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1st August, 2020 Current Affairs

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National
Lokmanya Tilak’s 100th death anniversary
Current Affairs Prime Minister Narendra Modi today remembered Lokmanya Tilak on his 100th Punya Tithi.
About Lokmanya Tilak
  • Bal Gangadhar Tilak (or Lokmanya Tilak, About this soundpronunciation (help•info); 23 July 1856 – 1 August 1920), born as Keshav Gangadhar Tilak, was an Indian nationalist, teacher, and an independence activist. He was one third of the Lal Bal Pal triumvirate.
  • Tilak was the first leader of the Indian Independence Movement. The British colonial authorities called him "The father of the Indian unrest." He was also conferred with the title of "Lokmanya", which means "accepted by the people (as their leader)".
  • Mahatma Gandhi called him "The Maker of Modern India".
  • Tilak was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj ("self-rule") and a strong radical in Indian consciousness. He is known for his quote in Marathi: "Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!". He formed a close alliance with many Indian National Congress leaders including Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Aurobindo Ghose, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Continue with Food Security Allowance In lieu of Mid-Day meal: Govt
Government has asked the concerned authorities to continue with the Food Security Allowance comprising food grains, pulses, oil and others to ensure nutrition and health among school-going children even when schools are closed. The allowance will be equivalent to the cooking cost.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said it will be given to all eligible children in lieu of hot cooked meals under Mid Day Meal Scheme.
The regular Mid Day Meal will resume when the schools reopen.

Bipartisan support in US grows for India against Chinese aggression in Ladakh
India has received a strong bipartisan support from members of the US Congress against the recent Chinese military aggression in Ladakh. In the last few weeks, dozens of lawmakers, across the aisle, both on the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate and outside the Capitol have praised India for standing strong against the Chinese efforts to grab Indian territories.
  • Addressing the US House of Representatives, Congressman Frank Pallone, one of the senior-most Democratic lawmakers, asked China to end its military aggression. Other lawmakers also condemned the recent Chinese aggression along the LAC in Ladakh region.
  • At a time when there is a bitter political divide in Washington DC, influential lawmakers from both the GOP and Democratic Party have been supporting Indian stand against China.

International
US imposes sanctions on Chinese company over human rights abuse in Xinjiang
  • US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said that sanctions have been imposed on Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps of China and two of its officials for their connection to serious human rights abuse on the Uyghur community in Xinjiang. After the sanctions imposed by the US Department of Treasury, Mr Pompeo urged countries worldwide to condemn the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their continuous human rights abuse against its own citizens.
  • The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned one Chinese government entity and two current or former government officials in connection with serious rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
  • The entity and officials are being designated for their connection to serious human rights abuse against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. These include mass arbitrary detention and severe physical abuse, among other serious abuses targeting Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic minorities in the region.

ISA amends framework agreement to enable UN member states to join grouping
In a major development and push to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of achieving universalization of membership of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the requisite numbers of member countries have given the go-ahead.
  • After ratification to the amendment of the ISA framework, all the Member States of the United Nations will now be able to join the International Solar Alliance, including those countries which are beyond the Tropics.
  • The International Solar Alliance was launched jointly by Prime Minister Modi and the President of France during COP21 in Paris. The alliance aims to contribute to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy. It also brings together countries to provide a collective response to the main common obstacles to the massive deployment of solar energy in terms of technology, finance and capacity.

ADB signs Dollar 200 million financing deal with Reliance for power plant in Bangladesh
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a dollar 200 million financing deal with the Reliance Bangladesh LNG and Power Limited (RBLPL) to build and operate a 718 megawatt combined-cycle gas-fired power plant in Bangladesh. Announcing the deal in a press release on Friday, the ADB said that the project will ease ongoing energy shortages and drive further private sector investments in the country’s power sector.
  • A combined-cycle power plant is a relatively more efficient way of producing electricity. It uses both a gas and a steam turbine together to produce up to 50 percent more electricity from the same fuel than a traditional simple-cycle plant.
  • The financing deal has two components of dollar 100 million each. While ADB will provide dollar 100 million, it will also administer the other part worth dollar 100 million from the Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP).
  • LEAP was set up in 2016 with a dollar 1.5 billion capital commitment for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
  • The plant is proposed to be located on land allotted by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), in Meghnaghat, Narayanganj District near Dhaka.
  • The power plant will reduce dependence of Bangladesh on electricity imports. It will also reduce the share of environmentally harmful and expensive fuels like coal and oil in the energy mix of the country.

US urges Pak to reform blasphemy laws
Expressing shock and outrage at the killing of American citizen Tahir Naseem inside a courtroom in Pakistan, the US has urged Islamabad to immediately reform its often-abused blasphemy laws and bring the culprit to justice.
  • Naseem, 57, accused of blasphemy, was shot multiple times at close range inside Peshawar's Judicial Complex on Wednesday as he awaited to be shifted to prison. He died on the spot.
  • The US government has been providing consular assistance to Naseem and his family since his detention in 2018
  • Pakistan's blasphemy laws are indefensible, to begin with, but it is outrageous beyond belief that the Pakistani government was incapable of keeping an individual from being murdered within a court of law for his faith, and a US citizen, nonetheless, said United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Commissioner Johnnie Moore in a statement.
  • As USCIRF has noted countless times, Pakistan's blasphemy law inflames inter-religious tensions and too often leads to violence.

Govt steps up efforts to create robust health infrastructure in the country
  • Government has stepped up its efforts to create a robust health infrastructure in the country. In the last six years, the government has taken several major steps to provide affordable and quality healthcare to the people.
  • Building a New India where every person gets affordable healthcare services is the primary goal of the central government. To achieve this target, the government has taken several historic decisions in the last few years which proved instrumental in creating the modern health care system.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to provide 15 thousand crore rupees for building the health infrastructure in the country. Over 30 thousand crore rupees were spent on setting up new AIIMS in the country.
  • Besides, 75 new government medical colleges have also been approved by the government. Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan ArogyaYojana has also proved to be a new lifeline in the lives of poor people. Under this scheme, over one crore hospital treatments have been provided to the poor people so far.
  • Women and Child health care is one of the key focus areas of the government. To provide healthy nutrition and treatment to women and children, several schemes like Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritav Abhiyan were initiated which resulted in low maternal and child mortality rate.
Published on 8/1/2020 5:49:00 PM