Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 20 JANUARY 2020
SC forms committee to form draft mediation law
- The Supreme Court has, through a unique step, set up a panel to firm up
a draft legislation to give legal sanctity to disputes settled through
mediation, which would then be sent to the government as a suggestion from
the apex court.
- The mediators emphasised on confidentiality, the voluntary nature of the
process, neutrality, avoiding conflicts of interest, enforceability of
- The committee has roped in international experts on mediation, which
includes HiroAragaki and Joel Lee, who are experts on alternative dispute
- Experts feel it is a progressive step and just as amending the
Arbitration Act 1996 promoted institutional arbitration, an overarching
legislation would create legal sanctity and avoid inconsistencies between
the various pieces of existing legislation.
Assam accord panel suggests ILP as well as reservations in jobs
- The committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has in a draft report
suggested constitutional safeguards, among other steps, to protect the
identity and heritage of the Assamese people, sources in the know said.
- The panel in its preliminary report is learnt to have suggested the
introduction of Inner Line Permit, reservation of seats in the legislative
assembly and local bodies, and reservations in employment for the Assamese
- The committee will hold discussions with the attorney general of India
before submitting its final report, said a member of the committee, who did
not want to be named. “The panel has members from the legal fraternity but
it is always better to have a second check,” an associated person said.
Centre moots database of workers in informal sector
- The government is set to do a count of rickshaw pullers, street-side
vendors and hawkers, and other unorganised workforce, in its first effort to
create a national database of an estimated 450 million informal sector
workers and provide them universal social security coverage.
- As part of this survey, informal sector workers would be asked about
their occupation, monthly incomes and days of employment, and their profiles
would be seeded with Aadhaar to deliver the benefits.
- Nearly 90% of the country’s workforce is in the informal sector with no
minimum wages or any kind of social security. The survey is expected to
yield crucial employment data on the informal sector, filling a vital gap in
- The National Statistical Commission will be roped in to compile data on
the size, distribution and economic contribution of these unorganised
workers to the national output.
- The exercise will start soon and take at least a year to complete. It is
expected to help create a base for the government to identify genuine
beneficiaries to be targeted when it moves towards universal social
Government considers fixing NBS rate for Urea
- The government is likely to fix nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) rate for
urea before rolling out the direct cash transfer (DCT) of urea subsidy to
- The subsidy will not be universal for farmers across the country and
will be based on soil health and size of the landholding. Tenant farmers
would also be eligible to get the subsidy on production of valid tenancy
- Fixing NBS rate for urea will encourage balanced use of urea and bring
in efficiency in the fertiliser industry by infusing competition. The DCT is
aimed at replacing the existing direct benefit transfer (DBT) system where
farmers buy urea at subsidised price, which is almost one-third of the total
cost, and the urea manufacturers get the subsidy reimbursed after sale to
farmers by the retailers.
- In 2010, the government had launched the NBS under which a fixed amount
of subsidy is provided on each grade of subsidised phosphatic and potassic
(P&K) fertilisers. Now for urea too, the subsidy will be based on the
nutrient content present in them.
- An official said that the subsidy amount will depend on the size of
landholding and soil health and will vary from state to state.
Pakistan seeks US help to get off from FATF grey list
- Pakistan is lobbying with the United States to remove it from the grey
list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental
organisation that combats terror financing and money laundering, which has
impacted the country’s sagging economy.
- Pakistan foreign minister Shah MehmoodQureshi was in Washington last
week and had expressed hope that the US would back its efforts to get it off
the grey list at FATF’s review meeting in Beijing this week.
- “This meeting is very important for us as it leads to a plenary meeting
in Paris in April where the world body will decide whether Pakistan remains
on the list or is taken off,” Qureshi said at a press meet in Washington on
Friday. He also urged the US to review its travel advisories for Pakistan
and encourage investment in the country.
- FATF had in October last year said Pakistan has been unable to deal with
terror groups propping up in the country under different banners, with many
contesting last year’s general elections as well.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
India test fires K-4 ballistic missile
- India has successfully test-fired a 3,500 kilometre range nuclear
capable missile that can be launched from a submarine. The test of the K-4
ballistic missile was conducted off the Vizag coast in Andhra Pradesh on
- With this test, India has moved one more step towards the induction of
this ballistic missile on the INS Arihant class of nuclear submarines. The
missile was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- The three-metre-tall missile carries a nuclear warhead of over one tonne
with a circular error probability far lower than that of Chinese ballistic
missiles. Only the US, Russia and China have submarine-launched ballistic
missiles of 3,500-kilometre range.
- The submarine-launched ballistic missile is the most important part of
the air, land and sea nuclear triad and is at the front of India’s
Thailand wins Indonesian masters 2020 title
- Thailand's RatchanokIntanon lifted the Indonesia Badminton Masters 2020
women's singles title after defeating Carolina Marin in the summit clash on
- Intanon defeated Marin 21-19, 11-21, 21-18 in one hour and twenty
minutes long match. The clash went into three-games and both the shuttlers
tried their 100 per cent to turn things in their favour.