Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 14 December 2021

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 14 December 2021


PM Modi to address national summit on zero-budget natural farming in Gujarat

  • Prime Minister NarendraModi will address a national summit to popularize zero-budget natural farming (ZNBF) on December 16 in Gujarat’s Anand, as policymakers prepare for a big push for the technique agricultural scientists say is unproven.
  • The National Summit on Agro and Food Processing, in which Modi is set to make a valedictory address via videoconferencing, is being organized by the Gujarat government. Nearly 5,000 farmers are expected to take part, besides 80 institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and KrishiVigyanKendras, or state-run farm-extension centres. 
  • “In the summit, basic knowledge on how to adopt zero-budget natural farming will be showcased,” agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal said in a media briefing on Monday. “The purpose is to impart knowledge.”
  • On November 19, Modi, while announcing a decision to cancel the three contentious farm laws after a year of protests, had said the Centre would set up a committee to ensure minimum support prices and promote zero budget farming. 
  • ZBNF, a technique of farming developed by Padma awardee SubhashPalekar of Maharashtra, aims to bring down input costs by making farmers rely on natural inputs, shifting away from agricultural chemicals. It mainly relies on an admixture of urine and dung of native Indian cows. 
  • The technique is not scientifically validated, and there is no evidence to show if it added any value to farmers, agricultural scientists say. 
  • In 2019, the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) wrote to Modi, expressing concern over the possible negative impacts of ZBNF on farm incomes and food security. 

Himachal Pradesh government set up general category commission

  • A Commission for General Category in Himachal Pradesh – SamanyaVargAyog- was formed within a few hours by the HP Government on Thursday. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur yielded to the warning given by the people of the general category to press NOTA in the elections next year. 
  • What made him accelerate this process was the Gherao of TapovanVidhanSabha, Dharamshala, on the first day of the winter session by thousands of protestors from the general category under the banner of DevbhoomiSwarnMorcha and DevbhoomiKashatriyaSangathan.   
  • The protestors had earlier warned to gherao the Assembly complex on the first day of the winter session, and they did do it. 
  • But the bigger concern for the Jairam Thakur-led government was the warning from the people of the general category to press the NOTA button in the next Assembly elections due to be held in 2022. In Himachal Pradesh, according to the 2011 census, more than 50% population belong to the general category, making it the majority 
  • vote bank. Moreover, these organizations had claimed that the reason for the defeat of BJP on the MandiLokSabha seat in the recent by-elections was a result of pressing the NOTA button.


Pakistan extends OIC summit invitation to Taliban

  • In order to get the Taliban international recognition, Islamabad on Monday invited the Islamic Emirate to the summit of the Organization of the Islamic Countries which is scheduled to be held on December 19.
  • WaliullahShaheen, head of the Center for Strategic Studies at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the Afghan economy, banking system and the normalization of Afghanistan's relations with the world are the main agenda items for the meeting, reported Tolo News.
  • "The economy, banking system and normalization of Afghanistan's relations with the world are the agenda items of the meeting, and we, as the foreign ministry (of Afghanistan), will participate in this meeting," he said.
  • In addition to the members of the OIC, Pakistan media reported that delegations from the US, Russia, Britain, the European Union, the World Bank and humanitarian organizations have also been invited to the conference.
  • "Many Islamic countries don't have good ties with Afghanistan. I hope these countries rebuild their relations and together make a decision on recognizing Afghanistan," said SayedIshaqGailani, head of the National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan.


India, UAE likely to finalise deal by next month: Goyal

  • Union commerce minister PiyushGoyal said trade negotiations between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are at an advanced stage and the two partners are expected to wrap up a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) by January 2022.
  • “Hopefully, by the end of this month or next month, we hope to conclude them [the negotiations] so that this would probably be one of the fastest trade agreement between two countries ever made,” he said at the India Global Forum UAE-2021.
  • On October 12, Hindustan Times reported about the government’s aggressive timelines for trade agreements with at least three countries — the UAE, the UK and Australia — by 2022 as part of its ambitious target of $500 billion exports by FY-23. The report said that a CEPA is expected to be formalised with the UAE by early 2022 followed by a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK.
  • Addressing the forum virtually, Goyal said the agreement will be mutually beneficial for both countries as it will provide “market access to each other” and some elements of the agreement are “the first of its kind” for both countries.
  • During his India visit in September, Zeyoudi said the UAE is excited about the trade agreement with India, which will boost bilateral trade between both nations. “India is now the UAE’s second largest trading partner,” he said, adding that during the first half of 2021, the total volume of non-oil trade between the two countries reached $21 billion.
  • “The proposed trade agreement has blessings of the leaderships of the two countries and both sides are working to achieve this, which will complement the India-UAE strategic partnership,” the official quoted above said.


ISRO and Oppo collaborate to strengthen R&D of NavIC messaging

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed an agreement with Chinese smart devices maker Oppo's Indian arm to strengthen the research and development of the NavIC messaging service.
  • The NavIC system provides regional navigation services covering the Indian mainland and an area up to 1,500 km beyond the Indian mainland. In addition to its primary function of providing PNT (position, navigation and timing) services, NavIC is also capable of broadcasting short messages.
  • Under the agreement ISRO and Oppo India will exchange technical information of NavIC messaging services to build rapid, ready to use, end-to-end application-specific solutions by integrating NavIC messaging service with the mobile handset platform keeping in mind the need of Indian users.
  • "The memorandum will pave the way for future collaborations between ISRO and Oppo India to develop indigenous solutions by incorporating the NavIC short messaging feature in the smartphones released by OPPO India," Oppo India said in a statement.
  • "Under our latest MoU, we will support ISRO with our industry-leading R&D capabilities to provide a seamless experience to the users of the NavIC application. In line with our vision towards Make In India, OPPO will invest in further scaling the product with its competitive and experienced R&D team," Oppo India Vice President, India R&D Head TasleemArif said.
  • Oppo India has its manufacturing unit in Noida and R&D centre in Hyderabad.


International Olympic Committee announces $560,000 aid for Afghan athletes

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced an aid package of USD 560,000 to help up to 2,000 Afghan beneficiaries carry on their sporting activities.
  • "An aid package of up to USD 560,000 was approved today by the IOC Executive Board; this will benefit up to 2,000 beneficiaries and help them over the winter to carry on their sporting activities," IOC said in a statement.

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