Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 04 NOVEMBER 2019
Cabinet secretary urges need to monitoring of MoU’s with foreign nations
- The Centre is carrying out a review of all memorandum of understandings
(MoUs) signed with foreign governments and wants to weed out obsolete
agreements that have lost their relevance. In a set of instructions sent to
all ministries, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked for updates and
outcomes of all MoUs and agreements signed.
- Over the past years, ministries have signed scores of Mo-Us that are
usually centred around visits by the top leadership. These range from
cooperation in green energy to information sharing, health care,
infrastructure and defence talks.
- Though not legally binding, the MoUs are often the starting point to
initiate formal agreements or set in a mechanism to enable talks on specific
topics between Indian ministries and foreign governments. While ministries
have limited autonomy in deciding on the MoUs, the more relevant ones
require prior permission by the Cabinet.
- In the last 10 years, during the foreign visits of the Indian Prime
Minister, 609 MoUs have been signed. According to Parliament data, 138 of
these were signed in 2018.
- The actual number of MoUs over the last 10 years would greatly exceed
this number as such agreements are also signed during visits of other
ministers abroad as well as incoming visits by foreign leaders.
Survey finds 40% of residents wants to leave NCR
- Over 40% residents of Delhi and NCR want to move to another city because
of bad air quality while 16% want to travel during the period, according to
a new survey. The survey with over 17,000 respondents from Delhi and NCR
region has found that 13% resident believe that they have no option but to
cope with rising pollution levels.
- “While 16% people said they would stay in Delhi NCR but travel during
this period of toxic pollution, 13% said they would stay here and have no
option but to cope with rising pollution levels,” it added.
- When asked how pollution affected their health in the past week, 13%
respondents said a family member has visited a hospital while 29% said one
or more have visited a doctor.
PM claims India rolling out faceless tax assessment system
- India is rolling out "faceless tax assessment" system to forestall any
discretion or harassment in tax collection, Prime Minister NarendraModi said
on Sunday as he highlighted major reform initiatives launched by his
government in the financial sectors in the last five years.
- Hard-selling India as one of the most attractive investment destinations
globally, Modi also said the country has stopped working in a routine,
bureaucratic manner and was undergoing "transformative changes" in its march
towards economic and social development.
- Modi also asserted that India now has one of the most people-friendly
tax regimes in the world and that efforts are on to further improve taxation
- Modi specifically mentioned about how rolling out of the Goods and
Services Tax has resulted in the economic integration in the country, adding
his government was working towards making it more people-friendly.
CII demands government to join RCEP
- Citing a potential increase in trade within Asia-Pacific region and
opportunity for India to become part of the global value chains, the
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said the country should join the
proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement.
- The industry association said that if India does not join the agreement,
it would be cut off from the RCEP region in terms of preferential access and
that this would “hinder investments from many RCEP countries and thus stymie
its efforts to increase its integration into regional and global chains”.
- Talks for the proposed trade pact are in the final stages in Bangkok and
Prime Minister NarendraModi is visiting Thailand from November 2-4 to
participate in various ASEAN related summits, including the ASEAN-India
Summit, East Asia Summit and a meeting on RCEP negotiations.
- The CII’s statement comes at a time when various domestic industries
including dairy, textile and automobiles have raised serious concerns and
opposed the pact over tariff related issues, especially with China.
Reports find Chinese country sides moving towards poverty
- China's countryside is "returning to poverty" as it is affected by the
economic slowdown, ongoing trade war with America and the widening rural and
urban divide, according to a report compiled by a think tank associated with
the country's Agriculture Ministry.
- The report by the Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant says the rural
income has been in decline since 2014 and has fallen by another 20 per cent
in the first half of this year.
- The welfare of the agricultural economy has become ever more crucial as
China's relatively untapped rural consumer market is now seen as a resource
to help offset the slowest growth in more than 28 years, clouded by
continuing trade tensions with the United States, the Post report said.
Commonwealth law minister’s conference begins in Colombo
- In Sri Lanka, the biennial Commonwealth Law Ministers’ Conference began
in Colombo today under the theme Equal Access to Justice and the Rule of
Law. Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad will be
representing India at the conference.
- The four-day conference participated by Law Ministers and Attorney
Generals from Commonwealth countries seeks to address challenges faced by
millions of people seeking to resolve legal problems or disputes.
- Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland emphasized the event’s
significance in the current global context in which obstacles to justice are
prevalent in many forms.
- These include barriers such as poverty, lack of legal aid, distrust of
the justice system and corruption. She said that access to justice is
fundamental for democracy and peace to flourish and so Commonwealth
countries are working actively through mutual support and encouragement to
address barriers that may remain, particularly for vulnerable groups.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Russia agrees to provide life support system to Gaganyaan astronauts
- Russia will not only train Indian astronauts for the country’s maiden
human spaceflight programme or Gaganyaan mission but will also help provide
life support system to the Indian space crew and heating mechanism for the
- A life support system is a group of devices that allow a human to
survive in space. The system supplies air, water and food, maintains optimum
body temperature and deals with human waste products.
- The thermal control system keeps all the spacecraft’s component systems
within acceptable temperature ranges during all phases of the mission.
- If a component is subjected to extreme temperatures, it could get
damaged or its performance could be severely affected.
- Glavkosmos and Isro had earlier signed a contract on June 27 in
providing support in the selection of astronauts, their medical examination
as well as training them for space flight. Under the agreement, Glavkosmos
would select and train four Indian astronauts out of the 12 India would
LakshyaSen wins Saarlor Lux tournament in Germany
- India's LakshyaSen has won the SaarLorLux Open badminton tournament at
Saarbrücken in Germany. He defeated SenWeng Hong Yang of China in an
exciting final last night.
- World number 51 Lakshya took 59 minutes to overcome Weng in the summit
clash. The 18-year-old from Uttarakhand had entered the final beating Kiran
George in an all-Indian semifinal.