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25 June Current Affairs

Bill to Rename ‘Tonoshiro’ to ‘Tonoshiro Senkaku’ triggered tensions between Japan and China

In News:

A group of Islands without inhabitants located at the South China Sea has been a point of disagreement between Japan and China since 1972. The island is known by the name Senkakus in Japan, while in the People’s Republic of China the Islands are known by the name Diaoyu.

Details:

The island group is at present administered by the administrative authority of Ishigaki city of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. The islands are located in the southern part of Japan, the entire area under which the Senkaku Islands are located is known by the name Tonoshiro in Japan.

History:

The group of islands was controlled by the Ryukyu Kingdom of China as per records available. But during the First Sino-Japanese War the Islands were annexed by the Japanese Central Government.

As Japan surrender at the end of 2nd World War, the islands came under the power of the United States Government. 26 years later in 1971, the United States Senate passed the Okinawa Reversion Treaty to return the group of islands back to Japan. Japan took over the control of the islands from 1972. Since then China began to declare its ownership over the islands based on the fact that the islands were discovered during the 14th century by the Chinese Ryukyu Kingdom.

Present Day:

On 22nd June 2020, the assembly of Ishigaki city passed the bill under which from 1st October 2020- the Tonoshiro area will be renamed as Tonoshiro Senkaku.

Last Satellite of China’s BeiDou Satellite System 3 (BDS-3) Launched

In News:

In an effort to compete with the United States Government’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s GLONASS, and the Galileo Systems of the European Union,  China completed the launch of its final satellite on 23rd June 2020. The satellite was launched as a carrier with Long March 3 rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. BeiDou means ‘Big Dipper’ in Mandarin.

Details:

The satellite launched is a part of the third generation of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3) and was the 55th satellite of the Beidou system.

BeiDou System:

  • First Generation (BDS-1): This system was launched with three working and one backup satellites between 2000 to 2003. This system was decommissioned in the year 2012. This navigation system provided limited coverage for users in China as an experimental basis. The first satellite under this system was launched on 30th October 2000.
  • Second Generation (BDS-2): This system provides coverage in the Asia-Pacific Region and is still operational. BDS-2 was started in December 2011. The entire system consists of 10 working satellites. The first satellite under this system was launched on 13th April 2007.
  • Third Generation (BDS-3): This system was aimed to provide global coverage. The first satellite under BDS-3 was launched on 30th March 2015. This system comprises of 35 satellites (3 Geosynchronous satellite, 3 Inclined Geosynchronous Satellite, 24 Medium Earth Orbits Satellite).

BDS-3 has started providing global navigation services from December 2018 to countries that had signed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. The global constellation of the BeiDou satellite system is expected to be completed in the upcoming months. Once completed, it will be able to provide services such as precise point positioning, short message communication, and also can be used for international search and rescue operations globally.

U.S. Russia talks on new Nuclear Disarmament Treaty begins without China

In News:

Delegations from the United States led by Marshall Billingslea and the Russian Delegation under their Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov begin their 2-day talks on 22nd June 2020 at the capital city of Austria, Vienna.  The talks for extending the nuclear disarmament treaty were in doubt over the last few months as the United States President Donald Trump continued the call for the addition of China in the treaty. The treaty is commonly known by the name ‘START’ treaty.

China’s Response to Trump Call:

According to China, It’s still not the right time for them to involve or to be a part of such a nuclear treaty, the United States and Russia has the primary responsibility of nuclear disarmament as the nuclear stockpile of China is dwarfed by those of the two countries.

China also added that for other nations to join the Nuclear Disarmament Treaty, the United States must drastically reduce the size of its stockpile.

START Treaty:

START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) is a bilateral nuclear disarmament treaty between the United States and Russia. The formal name of the treaty is ‘Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms’.

The treaty was last signed on 8th April 2010, came into effect on 5th February 2011 for a period of 10 years. The current treaty expires on 5th February 2021.

Rajasthan Government to launch ‘Indira Rasoi Yojna’

To provide pure and nutritious food to the economically weaker sections of the society,  the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot on 22nd June 2020 announced ‘Indira Rasoi Yojna (Indira Kitchen Scheme).

Under the scheme, food will be available at a concessional rate twice a day to make sure no one sleeps hungry in state. For the successful implementation of the scheme, the state government will rope in local Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in every district of the state. For monitoring and evaluating the progress of the scheme, Information Technology will be used. In every district, a committee headed by the district collector will also be set up for monitoring the scheme.

For the scheme, Rs 100 crore will be spent every year by the state government. The rate for the meals under the Indira Rasoi Yojna has not been finalized yet.

On 31st March 2020 the tenure of the previous subsidized meal scheme of the Rajasthan state government-‘Annapurna Rasoi Yojana’ had expired. This scheme was launched in December 2016 by then Chief Minister, Vasundhra Raju. Under this scheme lunch and breakfast was provided for Rs 8 and Rs 5 respectively.

Financial Assistance of Rs 4957 Crore provided to 17.5 Million Building & Other Construction Workers

In order to help the Building & Construction workers to overcome the financial impacts of COVID-19 lockdown, on 24th March 2020, the Chief Minister of all States and Union Territories were advised by the Union Minister of Labour and Employment to create a framework with bank account details of building & construction workers of their respective state so that they can be provided with financial support through direct benefit transfer (DBT)mode.

This request for creating a framework to provide financial support to the workers was made by the Union Minister under section 22 (1) (h) of the Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1996.

On 23rd June 2020, the Ministry of Labour & Employment has informed that through 17.5 million (1.75 Crore) transactions, cash assistance of Rs 4957 crore was directly into the bank accounts of the building & construction workers through DBT mode.

The Amount ranging from a minimum of Rs 1,000 to a maximum of Rs 6,000 was transferred to the bank account of every worker. The amount to be granted to a particular worker was decided by the State Government.

The Ministry has stated that there are still many workers who are left out, for which the Ministry has launched a project in mission mode to complete their registration for the benefits.

Cabinet Approves Ordinance to bring UCBs and MSCBs under RBI supervision

In News:

The decision to bring Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) and Multi-State Cooperative Banks (MSCBs) under the supervision of India’s Central Bank- the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was taken on 24th June 2020 during a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

Details:

The ordinance will immediately come into effect from the date of signature of the President of India.

Background:

The decision was taken by the Government following the financial irregularities of the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank that was unearthed in the month of September 2019.

Benefit for Depositors:

RBI’s supervision means that the 8.6 crore depositors of these 1482 UCBs and 58 MSCBs around the country will be able to get the added protection and comfort that are at present applicable for the scheduled commercial banks in the country, such as Bank Deposit Insurance to per depositor of up to Rs 5 lakh, etc.

Announced During the Finance Budget:

Earlier on 1st February 2020, the Finance Minister during her Budget Speech had announced that the Cooperative Banks will be brought under the Supervision of RBI.  The Cabinet cleared the amendment Bill on 5th February 2020 following which the Banking Regulations (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 3rd March 2020. However, the Bill could not be passed as the Budget Session was curtailed due to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Foundation Stone Laid for the First Hindu Temple in Pakistan’s Capital

The foundation stone for the first Hindu Temple in Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad was laid. The temple is the first to be constructed in Islamabad since the Independence of Pakistan.

The temple will be devoted to Lord Krishna. The name of the temple will be Shri Krishna Mandir. The name of the temple was decided by the Islamabad Hindu Panchayat.

The construction of the temple would cost Rs 10 crore (in Pakistani Rupee).  The cost will be borne by the Pakistan Government as per their Religious Affairs Minister.

The 20,000 sq ft plot was is located at the H-9/2 area of Islamabad. This plot was allotted back in January 2017 to the Islamabad Hindu Panchayat by the Capital Development Authority (CDA). CDA allotted the plot for the construction of Hindu temple following the orders from Pakistan’s National Commission for Human Rights. The foundation stone ceremony was attended by Lal Chand Malhi (Pakistan’s Parliamentary Secretary on Human Rights).

After Islam, the second largest religion in Pakistan is Hinduism. As per Pakistan Hindu Council, the total Hindu population of Pakistan is less than 4 percent of the total population of Pakistan (21.22 crore- Population of Pakistan in 2018), which is 8 million (80 lakh) as of 2018.

 

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