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20 July Current Affair For All Competition Exams

  1. Samagra Shiksha – an Integrated Scheme for School Education
  • Under the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, implemented with effect from 2018-19.
  • This programme subsumes the three erstwhile Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and Teacher Education (TE).
  • Extending from pre-school to class XII.
  • The main emphasis is on improving the quality of school education and the strategy for all interventions would be to enhance the Learning Outcomes at all levels of schooling.

Related information

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)

  • Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) a Centrally Sponsored Scheme implemented by Government of India in partnership with State Governments, is India’s main programme for universalising elementary education.
  • The scheme was started in 2001 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. 
  • 86th amendment gave legal and constitutional backing, which made free and compulsory. Education to the Children from 6-14 years age, a Fundamental Right.

Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)

  • This scheme was launched in March 2009 with the objective to increase demand for secondary schooling.
  • It aims to ensure GER of 100% by 2017 and universal retention by 2020.

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  1. Dolphin population declines in India’s only dolphin sanctuary
  • Dredging, freight transport, pollution, and a lack of management plan leaves India’s only dolphin sanctuary, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS) in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district, under threat.
  • The number of dolphins in the sanctuary had declined to 154 from 207 in 2015.
  • Dredging activity has increased manifold in recent years because the current Indian government has declared the stretch of the Ganga from Varanasi to Haldia in West Bengal National Waterway- 1.
  • The experts involved in the survey blamed increasing pollution, human interference, siltation and decreasing water flow and water level in the river.

Related Information

Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary

  • Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS), a 65km stretch of the Ganga River between Sultanganj and Kahalgaon towns in Bhagalpur, Bihar, India.
  • It is a protected area established in 1991 to protect the endangered Gangetic river dolphin.

Gangetic Dolphin

  • Endangered under IUCN
  • Endemic to India’s Ganga- Brahmaputra belt
  • Found in freshwater habitat

Source- Down to earth

  1. Setting up of Ten Indigenous Nuclear Power Reactors
  • Reactors of indigenous technology are being set up by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a wholly owned PSU of Government of India under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
  • These reactors are proposed to be set up at the following locations:
Location & State Project Capacity(MW)
Chutka, Madhya Pradesh Chutka -1 & 2 2 X 700
Kaiga, Karnataka Kaiga – 5 & 6 2 X 700
Mahi Banswara, Rajasthan Mahi Banswara – 1 & 2 2 X 700
Gorakhpur,  Haryana GHAVP – 3 & 4 2 X 700
Mahi Banswara, Rajasthan Mahi Banswara – 3 & 4 2 X 700

Related Information

Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

  • Came into force on August 3, 1954.
  • Headed by Prime Minister.
  • In Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research.

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  1. Toxins found yet again, this time in PET bottles of five soft drinks brands
  • At least 5 different toxins have been found in soft drinks produced by two multinational beverage companies—PepsiCo and Coca-Cola.  
  • A government-led study, commissioned by the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), which comes under the Health Ministry, has revealed the presence of heavy metals like antimony, lead, chromium and cadmium along with the compound DEHP or Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate in samples of Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, Sprite and 7Up.
  • All these samples were taken from the Polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), lead and cadmium are among the top ten chemicals of “major public health concern”.
  • These beverages cause deaths to about 200,000 people every year due to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Related Information

  • Lead can have serious consequences for children as it attacks the brain and central nervous system, causing coma, convulsions and even death. Survivors of lead poisoning may live with mental retardation and behavioural disorders
  • Cadmium, on the other hand, affects the kidneys, skeletal system and respiratory system. It is also considered a human carcinogen.
  • Antimony, chromium and DEHP are known to cause serious side effects on the body.

Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB)

  • Highest statutory decision-making body on technical matters related to drugs.
  • Constituted as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • Part of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Source – Down to Earth

  1. Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Second Amendment) Bill, 2017
  • The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a Bill to amend the Right to Education (RTE) Act to abolish the “no-detention” policy in schools. No student can be detained up to class 8, under current provisions of the Act.
  • The Bill amends this provision to state that a regular examination will be held in class 5 and class 8 at the end of every academic year.
  • If a child fails the exam, he will be given additional instruction, and take a re-examination.
  • If he fails in the re-examination, the relevant central or state government may decide to allow schools to detain the child.

Related Information

No -Detention Policy

  • No- Detention policy states that no child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class.
  • S. R. Subramanian committee has recommended that the no detention policy must be continued for young children until completion of class V when the child will be 11 years old.
  • Schools are supposed to hold Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluations (CCE) for every child, instead of exams.

Source- The Hindu

  1. Cabinet relaxes NELP, pre-NELP pact rules
  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday eased the policies related to hydrocarbon exploration further by relaxing production sharing contracts (PSC) of Pre-New Exploration Licensing Policy (Nelp) and Nelp blocks.
  • From payment of 100 per cent royalty, these companies will now have to pay an amount depending on their equity in the project.

Related Information

New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)
1997 2016
No uniformity

Equal platform to both Public and Private sector companies in exploration and production of hydrocarbons.

Profit sharing PSCs (Production Sharing Contracts)

Uniform license for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbon,

Revenue Sharing Contract,

An open acreage policy,

Easy to administer revenue sharing model

Marketing and pricing freedom for the crude oil and natural gas produced.


Source- The Hindu

  1. Jana Small Finance Bank starts commercially operating
  • Jana Small Finance Bank formerly known as Janalakshmi Financial Services started operating from 19th
  • It had got its license in March 2018
  • Headquarters are in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Related Information

Small Finance Banks (SFBs)  Payment Banks 
Niche banks that focus and serve the needs of a certain demographic segment of the population. A payments bank is like any other bank, but operating on a smaller scale without involving any credit risk.
Can give loans and advances Cannot offer loans or advances
Can offer credit cards Cannot offer credit cards
Mainly for the growth of agriculture and Micro, Small and Medium industries. Mainly for the growth of individual/weaker section and etc.

Source- Economic Times

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