December 2019

Daily Current Affairs (25-12-19)



Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Governance [Paper-I]: Public Policy and Governance


  • MoS (PP) Dr Jitendra Singh launched the Good Governance Index’ at an event organized by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, on the occasion of Good Governance Day.
  • On the occasion, the Minister also launched the 15th edition of Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedure (CSMOP).

Good Governance Day

  • It is observed annually on December 25th, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • Good Governance Day was established in 2014 to honor Mr Vajpayee by fostering awareness among the people of accountability in government.

What is Good Governance Index?

  • It is a uniform tool across States to assess the Status of Governance and impact of various interventions taken up by the State Government and UTs.
  • The objectives of GGI are to provide quantifiable data to compare the state of governance in all states and UTs, enable states and UTs to formulate and implement suitable strategies for improving governance and shift to result oriented approaches and administration.
  • The GGI takes into consideration ten sectors:
    • Agriculture and Allied Sectors
    • Commerce & Industries
    • Human Resource Development
    • Public Health
    • Public Infrastructure & Utilities
    • Economic Governance
    • Social Welfare & Development
    • Judicial & Public Security
    • Environment
    • Citizen-Centric Governance
  • These ten Governance Sectors are measured on total 50 indicators.
  • Difference indicators are given different weightage under one Governance Sector to calculate the value.
  • The states and UTs are divided into Big States, North-East & Hill States and UTs.
  • The states and UTs are ranked on all indicators separately, at the same time composite ranking is also calculated for these states and UTs under their respective groups based upon these indicators.


  • In the Big States category, Tamil Nadu has bagged the top position in the composite ranking for good governance index followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh has got the fourth position, followed by Andhra Pradesh (fifth), Gujarat (sixth), Haryana (seventh) and Kerala (eight).
  • In the North-East and Hill category, Himachal Pradesh has topped the ranking followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura, Mizoram, Sikkim and Assam.
  • Among the Union Territories, Pondicherry has got the first position, followed by Chandigarh and Delhi.

[Source: PIB]




Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy [Paper-II]: Infrastructure in Indian Economy, Water Supply and Sanitation, Policies for sustainable agriculture


On the Birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL).


  • It is a World Bank-funded, central scheme aimed at improving groundwater management.
  • ATAL JAL has been designed with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and bringing about behavioral changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management in seven States, viz. Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these States.
  • ATAL JAL will promote panchayat led ground water management and behavioural changes with primary focus on demand side management.
  • The focus will be on arresting the rate of decline of groundwater levels as well as water consumption.
  • Out of the total outlay of 6000 crore to be implemented over a period of 5 years (2020-21 to 2024-25), 50% shall be in the form of World Bank loan, and be repaid by the Central Government.
  • The remaining 50% shall be through Central Assistance from regular budgetary support.
  • The entire World Bank’s loan component and Central Assistance shall be passed on to the States as Grants.

Water Scarcity in India

  • India accounts for 16 per cent of the world’s population living in less than 2.5 per cent of the global area, and has just 4 per cent of the global water resources.
  • With the population rising, demand for water will increase manifold in coming years.
  • According to the CWC, per capita availability in the country will decrease from 1,434 cubic metres in 2025 to 1,219 cubic metres in 2050.
  • By CWC benchmarks, a water-stressed condition happens when per capita availability is less than 1,700 cubic metres and a water-scarcity condition when per capita availability falls below 1,000 cubic metres.

Situation of Groundwater

  • According to ‘Water and Related Statistics 2019’, a report published by the CWC, the annual replenishable groundwater resources in India (2017) are 432 BCM, out of which 393 BCM is the annual “extractable” groundwater availability.
  • Fifteen states account for about 90 per cent of the groundwater potential in the country.
  • Uttar Pradesh accounts for 16.2 per cent, followed by Madhya Pradesh (8.4%), Maharashtra (7.3%), Bihar (7.3%), West Bengal (6.8%), Assam (6.6%), Punjab (5.5%) and Gujarat (5.2%).
  • The current annual groundwater extraction is 249 BCM, the largest user being the irrigation sector.
  • Thus, government is now focussing for alternatives to water-intensive crops such as paddy and sugarcane.
  • Compared to the decadal average for 2009-18, there has been a decline in the groundwater level in 61% of wells monitored by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

[Source: PIB]



  • Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Modi approved a proposal to promulgate an Ordinance to amend the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
  • The Amendment will remove certain ambiguities in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and ensure smooth implementation of the Code.
  • It would ring-fence successful bidders from criminal proceedings against offences committed by previous promoters.
  • While ongoing investigations against original promoters will continue, the new promoter would be required to extend all assistance and cooperation to any authority investigating an offence committed prior to the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • The amendments will also make IBC prevail over other laws including the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
  • The move will help safeguard corporate debtors, protect last-mile funding, boost investments in financially distressed sectors, speed up the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) and strengthen the overall IBC framework.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) organized an annual meeting of state nodal agencies implementing the National Green Corps ‘Ecoclub’ programme for the first time.
  • It was organized by the Ministry’s Environment Education Division, in collaboration with the GEER Foundation, Gujarat from 20th to 21st December 2019 in Kevadia, Gujarat.
  • Best Ecoclub Award at National level were awarded to the students of the Ecoclub from Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Telangana who secured First, Second and Third position respectively.
  • Environment Education Awareness and Training (EEAT) is an established central sector scheme of the Ministry continuing since 1983-84 and aims to promote environmental awareness and mobilize student’s participation for environment conservation.
  • Under the scheme, National Green Corps (NGC) ‘Ecoclub’ programme was initiated in 2001-2002 with the objective to impart knowledge to school children through hands on experience, about their immediate environment, interactions within it and the problems therein.
  • The scheme is continuing to build young cadres of students and trigger their sensitivity towards environment protection and conservation.
  • It is envisaged that number of Ecoclubs shall be enhanced from about 1.5 lakh at present to 2 lakh in the ensuing year 2020-21.
  • Eight West African countries have agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and severed their earlier currency CFA Franc’s links to former colonial ruler France.
  • The CFA Franc was initially pegged to the French franc and has been linked to the euro for about two decades.
  • Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo currently use the currency.
  • All the countries are former French colonies with the exception of Guinea-Bissau. The announcement was made during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer and France’s former main colony in West Africa.
  • The CFA franc, created in 1945, was seen as a sign of French interference in its former African colonies even after the countries became independent.
  • The 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir, known as Chillai-Kalan, began on December 21, 2019.
  • Chillai-Kalan is a harsh winter period when the snowfalls are most frequent and maximum temperatures drop considerably.
  • The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day Chillai-Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).
  • As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), the period mostly remains wet as the upper part of the Kashmir Valley receives heavy snowfall and the minimum temperature drops considerably.
  • During this period, water bodies like lakes, rivers and streams get frozen with a thick layer of ice.
  • China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-4A (CBERS-4A), a new satellite jointly developed by China and Brazil was sent into space, pushing forward the aerospace cooperation between the two countries.
  • The satellite is the sixth satellite under the earth resource satellite cooperation program between the two countries.
  • It will obtain global optical remote-sensing data and support the Brazilian government’s monitoring of the Amazon rainforest and the country’s environmental changes.
  • The CBERS-4A will replace CBERS-4, which was launched in 2014, to improve the resolution of the remote-sensing data.
  • It is equipped with three optical payloads: a wide-range panchromatic multispectral camera developed by China, and a multispectral camera and a wide-field imager developed by Brazil.
  • Ethiopia launched its first remote sensing satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China.
  • The 70 kilogram remote sensing satellite will be used for agricultural, climate, mining and environmental observations.
  • The launch makes Ethiopia the eleventh African country to have a satellite into space. Egypt was the first in 1998.

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