Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 23 JANUARY 2020
PM reviews progress of several projects through PRAGATI interactive session
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the 32nd PRAGATI interaction and
discussed progress of several projects.
- Out of these, nine were delayed projects worth over Rs.24000 crore
spread over nine states including Odisha, Telangana, Maharashtra, Bihar,
Karnataka Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.
- The delayed projects are related to Railways, Road Transport and
Highways and Petroleum and Natural Gas. During the meeting, Mr.Modi also
reviewed the progress under insurance schemes of
PradhanMantriJeevanJyotiBimaYojana and PradhanMantriSurakshaBimaYojana .
- The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress under Crime and Criminal
Tracking Network and Systems project- a comprehensive and integrated system
for effective policing through e-Governance.
- Our correspondent reports that this was the first PRAGATI meeting of the
year 2020. It marked Prime Minister’s thirty-second interaction through
PRAGATI - the ICT based multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and
Timely Implementation, involving Central and State governments.
Centre prepared to take challenge of coronavirus outbreak
- Union Health Ministry has said that government is on and fully prepared
to deal with Novel Corona virus outbreak in China. Health Secretary Preeti
Sudan said, a total 9,156 passengers from 43 flights were screened for novel
coronavirus infection till Tuesday at the seven identified airports in
Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
- She said, till now, no cases have been detected. Ms Sudan said,
passengers travelling from China requested to report to nearest public
health facility in case they feel any symptoms.
- Meanwhile, the death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak in China has
reached 17. The confirmed infection cases have also sharply risen to more
than 550 on Wednesday. The cases of the deadly pneumonia were reported from
the US, Hong Kong, Macao and Mexico.
NIIF all set to launch its own non bank lender
- Sensing a huge market opportunity to provide liquidity support to
cash-starved Indian infrastructure companies, the National Investment and
Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is all set
to launch a nonbank lender of its own.
- The fund will have $400-500 million of seed capital and plans to achieve
a loan book of $3 billion in the next couple of years. NIIF has begun
discussions with global institutions, pension funds and domestic insurance
firms to secure sponsors for the NBFC.
- But the NIIF lending arm would operate in infrastructure and provide
money to projects. The NIIF’s Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF) already has
a presence in infrastructure debt space through its buyout of IDFC
Infrastructure Finance Limited (IFL), a non-banking finance company
registered with the RBI as an Infrastructure Debt Fund (IDF). IDF’s focus is
on refinancing operating infrastructure projects with stable cash flows and
raise matching long-term liabilities.
India ranks well in Women, Business and Law Index 2020
- India gained 4% year-on-year on its score on the World Bank study of
women, business and law (WBL) 2020. The country scored 74.4 out of the
perfect score of 100 on the WBL Index.
- The World Bank study analyses laws and regulations affecting women’s
economic opportunity in 190 economies across the eight indicators -
mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets and
- India overtook Maldives to command the highest WBL score in the South
Asian region in 2020.The World Bank study mentions the measure taken by the
state of Maharashtra to eliminate restrictions on women’s ability to work in
jobs deemed dangerous
- Incidentally, India’s score aligns with the global mean. Women, on
average, have just three-fourths of the legal rights afforded to men
globally, as per the WBL study.
- The study finds that over time, reforms increasing women’s equality of
opportunity contribute to more successful economies, higher female labour
force participation and better development outcomes.
Norway tops EIU democracy index, Bangladesh improves 8 ranks
- Bangladesh has improved its ranking by 8 points in the EIU Democracy
Index released today. The country has been ranked at 80th position with an
overall score of 5.88 on a scale of 10 this year compared to 88th position
in 2018. It scored 7.83 in terms of electoral process and pluralism and 4.38
on the political culture sub-index.
- Norway is at the top with an overall score of 9.71 while North Korea is
at the bottom of the index. Overall, 2019 marked the worst year of global
democracy score since 2006 when the rankings were first published.
- However, Bangladesh continues to be placed in the category of hybrid
democracies. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) methodology
hybrid regimes are marked by substantial electoral irregularities and
government pressure on opposition parties.
- The EIU Democracy Index provides ranking for the state of democracy
worldwide in 165 independent states and two territories. The Index measures
score under five sub-categories namely electoral process and pluralism,
functioning of government; political participation, political culture; and
- According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s measure of democracy,
almost one-half of the world’s population live in a democracy of some sort,
although only 5.7% reside in a full democracy. More than one-third of the
world’s population live under authoritarian rule, with a large share being
India and Tunisia to work closely in multilateral forums
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Tunisian counterpart
Sabri Bachtobji on Wednesday during which the two leaders focused on
expanding the bilateral economic cooperation and agreed to work closely in
- Dr Jaishankar arrived in Tunis earlier yesterday on the concluding leg
of his three-day two-nation trip to Niger and Tunisia. The tour is his first
outreach to the African continent after becoming the Foreign Minister last
- Later, Dr Jaishankar met Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi
and discussed on expanding exchanges, especially between Parliamentary
institutions and civil society, between the two countries.
- Dr Jaishankar also met President Kais Saied and the two leaders
reaffirmed their commitment to a fair, just and a rule-based global order.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
NMCG begins wetland conservation along the Ganges
- The National Mission of Clean Ganga (NMCG) has taken up the initiative
under NamamiGange Project to conserve wetlands of the Ganges basin. The
primary aim of NamamiGange project is to rejuvenate the river by increasing
its flow. It also includes recharging aquifers and conservation of wetlands.
- The NMCG along with the State Wetland authorities will identify and
prepare plans in conserving wetlands.
- Some of the wetlands are degraded through the drainage, landfill and
over exploitation. For instance, the recently closed Sisamau Nala drainage
in Kanpur contaminated the underground water and also river ecosystem in the
- India differentiates its wetlands into 8 categories based on their
regional presence. It includes Deccan Plateau in the south, saline expanses
in Rajasthan, Gulf of Kutch and Gujarat, delta wetlands of India’s East
Coast, lakes and rivers in mountain regions of Ladakh and Kashmir, marshes
and swamps in northeast India and Himalayan foothills and mangroves of
Andaman and Nicobar Islands.