OBJECTIVE IAS

Kriyaa Hi Vastoopahutaa Praseedati

Current Affairs

OAS Prelims-2019 Current Affairs: July 2019

Dutee Chand

Contents

  1. Palau becomes 76th nation to join International Solar Alliance
  2. WHO declares Ebola outbreak in DRC as a Global emergency
  3. Cabinet approves setting up of National Medical Commission replacing MCI
  4. India moves up 5 ranks to become 52nd most innovative country
  5. India’s first lightest and indigenous bullet proof jacket gets MHA nod
  6. Meghalaya becomes first state to ensure Water Conservation
  7. Cabinet approves extension of term of 15th Finance Commission
  8. Dutee Chand wins 100m gold in World Universiade, creates history
  9. England claim maiden World Cup 2019 title

Palau becomes 76th nation to join International Solar Alliance

Palau, an archipelago of over 500 islands in Oceania, became the 76th signatory country to join the International Solar Alliance.

Countries which have signed the agreement until now include India, France, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Japan, amongst others. The agreement was opened for signature during the COP22 at Marrakech on November 15, 2016.

The International Solar Alliance is a group of 121 solar resource-rich countries with headquarters in Gurugram, India. The organisation aims to deploy over 1,000 gigawatts of solar energy and mobilise more than USD 1,000 billion into solar power by 2030, according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

WHO declares Ebola outbreak in DRC as a Global emergency

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been declared a global emergency, with the World Health Organization (WHO) calling for international support to stop its spread.

This is only the fifth event to be labelled a “public health emergency of international concern” by the organisation. The move follows the death of a pastor in Goma, a city of almost 2 million people that borders Rwanda and is a hub of international travel.

Experts convened by the WHO were concerned that this, alongside the virus spreading to new locations and flare-ups in areas where the outbreak was previously under control, could herald a growing epidemic.

Despite efforts to contain the outbreak over the past year, the crisis has grown and is now responsible for the deaths of around 1700 people, and another 2500 possible infections. This is the second biggest Ebola outbreak on record, behind the outbreak in West Africa in 2014.

Cabinet approves setting up of National Medical Commission replacing MCI

The Union Cabinet has approved National Medical Commission Bill, 2019. The bill provides for setting up of a National Medical Commission in place of Medical Council of India and repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

The features of the bill include, the Common final year MBBS Exams will be know as National Exit Test(NEXT) which would serve as Licentiate Exam, for entrance to Post Graduate medical course and as screening test of foreign medical graduates.

The bill provides that the national entrance test that is NEET, common counselling, NEXT will also be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) like AIIMS to have common standards in the country.

NMC will also regulate fees and all other charges for 50% seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities. The Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) under NMC will assess medical colleges and develop a system for ranking them.

India moves up 5 ranks to become 52nd most innovative country

India is now ranked 52nd on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019, a jump of 5 places over last year, and 29 places in the last five years – up from 81 in 2015. The list continues to be topped by Switzerland while Israel finds its place in the top ten for the first time.

India’s rank has risen by 29 places since 2015, when it was at the 81st spot. The country’s rank stood at 57 in 2018. The index tracks innovation both in government policies and industry practices, and a concerted policy push by the Prime Minister’s Office in promoting innovation in the digital economy and ease of doing business has helped India, a person in the know said.

GII is developed jointly by Cornell University, INSEAD and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations. The index was launched for the first time in a developing economy — in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The ranking of 126 economies was based on 80 indicators, from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications, which are compiled under seven pillars. The 12th edition of the GII provides long-term tools to assist countries in tailoring public policies to promote long-term output growth, improved productivity, and job growth through innovation, according to WIPO.

India’s first lightest and indigenous bullet proof jacket gets MHA nod

Bhabha Kavach, billed as “India’s lightest bullet-proof jacket”, was launched at the International Police Expo 2019 in New Delhi.

The bullet-proof jacket, developed jointly by the Ordnance Factories Board and the public sector metals and metal alloys manufacturer MIDHANI, can withstand bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle (7.62 mm hard steel core bullets), and the 5.56 mm INSAS rifle, according to a press release issued by the Expo.

The Kavach weighs 9.2 kg, a half kilogram less than the weight for a bullet-proof jacket prescribed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the release said.

It quoted a senior Ordnance Factories Board official as saying the jacket “is powered with nano technology from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre”, and has a five-year warranty.

Meghalaya becomes first state to ensure Water Conservation

Amid the water crisis in the country, the Meghalaya cabinet became the first state to approve a draft water policy to address water issues, conservation, and protection of water sources in the state.

The objective of the policy is to recognize water resources as a common pool resource, to provide safe and hygienic water for drinking, domestic and sanitation and livelihood development to all residents of the state.

Among other things, the draft State Water Policy which seeks to protect and improve management of water resources while actively involving the community.

It also aims at ensuring protection and conservation of catchment areas of all water sources to prevent degradation of the quantity and quality of water sources.

Cabinet approves extension of term of 15th Finance Commission

The union cabinet extended to the term of the Fifteenth Finance Commission by a year, asking it to submit an interim report for fiscal year 2020-21 and a full report for fiscal years 2021-22 to 2025-26—a decision apparently taken to factor in Jammu and Kashmir’s new status.

The extension of the term will enable the Commission to examine various comparable estimates for financial projections in view of reforms and the new realities to finalize its recommendations for the period 2020-2026.

The cabinet decision means the Commission will recommend its award to six fiscal years, instead of the usual five. Sources said the cabinet decision does not fall foul of the Constitution.

Article 280 of the Constitution states that the President shall constitute a Finance Commission at the expiration of every fifth year or at such earlier time as the President considers necessary.

Simply put, this means that while the Commission can give recommendations for six years through two reports (2020-21 to 2025-26), when the Sixteenth Finance Commission is set up, it will consider devolution for 2025-26 to 2029-30, and not from 2026-27, an official explained. This will essentially keep the award period of the 15th Finance Commission at five years, since these are just recommendations which the government accepts.

The Constitution just mandates that every five years a Finance Commission has to be set up. Today’s cabinet decision is not in contravention of that.

Dutee Chand wins 100m gold in World Universiade, creates history

Dutee Chand on Tuesday created history by become the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Summer Universiade in Napoli, Italy. India’s star sprinter Chand won the gold in women’s 100m with a timing of 11.32 seconds.

Dutee, who holds the 100m national record with 11.24s, qualified for the finals with a 11.41s finish in the semifinal heats and led the final race from start to finish.

This is the first gold medal for India in this edition of the Games and also the first time an Indian has won the gold medal in the 100m event. Previously, no Indian has ever qualified for the final of 100m.

The last time India won a gold medal in Universiade was in 2015 when shot putter Inderjeet Singh finished on the top of the podium. India also won a bronze medal on Tuesday. Angad Veer Bajwa won the medal in the men’s skeet event

England claim maiden World Cup 2019 title

In the grand finale of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 (CWC 19), England cricket team defeated New Zealand cricket team in the Super Over thriller to lift their maiden World Cup title at The Lord’s cricket stadium in London.

Batting first after winning the toss, New Zealand had postd 241/8 in 50 overs in reply to which, England ended at the same score leading to the one-over eliminator at the Lord’s.

In the Super Over, England batted first and the duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler made 15 runs, and New Zealand also ended at the same score but for the loss of one wicket, paving the way for an English victory on boundary count.

It was nothing less than sheer magic as the match kept tilting in the favour of England and New Zealand throughout the final overs, but eventually it was England whose 44-year-long longing ended on a Super Over, that too, on boundary count as England had 22 fours and two sixes compared to 16 by New Zealand.

Sources

  1. News on AIR
  2. Business Standard
  3. Economic Times
  4. New scientist
  5. Indian Express

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