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06th August Current Affairs

UK to mint coin in remembrance of Gandhi Ji

In News:

Amid growing interest in recognizing the contributions of people from the BAME community (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) Britain is considering minting a coin to remember Mahatma Gandhi.

Objective:

Rishi Sunak Britain’s current Finance Minister issued an order in a letter to the Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC) to pursue recognition of individuals from the BAME community. Taking a step ahead in following the order RMAC will mint a coin to commemorate Gandhi. While remembering Mahatma Gandhi the officials from the department said in a statement, “Often referred to as “Father of the Nation” Mahatma Gandhi, was born in the year 1869. He advocated for non-violence throughout his life and played a key important role in India’s Freedom Movement. 2nd October, Mahatma’s birthday is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi Ji died on January 30, 1948, just a few months after he led the country’s freedom from British rule”.

Reason Behind:

Recently in the past, the death of a Black man, George Floyd, in the United States after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes has triggered a large ambush across the people not only in the US but worldwide. British institutions have begun re-examining their past as part of a global reassessment of history, colonialism and racism triggered by the recent protests. Since then many organizations have taken initiatives to make investments to help the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities and to support racial diversity. Recently a lot of global protests against racism, colonialism and police brutality has been seen after the death of George Floyd.

RMAC:

Abbreviated form for Royal Mint Advisory Committee. RMAC is a fully independent committee made up of a group of experts chosen from across the country. Their main work is to recommend themes and designs for minting coins to Britain’s finance minister.

Tamil Nadu disagrees with centre’s Three Language Policy

In News:

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is not seen in agreement with the recently launched centre’s three-language policy proposed by the Union government in the National Education Policy 2020. In a press release recently, the Chief Minister was found stating that the state will never allow the Centre’s three-language policy rather the state will continue with its dual language policy of Tamil and English.

History behind:

In 1968 Dravidian party leader CN Annadurai the then Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu announced in the State assembly that Tamil Nadu would follow only the two-language policy Tamil and English. Also, in the year 1986 the AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu passed an assembly resolution that talks about reinforcing the two-language policy.

What does the NEP 2020 states?

In a 60 page long New Education Policy which follow 5+3+3+4 mode the policy advocates three language policy promoting multilingualism. The policy sates that, the child will learn in his or her mother tongue till class five, upon which Hindi and English along with the native language will be used to teach the curriculum. However, the policy states there will be a greater flexibility in the three- language formula. There won’t be any forced action on any of the states. Further, the new policy states that the three languages learned by children will completely be the choices of states, regions, and of course the students themselves, provided at least two of the language are native to India.

US Impose restrictions on H1B Visa

In News:

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that bans federal agencies from hiring foreign workers especially those on H-1B visa on contracting or subcontracting.

Background:

The unprecedented move is followed by a month old announcement by the Trump government on June 23 where the administration announced that the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas will remain suspended until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election. This new restriction took effect from June 24. Also recently a federally owned corporation in the US called Tennessee Valley Authority in a press release announced that the company will outsource 20 per cent of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries. Through this new announcement, the US was going to witness another 200 American workers losing their jobs over the next five year.

What does the new rule say?

The new order makes it compulsory for all federal agencies to carry out an internal audit to assess whether they are in compliance with the requirement of appointing only US citizens and nationals to competitive service. The US Department of Labor will also issue guidance to prevent H-1B employers from moving H-1B workers to other employer’s job sites to displace American workers.

The need for the new order:

US President Trump recently in a news briefing to US reporter stated that the H-1B visa was never meant for top highly paid talent to create American jobs, not as inexpensive labour programmes and destroy American job. He also mentioned that amidst this global pandemic which has already cost millions of Americans their jobs, outsourcing hundreds of workers is especially detrimental.

Coming up Next:

Trump administration is also keen on discussing an immigration bill which will be merit-based. The bill will be great for the worker and for the people who will legally enter into the country wanting to help the country, Trump stated.

UK envoy to India got promoted

In News:

British high commissioner to India Philip Barton on Monday got appointed as the permanent under-secretary to head the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. This new appointment of Sir Philip Barton as the Permanent Under-Secretary of the new ministry came just after the approval of United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The new Merger:

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has earlier announced to the parliament that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) will merge to form the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). This new ministry called FCDO will be established in 2020 and it will be led by the Foreign Secretary. The function of the new ministry will involve a combined function of DFID and FCO.

Why the new Merger:

However former three Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron have criticized the decision to merge DFID and FCO in the past. The current Prime Minister Boris Johnson has justified its merger mentioning how it would strengthen Britain’s position in an intensely competitive world. Further, he stated this new merger will help a lot in other aspects too like, increasing focus on a specific issue, to encourage collaboration between different policy areas, to improve the delivery of government services.

DFID:

Short form for Department for International Development. It was formed in the year 1997. The main goal of the department is to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty. Its main work area involves sector of, Health, Education, Government and Civil Society, Social Services, Production Sectors, Water Supply, Sanitation, Economic Sector including Infrastructure, Environment Protection, Research, and Humanitarian Assistance.

Swachh Bharat Kranti

In News:

“Swachh Bharat Kranti” is a translated copy of the book “Swachh Bharat Revolution”. Swachh Bharat Kranti is a Hindi version and Swachh Bharat Revolution is the English version.

Details:

On August 5, 2020, the Hindi version of Swachh Bharat Revolution was launched by the Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development Smt Smriti Irani and Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

About the Book:

The book is about the journey of Swachh Bharat Mission. It has 35 essays contributed by a range of stakeholders of the programme. The essays in the book have been arranged under four pillars namely Public Financing, political leadership, Partnership and Participation of People in the mission. The contributors of the book include Amitabh Kant, Arun Jaitley, Sadhguru, Ratan Tata, etc.

Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM):

The Mission was started in 2014 to provide universal coverage on sanitation of the country. It is being implemented by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. The two main components of the mission include SBM Urban and SBM Rural. The urban component of the mission mainly focuses on waste management techniques. On the other hand, the rural component focuses on achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) India.

Currently, the second phase of the mission is being implemented, which is between 2020-21 and 2024-25.

Phase II of SBM:

The second phase of the mission is to be implemented with a total outlay of Rs 1,40,881 crores. The second phase has been named as ODF+. The ODF+ is to focus on the following

  • Grey Water Management
  • Plastic Waste Management
  • Faecal Sludge Management
  • Biodegradable Solid Waste Management

The second phase is to focus on generating employment in the rural region by constructing soak pits, compost pits, material recovery facilities, waste stabilisation ponds, etc. It will also help the rural India handle challenges of solid and liquid waste management to improve the health of the villagers in the country.

First Anniversary of creation of Ladakh and J&K celebrated

In News:

On August 5, 2020, the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir celebrated their first anniversary of formation.

Background:

On August 5, 2019, the Government of India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370 of the Constitution. After the abrogation of the article, two union territories Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir were carved out under Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019.

What is Article 370?

The Article 370 of the Indian Constitution gave special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir between 1954 and 2019. The article conferred the state to have a separate constitution and autonomy over internal administration of the state.

The article along with Article 35A of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution defined that the residents of the state shall have separate set of laws, fundamental rights, citizenship status, property ownership as compared to the citizens of other Indian states. An Indian citizen from other states, according to the article, cannot purchase land in the state.

On August 5, 2019, all of the above special status to the state was abrogated making all the provisions of the Indian Constitution applicable to the region as well. All the clauses of Article 370 except Clause 1 were declared to be inoperative.

After the abrogation of Article 370, Right to Information Act, 2005 and Representation of People Act, 1951 were extended to these Union Territories.

Key Changes:

  • The police and public order are to be with the Centre
  • The UT of J&K is to have a state legislature and Ladakh will not.
  • The powers of Lieutenant Governor of the territories were widened. The CM of the UT has to communicate all administrative decisions of legislation with the LG.

Terrorism since the abrogation:

In a period of one year, that is, between August 5, 2019 and August 5, 2020, recruitment of terrorists in the region has fell by 42%. It has reduced from 172 to 100. The number of terrorists trying to infiltrate from Pakistan occupied Kashmir has decreased by 33%.

Also, the terrorism incidents in the region has reduced to 181 in 2020 as against 395 in 2019. The law and order related incidents have fell from 370 per month to 28 per month.

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