Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 14 February 2019

SSC CGL Current Affairs


Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 14 February 2019


::NATIONAL::

Centre to seek legal advice on deletion of biometric data

  •  The government will seek legal counsel on whether it can delete the biometric data of young people who choose to quit Aadhaar once they turn 18, UIDAI CEO and Revenue Secretary Ajay BhushanPandey said.
  •  The Union Cabinet recently approved amendments to the Aadhaar Act, including a provision that gives a child, on attaining maturity (18 years), the power to withdraw his or her Aadhaar details. This entails that the Unique Authority of India remove all the details, including biometrics of such persons.
  •  “Regarding the biometric data, that is something we will have to take a legal opinion because if you delete the biometric data, then suppose that person comes again and does enrolment, then how will that operate.”
  •  “Maybe that data could be kept somewhere separate, but how that will function, we will have to take legal opinions,” an official said.
  •  The Aadhaar Act was not passed during the just-concluded Budget session of the LokSabha, and so it will have to be reintroduced under a new government.

::ECONOMY::

Survey data relating to electrification in contrast to Saubhagya scheme data

  •  Only 84% of rural households have electricity connection in the four States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan, a comprehensive private sector survey of 10,000 households has found.
  •  This is in contrast to the government’s Saubhagya Scheme data, which shows that 100% household electrification has been achieved in U.P., Bihar and Odisha; and 99.9% in Rajasthan.
  •  According to the data in the survey report by SmartPower, the 84% figure for households with electricity connections could actually be even lower. The report said that 90% of the households surveyed had an electric connection or “electric pole within 50 m distance”.
  •  “Overall 16% of households use non-grid-electricity sources, half of which also have grid connections.This is an important finding, as there is an assumption that non-grid sources are popular only among un-electrified households,” the report added.
  •  This is probably best explained by the finding that 80% of the households with electricity infrastructure within 50 m said they did not make use of an electricity connection because they could not afford one. Other reasons for choosing off-grid sources included unreliable supply of electricity, inadequate supply of electricity and lack of residence proof.

WPI inflation falls to 10 month low in January

  •  Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 10-month low of 2.76 per cent in January over the previous month on softening prices of fuel and some food items.
  •  According to government data released today, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 3.8 per cent in December 2018 and 3.02 per cent in January 2018.
  •  Inflation in kitchen essentials like potato, onion, fruits, and milk softened in January over the previous month, the data revealed.
  •  The retail inflation, released earlier this week, too declined marginally to 2.05 per cent in January over the previous month on the continued decline in food prices, including vegetables and eggs.
  •  The rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index consisting of ‘Food Articles’ from Primary Articles group and ‘Food Product’ from Manufactured Products group increased from 0.07% in December, 2018 to 1.84% in January, 2019.

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::INTERNATIONAL::

India & U.S to discuss trade and E-com rules

  •  U.S. Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster will lead a delegation of officials to hold talks with Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday to resolve several sore trade points, including the concerns of American CEOs regarding doing business in India and bilateral trade imbalance.
  •  The status of the review of India’s eligibility for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is also likely to come up in the light of recent developments where the U.S. has again threatened to withdraw the export exemptions for India.
  •  Other issues that had particularly incensed American businesses are India’s new data localisation rules that force foreign companies to store Indians’ data within the country, and rules amending FDI rules in e-commerce that had hurt American giants like Amazon and Walmart.
  •  Trade tensions between the two countries rose last March when U.S. President Donald Trump notified the imposition of higher import tariffs on steel and aluminium, which affected several countries, including India.
  •  Mr. Ross,Commerce Secretary U.S will also try to resolve trade imbalance between India and the U.S., a sore point raised by President Trump. India's exports to the U.S. in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. He had earlier raised the issue of unequal trade and tariffs between the two countries.

India and Finland to Cooperate in the field of peaceful use of outer space

  •  The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister NarendraModi has given its approval for Memorandum of Understanding between India and Finland on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space.
  •  The signed MoU will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and exploration of outer space.
  •  Cooperation with the Government of Finland would lead to develop a joint activity in the field of application of space technologies for the benefit of humanity.
  •  Under this MoU the Participants or upon their authority, the implementing agencies, may set up project teams if necessary, to manage specific cooperative projects taken up under implementing arrangements.
  •  The Participants will each nominate a coordinator for the purpose of coordinating cooperative activities under this MoU. In order to facilitate the implementation of this MoU, the Participants could meet on mutual decision alternately in India or in Finland or through videoconference.
  •  The Participants or, upon their authority, the implementing agencies, may set up project teams if necessary, to manage specific cooperative projects taken up under implementing arrangements.

::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::

AYUSH Minister launches e-AUSHADHI portal

  •  Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH, ShriShripadYessoNaik launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters today at New Delhi.
  •  Addressing the gathering ShriNaik said that this e-AUSHADHI portal is intended for increased transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability.
  •  The Minister informed that timelines will be fixed for processing of application through this portal with SMS and e-mail status updates at each step of the process. He said that such an initiative of the Ministry of AYUSH is a reflection of our Government’s commitment towards e-governance, ease of doing business and Make in India.
  •  Speaking on the occasion Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH said that Ministry endeavours to come out with new initiatives and solutions to address the problems faced by practitioners, manufactures and consumers of AYUSH medicines.
  •  In this direction, this new e-portal is an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative. He further added that this portal will not only aid the licensing authority , manufactures and consumers, as it will provide real time information of the licensed manufactures and their products, cancelled and spurious drugs, contact details of the concerned authority for specific grievances.

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