Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 26 JUNE 2019
PM seeks support to his vision of inclusive nation
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday called upon all parties to
move forward together to fulfil the dream of a safe, modern and inclusive
country, a call reflected, he said, in the positive mandate that his
government received in the last election.
- He was speaking in the Lok Sabha, while replying to the debate on
the motion of thanks to the President for his address to both Houses of
- The Prime Minister said the mandate that his government received
was a validation that it was moving in the right direction, a direction, he
said, that valued both welfare and progress.
- He extensively quoted from the speeches of Mahatma Gandhi, Ram
Manohar Lohia and Jawaharlal Nehru, and said his own government’s direction,
including in the field of sanitation and water, emanated from their words.
- Prime Minister Modi said that rather than belittle his
predecessors, he believed in reaching for higher targets, like making India
a $5 trillion dollar economy, to reach piped water to all homes.
- Quoting extensively from former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s
1951 speech given at the launch of the Congress party’s manifesto before the
first General Election, Mr. Modi said the 75 years of independence and the
150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma should be occasions to reflect on Mr.
Nehru’s words on privileges and duties.
Food and nutrition security report gives worrying data for India
- Almost one in three Indian children under five years will still be
stunted by 2022 going by current trends, according to an analysis of the
country’s food and nutrition security released on Tuesday.
- Over the last decade, child stunting which is a measure of chronic
malnutrition has reduced at a rate of about 1% per year, the slowest decline
among emerging economies. At this rate, 31.4% of children will still be
stunted by the 2022 deadline. India must double its rate of progress to
reach the target of 25% by that time, says the report.
- The report, which is a baseline analysis of the country’s progress
in achieving the second Sustainable Development Goal to end hunger, was
prepared by the UN World Food Programme in collaboration with the Ministry
of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- Foodgrain yields have risen 33% over the last two decades, but are
still only half of 2030 target yields, says the report. Even so, the Indian
farmer is producing more foodgrains than ever before, making the country
self-sufficient in this regard.
- Unfortunately, the consumer’s access to rice, wheat and other
cereals has not increased at the same rate, due to population growth,
inequality, food wastage and losses, and exports.
- There are high rates of stunting among children in the poorest
wealth quintile (51.4%), Scheduled Tribes (43.6%) and Scheduled Castes
(42.5%), and children born to mothers with no education (51%).
UK Sinha committee gives recommendations for restructuring MSME funding
- A committee formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), headed by
former SEBI Chairman U.K. Sinha, has recommended a Rs. 5,000 crore
distressed asset fund for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
- The fund will assist units in a cluster where there is a change in
the external environment such as plastic ban, which had resulted in large
number of such entities becoming non-performing.
- The panel also suggested that the RBI should increase the limit
for non-collateralised loans to Rs. 20 lakh, and this would address a
significant proportion of the sector needs. In addition, it also suggested
revision in loan limit sanctioned under MUDRA by the Finance Ministry to Rs.
20 lakh from Rs. 10 lakh.
- The committee has also recommended banks that wish to specialise
in MSME lending, their sub-targets for farm loans under the priority sector
lender could be waived off, and instead can be given a target for loans to
the SME sector. The targets, committee said, could be of 50% of he net bank
credit for universal banks and 80% for small finance banks.
- At present, the overall priority sector lending target for a
universal bank is 40% of their net bank credit and 75% for small finance
- Commercial banks have been suggested that they should develop
customised products to assess the financing requirements based on expected
cash flows moving away from traditional forms of assessment.
Finance ministry claims cash in circulation has declined post demonetisation
- Demonetisation, coupled with increased digital transactions and
the reduced cash usage in the informal economy, led to a reduction in
currency in circulation by Rs. 3.4 lakh crore, according to Finance Minister
- Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Ms. Sitharaman said
that the level of currency in circulation as of May 31, 2019, was
significantly lower than what it would have been if demonetisation had not
- According to the data provided, the value of notes in circulation
on November 4, 2016, (four days before demonetisation was announced) stood
at Rs. 17.74 lakh crore, which has now increased to Rs. 21.71 lakh crore as
of May 31, 2019.
- Ms. Sitharaman went on to cite Reserve Bank of India data to show
that the number of counterfeit bank notes detected decreased from 762,072
pieces in 2016-17, to 522,783 in 2017-18 and 317,389 pieces in 2018-19 and
hence “demonetisation resulted in curbing of the counterfeit currency”.
- However, she did not mention whether this reduction in detection
of fake currency was due to their incidences coming down or their
sophistication surpassing the RBI’s ability to detect.
- The Minister also said that demonetisation led to a “significant
positive impact on most theatres of violence” in the country since illegally
held cash formed a major chunk of terrorfunding, and that the note ban
rendered the cash held with terrorists worthless.
International organisation for Migration claims 20000 rescued from Sahara
- The International Organization for Migration, IOM has said that
nearly 20 thousand migrants have been rescued from the Sahara desert in
Niger over the past three years.
- The intergovernmental organization said that on June 15 alone it
rescued 406 migrants from 14 West African countries including seven women
and four children.
- The migrants walked for hours under the scorching desert sun with
no water. The UN organisation said the most recent rescues had mainly
included people from Ivory Coast, Guinea-Conakry and Mali.
- The latest operation was IOM's 189th humanitarian mission into Niger's
Tenere desert, the most remote desert in the Sahara. The vast plain of sand
spans an area larger than Japan.
- The flow of migrants, often heading for Libya with the ultimate
aim of reaching Europe, has lessened considerably since a 2017 peak. The IOM
said, trucks carrying migrants frequently breakdown in the desert or become
lost, with smugglers sometimes abandoning people to their fates.
- A representative of the organization said, no one knows exactly how many
migrants have died often due to hunger or thirst, attempting to cross the
UNSC pushes for ending U.S-Iran tensions
- Condemning the latest attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf,
the UN Security Council has urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint
and take measures and actions to reduce escalation and tension.
- The UN's most powerful body said the attacks violate international
rules on freedom of navigation and maritime transport and threaten
international peace and security.
- It said that differences must be addressed peacefully and through
dialogue. The statement was issued after closed consultations and a briefing
on the attacks by U.N. peacekeeping chief Rosemary DiCarlo.The United States
blames Iran for the latest attacks. Tehran has denied any involvement.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Astronauts return from International space station
- Three astronauts safely returned to Earth on Tuesday after
spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station.
- The Soyuz capsule with astronauts from Canada, Russia and the
United States landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 8-47 a.m. (0247GMT),
less than a minute ahead of the scheduled time, on Tuesday after a 3 hour
flight from the orbiting lab.
- Two of the astronauts had completed their maiden flights — Anne
McClain of the United States and David Saint-Jacques of Canada. The
expedition commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia has ended his fourth space
mission. All three spent 204 days in space.
- The space veteran Kononenko who was the first one to have been
extracted from the capsule looked visibly tired and pale. McClain and
Saint-Jacques were more energetic and gave a thumbs-up to the recovery team
who greeted the three with applause.
- The astronauts were put on camping chairs in the sun just by the
capsule for a respite and initial medical checks.
India assures maximum support to sportsmen to participate in Tokyo Olympics
- The government is supporting sportspersons through National Sports
Federations for their training, foreign exposures and competitions to obtain
maximum participation in the Tokyo Olympics, 2020.
- Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju told the Rajya Sabha today that under
the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) customized training and allied
facilities are being made available to medal prospects and high achievers.
- Besides, ‘out of pocket allowance' of fifty thousand rupees per
month is being given to the sports-persons included in TOPS for meeting
their contingent and miscellaneous expenses.