National Current Affairs – UPSC/KAS Exams- 4th January 2019



Topic: Polity and Governance

IN NEWS: At the first meeting of a new RERA implementation committee held, there was broad consensus that the RERA Act needed to be amended to further empower them.

More on the Topic:

  • State RERA representatives say they are becoming toothless, if they are unable to execute their own orders.
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, allows consumer forums to assume the powers of a first class judicial magistrate for the trial of offences under the Act (Section 27.2). RERAs are asking that the RERA Act be amended to give them similar powers. Currently, real estate regulators must depend on outside magistrates to implement their orders.


  • The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is an Act of the Parliament of India which seeks to protect home-buyers as well as help boost investments in the real estate industry.
  • The Act establishes Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in each state for regulation of the real estate sector and also acts as an adjudicating body for speedy dispute redressal.
  • The Real Estate Act makes it mandatory for all commercial and residential real estate projects where the land is over 500 square metres, or eight apartments, to register with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for launching a project, in order to provide greater transparency in project-marketing and execution.
  • The Act prohibits unaccounted money from being pumped into the sector and as of now 70 per cent of the money has to be deposited in bank accounts through cheques is now compulsory.
  • It will help to establish state-level Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) to regulate transactions related to both residential and commercial projects and ensure their timely completion and handover.
  • Source:Hindu

Monkey fever


Topic: Health

IN NEWS: Two persons , who were suspected to be suffering from Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), also known as monkey fever, have died.

More on the Topic:

  • Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) is a tick-borne viral hemorrhagic fever endemic to South Asia.The disease is caused by a virus belonging to the family Flaviviridae, which also includes yellow fever and dengue fever.
  • The disease was first reported from Kyasanur Forest of Karnataka in India in March 1957. The disease first manifested as an epizootic outbreak among monkeys killing several of them in the year 1957. Hence the disease is also locally known as monkey disease or monkey fever.
  • The vector for disease transmission is Haemaphysalis spinigera, a forest tick.[Humans contract infection from the bite of nymphs of the tick.

Source:The Hindu

Kadaknath chicken


Topic: Intellectual Property rights

In news: Upon learning that Captain Virat Kohli had to give up his favourite grilled chicken, Jhabua’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra head gives the GI tagged Kadaknath chicken as the alternative to the former.

More on the Topic:

  • The ”Kali Masi”(Kadaknath chicken) is a local breed of chicken which is completely black in colour: feathers, flesh and even bones. The chicken, traditionally reared by Jhabua’s adivasi communities, was granted a Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the government registry .
  • Breeders claim that its cholesterol content is just 0.73-1.05%, in comparison with the 13-25% level in regular white chickens.
  • Not only the cholesterol and fat is low, but it has very high levels of protein, iron and amino acids.

About GI Tag:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).
  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15 September 2003.
  • GIs have been defined under Article 22(1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights(TRIPS) Agreement as: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.”

Source: The Hindu

Kullu Nstti Dance


Topic: Culture

In news: Pictorial mention in Hindu.

More on the Topic:

  • Nati refers to the traditional dance of Sirmaur district Kullu and Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The dance is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as largest folk dance.
  • It is quite popular in whole Himachal Pradesh. Dance is also popular in Chandigarh where Himachali youth perform this on cultural programmes.This dance is also popular in jounsari community in uttrakhand.
  • Several types of Nati dances are popular in Himachal Pradesh including Mahasuvi Nati, Sirmauri Nati and Lahauli Nati, Kinnauri Nati.The Kinnauri Nati dance is mime-like and includes languid sequences.

Source: The Hindu

China’s Chang’e 4 probe reached far side of the moon


Topic: Science and Technology

In news: IA Chinese spacecraft has become the first to land on the far side of the moon in a historic moment for human space exploration.The successful touch down was hailed as a major technical feat and is seen as a important step towards China’s wider ambitions in space.

More on the Topic:

  • The robotic probe Chang’e 4 landed in the unexplored South Pole-Aitken basin, the biggest known impact structure in the solar system.
  • A significant challenge faced by the Chinese team was the inability to communicate directly with the spacecraft.
  • Signals to and from the rover are being relayed through a satellite called Queqiao (Magpie Bridge). Queqiao is in a “halo orbit” on the other side of the moon, from where it can communicate with both Chang’e and the Earth.
  • This is a great technological accomplishment as it was out of sight of Earth, so signals are relayed back by their orbiter, and most of the landing was actually done autonomously in difficult terrain.

Source: The Hindu

Parliament passes NCTE amendment Bill


Topic: Polity and Governance

In news:Parliament has passed the National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2018, with the Rajya Sabha approving it.

More on the Topic:

  • The bill seeks to grant retrospective recognition to Central and State institutions which had conducted teacher education courses without approval by the Council.
  • This will be a one-time measure to ensure that the future of about 17 thousand students having degrees from such institutions is secured.
  • All institutions running teacher education courses, such as B.Ed, have to obtain recognition from the Council.

About National Council For Teachers Education:

  • National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is a statutory body of Indian government set up under the National Council for Teacher Education Act, 1993 in 1995 is to formally oversee standards, procedures and processes in the Indian education system.
  • This council functions for the central as well as state governments on all matter with regard to the Teacher Education and its secretariat is located in the Department of Teacher Education and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).                     

Source: The Hindu

Go Green Initiatives in Indian Railways

Topic: Government Policies

In news:Railways have undertaken some major initiatives to Go Green.

More on the Topic:

  • Ministry of Railways has planned to set up 1000 Mega Watt (MW) solar power by 2020-21 which would help Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewable source. Indian Railways have already installed about 71.19 MW of Solar plants over rooftops at Railways stations and service buildings.
  • Wind energy plants of 36.5 MW have been installed out of which, 26 MW at Jaisalmer was installed in 2015-2016.
  • Use of LED lights on electrified railway stations and service buildings. All electrified Railway stations (except those under gauge conversion) and 99% of service buildings have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries over Indian Railways.
  • Blending of 5% bio-diesel in High Speed Diesel (HSD) for diesel locomotives was started in June, 2015.
  • 20% Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) substitution in diesel engines of 23 Diesel Power Cars of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains and introduction of Solar energy based DEMUs.
  • Tree plantation to increase green cover in Railway Premises.
  • Water Audits at major consumption centres as well as proliferation of Water Recycling Plants and Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) Systems are undertaken.
  • Assessment and rating of Indian Railway’s Production Units and major Workshops as Green Industrial Units started with ‘GreenCo’ certification.
  • Pace of installation of environment friendly bio-toilets in passenger coaches has been increased.
  • In 2016, a policy decision was taken for allocating 1% cost in all sanctioned works for execution of environment related works.

Source: PIB


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