Daily Current Affairs of 23rd January 2020
ECI organized 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture
- The Election Commission of India (ECI) organized the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture on 23 January. The lecture was organized as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India. The memorial lecture was hosted to mark the 70th year of inception. Former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered the inaugural lecture on electoral processes of India and the challenges of the electoral systems.
- Sukumar Sen:
Sukumar Sen was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India. He served from 21 March 1950 to 19 December 1958. Sh Sukumar Sen commendably conducted the first two Lok Sabha elections of India held in 1952 and 1957 simultaneously with the Legislative Assembly Elections. The elections were based on a universal adult franchise under challenging circumstances.
- Election Commission of India:
Formed on: 25 January 1950
Chief Election Commissioner: Sh. Sunil Arora
Election Commissioner: Sh. Ashok Lavasa, Sh. Sushil Chandra
ECI is responsible for administering election processes in India. ECI Secretariat is located in New Delhi. It conducts elections at national, state and district levels. It administers Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha, state Legislative Assemblies, state legislative councils, and the offices of the President and Vice President elections in the country.
DMMC, Munnan Singh won the 2020 Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar award
- Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2020 was announced on the occasion of Subhash Chandra Bose birth anniversary which was celebrated on 23 January 2020.
Disaster Mitigation & Management Centre (DMMC), Uttarakhand under the institution category won the award. DMMC received a certificate and a cash prize of Rs.51 lakhs. The cash prize will be used by the winning institution for Disaster Management related activities only.
Under the Individual category, the former IPS Shri Kumar Munnan Singh received the award. The award recognized their commendable work in Disaster Management. Munnan Singh received a certificate and a cash prize of Rs.5 lakhs.
On 23 January 2019, the government instituted an annual award titled Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar. The award recognizes the efforts of disaster, many organizations and individuals work effectively to help the people. The 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) located at Ghaziabad won the award for the year 2019.
NITI Aayog to develop National Data and Analytics Platform
- NITI Aayog has announced that it is to develop the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP) on 23 January. The platform aims to allow the stakeholders to access publicly available government data in a user-friendly manner. NDAP was released by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.
♦ NDAP hosts the latest datasets from various government websites.
♦ It provides tools for analytics and visualization.
♦ NDAP uses a user-centric approach to enable data access in a simple and intuitive portal tailored to the needs of a variety of stakeholders.
♦ NDAP will lead the standardization of formats in which data is presented across various sectors
♦ Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will be developed to keep data update as NADP has been designed to be a reliable platform.
♦ The platform caters to a wide audience of researchers, data scientists, policymakers, innovators, journalists, and citizens.
♦ An inter-ministerial committee will oversee the progress of the development of the platform and a group of leading experts has been inducted into an advisory group to provide technical guidance for the development of the platform. The success of the endeavor is dependent on the cooperation and support of various stakeholders.
♦ It has been decided that the development of NDAP will take place over a period of one year.
♦ The first version of the platform will be launched in 2021.
♦ The process will incorporate feedback received from various users and stakeholders throughout the course of its development.
- NITI Aayog:
The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) was on 1 January 2015. NITI Aayog is the policy Think Tank of the Government of India. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the Chairman of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog is Shri Amitabh Kant and the Vice-Chairperson of the council is Dr. Rajiv Kumar and the 3 full-time members are Shri V.K. Saraswat, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Dr. V. K. Paul. The council comprises of 4 Ex-officio Members, Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories (UTs).
International Day of Education is observed on 24 January
- International Day of Education is observed on 24 January every year. The day aims to celebrate the role of education for peace and development. The day aims to remind that without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all. The day reminds the countries that it will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty without education.
The theme for 2020 International Day is ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity, and peace’. The theme highlights the integrated nature of education and its centrality to the collective development ambitions. On this day, the partners and stakeholders flexibility to tailor the celebration for diverse audiences, a variety of contexts and for priority themes.
- Education-Human Right:
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the Right to education. The declaration provides free and compulsory elementary education.
- RTE in India:
Right to education (RTE) was inserted in Article 21-A of the Indian Constitution through the Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002. It makes education a Fundamental Right for the children between the ages of six and fourteen.
On 3 December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated 24 January as the International Day of Education. The report by the UN stated that over 258 million children and youth still do not attend school. It stated that around 617 million children cannot read and do basic math and over 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school. It reported that around 4 million children and youth refugees are out of school.
The US has passed new visa rules aimed to restrict birth tourism
- The US has passed new visa rules aimed to restrict birth tourism, in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children could have a US passport.
- New Rules:
According to the rules in the Federal Register, applicants will be denied tourist visas if they are determined by consular officers to be coming to the US primarily to give birth.
People with medical needs will be treated like other foreigners coming to the US for medical treatment. The travelers must prove they have the money to pay for the treatment including transportation and living expenses.
SEBI to use AI to curb market manipulations
- The market regulator, Securities, and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have announced that it is to monitor and analyze social media posts to keep a tab on possible market manipulations. The announcement was made by SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi on 23 January 2020.
- AI & ML:
♦ SEBI will acquire capabilities that involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics and natural language processing tools to spot market manipulation.
♦ It will create a data lake project to augment analytical capabilities.
♦ It has also floated a tender to acquire the technology.
♦ It is also expected that AI and ML to bring a potential paradigm shift in the securities market landscape.
♦ AI & ML tools are being increasingly deployed in fund management, trading, supervision and surveillance functions in the capital markets.
RBI increased VEE limit for FPI to Rs.1,50,000 crore
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reopened the allotment of the investment limit under the revised Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) for debt investments by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from 24 January. RBI has increased the investment limit under VRR to Rs.1,50,000 crore from the Rs.75,000 crore, with a minimum retention period of three years. The move aims to attract more foreign funds into the country.
In March 2019, the RBI introduced a separate channel named ‘Voluntary Retention Route’. The channel was aimed to enable FPIs to invest in debt markets in India. Under the move, investments through VRR are free of the macro-prudential, if the FPIs voluntarily commit to retaining a required minimum percentage of their investments in India for a specified period. The RBI has already invested Rs.54,300 crore under the previous scheme.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Established on: 1 April 1935
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Governor: Shaktikanta Das
Policy Repo Rate: 5.15%
Reverse Repo Rate: 4.90%
Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 5.40%
Bank Rate: 5.40%
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): 4%
Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR): 18.25%
GoI partnered with Infosys to improve the performance of GSTN
- The government is has partnered with Infosys to improve the performance of the Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) filing portal on a permanent basis. Infosys is the managed service provider for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in the country. GoI has worked several technological measures with Infosys. The measures will be announced by April 2020.
- Revised GST for tax filers:
♦ In another move, the government revised the dates for the GSTR-3B returns filling. It was based on the turnover of the companies.
♦ The date remained unchanged for the taxpayers with an annual turnover of Rs.5 crore and above in 2019 to the 20th of every month.
♦ GoI revised the date as 22nd for tax filers from 15 states and union territories with an annual turnover of less than Rs.5 crore.
♦ It set the date as 24th every month for the remaining 46 lakh taxpayers from the 22 states and UTs.
The GST Network provides IT infrastructure and services to taxpayers, central/state government, and other stakeholders for the implementation of GST. It aims to provide reliable, efficient, and robust IT Backbone for the smooth functioning of the GST regimen. It will enable economic agents to leverage the entire nation as One Market with minimal Indirect Tax compliance cost.
India ranked 80th in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index
- India ranked 80th in the global Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 (CPI-2019). In 2018, India ranked 78th in the index. The index was released by Transparency International.
- Report Findings:
♦ The report considered revealed that a majority of countries showed little to no improvement in tackling corruption against the previous report.
♦ It considered 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries
♦ It ranks the countries of a score from zero, highly corrupt, to 100, very clean.
♦ The report stated that corruption is more pervasive in most of the countries that it surveyed.
♦ It highlighted that, in countries like India and Australia, opaque political financing, lobbying by the corporate sector has caused control of corruption.
♦ Yemen (177), Syria (178), South Sudan (179) and Somali (180) performed worst in the ranked at the bottom of the list.
- Transparency International:
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization. It was established in 1993. It is headquartered in 1993.
Managing Director: Patricia Moreira
Chairman: Delia Ferreira Rubio
The organization aims to combat global corruption with civil societal anti-corruption measures and to prevent criminal activities arising from corruption.