Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 29 October 2020

SSC CGL Current Affairs

Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 29 October 2020


ASER report finds 20% rural children lacking text books at home

  • About 20% of rural children have no textbooks at home, according to the Annual State of Education Report (ASER) survey conducted in September, the sixth month of school closures due to COVID-19 across the country.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, less than 35% of children had textbooks, and only 60% had textbooks in Rajasthan. More than 98% had textbooks in West Bengal, Nagaland and Assam.
  • In the week of the survey, about one in three rural children had done no learning activity at all. About two in three had no learning material or activity given by their school that week, and only one in 10 had access to live online classes.
  • The ASER survey provides a glimpse into the levels of learning loss that students in rural India are suffering, with varying levels of access to technology, school and family resources, resulting in a digital divide in education.
  • In 2018, ASER surveyors found that about 36% of rural households with school-going children had smartphones. By 2020, that figure had spiked to 62%. About 11% of families bought a new phone after the lockdown, of which 80% were smartphones.

Centre streamlines process for patent filing

  • The patent process has been streamlined to facilitate the compliance burden and boost innovation. 
  • The recent Patents (Amendment) Rules, 2020 have further streamlined the requirements related to the filing of Form 27 and submission of verified English translation of priority documents.
  • Now the patentee would get the flexibility to file a single Form-27 in respect of a single or multiple related patents and authorized agents would be able to submit Form-27 on behalf of patentees. 



RBI asks lending institutions to waive interests

  • The Reserve Bank has asked all lending institutions to credit the interest waiver on loans upto two crore rupees for the six months moratorium period beginning March 1, 2020. 
  • The government announced the scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts.
  • Under the scheme, the lending institutions have been mandated to grant ex-gratia payment to certain categories of borrowers through crediting the difference between simple interest and compound interest for the period between March 1- August 31, 2020.
  • Post payment, lenders can claim the amount from the central government. The scheme will cover education, housing, automobile  loans, MSME loans, personal loans to professionals, credit card dues, consumer durable loans and consumption loans.

NITI Aayog releases report on electricity access in India

  • NITI Aayog, Ministry of Power, Rockefeller Foundation and Smart Power India today launched the ‘Electricity Access in India and Benchmarking Distribution Utilities’ report.
  • According to the report, 92 per cent of customers reported the overall availability of electricity infrastructure within 50 metres of their premises.
  • 87 per cent of the surveyed customers have access to grid-based electricity. The remaining 13 per cent either use non-grid sources or do not use any electricity at all.
  • The hours of supply have improved significantly across the customer categories to nearly 17 hours per day.
  • The report is based on a primary survey conducted across ten states, representing about 65 per cent of the total rural population of India and with a sample size of more than 25 thousand, including households, commercial enterprises and institutions.
  • The minister emphasized that the key recommendations provided in the report in the areas of policy and regulation, process improvement and infrastructure will be utilized for improving the power distribution sector.


Central Asian countries welcome India’s line of credit

  • The Foreign Minister of Central Asian Countries welcomed the provision by India of one billion US dollar Line of Credit for priority developmental projects in fields such as energy, IT, healthcare, education and agriculture in the region. 
  • Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic participated in the meeting. 
  • According to the Joint Statement of the meeting, the Ministers emphasized the need to continue close cooperation between the Sanitary and Epidemiological Services of India and the Central Asian countries in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • The statement added that the Ministers emphasized the importance of concerted efforts to further expand trade and economic cooperation including promoting direct ties between the businesses of India and the Central Asian countries. 
  • The Ministers appreciated India’s efforts to modernize the infrastructure of the Chabahar port in Iran, which could become an important link in trade and transport communications between the markets of Central and South Asia.


IT ministry gives clarification on Aarogyasetu app

  • Electronics and IT Ministry has said that AarogyaSetu App was launched by Government of India in Public-Private Partnership mode to bring people of India together in its fight against COVID-19. 
  • The Ministry has issued clarification regarding orders passed by Central Information Commission on an RTI query with regard to AarogyaSetu App. It said, there should be no doubt with regard to the AarogyaSetu App and its role in helping contain COVID-19 pandemic in India.
  • The Ministry said, the names of all those associated with the development of the App and management of the App ecosystem at various stages was shared when the code was released in Public Domain and it was also shared widely in media. 
  • It said, the app has been developed in the most transparent manner and all details and documents including Privacy Policy and AarogyaSetu Data Access and Knowledge Sharing Protocols issued on 11th May this year has been uploaded on the AarogyaSetu Portal.


BCCI announces squad for Australian tour

  • The BCCI has announced the Indian squads for the upcoming tour of Australia, the team’s first international outing since the COVID-19 lockdown forced the home series against South Africa to be called off mid-way.
  • According to the BCCI release, the Selection Committee met via video-conference today to pick the three squads.

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