Today Current Affairs
Saxena will have a tenure till August 7, 2020, when he attains the age of 65 years.
He has been working as acting head of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) since June 20. He took over charge from Vinay Mittal who had completed his term.
Saxena joined the UPSC as a member on May 8, 2015. Prior to joining the UPSC, he was working as director of the Aviation Research Centre (ARC).
The Maharashtra assembly has unanimously approved 16% reservation for the Maratha community in jobs and educational institutes.
Following this, the total reservation in the state for OBC, SC/ST groups, other minor social groups, and the Marathas will be 68%.
The government created a separate category called Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC).
From the 2018-19 season, any cricketer who is found guilty of tampering his/her date of birth will be disqualified and barred from participating in any BCCI tournament for a period of 2 years i.e. 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
Earlier, a cricketer faced a ban of one year.
In September, the BCCI had banned a Meghalya-bound Delhi player, Jaskirat Singh Sachdeva, for producing a fake birth certificate to play in an Under-19 tournament.
The Telangana government offices are soon to make way for electric cars as the State aims at promoting non-polluting vehicles. The government has brought in the Electric Mobility Policy 2018-2023 to encourage the use of carbon-free cars. It has followed it up by signing with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The EESL in principle has agreed to invest a whopping Rs.10,250 crore in the State to procure 1,00,000 cars. The State has sought support from two automobile companies, the Mahindra and the Tata and Sons, to provide 100 cars before the end of December.
The two signature electric cars, the Mahindra Verito, and the Tata Tigor, can be charged for six hours with AC charger and 90 minutes with DC charger and can travel for 100-110 km.
It is expected that the introduction of electric cars could provide smart solutions to the concerns over increasing carbon emissions and pave way for cleaner cities, apart from rising in fuel prices. It is estimated that 2.5 kg of carbon and 60 grams of nitrogen are emitted for every litre of diesel. There is a rise in the incidence of lung cancer and respiratory diseases.
CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH) announced a new partnership with Merck, a leading German science and technology company, to establish a ‘High End Skill Development Centre’ in CSIR-IMTECH, Chandigarh.
This ‘High End Skill Development Centre’ will enrich skills by conducting workshops, trainings and seminar series on cutting edges life science processes, tools and techniques.
The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said that climate change and depletion of land and other resources that undermine food systems increase the risk of feeding the hungry planet. UNFAO renewed its appeals for better policies and technologies to reach zero hunger.
The report also said that the population growth requires supplies of more nutritious food at affordable prices, but increasing farm output is hard given the fragility of the natural resource base as the humans have outstripped Earth’s carrying capacity in terms of land, water, and climate change.
About 820 million people are malnourished. The FAO and International Food Policy Research Institute released the report at the outset of a global conference aimed at speeding up efforts to achieve zero hunger around the world.
In Brazil, the deforestation has reached its height that an area equivalent to one million football pitches was lost in just one year.
According to the governmental institution of special investigations said that between August 2017 and July 2018, deforestation increased by almost 14%, with an area of 7, 900 sq km, it’s more or less one million football fields, of forest cleared.
Between 2004 and 2012, deforestation in Brazil was slowed through controls imposed at a government level as well as by the private sector.
♦ Capital: Brasília
♦ President: Michel Temer
♦ Official language: Portuguese
♦ Currency : Real (R$) (BRL)
The 2018 G20 Summit began on November 28, 2018 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the 13th meeting of Group of Twenty (G20) and the first G20 summit to be hosted in South America.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be representing India at the Summit and is scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Argentina President Mauricio Macri, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on the sidelines of the summit.
The members of the G20 consist of 19 individual countries plus the European Union (EU).
The 19 member countries of the forum are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.
The book is edited by the nationalist think-tank Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation (SPMRF) and members of the Niti Aayog: Dr. Bibek Debroy, Dr. Anirban Ganguly and Shri Kishore Desai.
The book contains 51 essays on themes ranging from economy to diplomacy, education to public health.
The book endeavors to elaborate on how the government has set out to realize the vision of a New India.
The International Gita Festival, 2018, will be organised in Kurukshetra in Haryana from December 7-23, in which Mauritius will be the partner country and Gujarat the partner state.
About 200 famous painters from across the country would reach Kurukshetra to draw paintings on the walls of Kurukshetra on the theme of the Mahabharata under the 'paint-the-wall' competition.
The objective behind this event is to spread the message of Gita to the world.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched a Survey on India’s startup sector (SISS) with an endeavor to create a profile of the startup sector in India and provide dimensions relating to turnover, profitability and workforce.
In a recent NASSCOM-Zinnov report titled “Indian Start-up Ecosystem 2018: Approaching Escape Velocity,”, India has emerged as the third largest startup hub in the world.
According to the report, Bangalore, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai are the top cities which have seen a tremendous growth in startups, with Bangalore becoming one of the fastest growing technology startup hubs.
Graduates of Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B) who are Co-founders of a start-up called Emotix have launched India’s first advanced personal robot Miko 2 for Kids.
IIT Bombay graduates Sneh Rajkumar Vaswani along with his batchmates Prashant Iyengar and Chintan Raikar have founded the Tech start-up Emotix.
Miko 2 is India’s first advanced robot that can see, hear, sense, express, talk, recognize faces, remember names, Identify moods and initiate a conversation.
‘Logix India 2019’, which will be held from January 31 to February 2, 2019, in New Delhi. The event is aimed at improving logistics cost effectiveness and operational efficiencies for India’s Global Trade.
Ranked 44 in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index 2018, logistics costs in India are 13-15 per cent of the product cost, while the global average is six per cent.
Donbass, a Ukrainian film directed by Sergei Loznitsa, won the coveted Golden Peacock award at the 49th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Panaji, Goa on 28th November. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.40 lakh, a trophy, and a citation.
The film tells the story of a hybrid war taking place in Eastern Ukraine, involving an open armed conflict alongside killings and robberies perpetrated on a mass scale by separatist gangs. In Donbass, war is called peace and propaganda is uttered as truth.
Lijo Jose Pellissery won the Silver Peacock for Best Director for the Malayalam film Ee.Ma.Yau, a stunning satire on death and how it affects human lives.
Himachal Pradesh became the first state to launch a pan-India single emergency number ‘112’ where all kinds of immediate help can be sought in urgent matters.
Under this project, an Emergency Response Centre (ERC) has been established in Shimla along with 12 district command centres (DCCs), covering the entire state.
The ERC has been integrated with police (100), fire (101), health (108) and women (1090) helpline numbers to provide emergency services through the emergency number ‘112’.
The central government has allocated Rs 321.69 crore under Nirbhaya Fund for implementation of ERSS project across the country.
Batch IAS Officer, Ranbir Singh served as the commissioner of East Delhi Municipal Corporation was appointed as the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi.
Ranbir Singh will succeed Vijay Kumar Dev who had been appointed as the chief secretary of the Delhi Government.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)-appointed board of the Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS), acting on behalf of its relevant subsidiaries has initiated the process of exploring the sale of the controlling stake held by the IL&FS Group in renewable energy assets and businesses.
These include operating wind power generating plants with an aggregate capacity of 873.5 MW as well as under-construction wind power generating plants with aggregate capacity of 104 MW; asset management services for the operating wind power generating plants as well as the business division conducting project development and implementation of wind power generating plants.
Also, IL&FS would be divesting its stake in businesses relating to project development and implementation of solar power plants and projects under development of about 300 MW capacity with corporate customers.
The Government of India conferred the National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC) with the status of Miniratna: Category –I.
This status will empower the company to take speedy decisions.
One of the premier construction companies, NPCC has also been awarded the ISO 9001:2015 Certification.
The National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC), is a schedule ‘B’ Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the administrative control of Ministry of Water Resources and was incorporated in 1957.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) served a notice to SpiceJet asking it to pay Rs.20 crore by 30th November to partially clear its dues. AAI claimed that the airline’s dues have crossed the 80% threshold of its security deposit.
As per the AAI norms, all the carriers are supposed to keep their dues within 80% of their security deposit with the State-run aerodrome operator. SpiceJet’s outstanding towards landing, parking and route navigation charges currently stands at Rs.117 crore, against its security deposit of Rs.104 crore.
SpiceJet operates an average 446 flights daily to 57 destinations. It reported a net loss of Rs.389.37 crore for the September quarter on a surge in fuel costs and forex losses. The company had posted a net profit of Rs.105.27 crore in the same period of last fiscal. If the carrier fails to pay Rs 20 crore by the stipulated deadline, the AAI may increase the payment amount against its billing to Rs 3.5 crore.
Indian Navy commander Vijay Varma and Captain P. Rajkumar were among those honored at the ‘Asian of The Year’ awards at Singapore on 28th November. The two were acknowledged for their selfless service and bravery in rescue operations during the Kerala floods. They were awarded for their death-defying rescue flying during the floods in Kerala earlier this year.
Others awarded included the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), and Singapore NGO Mercy Relief, who operated amid large-scale flooding, earthquakes and a variety of other disasters.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of Rs.5 crore on the West Bengal government as it failed to take steps to improve the air quality of Kolkata and Howrah. Subhas Datta, the petitioner, said that the cost has been imposed for failing to comply with an earlier order of the NGT in August 2016.
The NGT directed that the cost should be paid within two weeks to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). If the government failed to do so, it would have to pay an additional Rs.1 crore as fine for every month’s delay.
The 2016 order included taking steps like augmentation of air monitoring network, traffic management, streamlining of efficiency auto emission training centres, and phasing out of commercial vehicles more than 15-years-old.
The scheme introduced to address that issue of accountability of the state to its people.
The scheme will be compulsorily applicable to formal sector workers and will be further extended to informal sector workers.
It will come into effect in May 22, 2019 and would be a contribution based scheme where private sector employees will have to mandatorily contribute 11 percent of their basic salary to the social security fund (SSF), while employers will have to contribute another 20 percent of the employees’ basic salary.
The main aim is to provide a boost to the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) culture in indigenous defence industry
The event showcased the successful outcomes of adopting and utilizing the Intellectual Property Right (IPR) applications which enhanced inventions and innovations among Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
Department of Defence Production and Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) had a significant role in spreading awareness about the benefits of creating the Intellectual Property culture in the defence sector.