9 PM Current Affairs Brief – January 4th, 2020

KVIC opened first silk processing plant in Gujarat to boost production of signature Patola Saree

News: Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) opened the first Silk Processing Plant for Patola sarees at Surendranagar in Gujarat.


About Patola Sarees

  • ‘Patan Patola’ is a double-sided saree from Patan, Gujarat.
  • They are made using vegetable dyes. The designs are essentially traditional with geometrical, floral, animal and leaf patterns.
  • It has been awarded GI Tag under the handicraft category.

Additional Information:

Khadi and Village Industries Commission

  • It is a statutory body established under the ‘Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956’.
  • It functions under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • Its mandate is to plan, promote, and facilitate the establishment and development of khadi and village industries in rural India.

GI Tag

  • GI is a status accorded to a good which is unique to a particular region or area, and is originated from there.
  • The GI tag in India is governed by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection Act), 1999.
  • It is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • A GI is registered for an initial period of ten years.

Third Khelo India youth games to be held in Guwahati in Jan 2020

News: The third Khelo India youth games will be held in Guwahati between 10th and 22nd January


Khelo India Youth games

  • These are the national level multidisciplinary grassroots level games held as a part of Khelo India programme.
  • It is held annually in January or February.
  • The games are held for two categories viz. under-17 years’ school students and under-21 college students.

Additional Information:

Khelo India Scheme

  • It was launched in 2017 by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
  • Aim: To revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level and achieve sporting excellence
  • Under the scheme, talented players identified in priority sports disciplines are provided financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years to prepare them for the international sporting events.
  • The scheme is divided into 12 verticals:

Kerala for steps to curb alien plants’ growth in NBR

News: Kerala forest department is planning to adopt steps to arrest the growth of Senna spectabilis, in the forest areas of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR)


About Senna spectabilis

  • It is a plant species native to South and Central America.
  • It has been labelled as an invasive species in Africa and South Asia, due to its ability to spread rapidly and impacting the growth of indigenous plants.
  • IUCN Status: Least Concern

About Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

  • It is the first biosphere reserve in India established in the year 1986. It is included in World Network of Biosphere Reserves under the Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme of UNESCO
  • Location: It is located in the Western Ghats and spreads over parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
  • Protected Areas within the Reserve: Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wyanaad Wildlife Sanctuary Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park, Silent Valley National Park, and Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary.

Integrated Railway Helpline Number 139

News: Indian Railway has launched one integrated Helpline number “139” for any help, enquiry and grievances redressal during travel


About integrated Helpline number “139”

  • Aim: To overcome the inconvenience over multiple helpline numbers
  • It will be available in twelve languages.
  • It will be based on IVRS (Interactive Voice Response System)

Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006

News: The Supreme Court, in a recent judgement, has held that the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 does not intend to punish a male aged between 18 and 21 years for marrying a “female adult.”


Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

  • Child or minor is a person up to 18 years in the case of girls and 21 years in the case of boys
  • Those forced into child marriages as minors have the option of voiding their marriage up to two years after reaching adulthood.
  • A male adult if contracts a child marriage is punishable.
  • Whoever performs, conducts, directs or abets any child marriage is punishable.

Note: In 2017, the SC criminalized sex with a child bride 

Additional Information:

  1. Dhan Laxmi Scheme: it is a scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development. It offers parents an insurance cover of Rs.1 lakh when the girl turns 18-years-old and if the girl hasn’t yet been married.
  2. Apni Beti Apna Dhan: The scheme is State Sponsored Cash Transfer Programme of Haryana. It aims to improve parents’ perceived value of daughters by offering them economic incentives.
  3. Lado Campaign: It is a flagship programme of Madhya Pradesh aiming at eradicating child marriages, in mission mode through preventive and proactive measures.

Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana

News: According data from Ministry of Rural Development the progress of Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) has been sluggish


  • It is a village development project launched in 2014.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Rural Development
  • Aim: all-round development of specific villages.


  • Holistic development of model villages, called Adarsh Grams
  • Substantially improve the standard of living and quality of people in the village
  • Generate models of local level development which can be replicated in other villages

Key Features:

  • MPs has to select gram panchayat (other than their own village or that of their spouse) to be developed as an Adarsh Gram.
  • Lok Sabha MP has to choose from within his/her constituency
  • Rajya Sabha MP has to choose from the rural area of a district of his/her choice in the State from which he/she is elected
  • 8 adarsh grams are to be developed by each MP by 2024.
  • No new funds are allocated for the scheme. Resources may be raised through existing schemes, MPLADS, CSR funds, gram panchayat’s own revenue.

In Phase-II to Fame India Scheme 2636 EV Charging Stations sanctioned

News: Department of Heavy Industries has sanctioned 2636 charging stations under FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) scheme phase II.


About Fame India Scheme

  • It was launched in 2015.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
  • Aim: to support hybrid/electric vehicles market development and Manufacturing ecosystem.


  • Encourage faster adoption of Electric and hybrid vehicle by offering upfront Incentive on purchase of Electric vehicles
  • Establish necessary charging Infrastructure for electric vehicles.


  • Four focus areas namely (i) Demand Creation, (ii) Technology Platform, (iii) Pilot Project and (iv)Charging Infrastructure.
  • The phase I of the scheme continued up to 31st March 2019.
  • The FAME scheme is part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP)


  •  commenced from 01st April, 2019 for a period of 3 years
  • In 3W and 4W segment incentives are applicable mainly to vehicles used for public transport or registered for commercial purposes.
  • In the case of the e-2Ws segment, the emphasis is on the private vehicles.
  • charging stations to be established in metros, other million plus cities, smart cities and cities of Hilly states and major highways connecting major city clusters

Additional Information:

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020: Launched in 2013, it aims to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country.

Maharashtra Govt launches ‘Cyber Safe Women’ initiative

News:Maharashtra Government has launched a ‘Cyber Safe Women’ initiative.


About ‘Cyber Safe Women’ initiative:

  • The initiative aims to spread awareness against atrocities committed against children and women.The initiative will also create awareness about laws on cybercrime. 
  • The campaign is to be implemented all over the state by the State Government in collaboration with state police, public relations department and cyber cell.
  • It will also create awareness against crimes such as bank frauds, child pornography, photo shuffling, online gaming, cyber defamation information and false information sites.

Additional information:

Initiatives taken by the Central Government to Deal with Cyber Crime:

  • Cyber Crime Prevention against women and children Scheme:Thescheme was launched in 2019.The main objective of the Scheme is to have an effective mechanism to handle cyber crimes against women and children in the country.
  • The features of the scheme include online cybercrime reporting platform, research and development, and cybercrime awareness activities.
  • Cyber Crime reporting portal:It enables complainants to report complaints pertaining to Child Pornography or sexually explicit content.
  • Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre(I4C):It handle issues related to cybercrime in the country in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
  • Cyber Dost:Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched Twitter account named @CyberDost.It aims to spread awareness about cybercrimes and normal precautions to be taken for prevention.
  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT-In):It is an office within the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.It is the nodal agency to deal with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing.

India, Nepal to hold talks on Kalapani border issue

News:Ministry of External Affairs has said that India will resolve the Kalapani border issue through dialogue.


About Kalapani:

  • Kalapani is a valley that is administered by India as a part of the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand.It is situated on the Kailash Mansarovar route.
  • Since the Indo-China war of 1962, the Kalapani is controlled by India’s Indo-Tibetan Border Police.
  • However,Nepal claims Kalapani as an integral part of their territory.It claims that the river located towards the west of the territory is the main Kali river and thus it falls in Nepal.
  • On the other hand,India claims that there is a ridgeline towards the east of the Kalapani territory and hence includes it in the Indian Union.

Origin of Dispute:

  • The Treaty of Sugauli was signed by the Kingdom of Nepal and British India (after Anglo-Nepalese War) in 1816 located the Kali River as Nepal’s western boundary with India. 
  • However,the discrepancy in locating the source of the river led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal with each country producing maps supporting their own claims.

What is the current situation?

  • The Prime Ministers of both the countries had discussed the issue in 2000 with Indian PM assuring Nepal that India would not occupy even an inch of Nepal. 
  • The Foreign secretaries of both countries have been assigned the responsibility to resolve the remaining border-related issues between India and Nepal.

Additional information:

Other Border dispute between India and Nepal:

Susta Area Dispute:

  • The Gandak river also known as Sapt Gandaki and Narayani in Nepal, originates at the Nhubine Himal glacier in Nepal. 
  • It flows across Nepal and enters India near the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar from where it flows down another 300 km to meet the Ganga near Patna.
  • In 1816, a treaty was signed which took the Gandak as the international boundary between India (Bihar) and Nepal.The right bank of Gandak came under Nepal’s control and the left bank became Indian territory.
  • At the time the treaty was signed,Susta was on the right bank of the Gandak and a part of Nepal.But,over the years,the Gandak changed its course and Susta moved to the left bank that is on the Indian side of the river.
  • Hence,Nepal alleges that over 14,860 hectares of Nepali land in Susta has been encroached upon by India.Both the countries are trying to resolve the matter, but Susta remains a bone of contention. 

Prime minister to address 107th session of Indian Science Congress 

News:Prime Minister has inaugurated the ‘107th Indian Science Congress’, which is being held from January 3 to 7,2020.


About Indian Science Congress:

  • Indian Science Congress is organised by the Indian Science Congress Association.
  • The theme for 2019 Indian Science Congress is “Science & Technology: Rural Development”.
  • For the first time in the history of Indian Science Congress,a Farmers Science Congress is being held this year.

About Indian Science Congress Association:

  • Indian Science Congress association is a premier scientific organisation of India having a membership of more than 30,000 scientists.It is headquartered in Kolkata,West Bengal.
  • The association started in the year 1914 at the initiative of two British chemists namely Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P. S. MacMahon.
  • The association meets annually, generally in the first week of January.

Objectives:The Association was formed with the following objectives:

  • To advance and promote the cause of science in India.
  • To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India.
  • To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable.
  • To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science. 

Swarna Jayanti Fellowships for 2018-19

News:Recently,Swarna Jayanti Fellowships for 2018-19 have been awarded to 14 Scientists.


About Swarna Jayanti Fellowship:

  • The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships has been instituted by Government of India to commemorate India’s fiftieth year of independence.
  • Under this, a selected number of young scientists with proven track records are provided special assistance and support to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.
  • The awardees are supported by the Department of Science & Technology for fellowship and research.
  • This will cover all the requirements for performing the research and include a fellowship of Rs 25,000/- per month as well as a research grant of 5 lakh Rupees for 5 years in addition to their salary.

Bhima-Koregaon village prepares for historic day

News:The people of Maharashtra is gearing up to celebrate the 202nd Anniversary of Bhima-Koregaon War.


About Bhima-Koregaon War:

  • Bhima Koregaon is a small village in Pune district of Maharashtra.In 1818,a battle was fought here between the forces of the Peshwa and the British.
  • The British army comprised primarily of Dalit soldiers.They had joined the British army after Peshwa Bajirao II had insulted the Mahar community and terminated them from the service of his army.
  • On the other hand,the Peshwa army was led by the Peshwa Bajirao II which had an upper caste domination.
  • The Dalit-dominated British troops defeated the Peshwa army.The victory was seen as a win against caste-based discrimination and oppression.

Significance of Bhima-Koregaon:

  • The victory has come to be seen as a symbol of Dalit pride because a large number of soldiers in the Company force were the Mahar Dalits.
  • Babasaheb Ambedkar had also visited the site in 1927 to revitalise the memory of the battle for the Dalit community making it a rallying point and an assertion of pride.

Explained: Savitribai Phule

News:Prime Minister has paid tributes to Savitribai Phule on her birth anniversary.


About Savitribai Phule:

  • Savitribai Phule was an Indian activist, thinker, social reformer and writer from Maharashtra.
  • Savitrabai along with her husband Jyotirao Phule had played an important role in improving women’s rights in India. 


  • She established the Mahila Seva Mandal to raise awareness for issues concerning women’s rights.
  • She became the first female teacher in India in 1848 and opened a school for girls along with her husband Jyotirao Phule.
  • She opened a women’s shelter called the Home for the Prevention of Infanticide where Brahmin widows could safely deliver their children and leave them there to be adopted if they so desired.
  • She had published Kavya Phule in 1854 and Bavan Kashi Subodh Ratnakar in 1892.In her poem, Go, Get an Education,she urges the oppressed communities to get an education and break free from the chains of oppression.
  • She had also played a pivotal role in directing the work of Satyashodhak Samaj which was founded by Jyotirao Phule in 1873.
  • Satya shodhak samaj was founded with a purpose to give education to the lower castes, scheduled caste, scheduled tribes and made them aware of the exploiting tradition of society.

Ritualistic festival ‘Lai Haraoba’ begins in Tripura

News:Recently,Lai Haraoba, a ritualistic festival has begun in Agartala,Tripura.


About Lai Haraoba:

  • Lai Haraoba means merry making of the Gods.It is a ritual ceremonial festival observed by the Meitei community since ancient times.
  • It is celebrated to please the Umang Lai, the traditional deities of Sanamahism.
  • The festival is celebrated through oral literature, music, dance and rituals.Several Manipuri martial arts, folk music and dances are performed during the festival.
  • The festival is especially known for its folk song named ‘Lai Haraoba Ishei’ which is played mainly for the Lai Haraoba festival.

Ministry of External Affairs creates “NEST” to increase investment coordination

News:The Ministry of External Affairs has decided to set up a new division called NEST-New and Emerging Strategic Technologies.


About NEST:

  • The NEST will act as a nodal point to exchange views with foreign governments on new and emerging strategic technologies.
  • The division will help in collaboration with foreign partners in the field of 5G and artificial intelligence. 
  • It will also help assess foreign policy and international legal implications of new and emerging technologies and technology-based resources, and recommend appropriate foreign policy choice.
  • The division will also be holding responsibility for matters that involves negotiations with multilateral fora like the United Nations,G20.This will help to safeguard India’s interests as such forums govern the rules of access to such technologies.

About Emerging Technologies:

  • Emerging technologies refers to developing technology that may be available within the next five to ten years and is expected to create significant social or economic effects.
  • The top Emerging Technologies are Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things, 5G technology, 3D printing,Robotic Process Automation(RPA) among others.

Centralised Access Control System(CACS) and ‘e-BCAS Project Training Module’

News:Union Minister for Civil Aviation has launched the Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System(CACS) and ‘e-BCAS Project Training Module’ to enhance security and ease of doing business at airports.


About Centralised Access Control System(CACS):

  • The Centralised Access Control System(CACS) project aims to digitize the employee movement process at the airports.
  • It shall facilitate the ease of processing, enhanced security and prevent unauthorized entry into airport and alert authorities to an attempted intrusion or other irregularities for immediate response.
  • The project will assist around Two Lakh employees of various stakeholders who move in & out of the airport on a daily basis.

About e-BCAS Project:

  • The ‘e-BCAS’ project aims to achieve a paperless office under the e-Governance initiative of Government of India.
  • It is aimed at helping more than 1.5 lac employees of various stakeholders to migrate from the manual process of training to digital platform.
  • Further,the project also intends to make all the activities in the BCAS transparent, user-friendly and efficient to provide an ease of doing business with the stakeholders.

Benefits of the CACS and e-BCAS:

  • It reduces human intervention systematically and is a part of e-governance initiative.
  • The two projects are meant to enhance the security.
  • It improves the ease of doing business at airports.
  • It will make all the activities transparent, user friendly and efficient.
Print Friendly and PDF