Daily Current Affairs and GK | 19 December 2019
1. Uniform tax rate of 28% for lotteries
- A uniform tax rate of 28% has been decided by the GST Council for state-run as well as private lotteries.
- GST rate on woven and non-woven bags has been rationalized to 18%.
- The rates were decided during the 38th meeting of the GST Council and will be effective from 1st March 2020.
- GST Council is a constitutional body that was constituted to recommend the central and state governments on the issues related to GST.
2. Donald Trump impeached by the House of Representatives
- Donald Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives based on two charges- abuse of power and obstruction to the Congress.
- Now, a trial will be set up in the Senate that will finally decide whether he will remain in power or not.
- US President is confident that he will not be impeached as Republicans are in majority in the Senate.
- Donald Trump is the third US President to be impeached after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
3. India and US sign industrial security agreement
- An industrial security agreement (ISA) has been signed between India and the US to allow the transfer of defence technology.
- The two sides agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation and enhance defence trade.
- The agreement was signed during the second 2+2 India US Ministerial Dialogue in Washington, which aims at taking the bilateral relationship to the new level in 2020.
4. Rural Development Minister launches Phase-III of PMGSY
- Phase-III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana has been launched by Union Minister of Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar to increase connectivity of villages to hospitals, agricultural markets and schools.
- It also aims at integrating 1,25,000 km through Routes and Major Rural Links with a cost of Rs. 80,250 crores during 2019-20 to 2024-25.
- The scheme will be funded in the ratio of 60:40 between Centre and States, while for the Northeast and the Himalayan states, it will be 90:10.
- Till now, a road length of 36,063 km has been constructed using green technologies.
- Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY):
- It is a scheme that aims to provide all-weather road connectivity to the unconnected rural habitations.
- It is a centrally sponsored scheme that was launched in 2000.
5. Indian Navy Chief to visit Sri Lanka
- Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh will visit Sri Lanka for four days to hold bilateral discussions with Commander of Sri Lankan Navy.
- He will also participate as the chief guest during the commissioning and passing out parade of the 60th Intake Midshipmen at Naval Maritime Academy in Trincomalee on 22nd December 2019.
6. Launch of Braille version of ‘Exam Warriors’ written by Indian PM
- The Braille version of the book titled ‘Exam Warriors’ written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been launched by the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot.
- Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh has printed the braille version in English and Hindi in Jaipur.
- The book contains animated pictures and yoga asanas which will help visually-impaired students to overcome mental stress during exams.
- The third edition of the PM’s Pariksha pe Charcha 2020 will be held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi.
7. Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat Programme
- Indian Railways will grant a 50% concession for the youth that will be part of the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat Programme.
- The youths earning a salary of not more than Rs. 5000 per month, can grab concession on basic fares of second and sleeper class for travelling from one state to another to take part in the programme.
- The participants need to produce a certificate in the prescribed format to the authorized railway officers to claim a concession.
- Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat Programme:
- It was launched by PM Narendra Modi on 31st October 2015 to mark the 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- Under the programme, states and UTs will be paired at the national level which will remain effective for a year or till the next pairings are developed.
- The programme aims to celebrate India’s unity in diversity and promote the spirit of national integration.
- It creates an environment to foster learning between States by sharing experiences.
8. Odisha CM launches Jalsathi programme
- Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched the Jalsathi programme that aims to provide clean and safe drinking water to all households.
- The women volunteers under Mission Shakti (an initiative related to providing employment to women) will be supplying potable water to the households which will empower these women economically.
9. International Migrants Day: 18 December
- International Migrants Day is celebrated every year on 18th December to create awareness regarding the plight of migrants across the world.
- On 4 December 2000, UN General Assembly adopted the resolution to declare 18 December as International Migrants Day.
- This year celebrations are based on the theme ‘Social Cohesion’ (#WeTogether).
- According to a UN report, one billion of the population in the world are migrants.
10. Sahitya Akademi Awards announced
- The Sahitya Akademi Awards 2019 were announced for 23 languages.
- Nand Kishore will be awarded for his collection of poems “Cheelte hue apne ko” in Hindi language while Shashi Tharoor will be awarded for his book titled “An Era of Darkness” in English Language.
- A novel written in Santhali titled “Marom” by Shyam Besra has also made to the list of the winners. This time Santhali language was used for the first time in Rajya Sabha.
- Penna Madhusudan will be awarded for his Poetry ‘Prajnachakshusham’ in Sanskrit language. While Biography ‘Sawaneh-E-Sir Syed: Ek Bazdeed’ written by Shafey Kidwai will get award in Urdu language.
- Sahitya Akademi Awards:
- Sahitya Akademi was established in 1954 that presents awards for creative and distinguished contribution to literature in 24 languages (22 official + English and Rajasthani).
- The winners are presented with a copper plaque and Rs. 1 lakh is given as cash prize.
11. IAU names a star after Indian woman
- The International Astronomical Union (IAU) names a white yellow star as ‘Bhibha’ after Indian woman scientist Bibha Choudhary. ‘Bhibha’ in Bengali means a bright beam of light.
- A planet located near this star is named as ‘Santamasa’ which means clouded in Sanskrit.
- International Astronomical Union (IAU):
- It was founded in 1919 to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects.
- Current President: Ewine van Dishoeck
Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs)
1. GST Council is a
- Constitutional body
- Statutory body
- Autonomous body
- Neither constitutional nor statutory
2. How many US presidents have been impeached so far before Donald Trump?
3. Recently an Industrial Security Agreement has been signed by India with which of the following countries?
4. Indian Navy Admiral Chief Karambir Singh embarked on a 4-day visit to which country?
- Sri Lanka
5. The braille version of the book ‘Exam Warrior’ has been launched recently, which is written by-
- Shashi Tharoor
- Narendra Modi
- Amit Shah
- Manmohan Singh
6. How much % of concession will be provided by the Railways for youths participating in the Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme?
7. Jalsathi programme has been launched by which of the following state government?
- Madhya Pradesh
8. When is International Migrants Day celebrated?
- 12th November
- 18th December
- 10th January
- 23rd April
9. Shashi Tharoor will be presented Sahitya Akademi Award for his book titled _________.
- The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
- Exam Warriors
- An Era of Darkness
- Gandhi the Years that changed the world
10. International Astronomical Union (IAU) named a star after which of the following Indian women scientist?
- Bibha Choudhary
- Rohini Godbole
- Bina Agarwal
- Anu Aga