IASCLUB Daily Current Affairs : 29 June 2019

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G20 Summit 2019

Topic: GS –II: International relations

Context:

Annual meeting of G20 leaders has started in Osaka, Japan for latest edition.

  • The G20 is a group of largest and fastest-growing economies. Its members account for 85% of the world’s GDP, and two-thirds of its population.
  • The G20 Summit is formally known as the “Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”.

Background:

  • After the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-1998, it was acknowledged that the participation of major emerging market countries is needed on discussions on the international financial system, and G7 finance ministers agreed to establish the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in 1999.

 Structure:

  • The group has no permanent staff of its own, so every year in December, a G20 country from a rotating region takes on the presidency.
  • That country is then responsible for organising the next summit, as well as smaller meetings for the coming year.
  • They can also choose to invite non-member countries along as guests. The first G20 meeting took place in Berlin in 1999, after a financial crisis in East Asia affected many countries around the world.
  • G20 mostly attended by finance ministers and central bank governors but after the global financial crisis in 2008. With banks collapsing, unemployment rising and wages stagnating, the organisation turned into an emergency council for presidents and prime ministers.

Member:

  • Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

‘One ration card’ scheme launch soon

Topic: GS –II: Governance

To curb corruption and end the dependence on one Public Distribution System (PDS) shop, the Centre will shortly launch the ‘One nation, One ration card’ scheme.

More in news:

  • The scheme, according to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, would ensure that all beneficiaries can access PDS across the nation from any shop of their choice.
  • The biggest beneficiary of this, would be migrant labourers who move to other States to seek better job opportunities.
  • This will provide freedom to the beneficiaries as they will not be tied to any one PDS shop and reduce their dependence on shop owners.
  • In the next two months, beneficiaries of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh would be able to access the PDS shops. The objective was to ensure that this was implemented nationally in a time-bound manner.

2.51 lakh more houses to be built in 10 States

 Topic: GS–II: Social Justice  

  • Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said that the construction of 2.51 lakh more houses in 10 States under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) (Urban) has been sanctioned, taking the total number of houses approved under the scheme since it started in 2015 to 83.62 lakh.
  • Uttar Pradesh now has 12.96 lakh houses sanctioned, followed by Andhra Pradesh (12.48 lakh) and Maharashtra (9.86 lakh).

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme:

  • It was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence. The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:
  1. Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.
  2. Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy.
  3. Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.
  4. Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.

President’s rule for 6 more months in J&K

 Topic: GS –II: Constitution and Polity

The Lok Sabha on Friday approved the extension of President’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir for another six months, beginning July 3.

More in news:

  • Home Minister Amit Shah assured the House that “democratic, free and fair Assembly elections will be held in the State by the year-end.”
  • Article 370 of the Constitution, which extends special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is “temporary in nature” and “not permanent,” he told the House.
  • The Lok Sabha also cleared the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2019, to replace an ordinance issued by the previous government. With this, people living along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir will get the benefit of reservation in direct recruitment, promotion and admission to professional courses on a par with those living along the Actual Line of Control (ALoC).

Some basics:

  • Jammu and Kashmir, on account of its special status, has a slightly different mechanism in place. Here the failure of governmental function results in Governor’s rule under Section 92 of the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Governor later obtains the consent of the President of India. It is only when the Governor’s rule is not revoked for six months that the President’s rule is imposed in the state under Article 356.
  • The last time President’s rule was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir was in 1996 when due to heightened militancy the state was plunged into turmoil. This time the reason for the imposition of President’s rule is that the state was unable to form an alternate government after the collapse of the PDP-BJP alliance.

Govt. cuts interest rates of savings schemes

Topic: GS -III: Economic Development

The Centre has reduced the interest rates on small savings schemes, including the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) and the Public Provident Fund (PPF), according to a notification issued on Friday.

More in news:

  • The rate for the five-year SCSS has been reduced to 8.6% from 8.7%. The five-year National Savings Certificate rate has also been reduced to 7.9% from 8%. Deposits in the PPF will fetch 7.9% compounded annually, down from the 8% earlier.
  • The rate for the Kisan Vikas Patra scheme has been modified to 7.6%, which will mature in 113 months, compared with the earlier 7.7% which matured in 112 months.
  • While the interest rate on savings deposits has been kept at 4% compounded annually, the rate for one, two, and three-year time deposits has been reduced to 6.9% from 7%, compounded quarterly.

China tests new ballistic missile JL-3

 Topic: GS -III: Security

China has successfully tested its latest submarine-launched ballistic missile, the JL-3.

More in news:

  • The JL-3 is China’s latest SLBM under development that is expected to reach targets farther away with higher accuracy and capable of carrying more warheads than China’s current SLBMs.
  • The SLBM might have a range of up to 14,000 km and be equipped with 10 independent guided nuclear warheads, the daily quoted Russia Today as saying.

France roasts in record heatwave

Topic: GS-III: Environment

France registered its highest temperature since records began on Friday as a heatwave continues to suffocate much of Europe.

More in news:

  • The mercury hit 45.9°C in Gallargues-le-Montueux, in southern France, the weather forecaster Meteo France said. The previous high of 44.1°C was recorded in August 2003.
  • The World Meteorological Organization said 2019 was on track to be among the world’s hottest years, and that 2015-2019 would then be the hottest five-year period on record. It said the heatwave was “absolutely consistent” with extremes linked to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The new record makes France just the seventh European country to have recorded a plus 45-degree temperature, along with Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Greece and North Macedonia.
  • Temperatures in parts of Spain were expected to hit a new June record of 43°C. Since 1975, Spain has registered nine heatwaves in June. Five of them, however, have been in the last decade, according to the Spanish meteorological office.
  • Germany’s weather service said the country experienced temperatures more than four degrees higher in June than the average.

NASA to send a drone to Saturn’s largest moon

 Topic: GS -III: Science and Technology

For its next mission in our solar system, NASA plans to fly a drone copter to Saturn’s largest moon Titan in search of the building blocks of life.

More in news:

  • The Dragonfly mission, which will launch in 2026 and land in 2034, will send a rotorcraft to fly to dozens of locations across the icy moon, which has a substantial atmosphere and is viewed by scientists as an equivalent of very early-era earth.
  • It is the only celestial body besides our planet known to have liquid rivers, lakes and seas on its surface, though these contain hydrocarbons like methane and ethane, not water.
  • NASA said the vehicle would have eight rotors and fly like a large drone.
  • During its 2.7-year baseline mission, Dragonfly will explore diverse environments from organic dunes to the floor of an impact crater where liquid water and complex organic materials key to life once existed together for possibly tens of thousands of years.
  • Its instruments will study how far prebiotic chemistry may have progressed. They also will investigate the moon’s atmospheric and surface properties and its subsurface ocean and liquid reservoirs. “Additionally, instruments will search for chemical evidence of past or extant life.”
  • The craft will land first at the equatorial “Shangri-La” dune, exploring the region in short trips before building up to longer “leapfrog” flights of 8 km.

Editorial section:

 Even central banks need ‘capital’ infusion –The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/even-central-banks-need-capital-infusion/article28222374.ece

Things to do to avoid another water crisis–The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/things-to-do-to-avoid-another-water-crisis/article28222369.ece

Boost for Marathas–The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/boost-for-marathas/article28222370.ece

Primary colours–The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/primary-colours/article28213684.ece

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