Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 FEBRUARY 2020

SSC CGL Current Affairs

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, officials said.
  • 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 LokSabha today.
  • 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 organizations.
  • 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 and Ladakh.
  • 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 30, 2020.
  • 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 28 now.

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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 member.
  • “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 rights.

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.


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 played tomorrow.

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