Daily Current Affairs - 10th Dec 2019

218 fast track courts in U.P. for sexual crimes

  • Amid the outrage over the death of the Unnao rape victim, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced that it would set up 218 fast track courts for speedy disposal of cases of sexual crimes against women and children.
  • Currently 42,389 cases of sexual offences against children and 25,749 cases of rape and sexual crimes against women are pending in the courts.

Abu Dhabi selected as world’s leading sports tourism destination

  • Abu Dhabi has been selected as the world’s leading Sports tourism Destination at the 26th edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA) being held in Muscat. This is the seventh time in a row that Abu Dhabi has been selected for this coveted award.
  • Abu Dhabi shined as a premium destination once again for sports tourism in 2019 after hosting some of the world’s top sporting events, such as the FIFA Club World Cup 2017 and 2018, the first edition of the UAE Tour, the AFC Asian Cup 2019, the Special Olympics World Games 2019, the UFC 242 showdown and the Brazil vs South Korea international friendly match.
  • The UAE capital also continues to play host to annual acclaimed sports events including the Formula 1 Etihad Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the ADNOC Abu Dhabi Marathon, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi.

Arnab Goswami elected president of News Broadcasters Federation’s governing board

  • The News Broadcasters Federation has elected journalist Arnab Goswami as the president of its governing board. The members unanimously elected Goswami, who is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic TV, to be president of the governing board.
  • The broadcaster’s body comprises of 78 news channels in 14 languages from 25 states.
  • The NBF president will lead a group to form the self-regulatory body – News Broadcasters Federation Authority, said the federation. “It will create new standards for news broadcasting and address any violation through a committee of editors from within the federation

BJP govt gains majority as party wins 12 of 15 seats in K'taka by-polls

  • The ruling BJP in Karnataka has registered an emphatic victory by winning 12 of the 15 seats in the by-election, thereby gaining the majority in the state legislative Assembly. The Congress could bag two seats and an Independent registered victory in one. JD(S) could not win a single seat in this election.

CGST collections miss target by 40% in Apr-Nov.

  • The Central GST collection fell short of the budged estimate by nearly 40% during the April-November period of 2019-20, according to the data presented in Parliament on Monday.
  • The actual CGST collection during April-November stood at Rs.3,28,365 crore while the budgeted estimate is of Rs.5,26,000 crore for these months.
  • In 2018-19, the CGST collection stood at Rs.4,57,534 crore as against the provisional estimate of Rs.6,03,900 crore for the year.

Driverless vehicles being tested on 5G technology in UAE

  • In United Arab Emirates, driverless vehicles are being tested on 5G technology ahead of a planned deployment of such vehicles on roads. The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA said, they will expand 5G network to important sectors such as transport, health and education.
  • 5G-enabled driverless vehicles will be able to have more efficient and quick communication with each other and traffic infrastructure, which will help to minimize traffic jams and bottlenecks.

Govt further reduces stock limit of onion for retailers to check hoarding

  • The Union Government has further reduced the stock limit of onion to two tonnes from five tonnes for retailers as part of efforts to check hoarding of the kitchen staple. The decision has been taken to augment availability of onions in open market.
  • Ministry of Consumer Affairs informed that states have been asked to carry out immediate anti-hoarding operations. Stock limit will continue to remain the same for wholesalers.
  • Importers will continue to remain exempted for imported onions.

Govt takes decision for in situ redevelopment of over 378 JJ clusters in Delhi

  • The Union government has taken a decision for in situ redevelopment of over 378 JJ clusters in Delhi, with a “Jahan Jhuggi, Wahan Ghar” initiative.
  • Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said Delhi Development Authority, DDA, has taken charge of 378 JJ clusters and their survey process is in progress. He said very soon, tenders will be issued for five clusters.

Govt to allow girls’ education in all Sainik School

  • Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik has said in parliament that the union government will allow girls’ education in all Sainik School in a phased manner. Presently entry of girls in five Sainik Schools has been allowed.
  • He said, earlier, the co-educational policy adopted on a pilot-basis at Sainik School in Mizoram and now is being implemented across the country.

India call upon more countries to join ISA to reduce dependence on fossil fuels

  • India has called upon more countries to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA) initiated by it to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels to meet the rising energy demand.
  • Speaking at a Ministerial Plenary on Solar and the Small Island Developing States - Making the Sun Shine Brighter, on the sidelines of COP-25 climate conference which is underway in Madrid, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has expressed happiness that over 83 countries joined the ISA(International Solar Alliance (ISA), ) in just four years
  • Listing out the aggressive manner in which India has expanded its renewable energy mix, the Minister pointed out that five years ago, India had just 3 Giga Watt (of solar energy). Today, it has 33 GW of solar energy and it is huge.
  • He said, India is going to achieve 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 i.e. in the next three years it will add 67 GW more of solar energy
  • ISA is an alliance of 121 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.

India moves from 130 to 129 in human development index: UNDP report

  • India climbed one spot to 129 among 189 countries in the 2019 human development index, according to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Despite lifting 271 million people out of poverty between 2005-15, India still remains home to 28 per cent(364 million) of the world’s poor, the new Human Development Index (HDI) 2019, has said.
  • India ranked 130 last year. The steady progress was due to nearly three decades of rapid development, which had seen a dramatic reduction in absolute poverty, along with gains in life expectancy, education, and access to health care.

India, Australia for collaboration to counter terror threat

  • India and Australia have emphasized the need for enhanced collaboration to counter the threat of terrorism and violent extremism through increased information sharing. They also exchanged views on achieving their shared objective of peace, prosperity and progress in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The two sides discussed bilateral defence engagements, areas to enhance cooperation in the field of defence industry and defence technology.
  • The issues came up for discussion during the third India-Australia Secretary-level 22 Dialogue in New Delhi.
  • The Indian delegation was led by Defence Secretary, Dr Ajay Kumar and Foreign Secretary, Vijay Gokhale.

Loans worth over Rs10 lakh cr sanctioned under PMMY

  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), 20.84 crore loan accounts totalling an amount of Rs 10.24 lakh crore have been sanctioned up to November 1, 2019, Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
  • The PMMY is a scheme launched by the prime minister on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to Rs 10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.

Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill

  • Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 after a marathon discussion and division last night. In all, 311 members voted in favour of the bill and 80 members opposed it.
  • The bill seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians who migrated to India till the end of 2014 from countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, due to reasons like persecutions.
  • However, the bill exempts certain tribal areas included in the Sixth Schedule and those falling under the Inner Line Permit Regime in the North Eastern States. It amends the Citizenship Act 1955, the Passport Act 1920 and the Foreigners Act 1946 for implementation of its provisions.

Manav Thakkar won 2019 ITTF Challenge Series U-21 title held in Canada

  • Indian paddler Manav Thakkar has become the first Indian since 2017 to win an U-21 men’s singles title when he lifted the crown at the ITTF Challenge Plus Benemax-Virgo North American Open in Markham, Canada.
  • Manav cruised to a comfortable 11-3, 11-5, 11-6 win over Argentina’s Martin Bentancor in the final.
  • It was India’s first U-21 men’s singles title since the ITTF Challenge Series became an entity in January 2017, as opposed to being an integral part of the ITTF World Tour.

NSE launches interest rate options on 10-yr govt bonds

  • National Stock Exchange launched interest rate options on ten-year Government bonds. The exchange recorded a turnover of 5,926 contracts on the first day of its launch. Interest rate options are based on the underlying ten-year government bonds, which are 7.26 per cent 2029 bond and 6.45 per cent 2029 bond.
  • Interest rate options will provide institutional investors the ability to manage risk through a non-linear product.

Rural areas in all States, UTs become Open Defecation Free

  • Rural areas in all the States and Union Territories have become Open Defecation Free in the country. This was informed by Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
  • He said urban areas of all the States and Union Territories except West Bengal have been declared Open Defecation Free.

Saurabh, Elavenil and Divyansh receive Golden Target award from ISSF

  • Indian shooters Elavenil Valarivan, Saurabh Chaudhary and Divyansh Singh Panwar, who finished the season as No.1 in their respective events in rifle and pistol, were presented the Golden Target award by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) at its headquarters in Munich, Germany.
  • While Saurabh in air pistol and Divyansh in air rifle had also secured the Olympic quota this season, Elavenil did not get a chance to win the quota as Anjum Moudgil and Apurvi Chandela had won the maximum possible quota in women’s air rifle in the World Championship last year.

SBI announces reduction in one-year MCLR by 10 basis points

  • Country's largest lender State Bank of India has announced the reduction in its marginal cost of fund based lending rate (MCLR) by 10 basis points across all one-year products. This is the eighth consecutive cut in MCLR by the lender this fiscal. The new one-year MCLR has been cut to 7.90 per cent from 8 per cent.

South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi crowned Miss Universe 2019

  • South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi has been crowned Miss Universe for the year 2019, beating more than 90 contestants. Tunzi was declared the winner at a televised event at Atlanta in United State. This is the third Miss Universe crown for South Africa.
  • Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was named the first runner-up, followed by Mexican contestant Ashley Alvidrez as the second runner-up.
  • Indian contestant Vartika Singh crashed out of the world's biggest beauty pageant after securing a place in the top 20.

UAE, US joint military exercise 'Iron Union 12'commences

  • 'Iron Union 12', a joint military exercise between the ground forces of the UAE and the United States, have commenced. Spanning a few weeks, 'Iron Union 12' will see the two sides take part in joint military cooperation to enhance combat and tactical capabilities.

US Man Who Inspired "Ice Bucket Challenge" Dies At 34

  • A former US college baseball player who helped inspire the global phenomenon known as the "ice bucket challenge" to tackle a deadly neurodegenerative disease has died at the age of 34. A one-time college athlete from the Boston area, Pete Frates' struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, was one of the inspirations behind the ice bucket challenge which took social media by storm in 2014.
  • Millions took up the challenge which involved dousing themselves with a bucket of ice cold water and posting the video online, before making a donation to medical research and daring others to do the same.
  • The campaign has reportedly raised more than $200 million to fund research into ALS, whose sufferers' bodies slowly shut down as their nervous systems degenerate.

WADA bans Russia from international sporting events for four years

  • The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, today banned Russia for four years, from participation in global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory.
  • The independent McLaren report released in 2016 revealed the significant extent of state-sponsored doping in Russia, notably between 2011 and 2015.
  • Russia's anti-doping agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.
  • The ruling means Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.
  • The Russian flag and national anthem have also been banned in global events.

Walmart, Amazon to train MSMEs

  • Walmart and Amazon, the two largest foreign investors in the Indian e-commerce sector, separately announced plans to help India’s MSME sector in better use of digital commerce platforms to enhance their growth.
  • Under the Vriddhi supplier development programme, Walmart aims to train 50,000 small businesses to expand their domestic capabilities and participate in the global economy.
  • Institutes will be opened under the Vriddhi programme, which will be strategically located near the manufacturing clusters and are part of Walmart’s long-term commitment to India.
  • Jeff Bezos-owned Amazon’s Indian arm, on the other hand, announced a partnership with industry body Confederation of Indian Industry “to facilitate MSMEs to develop their business further by listing and selling their products and services online”.
  • Amazon India will also conduct workshops, roadshows and e-commerce training for MSMEs with an objective to train them in “leather & footwear, apparels & textiles, automobile, cycle parts and handicrafts” businesses.