Current Affairs in Short: 2 June 2020
The 36th National Games, which were scheduled to be held between October and November in Goa, have now been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic.
India, France agree to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation
• Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had a telephonic conversation with French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly on June 2, 2020. The two ministers discussed matters of mutual concern including the COVID-19 pandemic and regional security and appreciated efforts made by the armed forces of the two countries in battling the crisis.
• India and France further agreed to strengthen the bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries. France reaffirmed its commitment to ensure timely delivery of Rafale Aircraft despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• India welcomed French Chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) for the period 2020- 2022. The two Ministers agreed to work together to fulfil the India-France Joint Strategic Vision on the Indian Ocean Region of 2018.
EPFO pensioners to get enhanced pension
• The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has released Rs 868 crore and arrears worth Rs 105 crore on account of the restoration of commuted value of the pension.
• The centre on the recommendation of the Central Board of Trustees has now accepted one of the long-standing demands of the workers to allow restoration of commuted value of pension after 15 years.
• Before this, there was no provision for restoration of commuted pension and the pensioners received reduced pension on account of commutation lifelong.
• Hence, this is a historical step for the benefit of pensioners under EPS-95.
36th National Games postponed indefinitely
• The 36th National Games, which were scheduled to be held between October and November in Goa, have now been postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19 pandemic.
• The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had recently asked the Goa government to host the National Games as scheduled from October 20- November 4, 2020. However, the National Games organising committee decided to postpone the games due to the latest spike in coronavirus cases in the nation.
• The National Games organising committee will be hosting a meeting in September, following which the new dates for National Games will be decided. The previous edition of the Games was held back in 2011 in Jharkhand.
China to construct 1,124-megawatt power project in PoK
• China will be setting up a 1,124-megawatt power project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir under the multi-billion-dollar China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework. The move comes despite India’s objection to the project.
• The mega power project is called the Kohala hydropower project. It will be built on the Jhelum River and aims to annually provide more than five billion units of clean and low-cost electricity to the consumers in Pakistan.
• This is one of the largest investments of USD 2.4 billion in an independent power producer (IPP) in the region.
• The 3,000-km-long China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) aims to connect China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical cable fiber networks. The corridor passed through PoK, over which India has conveyed its protests to China.
Jal Shakti Ministry approves Arunachal Pradesh’s annual action plan to achieve 100% household tap connections
• The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has approved the Annual Action Plan of Arunachal Pradesh to achieve 100 per cent household tap connections in the state.
• The state had proposed to provide 100 percent tap connections to all the households by March 2023. The centre has approved a fund worth Rs 255 crore rupees to the state under Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in 2020-21.
• The states are being given additional funds under the mission in the form of performance grants, based on their achievement in terms of tangible outputs, which includes household tap connections.