Daily Current Affairs - 14th Feb 2019

106 coastal sites picked for conservation

  • The Centre has identified over 100 coastal and marine sites as conservation reserves under its National Wildlife Action Plan for 2017-2031. These coastal and marine sites have been identified as conservation or community reserves to increase participation of local communities in governance.
  • Under the National Wildlife Action Plan for the period 2017 to 2031, the union government is working towards the conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems from the impacts of climate change.

16th Lok Sabha session concludes

  • The last session of the 16th Lok Sabha came to an end which included a total number of 331 sittings. A total of 205 bills were passed and the productivity was 85 percent. For Rajya Sabha, 154 bills were passed and the productivity was 68 percent. The Interim Budget for 2019-20 was presented the 1st of this month.
  • Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narendra Singh Tomar

99.82% projects in forests got nod

  • India’s apex National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) which was charged with allowing forest land in Protected Areas to be diverted for industry has cleared 682 of the 687 projects (99.82%) that came up for scrutiny.
  • The NBWL, formally headed by the Prime Minister, adjudicates on industrial projects, road diversions or the like that could encroach into Protected Areas or eco-sensitive zones of forests.
  • A smaller Standing Committee of the NBWL is charged with deliberating on the merits of projects that come to it for scrutiny.
  • The committee comprises scientists and government officials and is chaired by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan.

AYUSH Minister launches e-AUSHADHI portal for Online Licensing System of AYUSH Medicine

  • Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik has launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters today at New Delhi.
  • This e-AUSHADHI portal is intended for increased transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability.
  • This new e-portal e-AUSHADHI is an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative.

Bharat Ratna and Padma awards cannot be used as titles, says govt

  • The union government stated that Bharat Ratna and Padma awards are not titles and cannot be used as prefix or suffix to names and they can be withdrawn in case of misuse.
  • National awards such as Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri “do not amount to titles within the meaning of Article 18(1) of the Constitution and thus are not to be used as prefixes or suffixes to the name of the recipient in any manner whatsoever.
  • In case of any misuse, the defaulter shall forfeit the national award conferred on him or her by following the procedure laid down in regulation 10 related to creation of these awards.

Cabinet approves continuation of Centre's tribal welfare schemes

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella programme for the development of Scheduled Tribes from the period till March 2020. With this approval over 10 crores Scheduled Tribe people will benefit from it. The total layout for the programme is 11,900 crore rupees.
  • This scheme will also promote efficiency in the delivery of service and enhance the reach of welfare schemes of government in service deficient tribal areas in the sectors such as livelihood, health, education, through efforts of Voluntary Organisations.
  • The Union Cabinet also approved a proposal for official amendments in The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill that seeks to add several new tribes in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) of Chhattisgarh so they could avail benefits of various government schemes.

CCEA approves CLCS-TUS with total outlay of Rs. 2900 crore

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, CCEA has approved the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up-gradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) with a total outlay of 2900 crore rupees. This scheme aims at improving the competitiveness of MSMEs by integrating various ongoing schematic interventions aimed at up-grading technology through Credit Linked Capital Subsidy (CLCS).
  • This scheme will facilitate technology up-gradation, improvement in Quality of products by MSMEs, enhancement in productivity, reduction in waste.

Centre to seek advice on deletion of UID data

  • The Union government will seek legal counsel on whether it can delete the biometric data of young people who choose to quit Aadhaar once they turn 18. As the Union Cabinet recently approved amendments to the Aadhaar Act, which includes a provision that gives a child, on attaining maturity (18 years), the power to withdraw his or her Aadhaar details.
  • The proposal to allow those turning 18 to withdraw from Aadhaar will not benefit those who want to file income tax returns as it is now mandatory to provide Aadhaar details while filing taxes.
  • The Aadhaar Act was not passed during the just-concluded Budget session of the Lok Sabha, and so it will have to be reintroduced under a new government
  • UIDAI CEO and Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey

Egypt's Parliament to vote on extending President's term

  • Egypt's Parliament has begun deliberations over constitutional amendments that could allow incumbent President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to stay in office till 2034. These amendments will provide 12 more years after his current, second term expires in 2022.
  • The 596-seat assembly has already given its preliminary approval to the changes last week.
  • Egypt
  • President: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
  • Capital: Cairo
  • Currency: Egyptian pound

Eicher Motors CEO Siddhartha Lal named EY Entrepreneur of the year 2018

  • Siddhartha Lal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Eicher Motors,was named the EY Entrepreneur of the year 2018. Siddhartha Lal has led an impressive transformation at Eicher Motors since he took over the reins in 2006, helping the company resurrect the Royal Enfield motorcycle brand in India and establishing it as a global brand icon.
  • Lal will now represent India to compete for the coveted EY World Entrepreneur of the year (WEOY) award at the annual WEOY event in Monte Carlo from 6-8 June, 2019.
  • Meanwhile Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for putting the Indian information technology industry on the global map and for his laudable contributions to society as a philanthropist.
  • EOY is a global business award program which is celebrated across 60 countries.

Govt approves the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill, 2019. This Bill provides for amendment of the legal framework to act as a deterrent to the erring NRI spouses and creating more accountability and offer protection against exploitation of Indian Citizens married to NRIs.
  • Once the Bill is passed, marriages performed by NRIs would be registered in India or Indian Missions & Posts abroad.

Guptill powers NewZealand to victory

  • Martin Guptill's unbeaten century helped New Zealand to an eight-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first ODI. Bangladesh set New Zealand a modest run chase of 233 after suffering an early collapse and the hosts overhauled it in 44.3 overs, losing two wickets.

Hero Women's Gold Cup: Myanmar beat India 2-0

  • Myanmar defeated India 2-0 in the last round robin match and Nepal beat Iran 3-0 in the other match to enter the finals. Myanmar and Nepal will meet in the summit clash of the Women's Hero Gold Cup 2019 Football tournament in Bhubaneswar.
  • Nepal was drubbed 3-0 earlier in the tournament by Myanmar but won against India 2-1.

Macedonia officially changes its name to North Macedonia

  • The country formerly known as the Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, on paper ending a decades-long dispute that should pave the way for NATO membership.
  • The country now can be called "North Macedonia" for short and the national language should continue to be referred to as "Macedonian.
  • After declaring independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the country chose the name Macedonia. But that title severely strained relations with neighbor Greece, which also has a region called Macedonia.
  • Greece, a member of both NATO and the European Union, had been blocking North Macedonia's membership to the military alliance and the beginning of accession talks with the EU until the name dispute was resolved.
  • North Macedonia
  • President: Gjorge Ivanov
  • Prime Minister: Zoran Zaev
  • Capital: Skopje
  • Currency: Macedonian denar

Maldives’ former president Abdulla Yameen charged with money laundering

  • Maldives’s former President Abdulla Yameen was charged with money laundering. The case stems from an allegedly shady deal to lease islands for tourist resort development and the discovery of $1 million in his bank account.
  • Maldives
  • President: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
  • Capital: Malé
  • Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa

MSP for jute hiked by Rs. 250/quintal

  • The union government has increased the minimum support price (MSP) for raw jute by Rs. 250 per quintal, taking the price to Rs. 3,950 per quintal for the 2019-20 season. This hike is slightly higher than last year’s Rs. 200 per quintal increase. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
  • The Jute Corporation of India will continue to act as the Central nodal agency to undertake price support operations at MSP in jute-growing States.
  • India is the world’s largest producer of raw jute and West Bengal accounts for the majority of the country’s production.

NITI Aayog signs agreement to document systemic transformation in education

  • The NITI Aayog has signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) to codify, document and share best practices to improve learning outcomes in public school education through systemic reforms, based on their collective experiences of working with various state governments in India.
  • Under the agreement, NITI Aayog and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will document the reforms pursued by various state governments that have initiated systemic reforms in education and have begun to see improved learning outcomes over the past few years.

Rajasthan clears 5% quota for Gujjars

  • The Rajasthan legislature has passed the Backward Classes Amendment Bill, 2019 by a voice vote which has sought to amend a statute of 2017 and increase the quota for backward classes from the present 21% to 26%. This will result in the reservation exceeding the 50% upper limit mandated by the Supreme Court.
  • Four other nomadic communities getting the quota benefit along with Gujjars are Banjara, Gadia-Lohar, Raika and Gadariya.

Rajya Sabha clears law removing leprosy as ground for divorce

  • The Indian Parliament passed a Bill removing leprosy as a ground for divorce under five personal laws, including the Hindu Marriage Act. The Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 sought to remove leprosy as a ground for divorce in five personal laws — Hindu Marriage Act, Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, Divorce Act (for Christians), Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act.

RBI penalises banks for violating various norms

  • The Reserve Bank of India has imposed monetary penalty of two million rupees each on HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank for non-compliance of various Know Your Customer/ Anti-Money Laundering norms.
  • It has also imposed a monetary penalty of 1.5 Crore rupees each on Allahabad Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Indian Overseas Bank for non-compliance of norms related to monitoring end use of funds, exchange of information, classification and reporting of frauds and on restructuring of accounts. A penalty of 1 crore rupees was imposed on Andhra Bank for the same reason.
  • This action by the RBI is purely based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction by the banks with their customers.

U.S. to discuss trade, e-com rules with India

  • U.S. Ambassador Kenneth I. Juster will lead a delegation of officials to hold talks with Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu to resolve several sore trade points, including the concerns of American CEOs regarding doing business in India and bilateral trade imbalance.
  • The status of the review of India’s eligibility for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is also likely to come up in the light of recent developments where the U.S. has again threatened to withdraw the export exemptions for India.
  • Trade tensions between the two countries rose last March when U.S. President Donald Trump notified the imposition of higher import tariffs on steel and aluminium, which affected several countries, including India.
  • India's exports to the U.S. in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion.

World Radio Day observed on February 13 every year

  • World Radio Day is celebrated on February 13 every year. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will celebrate the eighth edition of the World Radio Day. This day marks a time where people around the world celebrate radio and how it shapes our lives.
  • The theme for this year is "Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace".