Daily GK Update: 12th December 2019

12 December: International Universal Health Coverage Day

Every year 12 December is celebrated as International Universal Health Coverage Day across the world, as an annual rallying point for the growing movement for health for all. The day is promoted by World Health Organization (WHO).

UNESCO & Dell to train 4,000 school teachers in India with AI-powered digital tech

Dell Technologies yesterday announced a new partnership at TECH 2019 between its Dell in India operation and UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace (MGIEP) to enable school teachers to adopt technology in classrooms. Through this partnership, ‘Dell Aarambh’ a PC for education program by Dell and UNESCO MGIEP’s ‘FramerSpace’ platform, will collaborate to train identified teachers. This partnership is a resultant of meeting the common objective of equipping teachers with the requisite knowledge to implement technology in classrooms, stated Dell in a Press communication.

Source : INDUS DICTUM

Cabinet authorizes NHAI to set up infrastructure investment trust

  • The union Cabinet on Wednesday authorized the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to set up an Infrastructure Investment Trust to monetize highway projects that have a toll collection record of at least one year.
  • The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also authorized NHAI to reserve the right to levy toll on identified national highways.
  • The cabinet approval has come at a time when NHAI is reeling under a debt of nearly Rs 2 lakh crore.
  • According to the Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency (Icra), a credit rating agency, NHAI’s total outstanding debt will increase to Rs 3.30 lakh crore by March 2022.

Source : Hindustan Times

The government launches a portal to showcase Indian culture

Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Tuesday unveiled a portal on Indian culture which, he said, brings together all the cultural resources of the country on one platform. Created by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, in collaboration with IGNOU, over a course of three years, http://www.indian culture.gov.in is a digital resource of documents, artefacts, paintings and other items available in the archive.

Source : The Indian Express

Cabinet approves agreement on social security between India and Brazil

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing the agreement on social security between the Republic of India and the Federative Republic of Brazil.
  • India has been entering into bilateral Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with other countries in order to protect the interests of Indian professionals, skilled workers working abroad for short durations and enhance the competitiveness of Indian companies, read a statement.
  • SSAs provide the benefits of avoiding making of double social security contributions by the workers (detachment); easy remittance of benefits (exportability); and aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (totalisation).

Source : Business Standard

Cabinet approves Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme

  • Scheme to help NBFCs/HFCs resolve their temporary liquidity or cash flow mismatch issues.
  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the “Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme”, to be offered by the Government of India (Gol) to Public Sector Banks (PSBs) for purchasing high-rated pooled assets from financially sound Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) / Housing Finance Companies (HFCs), with the amount of overall guarantee being limited to first loss of up to 10% of fair value of assets being purchased by the banks under the Scheme, or Rs 10000 crore, whichever is lower, as agreed by Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
  • The scheme would cover NBFCs / HFCs that may have slipped into SMA-0 category during the one year period prior to 1 August 2018, and asset pools rated “BBB+” or higher.

Source : Business Standard

Social Security Code Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

  • Labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, on Wednesday, introduced the Social Security Code Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha, paving way for universalisation of social security for 50 crore workers in the country. Union Cabinet had approved the bill last week.
  • The Bill proposes setting up a social security fund using corpus available under corporate social responsibility. This fund will provide welfare benefits such as pension, medical cover, and death and disablement benefits to all workers,
    including gig workers.
Source : The Economic Times

Cabinet approves Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • Amendments aim to remove certain difficulties being faced during insolvency resolution process.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal to make amendments in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (code), through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019.
  • The amendments aim to remove certain difficulties being faced during insolvency resolution process to realise the objects of the code and to further ease doing of business.

Source : Business Standard

Cabinet approves introduction of Aircraft Amendment Bill in Parliament

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to introduce the Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for carrying out the amendments to the Aircraft Act, 1934 (XXII of 1934).
  • The Bill will now be introduced in the Parliament. The Bill enhances the maximum limit of fine from the existing Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. One Crore. It also enlarges the scope of the existing Act to include regulation of all areas of Air Navigation.
  • The amendments would fulfil the requirements of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). This will enable the three regulatory bodies in the Civil Aviation sector in India, namely Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau to become more effective, which will lead to enhancement in the level of safety and security of aircraft operations in the country.

Source : Business Standard

Cabinet approves MoU between Central Drugs Standard Control Organization and Saudi Food and Drug Authority

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved ex-post facto the Memorandum of Understanding between Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and Saudi Food and Drug Authority in the field of Medical Products Regulation. The MoU was signed on October 29, 2019 during the visit of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Saudi Arabia.
  • The MoU would facilitate better understanding of the regulatory aspects between the two sides and help in increasing India’s export of medical products to Saudi Arabia. It will also enable better coordination in international fora.

Source : Express Pharma

BIMSTEC: International Seminar on Climate Smart Farming Systems held in New Delhi

  • A three day “International Seminar on Climate Smart Farming systems” is being held in New Delhi.
  • The objective of the seminar is to enable improvement of tropical small holder farming system that are resilient to climate change and will provide greater productivity.
  • The alliance has three aspirational outcomes namely improving farmers, building climate resilient farmers and reducing green house gases emitted due to agriculture.

Source : The World News Monitor

Cabinet approves pact between India-Japan in steel sector

  • The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the governments of India and Japan to constitute the ‘India-Japan Steel Dialogue’ to strengthen cooperation in steel sector.
  • The ‘India-Japan Steel Dialogue’ envisages enhancement of mutual understanding to secure sustainable growth in the steel sector, read a statement.
  • It aims to examine all aspects of cooperation in steel sector including promotion of investment in high grade steel-making and finding new avenues of steel usage in India. The MoC will help in capacity building for high grade steel manufacturing in India.

Source : Business Standard

World’s newest nation: Bougainville votes for independence from Papua New Guinea

On December 11, 2019, the South Pacific Archipelago of Bougainville voted to become independent of Papua New Guinea. Around 98% of 1,81,067 voters voted to get independent from Papua New Guinea.