Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 16 JANUARY 2020
IMD to change reference dates for onset and withdrawal of monsoons
- With changing rainfall pattern, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)
will change the reference dates for onset and withdrawal of southwest
monsoon from this year, the Ministry of Earth Sciences said on Wednesday.
- June 1 is the onset date for monsoon over Kerala and it is likely to
remain the same but the IMD will change the reference dates for some states
and cities, Rajeevan said, adding the dates for withdrawal of monsoon will
also be changed.
- The new dates are expected to be announced in April when the IMD
releases its First Long Range Forecast for Monsoon 2020, IMD Director
General M Mohapatra said.
- Rajeevan added the IMD is working with the UK's Met department to come
up with impact-based forecast that will suggest measures to be taken during
extreme weather events.
WCD ministry ensures protection of child rights in adoption cases
- Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Zubin Irani has said that
all the rights and privileges of a child are safeguarded during the process
of adoption and transfer of responsibilities to adoptive parents are done in
a completely legal manner.
- She was speaking at the National Consultation on Adoption organized by
Central Adoption Resource Authority, CARA, a statutory body of Ministry of
Women and Child Development.
- Officials and stakeholders from all States and Union Territories
participated in the consultations. Major issues deliberated upon were
simplification of the adoption process, bringing more children in need of
care and protection into the adoption pool and rehabilitation of older and
children with special needs among others.
India to bring in law to safeguard foreign investments
- India is planning a new law to safeguard foreign investment by speeding
up dispute resolution, aiming to attract more capital from overseas to boost
stuttering domestic growth, two officials with direct knowledge of the
- The draft proposal is aimed at diffusing investor mistrust around the
sanctity of agreements, which has worsened recently after some state
governments decided to review approved projects, or threatened to cancel
- While investors can still rely on the existing legal system to settle
disputes, it often takes several years for cases to be decided or settled.
- Investors previously had an option to take India to international
arbitration courts under bilateral investment treaties (BITs) the government
had agreed with dozens of nations. But, after suffering setbacks in overseas
arbitration matters, India has allowed most of its treaties to lapse, giving
investors little to fall back on in case of major disputes.
- India is entangled in more than 20 such overseas arbitration cases - the
most against any country - brought by companies including Vodafone, Deutsche
Telekom and Nissan Motor Co for disputes over retrospective tax claims and
breach of contracts.
India- China trade followed steady path in 2019
- India-China bilateral trade has continued to make steady growth in 2019.
As per Chinese official data released to media yesterday, China-India
bilateral trade stood at 639.52 billion yuans in 2019 which is 1.6 per cent
increase year on year.
- However, in US dollar terms, it has dipped by 3 billion US dollars as
compared to 2018 as overall global trade was moderated in 2019. Bilateral
trade is projected to be about 92.68 billion dollars in 2019 while it was
95.7 billion US dollars in 2018, a record high till now.
- Trade deficit has become a major concern in India-China bilateral
relations. It is India’s biggest single trade deficit running with any
country. India’s trade deficit is two-pronged, the sheer size of the deficit
and its continuous widening year after year to reach 58.04 billion US
dollars in 2018.
- During second informal summit in Chennai last year, the two leaders have
agreed to set up new mechanism led by Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman and
Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua to discuss trade, investment and services,
first meeting of which is expected to take place this year.
- India has been pitching for more market access to Indian IT companies,
pharmaceuticals and agriculture products, including major commodities like
sugar, rice, milk and milk products. India, being a large producer of these
commodities can emerge as a most stable and cost effective source for China.
India visions 2020 as year of implementation of decisions with Russia
- PM NarendraModi on Wednesday suggested that 2020 should be the ‘year of
implementation of those decisions’ arrived between India & Russia in 2019.
- This was decided when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met Modi
here on Wednesday. The Prime Minister noted that several important decisions
and outcomes were reached between the two countries in 2019.
- He suggested that the year 2020, which is also the 20th anniversary year
of the establishment of strategic partnership between India the Russian
Federation, should be the ‘year of implementation of those decisions’.
- The Prime Minister referred to the wide-ranging conversation he had with
President Putin over telephone on 13 January 2020, and noted the progress in
the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries
in the previous year.
- Lavrov conveyed that President Putin looked forward to the visit of the
Prime Minister to Russia in May 2020 to participate in the 75th Anniversary
Celebration of the Victory Day, and in July 2020 for the BRICS and SCO
- The Prime Minister welcomed multiple occasions this year to meet
President Putin, and said that he also looked forward to hosting President
Putin in India for the Annual Bilateral Summit later this year.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
IMD reports 2019 as the warmest year since 1901
- The International Meteorological Organisation released its “State of
Climate Report” for the year 2019. According to the report, the climate
change has claimed 1,659 lives in India in the year 2019. 2019 is the
seventh warmest year since 1901.
- The temperatures were not high as compared to 2016 (the warmest year so
far) mainly due to weak El Nino in the Pacific.
- The extreme weather events that occurred in the country in the year 2019
were all linked to climate change. It includes cyclones, floods, heat
waves,cold waves, landslides, etc. Of all the states, Bihar reported highest
deaths (650) due to extreme weather events.
- Of these 300 died in floods and 350 died due to heat waves. Following
Bihar, other states such as Maharashtra, UP, Kerala, Rajasthan and Karnataka
showed high numbers of deaths due to extreme weather events.
- There were 8 cyclonic storms that were formed in the Indian seas. Of
these, around 5 were formed in Arabian sea. This was unusual as compared to
the usual one per year.
- The report also stated that heavy rains claimed 850 lives. Heat waves
that was stronger in North Eastern and western parts claimed 350 lives.
ICC names Kohli as captain of ODI & Test teams of the year
- India skipper and batting mainstay ViratKohli named captain of the
International Cricket Council's ODI and Test teams of the year.
- Apart from Kohli, there were four other Indians who were picked in the
ICC's Test and ODI teams of the year.
- While the Test team featured double-centurion MayankAgarwal, opener
Rohit Sharma, speedster Mohammed Shami and left-arm spinner KuldeepYadav
found a place in the ODI side.