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with 108 votes in favour and 13 against it. The amendment aims to improve road safety, enhance the penalty for traffic violations, facilitate citizens in dealing with transport departments and curb corruption. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on 23 July.

The Bill was introduced in the upper house by Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari. The move comes as an initiative to stop millions of deaths due to road accidents.

Provisions of the Amendment:

  • The amendment proposed to increase the minimum penalty for a general violation from Rs.100 to Rs.500. 
  • Driving without a licence will lead to a a fine of Rs.5,000. Earlier, it was Rs.500 
  • Driving despite disqualification will cause a penalty of Rs.10,000 from the current Rs.500. 
  • For drunken driving, the monetary punishment has been increased to Rs.10,000 from Rs.2,000.
  • It also includes a provision for cashless treatment of road accident victims during the golden hour.
  • In case of any defect in the vehicle that can cause damage to the environment, driver or other road users the Bill facilitates the Centre to order the recall of motor vehicles. 
  • It provides a computerised driving test to eliminate acquisition of fake driving licences.

Centre is to prepare National Population Register by 2020 September:

Centre has decided to prepare a National Population Register (NPR) by September 2020 across the country. 

The collection of information of all citizens who are residing residing within the jurisdiction of local registar, except Assam, will be undertaken between the 1st day of April, 2020 to 30th September, 2020. The notification regarding NPR was issued by Vivek Joshi, Registrar General of Citizen Registration and Census Commissioner. 


The move aims to lay the foundation for pan-India National Register Citizens (NRC). Registering in the NPR is mandatory for every usual resident of India.

NPR aims to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. All the demographic and biometric particulars will be contained in the database.

National Population Register (NPR):

NPR is generally a register of usual residents of the country. For the entry of NPR, a usual resident can be defined as a person who has resided or intent to live in a local area for past six months or more.

Under the provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the sub-rule(4) of rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, the NPR will be prepared at the village and the sub-town level, sub-district, district, state and national level. The Centre has made it compulsory that every usual resident of India must register in the NPR.

Gujarat government launched Vhali Dikri Yojna: 

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched the ‘Vhali Dikri Yojna’ from his hometown Rajkot, Gujarat.
  • The scheme is introduced for the welfare of the girl child. The meaning of this scheme is Dear Daughter Scheme.
  • The main details about this scheme is stated before. Vahali Dikri Yojana is launched to improve the sex ratio of girl child in the State.
  • The successful implementation of this scheme State government allocated a budget of Rs 133 Crore.
  • According to the scheme State Government will pay Rs. 4,000 to every girl child at the time of admission to Standard 4th, Rs. 6,000.
  • There will be a time of taking admission to Standard IX, Rs. 1-lakh at the time of taking admission for higher education at the age of 18 at the time of marriage.
  • It is a statewide cash incentive scheme for every girl child born in Gujarat.

NITI Aayog approves JV to acquire minerals needed for Electric Vehicles:

NITI Aayog has approved the proposal for joint venture between National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. and foreign companies. The plan is to acquire foreign reserves of strategic minerals like lithium and cobalt to power the country`s electric vehicles has moved a step closer. Therefore, the three state-owned metal and mining companies are set to form a joint venture to buy on minerals.


India has set a target to achieve an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030. The Union Ministry of Mines has already directed three state-owned companies to aggressively look for reserves of lithium and cobalt mines.

To attain the target, mining companies like Nalco, HCL and MECL have partnered with a German consultancy for the project. This partnership is to guide them on prospective reserves and also  foreign government rules and regulations. Discussions are on, to achieve India`s target on cobalt and lithium mines as soon.

Note: Argentina, Bolivia and Chile are the countries which have the best reserves of lithium and cobalt in the world. 

Uses: Lithium, and cobalt are used to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles in addition to other minerals like tungsten, nickel and rare earths.

Rajasthan government launches new higher education model named RACE:

  • A new higher education model launched in Rajasthan for distribution of faculties and movable assets among the government colleges at the district level to rationalize the availability of resources. 
  • The model will create a pool for sharing of facilities will benefit the colleges lacking infrastructure. 
  • Minister of State for Higher Education Bhanwar Singh Bhati inaugurated the model, titled Resource Assistance for Colleges with Excellence in the presence of principals of colleges. 
  • All the colleges would get equal opportunities for imparting quality education with the adoption of the new model. 
  • The colleges will submit their requirements to the nodal college in the district will send the teachers on deputation. 
  • The model will help the colleges situated in small towns facing a shortage of faculties and infrastructure. 
  • The sanctioned posts of teachers in the government colleges are 6,500, the State at present falls short by about 2,000 teachers. 
  • The additional posts are created and new appointments made the RACE is expected to help channelise resources and ensure quality education.
  • He is instrumental in conducting the first-of-its-kind examination without invigilators in all the 237 government colleges across the State to be an initiative rendering academic assistance to the students and make the institutions of higher learning accountable to the society.

Udaipur will host 3rd edition of India’s largest education brainstorming event “ScooNews Global Educators Fest 2019”:

  • The City of Lakes, Udaipur (Rajasthan) will host the 3rd edition of India’s largest education brainstorming event called “ScooNews Global Educators Fest (SGEF)” on 2019 theme ‘Education for Sustainability: Moving on from conformity to creativity’ will be held on August 9 &10,2019.
  • Key points:
  • i. The fest will attract over 500 educators to discuss the way for establishing India as the next global education powerhouse.
  • ii. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar of Udaipur will be the patron of 2019 edition, which will provide an excellent platform for individuals and organizations contributing to the cause of education, schools, start-ups to debate on innovation with industry leaders on Industry-Academia partnerships. 



India gets its first Buddhist dominated Union Territory after Jammu and Kashmir Bifurcation:

  • India`s arid mountainous desert region called Ladakh granted an identity sets it apart geographically, administratively and demographically.
  • India`s first Buddhist dominated union territory with a dominant Buddhist population of 1.33 lakh out of a total of 2.74 lakh.
  • The distinction is similar to that of Punjab have a predominant Sikh population, which comprises 57.69% of its total population.
  • Chandigarh and Ladakh will not have a legislative assembly will fall directly under Central command.
  • Ladakh strategically important with India and China. Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament (MP) from Ladakh Jamyang Tsering Namgyal pointed out how the region left out of all development initiatives by its Buddhist population to past Indian administrations. 
  • In 1948, the president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association requested Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to either bring Ladakh directly under central administration or make it a part of East Punjab no condition keep Ladakh with Kashmir. 

UGC recommends educational centres for status of Institutions of Eminence:

University Grants Commission (UGC) released a list of 20 institutes .There are 10 public and 10 private for the grant of the status of Institutions of Eminence (IoE).The institutions which are given IoE status from public category includes, Delhi University, BHU, Hyderabad University and IIT Madras and Kharagpur. The UGC made the recommendations on the report of the Empowered Expert Committee set up by the government under the chairmanship of N Gopalaswami. Jadavpur University and Anna University can be considered for issue of the IoE status only after the respective State Governments have issued an official communication allocating their share of the funds (up to 50%).

Institute of Eminence scheme:

The Institute of Eminence scheme aimed at developing 20 world-class institutions which would put India on the global education map. Those selected will be given greater autonomy and freedom to decide fees, course durations and governance structures. The public institutions will also receive a government grant of ?1,000 crore, while the private institutions will not get any funding under the scheme.The Gopalaswami panel initially recommended 11 institutions for the tag in July 2018. The Centre accepted six recommendations  IITs Delhi and Bombay, IISc Bangalore, BITS Pilani, Manipal University, and the yet-to-open Jio University. In December, the committee recommended 19 more names and asked the UGC to consider all 30 for the tag. The Ministry of Human Resource Development’s decision to limit the scheme to the original 20 institutions.

India briefs UN Security Council on scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir:

  • India’s decision to revoke the special status condemns and rejects the announcements made by the Indian Government regarding the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • The government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. 
  • Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu andKashmir for the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination. 
  • India’s decision to revoke the special status strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today by the Indian Government regarding the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.
  • No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
  • As a party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps. 
  • India to look at Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at all possible fora includes the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in September. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to the US for the UN General Assembly session and address the session on 28 September.

National Current Affairs August 1st Week 2019

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