1. India-Italy Virtual Bilateral Summit

The issue in news

India-Italy Virtual Bilateral Summit held.

Main points

  • The summit will see the signing of about a dozen agreements in areas ranging from trade and investment to infrastructure.
  • The two sides explored the possibility of increasing Italian investments in India and enhancing defence cooperation and manufacturing under the Make in India


India – Italy Relations:

  • India and Italy share a warm and multifaceted relationship based on strong historical ties, common democratic traditions, rule of law and a shared goal of international peace and stability.
  • India views Italy as an important member of the European Union and values its positive contribution in furthering India-EU ties.
  • India-Italy relations are marked by regular high-level exchanges which saw incoming visits by Italian Prime Ministers in 2017 and 2018.
  • Bilateral trade stood at Euros 9.52 billion in 2019. Italy is India’s 5th largest trading partner in the EU, after Germany, Belgium, UK and France.
  • Around 600 large Italian companies are active in India, covering varied sectors such as fashion and garments, textiles and textile machinery, automotive components, infrastructure, chemicals, energy confectionery, insurance, etc. Several Indian companies are also active in Italy.
  • Both countries are keen to firmly put behind the 2012 killing of two Indian crew members of a fishing boat off the coast of Kerala by Italian marines guarding an oil tanker ‘Enrica Lexie’, an incident that took bilateral ties to an all-time low.


  1. One Rank One Pension

The issue in news

The One Rank One Pension scheme completes five years.

About One Rank One Pension (OROP):

  • The decision to implement OROP was issued by an order in November 2015, with the benefit effective from July 2014 itself. This had been a long-standing demand of ex-servicemen in the country.
  • Armed Forces Personnel retired up to 30.06.2014 were covered under this Order.
  • OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Armed Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service regardless of their date of retirement. Thus, OROP implies bridging the gap between the rate of pension of current and past retirees at periodic intervals.
  • In simple terms OROP means that every soldier who retires in the same rank gets the same pension, irrespective of his date of retirement.


  1. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP)

The issue in news

The Ministry of MSME under the Govt. of India warns unscrupulous elements against cheating people in the name of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) Scheme. The Ministry clarifies that the entire process of application and fund release under PMEGP is online and free of cost.


Objectives of PMEGP:

  1. Generation of sustainable and continuous employment opportunities in both rural as well as urban areas in the country.
  2. Provision of sustainable and continuous employment to a wide segment of prospective and traditional artisans, unemployed youth in rural and urban areas by establishing micro-enterprises for employment generation.
  3. Smooth flow of credit to the micro sector by facilitating the participation of financial institutions.



  1. National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA)

The issue in news

The Dept. of Food & Public Distribution has said that 4.39 crore bogus ration cards have been weeded out since 2013 for the rightful targeting of beneficiaries under the NFSA.


National Food Security Act

  • The Act was signed into law on 12th September 2013 retroactive to 5th July 2013.
  • The Act is in line with Goal Two of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly.
  • Goal 2 seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security.
  • The aim is to ensure that everyone everywhere has enough good-quality food to lead a healthy life.
  • Schemes such as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDM), the Public Distribution System (PDS), and the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) are included under the Act.
  • The Act is being implemented by all the States and the Union Territories.



  1. National Cancer Awareness Day

The issue in news

The National Cancer Awareness Day is observed in India on 7th November.

About the National Cancer Awareness Day:

  • The National Cancer Awareness Day is observed to generate awareness about cancer prevention and early detection.
  • The day coincides with the birth anniversary of eminent scientist Madame Curie.
  • Marie Curie is remembered for her discovery of radium and polonium, and her huge contribution to the fight against cancer.
  • Her work led to the development of nuclear energy and radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
  • The first National Cancer Awareness Day was observed in 2014 in India.


Cancer in India:

  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and in 2018, there were approximately 18 million cases globally, of which 1.5 million were in India alone.
  • There were around 0.8 million cancer deaths in India in 2018 against 9.5 million globally. The numbers of new cases are estimated to double in India by 2040.
  • In India, nearly 1.1 million new cases are being reported annually. Two-thirds of cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, reducing patients’ chances of survival.
  • It is estimated that one woman dies of cervical cancer every 8 minutes in India.
  • Tobacco (smoked and smokeless) use accounted for 3,17,928 deaths (approximately) in men and women in 2018.
  • Cancers of oral cavity and lungs account for over 25% of cancer deaths in males and cancer of breast and oral cavity account for 25% cancers in females.
  • The National Cancer Control Programme was initiated in 1975 with a view to provide cancer treatment facilities in the country. The programme was modified in 1984-85 to provide thrust to prevention and early detection of cancer.



The issue in news

NASA has reported that on April 28, it observed a mix of X-ray and radio signals never observed before in the Milky Way. Significantly, the flare-up it observed included the first fast radio burst (FRB) seen within the galaxy.


Main points

  • Essentially, FRBs are bright bursts of radio waves (radio waves can be produced by astronomical objects with changing magnetic fields) whose durations lie in the millisecond-scale, because of which it is difficult to detect them and determine their position in the sky.
  • The source of the FRB detected in April in the Milky Way is a very powerful magnetic neutron star, referred to as a magnetar, called SGR 1935+2154 or SGR 1935, which is located in the constellation Vulpecula and is estimated to be between 14,000-41,000 light-years away.
  • Before April this year, scientists did not have any evidence to show that FRBs could be blasted out of a magnetar. Therefore, the observation is especially significant.

Important Info :

What is a magnetar?

  • As per NASA, a magnetar is a neutron star, “the crushed, city-size remains of a star many times more massive than our Sun.”
  • The magnetic field of such a star is very powerful, which can be over 10 trillion times stronger than a refrigerator magnet and up to a thousand times stronger than a typical neutron star’s.
  • Neutron stars are formed when the core of a massive star undergoes gravitational collapse when it reaches the end of its life.

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