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Today GK Updates – 20th Feb 2020 Current Affairs
1. Hindi is 3rd most spoken language in the world
- Hindi is the 3rd most spoken language of the world in 2019 with 615 million speakers after English and Mandarin.
- The 22nd edition of the world language database Ethnologue stated English at the top of the list with 1,132 million speakers.
- English at the top of the list with 1,132 million speakers. Chines Mandarin is at the second position with 1,117 million speakers.
- The current round of the database covers 7,111 living languages of the world. It also contains data on languages which have gone out of use in recent history. This edition lists 348 such languages.
- Bangla has been ranked as the 7th most spoken language of the world.
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Ethnologue brings out a yearly database of living languages of the world since its establishment in 1951.
2. 22nd Law Commission of India approved by the Union Cabinet
- The Central Government has approved the formation of the 22nd Law Commission that will examine the existing laws and suggest ways for reforms and necessary laws to implement the Directive Principles mentioned in the Preamble of the Constitution.
- The Law Commission is a non-statutory body. The government constitutes law commission from time to time as per the requirement. It was originally formed in 1955. The union cabinet has decided that it will be constituted for three years.
- The law commission will revise the laws of general importance to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities, and inequities.
- The term of the 21st Law Commission of India was till August 31, 2018.
- The 22nd Law Commission will consist of:
- A member-secretary and three other members
- Secretary (Department of Legal Affairs as ex-officio Member)
- Secretary (Legislative Department as ex officio Member)
- Part-time Members (Not more than five).
3. IDSA to be renamed as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
- The central government has renamed Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), a government think tank, as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in order to “honour the commitment and legacy” of the late defence minister.
- An autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence, IDSA was established as a registered society in New Delhi in 1965, dedicated to objective research and policy relevant studies on all aspects of defence and security.
- It will align the vision and aspiration of the premier defence institute with the contribution of the former Defence Minister and Padma Bhushan awardee.
- Parrikar, who was defence minister from November 9, 2014 to March 14, 2017, died on March 17 last year in Panaji at Goa due to pancreatic cancer.
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Founded: 11 November 1965; Director General: Sujan R. Chinoy
4. State of India’s Birds 2020 Report
- The State of India’s Birds 2020 Report was recently released at the 13th COP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
- It is India’s first of its kind report that highlights observations by birdwatchers form the basis of the analyses.
- The report suggests that about 867 birds were assessed which made it clear that almost all the species are declining.
- The report also highlights that some species have increased in numbers such as Glossy Ibis, Rosy Starling, Ashy Prinia, and Feral Pigeon.
- Birds were divided into different categories – 101 birds as a high concern, 319 birds as moderate concern and 442 birds as low concern species.
- It said that numbers of Indian Peacock have increased that was mentioned as the species of ‘least concern’ on the IUCN list.
- The report said that the number of India’s domestic or house sparrow has decreased in large cities but almost stable overall lack of suitable nesting sites and lack of insect (a key part of sparrow’s diet) population.
5. China moves against Pakistan in FATF, Turkey now the only supporter
- China has joined India and United States in putting Pakistan on Grey list of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) for its failure to check terror funding.
- The decision was taken at the meeting of the FATF’s International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), held at the ongoing Paris plenary.
- China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were the three countries that supported Pakistan against FATF move in putting Pakistan under Grey List. Now Turkey and Malaysia are the only supporters.
- Pakistan was put on the list in June 2018. It was given a plan of action which the country was supposed to complete by October 2019. Failing of which will place it under black list.
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The FATF is a Paris based organization that combats terrorism funding and money laundering.
Founded: July 1989; Headquarters: Paris, France; Current No. of Members: 39.
Grey List: The countries that are not safe and are support and are supporting money laundering and terror funding are included in the list.
Black List: The countries that is uncooperative tax havens for terror funding. They are also called Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs).
6. Ashraf Ghani secures 2nd term as President of Afghanistan
- In Afghanistan, the Independent Election Commission announced that Ashraf Ghani has won a second term as President of the country.
- Ghani garnered 9, 23,592 votes, or 50.64 percent of votes that took place 28th of September last year. However, his closest opponent Abdullah Abdullah has refused to recognize the results.
- It has posed a question to a US Peace Plan that calls for a reduction in violence after an expected agreement to be signed on 29th of this month between Washington and the Taliban.
- Abdullah lost to Ghani in 2014 in a divisive election that saw the US intervene to broker an awkward power-sharing deal between the two rivals.
Afghanistan – Capital: Kabul; Currency: Afghan afghani.