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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - June 2020

Jun 2020

Jun 30, 2020

Syed Ali Geelani Resigns as Head of Hurriyat Conference

  • Jammu and Kashmir-based separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, under house arrest since last August (2019), resigned as chairman of Hurriyat Conference. He was chosen as lifetime chairman of the Hurriyat.
  • As per Geelani, there have been certain issues which forced him to resign.
  • The leader referred to inaction by the Hurriyat members post the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and the division of the erstwhile state into two Union territories.
  • Geelani had been leading the hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference while the moderate faction is helmed by cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.

India Bans 59 Chinese Apps

  • India banned 59 apps originating from China, including very popular ones like the short video platform TikTok, UC Browser, file sharing app ShareIt, and CamScanner, which allows iOS and Android devices to be used as image and document scanners.
  • The ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009. The government also cited complaints about data on Indian users being transferred abroad without authorisation.
  • The move could come as a blow to China's Digital Silk Route ambitions, eroding the valuation of the companies. It could also lead to more countries following India's cue and acting against these apps.

Jun 29, 2020

UP Governor Anandiben Patel Given Additional Charge

  • Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel was given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh during the absence on leave of incumbent Lal Ji Tandon.
  • Tandon has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Lucknow since June 11.

RJD Vice-president Vijendra Yadav Quits Party

  • Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) state vice-president Vijendra Yadav tendered his resignation, citing lack of respect meted out to old-senior leaders in the party. Popularly known as 'kingmaker', Vijendra Yadav made the announcement to quit the party at a press conference. He also tendered his resignation from the party post.
  • Once believed to be a close aide to RJD supremo Lalu Yadav and senior party leaders, Yadav alleged that Lalu's behaviour towards him changed in the last 10 years.
  • As per Yadav, he has not thought of joining any other party nor has any plans to float a new one. He will join a party that will give him some respect.

Telangana to Celebrate Narshima Rao's Centenary for a Year

  • Telangana acknowledged the contribution of ninth Indian Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao in building the nation and erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh in particular.
  • Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) launched year-long birth centenary celebrations that will see people of Telangana remember their beloved leader who was born in this state.
  • Calling the former Prime Minister son of the soil and a multifaceted personality, KCR said that the celebrations will be held all through the year and reflect several angles of the great leader's life.
  • Calling upon the celebration committee to highlight the "360 degree personality" of the most believed son of Telangana during the yearlong worldwide celebrations, the chief minister said the state cabinet and Assembly will move a resolution demanding Bharat Rant to P.V. Narasimha Rao.
  • Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rename the Hyderabad Central University to P. V. Narasimha Rao Central University, the former PM of India.

Jun 28, 2020

President Promulgates Ordinance to Bring Co-operative Banks under RBI Supervision

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 to bring all urban co-operative banks and multi-state cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI in order to protect the interest of depositors.
  • The Ordinance amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 as applicable to cooperative banks.
  • The Ordinance seeks to protect the interests of depositors and strengthen co-operative banks by improving governance and oversight by extending powers already available with RBI in respect of other banks to co-operative Banks as well for sound banking regulation, and by ensuring professionalism and enabling their access to capital.
  • The amendments do not affect existing powers of the State Registrars of Co-operative Societies under state co-operative laws.

Veteran BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha Enters Bihar Polls Fray; Announces a New Front

  • Another player Yashwant Sinha entered the poll arena with a promise to give a credible alternative to the NDA in Bihar.
  • Veteran BJP leader and former union minister Yashwant Sinha launched a new front in Patna, the name of which is yet to be decided.
  • Sinha was in Patna and had been meeting political leaders to work out his strategy. Along with Sinha, was former Jehanabad MP, Arun Kumar, former MP Nagmani, former state minister Narendra Singh and former RJD MP Devendra Yadav. Sinha said that several other leaders are in touch with him and going forward more names would join the list.
  • On a question whether he would join UPA or any other alliance against the NDA, he said that our fight is with the NDA and anyone who is against NDA is welcome to come with us.

Jun 27, 2020

IRDAI Forms Working Group Headed by Anjan Dey to Look Into Drone Insurance

  • India's insurance regulator, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has formulated a 9-member working group(WG) headed by Anjan Dey, general manager of the New India Assurance, to suggest insurance products covering various risks involved in the use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System(RAPS)/ Drones.
  • IRDA has tasked the group to make recommendations related to product design and development to meet the needs of RPAS owners and operators, including third party liability.
  • The group will also make recommendations related to the underwriting of such risks, including re-insurance aspects.
  • Investigation of an insurance perspective and any other relevant matter related to the subject is included.

India Ranks 77th in Terms of Money Deposited in Swiss Banks

 According to the 'Annual banking statistics, 2019' released by Switzerland's central bank Swiss National Bank (SNB), India is at the 77th position in terms of money parked by its citizens and enterprises with Swiss banks at the end of the year 2019,compared to 74th the previous year, i.e 2018. Indians account for only 0.06 % of the money deposited by foreigners in Swiss banks.
While, Britain holds the first place in this list with a share of 27 % of the total deposits.
Talking of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, India is at the bottom of the list while Russia ranks highest at 20th among BRICS countries (same place in 2018) followed by China at 22nd position like last year, South Africa 56th place(climbed two places ), Brazil is at 62nd ( In 2018, it was ranked 65th ).

Karnataka First State to Amend Industries (Facilitation) Act for Small, Medium and Large-scale In...

  • The Karnataka Government amended the " The Karnataka Industries(Facilitation) act, 2002", in the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister of Karnataka B. S. Yediyurappa, to facilitate and attract investment in the state.
  • The act helps to make simple regulations and procedures for requirements,creating an ideal environment for investment.
  • An industry does not need statutory permissions for the first three years to set up operations in the state. Permissions like approvals under multiple state laws, including trade license and building-plan approval.
  • Promotes ease of doing business and facilitate investors to invest in the state.

Voters Over 65, COVID-19 Patients Can Opt for Postal Ballot

  • In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Law Ministry has reduced the age limit for senior citizens who opt for postal ballot in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • Voters in the Bihar Assembly polls are likely to be the first beneficiaries of the revised guidelines.
  • In October 2019, the Law Ministry amended the Conduct of Election Rules to allow people with disabilities and those who are 80 years of age or above to opt for postal ballot during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
  • The Election Commission, however, approached the government to change the rule as the pandemic could continue till the end of the year.

Jun 26, 2020

Maharashtra Appoints Current Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar as Chief Secretary

  • Maharashtra government has appointed the current Additional Chief Secretary, Sanjay Kumar as its Chief Secretary. He succeeded Ajoy Mehta. Ajoy Mehta has been named as the Principal Advisor to the Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray and will take this position on July 1.
  • Sanjay Kumar will hold the post of the Additional Chief Secretary in the housing department till his term ends on February 28, 2021. He also holds the additional charge of the home department.
  • Sanjay Kumar is the 1983 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.
  • Ajoy Mehta is a 1984-batch IAS officer. He assumed the office as the chief secretary on May 10, 2019 & was supposed to retire on September 30, 2019, but received a couple of term extensions.

Kempegowda International Airport Becomes the 1st Airport in India to Get AWMS at Both Ends of the...

  • Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport) became the 1st airport in India to get an indigenously-developed Aviation Weather Monitoring System (AWMS) at both ends of the runway. AWMS is installed by Bangalore International Airport (BIAL). The technology is developed by Bengaluru-based CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL).
  • The AWMS sensor has been installed on a 10 meters mast which is a 1st of its kind, designed by NAL.
  • It has many unique features including eco-friendly, light weight & has a life span of over 60 years. The sliding mechanism enables easy maintenance.

MSDE & IBM Joins Hands to Launch SkillsBuild Reignite and SkillsBuild Innovation Camp

  • Directorate General of Training (DGT), under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Technology giant IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) India Private Limited,have jointly launched free digital learning platforms 'SkillsBuild Reignite' and 'SkillsBuild Innovation Camp' to provide more new resources to job seekers and business owners in India through BharatSkills learning platform (https://bharatskills.gov.in) of DGT.
  • This initiative has been launched to facilitate free online coursework such as financial management, business strategy, digital strategy, legal support & advice to job seekers and entrepreneurs with the aim to help them take their careers as well as businesses forward.
  • Under this learning platform, Personal coaching for entrepreneurs, mentoring to help small businesses establish or restart their small businesses again as they begin to focus efforts to emerge from the situation arising from the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
  • It is a 10-week training program, under which 100 hours of structured learning will be provided to learners interested in gaining practical project experience to boost their learning & aims to build their network as well as increasing their employability.
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