Daily GK Update: 12th June 2020

COVID-19: Protect children from child labour, now more than ever

  • World Day Against Child Labour 2020 focuses on the impact of crisis on child labour. The COVID-19 health pandemic and the resulting economic and labour market shock are having a huge impact on people’s lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, children are often the first to suffer. The crisis can push millions of vulnerable children into child labour. Already, there are an estimated 152 million children in child labour, 72 million of which are in hazardous work. These children are now at even greater risk of facing circumstances that are even more difficult and working longer hours.
  • This year, the World Day is conducted as a virtual campaign and is being organized jointly with the Global March Against Child Labour and the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA) .
  • A joint ILO-UNICEF paper on the impact of COVID-19 on child labour, to be released on 12 June, looks at some of the main channels through which the pandemic is likely to affect progress towards the eradication of child labour.

Source: United Nations

PM Modi addresses 95th Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Annual Plenary Session 2020

  • Addressing the Industry heads, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the country is fighting multiple challenges on many fronts.
  • PM affirmed that these odds have further strengthened the determination of the country. Highlighting the importance of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, PM said, the country is determined to convert the challenges into an opportunity and termed self-reliance as the key solution to pave path for the Post COVID world.
  • PM Modi said, self-reliance has been paramount in government’s policy decisions in the last 6 years and maintained that the COVID crisis has given an opportunity to speed up efforts in this direction.
  • Remembering Swami Vivekananda’s mantra for Indian’s to use their own produce and find markets in other countries, PM termed self-reliance as the key solution for India. PM Modi said that Swami Vivekananda has shown the path for a Post COVID world.

Source: DD News

EPS pensioners can submit digital life certificates

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Thursday said pensioners of its Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) could submit life certificates closer to home, at any of the 3.65 lakh common service centres.
  • “In recognition of the need to bring service delivery closer to the doorstep of EPS pensioners, especially during the challenging times of COVID -19 pandemic, EPFO has partnered with CSCs [Common Service Centres] to provide the facility to submit Digital Jeevan Pramaan. By leveraging the last mile network of over 3.65 lakh CSCs, EPFO provides its 65 lakh pensioners facility to submit Digital Jeevan Pramaan closer to their residence,” an EPFO statement said.

Source: The Hindu

Australian honour for Indian musician

  • Shobha Sekhar, founder of Kalakruthi, music organisation in Australia is a happy person. The Melbourne-based artiste and lecturer, University of Melbourne, figures in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List and will be conferred the Medal of the Order of Australia later this year.
  • The message from David Hurley, Governor general and Chancellor of the Order of Australia says: “Through the Order of Australia, Bravery Decorations and other awards we recognise and celebrate outstanding Australians — ordinary people, who do extraordinary things for their local community and for Australia… It is for these men and women that the Australian honours system exists, providing much-deserved recognition, acknowledgement and gratitude on behalf of all Australians.” Tony Abbott, former Prime Minister of Australia and Michael Clark, cricketer, are among those nominated.

Source: The Hindu

Soil Health Trailblazer Honored as 2020 World Food Prize Laureate

  • Leading soil scientist Dr. Rattan Lal was announced today as the 2020 World Food Prize Laureate for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change.
  • The 2020 Laureate Announcement Ceremony featured pre-recorded remarks from the U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue with World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson announcing the name of the Laureate.
  • “The world’s population continues to grow, and we need to use the resources we have more productively and efficiently to make sure everyone has enough food on their table,” said Secretary Pompeo. “Dr. Lal’s research in soil science shows that the solution to this problem is right under our feet. He’s helping the earth’s estimated 500 million small farmers be faithful stewards of their land though improved management, less soil degradation, and the recycling of nutrients. The billions of people who depend on these farms stand to benefit greatly from his work.”

Source: The World Food Prize

U.S. religious freedom report takes note of CAA, NRC, J&K status

  • The U.S. State Department has released its annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Report, a survey of the state of religious freedom across the world, submitted to the U.S. Congress.
  • The country report for India, which looks back on the developments in 2019, takes note of the change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). It discusses in detail mob lynchings and anti-conversion laws and related issues.
  • “Issues of religiously inspired mob violence, lynching and communal violence were sometimes denied or ignored by lawmakers,” according to NGOs and media outlets, the report says. “Some officials of Hindu-majority parties, including from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made inflammatory public remarks or social media posts against minority communities,” it says.

Source: The Hindu

ISRO to organize online ISRO Cyberspace Competitions – 2020

  • A press release issued by the space agency today says that ICC-2020 online competition will involve drawing competition for Class 1 to 3 students, model making competition for Class 4 to 8 and Essay competition for Class 9 and 10th students.
  • For the students of class 11 and 12, essay competition is organized with space quiz contests in Hindi and English.
  • Registration for students is possible on https://icc2020.isro.gov.in/icc/register.jsp and more details are available on ISRO website www.isro.gov.in/ICC-2020.

Source: DD News

Himachal launches ‘Panchvati’ Yojana for the elderly folks

  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today launched ‘Panchvati Yojna’ for senior citizens of rural areas of the state under which parks and gardens would be developed in every development block with necessary facilities.
  • He said that the main objective of this Yojna, which is being taken up in link up with MNREGA scheme, is to provide opportunity to the elderly people to spend their leisure time strolling in these parks and gardens.
  • The Chief Minister said that these parks and gardens would be developed on levelled land of minimum one bigha with convergence of MGNREGA, Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) and 14th Finance Commission to enhance the life expectancy keeping in view the health requirements of the senior citizens.

Source: The Statesman

Former Planning Commission member Dr Vaidyanathan passes away in Coimbatore

  • Dr A Vaidyanathan, a former member of the Government of India’s Planning Commission, passed away late night on Wednesday in Coimbatore.
  • During his lifetime, Dr Vaidyanathan also served as professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies and Centre for Development Studies in Trivandrum.
  • Dr Vaidyanathan chaired the Government of India Task Force on Revival of Cooperative Credit Institutions in 2004 and was a member of the K.N. Raj Committee on Taxation of Agricultural Income (1969-70).
  • A student of Loyola College in Madras, Dr Vaidyanathan earned his doctoral degree in economics from Cornell University, USA and joined the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) in 1956. His colleagues at NCAER at the time included the late Dr Ashok Mitra, former finance minister of West Bengal.

Source: Business Standard

Union HRD Minister virtually releases “India Rankings 2020” for Higher Educational Institutions in New Delhi today

  • Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, today released “India Rankings 2020” of Institutions of Higher Education in various categories on the basis of their performance on five broad categories of parameters.
  • The Minister released India Rankings 2020 virtually in 10 categories in the presence of Minister of State for HRD ,Shri Sanjay Dhotre. Additional Secretary (Higher Education),Shri Rakesh Ranjan, MHRD; Chairman UGC, Prof. D. P. Singh; Chairman, AICTE Anil Sahasrabudhe; Chairman NBA, Prof. K.K. Aggarwal; Member Secretary NBA, Dr. Anil Kumar Nassa, and representatives of Higher Education Institutions witnessed the release through video conferencing.
  • This is the fifth consecutive edition of India Rankings of the institutions of higher education in India. In 2020, an addition to nine rankings ie one domain “Dental” has been introduced for the first time bringing the total tally to 10 categories / subject domains.

Source: Ministry of Human Resource Development