9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 18th, 2020

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We are posting Todays 9pm Current Affair Brief

About 9pm Current Affair Brief – This initiative provides a brief of all the relevant articles of day in a clear, concise and easily consumable format. Students don’t need to look anywhere more for your daily news bytes. It will help students in their prelims and mains preparation.

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9pm Current Affair Briefs Archives

Lok Sabha passes Appropriation Bill

News:The Lok Sabha has passed the Appropriation Bill 2020-21.

Facts:

About Appropriation Bill:

  • Appropriation Bill is a money bill that allows the government to withdraw funds from the Consolidated Fund of India to meet its expenses during the course of a financial year. 
  • As per article 114 of the Constitution, the government can withdraw money from the Consolidated Fund only after receiving approval from Parliament.
  • The government usually introduces the Appropriation Bill in the Lok Sabha after discussions on Budget proposals and Voting on Demand for Grants.
  • The defeat of an Appropriation Bill would necessitate resignation of a government or a general election.However, this has never happened in India till date.

Additional information:

About Money Bill:

  • A money bill is defined under Article 110 of the Indian Constitution.
  • A Bill is said to be a Money Bill if it only contains provisions related to taxation, borrowing of money by the government,expenditure from or receipt to the Consolidated Fund of India.
  • Bills that only contain provisions that are incidental to these matters would also be regarded as Money Bills.
  • The Speaker certifies a Bill as a Money Bill and the Speaker’s decision is final.
  • The Money Bill is introduced in Lok Sabha on the recommendation of the President.It must be passed in Lok Sabha by a simple majority of all members present and voting.
  • Following this, it is sent to the Rajya Sabha for recommendations, which Lok Sabha may reject if it chooses to.If such recommendations are not given within 14 days,it will be deemed to be passed by Parliament.

About Consolidated Fund of India:

  • Consolidated fund of India has been constituted under Article 266 (1) of the Constitution of India.
  • The fund consists of revenues which are received by the government through taxes and expenses incurred in the form of borrowings and loans. 
  • No money out of this fund can be appropriated or drawn except in accordance with a parliamentary law.

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Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal

News:Environmental organisations from across the central and eastern Europe Countries have criticised the proposed Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal project.

Facts:

About Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal:

  • The Danube-Oder-Elbe canal intends to connect the three rivers Danube, Oder and Elbe. 
  • This will provide an alternate route of navigation from Black Sea to Baltic Sea and North seas.
  • However, several environmental organizations have raised concerns against the construction of the canal as it will increase risks of flooding.

Additional information:

About Black Sea:

  • The Black Sea is an inland sea located between far-southeastern Europe and the far-western edges of the continent of Asia and the country of Turkey. 
  • It is  bordered by Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia and Georgia.

Baltic Sea:

  • The Baltic Sea is positioned in Northern Europe.It is bordered by Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, northeastern Germany and Denmark.

North Sea:

  • The North Sea is a part of the Atlantic Ocean.It is bordered by the UK, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

President nominates former CJI to the Rajya Sabha

News:The President of India has nominated former Chief Justice of India to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House).

Facts:

About Nominated members of Rajya Sabha:

  • Under article 80 of the Constitution, the Council of States (Rajya Sabha) is composed of not more than 250 members of whom 12 are nominated by the President of India from amongst persons who have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service.

Powers and Privileges of Nominated members:

  • Nominated members enjoy all powers, privileges and immunities available to an elected member of Parliament.They take part in the proceedings of the House as any other member.  
  • However,they are not entitled to vote in the election of the President of India.But in the election of the Vice-President of India,they have a right to vote.
  • A nominated member is allowed six months, should he decide to join a political party after he has taken his seat in the House in terms of article 99 of the Constitution.  
  • A nominated member has also been exempted from filing his assets and liabilities under Section 75A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 which requires the elected member to do so within 90 days of his making or subscribing oath/affirmation.

Wasp 76b – Iron rain on exoplanet

News:Recently,Astronomers have observed an exoplanet (planet which orbits a star outside the solar system) named Wasp-76b where they suspect it rains iron instead of water.

Facts:

About Wasp-76b:

  • Wasp-76b is an exoplanet that is twice the width of our Jupiter.Its name comes from the UK-led Wasp telescope system that detected it four years ago.
  • It is 640 light-years from the Earth and is so close to its star that it takes just 43 hours to complete one revolution.
  • According to researchers, the iron rain happens because the exoplanet always presents the same face to the star which is called as tidally locked.Earth’s Moon also does exactly the same thing as we only ever see one side.

Initiatives taken by Government to curb Fake Currency 

News:The Minister of State for Finance has informed Lok Sabha about the initiatives taken by Government to curb Fake Indian Currency Network(FICN)

Facts:

About FICN Coordination Group(FCORD):

  • FICN Coordination Group(FCORD) has been formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA).
  • It aims to share intelligence/information among the different security agencies of the state/centre to counter the problem of circulation of fake currency notes in the country.

About Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell(TFFC):

  • It is constituted under National Investigation Agency (NIA).Its aim is to investigate terror funding and fake currency cases.

State Election Commission

News:The Andhra Pradesh government has filed a petition in the Supreme Court and the High Court over the issue of the State Election Commission(SEC) postponing the local body elections due to Coronavirus threat.

Facts:

About State Election Commission(SEC):

  • State Election Commission is a constitutional authority constituted under the provisions of 243K read with article 243ZA Of The Constitution of India.
  • They were constituted for superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for and the conduct of all elections to the Panchayats and the Municipalities.

Composition:

  • The State Election Commission is a single member Commission comprising the State Election Commissioner.
  • Under the provisions contained in Article 243K(1) of the Constitution of India, the Governor appoints the State Election Commissioner of the State.
  • They enjoy the powers same as those by the Election Commission of India(ECI) and can only be removed from his office in the similar manner and on the grounds as a judge of a High Court.

Supreme Court on SEC:

  • In Kishan Singh Tomar vs Municipal Corporation of the City of Ahmedabad, the Supreme Court directed that state governments should abide by orders of the SECs during the conduct of the panchayat and municipal elections just like they follow the instructions of the EC during Assembly and Parliament polls.

Innovations for Defence Excellence(iDEX) framework

News:The Government of India has set up a Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) framework to boost India’s indigenous defence sector.

Facts:

About IDEX Framework:

  • Innovations for Defence Excellence(iDEX) was launched by the Government of India in 2018.
  • It is funded and managed by the Defence Innovation Organization(DIO).
  • It primarily aims at creation of an ecosystem to foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups among others.
  • It also provides grants/funding to carry out R&D which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

Additional information:

About DIO:

  • Defence Innovation Organization(DIO) is a ‘not for profit’ company formed under Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 by two Defence Public Sector Undertakings(DPSUs) namely HAL & BEL.

Polymerase chain reaction(PCR) 

News:The Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) has said the designated labs will use the conventional real-time polymerase chain reaction(PCR) test to test for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Facts:

About Polymerase chain reaction(PCR):

  • The polymerase chain reaction(PCR) is a technique which makes numerous copies of a specific segment of DNA quickly and accurately. 
  • It was developed by the American biochemist Kary Mullis in 1983.He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1993 for his pioneering work.
  • This technique enables investigators to obtain the large quantities of DNA that are required for various experiments and procedures in molecular biology, forensic analysis and medical diagnostics.

About PCR Test:

  • PCR test is conducted on a swab collected from the back of the throat, a liquid sample from the lower respiratory tract or a simple saliva sample. Such tests are commonly used in Influenza A, Influenza B and H1N1 virus detection.
  • Since,SARS-COV-2 is a virus made of RNA which needs to be converted into DNA.For this,the technique includes a process called reverse transcription. 
  • A ‘reverse transcriptase’ enzyme converts the RNA into DNA.Copies of the DNA are then made and amplified.A fluorescent DNA binding dye called the probe shows the presence of the virus.

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