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1. Nine-Judge SC bench framed seven questions on religious rights
- The decision of a 5-judge review bench on Sabarimala case to refer to a larger bench has been upheld by the nine-judge bench led by CJI S.A.Bobde.
- The nine-judge bench also framed seven questions on religious rights. These are:
- What is the scope and ambit of religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution?
- What is the interplay between religious freedom and the rights of religious denominations under Article 26 of the Constitution?
- Whether religious denominations are subject to fundamental rights?
- What is the definition of ‘morality’ used in Articles 25 and 26?
- What is the ambit and scope of judicial review of Article 25?
- What is the meaning of the phrase “sections of Hindus” under Article 25 (2)(b)?
- Whether a person not belonging to a religious group can question the practices, beliefs of that group in a PIL petition?
- The arguments will be heard on these questions from 17 February 2020.
2. RBI exempts banks from maintaining CRR for loans to retail and MSMEs for 5 years
- The banks that will extend loans to retail and MSMEs between 31 January and 31 July 2020 will not be required to maintain the cash reserve ratio (CRR) for five years.
- This exemption is for retail loans to automobiles, residential housing, and loans to micro, small and medium enterprises.
- Cash Reserve Ratio is the percentage of the bank’s total net demand and time liabilities, which is to be kept with RBI on which banks do not get any interest.
- CRR is decided by the RBI’s monetary policy committee, and at present, CRR is 4%.
3. MoU signed between MGSIPA and NISG for capacity building
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MGSIPA), Punjab and National Institute of Smart Government (NISG) for capacity building on e-government services.
- The MoU is the first of its kind initiative that will help in the State’s digital transformation.
- It is a not-for-profit company that was established as a PPP in 2002.
- Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana
- The institute provides consultancy to Central and State Governments in the field of e-Governance.
4. BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise 2020 begins
- The three-day BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise 2020 to be held in Bhubaneshwar and Puri has begun.
- The theme of the exercise is ‘A cultural heritage site that suffers damage in the Earthquake & Flooding or Storm.’
- The field training exercise was launched at Ramachandi Beach in Puri district.
- Out of the seven BIMSTEC members, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are participating in the exercise.
- While Thailand and Bhutan remained out of the exercise due to the travel advisories issued by the respective governments.
- The exercise will provide an opportunity to increase co-operation and co-ordination in handling disasters like earthquakes, flooding and storm.
- The international observers like UNDP, International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) will also attend the exercise.
5. Supreme Court upheld the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act 2018 as constitutionally valid
- The Supreme Court has declared the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Amendment Act 2018 as constitutionally valid.
- Under the Bill, the possibility of anticipatory bail in case of harassment against scheduled castes and tribes has been ruled out.
- Supreme Court has said that anticipatory bail can be granted only in cases where prima facie case is not made.
- A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that preliminary investigation is not necessary before filing an FIR or allowing senior police officers under this law.
- The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act 2018 was brought to nullify the Supreme Court's decision which weakened the stringent provisions of the law.
6. National Conference on E-Governance 2020 concludes in Mumbai
- The National Conference on e-Governance 2020 concluded in Mumbai.
- In the conference, there was a discussion on changing governance using digital technologies.
- Let it be E-NAM or Ayushman Bharat, e-governance is essential for good governance and is the key to India’s development in the future.
- Mumbai Declaration on e-Governance was adopted unanimously.
- The National e-Governance Award 2020 were also presented to recognize excellence in the implementation of the e-governance initiative.
7. First look of a biopic on APJ Abdul Kalam released in New Delhi
- The first look of a biopic on former President APJ Abdul Kalam was released in New Delhi.
- A poster of the film was released by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar along with producer and director Madhur Bhandarkar and Hollywood producer and director Johnny Martin.
- Hollywood actor Muhammad Ali is playing the role of Dr. Kalam in the film.
- APJ Abdul Kalam:
- Abdul Kalam was an aerospace scientist who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007.
- He was awarded high honors like Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
- He is also known as Missile Man of India.
8. National Deworming Day: 10 February
- National Deworming Day was observed across the country on 10th February.
- The purpose of this day is to reduce the prevalence of parasitic worms in the intestines of children and adolescents. This will prevent the problem of stomach worms from becoming a public health problem.
- On this occasion, all children and adolescents in the age group of 1 to 19 years were given a single dose of albendazole.
- The Union Ministry of Health said that merely washing hands can prevent worm infections.
9. Chhattisgarh government to impose permanent ban on hookah bars in the state
- The government of Chhattisgarh has decided to impose a permanent ban on hookah bars during a meeting chaired by CM Bhupesh Baghel.
- The cabinet decided to cancel the license issued for running the hookah center keeping in mind the complaints that school students, children and youth are being attracted to tobacco consumption and other such addictions.
- The state cabinet has also decided to close 49 liquor shops.
10. Cauvery Delta region will be declared a protected special agricultural zone
- The Cauvery delta region will be declared a protected special agricultural zone as announced by the CM of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi Palaniswamy.
- He laid the foundation stone of livestock farming area on nine hundred acres in Thalaivasal village near Salem.
- It has been described as Asia's largest livestock center.
- The center granted license for hydrocarbon exploration in Delta basin last year. Mr. Palaniswami said that his government would not allow any new exploration projects in the delta region.
- Cauvery River:
- The Cauvery River originates from the Brahmagiri mountain in the Western Ghats and falls in the Bay of Bengal.
- The Cauvery River flows through the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
- It is the third largest river in South India after Godavari and Krishna.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Who is the current Chief Justice of India?
A. S. A Bobde
B. H L Dattu
C. V Rameshwar
D. N S Jaishankar
2. What is the present cash reserve ratio (CRR)?
A. 5 percent
B. 6 percent
C. 4 percent
D. 8 percent
3. Where is the headquarters of the National Institute of Smart Government (NISG) located?
C. New Delhi
4. Where is the BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise 2020 being organized?
A. Tamil Nadu
5. A bench headed by ___________was constituted to consider the validity of 2018 amendment act on Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes?
A. Srinivasan Rao
B. KL Mishra
C. Arun Mishra
D. Vishveshwar Dutt
6. Where was the National Conference on e-governance held recently?
A. New Delhi
7. APJ Abdul Kalam was the _______ President of India.
8. On which day is National Deworming Day celebrated every year?
A. 10 February
B. 10 January
C. 10 March
D. 10 April
9. Recently which state government has decided to impose a permanent ban on hookah bars?
A. Madhya Pradesh
B. Uttar Pradesh
10. Which of the following river delta region will be declared as protected special agricultural zone by the Government of Tamil Nadu?