Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 24 JUNE 2019
PM interacts with NITI Aayog experts and economists ahead of budget
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that inputs given by
economists and other experts during his interaction with them were
insightful and will benefit the country's growth trajectory.
- In a tweet last night, Mr Modi said, he had a fruitful interaction
with economists and other experts on the themes of macro-economy and
employment, agriculture and water resources, exports, education, and health.
- On Saturday evening, Prime Minister attended the interactive
session with over 40 economists and sectoral experts on the theme 'Economic
Policy - The Road Ahead' organised by NITI Aayog in New Delhi.
Centre develops strategic plan to end TB by 2025
- The government has developed a National Strategic Plan with the
goal of ending Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025.
- In his reply to a question in the LokSabha on Friday, Minister of
State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey said India
accounts for 27.4 lakh estimated new TB cases annually, which is the highest
in terms of absolute numbers.
- However, India ranks 35th in the world in terms of TB cases per
lakh population. Over 5 lakh 62 thousand patients were cured last year.
Petroleum ministry conveys oil price concerns to Saudi
- Petroleum Minister DharmendraPradhan, in a telephonic discussion
with Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih, highlighted Indian
consumers’ sensitivity to oil price volatility and sought Saudi Arabia’s
active participation within OPEC to keep oil prices at a “reasonable” level.
- The two Ministers discussed the recent geo-political developments
impacting crude oil prices and Mr.Pradhan, referring to the developments in
the Strait of Hormuz, conveyed his concern on rising crude oil prices.
- “He also reiterated the sensitivity of Indian consumers to
prevailing crude oil price volatility,” the statement added. “ShriPradhan
has sought active role of Saudi Arabia within OPEC and in the OPEC Plus
discussions for keeping oil prices at a reasonable level.”
- They also discussed Saudi Arabia’s interests in India’s energy
sector and Mr.Pradhan reviewed the progress of that country’s investments in
India’s refining and petrochemical sectors.
Realty sector wants budget to sort out NBFC liquidity crunch
- The real estate sector wants the Budget to spur growth and provide
a solution to the NBFC liquidity crisis. Developers and experts said the
government must accord high importance to infrastructure growth, which will
provide impetus to real estate.
- “India needs a stable political and investment climate supported
by growth-oriented Union Budget 2019. Realty sector needs strong demand
through economic activities, including continued infrastructure development,
and easy availability of capital,” said Sanjay Dutt, MD and CEO, Tata Realty
and Infrastructure Ltd.
- Stating that the stringent changes made in the last few years had
impacted the sector real-estate market severely, Parth Mehta, MD, Paradigm
Realty, said the Centre must revise down input side GST rates to restore
shrinking margins of developers.
U.S not considering capping of H1B visa for countries demanding data
- The U.S. State Department has said that it is not considering
capping the number of H1B visas for countries that adopt laws that restrict
data being taken out of their borders (data localisation).
- The comments are a reaction to a report by news agency Reuters,
which said that the U.S. was considering capping H1Bs at 10-15% of all H1Bs
for countries that had a data localisation policy.
- There is a congressionally-mandated cap of 65,000 H1B visas under
the general category and a further 20,000 for advanced degree holders.
However, there are no country-wise caps for H1B. Some H1Bs – such as those
for academic, research jobs and non-profit organisation positions, are cap
- The Trump administration has taken several steps to tighten the
screws on the H1B programme, since the President signed the ‘Buy American
and Hire American’ order in April 2017.
- Other changes have made the H1B programme less attractive. For
instance, an attempt to prevent H1B spouses from getting work-permits (an
‘H4 EAD’) is in the works and could severely alter family dynamics and the
ability of foreign worker families in the U.S. to support themselves.
Indian assisted ambulance service launched in eastern srilankan province
- In Sri Lanka, India-assisted emergency ambulance service reached
its countrywide coverage today with the launch in the eastern province.
- The service is now available in all nine Provinces of Sri Lanka.
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar addressed the gathering through
a special video message.
- The minister also recalled how the service had helped Sri Lanka
during floods and the recent terrorist attacks. He also pointed out that the
project was a great example of what India and Sri Lanka can achieve
- High Commissioner of India Taranjit Singh Sandhu in his address,
mentioned that the project symbolizes the spirit of India, which is nothing
but the spirit of sharing. He also noted that India will forever remain the
‘First Responder for Sri Lanka’.
- The emergency ambulance service was first announced during the
visit of Prime Minister NarendraModi to Sri Lanka in March 2015.
- Accordingly, service was launched in two provinces in July 2016
under an Indian grant of 7.5 million US dollars covering the purchase of 88
ambulances, the operational expenditure of the service for one year and
setting up of an emergency response centre. Given the positive impact of the
project, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka RanilWickremesinghe requested Prime
Minister Modi for extension of the service all across the island which he
did during his next visit to Sri Lanka in May 2017.
- An additional grant amount of 15.02 million US dollars was
provided by India to undertake island-wide expansion which covered the
purchase of 209 ambulances, operational expenditure of the service for one
year and training costs.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Centre claims rise in forest cover by 1% than last year
- Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar on Friday told
the LokSabha that India’s forest cover was up by 1% in the last one year,
while former Minister and his own party’s MP Maneka Gandhi told the Minister
that the additional forest cover could be a result of satellite imagery
being taken where the sugar cane crops could be mistaken for trees.
- Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour, Mr.Javadekar
said for one tree chopped for development work, three to four were planted
either in the same area or elsewhere.
- Responding to Ms. Gandhi, he said satellite imagery was taken at
regular intervals and it was unlikely that sugar cane crops were counted as
- According to a latest report, over 24.39% of the country’s
geographical area now constitutes of green cover. He said 125 crore trees
would be planted along highways to increase green cover.
- “The report of hottest places — 11 out of 15 hottest places in the
world are from India is based on a newspaper article quoting a private
weather forecasting agency El Dorado Weather. The agency in its webpage
reports the 15 places with maximum temperature of the last 24 hours on a
daily basis and the hottest places vary each day.