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  • The 35th edition of India International Leather Fair (IILF) Chennai, will be held the city between January 31 and February 3 at Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam, Chennai.
  • The four-day event will see around 15,000 participants from 40 countries.
  • IILF will have on display the entire range of products relating to leather industry from raw material to finished products and auxiliary products such as finished leather; shoes; shoe components – uppers, soles, heels, counters, lasts; leather garments, fashion accessories, leather goods, machinery and equipment and chemicals. IILF has all along been a vivid presentation of the leather industry.

Cabinet approves raising upper limit for abortions to 24 weeks

  • The Union Cabinet approved extending the upper limit for permitting abortions from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • The Cabinet approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.
  • The Bill will be introduced in the ensuing session of Parliament.
  • While addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the upper limit for permitting abortions has been extended from the present 20 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Prakash Javadekar also said that this will ensure safe termination of pregnancies and also give women reproductive rights over their bodies.
  • The extension to 24 weeks will also help victims of rape, girls with disabilities as well as minors, who may not realise they are pregnant until later, Prakash Javadekar said.

Govt drafts new bill to prevent illegal fishing in India’s EEZ

  • In order to prevent illegal fishing in India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the government has drafted a new bill that aims to regulate fishing beyond the country’s territorial waters, according to sources.
  • An EEZ is a sea zone generally extending 200 nautical miles from a country’s coastline that is reserved for the respective country under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.
  • The bill on regulation and managing fishing in EEZ, which has been drafted by the fisheries ministry and is yet to get the Cabinet approval, assumes significance in the backdrop of growing illegal fishing in the zone.
  • “At present, a state government governs the territorial sea up to 12 nautical miles. Beyond that is India’s EEZ and there is no law governing this zone. As a result, anybody can come and fish in this area,” a highly place source said.
  • While territorial sea is a state subject, the EEZ is governed by the Central government. The objective of the new bill is to issue licence for fishing in the EEZ and curb illegal fishing from countries like China, the source said.


Brexit deal cleared by EU Parliament

  • The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved Britain’s departure terms from the EU – the final major decision in the four-year Brexit saga.
  • The vote was 621 to 49 in favor of the Brexit deal that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiated with the other 27 EU leaders in the fall of last year.
  • While backing Britain’s departure in the wake of the country’s vote to leave in a referendum in June 2016, EU countries are already preparing for the possibility that talks on a new trade deal with Britain could collapse by the end of the year, and no-deal contingency planning for a chaotic end to the transition period is necessary.

Trump Middle East plan

  • Palestinians have dismissed US President Donald Trump’s new Middle East peace plan as a “conspiracy”.
  • It envisages a Palestinian state and recognition of Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the occupied West Bank.
  • Mr Trump said Jerusalem would remain Israel’s “undivided” capital, but the Palestinian capital would “include areas of East Jerusalem”.
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Jerusalem was “not for sale”.


Queen’s University Belfast and IIT Madras research team develops technology

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras students were part of an international research project led by a Queen’s University Belfast Researcher in the U.K. who has developed an innovative new algorithm to make Artificial Intelligence (AI) fairer and less biased when processing data.
  • Dr. Deepak Padmanabhan, Researcher at Queen’s University Belfast and Adjunct Faculty Member at IIT Madras, has been leading an international project, working with Ms. Savitha Abraham and Ms. Sowmya Sundaram, PhD Students, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras, to tackle the discrimination problem within clustering algorithms

One Nation One Ration Scheme To Start Soon in Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi

  • Tamil Nadu government passes a GO recently for upgrading intra-state portability of ration card food supplies.
  • The first two districts to benefit from it are Toothukudi and Tirunelveli. Ration cardholders in these two districts can buy their free food supplies from any fair price shop in the district for a week on a trial basis.
  • It is then to be extended to all districts in Tamil Nadu soon.
  • The GO was issued by the Co-operation, Food, and Consumer Protection Department.
  • This intra-state portability of the ration card scheme by the Tamil Nadu government is apart from the central government’s One Nation One Card scheme to be implemented by the end of June.


  • For better planning and monitoring of government projects, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the Bhuvan Panchayat web portal’s version 3.0.
  • Shiv Bhojan thali scheme launched in Maharashtra.