9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 13th, 2020

India’s under-5 mortality of girls exceeds that of boys, unlike global trend, says report

News: United Nations (UN) inter-agency group for child mortality released a report titled ‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’


‘Levels and Trends in Child Mortality’: Key Takeaways


  • Globally, 85% of deaths among children and young adolescents in 2018 occurred in the first five years of life
  • Half of all under-5 deaths in 2018 occurred in five countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.


  • The mortality under-5 years of girls, exceeded that of boys
  • Majority of child mortality cases are attributable to deaths during the neonatal period.
  • The major causes of neonatal mortality are pre-term birth, intrapartum related events, and neonatal infection.
  • In the post-neonatal period the major direct causes of death are diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Additional Information:

Under-five mortality rate – Probability of dying between birth and five years of age expressed per 1,000 live births.

Kaziranga records 96 species of wetland birds

News: According to the second wetland bird count, conducted by officials of the Kaziranga National Park, the park has 96 species of wetland birds.


About Kaziranga National Park

  • Location: Spread across parts of Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam.
  • Major Rivers: Brahmaputra, Diphlu, Mora Diphlu and Mora Dhansiri.
  • Perennial wetlands: Sohola (largest), Borbeel, Kawoimari, Jamuguri
  • Climate: Tropical Monsoon
  • In the year 1985, the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
  • It is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species.
  • It houses the world’s largest population of Great One-horned Rhinoceros (IUCN Status- Vulnerable)
  • Kaziranga was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006

Explained: NASA’s Artemis mission

News: NASA wants to send the first woman and the next man to the Moon by the year 2024 under the Artemis lunar exploration program



ARTEMIS stands for Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun.


  • Establishing of lunar outpost
  • Investigating the Moon’s resources and how they might be exploited
  • Using Moon as a base to explore Mars and further into deep space
  • Broaden commercial and international partnerships
  • Inspire a new generation and encourage careers in STEM

Note: Artemis is named after the Greek goddess of the Moon and twin sister of the god Apollo.

ISRO’s NavIC to feature in mobiles

News: 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) (the mobile communications standards body) has approved NavIC to be included in mobiles along with GPS


About NavIC

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS): NavIC

  • IRNSS (NavIC) is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • Types of Services:
    • Standard Positioning Service (SPS): It will be provided to all the users.
    • Restricted Service (RS): It is an encrypted service which will be provided only to the authorised users (military and security agencies).
  • Applications:
    • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
    • Disaster Management
    • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
    • Integration with mobile phones
    • Precise Timing
    • Mapping and Geodetic data capture
    • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
    • Visual and voice navigation for drivers.

Additional Information:

Global Positioning System (GPS): It is a U.S.-owned satellite-based radionavigation system that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services

World Future Energy Summit to begin today in Abu Dhabi

News: The World Future Energy Summit began in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Climate Innovations Exchange (CLIX) will be held alongside.


About World Future Energy Summit

  • It is an annual event, dedicated to advancing future energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies.
  • It was started in 2011 by UAE
  • 2020 theme: Rethinking Global Consumption, Production, and Investment.

What are CRZ rules which the demolished Maradu flats violated?

News: Four illegal apartment complexes in Maradu, Kerala, were demolished for violating the provisions of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules.


  • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification was issued in 1991 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • The main aim of the Rules is to protect the coastal environment.
  • Coastal Regulation Zone: All the coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and backwaters which are influenced by tidal action (in the landward side) up to 500 metres from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and the HTL.
  • Categories of Coastal Regulation Zone:
  • Category I: areas that are ecologically sensitive and important, such as national parks marine parks, sanctuaries, reserve forests, wildlife habitats, mangroves, corals/coral reefs, etc.
  • Category II: areas that have already been developed up to or close to the shore-line.
  • Category III: Areas that are relatively undisturbed and those that do not belong to either Category-I or II
  • Category IV: Coastlines of Indian islands that do not fall into categories I, II or III
Image result for CRZ zones 2018 diagram

New Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ) Notification 2018

  • only projects under CRZ I and CRZ IV would need clearance from Ministry of Environment whereas
  • Sub categorizes CRZ III (rural) areas into CRZ III A and CRZ III B
  • CRZ III A: Densely populated rural areas with a population density of 2161/sq. Km.  Such areas shall have an No Development Zone (NDZ) of 50 meters from the HTL
  • CRZ-III B: Rural areas with population density of below 2161/sq. Km. Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200 meters from the HTL
  • Defreeze CRZ II (Urban Area)-Floor Space Index (FSI) or the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to allow construction projects for redevelopment of such areas to meet emerging need.
  • permits temporary tourism facilities in beaches and in the “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of the CRZ-III areas
  • No Development Zone of 20 m for all islands close to the mainland coast and for all Backwater Islands in the mainland.
  • allows treatment facilities as permeable activities to address the issue of pollution in coastal areas

NIIT University to be part of NEAT Portal 

News:The National Institute of Information Technology(NIIT) has been selected as one of the EdTech companies for the NEAT initiative.


About NEAT:

  • The National Educational Alliance for Technology(NEAT) was launched to customize learning process using Artificial Intelligence.
  • It aims to recognize the development of emerging technologies in Adaptive Learning and bring them under a common platform so that learners can access it easily.
  • All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) would be the implementing agency for the NEAT programme.

Features of the programme:

  • Under the programme,EdTech Companies would be created through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.These EdTech companies would then create a National Alliance with the emerging technologies.
  • Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) would act as a facilitator to ensure that the Adaptive Learning Solutions are freely available to a large number of economically backward students.
  • Further,a National NEAT platform would also be created to provide one-stop access to Adaptive Learning Solutions.

Sufal Bangla scheme

News:West Bengal Government is implementing the Sufal Bangla Scheme which have protected consumers from the spike in food inflation.


About Sufal Bangla Scheme:

  • Sufal Bangla Scheme is an initiative of the Government of West Bengal.

Objectives of the scheme:

  • To help the farmer’s get premium price and have rational share in consumer’s price
  • To supply quality produce at less retail price to the consumers and 
  • Make fruit and vegetable producer’s retail market competitive.

Features of the scheme:

  • The scheme involves fair-price stalls and counters across the city which allows people to procure vegetables at affordable prices.
  • These fruits and vegetables are directly procured from the farmers without any intermediaries.
  • This will safeguard the interests of farmers by ensuring a fair price and will also protect consumers from the spike in food inflation.
  • The scheme is run with the assistance of National Dairy Development Board and the financial support of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana.It is implemented by the Paschimbanga Agri Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Private property is a human right: Supreme Court

News:Recently,the Supreme Court has held that a citizen’s right to own private property is a human right.



  • The case was of an 80-year-old woman whose 3.34 hectare land was forcibly taken by the Himachal Pradesh Government in 1967 for constructing a road.

Key takeaways from the judgement:

  • The court ruled that the citizen’s right to own private property is a human right.
  • It said that to forcibly dispose citizens of their private property without following the due process of law would be to violate a human right as also the constitutional right.
  • The apex court also referred to the earlier verdict in State of Haryana v. Mukesh Kumar case (2011) wherein it was held that the right to property is not only a constitutional or statutory right but also a human right.
  • The court also said that the state cannot be permitted to perfect its title over the land by invoking the doctrine of adverse possession.
  • Further,the apex court also used its extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 136 and Article 142 of the Constitution to direct the government to pay the woman compensation of 1 crore rupees.

Additional information:

About Right to property:

  • The 44th Amendment of 1978 deleted the right to property from the list of fundamental rights.It was made a Constitutional right under Article 300A. 
  • Article 300A requires the state to follow due procedure and authority of law to deprive a person of his or her private property.

Right to Adverse possession:

  • The right to Adverse possession is a legal doctrine that allows a person who possesses or resides on someone else’s land for an extended period of time to claim legal title to that land.
  • In India,the person who is not the original owner of the land becomes the owner because of the fact that he has been in possession of the property for a minimum of 12-years within which the real owner did not seek legal recourse to oust him. 

About Article 142:

  • Article 142 provides for the enforcement of decrees and orders of Supreme Court.It consists of two clauses:
  • Article 142(1) states that Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it and the orders shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India.

Article 136(Special leave petition):

  • Under Article 136 of the Constitution,the Supreme Court is authorised to grant in its discretion special leave to appeal from (a) any judgment, decree determination, sentence or order (b) in any case or matter or (c) passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India.
  • The only exception to this power of the Supreme Court is with regard to any judgment of any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the armed forces.

Explained: What is H9N2, which has infected an Indian child?

News:Indian scientists have detected the country’s first case of infection with a rare variant of the virus called A(H9N2) that causes avian influenza or bird flu.


About A(H9N2) Virus:

  • H9N2 is a subtype of influenza A virus that causes human influenza as well as bird flu.
  • The subtype was isolated for the first time in Wisconsin,US in 1966 from turkey flocks.
  • According to NCBI US,H9N2 viruses are found worldwide in wild birds and are endemic in poultry in many areas.However, they are somewhat neglected. 

H9N2 in Humans:

  • H9N2 influenza virus can be transmitted by air droplets, dust, feed or water.
  • However, the H9N2 virus infections in humans are rare but likely under-reported due to typically mild symptoms of the infections. 
  • The first case globally was reported from Hong Kong in 1998.The cases have also been observed in Hong Kong, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Egypt.
  • Recently,the virus was detected in India during a community-based surveillance study in villages of Korku tribes in Melghat district of Maharashtra.

Two Coast Guard ships commissioned at Kolkata

News:Recently,two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) namely Annie Besant and Amrit Kaur were commissioned by Defence Secretary.


About ICGS Annie Besant:

  • ICGS Annie Besant was named in honour of Annie Besant, philanthropist, theosophist, prolific author and supporter of the Indian freedom struggle. 
  • The ship will be based at Chennai under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).

About ICGS Amrit Kaur:

  • ICGS Amrit Kaur derives the name from Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, who belonged to the ruling family of Kapurthala, Punjab. 
  • She took an active part in the ‘Salt Satyagraha’ and ‘Quit India Movement’ and served Independent India as its first Health Minister.
  • The ship will be based at Haldia under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North East).

Features of the ships:

  • The ships are 48.9 metres long and 7.5 metres wide with a displacement of 308 tonnes.The ships are capable of achieving a maximum speed of 34 knots.
  • They are fitted with state-of-the-art technology, navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery.
  • They are also capable of undertaking multifaceted tasks such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation.
  • They are also equipped with Bofors 40/60 guns and 12.7 mm SRCGs (Stabilised Remote Controlled Gun) for enhancing the fighting efficiency of the ship.

Explained:Swami Vivekananda

News:Recently,January 12 has been celebrated as the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.


About Swami Vivekananda:

  • Swami Vivekananda was born as Narendra Nath Datta in 1863.He was a monk and chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.

The Chicago address:

  • Swami Vivekananda is especially remembered around the world for his speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893. 
  • The speech covered topics including universal acceptance, tolerance and religion and got him a standing ovation.
  • He introduced Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world.
  • He is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the world stage during the late 19th century.

Ramakrishna Mission:

  • Swami Vivekananda established Ramakrishna Mission in 1987 named after his Guru Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
  • The mission is headquartered at Belur near Kolkata.The mission has been doing extensive educational and philanthropic work in India.

Shopper malware affects over 14% Indians: Kaspersky report

News:According to a report,a new Trojan called ‘Shopper malware’ is increasing its presence among smartphone users.


About Shopper Malware:

  • The Malware is targeting the retail applications.Around 14 percent of Indians have been affected by this malware.
  • As the Trojan gains permission,it interacts with the system interfaces and capture every data being featured in the screen.It is also capable of reading data being entered on the screen.

About Malware:

  • Malware (malicious software) refers to any kind of software that is designed to cause damage to a single computer, server or computer network.
  • It is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive malicious software including computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and ransomware among others.
  • Trojan horse is a malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware.

Additional information:

About Cyber Swachhta Kendra:

  • The Cyber Swachhta Kendra(Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre) is a part of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In).
  • It was setup to enhance the cyber security of Digital India’s IT infrastructure by providing information on botnet/malware threats and suggesting remedial measures.
  • In addition,it also strives to create awareness among citizens to secure their data, computers, mobile phones and devices such as home routers.
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