UPSC CA: 4th September 2020

Govt. bans PUBG, WeChat Work, 116 other mobile apps

Context:

  • The government has banned 118 applications (mainly Chinese), stating that these were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of State and public order”.

Key Details: 

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) said it was invoking its power under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
  • The announcement comes amid renewed tensions between India and China owing to the stand-off on the disputed boundary in Ladakh that has been on since May 2020.
  • It is asserted that the decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace.

 

Assam Rifles asked to shift base from Aizawl

Context:

  • Mizoram Chief Minister has asked the Assam Rifles to shift its base from the state capital Aizawl to Zokhawsang about 15 km away, and also asked to step up vigil along the border with Myanmar to check drug trafficking.

Key points:

  • Mizoram shares a 404 km-long international border with Myanmar.
  • One of the battalions of the Assam Rifles had moved to the state capital in 2019.
  • The Mizo National Front government had, in 1988, asked the Assam Rifles to shift from Aizawl after the killing of 12 civilians in an encounter.
  • The stand-off between the Mizoram government and the Assam Rifles began in August 2020.

Assam Rifles

  • The Assam Rifles (AR) is a Central Para Military Force (CPMF) along with two other forces — Special Frontier Force and Coast Guard.
  • However, only the Assam Rifles functions under the administrative control of the Union Home Ministry.
  • The Assam Rifles was formed under the British in 1835 by the name of Cachar Levy and had a number of names- the Assam Frontier Police (1883), the Assam Military Police (1891) and Eastern Bengal and Assam Military Police (1913), before finally becoming the Assam Rifles in 1917.
  • It is India’s oldest paramilitary force.
  • It fulfils the dual role of maintaining internal security in the north-eastern region and guarding the Indo-Myanmar border.

 

Relief for borrowers in moratorium case

In News:

  • The Supreme Court of India has passed an interim order saying that the accounts not declared as non-performing assets (NPA) as on 31 August 2020 shall not be declared as NPAs till further notice.

Key points:

  • The order was passed amid apprehensions raised by borrowers whether their loans would be declared NPAs the day after the expiry of the moratorium.
  • The court is examining the question of whether compound interest (interest on interest) should be charged on loans deferred during the moratorium period.
  • The Bench is also examining the powers of the Centre and the National Disaster Management Authority to provide relief to borrowers, reeling under the financial effects of the pandemic.

 

Study links rice intake to diabetes

In News:

  • Higher consumption of white rice regularly is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, according to a paper published after studying individuals from 21 countries over 9.5 years.

Key points:

  • The highest risk, according to the paper, was seen in South Asia, which had the highest consumption of white rice at 630 grams a day.
  • The study acknowledges the role of reduced physical activity as a contributing factor, as also an increase in obesity rates, while it does adjust for various other diabetogenic factors, including family history.
  • It is known that excess rice consumption leads to postprandial glucose spikes that, in turn, lead to compensatory hyperinsulinemia [excess secretion of insulin] to maintain euglycemia [normal blood sugar levels]. Over time, the b-cells become exhausted, leading to b-cell failure and diabetes, the paper states.

 

National Training Academy for Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes

Context: 

  • e-Foundation stone of new training Institute of National Academy of RUDSETI (NAR) at Bengaluru has been laid down by the Ministry of Rural Development.

Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs):

  • RSETIs are unique initiative where State Governments, the Union Govt. and the commercial Banks are working together to address the issue of rural poverty.
  • The institutions designed as to ensure necessary skill training and skill up gradation of the rural BPL youth to mitigate the unemployment problem.
  • RSETI concept is based on RUDSETI (Rural Development and Self-Employment Training Institute).
  • One RSETI is established in every district in the country. Concerned bank is the lead bank in the district, and takes responsibility for creating and managing it.
  • Government of India will provide one – time grant assistance, up to a maximum of Rs. 1 crore for meeting the expenditure on construction of building and other infrastructure.
  • Programme Structure under RSETIs
    • Agricultural Programmes
    • Product Programmes
    • Process Programmes
    • General Programmes – Skill development programmes for women etc.
    • Other Programmes – related to sectors like leather, construction, hospitality and other
  • Rural Development & Self-Employment Training Institute (RUDSETI)
    • It is society established jointly by three agencies i.e. Syndicate Bank, Canara Bank and SDME Trust (Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Education Trust) based at Ujire in Karnataka.
    • The initiative was taken way back in 1982.
    • Government of India, Ministry of Rural Development (MORD) has recognized RUDSETI approach of promoting micro enterprises as an effective model for addressing unemployment problem & creation of sustainable livelihood.

 

Gen. Rawat pushes for Quad

Context:

  • India has a strategy prepared to fight off the dual-threat posed by neighbours Pakistan and China at its borders, said the Indian Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat.

Key details: 

  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has said that India wants the Quad to become a system to ensure freedom of navigation (FoN) and freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) in the Indian Ocean and around.
  • The CDS asserted that India is keen to ensure that there is complete FoN on the seas and in the airspace above.
  • He added that Chinese economic cooperation with Pakistan in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, along with continued military, economic and diplomatic support, mandates high levels of preparation and also poses the threat of coordinated action on the Northern and Western fronts.
  • He also emphasised that adequate precautions to ensure any misadventure by Pakistan is thwarted and they are not able to succeed in their mission, have been taken.
  • QUAD
    • Quad grouping consists of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S.
    • It is an informal strategic dialogue between India, USA, Japan and Australia with a shared objective to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.