1. 6 February as International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is recognized/observed/celebrated on 6 February to end the practice of FGM. It generates awareness about FGM which is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
On this day, a campaign called ‘A Piece of Me’ is organized by the UGFPA to commemorate the three survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM).
The theme for the year 2020 is “Unleashing Youth Power: One decade of accelerating actions for zero female genital mutilation”. The topic focuses on mobilizing youth around the eradication of harmful practices, including FGM.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM):
FGM is the practice of partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injuries on the female genital organs due to non-medical reasons. It is mostly done on infants and girls between the ages of 15 years. It causes problems including severe bleeding, urination problems, ulcers, infections and other complications in childbirth and the risk of neonatal death. The practice is practiced mainly in the north-eastern, eastern and western parts of Africa.
2. India listed 40th in the International IP Index
India listed 40th on a global International Intellectual Property (IP) Index. It was published by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce. GIPC has administered a survey for 53 countries.
- India scored 38.46% (19.23 out of 50) in 2020. It was scored 36.04% (16.22 out of 45) in 2019.
- According to the report, India has shown improvement in terms of scores in the protection of IP and copyright issues. India showed a jump of 2.42% in an absolute score.
- Also, India’s relative score increased by 6.71%.
- The GIPC said that India continued to score well in these indicators, surpassing 28 other economies in systemic efficiency indicators.
- The report identified several challenges for India including mandatory licensing, transparency in reporting seizures by customs, patent requirements, patent opposition, patent enforcement, regulatory data protection, Singapore Treaty of Trademark Law and Patent Law Treaty.
3. As per SASE report, the Himalayas get 20 percent above normal snowfall in 30 years
The Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) report on the mid-winter assessment affirmed that snowfall received from November 2019 to January 2020 was the highest in the past 30 years.
- Snowfall during the first half of the winter running in the Western Himalayas has been about 20% above the long-term average.
- It also predicted that snowfall would be good in the Himalayas from February to April.
- The winter season over the Himalayas officially lasts from November to April.
- It said that the strong El Nino in the eastern Pacific Ocean during the year 2019 favored a significant increase in snowfall over the western and central Himalayas in the current winter season.
Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE):
SASE is the laboratory of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). It is located in Manali. The main objective of SASE is to conduct research in the field of ice and avalanches. It provides avalanche control measures and forecasting support to the armed forces.
4. Cabinet passed amendments to bring cooperative banks under RBI regulation
The Union Cabinet has passed the proposal to amend the Banking Regulation Act. The move occurs after the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank crisis.
Amendment to Banking Regulation Act:
- The amendment will take the cooperative banks under the regulatory mechanism of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- It will ensure greater transparency and accountability in the functioning of cooperative banks.
- Co-operative banks are required to meet the regulatory requirements prescribed for scheduled commercial banks.
- The amendment would give RBI the power to control weak co-operative banks.
5. Cabinet cleared 2020 IIIT Laws Amendment Bill
The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi has cleared the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Bill will approve the formalization of IIITs at Bhagalpur, Agartala, Raichur, Bhopal, and Surat. The institutions will now be included under the IIIT (PPP) Act, 2017.
Provisions of the Bill:
- Bill purposes to support higher education and research in the field of Information Technology.
- The Bill holds the remaining 5 IIITs-PPP (IIITs at Agartala, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Raichur, and Surat) as Institutions of National Importance along with the other 15 IIITs established under the scheme in PPP mode.
- The Bill grants the institutes to award degrees.
6. India International Seafood Show is to be organized in Kochi
From 7-9 February 2020, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will conduct the 22nd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS) 2020 in Kochi.
The three-day event is directed by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in association with the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).
The theme for the year 2020 is “Blue Revolution- Beyond Production to Value Addition”.
7. Salmara Mankachar district got National Award for implementing Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana
National Award is given to the district of South Salmara Mankachar of Assam for implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana under the category of State/Union Territory having a population of more than one crore conferred by the Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani in a prize distribution meeting held at New Delhi.
The award acknowledged Assam’s performance in implementing the scheme. Only 24% of the targeted beneficiaries of the district were covered in April 2019. The department improved its performance to cover 95% of the targeted beneficiaries.
8. President conferred the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy
On 6 February 2020, the President of India Ram Nath Kovind is presenting the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr. N.S. Dharmashaktu under the Individual category and The Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category.
Government’s measure on leprosy:
The government has defined the levels of leprosy eradication defined as less than one case per ten thousand population. Also, stigma and prejudice against leprosy have been significantly reduced through efforts by researchers, scientists, organizations and community activists. It should be recognized that new cases keep coming up and a high burden of disease remains in the pocket.
The government is now taking measures to speed up efforts towards early detection of leprosy cases, to provide equal access to appropriate treatment and to provide integrated leprosy services in geographically focused areas.
It is making people aware and educated about this disease and its various dimensions.
9. Rakhi Halder got gold at Senior Women’s National Weightlifting Championships
At Khudiram Anushilan Kendra in Kolkata, Rakhi Halder of Bengal has won gold in the 64kg category of the 35th edition of the Senior Women’s National Weightlifting Championships on 5 January 2020. She lifted 93 kg in snatch and 117 kg in clean and jerk and lifted 10kg ahead of Harjinder Kaur of Chandigarh, her rival.
Halder is placed 19th in the Olympic qualifiers list. She has particular best of 218 kg (123 kg in clean and jerk and 95kg in the snatch) at the Qatar International Cup in 2019 and won the bronze medal. At the Commonwealth Championship, she bagged gold with a total lift of 214-kg in June 2019.
10. India became second-largest steel producer of Crude Steel
According to the World Steel Association data, India raises as the second-largest steel producer of crude steel after China in 2018 and 2019, by replacing Japan.
- India’s crude steel production was at 109.3 MT in 2018. There is an increase of 7.7 percent from 101.5 MT in 2017.
- China rests number one with 996.3 million tonnes in 2019. It produced 920 million tonnes of production in 2018.
- The United States and South Korea listed fourth and fifth respectively.