Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 15 MAY 2020
NHRC issues notice to states over plight of migrants
- The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday issued notices
to the Maharashtra government over the “inappropriate approach” adopted for
the release of prisoners to avoid the SARS-CoV-2 infection and the incident
of a pregnant migrant giving birth on the road.
- In the second case, it also issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh
government as the woman was walking from Maharashtra to Satna, her home
town, when she was forced to give birth on the road.
- Taking cognisance of a complaint by its prison monitor MajaDaruwala, the
NHRC noted that “allegedly, the policy adopted by the Maharashtra government
to decongest jails has arisen due to the misinterpretation of directions
given by the Supreme Court in the matter”.
- “The Commission has observed that it is aware of the fact that in many
jails, the prisoners as well as the staff members have fallen prey to
COVID-19 owing to overcrowding, lack of manpower and medical facilities,” an
NHRC statement said.
- In the second case, the NHRC took suomotu cognisance of media reports on
Tuesday about a pregnant woman developing labour pain while walking with her
husband from Nashik in Maharashtra to Satna.She gave birth on the road,
resting for two hours and continuing to walk the remaining 150 km.
Centre considering work from home for government staff
- Post lockdown, the Union government will continue staggered and variable
work hours for its employees with the Personnel Ministry floating a draft
consultation paper on best work-from-home practices.
- The Department of Personnel and Training may provide the option of work
from home to eligible officers and other employees for 15 days a year as a
matter of policy, the paper said.The department asked the Ministries and
departments to send in their suggestions by May 21.
- “Extra protocol for all VIP and Parliament matters”, which require
utmost attention, is among the proposals. An employee working from home
cannot process “classified papers/files”.
- “As per instructions of the Ministry of Home Affairs, no classified
information shall be handled through e-office. Therefore, classified files
shall not be processed in e-office during work from home,” the draft paper
- The National Informatics Centre (NIC) may evaluate the existing security
protocol for remote access of classified file and information in
consultation with the Home Ministry and propose suitable guidelines and the
standard operating procedures (SOP) for handling classified information in
e-office, it said.
WPI inflation declines to 3.6% in April
- Union Government today released truncated data for April wholesale
price-based inflation saying there was limited transaction of products in
the market due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
- As per the data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry,
Wholesale Price Index (WPI) deflation in primary articles was 0.79 per cent
in April, as against an inflation of 3.72 per cent in March.
- The fuel and power basket saw a deflation of 10.12 per cent in April,
against 1.76 per cent deflation in the previous month.The rate of inflation
based on WPI Food Index decreased from 5.49 per cent in March, 2020 to 3.60
per cent in April, 2020.
- An official statement said, all commodities WPI could not be computed
for April-2020 due to non-availability of manufactured product group index.
It added, the price indices of primary articles have been computed based on
mandi prices of agricultural items, ex-mine prices of minerals, prices of
crude petroleum and natural gas.
Centre’s financial backup to ease discoms of liquidity pressures
- The Centre’s decision to provide ₹90,000 crore liquidity injection for
the funds-starved electricity distribution companies (Discoms) is likely to
ease the liquidity pressure in the Indian power sector and likely to benefit
the consumers with continuity of uninterrupted power supply.
- The loan will be provided against the ₹94,000 crore receivables of the
discoms and will be secured against receivables, and additionally guaranteed
by the respective state governments.
- The funds will be infused within a couple of days by offering
concessional loans to state electricity discoms, which would be 150 basis
points lower than the usual lending rates by the PFC and REC.
India reminds China of GilgitBaltistan territorial rights
- The recent incidents of face-off between the troops of India and China
are neither correlated nor have any connection with other global or local
activities, Army chief Gen. Manoj Naravane said on Thursday.
- The statement was supplemented by official spokesperson of the Ministry
of External Affairs AnuragSrivastava who reminded China about India’s claims
over Gilgit-Baltistan where China has teamed up with Pakistan to build the
- The assertion is important as it was made a day after Power China, one
of the biggest Chinese power companies, received a contract to build the
Diamer-Bhasha dam which once completed will allow Pakistan to use the waters
of the Indus for irrigation. Islamabad claims that the dam will help reduce
downstream flood by the Indus.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Fly ash barges causing threat to Sunderban ecology
- The Fisheries organization and environmental experts flag serious
threats to the ecology of Indian Sundarbans as the fly ash filled barges are
sinking and capsizing in Hooghly river.
- In April 2020, two fly ash filled barges sank within a range of 30
kilometres of Hooghly river. Around 100 Bangladeshi barges each weighing 600
tonnes to 800 tonnes traverse through Indian waters.
- They carry fly ash from Indian thermal power station to Bangladesh where
the fly ashes are used in manufacturing cement.
- The vessels that sunk in the river are threatening the local fishes and
other aquatic biodiversity. This in turn is affecting lives of 1000s of
- Most of the barges that are carrying the fly ashes are old and are ill
maintained. They often cause accidents.
- The Fly Ash is a by product of coal combustion. Fly ash has several
useful applications. It includes concrete production, embankments, fly-ash
pellets,road subbase construction, cement clinker production, brick
ICC to decide on WT20 championships by this month end
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board is set to discuss the
possibility of resumption of international sport and the prospects of
staging the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
- With international sport, including cricket, coming to a standstill due
to the pandemic, the ICC Board — the highest decision-making authority of
cricket’s governing body — on March 27 had discussed contingency planning in
case the marquee event in Australia cannot go ahead as per schedule in
- It will be interesting to see if major cricket boards, especially the
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), push for utilising the T20
World Cup window to make up for lost time in the bilateral series calendar.