Daily Current Affairs for 13th November 2020

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Government rolls out Rs 1.19 lakh crore stimulus Paper:

Mains: G.S. II and III Social Justice and Science and Technology

Why in news?

In context of the pandemic and making India self reliant government announced Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan 3.0 to incentivise job creation and re-employment.

Key details

  • Stimulus was announced to boost re-employment chances of formal sector employees who lost their jobs amid the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • Stimulus was announced a day after the RBI said that the country had entered into a technical recession.
  • This stimulus can help economy to return to proper growth and there could be strong growth that could bring the economy to the positive terrain.
  • The measures included the production linked incentive scheme.
  • Experts estimated the fiscal cost of this stimulus package at about 1.2% of the GDP.
  • The finance minister said, that if we take all the packages announced so far, and the RBI measures announced so far, a total of 15% of GDP was released, in which central govt on its own has provided 9% of GDP as stimulus.
  • To spur rural employment, Rs 10,000 crore has been provided for spending through the MGNREGA and PM rural road scheme.
  • To boost formal sector employment, a new Atmanirbhar Rozgar Yojana has been launched, under which the govt. will bear the entire EPF contributions for two years of all new employees hired between October 1, 2020 and June30,2021.
  • The definition of new employee include anyone who was part of the EPF net, but had lost their job between March 1 and September 30, 2020.
  • To boost urban housing and create jobs, an additional allocation of Rs 18,000 crore has been made for PM Awas Yojana.
  • Minister said that the package is expected to generate 78 lakh additional jobs.
  • KV Kamath Committee was formed to make recommendations on the financial parameters to be considered in the restructuring of loans impacted by the covid 19 pandemic.

India makes progress in vaccination coverage Paper:

Mains: G.S. II Social Justice

Why in news?

India makes progress in fight against pneumonia, diarrhoea related child deaths.

Key details

  • India has made substantial progress in the fight against pneumonia and diarrhoea, the two leading causes of infant and child mortality, according to the 2016 Pneumonia and Diarrhoea Progress Report published by the International Vaccine Access Centre.


  • India has achieved the global target of 90% coverage for three of the five vaccines. These vaccines are Diptheria, Pertussis and Tetanus (DPT) vaccine.
  • India’s coverage of rota virus vaccine increased by 18% to 53%, coverage against pneumonia increased by 9% to 15% in 2019.
  • The report tracked progress by analysing 10 indicators.
  • In 2015, 9 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday. Of these 5.9 million deaths, pneumonia was responsible for 16% and diarrhea for 9%, making these diseases two leading killers of children worldwide. Together these diseases claimed the lives of nearly 1.5 million children under the age of 5 in a single year; India accounts for a fifth of these deaths.
  • While pneumonia can swiftly take a young life, diarrhoeal diseases can compromise health more broadly by leading to a vicious cycle of malnutrition, stunted growth, cognitive impairment and poor immune response.
  • Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
  • A country’s “GAPPD score” measures the use of interventions that protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia and diarrhoea. The higher the score, the more interventions are being used.
  • These interventions include vaccination, exclusive breastfeeding, access to care and use of antibiotics, oral rehydration solution and zinc to treat the illnesses. These measures are known to prevent childhood deaths due to pneumonia and diarrhoea and could help achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development target goal of reducing under-five mortality to at least 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030.

India – ASEAN to expand trade despite RCEP walkout Paper:

Mains: G.S.II International Relations

Why in news?

India and ASEAN countries said they would explore ways to increase trade between them despite India’s exit from 15 nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.

Key details

  • PM calls for review of pact at summit with 10 member bloc.
  • The RCEP free trade agreement, which India walked out last year, is expected to be signed on November 15, between China, Japan, Australia, South Korea 10 members of ASEAN nations.
  • As far as India is concerned, we did not join RCEP as it does not address the outstanding issues and concerns of India. However, we remain committed to deepening our trade relations with ASEAN.
  • PM Modi calls for an early review of the Indo-ASEAN trade in goods agreement and underlined the importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post covid economic recovery.
  • PM highlighted India’s Indo Pacific policy as an area of convergence for ASEAN and India.
  • ASEAN’s objectives-

To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.

To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.

To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of South.

The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

Moody’s narrows 2020 GDP contraction to 8.9% Paper:

Mains: G.S. III Economy

Why in news?

India entered the phase of technical recession and international agencies further declare the growth outlook to be negative with positive growth prospects.

Key details

  • Moody’s Investor Service has revised upward it’s forecast for India’s GDP for calendar year 2020 to an 8.9% contraction from its earlier projection for a contraction of 9.6%.
  • Similarly, India’s GDP forecast for calendar year 2021 has been revised up to 8.6% growth from the 8.1% projected earlier.
  • India’s economy had the biggest contraction, 24% year-over-year in the 2nd quarter, as a result of a long and strict nationwide lockdown.
  • Moody’s noted that if the the steady decline in new and active covid 19 cases since September is maintained, further easing of restrictions may help.
  • Slow credit intermediation will hamper the pace of recovery because of an already weakened financial sector.
  • Moody’s stated that geopolitical and trade risks would remain a key focus in the year ahead as the relationship between the U.S. and China, had deteriorated.
  • The pandemic shock has also led to both economic and national security concerns about supply chain vulnerabilities and economic dependencies.
  • Agency expects pandemic management to improve over time, allowing for steady normalisation of social and economic activities.
  • Virus is expected to become a less important macroeconomic concern throughout 2021 and 2022.

China begins work on rail line up to Arunachal border Paper:

Mains: G.S.II International Relations

Why in news?

China has begun work on a strategically significant railway line – it’s 2nd major rail link to Tibet – that will link Sichuan province with Nyingchi, which lies near the border with India’s Arunachal Pradesh.

Key details

  • The importance of the project, Chinese experts said, is two fold. Like the Qinghai Tibet railway line, which in 2006 connected Lhasa to the hinterland, this will be the second such route linking the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to the hinterland.
  • Secondly, it will run right up to Nyingchi near the border with India, which it will link to both Lhasa and Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.
  • The entire line will run from Chengdu to Lhasa, connecting the two capitals of TAR and Sichuan and cutting the journey from 48 hours to 13 hours.
  • Quoted as saying by State media that the railway will help “transport advanced equipment and technologies from the rest of China to Tibet and bring local products out”.
  • “If a scenario of a crisis happens at the border, the railway can act as a ‘fast track’ for the delivery of strategic materials”.

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