Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 06 JANUARY 2020
Centre plans for new legislation for social impact companies
- The government is considering a new law for setting up social impact
companies, where profits can be distributed among the shareholders.An
official said having such companies would help in attracting private capital
towards developmental activities in the country.
- The corporate affairs ministry is working on a new concept for having
social impact companies and the plan is to have a separate legislation in
this regard, the official told.
- Social impact or community interest companies are there in many Western
jurisdictions, including the UK.The larger idea is to attract private
capital into companies that do social good and work towards achieving
sustainable development goals, the official said.
- The work on the concept of social impact companies is at a very early
stage, the official said, adding that it is likely to take a few years to
have the required legislative framework.
- Unlike Section 8 companies, these new class of companies would be
allowed to pay dividends to the shareholders, which means they can share
their profits within permissible limits. They would also have more freedom
in carrying out their business activities, the official added.
Government’s flagship programme of illuminating nation completes five years
- UJALA and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) of the central
government completed five successful years of illuminating the country
today. Over 36.13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed across the country
through the UJALA initiative. This has resulted in estimated energy savings
of 46.92 billion kilowatt-hour per year.
- UnnatJyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) project brought the market
transformation in the energy efficiency sector. Prices of LED bulbs being
distributed under UJALA programme have fallen to one-tenth of their rates,
from 310 rupees in 2015 to 38 rupees in 2018.
- The switch from inefficient incandescent bulbs to LEDs is helping
families reduce their electricity bills while also enabling them to access
better brightness in homes.
- More than 1.03 crore smart LED streetlights have been installed till
date under the Street Lighting National Programme. This has enabled an
estimated energy savings of 6.97 billion kilowatt-hour per year.
DBS report finds Indian economy benefitted from favourable external
- The Indian economy benefited from "favourable external environment" in
2019, following which portfolio inflows into equity and debt touched a
multi-year high, and if this momentum is sustained it will bode well for the
country's external balance, a report said.
- According to Singapore's DBS Banking Group, notwithstanding a
challenging trade outlook, conducive global drivers, such as flush of
liquidity owing to low interest rates and stable oil prices, provided a
favourable external environment for the Indian economy in 2019.
- However, crude oil prices are currently hovering around USD 68 per
barrel after US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iran
Revolutionary Guards commander QasemSoleimani.
- The US had called the strikes in response to a rocket attack days
earlier that had killed an American contractor working in Iraq.
- As per the DBS report, India attracted USD 19 billion worth net
portfolio inflows in CY2019, strongest since 2017. Moreover, foreign flows
into equities was the highest in nearly six years.
HRD ministry to transform education sector soon
- Human Resource Development Ministry took a leap forward in transforming
the education sector with the motto of Education for All and Quality
Education. In the year 2019, Dr K Kasturirangan Committee submitted the
Draft National Education Policy to the ministry.
- The Government had initiated the process of formulating a New Education
Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the requirements of the population
with regard to quality education, innovation and research.
- The Ministry has launched the PradhanMantri Innovative Learning Program
(DHRUV) to identify and encourage talented children to enrich their skills
- AIR Correspondent reports that a National Mission to improve learning
outcomes at the elementary level through an Integrated Teacher Training
Programme, National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic
Advancement -NISHTHA was launched in August last year. This program is aimed
at building the capacities of around 42 lakh teachers and Heads of Schools.
- Under SamagraShiksha, a total of 5930 Kasturba Gandhi BalikaVidyalayas
have been sanctioned in the country out of which 4881 such schools are
- In the year 2019-20. An outlay of over Rs 800 crore has been approved
under sports grant for over 10 lakh government schools of different
categories. The fresh guidelines for sports and physical education are being
India asks Pakistan to condemn violence against minorities
- India has strongly condemned the targeted killing of a minority Sikh
community member at Peshawar in Pakistan. This incident follows the recent
vandalism and desecration of the holy GurdwaraNankana Sahib and the
unresolved case of abduction, forced conversion and marriage of a Sikh girl.
- India has called upon the Pakistan government to stop prevaricating and
to take immediate action to apprehend and give exemplary punishment to the
perpetrators of these heinous acts.
- The External Affairs Ministry said, the Pakistan Government should act
in defense of their own minorities instead of preaching sermons about this
to other countries.
Iran declares that it will no longer abide by 2015 nuclear deal
- Iran has declared that it will no longer abide by any of the
restrictions imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal. Tehran said, it will no
longer observe limitations on its capacity for enrichment, the level of
enrichment, the stock of enriched material, or research and development.
- Under the 2015 accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear
activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting
of crippling economic sanctions.
- The announcement followed a meeting of the Iranian cabinet in Tehran.
Tensions have been high over the killing of Iranian General QasemSoleimani
by the US in Baghdad. Hundreds of thousands turned out in Iran yesterday to
give Soleimani a hero's welcome ahead of his funeral tomorrow.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
ISRO to setup optical telescope under project NETRA
- The Indian Space Research Organization signed a pact with Indian
Institute of Astrophysics to establish an optical telescope under “Project
- The organisation also tied up with NIT-Karnataka to set up a regional
academic centre for space to promote research and development.
- Project NETRA was launched by ISRO in September 2019. Under the Project,
ISRO plans to set up observational facilities that will help in making
earlywarnings to satellites about debris and hazards in their orbit.
- It includes radars, telescopes, control centres and data processing
units. The aim isto make the facilities powerful enough to track even the
smallest particle of 10 cm diameter up to a range of 3,400 km.
- The project will help India detect threats to Indian satellites from
debris. Currently, India operates 15 communication satellites, 13 remote
sensingsatellites and eight navigation satellites.
- Space debris is the biggest problem of the satellites sector. There are
more than 7,500 tonnes of space debris that are circling the earth at
present.These junks include screws of old rocket bodies to defunct space
crafts that pose collision hazard to satellites.
- Apart from ISRO, DRDO (Defence Research Development Organisation)
operates NETRA (Network Traffic Analysis). It is a software network used to
analyseinternet traffic. It is used by Research and Analysis Wing (RAW),
Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other intelligence agencies of Government of