Current Affairs for SSC CGL Exams - 31 JANUARY 2020
Centre to augment lab facilities for screening of corona virus
- The government has decided to augment the lab facilities in the country
for a screening of Novel Coronavirus. Six more labs will start functioning
from today. These are NIV Bengaluru Unit, Victoria Hospital Campus, KR Road,
Fort, Bengaluru, AIIMS, New Delhi, NCDC, Delhi, Kasturba Hospital for
infectious diseases, Mumbai and NIV - Kerala Unit.
- All those who have come from China after the 15th of this month shall be
tested as there is an incubation period for the virus. The Cabinet Secretary
stressed the need for 14 days’ home isolation for all those who have
returned from China. It was also advised that the trip to China should be
- The discharge portal for patients have been prepared by DGHS which is
being disseminated. The government has decided to put up check-posts in
relevant tourist locations for better surveillance.
- Gram panchayats are being organized to make people more aware of the
symptoms, precautions, and measures taken by the State Governments regarding
prevention and management for Novel Coronavirus in villages bordering Nepal.
India hopeful to lead global sustainable energy agenda
- Petroleum Minister Dhamendra Pradhan has said that India will continue
to lead the global sustainable energy agenda. He was delivering the key note
address at the TERI’s World Sustainable Development Summit 2020 on ‘Energy
Future Road Map’ in New Delhi today.
- Mr Pradhan said, India is in the midst of a major transformative shift
in the energy sector, both in scale and complexity and also the
interdependence across different systems. He said, the trajectory to end
energy poverty in India, as compared to the rest of the world, is based on
the special national circumstances.
- He assured that to end energy poverty in the country, Government will
remain cognizant of the need to root economic development firmly to achieve
the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals and commitments made at COP 21.
- He said the Government has set out a road map for reducing India's crude
oil imports by 10 per cent by 2022. The Government is working towards
transformation to a gas-based economy, tapping into indigenously produced
biofuels, apart from adopting renewable energy and energy efficiency
measures, to achieve the much-needed carbon reductions.
NITI Aayog vice chairman suggests alternative measures to boost economy
- The government should focus on alternate measures to stimulate economy
as it is not possible to give fiscal stimulus, NitiAayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv
Kumar said ahead of the Budget.
- Kumar also said growth-enhancing measures are the need of the hour to
achieve India's potential growth rate of 7-8 per cent per annum.He
attributed the current slowdown to low investment, muted consumption
expenditure and lagging exports.
- The Niti Aayog's vice-chairman noted that some green shoots of recovery
are now visible with the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for both
manufacturing and services showing a smart rise to above 52, which signifies
- He also said there have already been plenty of measures taken by the
government in the recent past, including the decision to lower corporate tax
rates in September 2019.
- The National Statistical Office (NSO) has estimated the gross domestic
product (GDP) in the current financial year at 5 per cent, which is 11-year
low.During the current year ending March 2020, the fiscal deficit target has
been pegged at 3.3 per cent of the GDP.
Livestock and fisheries sector seek revival ahead of union budget
- If the government aims to double the income of farmers by 2022, then
certain measures should be taken in the upcoming Union budget for the
livestock and fisheries sector, feels industry.
- The PradhanMantriMatsyaSampadaYojana which was announced in the last
Union budget is yet to get approval from the cabinet. As the scheme aims to
boost fish and aquatic products through appropriate policy, marketing and
infrastructure support, it will be highly beneficial for the aqua farmers if
the scheme gets implemented.
- The budget should take concrete steps to ensure the scheme gets cabinet
approval at the earliest, said AmitSaraogi, managing director, Anmol Feeds.
- The newly formed fisheries ministry is already drafting an Rs 45,000
crore budget for the next five years that would cover all aspects of
- Fish is the highest and easiest profit-making commodity and it is a
sector that can provide employment. Returns are almost guaranteed in fish
farming. At least, for the next five years this sector will not see any
setback. Hence, an overarching policy that would promote marine fishery,
aquaculture and mariculture will be favourable for the sector.
EU parliament approves Brexit deal
- Britain's departure from the European Union was backed by European
lawmakers Wednesday, after a debate that mixed warm words of love with
hard-headed warnings to the country not to seek too many concessions during
upcoming trade talks on a future relationship.
- While backing Britain's departure in the wake of the country's vote to
leave in a referendum in June 2016, EU countries are already preparing for
the possibility that talks on a new trade deal with Britain could collapse
by the end of the year, and no-deal contingency planning for a chaotic end
to the transition period is necessary.
- After Britain's departure on Friday, the U.K. will remain within the
EU's economic arrangements until the end of the year though it won't have a
say in policy as it will not be a member of the EU anymore.
- The EU has said such a timespan is far too short and fears remain that a
chaotic exit, averted this week, might still happen at the end of the year
if the transition ends without any agreement in place.
U.S passes law in Dalai Lama succession issue
- The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that authorises
financial and travel sanctions against Chinese officials who interfere in
the process of selecting the successor to the Dalai Lama, the exiled
spiritual leader of Tibet.
- The bill, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president,
will also prohibit China from opening any new consulate in the US until
Beijing allows Washington to open its diplomatic station in Lhasa, the
- Under the draft legislation, Washington would freeze any American asset
and ban US travel of Chinese officials if they are found to be involved in
"identifying or installing" a Dalai Lama approved by Beijing.
- Though introduced as a stand-alone piece of legislation, the bill serves
as an amendment to the Tibet Policy Act of 2002, which codified the US
position of support for the Tibetan people.
- Last year, the US Congress passed the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act,
demanding that American journalists, diplomats and tourists be given the
same freedom to travel to Tibet that Chinese officials have to travel freely
in the US.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
African cheetahs to be introduced in India as supreme courts lifts stay
- Supreme Court ruled that African Cheetah shall be permitted to be
introduced in India. The cat is being introduced on experimental basis.
- The proposal was to introduce foreign Cheetahs into the PalpurKuno
sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. However, the Apex Court stalled the proposal
fearingthe Cheetahs might become into conflict with the project of
reintroduction of lions in the sanctuary.
- Supreme Court formed a three-member committee based on whose
recommendation the judgement was pronounced.Cheetah is the only mammal being
hunted to extinction in India. The last Cheetah was sighted in 1952.
Rani Rampal becomes first hockey player to win World Games Athlete of the
- Indian women's team captain Rani Rampal became the first-ever hockey
player to win the prestigious 'World Games Athlete of the Year' award.
- The World Games announced the winner last night after 20 days of polling
in January this year by sports fans worldwide.
- Congratulating Rani, the World Games said with 1,99,477 votes, she is
the clear winner of the Athlete of the Year race. All in all, over 7,05,610
votes were cast during the poll.
- Last year, India won the FIH Series Finals, and Rani was named Player of
the Tournament. Under Rani's leadership, the Indian women's team qualified
for just the third Olympic Games in its history.