Current Affairs National

  The external affairs ministry is organising the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue and Delhi Dialogue XI in New Delhi during December 13-14. For the first time, these two events will be held consecutively. The theme for the Indian Ocean Dialogue is “Indo-Pacific: Re-imagining the Indian Ocean through an Expanded Geography”, while the theme for the Delhi Dialogue is “Advancing Partnership in Indo-Pacific”. The themes are intended to build on the ‘growing recognition of the Indo-Pacific concept in strategic and academic circles within the region and beyond.
Source: The Hindustan Times

  On 9 December 2019, Parliament passed the landmark ‘The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019’ for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships in India. Passing of this Bill will have far reaching effects in Indian Ship Recycling industry and is also a giant step and historical moment in Indian Maritime arena.
  • Key Features:  The Recycling of Ships Bill 2019
It joins together the existing Shipbreaking Code (revised),2013 and the provisions of the Hong Kong Convention, 2009. Thereby, now, ships to be recycled in India will need to obtain a ‘Ready for Recycling Certificate’ in accordance with Hong Kong Convention. The protection of environment and safety of workers are soul of this bill. Once the Bill receives President’s assent and becomes an Act, it will ensure environment friendly recycling process of Ships and adequate safety of the yard workers. The bill adequately address various environmental issues and workers’ safety concerns interconnected with the ships recycling Industry.

  US retail major Walmart will train 50,000 entrepreneurs from the micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) sector. The objective will be fulfilled by opening 25 institute hubs in India in next five years which would train the MSME entrepreneurs. The institutes will be opened under the ‘Walmart Vriddhi Supplier Development Programe‘ across the nation. These institutes would be strategically located near the manufacturing clusters and will be the part of Walmart’s “long-term commitment to India” For the development of these institutes, Walmart has partnered with a local NGO Swasti which would also have academic support from the local universities.
Source: The Economic Times

  President Ram Nath Kovind laid the foundation stone to the memorial being built in memory of the Paika rebellion, a 200-year-old armed revolt in 1817 against the British East India Company in Odisha. The proposed project will come up at the foothills of Barunei hills in Khurda district, Odisha. The memorial is seen as an epitome of Odisha’s valour and will serve as an inspiration for the youth. A chair in the name of Buxi Jagabandhu who led this revolt has been established with a Rs 5 crore grant and memorial coin and stamp issued to mark the two hundred years of the event.
Source: The News on AIR

  The “Duchifat-3”, Israeli student’s made satellite will be launched from ISRO’s Sriharikota launch site. “Duchifat-3” is a satellite jointly built by Herzliya Science Center and Sha’ar HaNegev High School students of Israel. It is a remote sensing satellite through which students from all schools across the country will be able to experiment and carry through Earth observation. “Duchifat-3” is the 3rd in the series of Israeli student-made satellites. Duchifat-3 weigheing 2.3 kg is a photo satellite to be used for ecological research of Earth from space.
Source: The Hindu

  The Constitution (126th amendment bill), 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019. The bill seeks to extend the reservation provided to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes by 10 years.
  • Key Features
The reservation provided to the Anglo-Indian community, SC, ST is to end by January 25, 2020. The bill is being introduced to continue the reservation of seats for another 10 years, that is till January, 25, 2030. The reservation has been included in Article 334 and therefore the bill seeks to amend the article.
  • Article 334
Article 334 lays down that the provisions for reservation of seats and special representation of anglo-indians, SC and ST will cease after 40 years. The clause was included in 1949. After 40 years, it is being amended with an extension of 10 years.
  • Constitutional Amendment
The Constitution Amendment is making changing in the constitution. According to Article 368, there are two types of Constitutional Amendments namely, the amendment effected by special majority and the amendment effected by special majority and ratification by at least one half of state legislatures. Special majority requires ratification by two-third members present at the voting. At the time of voting, more than 50% of the total strength of the house should be present.

 National Energy Conservation Week is celebrated all over India from December 14 to December 20. Various Government enterprises and Public Sector Undertakings celebrate the week by organizing energy conservation message-oriented activities.
  • December 14: Energy Conservation Day
The Energy Conservation Day is celebrated every year on December 14 since 1991. Energy Conservation Day is an initiative of Bureau o Energy Efficiency. The objective of the day is to demonstrate achievements of government in saving energy and conservation. On the day, National Energy Conservation awards is distributed to industries that play major role in conserving energy.
  • Energy Conservation Organization in India
The Petroleum Conservation Research Association is an inter-governmental body that was created in 1978 to promote energy conservation. It creates public awareness in saving fossil fuels. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) created in 2001 is also responsible for promoting energy efficiency and conservation. The BEE was established under Energy Conservation Act, 2001. The aim of the organization is to reduce energy demands.

  On December 6, 2019, MP Sarojni Hembram from Odisha for the first time spoke in a tribal language called Santhali. She raised the matter of public importance during the zero hour. Also, Srimati Sarojini demanded Bharat Ratna for Pundit Raghunath Murmu, the Santhali scholar who introduced Ol Chiki script for the language in 1925.
  • Santhali Language
The language is predominantly spoken by the North Mundari Group of the Austroasiatic-Munda family. The language is spoken in parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Odisha and also in Nepal and Bangladesh. The Ol Chiki script for the language was created by Raghunath Murmu in 1925.
  • Schedule 8 of the Constitution
Santhali language was included in the Schedule 8 of the constitution through the 92nd Constitutional Amendment act, 2003. Along with the language, 3 other languages were included namely Maithili, Bodo, Dori. In 2017, Shika Mandi became the first Indian to host a show in Santhali language.
  • Santal Tribes
The Santals are the third largest tribal group in India. They are called Horhopon ko (Sons of Man), Hor Ko or Manjhi. They are classified as Scheduled Tribes in the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal but not in Assam. In 1855, they protested widely for their mistreatment by the landlords, traders and money lenders. It was called the Santal Rebellion.

  The Central Government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a long-term, time-bound, national-level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner. The government is targeting to achieve 20 per cent to 30 per cent reduction in Particulate Matter PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration. Under NCAP, 102 non-attainment cities have been identified based on ambient air quality data for the period 2011 – 2015 and WHO report 2014 – 2018.
Source: The News on AIR

  Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju has jointly launched the Fit India School Rating System. The “Fit India School Rating System” has been launched as part of the Fit India Campaign. The Fit India school rating system as per certain parameters is expected to enhance the image of the schools. Fit India program is an innovative initiative launched by the Prime Minister to increase the awareness among the masses and to encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyle.
Source: The Press Information Bureau

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