Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 13 2020
1. Cabinet approved amendment of the 2020 Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill
The Union Cabinet approved the amendment of the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020 on 12 February. The Bill was introduced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2020. The Bill seeks to provide resolution for disputed tax cases that involve Rs.9.32 lakh crore. The amendment will widen the scope to cover litigation pending in various debt recovery tribunals (DRTs).
2. Uttarakhand Cabinet approves 377 sq km for ESZ in Corbett Tiger Reserve
The Uttarakhand State cabinet approved a 377 sq km area for the proposed eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) for the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) on 12 February. The proposal will be forwarded to the Central government.
3. Cabinet approves 2020 Pesticides Management Bill
The Union Cabinet approved Pesticides Management Bill, 2020 on 12 February. The move comes as the pesticide business is regulated by 1968 rules which have become age-old and need immediate rewriting.
- The Bill aims to regulate the business of pesticides and compensate farmers in case of losses from the usage of spurious agro-chemicals.
- The Bill will protect the interest of farmers and ensure they get safe and effective pesticides.
- As per the Bill, the farmer will not get spurious pesticides.
- It will empower farmers to get all information as the data would be in open source and in all languages.
- The bill aims to promote organic pesticides.
- The farmers will know about the strength and weaknesses of pesticides, the risk, and alternatives and this will be open data in digital format also.
- The farmers will essentially get the information from the dealers selling pesticides.
4. Cabinet approved the Major Ports Authority Bill to replace existing law
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the “Major Ports Authority Bill” on 12 February. It will replace the existing 1963 law (Major Port Trusts Act, 1963) that governs the country’s 12 major ports. The announcement was made by Union Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya.
5. The 20th International Seminar on Comprehends the Evolving Contours of Terrorism is held in Haryana
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the 20th International Seminar on “Comprehends the Evolving Contours of Terrorism & IED Threat-Way ahead for the Security Community”. The seminar was organized by the National Security Guard (NSG), at Manesar, Haryana 12 February 2020. It will be held on 12-13 February.
6. Cabinet approves MoU signed between India and Iceland in the field of Fisheries
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Iceland in the field of Fisheries. The MoU was signed on 10 September 2019.
7. National Winter Games to be held in Gulmarg
The National Winter Games is to be held in Gulmarg from March 7, 2020. The games are to be held for five days in Gulmarg, the world-famous Ski destination. It is being held under Khelo India.
8. 43rd Session of International fund for Agricultural Development: UN SDG 2030 not achievable
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of the United Nations works to address hunger and poverty in developing countries. The 43rd session of the governing council of IFAD was held at Rome between February 11, 2020 and February 12, 2020. It was announced at the council meet that with the current progress rate, it is not possible to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2030.
9. World Radio Day 2020 is obsrved on February 13
World Radio Day 2020 will be held on Thursday 13 February around the theme of “Radio and diversity.” UNESCO and UN calls on radio stations to uphold diversity, both in their newsroom and on the airwaves.
This eition of World Radio Day is divided into three main sub-themes:
- Advocating for pluralism in radio, including a mix of public, private and community broadcasters;
- Encouraging representation in the newsroom, with teams representing diverse society groups;
- Promoting a diversity of editorial content and programme types reflecting the variety of the audiences.
10. Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi renamed as Sushma Swaraj Bhawan
Government has decided to rename Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra in New Delhi as Sushma Swaraj Bhawan and Foreign Service Institute in the national capital as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service.
The announcement was made today by the Ministry of External Affairs on the eve of the birth anniversary of Mrs Swaraj and in the honour of the legacy and decades of public service of the former External Affairs Minister.
11. CA Atul Gupta elected as New President of ICAI
CA Atul Kumar Gupta has been elected as President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for the term 2020-21 on 12th February 2020. Having served the profession for about two decades, he joined the Central Council of ICAI in 2013 wherein he remained a member for two consecutive terms, i.e. 2013-16 and 2016-19. He got elected as Vice-President in February, 2019 for the term 2019-2020
12. ACI rules amended for making arbitration user friendly
The government has amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to make arbitration process user friendly and cost effective. This will also ensure speedy disposal and neutrality of arbitrators.
According to reports, the government has recently amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019. The Amendment Act was effective from 30.08.2019.
13. Tata Trusts appoints old timer Srinath Narasimhan as CEO
Tata Trusts on Wednesday named Tata group veteran Srinath Narasimhan as their first chief executive, signalling a shift to a more professional leadership framework at the entities that own most of Tata Sons Ltd.
Narasimhan, currently managing director of Tata Teleservices Ltd and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd, will take over his new assignment from 1 April.
14. Odisha govt signs MoU with HDFC Bank to boost startups
The Odisha government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the HDFC Bank Limited to provide smart banking solutions to Startups in the state. The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Department signed the MoU with the HDFC Bank in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here.
15. Sarthak Behuria Joins Reliance Industries To Steer Fuel Retail Venture
Former Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Chairman Sarthak Behuria has joined Reliance Industries Ltd. as a senior advisor and will help shape the firm’s fuel retail business. Behuria, 68, was till last year with the Adani Group. Sources said Behuria will provide “strategic direction and leadership” to the new fuel retail joint venture Reliance has floated with U.K.’s BP.
16. Sarojini Naidu’s 141st Birth Anniversary: National Women’s Day of India
India celebrates Sarojini Naidu’s birthday as National Women’s Day of India every year on February 13. Sarojini Naidu was India’s first women governor and also famous as ‘Bharat Kokila’. Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879. She actively participated in the Indian National Movement for the independence of the country.
17. Award-winning designer Wendell Rodricks passes away at 59
Internationally-famed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks passed away at his home in Colvale village in Goa on Wednesday evening at the age of 59.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Mapusa) Gajanan Prabhudesai said information about Rodricks’ death was received around 6.30 pm and a team was immediately sent to his residence.
18. Robin Singh named UAE director of cricket
Robin Singh, the former India all-rounder, was named UAE’s new director of cricket after the Emirates Cricket Board decided to sack Dougie Brown as head coach.
Brown, who was appointed as coach in May 2017, was at the helm during a tumultuous last few months when the team was hit by the fixing scandal. A few senior players, including skipper Mohammed Naveed, were suspended by the ICC just before the T20 World Cup Qualifiers but UAE managed to qualify for the playoffs.
19. Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries to get upto Rs 15 lakh aid under RAN scheme
Ayushman Bharat beneficiaries not covered under various packages of the insurance programme and requiring high-cost treatment will be able to get financial assistance of up to Rs 15 lakh under the Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) scheme, an office memorandum said.
The Union Health ministry has issued revised guidelines of the umbrella scheme of RAN in the wake of complaints that poor patients suffering from life-threatening diseases have not been able to avail treatment under it if they are beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (AB-PMJAY).