Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 30 JULY 2020
Central government brings in national education policy 2020
- The Cabinet yesterday approved National Education Policy 2020. A single regulator for higher education institutions, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, discontinuation of MPhil programmes, low stakes board exams, common entrance exams for universities are among the highlights of the new National Education Policy.
- Secretary Higher Education AmitKhare said, NEP 2020 aims to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education including vocational education from 26.3 per cent in 2018 to 50 per cent by 2035.He said, at least 3.5 crore new seats will be added to higher education institutions.
- Mr Khare said, the policy envisages broad based, multi-disciplinary, holistic Under Graduate education with flexible curricula, creative combinations of subjects, integration of vocational education and multiple entry and exit points with appropriate certification.
CSE report finds antibiotic misuse in dairy sector
- Antibiotics are extensively misused in the dairy sector and its residues remain largely untested in milk, noted a recently published survey report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
- The CSE’s assessment shows that dairy farmers indiscriminately use antibiotics for diseases such as mastitis (infection/inflammation of the udder), a common ailment in dairy animals. Often, these include critically important antibiotics (CIAs) for humans, the WHO has warned that they should be preserved in view of the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance.
- India is the world’s largest milk producer — it produced a massive 188 million tonnes in 2018-19. Urban areas consume 52% of it, and the unorganised sector, comprising milkmen and contractors, caters to 60% of this consumer base; the remaining demand is met by dairy cooperatives and private dairies which represent the organised sector.
IMF suggests continuation of monetary easing policy by RBI
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will have to continue its accommodative monetary stance as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in India and economic recovery would be slow going forward, a senior official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.
- “There is scope for further easing [of policy rates] and additional measures [by the RBI],” said Ranil Salgado, assistant director, Asia Pacific, IMF, in a webinar.He said the RBI had adopted an accommodative monetary policy stance amid limited fiscal space.
- Since March, the RBI had lowered the repo rate by 115 basis points and reverse repo by 145 bps boosting liquidity, he said, adding additional measures were focused on increasing liquidity in parts of the financial system with largest needs, easing public financing and financial sector balance sheet pressures.
Study finds high pulses prices affecting nutrition security
- Food habits during COVID-19 may have shifted from diverse and nutritive diets to staple foods such as wheat and rice as the prices of vegetables, pulses and eggs rose sharply after the lockdown while those of cereals remained relatively stable, according to a new study by the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition in New York.
- The study revealed that following the lockdown all food groups witnessed a rise in prices compared to 2019, but the rise in prices was higher for non-cereals compared to cereals.
- Prices of pulses rose and continued to remain higher than the pre-COVID-19 levels — arhar (tur dal) was up by up to 45%, red lentil (masur dal) by 20-50%, moong dal by 20-80% gram dal ranged from 10 to 40% and urad dal by 0-80%.
- “The relative stability in cereal prices and enhanced prices of pulses will most likely distort spending and consumption decisions. This will perpetuate reliance on a staple-based, protein-deficient diet. The government can ensure the provision of supplementary protein.,” it recommends.
Turkey brings in new laws to regulate social media
- Turkey adopted a new social media law on Wednesday that critics say will create a “chilling effect” on dissenting voices who have resorted to Twitter and other online platforms as the government tightened its grip on mainstream media.
- The law was backed by President TayyipErdogan’s AK Party and its nationalist allies to make foreign social media sites more accountable. It requires them to appoint a local representative to address authorities’ concerns.
- The law would allow Turkish authorities to remove content from platforms rather than blocking access as they have done in the past.
- Companies, including Facebook and YouTube that do not comply could have their bandwidth slashed by up to 90%, essentially blocking access, and face other penalties.
- They must also store local users’ information in Turkey, raising concerns that a state that critics say has grown more authoritarian under Mr.Erdogan will gain easy access. An estimated 90% of major media in Turkey comes under the ownership of the state or is close to the government.
- Turks are already heavily policed on social media and the new regulations, especially if user data is vulnerable, will have a “chilling effect”, said YamanAkdeniz, cyber rights expert and professor at Istanbul Bilgi University.
- “This will lead to identifying dissenters, finding who is behind parody accounts and more people being tried. Or people will stop using these platforms when they realise this,” he said. “People in Turkey are already afraid to speak out.”
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
India receives first set of Rafale jets
- The first batch of five Rafale jets landed in Ambala Wednesday afternoon. It was a historic moment as they were greeted with water cannon salute at Ambala Air Force base.
- Rafale jets were escorted by two Sukhoi 30 MKI supersonic fighters as they entered Indian airspace.
- After entering Indian Airspace, Indian Rafale contingent was welcomed by establishing radio contact with Indian Navy warship INS Kolkata, deployed in the Western Arabian Sea.
- In a series of tweets, Mr Singh said, these multi role aircraft will revolutionise the capabilities of the Indian Air Force. The Defence Minister congratulated the Indian Air Force on a professionally executed ferry.
- He expressed confidence that 17 Squadron, the Golden Arrows, will continue to live upto their motto of "UdayamAjasram". Mr Singh expressed happiness that Indian Air Force’s combat capability has got a timely boost.
- He said, the Rafale jets were purchased only because Prime Minister NarendraModi took the right decision to get these aircrafts through an Inter-Governmental Agreement with France, after the long pending procurement case for them could not progress. Mr Singh thanked him for his courage and decisiveness.
- The fighter jets, built by French aviation firm Dassault, took off from the Merignac airbase in southern France's Bordeaux on Monday.The five aircraft are part of 36 planes bought by India from France in a Rs. 59,000-crore inter-governmental deal in 2016.
- The aircraft covered a distance of nearly 7,000 kilometres from France to India with mid-air refuelling and a single stop at a French airbase in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
P.Harikrishna wins Biel chess festival
- P.Harikrishna won the classical format of the Biel chess festival in Switzerland on Wednesday and finished second overall. The World No. 26 missed out on the top spot by half-a-point.
- Harikrishna scored 36.5 points from 28 games of classical, blitz and rapid combined. Poland’s RadoslawWotjaszek came first with 37 points.
- Harikrishna, who lives in Prague, was clearly the best performer in the classical format, scoring 20.5 points. England’s Michael Adams was second with 16.5 points and Wotjaszek third with 14.