9 PM Current Affairs Brief – October 23rd, 2019

Hunar Haat

News:Union Minority Affairs Minister has said that the Government will provide employment opportunities to lakhs of artisans, craftsmen and traditional culinary experts through Hunar Haat in the next 5 years.


About Hunar Haat:

  • The Hunar Haat  is an exhibition of handicrafts, embroidery made by artisans from the Minority Communities.
  • Hunar Haats are organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme.
  • The Haats have become a successful mission to provide employment and opportunities for artisans, craftsmen and culinary experts in national as well international markets.

Additional information:


  • The scheme Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development(USTTAD) was launched in 2015.
  • The Scheme aims at preserving & promoting the rich heritage of the traditional arts & crafts of the Minority communities.
  • The scheme also aims to engage the trained master craftsmen/artisans in training of minority youth in various specific traditional arts/crafts.

Feed Our Future

News:The United Nations World Food Programme(WFP) has launched a cinema advertisement campaign ‘Feed Our Future’ for India.


About the Feed Our Future:

  • The campaign aims to raise awareness and take steps against hunger and malnutrition in India.
  • The purpose of the campaign is also to build a curiosity in the audience to search ‘ShareTheMeal’ app which integrates food donation.
  • ShareTheMeal is an app of UN WFP against global hunger.The app enables users to make small donations to specific WFP projects and track its progress.

About World Food Programme(WFP):

  • The World Food Programme(WFP) is the leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide.It is the food assistance branch of the United Nations.
  • The WFP aims to eradicate hunger and malnutrition with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for food aid itself.
  • It was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization(FAO) Conference.It is headquartered in Rome, Italy.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.
  • The WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations from world governments, corporations and private donors.

QS Indian University Rankings

News:The QS Indian University Rankings has been released.


About QS University rankings:

  • This is the second edition of the standalone rankings for India’s higher education institutions. 
  • The rankings include public, private, higher education or deemed universities.

Methodology:The methodology used eight indicators to determine the institutions’ rankings.These were

  • academic reputation (weight of 30%), 
  • employer reputation (20%)
  • faculty-student ratio (20%)
  • the proportion of staff with a PhD (10%)
  • papers per faculty from Scopus database (10%)
  • citations per paper from Scopus database (5%)
  • the proportion of international students (2.5%)and 
  • the proportion of international faculty (2.5%).

About the Rankings:

  • The Indian Institutes of Technology(IITs) dominate the list with seven IITs figuring in the top ten rankings.
  • IIT-Bombay was ranked first followed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and IIT-Delhi.
  • Further,Delhi University, University of Hyderabad and the Indian Institute of Science are the only other non-IIT institutions in the top ten.

Siachen Glacier

News:Government of India has declared that the Siachen Glacier area of Ladakh will be opened for tourists.


About Siachen Glacier:

  • Siachen is the world’s highest battlefield.It is among the largest glaciers in the nonpolar region of the world.
  • The glacier is located in the Eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas. It is 75km long and 2 to 8km wide.
  • The glacier lies just northeast of Point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends.
  • The Siachen has been an important bone of contention between India and Pakistan since 1984 when the Indian Army launched Operation Meghdoot to take control of the entire Siachen glacier.
  • The glacier’s melting waters are the main source of the Nubra River in the Indian region of Ladakh which drains into the Shyok River.The Shyok in turn joins the Indus River which flows through Pakistan.
  • The highest helipad in the world named Sonam(20,997 ft) is maintained by India in Siachen.

Jiyo Parsi scheme

News:The government is considering allocating more funds for the Jiyo Parsi scheme for the next financial year.


About the Jiyo Parsi scheme:

  • Jiyo Parsi is a Central Sector Scheme launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2013.
  • The main objective of the scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions, stabilize their population and increase the population of Parsis in India.
  • The Scheme comprises of three components (a)Advocacy Component, (b)Health of the Community Component and (c)Medical Component.

Additional information:

About Parsis:

  • Parsi are a group of followers in India who follow the Zoroastrianism.The religion was founded by Prophet Zoroaster(or Zarathustra).
  • According to the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs,the population of Parsis has declined from about 114,000 in 1941 to 57,264 in 2011.
  • Maharashtra has the highest Parsi population in the country followed by Gujarat.
  • Infertility and late marriages are among the main reasons for the rapid decline in the Parsi population. 

Prison Statistics of India

News:TheNational Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has released the report ‘Prison Statistics India 2017.’


Key takeaways from the report:

  • The majority of prisoners in India are under trial prisoners which means they have not yet been pronounced guilty by a court of law.
  • Among states,the highest percentage of undertrial prisoners was in Meghalaya while the lowest was in Mizoram.Among Union Territories, the highest was in Dadra and Nagar Haveli while the lowest was in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The actual capacity of the prisons has increased by 6.8% during the year 2015-2017.
  • However,the nationwide occupancy rate in jails at the end of 2017 was 115.1%.Uttar Pradesh prisons are the most crowded followed by Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
  • The number of deaths in prisons has increased marginally by 5.49% in 2017 when compared to 2015.
  • The vacant posts in the jail administration constitute another major challenge for prisons across the country.On average,only 68.8% sanctioned posts were filled at the end of 2017.

Additional information:

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).

Global Wealth Report

News:The Credit Suisse Group has released the 10th edition of its annual Global Wealth Report.


About the report:

  • The report tracks both the growth and distribution of wealth in terms of the numbers of millionaires and billionaires and the proportion of wealth that they hold as well as the status of inequality around the world.

Definition of Wealth:

  • Wealth is defined in terms of net worth of an individual.It is calculated by adding up the value of financial assets (such as money) and real assets (such as houses) and then subtracting any debts an individual may have.
  • According to the report, the drivers of the wealth are (a)Size of population (b)Savings behaviour and (c)levels of economic activity.

Key findings of the report:

  • China has overtaken the United States this year to become the country with most people in the top 10% of global wealth distribution.
  • The report has found that just 47 million people which accounts for 0.9% of the world’s adult population owns $158.3 trillion which is almost 44% of the world’s total wealth.
  • On the other hand, 2.88 billion people accounting for almost 57% of the world’s adult population owns just $6.3 trillion or 1.8% of the world’s wealth.
  • The women’s wealth has also grown relative to that of men in most countries due to rising female labor force participation, more equal division of wealth between spouses and other factors.

Report on India:

  • The total wealth in India has increased fourfold between 2000 and 2019, reaching $12.6 trillion in 2019.
  • India ranks fifth globally in terms of the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
  • The report has said that 78% of India’s adult population has wealth below $10,000 while 1.8% of India’s population has more than $100,000. At the other extreme,1,790 adults have wealth over $100 million.

Assam announces two-child limit for jobs in govt

News:Assam Government has announced a policy which says that no Government jobs will be provided to persons with more than two children after 1st January 2021.


Why this policy:

  • The policy was introduced as the population in Assam has grown exponentially higher as compared to other states.
  • According to the 2011 census,the Assam had registered a 16.93 per cent population growth in 10 years. 

About the policy:

  • The policy lists two key norms for government employment which are (a)Only candidates with two children will be eligible for government jobs and (b)Government servants shall strictly follow norms of two children to serve as role models for society.

Additional information:

  • In 2018, Assam had passed the Assam Panchayat (Amendment) Act, 2018,The act says that those contesting panchayat polls cannot have more than two children. 
  • Other states with similar norms for local body polls include Uttarakhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
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