Daily Current Affairs and GK | 15 February 2020
1. ‘Apiary on Wheels’ launched by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
- ‘Apiary on Wheels’ has been launched by the Union Minister of MSME Nitin Gadkari.
- This unique concept has been designed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
- The concept is designed in such a way so as to decrease the labour and maintenance cost of upkeeping bee boxes and live bee colonies in India.
- This platform can carry up to 20 Bee Boxes from one place to another and this can be attached to a Tractor or a Trolley to pull it to any suitable destination.
- Honey Mission was launched by KVIC in 2017.
- KVIC is a statutory body that was established under the KVIC Act, 1956.
2. Govt. decided to restore Konark Sun Temple
- It has been decided by the union government to preserve and restore the Konark Sun Temple in Odisha.
- Konark Sun Temple:
- The temple was built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I, the famous ruler of the Ganga Dynasty.
- The temple was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1984.
- The temple is dedicated to the Sun God and is designed in the shape of a colossal chariot having 7 horses and 24 wheels.
3. ‘The Future of Earth’ report released
- “The Future of Earth, 2020” report has been released by the South Asia Future Earth Regional Office, the Divecha Centre for Climate Change, and the Indian Institute of Science.
- The report was prepared to reduce carbon footprint and stop global warming below 2 degree Celsius by 2050.
- The report recognizes five global risks: Climate Change, Extreme weather, Biodiversity loss, Food crisis and Water crisis.
- The report also states that the period from 2014 to 2018 was the warmest recorded over land and ocean since 1880.
- The report suggests that new ways of conservation are required to reverse the trends of loss of life on the earth.
4. SC order to publish criminal history of candidates
- In a recent order given by the Supreme Court, the political parties are required to publish the criminal history of the Lok Sabha and State Assembly candidates, also citing the reasons that forced them to field suspected criminals.
- The order has been passed by the SC using the powers under Articles 129 and 142.
- The political parties need to submit compliance reports within 72 hrs to the Election Commission of India.
- The published information should contain the nature of the offence, charges framed against the particular candidate, the court concerned, case number, etc.
- In 2019, 43% of MPs had criminal cases pending against them.
5. United States Trade Representative takes India off Developing Country List
- India has been removed from the list of developing and least developed countries by the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
- The list contained the countries which are eligible for claiming the benefits with respect to Countervailing duties investigations.
- Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have also been removed from the list.
- The preferential treatment with respect to CVDs investigations lie under the Generalised System of Preferences scheme of the US.
- Countervailing Duty is a tax levied on the import of certain goods so as to prevent the dumping of goods or neutralize the negative impact of subsidies.
6. India and Portugal signed 14 agreements to increase cooperation in various fields
- India and Portugal have signed 14 agreements to enhance cooperation in various fields including defence, investment, ipr, transport, ports, culture, industry and yoga.
- These agreements were signed in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo D'Souza.
- The President of Portugal is in India on a four-day visit and this is his first visit to India.
- During his visit, President D'Souza will also visit Maharashtra and Goa.
- Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain.
- Its capital is Lisbon and the currency is the euro.
7. Employees' State Insurance Corporation increased confinement expenses for pregnant women
- The Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has increased the confinement expenses for pregnant women from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7500.
- This increase is for women who are unable to make use of maternity services of ESIC dispensaries.
- ESIC took this decision during the 181st meeting held in New Delhi chaired by Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Labour and Employment Minister.
- The decision has been taken keeping in view the increase in the cost of living index, the current amount of delivery expenses has been increased.
8. Nine medical colleges, two AIIMS have been approved in Jammu and Kashmir
- Recently in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to two AIIMS, nine medical colleges have also been approved.
- It is estimated to be completed in 30 months i.e. by August 2022.
- The Central Government in January 2019 approved the proposal to establish an AIIMS in Jammu at Vijaypur in Samba district under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
- The project is being executed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD).
9. 43rd governing council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- Recently, the 43rd meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was held in Rome.
- The meeting stated that climate change will push 100 million people into poverty by 2030 and more than half of these will be due to the impact of climate change on agriculture.
- The council appealed to spend more on rural development to avoid a catastrophic situation arising out of climate emergency.
- International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD):
- The United Nations has a special agency that works to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries.
- Its headquarters are located in Rome.
10. Three-day organic food festival program will be held in Delhi from 21 February
- Ministry of Food Processing Industries, in association with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, is organizing National Organic Food Festival in Delhi to promote women entrepreneurship in the production and processing of organic products.
- The exhibition is being organized as an initiative to enable it to become competitive in the global market.
- Theme: “Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential”
- 150 women entrepreneurs from different states will participate in the three-day festival lasting from 21-23 February.
- India ranks ninth in terms of land devoted to organic agriculture but ranks first in terms of organic food producers.
11. INS Jamuna will do detailed hydrographic survey
- Recently Indian Navy's Sandhayak class hydrographic survey ship, INS Jamuna (J16) was deployed off the coast of Sri Lanka.
- The ship is deployed in Sri Lanka based on the mutual agreement to conduct joint hydrographic survey on the South West coast of Sri Lanka.
- The ship will carry out detailed hydrographic surveys and several coast-based survey activities during the deployment.
- In addition, hands-on survey training will also be provided to Sri Lankan Navy personnel during every operational turn around in the port.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. 'Apiary on Wheels' has been launched recently by the government. This concept has been designed by-
2. Konark Sun Temple located in Odisha will be restored by the government. The temple was built by which ruler?
A. Narasimhadeva I
B. Rajaraja Chola
C. Krishnadeva Raya
D. Ranjeet Singh
3. According to the Future of Earth 2020 report, which of the following is not one of the five global risks?
A. Climate Change
B. Biodiversity loss
C. Natural disasters
D. Water crisis
4. Countervailing duty is imposed on the import of certain goods to-
A. Prevent the dumping of goods
B. Neutralise the negative effect of subsidies
C. Both A and B
D. None of the above
5. Recently India and Portugal have signed 14 agreements to increase cooperation in various fields. Which of the following topics is not included in the agreement?
D. All of the above are included
6. The Employees' State Insurance Corporation has increased confinement expenses for pregnant women from Rs. 5000 to Rs.
7. Recently where was the 43rd governing council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development held?
B. New York
C. New Delhi
8. The three-day national organic food festival program will be organized by which ministry in New Delhi?
A. Ministry of Food Processing Industries
B. Ministry of Home Affairs
C. Defence Cell
D. Ministry of Women and Child Development
9. Recently INS Jamuna was deployed on hydrographic survey off the coast of_______.
B. Sri Lanka