Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 31 December 2021
Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 31 December 2021
Karnataka government drafts bill to ensure facilities for pedestrians, cyclists
The Karnataka government has prepared a draft to propose a bill that ensures facilities for pedestrians and cyclists across cities, but past projects raise concerns about the implementation of the project, Bengaluru residents said.
The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) on Wednesday prepared a draft Active Mobility Bill, Karnataka 2021, mandating Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to ensure the implementation of facilities for road users and proposes a fine if the bodies fail to do so.
“It is aimed at protecting the rights of pedestrians and cyclists to safe, accessible and connected pedestrian and cycling networks in urban areas in the State, with a view to promote sustainable urban mobility and build healthy communities,” the draft stated.
The draft has been proposed as the current legal framework does not have specific provisions to determine and protect the rights of pedestrians and cyclists, and give them equitable space on roads, read the draft.
“An exponential increase in the number of vehicles on urban streets has caused congestion and deteriorated air quality. It has also led to a rise in road fatalities with pedestrians and cyclists more at risk,” the draft bill stated.
SatyaShankran, Bengaluru’s first ‘Bicycle Mayor’, and founding member of Praja-Raag, a city-based citizens’ group, said it is on the lines of the Singapore model. If the government accepts and makes the bill official, it will help solve traffic issues to a large extent in the state, he added.
However, the current state of cycle lanes in Bengaluru raises concerns about the ambitious project. Even as the newly developed cycle lanes in the Central Business District (CBD) appear to be a hit, riders feel the overall number of tracks available remain insufficient to enable them to pedal without running into traffic or pedestrians.
Shankran said that as per the comprehensive mobility plan of the Bruhat Bengaluru MahanagaraPallike (BBMP), the idea was to develop 174km of cycle tracks in the city. “We took up the matter with the authorities and got it changed to developing 600 km in the next 10 years. But this is still not enough,” he said.
Decision to flee Kabul made in 'minutes': Ex-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
Former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani on Thursday described fleeing the Taliban's victory march on Kabul, saying the decision had been taken in "minutes" and that he did not know he was leaving the country until he was taking off.
Ghani told BBC's Radio 4 "Today" programme that on the morning of August 15, 2021, the day the Islamists took control of the capital and his own government fell apart, he had "no inkling" that it would be his last day in Afghanistan.
But by that afternoon security at the presidential palace had "collapsed," he said.
"If I take a stand they will all be killed, and they were not capable of defending me," Ghani said in the interview, conducted by former UK chief of defence staff, General Nick Carter.
His national security adviser, HamdullahMohib, was "literally terrified," Ghani said. "He did not give me more than two minutes."
He said his instructions had originally been to fly by helicopter to southeastern Khost city.
But Khost had fallen in the Islamists' lightning offensive which saw provincial capitals topple around the country in the days ahead of the withdrawal of international forces, set for the end of August.
The eastern city of Jalalabad, on the border with Pakistan, had also fallen, he said.
"I did not know where we will go," Ghani said.
"Only when we took off did it become clear that we were leaving."
Ghani has been in the United Arab Emirates ever since.
He has been highly criticised in Afghanistan for leaving, with Afghans now trapped under the Taliban's harsh rule accusing him of abandoning them -- and of taking millions of dollars in cash, a claim he "categorically" denied again.
States demand extension of GST compensation for another 5 years
Many states have demanded that the GST compensation cess regime be extended for another five years and the share of the Union government in the centrally-sponsored schemes be raised as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their revenues.
The GST compensation to states for revenue shortfall resulting from subsuming of local taxes such as VAT in the uniform national tax Goods and Services Tax (GST) will end in June next year.
There has been a loss of revenue to the states due to the GST tax system, the Centre has not made arrangements to compensate the loss of revenue of about Rs 5,000 crore to the state in the coming year, so the GST compensation grant should be continued for the next five years after June 2022, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister BhupeshBaghel said.
"Many states have asked for this. We have also asked to extend GST compensation. If it is not extended, the finances of many states will be in a bad shape," Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said after pre-Budget consultation of finance ministers of states with Union Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman here.
Rajasthan Education Minister SubhashGarg said extension of compensation cess window till 2026-27 is a valid demand of states and the Centre should consider it.
He also demanded reduction in import duty on gold and silver from 10 per cent to 4 per cent.
"Our most significant demand is that the Centre's share in centrally-sponsored scheme has gradually reduced and states share has increased. Earlier share would be 90-10 and now it is 50-50 or 60-40, our request is that it should go back to 90-10," Garg said.
Rajasthan also requested that all irrigation and water work projects should be brought under the Centre's ambit and declared central schemes.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
Iran state TV says Tehran launched rocket into space
Iran announced it launched a satellite carrier rocket bearing three devices into space, though it's unclear whether any of the objects entered orbit around the Earth.
The state TV report, as well as others by Iran's semiofficial news agencies, did not say when the launch was conducted nor what devices the carrier brought with it. However, the launch comes amid difficult negotiations in Vienna over Iran's tattered nuclear deal.
Previous launches have drawn rebukes from the United States. The U.S. State Department, Space Force and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ahmad Hosseini, a Defense Ministry spokesman, identified the rocket as a Simorgh, or “Phoenix,” rocket. He said the three devices were sent up 470 kilometers (290 miles).
Hosseini was quoted as saying the “performance of the space center and the performance of the satellite carrier was done properly.” He described the launch as “initial," suggesting more are on the way.
However, officials were silent on whether the launched objects had actually reached orbit. Iran's civilian space program has suffered a series of setbacks in recent years, including fatal fires and a launchpad rocket explosion that drew the attention of former President Donald Trump.
Iranian state media recently offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launches for the Islamic Republic’s civilian space program. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard runs its own parallel program that successfully put a satellite into orbit last year.
‘An attack that can pick 20 wickets anywhere in the world’: Sachin Tendulkar
ViratKohli's unit scripted history on Thursday as he led India to their maiden Test win at Centurion. As India chase for their first-ever Test series win on South African soil, Kohli and co kicked-off their campaign on a strong note and went to secure a resounding 113 runs win in the opening encounter.
Moments after India's win, Kohli's unit was showered with praises from the game's legend as Sachin Tendulkar, SouravGanguly and other ex-India cricketers took to Twitter to laud the team's achievement.
The contest at Centurion saw KL Rahul flourishing with the bat yet again in an overseas Test, as he scored a ton to lay the perfect foundation for the bowlers to build on. Meanwhile with the ball it was Mohammed Shami, who completed a five-wicket haul and also joined the 200 Test wickets club.