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Daily Newsletter | TPS 20 Daily Current Affairs | 22nd January 2020


Bilateral Investment Treaty

Why in news?

The Bilateral International Treaty organization, an international arbitration tribunal recently dismissed all the claims against India.

Bilateral Investment Treaty:

  • Bilateral investment Treaties (BITs) or Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements (BIPAs) are agreements between two countries for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments in each other’s territories by individuals and companies situated in either State.
  • They provide treaty based protection to foreign investment.
  • It allows countries to set up rules for investments between each other.
  • Though they are signed by governments, their beneficiaries are business entities.
  • The treaty is the successor of the 19th century friendship, commerce and navigation treaty.
  • The first BIT was signed between Pakistan and Germany.
  • Bilateral investment treaties between two countries allows a private investor to initiate dispute arbitration proceedings against the government to protect its investments.

India and BIT:

  • According to the data of Ministry of Finance, India has so far signed BIT with 75 states.
  • Out of these 66 are already in force and 9 are yet to be entered into force.
  • The most important feature of India’s BITs is that it does not provide right to make investment in India to the signatories.
  • Every investment has its rules fixed by India.

Addition Information related to news:

International Arbitration Tribunal (IAT):

  • It is an independent non-governmental panelof independent and impartial experts.

Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA):

  • Established in:
  • Head Quarters: Hague, Netherlands.
Global Social Mobility Index 

Why in news?

India ranks 7th lowest on countries providing equal opportunity to all.

What is Social Mobility?

  • Social Mobility is the upward or downward movement of an individual in personal circumstances in relation to their parents.
  • It can be measured against a number of outcomes ranging from health to educational achievement and income.

About the Index:

  • Released by: World Economic Forum(WEF)
  • The index measures parameters required for creating equal opportunity for all.
  • According to the report, Denmark ranks the first followed by
  • The five economies with the most to gain from boosting social mobility are China, the United States, India, Japan and Germany.

The countries’ social mobility was measured based on following five key dimensions distributed over 10 pillars –

  • Health; education (access, quality and equity)
  • Technology; work (opportunities, wages, conditions)
  • Protections and institutions (social protection and inclusive institutions)

About India:

  • India has ranked 76th place out of 82 countries on Social Mobility Index.
  • It ranks 41st in lifelong learning and 53rd in working conditions.
  • The Areas of improvement for India include social protection (76th) and fair wage distribution (79th).

Note - Among the world's large emerging economies, the Russian Federation is the most socially mobile of the BRICS grouping, ranking 39th.

Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT)

Why in news?

India, co-builder of Hawaii telescope, wants it shifted out of proposed site.

More about the news

  • India has said that it wants the project to be moved out of the proposed site at Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in
  • The proposed site is considered sacred to indigenous Hawaiians, and also has too many observatories for
  • one more such massive establishment to come up.

Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT)

  • It is a proposed extremely large telescope (ELT) which would facilitate astronomers to observe the intricacies of the universe from earth.
  • It will enable scientists to study fainter objects far away from us in the Universe, which gives information about early stages of evolution of the Universe.
  • It will give finer details of not-so-far-away objects like undiscovered planets and other objects in the Solar System and planets around other stars.
  • TMT being the largest optical and infrared telescope in the northern hemisphere will enable several discoveries which will surely inspire future generations.
  • It is a multi- million dollar project being developed by an international consortium of five countries including India. The other four countries are Canada, China, Japan and the U.S.
  • The level of contribution determines the amount of viewing time, or slots, that the member-countries’ scientists get on the machine.
  • On the Indian side, the project will be handled by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy.
  • In July 2013, five countries participating in the project had inked Master Partnership Agreement (MPA) for the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
  • The telescope which was expected to be started at Mauna Kea, Hawaii was stalled following protests by locals.

Present Status

  • The project has been delayed by nearly five years and should have begun operations by 2025.
  • India has committed $200 million, which is about a tenth of the proposed cost.
  • The telescope needs 492 precisely polished mirrors and India is to contribute 83 of them.
  • The alternative proposed sites to locate the telescope include the Observatorio Del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) on La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain and Hanle, in Ladakh.

Mauna Kea

  • Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii.
  • Its peak is 4,207.3 m above sea level, making it the highest point in the state of Hawaii.
  • Most of the volcano is underwater, and when measured from its underwater base, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world.
  • In Hawaiian mythology, the peaks of the island of Hawaii are sacred.
Thermal Screening

Why in news?

Thermal Screening of passengers arriving from China including Hong Kong expanded to seven airports now.

More about 

  • Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has directed for all arrangements to be made with regard to screening of passengers arriving in India from China including Hong Kongat the identified airports i.e. Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Cochin apart from three airports at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata identified earlier.
  • Operational procedures recommended by International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to
  • managing suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft.
  • Thermal Screening of passengers to be undertaken.

Thermal Screening

  • Infrared thermography(IRT), thermal imaging, and thermal video are examples of infrared imaging science.
  • Thermographic cameras usually detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum and produce images of that radiation, called thermo grams.
  • The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature; therefore, thermography allows one to see variations in temperature.
  • When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds; humans and other warm blooded animals become easily visible against the environment, day or night.
  • As a result, thermography is particularly useful to the military and for clinical diagnostics.
National Start-up Advisory Council

Why in news?

The Central Government has notified the structure of the National Start-up Advisory Council to advise the Government on measures needed to build a strong ecosystem for nurturing innovation and start-ups in the country.

National Start-up Advisory Council


  • The Council will suggest measures to foster a culture of innovation amongst citizens and students in particular.
  • It will support creative and innovative ideas through incubation and research and development to transform them into valuable products.
  • It will also suggest measures to facilitate public organizations to assimilate innovation with a view to improving public service delivery.


  • The National Start-up Advisory Council will be chaired by Minster for Commerce & Industry.
  • The Council will consist of the non-official members, to be nominated by Central Government, from various categories like founders of successful startups, veterans who have grown and scaled companies in India etc.
  • The term of the non-official members of the Startup Advisory Council will be for a period of two years.
  • The nominees of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Organisations, not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, will be ex-officio members of the Council. 
  • Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade will be the Convener of the Council.

Why in news?

The Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) and Chemical & Fertilizers Shri Mansukh Mandaviya participated in the High-level roundtable of UNAIDS (The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) at World Economic Forum at DavosSwitzerland.

  • Theme: Access for all: Leveraging Innovations, Investments and Partnerships for Health.
  • UNAIDS was established in 1996, headquartered in Geneva.
  • It provides the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments, the private sector and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services.
  • UNAIDS is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • SDG-3 deals with ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages. (Including universal access to HIV prevention services, sexual and reproductive health services and drug dependence treatment and harm reduction services).

Previous year question

  1. Yashaswini Scheme for women entrepreneurship was launched in which state ?
  • Goa
  • Karnataka
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Kerala
  1. Sahyog-Kaijin is a joint exercise between India and which of the following Country ?
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • Bhutan