Read the daily PIB update and stay up-to-date on current affairs for the UPSC exam.
President of India in Guinea
The President Mr. Ramnath Kovind is on a visit to Benin, Gambia and Guinea. On 1st August, he reached landed in Conakry, Guinea, becoming the first Indian Head of State to visit the West African country.
- President Kovind met the President of Guinea, Prof Alpha Conde.
- Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to reformed multilateralism and for comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council to make it more representative, accountable, transparent, inclusive and effective.
- President Conde conveyed support for India’s candidacy as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2021 – 2022.
- MoUs were signed on:
- cooperation in the field of traditional system of medicine and homeopathy (between both governments)
- for Participation in the e-VBAB Network Project (between the Govt. of Guinea and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited)
- on cooperation in the field of renewable energy (between both governments)
Mizoram Citrus Fruit “Centre of Excellence”
The Minister for the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr. Jitendra Singh was met by the Mizoram Environment, Forest & Climate Change Minister, Mr. T.J. Lalnuntluanga.
- The “Centre of Excellence” for Citrus Fruit (COE) became functional in 2018 and is located at Lunglei in Mizoram.
- It is availing Israeli technology.
- The centre has started providing planting material and training to farmers with collaboration from Israel.
- Some officials from Mizoram have already been trained in Israel.
- The technical support, planting material and capacity building is being provided by Israel and the Centre (COE) specializes in exclusively dealing with the processing of Citrus Fruits.
- This initiative followed a tripartite agreement between the GOI, the Government of Israel and the State Government of Mizoram.
National School of Drama
Vice President of India, Mr. M Venkaiah Naidu will attend the convocation ceremony of the National School of Drama (NSD) on 5th August.
About the National School of Drama (NSD)
- NSD is an autonomous institution fully financed by the Ministry of Culture.
- It was established in 1959 as a part of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
- It became an independent entity in 1975.
- It offers a 3-year, full-time, residential training program in every aspect of theatre with a special focus on the practical implementation of theories.
- There are two performing wings of NSD – the Repertory Company and Theatre-in- Education Company (TiE) that started in 1964 and 1989, respectively.
- It had been declared as deemed university by University Grant Commission in 2005. However, National School of Drama has requested the government to declare it as institute of national importance and therefore status of deemed university was not accepted.
Parliament passes the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019
The Rajya Sabha passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019.
- Home Minister Amit Shah said that terrorism has no religion and individuals of one religion must not be victimized.
- He also said that terrorist acts are committed not by organizations but by individuals.
- Declaring an organization as a terrorist organization will not stop the individuals behind it.
- The Minister said that only those individuals who participate in terrorist activities, aid those indulging in such activities, propagate the ideology of terrorism and members of known terrorist organizations will be declared as terrorists after this amendment is passed.
- The Amendment gives powers to DG, NIA to attach properties acquired from proceeds of terrorism.
- Currently, the law requires that NIA take prior permission from the respective state DGP to attach the proceeds of terrorism. This delays the process as often such properties are in different states, the Minister added.
- Earlier, officers of ranks DSP and above were empowered to investigate cases under UAPA as per Section 43. The Amendment seeks to empower officers with the rank of inspectors and above to do the same.
Rajya Sabha Passes The Code on Wages Bill, 2019
Rajya Sabha passed The Code on Wages Bill, 2019.
- It will be the first Code to become an Act out of the four Codes: Code on Wages; Industrial Relations; Social Security and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions which Ministry of Labour and Employment has formulated.
- The aim is to simplify, rationalise and amalgamate various labour laws into four Labour Codes in line with the recommendations of second National Commission on Labour.
- The bill will ensure statutory protection for minimum wages and timely payment of wages to approximately 50 crore workers of organized as well as unorganized sector.
- To do away with regional imbalances and wage variations, a floor wage will be determined by a Tripartite Committee. This committee will comprise of:
- representatives of Trade Unions
- Employers Organizations
- State Governments
Armoured and Specialised Vehicles of Armed/ Paramilitary Forces Exempted from BS-VI Emission Norms
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has issued a notification exempting the armoured and other specialised vehicles of Indian armed forces and paramilitary forces from the new stringent vehicular emission norms (BS-VI).
- The BS-VI Emission Norms will come into force in April 2020.
- The exemption has been made because these vehicles operate in remote and inhospitable terrains with most challenging operational and environmental conditions.
- This is also to take care of the security challenges and requirements of specialized operations.
- Further, it is tough to maintain ideal transportation and storage conditions of fuel in these conditions.
For further information on the BS VI Norms, click here.
Pashmina Products Receive BIS Certification
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity.
- The certification is intended to help curb the adulteration of Pashmina and also protect the interests of local artisans and nomads who are the producers of Pashmina raw material.
- It will also assure purity of the product for customers.
- It is also intended to discourage counterfeit or substandard product in the market.
- It will also encourage the younger generation of the community to continue in this profession.
- The Textiles Minister Ms. Smriti Irani also said that it will ensure better prices for the goat herding community in Ladakh as well as for the local handloom artisans producing genuine Pashmina products.
- The ministry is processing a proposal for funding of Rs. 20 crore for a de-hairing plant for Leh which along with this initiative will lead to progress in the Pashmina sector in Ladakh.
- Pashmina is a type of fine cashmere wool.
- Textiles made out of it were first woven in Kashmir.
- Pashmina comes from the Persian word for “made from wool”.
- It was first called “cashmere” because westerners first encountered it in Kashmir.
- The wool is taken from various breeds of Cashmere goat.
- Ladakh produces 50 MT of the finest grade of Pashmina in the world (12-15 microns).
- The nomadic Pashmina herders live in the hostile and tough terrain of Changthang.
- They are dependent on Pashmina for their livelihood.
- Currently, there are 2400 families rearing 2.5 lakh goats.
About Changthangi or Pashmina goat
- It is a special breed of goat indigenous to the high altitude regions of Ladakh.
- The goat grows a thick, warm undercoat which is the source of Kashmir Pashmina wool.
- The goats are generally domesticated and reared by nomadic communities called the Changpa in the Changthang region of Greater Ladakh.
World Breastfeeding Week 1st – 7th August
The Food and Nutrition Board, under the Women and Child Development Ministry is observing the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) by organising a number of activities.
- The theme is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.
- This year’s focus is on protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.
- Activities planned:
- Annaprashan Ceremony
- Quiz competition on IYCF
About World Breastfeeding Week
- This is celebrated in the first week of August (1st – 7th August) every year.
- It was first observed in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
- It is now observed in 120 nations by the UNICEF and the WHO.
- The chief aim is to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
Objectives of WBW:
- To create awareness among parents about breastfeeding
- Encourage parents to adopt breastfeeding
- Creating awareness about the importance of initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, and adequate and appropriate complementary feeding
- Providing advocacy material about the importance of breastfeeding
Why Breastfeeding in Important?
- It promotes better health for mothers and children alike.
- It prevents infections like diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections in early infancy and thus reduce infant mortality.
- It decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
- It protects infants from obesity-related illnesses, diabetes and increases IQ.
Read previous ‘Best of PIB’ here.