Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 22 MAY 2020
CIC starts hearing RTI pleas from J & K territory
- CIC, the final appellate authority for Right to Information (RTI) Act, started hearing cases from union territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. This was the first time since the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir on October 31 that RTI cases were heard at CIC.
- Though the administration has still not transferred pending RTI applications, CIC opened registration of complaints and appeals from the state and registered 100-odd cases. Terming the hearings as “out of turn” before the pending cases are heard, CIC has helped the applicants in getting the information sought.
- Of the 10 cases listed, information commission D P Sinha issued showcause notices in three cases taking a grim view of the way the administration had handled the cases. In a case an applicant, Showkat Ali Bhatt, had sought information on details of works undertaken from MPLAD funds of Congress MP GhulamNabi Azad in Changapanchayat between 2015 and 2019.
- The appellant said he had not received any information since August 2019 when he had filed the application. However, the public information officer (PIO) claimed the information had been provided. Bhatt had contended that he stayed close to the post office and there was no way he could have missed receiving the information.
Centre claims over crore treatments provided under Ayushmanbharat,PMJAY
- Ayushman Bharat, PradhanMantri Jan ArogyaYojana, the flagship health assurance scheme of the Government of India today marked one crore treatments.
- To mark the milestone, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, inaugurated the first edition of ArogyaDhara, a series of webinars created as an open platform for discussion on topical issues of public health in New Delhi today. The webinar was titled “Ayushman Bharat: 1 crore treatments and beyond”.
- Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, providing one crore treatments to patients from the country’s poorest households since its launch less than two years ago is a milestone achievement for Ayushman Bharat PMJAY scheme.
- He said, these treatments worth 13 thousand 412 crore rupees have been provided through a growing network of 21 thousand 565 public and private empanelled hospitals. The Union Health Minister said, Ayushman Bharat will continue be a trailblazer with an all-encompassing humanitarian approach.
- He said, the aim of the scheme is to ensure financial risk protection to more than 10.74 crore poorest, most vulnerable families in the country and is a step forward towards achievement of Universal Health Coverage in India.
Government to amend GFR to facilitate procurement of domestic firms
- Government has notified amendments to General Financial Rules (GFR) to ensure that goods and services valued less than 200 crore rupees are being procured from domestic firms.
- In a tweet, the Office of Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman said the Center has notified the amendments to the GFR 2017 to ensure that henceforth global tenders will be disallowed in government procurement up to 200 crore rupees, as announced in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package. It is a big boost to domestic suppliers especially MSMEs.
- Last week, the Minister had announced an economic support package for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which includes disallowing global tender for government procurement up to 200 crore rupees.
PET recycling units seek import permission
- PET bottle recycling units have sought permission from the Centre to import washed PET bottle flakes.
- B.P. Sultania, former president of the All India Recycled Fibre and Yarn Manufacturer Association, said PET bottle scrap is processed and converted into valuable products such as polyester staple fibre and yarn.
- The 40 PET recycling companies in the country have a production capacity of close to 12 lakh tonnes of recycled polyester staple fibre a year, including capacities that are in the pipeline.
- With the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown following this, the industry is in trouble as almost all the plants are closed due to shortage of raw materials.
- PET bottles are used to pack and store water, cold drinks, and the like. With the closure of airlines, railways and hotels, the use of PET bottles has declined. Generation of PET bottle scrap has also reduced drastically.
India asks Iran and Pakistan to coordinate locust control operations
- India has proposed coordinated response to Desert Locust control to Iran and Pakistan.
- India has suggested to Pakistan that both countries coordinate locust control operation along the border and that India can facilitate supply of pesticide Malathion to Pakistan.Iran has responded positively to India’s offer. Pakistan is yet to respond.
- India has also offered to supply pesticide to Iran to carry out Desert Locust control operations in its Sistan-Balochistan and South Khorasan provinces. These efforts will contribute to mitigate the effect of the Desert Locust not only in these countries, but also for India, sources said.
- As per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports, in Iran, hopper bands of the Locust are maturing along the southwestern coastal plains, and another generation of breeding is underway in the southeast where hatching is taking place on the coast and in the interior of Sistan-Baluchistan.
MEA claims India fully familiar with alignment of LAC in border areas
- External Affairs Ministry today said that any suggestion that Indian troops had undertaken activity across the LAC in the Western Sector or the Sikkim sector is not accurate.
- He stressed that all Indian activities are entirely on the Indian side of the LAC. He said that in fact, it is Chinese side that has recently undertaken activity hindering India’s normal patrolling patterns. Indian side has always taken a very responsible approach towards border management. At the same time, India is deeply committed to ensuring country's sovereignty and security.
- The Indian troops strictly follow the procedures laid down in various bilateral agreements and protocols to resolve any situations which may arise due to difference in perception of LAC. Mr Srivastava said the two sides have established mechanisms to resolve such situations peacefully through dialogue. Both sides remain engaged with each other to address any immediate issues.
- The spokesperson said that in accordance with the consensus reached in Chennai, Indian side remains firmly committed to work for the common objective of maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas. He said this is an essential prerequisite to the further development of Indian-China bilateral relations.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Researchers use Trojan peptides to fight alzheimer’s disease
- Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) have, after a five-year study, arrived at methods for preventing the accumulation of neurotoxic molecules in the brain, which leads to memory loss.
- The other is the application of a low-voltage electric field toward preventing amyloid plaques from aggregating to cause memory loss.The cause of Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides in the brain.
- “The trojan peptide is roughly like the peptide in the body. But while it goes along with the other peptides, its function is contrary to aggregation. Through intravenous injection of the trojan peptide, we can retard the degeneration of nerve cells by 17-35%, translating into a 10-year delay in the onset of the disease,” Dr.Ramakrishnan said.
- The next step for the researchers is to work with these techniques on mice induced with Alzheimer’s at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Guwahati.
India plans to tour South Africa for T20 matches in August
- Talk that India could mark its return to international cricket with a short white-ball series in South Africa in August has been doing the rounds for more than a month now. On Thursday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) admitted it was discussing a three-T20I series with the BCCI.
- The series is being planned to make up for the cancelled ODI series between the two teams in India in March, after a washed out first ODI.