Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 07 JULY 2020
India-China agree on disengagement of troops from LAC
- National Security Advisory AjitDoval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed border issues in a telephone conversation last Sunday. The two Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on the recent developments in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas.
- The External Affairs Ministry said that the two Special Representatives agreed that both the sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of bilateral relations. They also said that the two sides should not allow differences to become disputes.
- Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility.
- In this regard, they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas.
- They re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident in the future that could disturb peace and tranquility in border areas.
Report suggests around 1.5 lakh families have reached MGNREGA annual work limit
- At least 1.4 lakh poor rural households have already completed their quota of 100 days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the first three months of the year, and will not be eligible for further benefits under the scheme for the rest of the year.
- Another seven lakh households have completed 80 days and are on the verge of running out of work as well, according to the scheme’s database.
- With COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown resulting in thousands of unemployed migrant workers returning to their villages and now dependent on MGNREGA wages, activists are urging the government to increase the limit to at least 200 days per household.
- The MGNREGA scheme contains a provision for districts affected by drought or other natural disasters to request an expansion of the scheme to allow for 150 days of work per household. Given that COVID-19 was declared a national disaster, activists have demanded that this provision be implemented immediately.
- With almost 60,000 households which have completed 100 days of work, Chhattisgarh has the highest rate among States according to central scheme data, followed by Andhra Pradesh with almost 24,500 households in this category.
Government signs pact with World Bank for MSME Emergency Response Programme
- The Government and the World Bank today signed a 750 million US dollar agreement for the MSME Emergency Response Programme.
- It aims at supporting increased flow of finance into the hands of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
- The World Bank’s MSME Emergency Response Programme will address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of some 1.5 million viable MSMEs to help them withstand the impact of the current shock and protect millions of jobs.
- Ministry of Finance in a statement said this is the first step among a broader set of reforms that are needed to propel the MSME sector over time.
- The agreement was signed by Additional Secretary in the Finance Ministry Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the Government and Country Director Junaid Ahmad, on behalf of the World Bank.
Centre reviewing investments proposals from Chinese firms
- The Centre is reviewing about 50 investment proposals involving Chinese companies under a new screening policy, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
- Under new rules announced in April, all investments by entities based in neighbouring countries need to be approved by the Government, whether for new or additional funding. China is the biggest of these investors and the rules drew criticism from Chinese investors and Beijing, which called the policy discriminatory.
- The new investment rules were aimed at curbing opportunistic takeovers during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, industry executives says a deterioration in bilateral relations since a border clash last month, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, could further delay approvals.
- The sources declined to name the companies whose investments are pending approvals. The official, and two other sources, said about 40-50 applications involving funding from a Chinese investor had been filed since the rule change and were currently under review.
- Chinese companies’ existing and planned investments in India stand at more than $26 billion, research group Brookings said in March.
UK brings in new human rights sanctions
- Britain on Monday announced economic sanctions against individuals and organisations from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and North Korea under new U.K. powers to punish human-rights offenders. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the sanctions targeted those behind “some of the notorious human rights violations in recent years.”
- They include senior Saudi intelligence officials accused of involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and Russian authorities implicated in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in a Moscow prison after exposing a tax fraud scheme involving Russian officials.
- Britain has previously imposed sanctions as part of the European Union or under the auspices of the United Nations. Since leaving the EU in January, it has implemented its own version of the U.S.’s Magnitsky Act, which allows authorities to ban or seize assets of individuals guilty of human rights abuses.
- The U.K. law authorises the British government to prevent sanctioned individuals from entering the country, channelling money through British banks, or profiting from the U.K. economy.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Two new species added to India’s list of butterflies
- Lepidopterists in Arunachal Pradesh have helped add two species to India’s expanding list of butterflies.
- One of them, the Striped Hairstreak, was first recorded by Japanese entomologists in Hainan province of China. The other, Elusive Prince, has a Vietnamese connection and was thought to be the more familiar Black Prince found in the Eastern Himalayas.
- “Our team has added the two butterfly species, which has been published in the April-June edition of the Bionotes journal. India now has 1,327 species, up from 1,318 in 2015,” said MinomPertin, deputy director of the Society for Education and Environmental Development (SEED) from Miao in Changlang district.
- The Striped Hairstreak (Yamamotozephyruskwangtugenesis) was located in Vijaynagar bordering Myanmar while the Elusive Prince was found in Miao on the periphery of the Namdapha National Park.
- “The Rohana genus had been represented in India by two species — the Black Prince (Rohanaparisatis) and the Brown Prince (Rohanaparvata). In the former, the male is black and the female is brown while in the latter, both male and female are brown. We have only had a male specimen of the Elusive Prince, so named because it is very difficult to find,” Mr.Smetacek told.
- The scientific name of the Elusive Prince is Rohanatonkiniana, named after Tonkin in north Vietnam, where it was first recorded. It was believed to exist in Bhutan, but studies of the specimen found there have not been conclusive.
- According to Mr.Pertin, the findings from Arunachal Pradesh indicate the rich biodiversity of the State.“The government thus needs to focus on helping volunteers or citizen scientists by providing the support needed. This will help in boosting eco-tourism apart from regular scientific researches,” he said.
Four foreigner rule approved for ISL
- The Indian Super League on Monday approved the 3+1 foreign player regulation, bringing it down from the existing five to boost “increased participation” of local players.
- The regulation will become part of the competition guidelines from the eighth season in 2021-22.The decision was taken during a Football Sports Development Ltd. (FSDL) meeting and is being communicated to the stakeholders, including clubs and the All India Football Federation (AIFF).