9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 24th, 2020

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We are posting Todays 9pm Current Affair Brief

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World Meteorological Day

News: World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on March 23, marking the day on which the World Meteorological Organization was established. The theme of World Meteorological Day 2020 is Climate and Water.

Facts:

World Meteorological Organization (WMO):

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) for meteorology, operational hydrology, and related geophysical sciences. 
  • Established: 1950
  • Members: 192 Member States and Territories.
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Reports Published: Annual State of Climate report, Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

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Govt constitutes high level committee of medical experts for prevention & control of COVID-19

News: The government constituted a high level technical committee of Public Health Experts for COVID-19  to guide the prevention and control activities in the country. The committee will be headed by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul.

World Tuberculosis Day

News: Every year World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is celebrated on March 24

Facts:

  • Background: The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB.
  • 2020 Theme: ‘It’s Time’.

Additional Information:

Tuberculosis(TB): It is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Initiatives taken in India:

  • TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign: The campaign aims to improve and expand the reach of Tuberculosis care services across the country by 2022.
  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana: It is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme to provide nutritional support to TB patients.
  • National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination (2017-2025): It is a framework to provide guidance for the activities of various stakeholders to reduce the burden of TB mortality and morbidity. It aims to work towards the elimination of TB in India by 2025.
  • TB-free India Campaign: It was launched in 2018 to take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination.

Coronavirus: Stage by stage in a pandemic

News: Coronavirus pandemic

Facts:

Pandemic: It is an epidemic occurring worldwide or over a very wide area crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.Epidemic is an event in which a disease is actively spreading. Usually,this is an outbreak that has grown out of control but is often within one country or location

Stages:

  • Stage 1:Disease epidemic takes the form of a pandemic,cases are imported into a country in which the infection did not originate.
  • Stage 2- Local transmission:the source of the infection is from within a particular area and the trajectory the virus has taken from one person to the next is clearly established.
  • Stage 3- Community Transmission:the virus is now circulating in the community, and can infect people with no history either of travel to affected areas or of contact with an infected person

IIT Madras to host India’s first ‘Global Hyperloop Pod Competition’

News: Indian Institute of Technology Madras will organize India’s first Global Hyperloop Pod Competition, in July 2020, to increase awareness and enthusiasm about Hyperloop in India.

Facts:

  • Hyperloop: It is a proposed mode of transportation, a high-speed train that travels in a near-vacuum tube. The concept was first proposed by Elon Musk,CEO of the aerospace firm SpaceX.
  • Technology: It comprises a network of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects from one point to another.
  • Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop Project: In 2018, Maharashtra Government had approved the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop project and has been declared a public infrastructure project. When commissioned, the hyperloop will cover 117.5km distance from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in suburban Mumbai to Wakad in Pune in 23 minutes.

Finance Bill, 2020 passed in Lok Sabha

News: Finance bill 2020 passed in Lok Sabha

Facts:

Key highlights

  • Non-resident Indians will be taxed on India-controlled income above Rs 15 lakh.
  • DDT exemption will be given to REITs and InvITs if not under the new corporate tax regime.
  • Tax exemption to Sovereign Wealth Fund extended to Pension Funds for infra investment.
  • TDS rate on payment of dividend to non-resident, foreign companies at 20% with effect from October 1, 2020.
  • Government given power to raise special additional excise duty, when needed, by up to ₹18 a litre on petrol, up from ₹10 now and up to ₹12 a litre on diesel, up from ₹4 at present.

Additional Information:

Finance Bill: As per Article 110 of the Constitution of India, the Finance Bill is a Money Bill. The Finance Bill is a part of the Union Budget, stipulating all the legal amendments required for the changes in taxation proposed by the Finance Minister.

Difference between Financial Bill and Money Bill

Definition:

  • Money Bill: 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. It deals solely with matters listed under Article 110 (1) (a) to (g) of the Indian Constitution.
  • Financial Bill: A Bill that contains some provisions related to taxation and expenditure, and additionally contains provisions related to any other matter. It is listed under Article 117 (1) of the Indian Constitution.

Scope: All Money Bills are Financial Bills, all Financial Bills are not Money Bills. For example, the Finance Bill which only contains provisions related to tax proposals would be a Money Bill.  However, a Bill that contains some provisions related to taxation or expenditure, but also covers other matters would be considered as a Finance Bill.

Procedure: The Rajya Sabha has no power to reject or amend a Money Bill.  However, a Finance Bill must be passed by both Houses of Parliament.

World Water Day 2020

News:World Water Day is being observed on 22 March,2020.

Facts:

  • World Water Day is an event initiated by UN Water.
  • Aim: Raise awareness about people living without access to safe water and tackle the global water crisis.
  • Theme: Water and Climate Change
  • Core focus: To support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Additional information:

UN Water: It is an interagency mechanism of the United Nations Organisation headquartered in Geneva,Switzerland.

Explained: Devonian period

News:Researchers have revealed how the human hand evolved from fish fins based on their analysis of an ancient fossil found in Canada.The fossil may be from the Late Devonian period.

Facts:

Devonian Period:

  • The Devonian Period occurred from 416 million to 358 million years ago. 
  • This period is often known as the Age of Fishes 
  • The first significant adaptive radiation of life on dry land occurred during this period.
  • The first ammonites, a species of molluscs also appeared during this period.

Adjournment Sine Die

News: Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has been adjourned Sine Die due to threat of Coronavirus.

Facts:

  • Adjournment sine die means dismissing a sitting of Parliament for an unspecified period. 
  • In other words, when the House is suspended without naming a day for reassembly, it is known as adjournment sine die. 
  • The authority of adjournment sine die lies with the presiding officer of the House. 
  • The presiding officer of a House can call a sitting of the House before the date or time to which it has been suspended or at any time after the House has been adjourned sine die.
Adjournment Adjournment sine die
dismissing a sitting of Parliament for a specified period. dismissing Parliament for an unspecified period
Authority: presiding officer of the House.  Authority: presiding officer of the House. 

Invest India Business Immunity Platform

News:Invest India has launched an Invest India Business Immunity Platform.

Facts:

  • Aim:To provide a comprehensive resource to help businesses and investors get real-time updates on India’s active response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Additional information:

About Invest India:

  • It is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India and acts as the first point of reference for investors in India.
  • It was set up in 2009 as a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Extradition Treaty between India and Belgium

News:Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the signing and ratifying of the Extradition Treaty between India and Belgium.

Facts:

  • Obligation to Extradite: Each Party agrees to extradite a person accused/convicted of an extraditable offence in the territory of the other Party.
  • Extraditable Offences: an offence punishable under the laws of both the Parties with imprisonment for a period of one year or more.
  • Grounds for Refusal Under the Treaty: a) The offence involved is a political offence b) The offence is a military offence and c) The request for prosecution has been made on account of his race, sex, religion, nationality or political opinion.
  • Extradition of Nationals:Extradition of nationals is discretionary. The nationality will be determined at the time the offence was committed.

About Extradition:

  • Extradition is the formal process of one state surrendering an individual to another state for prosecution or punishment for crimes committed in the requesting country’s jurisdiction.
  • In India, the extradition is governed by the Extradition Act, 1962.

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