Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 16 December 2021
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 16 December 2021
SC asks states to publiciseCovid ex gratia scheme
The Supreme Court asked all states and Union territories (UTs) to give wide publicity to the Covid ex gratia payout scheme, observing that it is the duty of every welfare state to ascertain benefit reaches all eligible people.
“We are here to only see people who have already suffered, don’t suffer anymore...as a welfare state, should worry if the number of applications and claims go up because of wide publicity on ex-gratia. Every welfare state should give benefit to a maximum number of people who have suffered,” a bench of justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed.
The bench was taking stock of claims received by states and UTs and distribution of the ex-gratia amount of ₹50,000 each to applicants who lost a family member to Covid-19.
The one-time compensation is being disbursed according to the Supreme Court’s orders on June 30 and October 4, which detailed guidelines for disbursal of compensation. The norms are more accommodating than the stricter standards to determine Covid-19 deaths adopted by government-appointed death audit panels.
The bench expressed its displeasure at the slow disbursal of compensation by the Maharashtra government, which reported about 140,000 deaths. “Of 85,000 applications received as of December 9, approximately 1,658 claims have been allowed and payment made. It is very unfortunate,” stated the court, as it directed the state government to clear all claims within 10 days.
The bench also asked the Uttar Pradesh government, represented through its additional advocate general Ardhendumauli K Prasad, to get the state to publish proper advertisements in the newspapers and on TV channels about the online portal for processing the ex gratia claims, besides publicising the helpline numbers.
It expressed satisfaction at the publicity given by the Gujarat government, which advertised the scheme in almost all daily newspapers of the state.
Tunisian President Kais Saied announces constitutional referendum
Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Monday he would call a constitutional referendum next July, a year to the day after he seized broad powers in moves his opponents call a coup, and that parliamentary elections would follow at the end of 2022.
Laying out the timeline for his proposed political changes in a televised speech, Saied said the referendum would take place on July 25, following an online public consultation that will start in January.
Saied's announcement of a road map out of the crisis has been awaited since he suspended parliament, dismissed the prime minister and assumed executive authority.
The delay in detailing the path forward, and the two months it took Saied to name a new prime minister, have added to concerns about Tunisia's ability to address an urgent crisis in its public finances.
The referendum date is Tunisia's Republic Day and the anniversary of his sudden intervention, which has cast doubt on the North African country's democratic gains since the 2011 revolution that triggered the "Arab spring" revolts.
Saied in September brushed aside most of the 2014 democratic constitution to say he could rule by decree during a period of exceptional measures, and promised a dialogue on further changes.
He said in Monday's speech that parliament would remain suspended until Tunisians vote for a replacement assembly on Dec. 17, 2022, the date he has declared to be the official anniversary of the revolution.
"We want to correct the paths of the revolution and history," Saied said in his speech, after lambasting critics of his intervention.
Saied said he would appoint a committee of experts to draft a new constitution, to be ready by June ahead of the referendum.
A clear pathway to ordinary constitutional order may be important for Tunisia to secure international financial assistance as it struggles to finance its fiscal deficit and next year's budget as well as debt repayments.
Maharashtra tops the list of states with maximum number of beneficiaries under ABRY (Self-reliant India Employment Scheme)
Maharashtra has topped the list of states with maximum number of beneficiaries under the Atmanirbhar Bharat RojgarYojana (ABRY), followed by Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, Parliament was informed .
As on December 4, 2021, as many as 6,49,560 beneficiaries were recorded in Maharashtra, followed by Tamil Nadu (5,35,615), Gujarat (4,44,741) and Karnataka (3,07,164), Minister of State for Labour& Employment RameswarTeli said in written reply to LokSabha.
In Maharashtra, the beneficiaries have been provided a total of Rs 409.72 crore under the scheme to new employees of 17,524 establishments.
In Tamil Nadu, the beneficiaries were provided Rs 300.46 crore under the scheme to new employees of 12,803 establishments till December 4, 2021.
In Gujarat, funds to the tune of Rs 278.63 crore have been provided to the new employees of 12,379 establishments and in Karnataka, the beneficiaries were provided a total of Rs 221.63 crore under the scheme to the new employees of 8,024 establishments.
The government had launched ABRY to incentivize employment generation in Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) registered establishments during COVID-19 for a period from October 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.
Under the ABRY, the government is paying both employees' and employers' contributions of 24 per cent of wages (12 per cent of wages for each) in respect of establishments having 1,000 employees and employees' contribution of 12 of wages to establishments employing more than 1,000 employees, the House was informed.
As on December 4, 2021, employment opportunities have been created for 39.73 lakh new employees and benefits of Rs 2612.10 crore were credited upfront in their accounts.
The minister also told the House that the average time taken to process the claims of the EPFO subscribers was 7.3 days during the current fiscal till December 6, 2021 during 2021-22.
It was 8.4 days in 2020-21, and 11.5 days in 2019-20.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
China successfully launches new satellites Shijian-6 05
A Long March 4B launched the Shijian-06 (05) group of satellites Dec. 9, marking the 400th launch of China’s Long March family of launch vehicles.
The Long March 4B lifted off from Site 9401 at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 7:11 p.m. Eastern, rising into a dark blue pre-dawn desert sky.
The Shijian-6 (05) satellites, which could be a pair of satellites to join four earlier pairs satellites in the series, with the previous launch occurring in 2010, were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and Aerospace Dongfanghong Satellite Co., Ltd.
The satellites will be used for space environment exploration and technology verification tests, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., (CASC). No images of the satellites have been published.
Western analysis of the series and their roughly 585-kilometer Sun-synchronous orbits suggests Shijian-6 satellites are designed for signals intelligence or electronic intelligence purposes.
The Long March 4B was provided by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) which like CAST is a major CASC subsidiary. The launcher uses hypergolic propellant and is capable of carrying 2,800 kilograms of payload into Sun-synchronous orbit.
The mission was China’s 49th orbital launch of 2021, extending a new national record for calendar year activity. The vast majority of launches have been Long March rockets, with additional launches from commercial firms Expace, iSpace and Galactic Energy.
Thursday’s launch was also the 400th Long March rocket launch. The official space industry newspaper China Space News marked the Long March achievement with the term “YYDS,” a Chinese equivalent of the abbreviation of GOAT, or “the greatest of all time.”
India to host women's U-18 and U-19 SAFF Championships next year
India will host South Asian Football Federation's (SAFF) U-18 and U-19 Women's Championships next year.
The SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship will be held from March 3-14 while the SAFF U-19 Championship will take place from July 25 to August 3, the All India Football Federation said.
An Indian team is currently playing in the Women's SAFF U-19 Championships in Dhaka.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and hosts India will compete in the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship. The five teams will face each other once in a round-robin format before the top two sides square off in the final.