Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 20 MAY 2020
SC declines to interfere in NGT order on AP gas leak
- The Supreme Court did not interfere on Tuesday with an order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which ordered LG Polymers to pay ₹50 crore as interim compensation for the gas leak at its Visakhapatnam plant and set up a five-member fact-finding committee to inquire into the incident leading to the death of several innocents.
- The company also questioned how the NGT could take suomotu cognisance of the gas leak and form a fact-finding committee led by former High Court judge, Justice B. Seshasayana Reddy, when the High Court, a constitutional court, was already seized of the matter.
- Mr.Rohatgi said the company did not intend to create any deliberate roadblocks and had already deposited ₹50 crore with the district magistrate as ordered by the tribunal.
- The NGT, on May 8, had appointed a committee to “specifically report on the sequence of events, causes of failure and persons and authorities responsible, extent of damage to life, human and non-human, public health and environment — including water, soil and air, steps to be taken for compensation of victims and restitution of the damaged property and environment and the cost involved”.
MoHUA declares five star garbage free cities
- Centre has declared Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysore, Indore and Navi Mumbai as five-star garbage free cities. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry today announced the results of star rating of garbage free cities. Six cities have been rated 5 Star, 65 Cities rated 3 star and 70 cities rated 1 Star.
- Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri also launched the revised protocol for the star rating of garbage free cities. Addressing the media, the Minister said, the importance of sanitation and effective solid waste management has been brought to the forefront now due to the corona virus crisis.
- He said,Swacch Bharat Mission has played important role in the last five years to ensure a high degree of cleanliness and sanitation in urban areas. He said, our cities and towns will continue to set new benchmarks in Swachhata thus paving the way for a Swachh, Swasth, Shashakt and SampannAtmaNirbhar New India.
- Since its launch in 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban has made significant progress in the area of both sanitation and solid waste management. 4 thousand 324 urban local bodies have been declared open defecation free. More than 66 lakhs individual household toilets and over 6 lakhs community and public toilets have been constructed.
Government decides to revise criteria for medium based units
- Unveiling the contours of the ₹20-lakh-crore stimulus package, Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman had last last week announced a change in the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- As per the revised definition, any firm with an investment of up to ₹1 crore and turnover under ₹5 crore will be classified as ‘micro.’
- A company with an investment of up to ₹10 crore and a turnover of up to ₹50 crore will be classified as ‘small’ and a firm with an investment of up to ₹20 crore and a turnover under ₹100 crore will be classified as ‘medium.’
- The previous criteria for classifying enterprises in the ‘medium’ category was an investment of up to ₹10 crore and a turnover of up to ₹50 crore.
- Mr.Gadkari said the government planned to raise MSMEs’ contribution to India’s exports to 60% from the 48% at present and also boost the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP from 29% currently to 50%.
CRISIL warns stimulus package not to trigger consumption
- The ₹20 lakh crore financial package announced by the aims at the ‘right corners’ but is not a consumption trigger, according to ratings agency Crisil.
- Considering the earlier announced measures worth ₹ 9.9 lakh crore (RBI’s liquidity support and others), the financial support works out to ₹20.9 lakh crore.
- “While most of the steps are in the right direction, it is unlikely to stimulate demand/ consumption given that the package is more focussed on supply-side reforms,” said Crisil in a report.
- Also, no clear announcements were made for highly vulnerable sectors such as airlines, tourism and hotels, barring additional lending for MSMEs, or to improve the sentiment of the workforce, both organised and unorganised.
Over 2000 Indian evacuated from Srilanka
- Two months after being stranded in Sri Lanka, 2,400-odd Indians finally have some ray of hope as the first repatriation flight from the island nation will fly to Mumbai on May 29.
- This delayed announcement has, however, only added to the confusion for Indians from various States who have been allowed to travel on this flight. The Air India flight on May 29 will fly from Colombo to Mumbai and then onward to Bhubaneswar and Kolkata, benefiting those from Maharashtra, Goa, Odisha and West Bengal.
- Noida-resident Vineeta Singh is among those desperate to leave. An IT professional, Ms. Singh had gone to the island nation to spend time with her husband, a merchant navy officer.
India and U.S plan to collaborate on vaccine trials
- • India and the U.S. plan to work together on vaccine research and testing for COVID-19, U.S. health officials said here on Tuesday, listing a number of other ways in which the two countries are working together.
- • The VAP, or the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP), is a 33-year collaboration between the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Indian Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with other partners.
- • Meanwhile, 50 ventilators from the United States are expected in India shortly, the embassy said, as part of the donation of 200 ventilators announced by President Donald Trump last week.
- • The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said it would separately fund the Government of India $3.6 million to support “prevention, preparedness, and response activities in India, in collaboration with and concurrence from the GoI.”
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists claim higher temperatures in ocean leads to super cyclones
- • Higher than normal temperatures in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) may be whetting ‘super cyclones’ and the lockdown, indirectly, may have played a role, meteorologists and atmospheric science experts told The Hindu.
- • Super cyclone Amphan that is barrelling towards West Bengal is the strongest storm to have formed in the BoB since the Super Cyclone of 1999 that ravaged Paradip in Odisha, said Director-General, India Meteorological Department M. Mohapatra.
- • Cyclones gain their energy from the heat and moisture generated from warm ocean surfaces. This year, the BoB has posted record summer temperatures a fall-out, as researchers have warned, of global warming from fossil fuel emissions that has been heating up oceans.
- • While tropical cyclones in these seas are a typical feature of the summer months and play a role in aiding the arrival of the monsoon, Dr. Koll said warming around India is not longer restricted to just the BoB but also the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This makes storm prediction less reliable as well as disrupting monsoon patterns.
- • Every year, increased particulate pollution from the Indo-Gangetic plains is transported towards the BoB and this also influences the formation of clouds over the ocean, said V. Vinoj, Assistant Professor, School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar.