Given below are the daily current affairs for 12th Feb. 2021. You can take the daily current affairs quiz here for free.
- POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
17 major OTT players adopt self-regulatory toolkit
The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has said that 17 platforms, including Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video, have adopted a ‘toolkit’ for effective implementation of the self-regulation code introduced in 2020.
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting through a gazette notification had placed ‘Over the Top’ (OTT) platforms or video streaming service providers like Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and digital news under the ambit of the Ministry.
- The change was made through the amendment of the Allocation of Business Rules.
- The move had raised fears of censorship.
- The industry body added that it will set up an ‘IAMAI Secretariat for the Code’, comprising representatives from the signatories to the Code, as well as the IAMAI, for its implementation.
- The toolkit not only aims to set out guiding principles and code of ethics, but it also addresses the feedback received from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on the issues of conflict of interest and prohibited content.
- It particularly aims at strengthening the grievance redressal mechanism.
- It further sets out clear tent poles that the OCCPs [Online Curated Content Provider] need to undertake to achieve a common goal of entertaining millions of Indians responsibly.
- IAMAI said that the toolkit will also provide for procedures to effectuate the various provisions of the Code; assist the signatories in fulfilling their commitments and responsibilities as set out in the Code and achieve effective self-regulation goals as envisioned by the signatories in the Code.
Urban Local Bodies Reforms
Goa becomes the 6th State to complete Urban Local Bodies (ULB) reforms.
- Goa has become the 6th State in the country to successfully undertake Urban Local Bodies (ULB) reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
- Thus, the State has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs. 223 crore through Open Market Borrowings.
- Goa has joined five other States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan and Telangana, who have completed ULB reforms.
Objectives/Need for reforms:
- Reforms in the Urban Local Bodies and the urban utilities reforms are aimed at financial strengthening of ULBs in the states and to enable them to provide better public health and sanitation services. Economically rejuvenated ULBs will also be able to create good civic infrastructure.
The reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure to achieve these objectives are:
- The State will notify –
- Floor rates of property tax in ULBs which are in consonance with the prevailing circle rates (i.e. guideline rates for property transactions)
- Floor rates of user charges in respect of the provision of water-supply, drainage and sewerage which reflect current costs/past inflation.
- The state will put in place a system of periodic increase in floor rates of property tax/user charges in line with price increases.
- To meet the challenges posed by the pandemic, GOI had enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 percent of their GSDP.
- Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the states.
- The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified were:
- Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System (done by 13 states)
- Ease of doing business reform (done by 12 states)
- Urban Local body/utility reforms (done by 6 states)
- Power sector reforms (done by 2 state)
India-Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) Hackathon, 2021
NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission & Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation kick-start the India-Australia Circular Economy (I-ACE) Hackathon, 2021.
About the I-ACE Hackathon:
- Goal of the Hackathon: to enable talented innovative students and start-ups from Australia and India to address common national issues through innovative technology solutions.
- Conducted by: Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Australia’s national science agency (CSIRO).
- The priority themes for the Hackathon are Innovation in packaging – reducing packaging waste, Innovation in food supply chains avoiding waste, Creating opportunities for plastics waste reduction, and Recycling critical energy metals and e-waste.
- I-ACE is supported by the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), AIM Atal Incubation Centre network, and various domain experts.
- 80 teams have been shortlisted from over 1000 applications.
Coordinated disengagement at Pangong Tso, Rajnath tells RS
India and China have reached an agreement on disengagement in the Pangong lake area.
- Both the countries are working to cease their forward deployments in a phased, coordinated and verified manner and it would substantially restore the situation to that existing prior to the commencement of the stand-off in 2020.
- The Chinese side will keep its troop presence in the North Bank area to the east of Finger 8.
- Reciprocally, the Indian troops will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3.
- A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides.
- As part of the agreement, the Indian Army will vacate these peaks and pull back troops and equipment, while China would remove structures between Finger 4 to Finger 8 on North Bank and withdraw troops.
- The final breakthrough in the diplomatic-military level talks deadlock came at the 9th round of military-level talks.
- The Corps Commander-level talks and the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) — helped in formulating a “coherent response” to the Chinese challenge, both militarily and diplomatically.
- India had consistently maintained that while bilateral relations could develop in parallel with discussions on resolving the boundary question, any serious disturbance in peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the border areas was bound to have adverse implications for the direction of bilateral ties.
- The Indian side is going to be extra cautious since the verification process had gone awry the last time — it had led to clashes in Galway Valley where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.
U.S. imposes sanctions on Myanmar
The U.S. President Joe Biden announced sanctions against Myanmar’s Generals and demanded they relinquish power.
- Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been ousted and detained along with other senior figures of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
- The military has seized control of the Southeast Asian nation.
- The coup in Myanmar coincided with the first month of the Biden administration in the U.S., which has promised to bring back the values of democracy and respect for human rights to the core of the U.S. foreign policy.
- Western nations have repeatedly denounced the coup, with the U.S. leading calls for the Generals to renounce power.
- Joe Biden’s administration announced that it was cutting off the Generals’ access to $1 billion in funds in the U.S.
- European Union Foreign Policy Chief also warned the bloc could impose fresh sanctions on Myanmar’s military.
China’s Tianwen-1 probe
China’s Tianwen-1 probe has successfully entered orbit around Mars after a 6-1/2-month journey from Earth.
- In about three months, the Tianwen-1 will attempt to send a landing capsule carrying a 240-kilogram rover in a rapid seven-minute descent onto a massive plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars known as Utopia Planitia.
- China’s first Mars probe is called Tianwen-1 (formerly Huoxing 1).
- The spacecraft consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover.
- Launched last year on a Long March 5 rocket from Xichang, China.
- Landing site: Somewhere in Utopia Planitia, a vast plain in Mars’ northern latitudes and the same place NASA’s Viking 2 mission landed in the 1970s.
- If the mission is successful, China will become the third country to achieve a Mars landing after the USSR and the United States.
There are five core science objectives:
- Create a geological map of Mars.
- Explore the characteristics of the Martian soil and potentially locate water-ice deposits.
- Analyze the surface material composition.
- Investigate the Martian atmosphere and climate at the surface.
- Understand the electromagnetic and gravitational fields of the planet.
You have made it to the end of today’s current affairs.
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