Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 FEBRUARY 2020
Supreme court issues notice to centre regarding dilution of RTI law
- The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the government on a
petition alleging that it had diluted the law to give itself absolute,
discretionary powers over the tenure, salaries and working conditions of
information commissioners, a fact which it claimed would compromise its
independence and integrity.
- The RTI Act came into being in 2005 and had been working well. But the
government has in recent days made several changes through the RTI
(Amendment) Act, 2019, which activists allege would compromise the working
of the institution.
- These include a rule that reduces the tenure of information
commissioners to 3 years from 5 and made it subject to the will of the
government. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has challenged this amendment
through a petition
- It infringes fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 (equality),
19(1)(a) (freedom of speech and expression) and 21 (right to life) of the
Constitution. The petition also alleged that these amendments were based on
extraneous considerations and had been drawn up without due application of
mind contrary to earlier court rulings on the issue.
Air India evacuates 324 Indian from Wuhan
- Air India's jumbo B747 plane, evacuating 324 Indian nationals from the
novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China, landed here on Saturday morning,
- The Indian Army has set up a quarantine facility in Manesar near Delhi
to keep those evacuated from China's Hubei province.Officials said they
would be monitored for any signs of infection for a duration of two weeks by
a qualified team of doctors and staff members.
- The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to
259 with total confirmed cases surging to 11,791 amid stepped up efforts by
a number of countries to evacuate their nationals from Hubei province, the
epicentre of the virus.
Finance minister presents budget 2020-2021 focusing on aspirational India
- The Union Budget 2020-21 announced a new regime of personal income tax
to provide significant relief to individual taxpayers and simplify the tax
law. Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman presented the Union Budget in
- The Budget has proposed a 16-point action plan to boost agriculture and
farmers' welfare and doubling farmers' income by 2022. It also seeks to
double farmers' income by 2022. Finance Minister said, the budget is aimed
at boosting the income of people and enhancing their purchasing power.
- Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts have also been
proposed in the Budget. Meanwhile, the agricultural credit target has been
set at 15 lakh crore rupees. Twenty lakh farmers will be provided funds for
setting up standalone solar pumps.
- Farmers will also be allowed to set up solar units on barren and fallow
lands and supply power to grids. Youth and fishery extension work will be
enabled by rural youth as SagarMitras, forming 500 fish farmer producing
- Budget 2020 provides an additional 69,000 crore rupees for the health
sector. The Finance Minister proposed to expand Jan AushadhiKendras in all
districts of the country to provide medicines at affordable rates. She
announced a 99,300 crore rupee outlay for the education sector in 2020-21
and 3,000 crore rupees for skill development.
- She added that 22,000 crore rupees will be provided to the power and
renewable energy sector in 2020-21. She urged all states and Union
Territories to replace conventional energy meters by pre-paid smart meters
in three years. She said this will give consumers the freedom to choose
suppliers and rates as per their requirements.
Finance commission recommends 1% reduction of centre’s fund to states
- The NK Singh-led 15th Finance Commission has recommended reducing states
share by 1% from Centre’s divisible pool to 41% in 2020-21 as against 42%,
citing reasons of security and special needs of the union territories of J&K
- While there is no change in the formula of devolution, the 1% reduction
has been on account of J&K moving out from the state list.
- The 14 th Finance Commission had modelled for 29 states and had
recommended 42% of the Centre’s pool to be devolved to states.
- Finance minister NirmalaSitharaman tabled The 15 th FC report in
Parliament on Saturday, ahead of the General Budget. The commission will
submit its report for an extended period of 2021-22 to 2025-26 by October
- The Cabinet has approved extension of the term of 15th Finance
Commission following abrogation of Article 370 after which J&K became a
union territory and thus number of states was remodelled from 29 earlier to
Maldives readmitted to commonwealth group of nations
- Maldives, days after a meeting between Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid
and Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland in Delhi was
readmitted into Commonwealth on Saturday.
- Within hours of the decision India congratulated the Government of
Maldives on its readmission to the Commonwealth of Nations as its 54th
- “India also acknowledges the efforts of the government of President
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to participate actively in international organisations
like the United Nations and IORA and increase the global profile of Maldives
as a democratic, dynamic and responsible member of the comity of
nations.India will continue working with Maldives in achieving its
democratic and developmental aspirations,” according to the MEA statement.
- Last month India in a smart diplomatic move provided platform for
engagement between Maldives and Commonwealth Secretariat here. Maldives
Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid met Commonwealth Secretary General here on
the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue.
- Maldives withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2016, under the then
President Abdulla Yameen. He had accused the group of interfering with the
country's internal affairs after it raised concerns over democracy and human
Palestine threatens to cut ties with Israel and U.S
- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to cut security ties
with both Israel and the US. During his speech at an Arab League meeting in
Egypt's capital, Cairo today, Mr Abbas denounced the White House plan for
ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- The US plan would grant the Palestinians limited self-rule in parts of
the occupied West Bank while allowing Israel to annex all its settlements
there and keep nearly all of east Jerusalem.
- Mr Abbas said that he told Israel and the US that there will be no
relations with them, including the security ties following the deal that
Palestinians say heavily favours Israel.
- He said, he would never accept this solution. He said, the Palestinians
remain committed to ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a state
with its capital in east Jerusalem.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO plans launch of low cost satellite launching vehicles
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that it is
preparing low-cost satellite launch vehicles costing around 30-35 crores
rupees each, which can put into orbit satellites weighing 500 kgs.
- The first such launch is expected to take place in the next four months
from the country.
- Deputy Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Haridas T V said that
this capability will give ISRO a big commercial boost as it will be able to
cater to micro, mini and medium segments of the market.
Sofia Kenin wins Australian open title
- In Tennis, American Sofia Kenin won her first Grand Slam title with
victory over Spain's GarbineMuguruza at the Australian Open.
- Kenin won 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 against two-time major winner Muguruza in
Melbourne this evening.
- Kenin, who turned 21 in November, is the youngest Australian Open
champion since Russian Maria Sharapova in 2008.Men's singles final between
Serbian Novak Djokovic and fifth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria will be