Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 20 FEBRUARY 2020
Centre gives approval for 22nd law commission
- The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to set up the 22nd
Law Commission.The Law Commission advises the government on complex legal
issues. The term of the previous law panel ended last August.The Law
Ministry will now notify the new panel, which will have a three-year term.
- Apart from a full-time chairperson, the commission will have four
full-time members, including a member-secretary.The Law and Legislative
Secretaries in the Law Ministry will be ex-officio members of the
- “It will also have not more than five part-time members,” an official
statement said.A retired Supreme Court judge or Chief Justice of a High
Court will head the commission.
- Originally formed in 1955, the commission is reconstituted every three
years and so far, 277 reports have been submitted to the government.
- The previous Law Commission, under Justice B.S. Chauhan (retd.), had
submitted reports and working papers on key issues such as simultaneous
elections to the LokSabha and the Assemblies and a uniform civil code.
- While it supported simultaneous elections, the commission had said the
time for a common code was not yet ripe. In 2015, a proposal was mooted to
make the law panel into a permanent body either through an Act of Parliament
or an executive order (resolution of the Union Cabinet).
Second phase of swachhbharat mission gets nod
- The Centre will begin implementing the second phase of its Swachh Bharat
mission in rural areas from April, focusing on solid and liquid waste
management and the sustainability of the abolition of open defecation.
- On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved an allocation of ₹52,497 crore
for the scheme from the budget of the Department of Drinking Water and
Sanitation over the next four years, according to an official statement.
- The remaining outlay of ₹88,384 crore until 2024-25 will come via a
convergence model, depending on funds released under the 15th Finance
Commission and money allocated to the rural jobs guarantee scheme, as well
as a revenue generation model being developed for solid and liquid waste
- The Union Budget for 2020-21 had allocated ₹9,994 crore for the first
year of the mission’s Phase-II.
Government to set up central consumer protection authority soon
- Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has said the Central Consumer Protection
Authority (CCPA) will be set up by the first week of April this year.
- The CCPA to be set up under Consumer Protection Act 2019, will address
issues related to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, misleading
advertisements and impose penalties for selling spurious and adulterated
- Briefing reporters in New Delhi after interaction with industry bodies
on the roles and functions of CCPA, Mr Paswan said, an investigative wing
will be formed under the aegis of the authority and it will carry out
inquiries in matters related to unfair trade practices and misleading
advertisements. He also said the rules related to Consumer Protection Act
will be finalized within one and half months.
- The Minister asserted that protecting the interest of consumers is
paramount for the government. During the meeting with industry bodies,
Mr.Paswan also stressed on the need to regulate e-commerce and direct
selling as there is no regulatory body for these sectors right now.
Centre cuts contribution by half in crop insurance schemes
- The Centre has almost halved its contribution to its own flagship crop
insurance schemes, slashing its share of the premium subsidy from the
current 50% to just 25% in irrigated areas and 30% for unirrigated areas
from the kharif season of 2020.
- The Union Cabinet approved the revamp of the
PradhanMantriFasalBimaYojana (PMFBY) and the Restructured Weather Based Crop
Insurance Scheme at its meeting on Wednesday.
- In another significant step, enrolment in the two schemes has also been
made voluntary for all farmers, including those with existing crop loans.
When the PMFBY was launched in 2016, it was made mandatory for all farmers
with crop loans to enrol for insurance cover under the scheme.
- PMFBY has come in from flak from a wide variety of stakeholders. Farmers
groups and opposition politicians have claimed that private insurance
companies have made windfall gains on the scheme.
- Several major insurers, including ICICI Lombard and Tata AIG, have opted
out of the scheme in 2019-20, reportedly due to losses because of high
claims ratios. Several States, including Punjab and West Bengal, have
refused to participate in the scheme as well.
- Farmers pay a fixed share of the premium: 2% of the sum insured for
kharif crops, 1.5% for rabi crops and 5% for cash crops. Currently, the
Centre and State split the balance of the premium equally. However, the
revamp now reduces the burden on the Centre and increases the share of
Indian high commission in Dhaka holds seminar on defence equipments
- High Commission of India in Bangladesh organised a seminar on Indian
Defence Equipment in Dhaka on Wednesday. According to a press release issued
by the High Commission of India in Bangladesh, 12 Indian firms participated
in the event.
- Speaking on the occasion, India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva
Ganguly Das said that India and Bangladesh have close cooperation in many
diverse areas and it was natural for them to pursue further cooperation in
the field of defence technologies.
- Bangladesh Minister for Industries, NurulMajid Mahmud Humayun was the
chief guest. Paying tribute to Sheikh MujiburRahman he said that Bangbandhu
had emphasized on building disciplined and professional Armed Forces in the
- The Minister said that Bangladesh's Security Forces have earned a name
for themselves as disciplined and professional force.He said the seminar
provided an opportunity for defence manufacturers from India in developing
fruitful partnerships with Bangladesh.
Srilanka considering withdrawal form sponsorship of UN war probe resolution
- Sri Lankan Prime Minister MahindaRajapaksa on Wednesday said that his
government will withdraw from co-sponsoring a UN Human Rights Council
resolution on accountability for war crimes.
- His statement came days after the U.S. imposed travel restrictions on
Army chief Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva and his immediate family members over
alleged gross violations of human rights during the final phase of the
island nation’s Civil War in 2009.
- “Our government has decided to withdraw from the process of
co-sponsorship in relation to resolution 30-/1,” Mr.Rajapaksa said in a
statement. The resolution 30/1 on promotion on reconciliation in Sri Lanka
was co-sponsored in 2015 by the then Sri Lankan government.
- The resolution also called for an independent investigation with foreign
judges and prosecutors to probe war crimes allegation.Mr. Rajapaksa accused
his predecessor of betraying the island’s security forces by co-sponsoring
- The 2015 resolution was based on the UNHRC report, which had accused the
Lankan troops of violating human rights, Mr.Rajapaksa’s statement said.
- Sri Lanka’s ruling and opposition parties have strongly opposed the U.S.
move to impose the travel ban on Lt. Gen. Silva, saying America’s decision
was based on independently unverified information.
- Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena last week said that Lt. Gen. Silva
was only conducting a war against a designated terrorist group which was the
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Kerala opposes Karnataka’s plan to provide alternate route for Bandipur
- The Kerala government has opposed in the Supreme Court an alternative
route proposed by Karnataka to bypass the night-time traffic ban on the
National Highway 212 through the Bandipur National Park.
- In an affidavit, Kerala submitted that the alternative route goes
through the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and Tholpetty wildlife
sanctuary in Kerala “where wild animals are wandering freely in heavy
numbers and it will take more time for the land acquisition for developing
the route.” Further, clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment,
Forest and Climate Change is mandatory.
- “The ban on night traffic through NH 212 issued by the District
Magistrate was without any study or preparation. Mudumalai, Bandipur Tiger
Reserves and Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary make one contiguous tiger territory
and tigers move freely within this area. It is illogical and inappropriate
to impose enhanced level of restriction only in one part of this tiger
territory to protect tigers. It will not yield the desired result,” Kerala
argued in the Supreme Court.
- On the other hand, the highway is the arterial road connecting the metro
city of Kozhikode and Wayanad with Mysuru and Bengaluru.
- The State dismissed the argument raised in the apex court that “by now
the wildlife has adapted itself to the night-time restriction on traffic.”
It said the argument owes itself more to a reluctance withdraw the ban.
- “If at all any restrictions of vehicular movement is to be done in
wildlife areas, it should be done uniformly across the country under the
relevant laws such as the Wildlife Protection Act and not under the Motor
Vehicles Act. Otherwise it amounts to colourable exercise of power. There is
no provision under the MV Act to protect wildlife,” the State argued.
India to host AFC women’s Asia cup in 2022
- India will host the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. The Women's Committee of
the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced this in Kuala Lumpur,
- Besides India, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan were the other competing
candidates. But It was felt that India was best placed among the three
- AFC Women's Committee Chairperson MahfuzaAkhterKiron said India offers
the best opportunities to build the event commercially as well as increasing
- India is also committed to developing the women's game. Besides, India
will have the experience of hosting the FIFA Women's Under-17 World Cup
later this year. Hence India stands out.