- 06 Sep 2019
- 18 min read
DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS (06-SEP-2019)
Declaration Of Certain Individuals As Terrorists
- Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim were declared individual terrorists by the government under a new anti-terror law.
- Invoking the recent amendments in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the Central Government has decided to declare the following individuals as terrorists and add their names to Schedule 4 of the Act:
- Maulana Masood Azhar : chief, founder and key leader of Jaish-e-Mohammad
- Hafiz Muhammad: chief: founder and key leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamat-ud-Dawa
- Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi: chief operation commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba and one of its founder members
- Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar: runs an international underworld crime syndicate and is involved in perpetrating acts of terror
- All of the above are involved in terrorist attacks in India, and have been designated as global terrorists under United Nations. Earlier when terrorist organizations were banned, the individuals associated with it simply changed names and continued to carry out terrorist activities.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019?
- In August 2019, Parliament passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
- The amended act empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists.
- The amended act empowers the officers of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
- if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the NIA, the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.
- The earlier act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act. The Bill adds another treaty to the list namely, the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).
Eastern Economic Forum
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Russia for a two-day visit, during which he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and attended the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF). The visit by Modi to the Russian Far East region is the first by an Indian prime minister.
- The Eastern Economic Forum 2019 is taking place on 4–6 September in Vladivostok, Russia on the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) campus. The forum this year will see the participation from several countries at ministerial level, including China, South Korea, North Korea, Singapore and Indonesia.
- The Eastern Economic Forum was established by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in 2015.
- To support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Events at the Forum traditionally take place in the form of panel sessions, roundtables, televised debates, business breakfasts, and business dialogues devoted to Russia’s relationships with various countries.
- On the 194th birth anniversary of Dadabhai Naoroji, popularly known as the Grand Old Man of India, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, paid tribute to the leader.
- Dadabhai Naoroji (1825-1917) is known as the Grand Old Man of India.
- Born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in a poor Parsi family, he began his career as a teacher of mathematics and natural philosophy at Elphinstone Institute (later Elphinstone College). He was the first Indian to become a full professor.
East Indian Association:
- In 1867, he founded the East Indian Association. It was a political advocacy group for India having both British and Indians on its membership roll.
Reforming Zoroastrian religion:
Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha:
- He founded the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha (Guides on the Mazdayasne Path) in 1851 to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its original purity.
Rast Goftar (Truth Teller):
- In 1851, he founded Rast Goftar (Truth Teller), a Gujarati fortnightly to clarify Zoroastrian concepts and promote Parsi social reforms.
His business ventures:
- He travelled to London in 1855 to become a partner in Cama & Co, opening a Liverpool location for the first Indian company to be established in Britain. Within three years, he had resigned on ethical grounds.
- He formulated the famous drain-of-wealth theory. Through his work with economics, he proved that Britannia was draining money out of India. In his book “Poverty and Un-British Rule in India (1901)”, he estimated a 200–300 million pounds loss of India's revenue to Britain that is not returned.
Association with Indian national congress:
- Naoroji is also credited with the founding of the Indian National Congress, along with A.O. Hume and Dinshaw Edulji Wacha. He thrice served as the President of Indian National Congress.
- In 1874, he became Prime Minister of Baroda.
Draft Bill On Violence Against Healthcare Professionals And Clinical Establishments
- Union the Ministry of Health released a draft Bill to address incidences of violence against healthcare professionals and damage to the property of clinical establishments. Public comments on the draft Bill are invited till the end of September.
Salient features of draft Bill:
- The draft Bill prohibits any acts of violence committed against healthcare service personnel including doctors, nurses, para medical workers, medical students, and ambulance drivers, among others. It also prohibits any damage caused to hospitals, clinics, and ambulances.
- Any person who commits such violence may be punished with imprisonment between six months to five years, along with a fine of up to five lakh rupees. However, if any person causes grievous hurt to a healthcare service professional, he will be imprisoned for a period between three years to ten years, along with a fine between two lakh rupees and Rs 10 lakh.
- In addition to the punishment, the convicted person will also be liable to pay compensation to the affected parties. This includes: (i) payment of twice the amount of the market value of the damaged property, (ii) one lakh rupees for causing hurt to healthcare service personnel, and (iii) five lakh rupees for causing grievous hurt to healthcare service personnel.
- All offences under the draft Bill will be cognizable (i.e., a police officer can arrest without a warrant) and non-bailable.
- Any case registered under this Bill will be investigated by a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)
- Since August 2019, India has embarked on a large-scale plan to screen all children for leprosy and tuberculosis.
- An estimated 25 crore children below the age of 18 will be screened for the two infectious diseases, and if a person is suspected to have either of the two, s/he will be sent to a higher centre for confirmation.
- The existing Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) infrastructure will be used for the screening.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)?
- Launched in 2013 under the National Health Mission (NHM), RBSK is focused on preventing disease and disability in children.
- This initiative is aimed at screening children from 0 to 18 years for 4Ds - Defects at birth, Diseases, Deficiencies and Development Delays including Disabilities.
- Children diagnosed with illnesses shall receive follow up including surgeries at tertiary level, free of cost under NHM.
Climate Change And Bananas
- According to a study published in Nature Climate Change, climate change has benefited bananas over the last several decades but the trend will reserve, with climate change eventually causing a negative impact.
- 27 countries — accounting for 86 % of the world’s dessert banana production — have on average seen increased crop yield since 1961 — by 1.37 tonnes/hectare every year — due to the changing climate resulting in more favourable growing conditions.
- In India, data from the National Horticulture Board show broadly consistent yields in six years leading up to 2016-17, when the provisional yield was 34 tonnes/hectare.
- The gains in these 27 countries could be significantly reduced by 2050 — to 1.19-0.59 tonnes/hectare — or disappear completely, if climate change continues at its expected rate.
- 10 countries — including India and the fourth largest producer, Brazil — could see a significant decline in crop yields.
- Western Odisha districts are celebrating the agrarian festival 'Nuakhai'.
- It an important social festival of Western Odisha and adjoining areas of Simdega in Jharkhand.
- It is an agricultural festival which is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. The word nua means new and khai means food.
- It is observed on the fifth day of the lunar fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada or Bhaadra (August–September), the day after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
- Nuakhai is understood to have nine colours and as a consequence nine sets of rituals are followed as a prelude to the actual day of celebration.
- People offer the newly harvested crop called Nabanha to their respective presiding deities. After offering the Nabanha, people relish different types of delicacies prepared from the newly harvested crop.
- The Nuakhai Juhar is a major ritual of the festival. It is an exchange of greetings with friend relative and well-wishers.
National Teacher Awards 2018
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the recipients of National Teacher Awards 2018.
- The award is given on the occasion of Teachers’ day (5th September), as public recognition to meritorious teachers working in primary, middle and secondary schools.
- The award carries a Silver Medal, Certificate and Rs. 50,000/- as award money.
- Guidelines for the selection of Teachers for National Awards:
- The number of awards per year is restricted to 45.
- The final selection is done by an independent Jury. The criteria is to select those teachers who had shown innovation in their work and had added value to their school and students.
- All regular teachers will be eligible to apply and no minimum years of service is required.
- All teachers could directly apply and nominate themselves for the award.
- Self-nominations from teachers are invited online on mhrd.gov.in.
Teachers’ Day 2019
- Teacher’s Day is observed annually on September 5, as Dr. Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888.
- Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was India’s first Vice President and second President.
- His book, ‘The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore’ attracted global attention to Indian philosophy.
- His philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta. He defended Hinduism against “uninformed Western criticism” and played a major role in the formation of contemporary Hindu identity.
- He earned the reputation of being the bridge-builder between India and the West.
- He was one of the founders of Helpage India, a renowned NGO for elderly underprivileged in India.
- He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1954.
- He was awarded several other distinguished awards as well such as a knighthood in 1931 and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.
Global Liveability Index
- The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the Global Liveability Index 2019.
- The index ranks 140 global cities based on their living conditions.
- The liveability index quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in 140 cities worldwide, and assesses which locations provide the best living conditions.
- The list is topped by Vienna (Austria) for the second consecutive year.
The survey rates cities worldwide based on 30 qualitative and quantitative criteria, which fall into five general categories:
- Health care.
- Culture and environment.
Performance of Indian cities:
- New Delhi has dropped by six places to rank 118th on the list.
- Mumbai also fell two places since last year to rank 119th.
Reasons for decline in liveability in Indian cities:
- Abuses against journalists.
- Rise in Crime rates.
- Climatic changes.
- Constrained liveability conditions.
Maritime Route Between Chennai and Vladivostok
- A Memorandum of Intent was recently signed for the development of maritime communications between Chennai and Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East Region after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- This assumes significance because it ensures there will be connectivity between the two major ports which will give impetus to the cooperation between India and the Russian Far East.
India among top 10 nations in gold reserves
- According to the latest release by the World Gold Council, U.S. leads the country list with total gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes followed by Germany with 3,366.8 tonnes.
- IMF is ranked third, it is followed by countries such as Italy, France, Russia, China, Switzerland and Japan before India at the 10th spot.
- India has pipped the Netherlands to move into the list of top ten countries in terms of total gold reserves.
- According to the World Gold Council, India has gold reserves totalling 618.2 tonnes, which is marginally higher than the Netherlands’ reserves of 612.5 tonnes.
- Interestingly, in terms of individual countries, India actually ranks ninth since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) occupies the third position after the U.S. and Germany.