Daily Current Affairs for 24th August 2020

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Now, an app for farmers’ grievances


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in news?

Odisha is working on a mobile-based application for farmers’ grievance redressal.

  • The app is being developed to enable farmers to upload pictures of grievances such as water availability in canals and their redressal in a fixed timeframe.
  • The application will use command area of projects as a geofencing region to forward the grievance to the authority concerned.
  • Action will be initiated for redressal within a timeframe, under 5T (Teamwork, Technology, Transparency, Time leading to Transformation) governance system.
  • The State Water Resource Department will provide spatial information on sector-wise command area as a web service, for the grievance management application.

Tablighi cases become diplomatic headache


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in news?

Several countries have expressed concern to India over the continued custody of their nationals.

Key Details:

  • Foreigners were deported/ taken into custody from/in Delhi for reportedly indulging in missionary activities while they were in India on a tourist visa.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs has been left to coordinate the various cases with real-time coordination with the MHA and the Bureau of Immigration, even as they deal with the diplomatic letters.
  • Bangladesh Foreign Secretary had raised the issue of about 173 Bangladeshis still being held in India when he met the Foreign Secretary.
  • Indonesian and Malaysian officials, whose nationals make up the majority of cases, have also raised the issue of their nationals not being able to return, both through their embassies and even at a recent India-ASEAN meeting of senior officials, where such bilateral and consular matters are rarely raised.


As many as 360 foreigners were deported from Delhi in 2018-19 for reportedly indulging in missionary activities while they were here on a tourist visa. foreigners who participated in a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin have come under the Home Ministry scanner.


  • According to a Home Ministry statement, some 2,100 foreigners visited India for Tabligh programmes since January 1, 2020.
  • MHA had already issued guidelines that the foreigners should not indulge in missionary work on tourist visa.
  • The Ministry apparently blacklisted the 824 foreign Tablighi members who came to India on a tourist visa and participated in religious congregations and meetings.
  • The Jamaat congregation, part of regular Tabligh activity, was attended by people from Nepal, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Algeria, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Additional Information:

  • Home Ministry is the nodal agency that gives permission to any foreigner to participate in any international event.
  • Any conference/event application is routed through an Indian mission abroad and without the Home Ministry’s permission, the event cannot happen and participants are not issued visas.
  • It is said that the religious gathering was organized in violation of an order issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department of the Delhi Government in accordance with the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

Tablighi Jamaat:

  • The Tablighi Jamaat (Society of Preachers) can be described as the Islamic Missionary Movement that aims for the spiritual reformation of Islam by working at the grassroots level.
  • It was founded by a Deobandi Islamic scholar at Mewat, Uttar Pradesh, in 1926.
  • It has a presence in 150 countries.

Not possible to fully block Chinese firms: officials


Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.

Why in News:

Despite the uproar against the use of Chinese products amid the standoff on the border in eastern Ladakh and the government’s decision to ban several apps recently, government officials say it is not possible to fully decouple the trend due to the substantial investments by Chinese companies in India.

Key Details:

  • India banned 59 Chinese apps on June 29 citing national security; another 47 were also put on the proscribed list later.
  • In June 2017, China passed a national intelligence law which gave Beijing powers over Chinese companies’ overseas investments as well.
  • As per the Annual report of the U.S. Secretary of Defence to the Congress on the “Military and Security Developments involving the People’s Republic of China 2019”, this law requires Chinese companies, such as Huawei, ZTE, Tik Tok and others to support, provide assistance, and cooperate in China’s national intelligence work, wherever they operate.

India’s Concern

  • Indian Intelligence assessments have flagged some large Chinese companies with major presence in India having direct or indirect links with the PLA. This includes Xindia Steels Limited, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), Huawei, Alibaba and Tencent.
  • Article 7 of the China’s national intelligence law states, “Any organisation or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work in accordance with the law… The state protects individuals and organisations that support, assist and cooperate with national intelligence work.” This law has direct security implications for all overseas Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China.
  • The S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. congressional commission, said in its 2019 report, “The Chinese government’s military-civil fusion policy aims to spur innovation and economic growth through an array of policies and other government-supported mechanisms, including Venture Capital (VC) funds, while leveraging the fruits of civilian innovation for China’s defence sector.” This raises a direct question mark on Chinese VC investments in India including big names like Alibaba and Tencent.

No people, no show for folk artistes during pandemic


Mains: General Studies-I: Indian Heritage and Culture, History and Geography of the World and Society.

Why in News:

The pandemic has forced many Artist to play a different role and turned them to take odd jobs to survive pandemic, which is impacting the traditional Art and theatre. the pandemic has proved harsher for street performers living in urban spaces as well as in rural areas.

Additional Information:


  • They are thefolk artistes who don various costumes to play figures from mythology, folklore and traditional stories — that once used to serve Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of the erstwhile Jaipur kingdom.
  • They are also said to have helped freedom fighters during the struggle for Independence.


  • Nagpuris are an Indo-Aryan-speaking ethnolinguistic group who traditionally speak Nagpuri as their mother tongue and native to western Chota Nagpur Plateau region of Indian state Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Dhangari Gaja

  • Dhangari Gaja dancers, who perform the vibrant traditional folk dance of Maharashtra.
  • The main theme of this dance is celebration, happiness, joy of coming home to loved ones and honouring the God and seeking his blessings.
  • And this mood is emphasised by swaying to the pulsating sound of the drums and the reciting of poems exhibiting boundless enthusiasm.
  • This exquisite form of dance belongs to the shepherds, cowherds, buffalo keepers and men who undertake husbandry are referred to as Dhangars in the local dialect.

For the first time, farm sector set to grow even as GDP sees a contraction


Mains: General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management

Why in News?

April-June may be the first time that India’s economy would contract year-on-year since the government started coming out with quarterly estimates of GDP from 1996-97. But the data for the quarter, to be released by the National Statistical Office on August 31, could also show GDP falling for the first time in spite of agricultural production going up.

Key Facts:

  • The country’s GDP registered an annual decline, at minus 5.2%, last in 1979-80, but that year recorded negative growth for agricultural GDP, at minus 12.8%.
  • Even the previous GDP contractions of 0.3% in 1972-73, 3.7% in 1965-66, and 1.2% in 1957-58 were accompanied by farm output falling by 5%, 11% and 4.5% respectively.


  • The initial revival is largely due to two factors – robust demand from rural markets and assumption that a section of consumers is avoiding public transport to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus.


  • April-June 2020 could be the first time when the economy will shrink despite agriculture notching up decent growth.
  • It would be historic if this extends to the rest of the fiscal. But it would not be desirable — agriculture can only support, not lead, growth.
  • A combination of factors, including forecast of a normal monsoon, bumper rabi crop and upcoming festive season, are expected to keep the momentum going over the next few months.

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