19th November UPSC Current Affairs

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FSSAI proposes amendments in import regulations for food products

Why In News?
  • Food regulator FSSAI has proposed amendments in import regulations, making registration and audit mandatory for foreign food manufacturing facilities that exports certain categories of food products to India.
  • As per draft regulations, “Food Authority may from time to time based on the risk specify the categories of food products to be exported to India, for which inspection or audit of Foreign Food manufacturing facilities producing such categories of foods shall be mandatory
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous statutory body.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been established under Food Safety and Standards , 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments.
  • FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

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Will return to nuclear deal if U.S. sanctions are lifted: Iran

Why in News?
  • Iran will “automatically” return to its nuclear commitments if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions imposed over the past two years, its Foreign Minister said.
  What is the deal about?
  • It is officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • It was signed between Iran and the P5, plus Germany and the EU in 2015.
  • P5 is the 5 permanent members of the UNSC (US, China, France, Russia, and UK).
  • The deal aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear programme.
  • Under the deal:
  • most of Iran’s enriched uranium was shipped out of the country
  • a heavy water facility was rendered inoperable
  • operational nuclear facilities were brought under international inspection
  • In return, the deal involved lifting of international sanctions on Iran.
What is India's stance?  
  • India has been a proactive votary of the international rules-based order.
  • It has been extremely supportive of the Iran nuclear deal.
  • India recognises Iran’s right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
  • On the other hand, it also highlights the international community’s interest.
  • It has thus maintained that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully.

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National Population Register Questionnaire is being finalised, says Registrar General of India

  Why In News?
  • The office of the Registrar General of India (RGI) has said the schedule or the questionnaire of the National Population Register (NPR) is “being finalised” and the information about the expected date of first phase of Census 2021 is “not available.” It said in an RTI response.
What is NPR?
  • The objective of the NPR, being carried out under the aegis of the Registrar General and ex-Officio Census Commissioner, India, is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
  • NPR is a register of the usual residents of the country. It contains information collected at the local (village/sub-town), sub district, district, state and national level under provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
  • The National Population Register was created in 2010. The biometrics collected through Aadhaar was seeded into the NPR in 2015.
  • A usual resident for the purposes of NPR is a person who has resided in a place for six months or more, and intends to reside there for another six months or more.

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 45% MGNREGA workers make multiple bank visits to withdraw wages: Survey

Why in News?
  • The study estimated that the average cost incurred by a MGNREGA worker to visit post offices is the lowest at Rs 6, while a bank visit costs Rs 31, and Rs 67 for an ATM visit.
  • Survey was conducted by -> LibTech India
  • MGNREGA is one of the largest work guarantee programmes in the world.
  • Objective: The primary objective of the scheme is to guarantee 100 days of employment in every financial year to adult members of any rural household willing to do public work-related unskilled manual work.
  • Legal Right to Work: Unlike earlier employment guarantee schemes, the act aims at addressing the causes of chronic poverty through a rights-based framework.
  • At least one-third of beneficiaries have to be women.
  • Use of tech: Geotagging + DBT transfer of wages
  • Wages must be paid according to the statutory minimum wages specified for agricultural labourers in the state under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948.
  • Demand-Driven Scheme: The most important part of MGNREGA’s design is its legally backed guarantee for any rural adult to get work within 15 days of demanding it, failing which an ‘unemployment allowance’ must be given.
  • This demand-driven scheme enables the self-selection of workers.

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 2020 Nobel Peace ceremony won’t be held in person in Oslo

Why in News?
  • The winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize — the World Food Program — and the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that they have jointly agreed to postpone the in-person award ceremony in Oslo next month because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Nobel Prize- overview:
  • Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, engineer, industrialist, and the inventor of dynamite, in his last will and testament in 1895, gave the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine, Literature, and Peace, to be called the “Nobel Prizes”.
  • In 1968, the sixth award, the Prize in Economic Sciences was started.
  • The Nobel Prize consists of a Nobel Medal and Diploma, and a document confirming the prize amount.
  • Between 1901 and 2018, the Prizes have been awarded 590 times, the recipients during this period being 908 Laureates and 27 organisations.




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