Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2020

Dec 07, 2020

Current Affair 1:
State Land (Vesting Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 (Roshni Act)

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The Jammu and Kashmir government has moved an application before the J&K high court to advance its hearing of the review petition on the October 9 judgment of the J&K high court where a division bench had held that the Roshni act was “completely unconstitutional, contrary to law and unsustainable.

What is Roshni Act?

The Roshni Act guaranteed the transfer of proprietary titles to occupants of state land in return for a fee determined by the government, paving way for regularization of encroachments on public land and generating resources to fund power projects in the former state. Hence, the name ‘Roshni’.

J&K was the first region in India to implement a land reform law in 1950 but a lot of land grab took place due to lax governance, with political elites encroaching on valuable land and the poor doing the same for inexpensive land.


In 2001, the National Conference government, led by Farooq Abdullah, enacted the Jammu and Kashmir State Land (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act that sought to regularize unauthorized land.


Anybody who had grabbed this land in the past, could now come to the government, make an application and pay a certain fee. Once the fee was paid, the land or property would be regularized in the hands of the owner.


What was the Problem with Roshni Act?

  1. A major problem of the Roshni Act was that it applied to only those who had grabbed land by 1990. Therefore, there were a lot of complaints from those who had taken land between 1990 and 2001.
  2. In 2003, the PDP-Congress government led by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed amended the law to shift the cut-off date from 1990 to 2004.
  3. People began grabbing more and more land… or buying it from the poor… on the presumption that this will soon get regularized.
  4. In 2007, the cut-off date was further shifted by the Ghulam Nabi Azad government to 2007.
  5. However, in 2014, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) found irregularities in the transfer of the encroached land to occupants from 2007 to 2013. The report noted that the government had only collected Rs 76 crore of the estimated Rs. 25,000 crores.
  6. By 2014, the BJP had formed a government at the Centre. Four years later, the then J&K governor Satya Pal Malik repealed the Roshni Act.

Please don’t read anything more than this. Not required at all.

Current Affair 2:
International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

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Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City regulator International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has obtained membership of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

With this membership IFSCA would have access to IAIS’s global network and would be able to exchange ideas and information with other global regulators.

About International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

  1. Established in 1994, the IAIS headquartered in Switzerland is a voluntary membership organisation of insurance supervisors and regulators from more than 200 jurisdictions, constituting 97 per cent of the world’s insurance premiums.
  2. It is the international standard-setting body responsible for developing and assisting in the implementation of principles, standards, and other supporting material for the supervision of the insurance sector.
  3. The IAIS also provides a forum for members to share their experiences and understanding of insurance supervision and insurance markets.
  4. Indian Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) is among the leading members of IAIS.

In recognition of its collective expertise, the IAIS is routinely called upon by the G20 leaders and other international standard-setting bodies.

About Indian Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI)

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India is an autonomous, statutory body tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.

Current Affair 3:
Coal Mining in North East India.

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Moolamylliang, a village in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, is making progress in becoming a greener place amid abandoned pits from the rat-hole mining.

Moolamylliang used to be one such village until the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned hazardous rat-hole coal mining in Meghalaya in April 2014 and set a time limit for transporting the coal already mined till that time. Though the NGT ban did not stop illegal mining in the district, it helped Moolamylliang reform.

A rat-hole mine involves digging of very small tunnels, usually only 3-4 feet deep, in which workers, more often children, enter and extract coal. Rat-hole mining is broadly of two types – side-cutting and box-cutting. No need to learn type of rat hole mining.

Why is Rat Hole mining so prevalent in Meghalaya?

According to available government data, Meghalaya has a total coal reserve of 640 million tonnes, most of which is mined unscientifically by individuals and communities.

Since the coal seam is extremely thin in Meghalaya, no other method would be economically viable. Removal of rocks from the hilly terrain and putting up pillars inside the mine to prevent collapse would be costlier. In Meghalaya this is the locally developed technique and the most commonly used one.

Coal Reserves in North Eastern states.

Coal reserves are primarily found in the Eastern India in states of Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and predominantly in North-East regions like Assam and Meghalaya. Despite the presence of coal reserves, commercial mining is not practiced in the North-Eastern regions because of terrain’s unsuitability as well as nature of coal deposits.

The Coal resources of India are available in older Gondwana Formations of peninsular India and younger Tertiary formations of north-eastern region.

Coal Reserves in North East India. Image is bit curved. But you can read. So, no worries.

           Top 5 coal reserves states in India:

Import of Coal into India.

Current Affair 4:
Right to Vote for NRIs

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Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has informed the Ministry of Law and Justice that it is “technically and administratively ready” to extend the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) to Non-Resident Indian (NRI) voters for elections next year in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

What is Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS)?

Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) is developed by Election Commission of India with the help of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), for the use of the Service Voters. It is a fully secured system, having two layers of security. Secrecy is maintained through the use of OTP and PIN and no duplication of casted Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot (ETPB) is possible due to the unique QR Code


This system enables the entitled service voters to cast their vote using an electronically received postal ballot from anywhere outside their constituency. The voters who make such a choice will be entitled for Postal Ballot delivered through Electronic Media for a particular election.

It enables the voters to cast their vote on an electronically received postal ballot from their preferred location, which is outside their originally assigned voting constituency. This system would be an easier option of facilitating voting by the electors as the time constraint for dispatch of postal ballot has been addressed using this system.

Till now, who all are allowed for Postal Ballots?

At present, postal ballots are allowed for certain categories of voters (Service Voters) living in India, which include:

  1. Members of the Armed Forces.
  2. Members of the Armed Police Force of a State, serving outside that State.
  3. Persons employed under Government of India on post outside India.

It is mentioned in Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. So, if now NRI is included in list, amendment to this rule will be done.

Current Voting Process for NRIs:

  1. Voting rights for NRIs were introduced only in 2011, through an amendment to the Representation of the People Act 1950.
  2. An NRI can vote in the constituency in his/her place of residence, as mentioned in the passport, is located.
  3. He/She can only vote in person and will have to produce her passport in original at the polling station for establishing identity.

Current Strength of NRI Voters:

  1. According to a United Nations report of 2015, India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world at 16 million people.
  2. However, registration of NRI voters has been very low with a little over one lakh overseas Indian registered as voters in India.
  3. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, roughly 25,000 of them flew to India to vote.

Current Affair 5:
China turns on "Artificial Sun"

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China successfully powered up its “artificial sun” nuclear fusion reactor for the first time.

The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is China’s largest and most advanced nuclear fusion experimental research device, and scientists hope that the device can potentially unlock a powerful clean energy source.

It uses a powerful magnetic field to fuse hot plasma and can reach temperatures of over 150 million degrees Celsius, - approximately ten times hotter than the core of the sun. The reactor is often called an “artificial sun” on account of the enormous heat and power it produces and its mimic of the nuclear fusion process that the real sun uses to generate energy.

A ‘Tokamak’ is a reactor design that resembles a donut — a donut that generates powerful magnetic forces to contain unimaginably hot plasma inside the reactor during nuclear fusion. The walls of a tokamak are built to absorb the massive amounts of heat from the continuous splitting of atoms in the reactor’s core.

Significance of Experiment

  1. Very large-scale continuous energy production, with zero greenhouse gas emissions and no long-life radioactive waste.
  2. The project has been endorsement by International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the massive multinational initiative that aims to produce the world’s largest magnetic nuclear fusion device. This shoes that global energy aims will be a collaborative and cooperative process.
  3. EAST will be one of only a few international devices that can serve as an important experimental test bench for conducting ITER-related steady-state advanced plasma science and technology research.

Watch a small video. Click here.

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