Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 02 JANUARY 2020
India-Pakistan exchange list of prisoners & fishermen
- India and Pakistan exchanged the lists of civilian prisoners and
fishermen of each country lodged in jails through diplomatic channels. India
handed over lists of 267 Pakistan civilian prisoners and 99 fishermen to
Pakistan who are in India’s custody.
- Similarly, Pakistan has shared lists of 55 civilian prisoners and 227
fishermen in its custody, who are Indians or believed-to-be Indians.
External Affairs Ministry said that this is in keeping with the provisions
of the 2008 Agreement under which such lists are exchanged on 1st January
and 1st July every year.
- Pakistan was asked to expedite the release and repatriation of 4 Indian
civilian prisoners and 126 Indian fishermen to India whose nationality has
been confirmed and conveyed to Pakistan. Pakistan has also been asked to
provide immediate consular access to 14 believed-to-be Indian civilian
prisoners and 100 Indian fishermen who are in its custody.
India ranks well in climate change performance index
- India for the first time ranks among the top ten in the Climate Change
Performance Index, CCPI, which goes further to prove that all efforts and
activities being currently undertaken by the government are setting a tone
of vast improvements.
- Government aims to increase the share of non-fossil fuels to 175
GigaWatt by 2022 and further take it to 450 GW. AIR correspondent takes a
look at the major initiatives taken by the Ministry of Environment, Forest
and Climate Change.
- Air pollution is one of the biggest global environmental challenges of
today. A time bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to
tackle the increasing air pollution problem in a comprehensive manner in the
form of National Clean Air Programme was launched last year.
- India is among few countries in the world where forest cover is
consistently increasing. The total forest and tree cover rises to over 24
percent of the total geographical area of the Country.
- Government is taking all possible steps to protect the tiger. According
to the latest tiger census data -2018, the total tigers inIndia has risen to
around three thousand.
Finance ministry cuts spending for upcoming quarter
- The finance ministry has cut the amount various ministries and
department can spend in the last quarter to a maximum of 25% of their budget
estimate for the entire financial year, citing fiscal situation. The earlier
limit for the last quarter spending was 33%.
- Also, within the 25% cap on spending for January-March, only a maximum
of 10% of the total budget can be spent in March against 15% earlier, the
economic affairs department has said in an official memo.
- The revised limit means that departments that have not yet substantially
utilised their funds will not be able to spend the full budget amount this
- The government is struggling to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3%
of the GDP following muted growth in tax revenues because of an economic
slowdown. India’s growth fell to a six-year low of 4.5% in the
- Also, the recent reduction in corporate tax to help revive the economy
is likely to cost the government Rs 1.45 lakh crore. The government’s fiscal
deficit for April-October period was 2.4% more than the full year estimate.
- Ratings agencies such as Moody’s Investor Services, Standard and Poor’s
(S&P) Global Ratings, and Fitch Ratings have already raised concerns about
possible fiscal slippage.
Government brings in BIM technology to boost infrastructure
- In a move that will give a boost to infrastructure and housing projects
across the country, the government is considering the latest building
information and modelling (BIM) technology to fast-track construction work.
The move will also help optimise the cost of housing construction and in
achieving the government’s target of housing for all.
- According to the latest report by the Ministry of Statistics and
Programme Implementation, at least 355 projects have seen a cost overrun of
Rs 3.88 lakh crore and about 552 projects have faced time escalation.
- NITI Aayog officials said BIM could save up to 20% of the project cost
by shortening the construction time. The government think tank wants all the
infrastructure ministries to consider the model.
- Apart from housing-for-all projects, the think tank is also considering
the use of technology for the construction of national highways, greenfield
airport and metro projects, station redevelopment and railway capacity
- The usage of BIM in large infrastructural projects will enable better
efficiency, lower costs and less negative impact on the environment. BIM
helps in simulating conditions and can fixing problems beforehand,” said
Sunil MK, the head of architecture, engineering and construction at Autodesk
India, which offers software services in areas such as architecture,
engineering and construction.
Bangladesh restores data connectivity near Indian borders
- Bangladesh has reversed its decision of shutting down mobile networks
along the country's over 4,000 km-long borders with India, two days after
asking telecom operators to block the services citing "security" reasons,
according to media reports on Wednesday.
- The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Sunday
directed the shut down of around 2,000 base transceiver stations, affecting
around 1 crore users in 32 districts that share border with India and
- The government's directive to the telecommunication operators came days
after India's Parliament passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act
(CAA), causing much concern in Dhaka that it could lead to an influx of
migrants from India.
- Mobile operators also confirmed that they have started to up their
network again but it will take about a day to fully reinstate the
connections as some of the towers are in very remote areas, the report said.
- Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen has said that Bangladesh has requested
New Delhi to provide a list of Bangladeshi nationals living illegally in
India, "if any", to be repatriated.He had also cancelled his visit to India
beginning December 12, hours before he was to arrive in New Delhi.
U.S-China phase 1 trade deal by mid January
- A partial new US-China trade agreement will be signed in the middle of
next month, US President Donald Trump said Tuesday, announcing that he will
also then travel to China for continued talks.
- Trump said he would then travel to Beijing to continue negotiations "at
a later date."
- Word of the deal, and the de-escalation of the trade conflict, has
driven a Wall Street rally this month but US stocks were lower at the open
- The two sides earlier this month announced a "Phase One" deal in their
nearly two-year trade confrontation, with Washington cancelling and reducing
some tariffs in exchange for Chinese pledges to increase purchases of US
exports and adopt trade reforms.
- The text of the agreement has not yet been made public pending legal and
translation reviews, US officials say, and details remain scant.
- U.S and Chinese officials said the agreement includes protections for
intellectual property, food and farm goods, financial services and foreign
exchange, and a provision for dispute resolution.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO to setup launching port in Tamilnadu
- Indian Space Research Organisation will establish a second launch port
in Thoothukodi district in Tamilnadu exclusively to launch small satellite
- Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru today, ISRO Chairman K Sivan
informed that this will come up in 2300 acres.
- On the lines of GPS navigation system developed by America, the Indian
navigation system called Navic with the indigenous atomic clock will be
operational with mobile phone manufacturers coming forward to install the
regional navigation device.
- On future programmes, the ISRO Chairman said that Chandrayaan 3 mission
to the moon, comprising of a lander and a rover is approved by the
- On the progress made in India’s first manned mission to outer space
Gaganyaan, he said, the process of Astronaut selection is over and four men
selected from Indian Air Force will leave for Russia in the third week of
January to get training. The Gaganyaan mission is targeted to be launched by
- Before that unmanned missions will be launched to test the crew module
with robots resembling humans.
- This unmanned space mission will test spacecraft re-entry technology,
space capsule recovery experiment and effect of microgravity on the crew
module necessary for the human space travel.
Khelo India youth games to be held in Guwahati
- The third Khelo India youth games will be held in Guwahati between 10th
and 22nd of next month. Six thousand five hundred athletes from 37 teams
will take part in the event.
- Chief Executive Officer of the Games Avinash Joshi told All India Radio
that the upcoming event is going to be the biggest multidisciplinary games
ever held in the country. He said Cycling and lawn ball have been introduced
as new disciplines in the games.
- Assam Chief Minister SarbanandaSonowal launched the torch relay of the
competition in Guwahati on Sunday. The torch will be carried to all district
headquarters to elicit the cooperation of the people for the success of the