9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 30th, 2020

Bhakta Ramadasu

News: An 11-foot bronze statue of Bhakta Ramadasu, will be unveiled at his birthplace Nelakondapalli in Telangana, on the occasion of his 387th birth anniversary on January 29.


Bhakta Ramadasu

  • He was a 17th-century Indian devotee of Lord Rama and a composer of Carnatic music.
  • His devotional lyrics to Rama are famous in South Indian classical music as Ramadaasu Keertanalu.

Star campaigners during elections

News: Election Commission (EC) ordered removal of two senior BJP leaders from its list of star campaigners for Delhi assembly elections on the ground that comments made by them violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).


Star Campaigners

  • There are no specific definitions of star campaigners according to law or the Election Commission of India.
  • For all elections political parties communicate to the EC a list of its star campaigners which are in most cases prominent political leaders or popular faces.
  • A recognised political party can have 40 star campaigners and an unrecognised (but registered) political party can have 20.
  • The expenditure incurred on campaigning by such notified star campaigners is not added to the election expenditure of a candidate.

Model code of Conduct (MCC)

  • These are the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for conduct of political parties and candidates during elections.
  • The MCC comes into force immediately on the announcement of the election schedule by the commission and remains in force till the end of the electoral process.

New mission to take first peek at Sun’s poles: NASA

News: NASA, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) will launch Solar Orbiter spacecraft on 7th February 2020 to get the first ever pictures of the Sun’s north and south poles..


About Solar Orbiter

Aim: To perform close-up, high-resolution studies of Sun and inner heliosphere.


  • Study solar wind and where does the coronal magnetic field originate from
  • Study how solar transients drive heliospheric variability
  • Study how solar eruptions produce energetic particle radiation that fills the heliosphere
  • Understand how the solar dynamo work and drive connections between the Sun and the heliosphere

Additional Information:

Missions to Sun:

  1. Parker Solar Probe: It was launched in 2018 by NASA. It seeks to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.
  2. Ulysses spacecraft: It was launched in 1990 by NASA and ESA. It made three complete orbits of the Sun and helped determine that the Sun’s magnetic field “reverses” in direction every 11 years.
  3. Aditya L1:  It will be India’s first satellite to study the sun. It is scheduled to be launched in 2021. It aims to study the Sun’s corona (outer layer of the sun) from a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1.

Heliosphere: It is the region of space, encompassing the solar system, in which the solar wind has a significant influence.

Solar wind: It is a stream of energized, charged particles, primarily electrons and protons, flowing outward from the Sun, through the solar system. It is made of plasma.

 “Data on Police Organizations”

News: Union Home Minister has realised “Data on Police Organizations as on 1.1.2019” published by Bureau of Police Research and Development.


Key takeaways:

  • Total Actual Police Force (Civil + DAR+ Spl. Armed): 20, 67,270
  • Vacancy: 5,28,165
  • Percentage increase of Women Police over previous year: 9.52%
  • Actual Population per Police person (PPP): 632.02
  • Actual Police Population Ratio (Per Lakh) (PPR): 158.22
  • Number of Actual Police Stations: 16,587

Additional Information:

Bureau of Police Research and Development

  • It was established in 1970 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Aim: modernisation of police forces

World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (World NTD Day)

News: January 30, 2020 is the first-ever World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (World NTD Day)


Neglected Tropical Diseases:

  • These are diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions of developing regions of Asia, Africa and America.
  • They are caused by a variety of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminths.
  • As of 2017, the World Health Organization categorizes the following communicable diseases as neglected tropical diseases (NTDs):
Image result for neglected tropical diseases list"

World Sustainable Developement Summit(WSDS) 

News:The World Sustainable Development Summit(WSDS) has started at Habitat Centre,New Delhi.


About WSDS:

  • The World Sustainable Development Summit is an annual event organized by The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) since 2001.
  • The summit was earlier known as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.
  • The summit brings together Nobel laureates, political leaders among others on a common platform to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development and climate change.
  • Theme for 2020 summit- Towards 2030: Making the Decade Count.

Additional information:

About TERI:

  • The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI) is a non-profit research institute established in 1974.
  • It conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development for India and the Global South.

Traffic Index 2019

News:TomTom,the Netherlands-based global provider of navigation, traffic and map products has released the Traffic Index 2019.


About the index:

  • The index uses location technology to collect traffic information and has been publishing city rankings for nine years.It has covered 416 cities across 57 countries.
  • For this study,congestion has been defined in terms of the additional time taken to reach a destination as opposed to when the road would have been clear of traffic.

Key takeaways from the index:

  • Bengaluru was ranked as the world’s most traffic congested city with drivers expecting to spend an average of 71% extra travel time stuck in traffic.
  • Mumbai, Pune and New Delhi were the other Indian cities that featured in top 10 taking fourth, fifth and eighth places respectively.
  • The other global cities featured amongst the top 10 include Manila from the Philippines, Bogota from Colombia, Moscow from Russia; Lima from Peru, Istanbul from Turkey and Jakarta from Indonesia.

Explained:Trump’s New Middle East plan

News:US President has released the Middle East plan,Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People.


Issues between Israel and Palestine:

  • The status of Jerusalem including historical sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
  • Establishing mutually agreed borders and finding security arrangements to satisfy Israeli fears of attacks by Palestinians.
  • The Palestinian demand for statehood in territory — the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War.
  • Finding a solution to the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees.
  • Palestinian demands that Israel remove its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Key features of the Middle East Plan:

  • Jerusalem to stay united and remain the capital of Israel.
  • The capital of Palestine can occupy far-flung areas of eastern Jerusalem which can be renamed Al Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
  • Israel does not have to dismantle any of its illegal settlements in the West Bank.
  • The status quo to be preserved at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif complex which lies in the eastern part of the city captured by Israel in the 1967 war.
  • Transportation links to be established between the unconnected Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza.
  • A $50 billion investment fund to boost the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab state economies.

Yellow rust in wheat crop causes alarm in Punjab and Haryana

News:Recently,the detection of yellow rust disease in the wheat crop in Punjab and Haryana has raised anxiety among farmers about drop in the crop’s yield.


About Yellow Rust disease:

  • Yellow rust disease of wheat also known as stripe rust of wheat is a disease caused by the fungus Puccinia.
  • The disease manifests itself as powdery yellow stripes on leaves.These stripes hinder photosynthesis make the grains shrivel and stunt growth of the plant.
  • This disease was first detected in India during 2013-2014.It is capable of causing up to 70% decline in wheat yields
  • All the wheat growing states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, the tarai region of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and the low lying areas of Jammu and Kashmir are susceptible to the disease.

NITI Aayog’s Aspirational District Ranking

News:NITI Aayog has released the ranking of Aspirational Districts of the country for the month of December 2019.


About the ranking:

  • The rankings took into account incremental progress made by over 112 aspirational districts across six developmental areas in December 2019.
  • The six developmental areas are Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure.

Key takeaways from the ranking:

  • Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh has topped the list of aspirational districts.
  • Balangir(Odisha) and YSR(Andhra Pradesh) have been placed at the second and third positions respectively.
  • Sahibganj (Jharkhand) has been ranked at the fourth spot and Hailakandi(Assam) at the fifth place.

Additional information:

About Aspirational districts programme:

  • The Aspirational districts programme was launched in 2018.It is coordinated by the Niti Aayog with support from Central Ministries and the State Governments.
  • Aim:To transform districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas and have emerged as pockets of under-development.
  • The broad contours of the programme are Convergence (of Central & State Schemes), Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors) and Competition among districts driven by a Mass Movement or a Jan Andolan.

Composite Regional Centre launched in Port Blair

News:The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched the Composite Regional Centre(CRC) in Port Blair.


About Composite Regional Centre(CRC):

  • Composite Regional Centre for Persons with Disabilities(CRC) is an initiative of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities ,Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • The aim of the centre is to create resources and infrastructure required for  developing services for persons with disabilities including human resource development and research. 
  • The Centre is for facilitating capability at local levels rather than letting it centralized in urban areas.
  • The Composite Regional Centres in India are located in Kozhikode, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Guwahati, Srinagar, Ahmedabad, Mandi and Suraghi(Chhattisgarh).

Assam tops in the budgetary practices survey

News:The Transparency International has conducted a survey to analyse the best practices followed by the states in the Budget Formulation.


About the survey:

  • The survey was based on 4 parameters a) public disclosure b) budgetary process c) post-budget fiscal management and d) efforts to make the budget more transparent and citizen-friendly.

Key takeaways from the survey:

  • Assam has emerged as the top state in terms of best practices followed in budget formulation.
  • It was followed by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The states which figured lower in the ranking were Goa, Maharashtra and Punjab.

Additional information:

About Transparency International:

  • Transparency International is an international non-governmental organization.It was founded in 1993 based in Berlin, Germany.
  • Its purpose is to take action to combat corruption and prevent criminal activities arising from corruption.
  • It publishes various reports such as the Global Corruption Barometer and the Corruption Perceptions Index.

National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill,2019

News:Union Cabinet has approved e National Commission for Indian System of Medicine(NCIM) Bill,2019.


Key features of the bill:

National Commission for Indian System of Medicine(NCIM):

  • The commission will consist of members appointed by the central government.They will have a maximum term of four years.
  • The main objective of the commission will be to promote equity by ensuring an adequate supply of quality medical professionals and enforce high ethical standards in all aspects of medical services in Indian System of Medicine.

Autonomous Boards:The Bill sets up certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NCISM.These boards are:

  • Board of Ayurveda and the Board of Unani, Siddha and Sowa-Rigpa
  • Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Indian System of Medicine
  • Ethics and Medical Registration Board.

Advisory Council for Indian System of Medicine:

  • The central government will constitute an Advisory Council for Indian System of Medicine.  
  • The Council will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NCISM. 

Entrance examinations: 

  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate education in each of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions.

Additional information:

About AYUSH:

  • AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.In 2015,Ministry of Ayush had also included Sowa Rigpa to the AYUSH system.
  • These are Indian systems of medicine based on traditional medical philosophies and represent a way of healthy living with established concepts on prevention of diseases and promotion of health.

Explained:Manufacturing Sector

News:Experts have suggested that India’s unemployment crisis can only be solved by boosting the manufacturing sector.


About Manufacturing Sector:

  • Manufacturing Industry in India has gone through various phases of development over a period of time. 
  • Since independence in 1947, the domestic manufacturing sector has traveled from building the industrial foundation in 1950’s and early 1960’s to the license–permit Raj between 1965 and 1980. 
  • Then, it underwent a phase of liberalization of 1990’s and finally to the present phase of global competitiveness

Significance of Manufacturing Sector:

  • There are broadly three sectors of the economy namely agriculture, industry and services. 
  • Agriculture engages almost half the Indian workforce.But it does not grow fast enough and is not remunerative enough to provide gainful employment to the millions who join India’s workforce each year.
  • Services is also a fast-growing sector and pays well but it places far greater demands on job seekers in terms of skills and education.
  • Hence,among these manufacturing sector has the highest potential to absorb the surplus labour in the economy as it does not demand for greater skills.

Initiatives taken by Government to boost Manufacturing:

About Make in India:

  • Make in India initiative was launched in 2014.The initiative is led by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT).
  • The primary goal of the initiative is to make India a global manufacturing hub by encouraging both multinational as well as domestic companies to manufacture their products within the country. 

About National Manufacturing Policy:

  • National Manufacturing policy was announced in the year 2011 by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT),Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The policy aims to raise the contribution of the manufacturing sector to 25% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the decade and also aims to create 100 million additional jobs by 2022 in the manufacturing sector alone.
  • National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) are an important component of the Policy.
  • However,despite these initiatives the manufacturing’s share is still under 17% of the GDP and the jobs situation in the country has only got worse.

Madhavpur Mela

News:The eight States of the Northern Eastern Region will participate in a big way during the Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat.


About Madhavpur Mela:

  • The Madhavpur annual fair is held at Madhavpur Ghed in Porbandar district of Gujarat.
  • The purpose of the Mela is to bring various parts of the country especially the North-East close to other states.
  • The Madhavpur shares its connect to the Mishmi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh as the tribe traces its ancestry to the legendary King Bhishmak and through him to his daughter Rukmini and Lord Krishna.
  • Hence,the festival celebrates the immortal journey which Rukmini undertook from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat with Lord Krishna.

Additional information:

About Mishmi tribe:

  • The Mishmi or Deng people of Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh are an ethnic group comprising mainly three tribes Idu Mishmi, Digaro tribe and Miju Mishmi.
  • The Idu-Mishmi believes that Rukmini belonged to their tribe.The plays and dances on ‘Rukmini haran’ are conducted by the tribe.

NCRB launches two Police related Citizen centric services

News:National Crime Record Bureau(NCRB) has launched two Police related Citizen centric services namely Missing Person Search and Generate Vehicle NOC on Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System(CCTNS) platform.


About the Citizen Centric Services:

  • Missing Person Search:It allows Citizens to search for their missing kin against the national database of recovered unidentified found person/unidentified dead bodies from their homes.
  • Generate Vehicle NOC:It allows citizens to ascertain the status of a vehicle before its second hand purchase, as to whether it is suspicious or clean from Police records.

Additional information:

About CCTNS:

  • Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems(CCTNS) is a project initiated in June 2009.It comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The project is aimed at creating a comprehensive and integrated system for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of policing at the Police Station level.

About NCRB:

  • The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an attached office of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The agency is responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Special and Local Laws (SLL).
Print Friendly and PDF