Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 04 JANUARY 2020
NHRC issues notice to Rajasthan govt. over infant deaths
- National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has issued notice to Rajasthan
Government over the reported deaths of over 100 children in Kota Government
- Taking suomotu cognizance of media reports, the commission asked the
State Chief Secretary to submit a detailed report within four weeks in the
matter including the steps being taken to address the issue.
- It also directed the State Government to ensure that such deaths do not
recur in future due to lack of infrastructure and health facilities at the
- Citing media reports, the NHRC said, over 50 per cent of the gadgets
installed in the hospital are defunct and the hospital is lacking
cleanliness and basic infrastructure including oxygen supply in the
Intensive Care Unit.
New CDS proposes creation of air defence command
- Chief of the Defence Staff, CDS General BipinRawat has directed various
branch heads to come up with recommendations for inter-service synergy and
jointness in a time bound manner. After assuming charge as CDS, General
Rawat held a meeting with important functionaries of Headquarters Integrated
Defence Staff on Wednesday.
- He also directed that a proposal to create Air Defence Command be
prepared by 30th of June this year. He also set out priorities for execution
of synergy by 30th June and 31st December this year.
- Some of the areas identified for jointness and synergy include creation
of common logistics support pools in stations where two or more services
have their presence.
- Emphasizing collegiate system of functioning, General Rawat directed
that all three services and Coast Guard must be consulted and their views
obtained in a time bound manner.
Budget likely to bring in tax dispute settlement scheme
- The government is considering a litigation settlement scheme in the
upcoming budget that will allow companies to put an end to legacy tax
disputes by paying a portion of the money demanded by the revenue
department, said four people with knowledge of the matter.
- This could help bridge the fiscal deficit gap and monetise a part of the
amount stuck in tax litigation, they said.
- An estimated 500,000 cases have been pending in the courts and
quasi-judicial forums for years and it could take a long while before the
tax department sees any of the money, assuming it eventually wins. The total
value of these disputes is pegged at Rs 7-8 lakh crore, said the people.
- A government task force had recommended the litigation settlement scheme
in July last year. Such a move will also help improve ease of doing
business. Separately, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had set up a
panel to help reduce tax litigation in February last year focused on
resolving pending direct tax disputes urgently.
- The government could ask companies to pay part of the disputed amount
along with interest and penalties levied on that, EThas learnt. Or it could
ask them to pay 40-50% of the tax demanded. The tax rate may not be the same
for every company — it could depend on the litigation amount and even the
details of the case.
In a shocking moment, Iranian general commander killed in U.S attack
- Iranian General QassemSoleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force,
was killed in a US airstrike in Baghdad International airport. The White
House and the Pentagon confirmed the killing of Soleimani in Iraq. At least
eight people were killed in the attack. The Iranian state media also
confirmed Soleimani's death. Iran's Revolutionary Guards said, Iraqi militia
leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was among those killed.
- In a statement the Pentagon said, at the direction of the President, the
US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel
abroad by killing QasemSoleimani. The statement said, this strike was aimed
at deterring future Iranian attack plans.
- According to US media, Gen Soleimani and officials from Iran-backed
militias were leaving Baghdad airport in two cars when they were hit by a US
drone strike near a cargo area. Iran's foreign minister slammed the killing
of Soleimani as a dangerous escalation and warned the United States would
bear responsibility for the consequences.
- Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed severe revenge after
the United States killed the commander. President HasanRouhani said, Iran
and the "free nations of the region" will take revenge for killing
Revolutionary Guards commander.
- Meanwhile India has called for restraint as tensions between the US and
Iran are increasing. It said, the increase in tensions between both nations
has alarmed the world and it is vital that the situation does not escalate
China sees BRICS as an important player to counter unilateralism
- China has said that the current international situation is very
complicated with headwinds of protectionism, unilateralism, power politics
and bullying practices.
- Highlighting the importance of BRICS in such a scenario, China said that
the world is watching closely the constructive role played by BRICS
- India, China and Russia have urged calm and restraint from all sides and
to de-escalate the tension in the region. They have advocated that peace and
stability in West Asia and the Gulf region must be upheld.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
MEA plans to set up NEST division to increase investment coordination
- The Ministry of External Affairs is to set up a new division called
NEST-New and Emerging Strategic Technologies. The division will work to
increase investment coordination among the states of the country and also
with the foreign countries.
- The NEST will act as a nodal point to exchange views with foreign
governments. This will help in confronting emerging challenges and scenarios
in new technologies.With India coping with issues of security implications
in 5G and artificial intelligence, NEST division will help India spread
emerging technologies among the states.
- The division will also hold responsibility for matters that involves
negotiations with multilateral fora like United Nations, G20. This will help
to safeguard India’s interests as such forums govern the rules of access to
- The top Emerging Technologies in India are Artificial Intelligence and
Internet of things. The emerging 5G technology will improve the performance
of IoT platforms.
- 3D printing finds its application widely in areas such as defence,
aerospace, automobile, engineering and medical. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
is yet another emerging technology that finds its application in supply
chain management and customer services.
ManavThakkar becomes world no:1 in ITTF rankings
- Young Indian paddler ManavThakkar today became world no.1 in the latest
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rankings in the Under-21 men's
singles category. With this, Thakkar became the fourth Indian to achieve the
feat after Harmeet Desai, G Sathiyan and SoumyajitGhosh.
- Among other Indians, G. Sathiyan has managed to retain his 30th spot in
the senior category. AchantaSharath Kamal has climbed a spot to 33rd
position. Top woman paddler, ManikaBatra was static at the 61st position.