Read Daily Current Affairs of 18th February 2020 for UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Prelims and Mains Exam 2020.
Read Current Affairs Notes of 18th February 2020 for UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains Examination 2020. Highlighting all National and International contemporary issues important from the exam point of view.
Topic: Current events of national and international importance.
Women Army officers eligible for permanent commission: SC
- Government’s submission that women are physiologically weaker than men has been dismissed by the Supreme Court as a “sex stereotype”.
- The SC declared that the Short Service Commission (SSC) women officers are eligible for permanent commission and command posts in the Army irrespective of their years of service.
- The SC added that women officers have brought laurels to the forces and it is against their dignity to keep them behind just on the basis of their abilities on the ground of gender.
- The court said that time has come for a realization that women officers in the Army are not adjuncts to a male-dominated establishment, whose presence must be ‘tolerated’ within narrow confines.
- The Verdict came on a 10-year-old appeal filed by the government against the decision of the Delhi High Court to grant SSC women officers permanent commission.
- The government has been ordered to implement the judgement within three months.
Topic: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System-objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.
Seeds to be distributed through cooperatives
- Rajasthan government has decided to distribute seeds with subsidies to the farmers only through the village cooperative societies in order to prevent black marketing of certified seeds.
- The decision will strengthen the cooperative infrastructure in the State.
- The cooperative societies will also sign an MoU with the Rajasthan State Seeds Corporation for production of seeds.
- The step will ensure the supply of good quality seeds to farmers and will support the agricultural sector.
- On the decision, it was said that the cooperative societies should diversify their operations to meet new challenges.
- The cooperative societies should also develop their warehouses as mandi sub yards → farmers may then sell their produce directly to the cooperative marketing societies.
Topic: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.
Odisha to bring all depts. under ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative
- All departments of Odisha government will be brought under the ‘Mo Sarkar’ initiative by March 5.
- The people will then have the option of online services or professionally run common services centre or door delivery in spite of visiting the government offices for any services.
- The Odisha CM said that the move was to fulfil the aspirations of people by providing effective governance.
- The State will also be focusing on employment and value-addition on a big scale comparable to the best in the world.
- The steps to be taken for New Odisha include:
- World-class infrastructure
- MSME clusters
- Start-up hubs
- State’s presence in the global tourism map
- Robust socio-economic indicators
- The State is known for:
- The highest reduction of poverty in the country → brought more than 8 million people out of poverty in the last decade.
- Setting global benchmarks in disaster management
- The CM while highlighting various welfare schemes said that his government is determined to work hard for the complete transformation of the State by implementing the “5T Mantra”.
Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
India’s bird population suffers a long-term decline
- A new scientific report jointly released by 10 organisations showed that one-fifth of India’s bird diversity has suffered strong long-term declines over a period of the 25-year period.
- According to the State of India’s Birds 2020 (SoIB) assessment raises the alarm that several birds, endemic to the subcontinent, are facing a growing threat from loss of habitat due to:
- Human activity
- The widespread presence of toxins (like pesticides)
- Hunting and trapping for the pet trade
- These causes are bringing the birds closer to extinction. For every bird species that were found to be increasing in numbers over the long terms, 11 have suffered losses.
- Following endemic birds included in the high-risk birds on IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List was confirmed as suffering current decline:
- Rufous-fronted Prinia
- Nilgiri Thrush
- Nilgiri Pipit
- Indian vulture
- Common sparrow, though having a stable population have less number in urban areas due to:
- The Decrease in insect population
- Decline in availability of nesting places
- The actions to be taken, as mentioned in the report include:
- Update IUCN Red List of endangered species.
- Collaborative research by scientists and citizens
- Urgent emphasis on habitats of species of high concern (grasslands, wetlands, scrublands and the Western Ghats)
Topic: : Important International institutions, agencies and fora-their structure, mandate.
FATF to review Pakistan status today
- The decisions of the FATF’s plenary session (February 16-21) will come on Friday on whether to retain Pakistan on its “greylist” of the countries of concern, downgrade it to its “blacklist” for non-compliance, or let it off for progress shown.
- India will raise the repeated “politicisation” of the process by Pakistan and are expected to point statements by the leaders of Turkey and Malaysia, who have gone public on their plans to back Pakistan, instead of going by the regulations of the FATF.
- Ahead of the important meeting of the international terror financing watchdog, which is to be held in Beijing, Pakistan had in January urged the US to support its bid to exit from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list.
- The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is based in Paris, France.
- Pakistan has been added to the Grey List for its failure at curbing funnelling of funds to terror groups LeT, JeM and others.
- If Pakistan stays in the Greylist till April, it may move to the blacklist of countries and will face severe economic sanctions as Iran.
- Pakistan had submitted a report to FATF on January 8, answering 150 questions raised by the FATF over Pakistan’s policies on money laundering.
- The report also outlines steps taken by Pakistan’s government between October 2019 to January 2020 to implement the FATF’s recommendations.