Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 20 July 2021
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 20 July 2021
Congress Demands Pegasus Probe By Joint Parliamentary Panel
The Congress on Tuesday stepped up its attack on the government over the Pegasus snooping controversy and demanded a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The opposition party along with other parties also stalled proceedings of both houses of Parliament while raising the issue.
Opposition members raised uproar in both houses and demanded a thorough probe into the charges of snooping on journalists, politicians, ministers, judges and others using Israeli Pegasus spyware.
Leaders of various political parties also met before the start of proceedings in both houses of Parliament to decide their strategy on the issue. Several of them had also given adjournment notices in both houses demanding a discussion on the issue.
Congress spokesperson ShaktisinhGohil said the government should clearly tell whether it has purchased the Pegasus spyware or not and hold a joint parliamentary probe.
US, allies accuse China of Microsoft Exchange hack
The United States and its Nato, EU and Five Eyes allies on Monday jointly accused the Chinese government of using “criminal contract hackers” to carry out the hacking of Microsoft Exchange’s mail servers earlier this year that impacted tens of thousands of entities around the world.
The White House has called the move “unprecedented”. This is the first instance of the Nato, a military alliance of 30 nations, condemning China for cyberattacks.
The collection of countries in this effort is the largest to jointly denounce aggressive cyber operations by China. The EU has 27 members, and the Five Eyes is an intelligence sharing pact of the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It could not be immediately ascertained if India, which was also impacted by the Microsoft hacking, was invited to join or chose not to.
A senior Biden administration official, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said “we’re expecting additional countries in the coming weeks”.
The United States and its allies are “exposing the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) use of criminal contract hackers to conduct unsanctioned cyber operations globally, including for their own personal profit”, the White House.
Government exempts importers from stock limit on pulses
The Central Government has relaxed stock limits for Millers and wholesalers and exempted importers from the stock limits after considering the softening of the prices and feedback received from State Governments and various stake holders. These entities will however continue to declare stocks on the web portal of Department of Consumer Affairs.
The Stock Limits will be applicable only to Tur, Urad, Gram and Masur. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in a statement said that the revised order provides that stock will be applicable only on tur, masoor, urad, and chana, for a period up to 31st October this year. The Ministry said, for wholesalers, the stock limit will be 500 Metric Tonnes, provided there should not be more than 200 Metric Tonnes of one variety, for retailers, the stock limit will be 5 Metric Tonnes and for Millers, stock limits will be last the 6 months’ production or 50 percent of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher.
This relaxation for Millers will have a down-streaming effect in terms of giving an assurance to farmers at this critical juncture of kharif sowing of Tur and Urad. The Ministry said Government of India is committed to adopt timely measures for curbing prices and has substantially alleviated the concerns and anguish of the common man. At the same time, the policy interventions are monitored closely to gauge the impact and calibrated as per emerging developments to safeguard the interests of all sections of society.
Unemployment rate in urban India stood at 20.8% in April-June quarter 2020: Labor Minister BhupendraYadav
Labour minister BhupenderYadav on Monday said that India witnessed an unemployment rate of 20.8% in urban India in the April-June quarter 2020, a period which witnessed two months of stringent nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, retail sales in India declined by 50% in June due to the continued restrictions in the wake of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, as compared to the same month in 2019 before the health crisis hit, according to the Retailers Association of India (RAI). The industry body said the highest decline was witnessed in the sports goods category at 66%, while foods and grocery had the least with a dip of just 7% as compared to June 2019.
Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian reportedly said on Friday that the country's economy will start witnessing a growth of 6.5% to 7% from fiscal 2023 onwards, helped by various reforms undertaken by the government so far and also as COVID-19 vaccination drive progresses. Subramanian expects the impact of the second wave not to be very significant.
::Science and tech::
No more broken mobile screens: Bengal researchers develop self-healing material
A group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, developed a new class of materials that they claim can repair themselves when fractured, within milliseconds.
The research has also made it to the coveted Science journal published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The scientists claimed that the highly crystalline materials, when broken into pieces, can self-heal and re-join in a matter of a second, and repair themselves so precisely that they become indistinguishable from the undisturbed materials.
The scientists hope that the discovery can spark a revolution in the field of digital technology, such as broken screens of gadgets and other new-age technologies.
The researchers said materials applied in technologies undergo mechanical impacts which often make the devices irreparable. The idea prompted the team to delve deep in search of self-repairing materials to enhance the longevity of the devices without external intervention.
Punching new letters in Boxing history: DronacharyaSandhu on India's chances
It was under his tutelage that Indian boxers delivered some unparalleled medal hauls and former national coach believes history will be re-written in Tokyo with the country winning more than one Olympic medal in boxing for the very first time.
Till date, India has two medals in boxing -- the 2008 Beijing bronze from Vijender Singh and the 2012 London Games bronze from M C Mary Kom. Sandhu was the national men's coach in both the editions.