9 PM Current Affairs Brief – November 16th, 2019

Skill Development minister announces IndiaSkills 2020

News:Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has announced the opening of online registrations for IndiaSkills 2020.


About IndiaSkills:

  • IndiaSkills is a biennial national skills competition initiative organized by National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC) under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
  • It aims at helping youth in India leverage the immense opportunities that this platform offers to showcase their talent in the best possible way.
  • It provides a platform for skilled and talented Indian youngsters to showcase their abilities at regional and national level competitions in over 50 skills.
  • The winners of IndiaSkills 2020 will get a chance to represent the country at the WorldSkills International Competition to be held in China in 2021.

Additional information:

About WorldSkills:

  • WorldSkills International is the largest skills competition in the world.It is organised once every two years in one of the member countries.
  • The objective of the competition is to demonstrate the advantages of learning a vocational skill and encouraging ‘parity of esteem’ between vocational and academic qualifications.
  • Currently,it consists of 79 Member countries and regions,most of which organise national skills competitions that help to prepare the workforce and talent of today for the jobs of the future.

About NSDC:

  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a not-for-profit public limited company incorporated in 2008 under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956
  • The Government of India through Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurship(MSDE) holds 49% of the share capital of NSDC while the private sector has the balance 51% of the share capital.
  • The overall objective of NSDC is to create training capacity in the country, fund vocational training initiatives and create a market ecosystem for skill development.

AIIB to lend $500 million to Mumbai suburban rail

News:The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB) has committed to lending $500 million to expand Mumbai’s suburban railway network.


About AIIB:

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is an international financial institution formed in 2016.
  • The bank was proposed by China in 2013.It is headquartered in Beijing,China.
  • The purpose of the bank is to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond, the bank aims to better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.
  • Currently,the bank has 74 members as well as 26 prospective members from around the world.
  • The capital of the bank is $100 billion equivalent to ​2/3rd of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.
  • India is the second largest shareholder in AIIB after China and is also the largest recipient of funds from the multilateral agency.

Defence Minister inaugurates Sisseri River Bridge in Arunachal Pradesh

News:Defence Minister has inaugurated the Sisseri River Bridge at Lower Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.


About Sisseri River Bridge:

  • Sisseri River Bridge is a 200-metre long bridge between Jonai Pasighat Ranaghat Roing road.
  • The river bridge provides better connectivity between Siang and Dibang Valley.It was constructed under Project Brahmank of Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
  • The government has built this bridge under Border Area Development Programme (BADP).

Additional information:

About BADP:

  • Border Area Development Programme(BADP) was started in 1987 in India along the India-Pakistan borders.The programme was extended to North-Eastern region in 1993-1994.
  • The programme aims to meet the special development needs of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border.
  • It also aims to saturate the border areas with the entire essential infrastructure through convergence of schemes and participatory approach.
  • The programme is administered by the Department of Border Management of the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA).
  • The programme is a core centrally sponsored scheme.The funding pattern of BADP in respect of 8 North Eastern is in the ratio 90:10 and in respect of other States is in the ratio 60:40.
  • At present BADP is being implemented in 17 states which share international borders of India with other countries.
  • All those 17 states are – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

About BRO:

  • The Border Roads Organisation(BRO) was formed in 1960 to secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and north-east states of the country.It functions under the control of the Ministry of Defence since 2015.
  • BRO executes road construction and maintenance works along the northern and western frontiers primarily to meet the strategic requirements of the army and is responsible for maintenance of over 53,000 km of roads.

Pushkaram Festival

News:The Assam government is celebrating Brahmaputra Pushkaram from November 5 to November 16,2019.


About Pushkaram Festival:

  • Pushkaram is an Indian festival dedicated to worshiping of rivers.
  • The festival is also known as Pushkaralu (in Telugu), Pushkara (in Kannada) or Pushkar.
  • It is celebrated at shrines along the banks of 12 major sacred rivers which are Ganga, Yamuna, Narmada, Chambal, Kaveri, Beas, Tapti, Godavari, Chenab, Krishna, Saraswati and Brahmaputra.
  • The festival is celebrated in the form of ancestor worship, spiritual discourses, devotional music and cultural programmes.
  • The festival happens annually once in 12 years along each river.
  • Each river is associated with a zodiac sign and the river for each year’s festival is based on which sign Jupiter is in at the time.In 2019,it is happening at Brahmaputra river.

ICC Judges approve an investigation into crimes against Myanmar’s Rohingya

News:International Criminal Court(ICC) have approved to open an investigation into crimes committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority.


About International Criminal Court(ICC):

  • The International Criminal Court(ICC) is an intergovernmental international tribunal.It is located in the Hague,Netherlands.
  • It is governed by an international treaty called the Rome Statute which entered into force on July 1,2002.India is not a party to the Rome Statute.
  • It is the first permanent international criminal court which aims to hold those responsible for their crimes and to help prevent these crimes from happening again.
  • As of March 2019,there are 122 ICC member states.42 states are non-party, non-signatory states.
  • ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for (a)international crimes of genocide (b)crimes against humanity (c)crime of aggression and (d)war crimes.
  • ICC is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council individual states refer situations to the Court.

Additional information:

About Rohingya:

  • Rohingya are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the Western Myanmar province of Rakhine.
  • In Myanmar, they are they are classified as resident foreigners or as associate citizens.
  • Lakhs of Rohingyas have fled to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and India after facing religious and ethnical persecution in Myanmar.  This has led to a historic migration crisis and a large humanitarian crisis.


International Symposium on Lighting(iSoL) Inaugurated

News:Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and Parliamentary Affairs has inaugurated the International Symposium on Lighting (iSoL).


About International Symposium on Lighting (iSoL):

  • International Symposium on Lighting(iSoL) has been organized by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT),Manesar in Gurugram.
  • The symposium provides a common platform to professionals related directly or indirectly to the automotive lighting fraternity from all around the globe.
  • The first iSoL symposium was held in 2009.Since,then it has grown and transformed itself into a global event.

Additional information:

About ICAT:

  • The International Centre for Automotive Technology(ICAT),Haryana, is a leading world-class automotive testing,certification and R&D service provider.
  • It works under the aegis of National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project(NATRiP).
  • It is an important element of the automotive sector with its world-class infrastructure and domain expertise providing services in development, testing,validation and homologation.

About NATRiP:

  • National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project(NATRiP), is one of the significant initiatives in the automotive sector of India.
  • Under this project,Government of India, State Governments and Indian Automotive Industry have joined hands to create a state of the art Testing,Validation and R&D infrastructure in the Automotive sector of the country.
  • The Project aims at creating core global competencies in Automotive sector in India and facilitate seamless integration of Indian Automotive industry with the world as also to position the country prominently on the global automotive map.

Chhattisgarh moves closer to journalist protection law, releases draft

News:The Chhattisgarh government had set up a committee headed by Justice Aftab Alam to prepare a law for the protection of journalists.The committee has prepared a draft of the Chhattisgarh Protection of Media Persons Act which has now been made public for suggestions.


Key features of the Draft bill:

  • The draft envisages a Register of Mediapersons for which an Authority for the Registration of Media Persons will be set up.It will include senior journalists and officials of the Department of Public Relations.
  • The draft also suggests the creation of a Committee for the Protection of Mediapersons within 30 days of the Act coming into force.
  • It will be in the ambit of this committee to deal with complaints of harassment, intimidation or violence or unfair prosecution and arrests of mediaperson.
  • Under the committee,risk management units will be set up at the district level comprising the District Collector, district DPR officer, SP and two mediapersons from the district at least one of whom will be a woman.
  • The draft makes it a duty of each member of risk management units to immediately inform the Collector or SP about any complaint or information of threat or harassment to persons in need of protection.
  • The draft also says that public servants who wilfully neglect duties under the Act could be given a jail term up to one year.

National Mission ‘NISHTHA’ launched in J&K

News:National Initiative for School Heads’ and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) was launched in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.


About NISHTHA Programme:

  • NISHTHA stands for National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement.
  • The objective of the programme is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.
  • The programme aims to build the capacities of around 42 lakh participants covering (a) all teachers and heads of elementary Government schools (b) faculty members of State Councils of Educational Research and Training(SCERTs) and District Institutes of Education and Training(DIETs) and (c)Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators in all States and UTs.
  • Under the programme,the teachers will develop their skills on various aspects related to (a) Learning Outcomes (b) School Safety and Security (c)ICT in teaching and learning including Artificial Intelligence (d) Environmental Concerns and (e) School Based Assessment.
  • The training will be conducted by Key Resource Persons(KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by the State and UTs.
  • KRPs will in turn be trained by 120 National Resource Persons identified from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).

Govt notifies rules under insolvency law for resolution of financial service providers

News:The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Insolvency and Liquidation Proceedings of Financial Service Providers and Application to Adjudicating Authority) Rules,2019.


About the rules:

  • The rules allow the insolvency and liquidation process to be undertaken against systemically important financial service providers(FSP) so long as such proceedings are triggered by the concerned regulator.However, these rules will not be applicable to banks.
  • Depending upon the FSP,the regulator could be the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) or Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.
  • The regulator will appoint an administrator and will supervise the entire process.The administrator would have the same duties and powers of an insolvency professional, interim resolution professional, resolution professional or liquidator as the case may be.
  • The concerned regulator may also constitute an Advisory Committee of three or more experts to advise the administrator in the operations of the FSP during the resolution process.
  • However,unlike the corporate insolvency process,the moratorium period for FSPs will begin as soon as the application for insolvency is filed by the regulator.
  • The licence or registration which allows the financial service provider to run its business will not be quashed during the insolvency process.

Additional information:

About Financial service providers(FSP):

  • Financial Services providers is a term used to refer to the services provided by the finance market.
  • It is also used to describe organizations that deal with the management of money.Examples are the Banks, investment banks, insurance companies, credit card companies and stock brokerages.
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