Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 13 October 2020
SC asks centre to respond to plea on protection of transgenders
- The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government to respond to a plea to provide equal protection in law against sexual abuse for transgender persons.
- The petition filed by advocate ReepakKansal said there was no penal provision which protected them from sex crimes.
- The Bench also asked senior advocate Vikas Singh, who represents Mr.Kansal, to file details of instances in which the court, to protect rights, filled up the vacuum caused by the absence of statutory law.
- “In spite of declaring transgender people to be a ‘third gender’ by this court, there is no provision/section in the Indian Penal Code which may protect the third gender from the sexual assault by male/female or another transgender,” the petition said.
- The PIL challenged the constitutional validity of certain clauses of Section 354A (outraging the modesty of woman) of the IPC, to the extent that they are interpreted to exclude victims of sexual harassment who are transgender persons.
RKA to start campaign to celebrate KamdhenuDeepawaliAbhiyan
- RashtriyaKamdhenuAayog (RKA) has started a nation- wide campaign to celebrate KamdhenuDeepawaliAbhiyan this year on the occasion of Deepawali festival.
- Through this campaign, the RKA is promoting extensive use of cow-dung and products during this Diwali Festival. Manufacture of Cow dung-based Diyas, Candles, Dhoop, Swastik, Wall-piece, Paper-weight, HavanSamagri, Idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi for this year’s Diwali festival has already started.
- Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying in a statement said that RKA aims at reaching 11 crore families to ignite 33 croreDiyas made of cow-dung during this year’s Deepawali festival. The feedback received so far is very encouraging and approximately three lakh Diyas will be ignited in the holy city of Ayodhya alone and one lakh Diyas will be lit in holy city of Varanasi.
- Apart from generating business opportunities to thousands of cow-based entrepreneurs, the use of cow dung products will lead to cleaner and healthier environment and will also help make Gaushalas ‘Atmanirbhar’ too.
- Recently, RashtriyaKamdhenuAayog had launched a nation-wide campaign on various platforms of social media to use eco-friendly material in manufacture of idols of Lord Ganesha for this year’s Ganesha Festival on appeal of the Prime Minister.
Finance ministry brings in measures to boost demand
- Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman announced major schemes to boost demands in the country by nearly 73 thousand crore rupees. Addressing a media briefing in the National Capital today, the minister laid out the details of the fiscally prudent proposals to stimulate demand in the economy.
- Ms.Sitharaman informed that the new proposals aim at giving a thrust of around 36 thousand crore rupees to the consumer demands by the Leave Travel Concession LTC Voucher and Festival advance scheme. Additionally she said, 37 thousand crore rupees will be infused in the capital expenditure by the Centre and the State Governments.
- Briefing about the schemes, the minister informed that in lieu of the LTC for the 2018-21 block term, payments will be made to the government employees for their 10 day Leave encashment and eligible travel fare.
- She informed, the employees opting for the scheme will have to submit GST invoices for purchase of goods or services amounting to three times the value of travel fare in addition to the value of LTC encashment amount.
- The Finance Minister informed that the new proposal is likely to cost nearly 5 thousand 675 crore rupees to the Central Government. She said, if the proposals are uniformly implemented by the State governments, an overall additional consumer demand to the tune of 28 thousand crore rupees will be generated.
- Seven thousand 500 crore rupees will be given to other states in proportion to their share in Finance Commission devolution. The minister also announced that an additional amount of 25 thousand crore rupees will be provided by the Centre through capital expenditure on roads, defence infrastructure, water supply, urban development and domestically produced capital equipment.
India and Maldives signs $400m connectivity pact
- Following up on India’s announcement of a $500 million package to the Maldives, the Exim Bank of India and the Maldives’s Ministry of Finance on Monday signed an agreement for $400 million in Male.
- The line of credit (LoC) will fund the Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP), a key pledge of President Ibrahim Solih, a statement from the Indian Embassy in Male said. India has also pledged a grant of $ 100 million for the initiative.
- The initial announcement was made at a virtual meeting between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid in August. “The Greater Male Connectivity Project will lead to greater possibilities. It is the gateway to a more developed and economically-resilient nation,” tweeted Mr.Shahid on Monday.
EU to sanction Russia over Navalny case
- European Union Foreign Ministers backed a Franco-German plan on Monday to impose sanctions on Russians suspected of poisoning Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent, diplomats said.
- Berlin and Paris made their proposal at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg. They said they have not had a credible explanation from Moscow for what the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said was the presence of the banned Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in Mr.Navalny’s body.
- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Mr.Navalny’s poisoning could not “remain without consequences”. EU diplomats said there was broad support among the 27 Foreign Ministers for asset freezes and travel bans on several Russian GRU intelligence officials.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists claim anti-microbial drug can fight COVID
- An affordable anti-microbial drug used to treat stomach ulcers and bacterial infections has shown promise in combating the coronavirus in animals, scientists in Hong Kong announced on Monday.
- Researchers set out to explore whether metallodrugs — compounds containing metal that are more commonly used against bacteria — might also have anti-viral properties that could fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
- Using Syrian hamsters as test subjects, they found that one of the drugs, ranitidine bismuth citrate (RBC), was “a potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent”.
- “RBC is able to lower the viral load in the lung of the infected hamster by tenfold,” Hong Kong University researcher Runming Wang told reporters on Monday as the team presented their study.
- “Our findings demonstrate that RBC is a potential anti-viral agent for COVID-19.”The Hong Kong scientists said RBC was a commonly available drug used against stomach ulcers with a safe and comprehensive pharmacological profile.
- “It’s been used for decades, so it’s pretty safe,” Mr. Wang said.They added that their research has been published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
Five Indian players set to participate in Grand slam 2020 competition
- Five players from the Indian Judo Team will be participating in the Grand Slam 2020 competition, an International Judo Federation event happening in Budapest, Hungary from 23rd to 26th this month. The full cost of the trip will be borne by the Government.
- The five judokas, consisting of two women and three men players, will leave for the competition on 19th.
- They will have to produce at least two Covid-19 negative individual medical certificates, PCR test made maximum 5 days before arrival and taken 48 hours apart upon arrival at Hungary.