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01 November Current Affairs

28th Vyas Samman for the year 2018

In News:

The 28th Vyas Samman for the year 2018 was conferred on well known Hindi writer Leeladhar Jagoori for his poetry collection- Jitne Log Utne Prem.

About:

The Vyas Samman was started in 1991.

It is given by K K Birla Foundation.

It is given for an outstanding literary work in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years.

It carries an award money of four lakh rupees along with a citation and plaque.

Strategic Partnership Council

In News:

During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Modi to Saudi Arabia, the two sides have agreed to establish a Strategic Partnership Council to coordinate on important issues, taking the bilateral relationship to the next level.

About:

The Council will be an all encompassing bilateral mechanism which will cover an entire spectrum of relationship between the two countries.

It will be headed by the top leadership on either side.

The two sides re-affirmed their deep commitment to strengthen the strategic partnership envisaged in the ‘Riyadh Declaration’ of 2010.

List of MoUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister to Saudi Arabia

Strategic Partnership Council Agreement

MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Renewable Energy

Agreement on Security Cooperation:

MoU for Cooperation in the field of combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of narcotic drugs.

MoU for collaboration in military acquisition, industries, research, development and technology.

MoU for Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation.

MoU for Cooperation in the field of medical products regulations.

Letter of Intent between Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monshaat) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, of the Republic of India.

Cooperation Programme between Foreign Service Institute, MEA and Prince Saud Al Faisal Institute of Diplomatic Studies (IDS) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.

MoU between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) and Saudi Aramco.

MoU for Cooperation between National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).

MoU between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Saudi Payments.

Future Investment Initiative (FII)

In News:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a visit to Riyadh to attend the Future Investment Initiative (FII), an international event from October 29 to 31.

About:

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) is an annual investment forum held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

It is held to discuss trends in the world economy and investment environment in the context of the Saudi Vision 2030 program of economic and social reform to diversify the kingdom’s economy and reduce its dependence on petroleum products.

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) is widely described as “Davos in the desert”. The informal name derives from the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting that is held in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders discuss agendas for pressing international issues.

It is hosted by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund.

The first event was in October 2017 and featured the announcements of the launch of NEOM, a proposed $500bn independent economic zone in the northwest of Saudi Arabia. The second event was in October 2018. The third event is being held on 29-31 October 2019.

Environmental Award

In News:

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has refused to accept an environmental award saying that the climate movement needed people to start to listen to science and not awards.

About:

The young climate activist, who has rallied millions to her Fridays for Future movement, was honoured at a Stockholm ceremony held by the Nordic Council, a regional body for inter-parliamentary cooperation.

Still only 16 years old, Thunberg rose to prominence after she started spending her Fridays outside Sweden’s parliament in August 2018, holding a sign reading “School strike for climate”.

Fridays for Future (FFF)?

Fridays for Future (FFF) is also known variously as the school strike for the climate, Youth for Climate, Climate Strike, Youth Strike for Climate.

It is an international movement of school students who take time off from class to participate in demonstrations to demand action to prevent further global warming and climate change.

Publicity and widespread organising began after Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg staged a protest in August 2018 outside the Swedish Riksdag, holding a sign that read “School strike for the climate”. A global strike on 15 March 2019 gathered more than one million strikers.

In June 2019, Fridays for Future and Greta Thunberg were honoured with Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award.

14th National Health Profile (NHP), 2019

In News:

Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the 14th National Health Profile (NHP), 2019 and its e-book in New Delhi.

About:

The NHP is prepared by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence (CBHI).

This 14th edition of NHP is the continuation of the publication since 2005.

It covers comprehensive information on demographic, socio-economic health status, health finance indicators, health infrastructure and health of human resources in the country.

The NHP highlights substantial health information under major indicators viz.

  • demographic indicators (population and vital statistics),
  • socio-economic indicators (education, employment, housing and amenities, drinking water and sanitation) and
  • health status indicators (incidence and prevalence of common communicable and non-communicable diseases and RCH) etc.

National Symposium

In News:

Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates National Symposium on the theme ‘United to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.’

About:

Lymphatic filariasis (LF), commonly known as elephantiasis or Hathipaon, is a neglected tropical disease.

Cause: LF disease is caused mainly by Wuchereria Bancrofti and spread by Culex mosquito. This mosquito grows in dirty accumulated water. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. The infection is usually acquired in childhood, causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.

Effect: LF does not kill the affected people, but may cause permanent disfigurement, reduced productivity and social stigma.

Vulnerable groups: The disease affects the poorest population in society, particularly those living in areas with poor water, sanitation and hygiene.

Global scenario: It is one of the oldest and most debilitating neglected disease, which is currently endemic in 73 countries of the world, including India.

The Global Program to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) was launched by the World Health Organization in 2000.

Government of India launched the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF) in 2018. By the end of February 2019, India successfully rolled out IDA treatment across 4 districts including Arwal in Bihar, Simdega in Jharkhand, Nagpur in Maharashtra and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

US President can be impeachment process

In News:

House Democrats recently unveiled plans to open up the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump with public hearings, after criticism from Republicans that the process has been overly secretive.

Background:

No US President has ever been removed as a direct result of impeachment. The House did impeach two Presidents — Andrew Johnson (1968) and Bill Clinton (1998) — but the Senate did not convict them. In between, President Richard Nixon (1974) resigned before he could be removed.

What is Impeachment?

It is a provision that allows Congress to remove the President of the United States.

Under the US Constitution:

The House of Representatives (Lower House) has the “the sole power of impeachment” while the Senate (Upper House) has “the sole power to try all impeachments”.

The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court has the duty of presiding over impeachment trials in the Senate.

Grounds for impeachment:

The President can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

Essentially, it means an abuse of power by a high-level public official. This does not necessarily have to be a violation of an ordinary criminal statute. Historically, in the US, it has encompassed corruption and other abuses, including trying to obstruct judicial proceedings.

The process:

It begins with an investigation by a House committee. If they find that there is enough evidence of wrongdoing, it will refer the matter to the full House.

HOUSE VOTE: When the full House votes, if one or more of the articles of impeachment gets a majority vote, the President is impeached. Next, the proceedings move to the Senate.

SENATE TRIAL & VOTE:The Senate holds a trial, overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors. The President has defence lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury. If at least two-thirds of the Senators present find the President guilty, he is removed and the Vice President takes over as President.

National Pension Scheme

In News:

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has now permitted Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to enrol in National Pension Scheme (NPS) at par with Non-Resident Indians.

What is National Pension System (NPS)?

It is a government-sponsored pension scheme. It was launched in January 2004 for government employees. However, in 2009, it was opened to all sections.

The scheme allows subscribers to contribute regularly in a pension account during their working life. On retirement, subscribers can withdraw a part of the corpus in a lumpsum and use the remaining corpus to buy an annuity to secure a regular income after retirement.

This system is managed by PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority).

Who can join NPS?

Any Indian citizen between 18 and 65 years can join NPS.

An NRI can join NPS. However, the account will be closed if there is a change in the citizenship status of the NRI.

Now, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident and OCIs are eligible to join NPS till the age of 65 years.

 

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