Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 27 JANUARY 2020
Tenth National voter’s day celebrated
- The 10th National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on 25th Jan . It was
celebrated at over ten lakh locations across the country including Polling
Stations, District and State headquarters. The theme this year is ‘Electoral
Literacy for Stronger Democracy'.
- It sets the tone for year-long activities focusing on voter education
and renewal of citizens’ faith in the electoral process. The Day is
celebrated since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of
India, which was established on 25th January 1950.
- President Ram NathKovind was the Chief Guest at the 10th National
Voters' Day function organized by Election Commission at Manekshaw Centre in
New Delhi earlier today. Meanwhile, Prime Minister NarendraModi has greeted
the nation on the occasion.
- In a tweet, he expressed gratitude to Election Commission of India for
its efforts towards making the electoral process more vibrant and
participative. He hoped that this day will inspire everyone to work towards
increased voter awareness and turnout.
Centre to run out of funds in MGNREGA scheme
- The Centre is on the verge of running out of funds for the crucial
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.
- More than 96% of the allocated money has already been spent or is needed
to pay pending dues, with less than ₹2,500 crore left to sustain the scheme
for the next two months.
- Fifteen States are already in the red. According to the scheme’s
financial statement as on January 26, Rajasthan has the highest negative net
balance of RS. 620 crore, followed by RS. 323 crore in Uttar Pradesh.
- In fact, the situation on the ground may be worse as States do not
always enter pending payments into the information system.
- A number of economists have recommended that putting money into the
hands of rural consumers via MGNREGA is key to kickstarting the economy.
However, this year’s budget allocation was RS. 60,000 crore, lower than the
amount spent in the previous year.
- States are fast running out of funds for the crucial Mahatma Gandhi
National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme with the Centre yet
to release pending dues. In Rajasthan, for example, workers’ wages have not
been paid since October-end.
Fiscal deficit expected to reach 3.8% this fiscal
- The country's fiscal deficit for 2019-20 is expected to widen to 3.8 per
cent and the upcoming Budget may set a target of 3.5 per cent for 2020-21, a
- The first full-year Budget of the current government, to be presented on
February 1, will focus on reviving consumption demand through base-level
income tax cuts, interest subvention for small and medium businesses and
housing, Bank of America Securities said
- It added that the sharp corporate tax cut announced last year will
result in a recurring 0.8 per cent sacrifice for the next two years but
added that the government has room as per the N K Singh committee report,
and also pointed to the long-term fiscal deficit being at 4.5 per cent.
- The subvention is necessary to compensate the troubled segment from the
0.85 per cent increase in real lending rates since March, it said adding
that the cost of the 2 per cent subvention will come at Rs 21,100 crore or
0.1 per cent of GDP.
India plans to raise import duties on more than 50 items
- India plans to increase import duties on more than 50 items including
electronics, electrical goods, chemicals and handicrafts, targeting about
$56 billion worth of imports from China and elsewhere, officials and
industry sources said.
- Higher customs duties are likely to hit goods such as mobile phone
chargers, industrial chemicals, lamps, wooden furniture, candles, jewellery
and handicraft items, two government sources with direct knowledge of the
- The move could hit smartphone manufacturers that still import chargers
or other components such as vibrator motors and ringers, along with
retailers such as giant IKEA that is in the process of expanding its
footprint in India.
- The government had identified items and decided to increase import
tariffs by 5%-10% as recommended by a panel of trade and finance ministry
officials, among others, the second government official said.
- The government is separately considering imposing "quality standards" on
imports as less than 10% of India's tariff lines are regulated for safety,
health and environmental standards, an industry official, who is
participating in the pre-budget consultations, said.
Global coalition set to find cure for coronavirus
- The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has announced
that it will fund three companies working on different pathways to fight the
new strain of coronavirus which has put authorities on alert worldwide after
it was first reported in China earlier this month.
- This comes within weeks of the outbreak of respiratory infection due to
the virus--named 2019-nCoV--being reported from Wuhan province in China. The
pacts were signed in record time in an attempt to not repeat the mistake of
slow action during the Ebola crisis, Gagandeep Kang, vice chairperson of
- Kang is hopeful that research can help develop a vaccine in four months
from the start of an epidemic and subsequently keep reducing the time of
developing new treatments for infectious diseases. She said she hopes that
there will be lessons learnt that will allow public health organisations to
get a treatment out faster.
- Illness due to the new coronavirus is currently being treated with
repurposed drugs or antivirals. But this may not be enough, experts say.
Kang said that a project by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR)
that looked at humanised monoclonal antibodies to treat the Nipah virus
could possibly be replicated to treat coronavirus, too.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
First waste to energy plant of Railways inaugurated
- The East Coast Railways commissioned the first waste-to-energy plant of
Railways sector of India. It is the fourth such plant in the country. The
plant has been set up at a cost of Rs 1.79 crores with Poly Crack
- The plant installed converts waste collected from the garbage disposal
units into carbon powder, diesel and gas using Poly Crack Technology. The
diesel oil is to be sold by the Railways to other stake holders for
commercial purposes. The gas and carbon powder are to be used in brick
- The best thing of the plant is that it does not leave any waste at the
end. The plant has the capacity to process 500 kg of waste per day and will
earn Rs 17.5 lakh per annum.
- The first of such plant was established by Infosys in 2011 at Bengaluru.
The second plant was established in Delhi in 2014 and the third was
installed by Hindalco in 2019.
- In Poly Crack Technology, waste is processed and reformed in 24 hours.
The only drawback is that it requires larger area.
India beats New Zealand in second T20
- In Cricket, India defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the second
Twenty20 International at Auckland yesterday. Chasing the target of 133
runs, India made 135 for the loss of three wickets with 15 balls to spare.
While KL Rahul remained not out at 57, ShreyasIye made 44.
- Earlier, Indian bowlers struck intermittently to restrict Kiwis to a
modest 132 for five. Opting to bat, the Black Caps could not generate enough
momentum in the middle overs and finished with a sub-par total.