Current Affairs (National) – Jan – 2020

Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed in Rajya Sabha on December 11, 2019. It was passed by 125 votes in favor while 105 members voted against it. Some people are opposing this bill while some people are supporting it. President Ram Nath Kovid also approved the bill. It will clear the path for Hindus from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as for Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians to gain Indian citizenship.

  1. The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 (CAB) will be granted citizenship of India to Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Parsi, Jain, and Buddhist people who have fled from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh due to the religious persecution.
  2. The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 covers 6 communities – Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian migrants.
  3. Such illegal migrants who have entered India by December 31, 2014 will be able to apply for Indian citizenship.
  4. Right now, it is compulsory to reside in India for 11 years to get Indian citizenship. The new bill reduces the residency limit to six years.

All review petitions against Ayodhya verdict dismissed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on December 12, 2019 dismissed all the review petitions submitted against its historic November 9 verdict on the Ayodhya dispute. The top court rejected all the petitions after failing to find any merit in the claims.

The review petitions were taken up for consideration by a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising CJI S A Bobde and Justices D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, S A Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna. The top court had considered only those review petitions, which belonged to the parties of the four lawsuits filed initially in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case.

National Broadband Mission: Govt aims broadband access to all villages by 2022

The government of India has launched National Broadband Mission (NBM) with an aim to provide an internet connection to all villages by 2022. The affiliated parties will invest Rs 7 lakh crore in the coming years. In rural areas, broadband access will be made available on a universal and equal basis.

Union Minister of Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated this mission. He said that govt aims to improve the quality of mobile and internet services through National Broadband Mission. He also said that technology infrastructure will be strengthened in the fields of education, health,  entrepreneurship, and development through this mission.

PM Modi renames Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel

The central government has renamed Rohtang Pass as ‘Atal Tunnel’ recently. This tunnel connects Leh and Manali regions. It was announced on the occasion of 95th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Rohtang Tunnel connecting Manali to Leh will now be known as Atal Tunnel. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said in his tweet that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled the long pending demand of re-naming the tunnel. He also said that it will be a tribute to the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

President Kovind signs order to extend ILP regime to Manipur

The President of India Ram Nath Kovind has signed Citizen Amendment Bill 2019 (CAB). Now, it has become law but north-eastern states are protesting against this bill. Union Home Minister Amit Shah made it clear that this bill will not be applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura (about 70%) and almost entire Meghalaya because of Inner Line Permit in these states.

President Ram Nath Kovind signed an order to extend Inner Line Permit (ILP) to Manipur on December 12. In Assam, the Bodo, Karbi, and Dimasa areas fall under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, so this law will not apply there too.

World Malaria Report 2019: India reported largest reduction in malaria cases in 2018

India witnessed a sharp reduction in malaria cases between 2017 and 2018, according to the World Malaria Report 2019, which was released by UN’s World Health Organisation (WHO) on December 4, 2019.

The World Malaria Report 2019 provided a comprehensive update on the burden of malaria cases and deaths across the globe. India was reported to be one of the only two nations that achieved a reduction in malaria cases among the 11 nations that carry the maximum burden of malaria across the world.

Paramilitary Forces to use Khadi in Uniforms

The paramilitary personnel will now wear Khadi uniforms as the instructions released by Home Minister Amit Shah recently. Amit Shah instructed the heads of paramilitary forces to use the Make-in-India products.

Now, more than 10 lakh soldiers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), National Security Guard (NSG) and Assam Rifles will wear Khadi uniforms.

BharatNet Project: Govt to provide free WiFi to all villages till March 2020

Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad recently said that free WiFi will be provided to all the villages across the country through BharatNet by March 2020. Currently, 48,000 villages have been connected via BharatNet project.

Union Minister said that we have connected 1.3 lakh Gram Panchayats with BharatNet optical fiber. He also said that our goal is to connect 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats with BharatNet optical fiber.

  1. BharatNet project aims to connect more than 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats with high-speed broadband through the optical fiber at affordable prices.
  2. BharatNet Project was earlier known as OFC (Optical Fiber Communication Network) Project.
  3. It will provide broadband speed from 2 to 20 Mbps.
  4. It is proposed to provide broadband connectivity for government institutions at the district level.

Cabinet approves Atal Bhujal Yojana with total outlay of Rs. 6000 crore

The Cabinet approved Atal Bhujal Yojana, a Central Sector Scheme with total outlay of six thousand crore rupees. The scheme will be implemented over a period of 5 years in identified areas in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The Cabinet also approved conduct of Census of India 2021 and updation of National Population Register. Cabinet approved expenditure of over 8 thousand 754 crore rupees for the exercise of Census of India 2021 and over 3 thousand 941 crore rupees for
updation of National Population Register.

Indian Navy bans Facebook use by naval personnel

The Indian Navy has banned the use of facebook by the naval personnel. The use of messaging apps, networking and blogging apps, content sharing, hosting and e-commerce sites has also been banned. The Indian Navy has also banned the use of smartphones at naval bases, dockyards and aboard warships.

The harsh step was taken by the Indian Navy following an incident in which seven naval personnel were caught leaking confidential information to enemy  intelligence agencies using social media platforms.

SBI Introduces OTP-based ATM Transactions For Withdrawal of Amounts Above Rs 10,000

State Bank of India (SBI) customers will able to make ATM withdrawal above Rs 10,000 only after OTP verification. The OTP validated ATM transaction introduced to minimize the number of unauthorized transactions. The introduction of its OTP-based cash withdrawal facility, State Bank ATM added another layer of security for cash withdrawals. The facility will not be applicable for transactions, where a State Bank cardholder withdraws cash from another bank’s ATM, because this functionality not developed in National Financial Switch (NFS). The Card holder enters the amount they wish to withdraw; the ATM screen displays the OTP window. The customer to enter the OTP received on the registered mobile number to complete the transaction.

HDFC Bank becomes third Indian company to cross $100 billion-mark

HDFC Bank crossed the $100 billion market capitalization became the third firm in the country to achieve this milestone. HDFC Bank has a market cap of $140.74 billion, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) a market cap of $114.60 billion. HDFC Bank ranks 110th in the list of world’s most valued companies. There are 109 companies on the list with a market cap of over $100 billion. The world’s most valued banks and financial companies which have a market cap of over $100 billion, HDFC Bank ranked at 26.