Current Affairs

15th January 2020 Current Affairs for UPSC IAS Exam

Read Daily Current Affairs of 15th January 2020 for UPSC Civil Services (IAS) Prelims and Mains Exam 2020.

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Daily Current Affairs of 15th January 2020

Read Current Affairs Notes of 15th January 2020 for UPSC Civil Services Prelims and Mains Examination 2020. Highlighting all National and International contemporary issues important from the exam point of view.

GS-2, GS-3, Prelims

Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc. / Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

State to propose changes to the new Motor Vehicle Act

What is the news?

  • The state government of Maharashtra is seeking to make some changes in the Centre’s amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019.
  • The state government has decided to do so in order to make penalties/fines in accordance with the nature of the offence.
  • They felt some penalties were too high.
  • For instance, the penalty for speeding is equal for all. If a person is driving at 40 km per hour and another at 90 km per hour, on a road with a speed limit of 30 km per hour. Both of them will attract equal penalty, which is not fair as 90 km per hour vehicle poses more threat than the one at 40 km per hour.
  • Several states refused to implement the Centre’s amended Motor Vehicle Act, 2019.
  • Centre had earlier this month, written to all states to implement the act, failing which they would attract provisions of Article 356.

Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019

  • Implemented in India from 1 September 2019.
  • Has increased the fines for many offences to reduce road accidents and increase road safety.
  • For example: earlier driving without driving license drew a fine of Rs.500 and now it has increased to Rs. 5000. Similarly driving without helmet was fined with Rs. 100 and now it is Rs. 1000.

GS-3, Prelims

Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

CRZ rules eased for ‘Blue Flag’ beaches

What is the news?

With a January9 order, the Environment Ministry eased Coastal Regulation Zones (CRZ) Guidelines for construction near beaches for the “Purposes of Blue Flag certification”.

What is Blue Flag certification?

  • It is an international recognition provided to beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environment propriety. Such as:
  • Portable toilet blocks
  • Greywater treatment plants
  • A solar power plant
  • Seating facilities
  • CCTV surveillance
  • Last year the Environment ministry conferred the Blue Flag certification to 13 beaches, which are:
    • Ghoghala beach (Diu)
    • Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat)
    • Bhogave beach (Maharashtra)
    • Padubidri beach (Karnataka)
    • Kasarkod beach (Karnataka)
    • Kappad Beach (Kerala)
    • Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu)
    • Eden Beach (Puducherry)
    • Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh)
    • Miramar Beach (Goa)
    • Golden Beach (Odisha)
    • Radhanagar Beach (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)
    • Bangaram Beach (Lakshadweep)
  • The notification of January 9 stated that certain construction can be done on beaches, including on Islands, at a 10meters distance from HTL (High Tide Line).
  • Certification is provided by Denmark based Foundation for Environment Education. It has 33 strict criteria under four major heads for the beaches, which include:
    • Environmental education and information
    • Bathing water quality
    • Environment management and conservation
    • Safety and services
  • The ’Blue Flag’ beach is an ‘Eco-Tourism model’.
  • First started in France in 1985, in Europe since 1987 and in outside Europe since 2001 (when South Africa joined).

GS-2, Prelims

Topic: Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Policy on rare diseases another piece of paper

What is the news?

  • The National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2020 has been released and groups working on rare diseases have called it just an illusion with no mention of a long-term plan on finances to be provided, etc.
  • The government has proposed Rs. 15 Lakh under an umbrella scheme of Rashtriya Aarogya Nidhi for rare diseases that require one-time treatment.
  • Beneficiaries would not be limited to only BPL families and are to be extended to 40% population eligible per the norms of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
  • Alternative funding will be acquired online through voluntary individual and corporate donors.

GS-2, Prelims

Topic: Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources. /Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

ASER flags poor learning outcomes in rural schools

What is the news?

Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2019, released by NGO Pratham (by surveying students aged 4 to 8 years) have the following conclusions:

  • Only 16% of students of class 1st in 26 surveyed rural districts over 24 states can read the text at the prescribed level.
  • 40% couldn’t even recognize alphabets.
  • Only 41% of children were able to recognize two-digit numbers.
  • They gave solutions to problems which are as follows:
  • Not to spend longer hours teaching the children
  • Focus on cognitive skills rather than on subject learning
  • Also, not to permit underage children into primary grades– it puts them at a learning disadvantage.
  • Global research shows that 90% of brain growth occurs by age 5- early childhood education has a crucial impact on the development and schooling of a child.
  • Several factors affect the quality of education a child receives at a younger age:
  • Home background of the child
  • Mother’s education level .
  • Type of school
  • Child’s age in Class 1st

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