Daily Current Affairs and GK | 13 March 2020
1. Researchers at institute in Pune developed a new hybrid variety of grapes
- Recently researchers at Agarkar Research Institute, Pune, have developed a new hybrid variety of grapes ARI-516.
- This new variety of grapes is suitable for making a wide range of food products including juices and red wine.
- This new hybrid species of grape is resistant to fungi.
- Grapes face up to 16% losses after harvesting. This damage can be reduced by using it in juice production.
- India is the 12th largest producer of grapes in the world. Maharashtra alone produces more than 80% of the country's total grape production.
2. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed by Rajya Sabha
- Recently, Rajya Sabha has passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
- It was already passed by the Lok Sabha.
- The code allows creditors to initiate a bankruptcy resolution process if the company defaults in its payments.
- In the last financial year, the National Company Law Tribunal had settled around 43,000 cases, out of which 15,000 were based on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
- The Rajya Sabha has also passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that aims at reducing time lag in operationalization of the coal blocks even after their allocation.
3. Cabinet had approved Assisted Reproductive Technologies Regulation Bill
- The government has taken various steps to ensure the good health of women.
- The Cabinet has approved the Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation-ART Bill.
- The bill aims to regulate the Assisted Reproductive Technology Service to safeguard the interests of women and children and protect them from exploitation.
- The bill also provides for the creation of a national board to formulate and implement a code of conduct for people working in IVF clinics.
- The bill aims at making genetic testing of the embryo compulsory before implantation for the benefit of the child born through ART.
4. Wings India 2020 was launched in Hyderabad
- Civil Aviation Business Exhibition and Air Show-Wings India-2020 has started in Hyderabad.
- The three-day show has been organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India in association with FICCI.
- During this time round table conference of heads and executive officers of different companies will also be organized on Connecting the World-Ministerial Plenary.
- About one thousand delegates from all over the world will participate in this event.
- There will be observance of aerobatics twice a day by two teams - Sarang (team of Indian Air Force) and Global Stars (team of British pilots).
5. Nitin Gadkari urged for wide publicity of the 'Udyam Sakhi' portal
- The Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari urged to spread wide publicity of the Udhyam Sakhi portal, informing women about government programs.
- On the occasion of International Women's Day on 8 March, the Udyam Sakhi Portal was launched by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
- The portal has been created by an autonomous organization called Institute for Design of Electrical Measuring Instruments (IDEMI) under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
- So far only 2,012 women have taken advantage of this portal.
6. Maharashtra Legislative Assembly approved Caste Validity Certificate Bill
- Recently the Caste Validity Certificate Bill was unanimously passed by the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly.
- Gram panchayats in Maharashtra will now allow their members to submit their caste validity certificates within one year of winning the election.
- This bill ensures that the candidates are not obstructed by caste certificates in contesting elections.
- At present, the rule states that a candidate must present his caste validity certificate at the time of filing nomination.
7. Traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway-44 (NH-44) stopped
- Traffic on the 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway-44 (NH-44) has been stopped due to landslides and shooting stones at various places between Udhampur and Banihal.
- National Highway-44:
- It is the longest running national highway in India.
- It connects Srinagar to Kanyakumari.
- The highway passes through the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
8. Eco-sensitive zone of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) was reduced to about 100 sq km
- Recently, the eco-sensitive zone of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) has been reduced to about 100 sq km.
- Despite stringent resistance to the lack of regulated buffer area around protected areas, approval has been given to reduce it.
- Eco-sensitive zones are areas notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, around protected areas, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
- Bannerghatta National Park:
- Bannerghatta National Park was established in Karnataka in 1970 and was declared a National Park in 1974.
- In 2002 a part of the park became the Bannerghatta Biological Park.
9. India's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act will be updated
- Recently a draft has been prepared to update the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act.
- It will update the Environmental Impact Assessment Act 2006.
- The draft prescribes a minimum time of 30 days to assess the threat posed by large infrastructure projects to the environment.
- It aims to reduce the delay in the implementation of various projects.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Recently ARI-516 developed by Agarkar Research Institute, Pune, is a species of which fruit?
2. Recently the Union Cabinet has approved the ART bill. The bill is related to which of the following?
A. Assisted Reproductive Technology
B. Art and Culture
C. Restoration of Old Buildings
D. Welfare of backward classes of society
3. Where is Wings India-2020 being organized?
A. New Delhi
4. Which portal has been launched by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to inform women about government programs?
A. Udyamita aur Vikas Portal
B. Mahila aur Vikas Portal
C. Udyam Sakhi Portal
D. None of the above
5. Recently which state assembly has passed the caste validity certificate bill?
6. National Highway-44 connects which two cities?
A. Srinagar - Kanyakumari
B. Varanasi - Kolkata
C. Kolkata - Peshawar
D. Pune - Kanyakumari
7. Bannerghatta National Park is located in which state?
A. Madhya Pradesh
D. West Bengal
8. Recently, a draft has been prepared to update the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act. In which year was EIA Act made?