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National Current Affairs January 4th Week 2020

India took over the chairmanship of FEMBoSA from Bangladesh:

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora assumed Chairmanship of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) on 24 January for the year 2020. India took over the Chair of FEMBoSA from KM Nurul Huda, CEC of Bangladesh. Mr.Huda handed over the Logo of FEMBoSA to Mr. Arora at the 10th Annual Meeting of  FEMBoSA held in New Delhi 24 January.

FEMBoSA: 

FEMBoSA was established at the 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries held at New Delhi in May 2012. FEMBoSA is a regional association Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of SAARC Countries. The forum has eight members. FEMBoSA is an active regional association of EMBs.

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National Current Affairs January 3rd Week 2020

Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the exhibition on Indian Heritage in Digital Space:

Union MoS Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the exhibition on Indian Heritage in Digital Space and First International Heritage Symposium at National Museum, New Delhi The exhibition will be open till 15 February 2020.

Organized by:

The exhibition was organized by Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. 

Indian Heritage in Digital Space:

♦ The visitors will be able to see the recreations of the socio-cultural life and traditions of Hampi, architectural and conjectural reconstructions of several important structures and experience demystification of many murals in the exhibition. 

♦ The initiative of the use of technology in heritage is very important as it should not be limited to research only

♦ The exhibition aims to reach people in a way that they get a chance to know and understand the unseen aspects of heritage sites easily.

♦ It also introduces the history and features of heritage through the use of technology.

♦ A person who comes to the museum is guided by the use of technology so that it enriches their experience of the visit.

♦ This special exhibition showcase adaptation and infusion of technologies being developed under the Indian Digital  Heritage (IDH) initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India in the cultural heritage domain of the country. 

SC refuses to stay operation of CAA; asks centre to file reply within 4 weeks:

Supreme Court has refused to stay the operation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said that it cannot grant any stay on CAA without hearing Centre. The apex court asked the Centre to file its reply within 4 weeks on petitions challenging the CAA. The apex court also said that it will constitute a larger constitution bench to hear the matter. Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the government has been given copies of around 60 petitions out of the 143 and it needs time to respond to pleas which have not been served on it. Some of the petitioners urged the apex court to put on hold operation of CAA and postpone exercise of National Population Register (NPR) for time being.

The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

 

President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, turning it into an Act.

Cabinet approves agreement between India and Brazil on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters:

PM Shri Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet approved the Agreement between India and the Federative Republic of Brazil on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters has to be signed.

Agreement Provision:

♦ The Agreement aims to enhance the effectiveness of both the countries in investigation and prosecution of crime through cooperation and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. 

♦ The Agreement will provide a broad legal framework for bilateral cooperation with the Federative Republic of Brazil in investigation and prosecution of crime and in tracing, restraint and confiscation of proceeds and instruments of crime and the fund meant to finance terrorist acts.

Current AffairsGujarat ranked top for water efficiency, Delhi among worst performing states:

Gujarat has been ranked the best for parameters on efficiency targets in the review of state and Central government water departments by the ministry of Jal Shakti. Rajasthan is the third best and Delhi is among the worst performing states, according to the ranking for 2019 circulated to different state governments recently.

Among the seven Central departments reviewed, the Survey of India has got the top billing followed by the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) and Central Water Commission. The Central Pollution Control Board, the country’s pollution watchdog, has got the lowest rank, in the ranking for the year 2019.

Nationwide programme to administer polio drops to children organized on National Immunization Day:

The National immunization day was observed on Jan 19th 2020. With an aim to maintain the `NO POLIO` status, a nationwide programme to administer polio drops to children below 5 years was organized throughout the country.

President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Pulse Polio Programme for this year by administering Polio drops to children below the age of five at Rashtrapati BhavanAround 82,000 children were administered polio drops through 452 centres throughout the union territory.

Government mandates hallmarking of gold jewellery:

The government has notified that it is to mandate hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts with effect from 15 January 2021. The jewellers have been given time for the implementation of this notification. Jewellers who violate this will be punished under the provisions of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.

New rules:

♦ The notification state that only registered jewellers will be allowed to sell the hallmarked gold articles through certified sales outlets.

♦ As per the notifications, the registered jewellers will be allowed to sell jewellery and artefacts only in three grades of gold, 14, 18 and 22 carat, instead of ten grades earlier.

♦ The mandatory hallmarking is not required for gold that is meant for exports.

♦ The new rules are not applicable to any article which is intended to be used for dental, medical, veterinary, scientific or industrial purposes

Gold hallmarking:

Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the gold and is voluntary in nature at present. Since April 2000, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is already running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery. Also, around 40% of gold jewellery is currently being hallmarked. 

Hallmarked gold jewellery will have four components namely BIS mark, purity in carat and fineness, assaying and hallmarking centre`s identification mark/number, and jeweller`s identification mark/number.

Dr. M M Kutty inaugurated fuel conservation mega campaign Saksham in New Delhi:

Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas Dr. M M Kutty inaugurated fuel conservation mega campaign `Saksham` in New Delhi on 16 January 2020. The campaign was organized by the Petroleum Conservation Research Association (PCRA). The campaign will be held for a month.

Aim:

The annual event of Saksham aims at creating mass awareness among the public about conventional fuel conservation.

Saksham:

♦ GoI has set to double to 11% by 2040.

♦ The campaign is aimed to address the target and India`s share of primary energy demand not only petroleum conservation but the creation of a sustainable development model.

♦ It highlights the major advantages of fuel conservation, and help in a progressive reduction of carbon footprint

♦ The campaign leads to fulfilling government`s commitment to a greener environment.

♦ The Secretary also flagged-off the publicity vans of PCRA which will visit states and spread the message of fuel conservation. 

 

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National Current Affairs January 2nd Week 2020

MHRD has taken steps to transform the education sector:

The Government has initiated the process of formulating a New Education Policy. The policy aims to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population with regard to quality education, innovation, and research. 

In the year 2019, Dr. K Kasturirangan Committee submitted the Draft National Education Policy to the ministry. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) took a leap forward in transforming the education sector with the motto of Education for All and Quality Education.  

The programs mentioned in the draft launched by MHRD:

♦ MHRD has launched the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Program, DHRUV, to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills and knowledge. 

♦ It also launched the National Initiative for School Heads` and Teachers` Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) to improve learning outcomes at the elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training Programme.

♦ MHRD launched many other new schemes in the Higher Education Department to boost research and Innovation culture in the country. 

♦ Department of Higher Education of HRD Ministry has finalized and released a five-year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme (EQUIP). SWAYAM 2.0, Deeksharambh and PARAMARSH are other major schemes of the Department of Higher Education launched in 2019.

♦ Also, under the Samagra Shiksha programme a total of 5930  Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas have been sanctioned in the country out of which 4881 such schools are operational. An outlay of over Rs.800 crore has been approved under sports grants for over 10 lakh government schools of different categories.

Chandigarh railway station gets navigation facilities for visually impaired:

Navigation facilities for visually impaired was inaugurated at Chandigarh railway station in Punjab on 5 January 2020. This facility has been introduced by the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation through Bengaluru-based NGO Anuprayaas. Chandigarh is the fifth Railway station in the country and first in North India to have this facility.

Benefit:

This move aims to help visually impaired passengers to know about the passenger amenities at the Chandigarh Railway Station. The railway station is installed with Braille Tactile Map, signages for all the facilities and offices on the premise like Enquiry, Station Manager, waiting rooms, lifts, and toilets, etc.

With these applications, visually impaired people can identify these facilities independently. This will reduce the common challenges faced by visually impaired people at railway stations like missing trains because of wrong guidance. It will empower them to travel independently.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for suggestions ahead of Union Budget 2020-2021:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited people to share their ideas and suggestions for this year’s Union Budget on MyGov. in.The Union Budget represents the aspirations of 130 crore Indians and lays out the path towards India’s development.
President Ram Nath Kovind lays foundation stone to Lakshadweep`s first Super Specialty Hospital at Kavaratti:
President Ram Nath Kovind laid foundation stone to Lakshadweep`s first Super Specialty Hospital at Kavaratti on 7 Janaury, 2020.President who is on two days visit to the union territory assured special focus for the development of Lakshadweep and directed Lakshadweep Administrator to give special attention for the completion of Super Specialty Hospital.Lakshadweep Administrator Dineshwar Sharma received the President at Agatti Airport. After the ceremonial reception, the President reached Kavaratti.President received guard of honour from a joint group of 160 different forces.
At the event in Kavaratti, President congratulated Rahmath Begum, the only woman who won Padmashri from Lakshadweep. He extended new year wishes and invited the people of Lakshadweep to visit Rashtrapati Bhavan.President reached Bangaram island of Lakshadweep, this evening. After spending a full day at Bangaram, he will return to Kochi on 9 January, 2020 and leave for New Delhi on the same day.
 
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National Current Affairs January 1st Week 2020

Railway Protection Force renamed as Indian Railway Protection Force Service:

The Ministry of Railways accorded Organised Group `A` status to Railway Protection Force (RPF) and renamed it Indian Railway Protection Force Service. The Organised Group `A` status (OGAS) to RPF decision arising from Hon`ble Court`s orders. The RPF will be known as the Indian Railway Protection Force Service. The notice in this regard was issued by the Joint Director of Railway Board Amitabh Joshi on December 30.

Railway Protection Force

It is a security force, established by the Railway Protection Force Act, 1957

Founded: 27 July 1872.

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