Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 05 MARCH 2020

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 05 MARCH 2020

::NATIONAL::

Central government launches second phase of SBM (Grameen)

  • The Centre has launched the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen)- SBM(G) Phase-II. It will be implemented from 2020-2021 to 2024-2025 in a mission mode with an outlay of one lakh 40 thousand 881 crore rupees.

  • Union Minister of JalShakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat today launched the second phase of the mission at a National Dissemination and Consultation workshop in New Delhi today.

  • The second phase will focus on sustaining the gains made under the programme in the last five years in terms of toilet access and usage, ensuring that no one is left behind. It will also ensure that effective solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) is instituted in every Gram Panchayat of the country.

  • Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shekhawat lauded the enormous success of Phase-I of the SBM (G) and said that the cabinet approval of Phase II is a great recognition to the signification achievements made under the mission. It will continue to generate employment and provide impetus to the rural economy through the construction of household toilets and community toilets.

  • Union Minister released a study done by the UNICEF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on the impact of the SBM(G) on rural women. The study titled Impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) on the convenience, safety and self-respect of women in rural India - surveyed 6,993 women across the 5 states in February this year.

Supreme court frees trade in cryptocurrencies

  • The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside an April 6, 2018, circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that prohibited banks and entities regulated by it from providing services in relation to virtual currencies (VCs).

  • “Till date, RBI has not come out with a stand that any of the entities regulated by it namely, nationalised banks/scheduled commercial banks/cooperative banks/NBFCs, have suffered any loss or adverse effect directly or indirectly, on account of VC exchanges,” a Bench comprising Justices RohintonNariman, Aniruddha Bose and V. Ramasubramanian observed in a 180-page judgment.

  • Besides, the court found that the RBI did not consider the availability of alternatives before issuing the circular.

  • On November 2, 2017, the Centre constituted an Inter-Ministerial Committee, which initially recommended the ‘Crypto-token Regulation Bill of 2018’.

  • This Bill found a complete ban on VCs an “extreme tool” and suggested regulatory measures. At that point, the committee was even fine with the idea of allowing the sale and purchase of digital crypto assets at recognised exchanges.

::ECONOMY::

Centre amends companies act, eases CSR requirements amongst other features

  • The Centre proposes to amend the Companies Act again, in a bid to decriminalise a number of offences and ease corporate social responsibility (CSR) requirements, especially for smaller companies.

  • The Centre proposes to recategorise 23 offences so that they can be dealt with through an in-house adjudication framework, while five types of offences will be dealt with under different alternative frameworks.

  • The proposed amendments will also ensure that companies which have an obligation to spend ₹50 lakh per annum or less on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are no longer required to have a CSR committee.

  • Companies that spend more than the mandatory 2% on CSR in a particular year can carry it forward as credit for fulfilment of CSR obligations for the next few years as well, she said.

Bonds yields decline post U.S fed rate cuts

  • After the U.S. Federal Reserve reduced interest rates on Tuesday to fight the economic slowdown due to the spread of COVID-19, there is growing expectation in the domestic market that the Reserve Bank will follow suit.

  • Bond yields softened on Wednesday amid rate cut hopes, with the yield on the 10-year government bond dropping 12 bps to close the day at 6.23%.

  • After cutting interest rates by 135 bps between February and October 2019, the central bank has hit the pause button. At the same time, it introduced long-term repo operationsthrough which it lends to banks at rates cheaper than prevailing market rates.

  • “We see 50 bps risk to [first half of 2020] growth if the COVID infection worsens. As it is, we see FY20 growth at 4.9% and FY21 at 5.6%,” BofaML said in a note, adding that rate cut could happen during the June-August and Oct.-Dec. periods.

  • The rupee, which weakened in the last three sessions, ended 4 paisa higher on Wednesday amid a volatile trading as it hit the day’s low of 73.63 a dollar, closing at 73.19.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

Srilanka to lead BIMSTEC science, technology & innovation sector

  • Sri Lanka will lead the science, technology and innovation sector in the BIMSTEC and a facility for technology transfer is planned to be opened in the future.

  • This was agreed during the 20th Session of the senior officials’ meeting chaired by Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary RavinathaAryasinha in Colombo yesterday. A press statement issued today said, Sri Lanka,will also appoint a Director to the BIMSTEC secretariat in June.

  • Foreign Secretary Aryasinha said, Sri Lanka had sought to reinvigorate the 20-year-old organization since it assumed the chair last year. He said, Sri Lanka had focused on the need for institutional building through the finalization of the BIMSTEC charter and the allocation of defined areas of cooperation among the member states.

  • He added that Sri Lanka scheduled to hand over the chairmanship to Thailand later this year is keen for cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, technology, tourism and connectivity, ahead of the summit, scheduled later this year.

  • BIMSTEC Secretary General Shahidul Islam emphasized the importance of sectoral meetings for more comprehensive cooperation and called for the support of all member states on this front, as well as in negotiation on BIMSTEC free trade area.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

European commission launches global coalition for biodiversity

  • On March 3, 2020, on the sidelines of the World Wildlife Day celebrations, Global Coalition for Biodiversity was launched. The initiative was launched by the European commission. The coalition was named “United for Biodiversity”.

  • The Global Coalition is constituted of national parks, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens and science museums that are spread all over the world.The Coalition has called the institutions all over the world to join before the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China.

  • The Convention is to be held in China in October 2020. The coalition has been welcomed by several organizations including United Nations Environment Programme.

  • The Coalition cited Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services findings that more than 1 million species are under risk of extinction.

  • The Coalition hence adopted a pledge to appeal to visitors of the institutions associated with it to “raise voice for Nature”.=

  • IPBES is Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It was established in Panama City in 2012 by 94 countries.It is not a part of United Nations. However, on the request of IPBES, the United Nations Environment Programme provides secretariat services to IPBES.

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