December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (14-12-19)



Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:      

International Relations [Paper-I]: International Organisations, International Treaties and Forums, their structure and mandate


  • UNESCO has recognised the ‘Nuad Thai massage’ as part of its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
  • It is one among over 20 elements that have been chosen for inclusion in the list this year.
  • The other elements include Irish harping, Portugal’s Carnival of Podence, traditional Turkish archery and Slovakia’s wire craft and art.

What is Nuad Thai massage?

  • The Nuad massage teachings focus on directing blood circulation around problem areas that help in solving muscle aches.
  • As per the UNESCO, Nuad is regarded as part of the art and science of traditional Thai healthcare.
  • It is a non-medicinal, manual therapy that involves bodily manipulations through which practitioners help “rebalance” the patient’s body, energy and structure to treat illnesses that are believed to have been caused due to the obstruction of energy flow.
  • In order to open up blocked routes, Nuad Thai therapists perform a combination of manipulations using their hands, elbows, knees and feet along with hot compresses to reduce inflammation.

What is the Intangible Cultural Heritage List?

  • List of Intangible Cultural Heritage was established by UNESCO with the aim of ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance.
  • It was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.
  • Intangible culture is that part of culture which cannot be touched but can only be recorded. It includes performing arts like song, music, drama, skills, crafts etc.
  • UNESCO maintains three lists under its “Intangible Cultural Heritage” banner: the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding, the list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity and the register of good safeguarding practices.
  • The UNESCO Committee meets annually to evaluate nominations that are proposed by the States themselves.

Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) elements from India

S.No. ICH Element Year of Inscription
1. Tradition of Vedic chanting 2008
2. Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana 2008
3. Koodiyattam, Sanskrit theatre 2008
4. Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Himalayas, India 2009
5. Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala 2010
6. Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan 2010
7. Chhau dance 2010
8. Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India 2012
9. Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur 2013
10. Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab, India 2014
11. Yoga 2016
12. Nawrouz 2016
13. Kumbh Mela 2017

[Source: Indian Express, PIB]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:     

Social Justice [Paper-I]: Rights Issues (Human rights, Women rights, SC/ST rights, Child rights, etc.)


  • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has informed the Lok Sabha that the deadline for the government’s Accessible India campaign has been extended due to “slow progress.”
  • The deadline has been extended to March 2020.
  • The decision was taken by the Central Advisory Board chaired by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.

About Accessible India Campaign (AIC)

  • It is the nationwide flagship campaign of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • The aim of the Campaign is to make a barrier free and conducive environment for Divyangjans all over the country.
  • It was launched by the Prime Minister Modi on International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3rd December, 2015.


  • The campaign is based on the principles of the Social Model of Disability, that disability is caused by the way society is organised, and not the person’s limitations and impairments.
  • The physical, social, structural and attitudinal barriers prevent People with Disabilities from participating equally in the socio-cultural and economic activities.
  • A barrier-free environment facilitates equal participation in all the activities and promotes an independent and dignified way of life.
  • The campaign has the vision to build an inclusive society in which equal opportunities are provided for the growth and development of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) so that they can lead productive, safe and dignified lives.
  • For creating universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, the campaign has been divided into three verticals: Built Environment; Transport and Information & Communication Technology (ICT) ecosystem.

[Source: PIB]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:     

Environment [Paper-II]: Climate change, International initiatives (Policies, Protocols) and India’s commitment


73 countries have joined the Climate Ambition Alliance (CAA) at the UNFCCC COP25 held in Madrid, Spain under the presidency of the Chilean government.

Climate Ambition Alliance

  • Chilean Presidency of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the UNFCCC announced a renewed Climate Ambition Alliance, in which participating countries commit to accelerate action by 2020 and achieve net zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050.
  • During the September 2019 UN Climate Action Summit, President of Chile launched the Alliance to accelerate the transformation needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change and stabilize the global average temperature rise at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • 73 countries have “signaled their intention to submit an enhanced climate action plan” to the UNFCCC.
  • The Alliance will also focus on implementing measures to strengthen the protection of forests and oceans.
  • On adaptation, the Alliance will galvanize actions to improve water management, resilient infrastructure and sustainable cities.

Why India did not join the Alliance?

India has made it clear that the country has been on track to meet its Paris Agreement targets and it would consider any new ambition only when the stocktake of the current targets under the deal happens in 2023.

[Source: Economic Times,]



  • Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal and ace pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary won the Sports Person of the Year awards at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2019.
  • The FICCI India Sports Awards are an attempt by FICCI to acknowledge and recognise the contribution of sportspersons and various stakeholders who deliver excellent results throughout the year.
  • Lok Sabha passed the Central Sanskrit University Bill 2019.
  • The Bill seeks to convert the three deemed Sanskrit universities into Central Universities.
  • The universities which will be converted to Central Universities are Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in Bhopal, Sri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in New Delhi and Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth in Tirupati.
  • The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) has issued Audit Quality Review (AQR) report of the statutory audit for the year 2017-18 of IL&FS Financial Services Limited (IFIN).
  • The statutory auditor for this engagement was Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP (DHS). This is the first AQR report of NFRA since its constitution on 01.10.18.
  • It was constituted by the Government of India under Sub Section (1) of section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013 for the establishment and enforcement of accounting and auditing standards and oversight of the work of auditors.
  • The leaders of the European Union have brokered a long-awaited agreement to set a 2050 target for the continent to become ‘climate neutral’, but granted Poland an exemption.
  • Under the plan, EU-wide climate-damaging emissions will have to fall to a net-zero level by 2050.
  • Any remaining emission output will have to be so low that forests, wetlands and perhaps technology can absorb the surplus.
  • Poland left 2050 Climate Neutrality Agreement of European Union as the Union demanded for more funds to support nuclear power and for economic transit.

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