Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 25 NOVEMBER 2019
PM reiterates efforts to protect languages on the verge of extinction
- Prime Minister NarendraModi has said, our civilisation, culture and languages preach the message of unity in diversity to the entire world.
- Sharing his thoughts in the Mann kiBaat programme of All India Radio today, the Prime Minister said, hundreds of languages have blossomed and flourished in the country for centuries.
- He said, the United Nations has declared 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, and efforts are being made to conserve those languages which are on the verge of extinction. Mr Modi mentioned how a handful of people in a community in Uttarakhand came forward to preserve a language.
- The Prime Minister quoted Father of Modern Hindi literature BhartenduHarishchandra and MahakaviSubramanyaBharati who always gave emphasis on mother tongue.
Reports suggests 22% of groundwater in critical stage
- Almost 22% of groundwater (assessed un- its) in the country has either dried up or is in the ‘critical’ and ‘over-exploited’ categories, Jal Shakti (water resources) minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said as he emphasised the need to focus on efficient use of water resources and noted that 10% of water saving in the agriculture sector now would make it available for all users for the next 50 years.
- The ‘Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India’ report of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) showed that 1,499 out of 6,881 assessed units (blocks/mandals/taluks) in 2017 came under ‘over-exploited’ (1,186 units) and ‘critical’ (313 units) categories.
- The report sought immediate change in extraction pattern of groundwater and surface water interventions.
- The CGWB report showed that ‘over-exploited’ areas were mostly concentrated in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh (where even though replenishable resources are abundant, there has been indiscriminate withdrawal of groundwater leading to over-exploitation); parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat (where due to arid climate, groundwater recharge is limited); and parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu where due to inherent properties of crystalline aquifers, the groundwater availability is low.
NSO data says rise in salaried workers and women fare better
- The share of regular wage earners and salaried employees in the total urban workforce increased marginally between April-June 2018 and January-March 2019 — from 48.3% to 50% — with women faring better than men, the latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO) showed.
- According to data released on Saturday, the rising trend has been maintained over the last four quarters, with women salaried workers, representing organised sector workers, seeing a 2.1 percentage point increase, compared to 1.5 percentage points for male workers.
- Gender wise analysis of the data shows that the unemployment rate was significantly higher among women seeking employment. In Q4 2018-19, unemployment rate was 29% among women which was 8 percentage points higher than joblessness among men. This is despite the fact that women have a far lower share in the overall labour force.
CBDT plans to curb misuse of e-commerce gifts
- The government is considering amending its rules to completely remove the provision under which citizens can receive duty-free ‘gifts and samples’ valued at under Rs 5,000 from overseas, after finding its rampant misuse by Chinese ecommerce vendors, senior officials ET spoke to said.
- The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBITC), which formulates policy concerning levy and collection of customs, was considering a cap on the number of gifts an individual can receive, but has decided against it given the complexity in its implementation.
- The customs department began cracking down on ecommerce imports masquerading as gifts in November last year. Starting this year, an approach to block the clearance of such packages across all express cargo ports was adopted, leading to a massive drop in the number of gifts coming into the country.
Bolivian president signs off on new elections
- Bolivia's interim President Jeanine Anez today signed off on new elections. Senate speaker Anez, who declared herself interim President after President Evo Morales quit, signed the bill into law.
- The decision comes after weeks of unrest and exile of President Evo Morales to Mexico. At least 32 people have been killed in violence that erupted after a disputed election on October 20 in which Morales had claimed victory. Opposition groups had termed the October 20 poll as rigged one and it led to violent street protests.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists to use upgraded GMRT to measure gas mass of galaxies
- Scientists at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (NCRA-TIFR, Pune) and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali (IISER- Mohali) have used the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) to carry out the most distant measurement of the atomic hydrogen content of galaxies in the early Universe, informed NCRA.
- The GMRT is built and operated by NCRA-TIFR and is among the largest radio telescopes in the world. Galaxies like the Milky-way are made up of stars and gas. The life cycle of a galaxy is essentially the conversion of gas to stars through gravitational collapse of gas clouds.
- The study resulted in a measurement of the average atomic gas content of star-forming galaxies located 4 billion light years away, when the Universe was about two-thirds of its current age.
- Remarkably, the authors found that both the star-formation efficiency of galaxies and the cosmological gas mass density in galaxies appear to have not changed significantly over the last 4 billion years.
- Jasjeet Singh Bagla, a professor at IISER-Mohali and also a co-author, mentioned that his interest in such studies was initiated by simulations of structure formation in the Universe, and that it was wonderful to see that direct measurements of gas masses of distant galaxies are possible today.