- Lok Sabha passes Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill
- The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill seeks to ‘remove’ the mention of ‘President of the Indian National Congress’ as a trustee.
- The bill was passed by a voice vote amid the Congress walkout. Earlier, amendments moved by opposition parties were defeated by a division of votes.
- A division sought by opposition members at the time of consideration of the bill was also defeated 214 in favour of the consideration and 30 against it.
- Government to soon notify constitution of National Traders’ Welfare Board to help small traders
- The commerce and industry ministry will soon notify the constitution of a National Traders’ Welfare Board that will identify ways to improve access to funds for this unorganised sector and suggest measures to simplify acts and rules applicable to traders.
- The board will also make recommendations to reduce the compliance burden of traders as well as to ensure social security benefits such as insurance, pension, and healthcare for traders and their employees.
- The government in January renamed the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) as the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT), giving it the additional responsibility of welfare of traders and their employees.
- The DPIIT has also started consultation for the National Retail Policy to streamline retail trade in India by enhancing their ease of doing business.
- A mega pension scheme under which all shopkeepers, retail traders, and self-employed persons are guaranteed a monthly pension of₹3,000 once they attain the age of 60 years.
- Government to set up JV firm ‘Khanij Bidesh India’ to ensure strategic minerals supply
- To ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to the domestic market, the government announced setting up a JV company with participation of three PSUs — Nalco, Hindustan Copper and MECL.
- A joint venture company namely KhanijBidesh India Ltd (KABIL) is to be set up with the participation of three central public sector enterprises namely, National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd (MECL).
- The equity participation between NALCO, HCL and MECL is in the ratio of 40:30:30.
- Parliament passed Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019
- On August 2, 2019, Parliament passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 with 147 members voting in favour of the bill and 42 against it. The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. It provides for special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, and empowered the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the grounds of terrorism.
- Powers: Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism, or is otherwise involved in terrorism.
- 150 million workers aimed by the govt. to be enrolled under PM pension scheme
- Over the next 3 years under the pension scheme Pradhan Mantri shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM), the union government aims to enroll150 million workers to bring them under the social security net.
- Labour secretary, Hiralal Samariya stated that about 50-60 million workers will be from the construction sector and Agriculture workers and self-employed retailers will also be part of this pension scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan yojana (PM-SYM)
♦The scheme was announced in the month of February 2019. It provides monthly pension of Rs.3000 by contributing to this scheme till the age of 60 years.
♦Eligibility: peopleshould work in unorganised sector with monthly income less than or equal to Rs.15000 and the entry age to enroll to this scheme is 18-40years
- Maharashtra government decides to waive off exam fees
- Maharashtra Government has decided to waive off the entire exam fees, including practical exam for class ten and twelve students hailing from drought-affected districts of the state.
- Maharashtra’s education minister Mr.Ashish Shelar informed that the amount of the entire fee will be credited back into the bank accounts of students or their guardians.
- Delhi Public Library’s mobile library bus service launched
- Mobile Library Buses procured under CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) assistance from Airport Authority of India by Delhi Public Library, was launched by the Union Minister of state for culture and tourism-Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in New Delhi.
- It was launched under the “Ghar-GharDastakGharGharPustak” scheme of Delhi Public Library providing books to citizens of Delhi especially residents of slums, resettlement colonies and rural areas.
- Other important members present on the occasion were Shri Avtar Singh, North Delhi Municipal Corporation mayor,.Dr. Ramsharan Gaur, chairman of Delhi Library Board & Director general of Delhi Public Library, Dr.Lokesh Sharma
- West Bengal Government launched awareness campaign ‘Save Green, Stay Clean’
- The Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee launched an awareness campaign‘Save Green, Stay Clean’ for preserving the greenery and keeping the environment clean in Kolkata, which will be celebrated every year. She participated in the Padayatra for this purpose.
- The percentage of tree plantation increased to 19% from 11% in the past 8 years.
- State Government will also distribute more than 1 lakhs saplings throughout the state for spreading of greenery.
- Nagar Kirtan(Sikh religious procession) from Pakistan reaches India for the first time since Partition
- To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev , the Sikhism founder, a Nagar Kirtan , a Sikh religious procession was taken out for 1st time after Independence from Nankana Sahib district(birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev) of Pakistan’s Punjab province entered into Attari village in Amritsar,PunjabIndian side through the Attari-Wagah land route .
♦The procession which comprising around 500 Sikh devotees will halt will at Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district of Punjab after passing through various cities and towns.
♦The procession carrying the holy Guru Granth Sahib was organized by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), an apex religious body of the Sikhs with the support from both Indian and Pakistani authorities.
♦Ministers OP Soni and Charanjit Singh Channi, Punjab cabinet ministers, Akali Dal leaders were among those who present on the occasion.
♦Nagar Kirtan will stop at Golden Temple of Amritsar before it begins its onward journey.
♦2019 marks the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. Government of India(GoI) will celebrate the event throughout the country and across the globe for a period of one year from November 2018 to November 2019.
Banking & Finance
- RBI allows Bank of China to offer regular banking services in India
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed Bank of China to offer regular banking services in the country. All commercial banks, like SBI, HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank, are in the Second Schedule.
- In another notification, the RBI said the name of ‘The Royal Bank of Scotland plc’ has been changed to ‘NatWest Markets Plc’ in the Second Schedule.
- Meanwhile, ‘National Australia Bank’ has ceased to be a banking company within the meaning of the Banking Regulation Act.
Business & Economy
- CRISIL lowers India’s FY2020 GDP growth forecast to 6.9 percent
- According to the CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited), a global analytical company providing ratings, research and policy advisory services report titled “CRISIL’s India Outlook 2019: Uphill trek”, India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth expected to grow by 6.9% in 2019 (FY-Fiscal Year 2020). It cuts the forecast from 7.1 % to 6.9% due to the triangulation of downside risks (weak monsoon, slowing global growth and Sluggish data for the first quarter (January to March) of the year 2019.
♦Growth: The second half (July 2019-December 2019) of the year will have its support from expected monetary easing, consumption, and statistical low-base effect. Due to food inflation, the agriculture sector will also be expected to improve. Farmers will also benefit from the income transfer of Rs 6,000 per year and farm loan waivers in some states.
♦Interference: The splendid growth of India’s 8.2 % in fiscal 2017 was affected by the disruptions rooted from the policy initiatives and reforms and global uncertainty including US-China trade dispute.
♦Corporate growth: The revenue growth of the corporate will be slipped back to single-digit (8%) after two fiscal years, which will be the reversing trend of double-digit growth in the past two fiscals.
♦Impact: The sales of automobile sector will be strongly affected by an increase in costs due to changes in regulation, tightening liquidity, and moderating income growth.
♦NPA: The NPA’s ( non-performing assets) are expected to decline to 8 percent by FY 20 end from the high level of 11.5 % witnessed in FY18.
♦NBFC: CRSIL created a positive outlook for NBFC’s (non-banking finance companies ) particularly in retail will likely pick up gradually.
- Four players get life bans for fixing in Asian Football Cup events
- Four footballers have been slapped with life bans for match-fixing during the Asian Football Cup (AFC) tournaments in 2017 and 2018.
- Six people, including a former referee and members of Indonesia’s national soccer association, were given jail sentences earlier this month in relation to a 2018 game in the nation’s third-tier league.
- The governing body said in a statement that Kyrgyz players Iliaz Alimov and Abduaziz Mahkamov conspired to fix matches involving their club FC Alay in the 2017 and/or 2018 season of the AFC Cup.
- Aishwary wins gold at SardarSajjan Singh Sethi memorial shooting
- In Shooting, AishwaryPratap Singh Tomar clinched a yellow metal in Men’s Rifle 3 Positions (3P) at 12th SardarSajjan Singh Sethi Memorial Masters competition in New Delhi.
- Meanwhile, multiple International Shooting Sport Federation medallist and the country’s most accomplished 3P shooter Sanjeev Rajput, had to be satisfied with a silver, finishing. India international Parul Kumar settled for the bronze.
- TinjitDhanota of Punjab and Esha Singh of Telengana won the Men’s and Women’s 10 metres Air Pistol gold medals.
Appointment & Resignation
- Kashyap Pramod Patel appointed to key counter terrorism position in White House
- Prominent Indian-American lawyer Kashyap Pramod Patel, an ardent supporter of US President Donald Trump, has been appointed to a key counter terrorism position in the White House.
- As per the media reports Patel, 38, who previously served as Senior Counsel for Counterterrorism at the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence till early this year, has now been appointed as Senior Director of Counterterrorism Directorate of the National Security Council (NSC) in the White House.
- New York-born Patel has his roots in Gujarat. However, his parents are from East Africa – mother from Tanzania and father from Uganda. They came to the US from Canada in 1970.
- Rakesh Asthana has been given the additional charge of the Narcotics Control Bureau for 6 months
- As per the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Government of India(GoI), Director General (DG)of Civil Aviation Security Rakesh Asthana(1984-batch Gujarat cadre officer) has been given the additional charge of the DG of Narcotics Control Bureau(NCB) for a period of 6 months.
- He will take additional charge as DG, NCB for a period of 6 months from the assumption of charge till the appointment of a regular incumbent or until further orders.
- In January 2019, Asthana, a former CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)officer was transferred to Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, after a tug of war with the then chief of the investigation agency Alok Verma.
- At NCB, Asthana will review and initiate quality operations to crack on the narcotics smuggling, nexus of drugs mafia and money laundering crimes.
- Atish Dabholkar, a theoretical physicist from India appointed as new Director of ICTP, Italy
- Atish Dabholkar(56), an Indian theoretical physicist from Kolhapur, Maharashtra has been appointed as the new director of Italy based International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) for a five year term starting in November 2019 with the rank of Assistant Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He succeeds Fernando Quevedo, who has led the centre since 2009.
♦He is currently the head of ICTP’s high energy, cosmology and astroparticle physics section. He joined ICTP in 2014 on secondment from Sorbonne Université and the National Center for Scientific Research, where he has been a research director since 2007.
♦Born in 1963, Dabholkar earned his Masters in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1985 and his Ph. D. in theoretical physics from Princeton University in 1990 followed by postdoctoral and research positions at Rutgers University, Harvard University, and California Institute of Technology.
♦He was also a professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), is well-known for his research on string theory and quantum black holes.
♦He has been conferred with awards including India’s coveted ‘Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award’ (2006), a most prestigious national science prize awarded by Prime Minister, ANR(National Research Agency) Chaire d’Excellence (2007)award and National Leadership Award (2008).
Award & Honors
- DD News channel bagged Champions of empathy award
- DD News(Doordarshan)news channel of India awarded “Champions of Empathy Award” . The award is given for spreading awareness about hepatitis.
- Mayank Agrawal, Director General of DD News received the Award from Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
- The main responsibility of DD News is make people aware about various diseases and preventions by showing health-related programs, reports, and policies that help to spread awareness towards health in society.
Science, Space & Technology
- IIT Kharagpur researchers develop ‘zero loss’ process HTC for wet MSW management
- A research team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have developed a ‘zero loss’ process called Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC) for the Indian conditions which can effectively manage mixed Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) with high moisture content where MSW can be converted into biofuel, soil amendment, and absorbents.
♦The research was led by Professor Brajesh Kumar Dubey from the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Kharagpur.
♦Only 20-30% of organic fraction of municipal solid waste was recycled to biofuel using the existing waste incineration processes.
- NASA’s TESS satellite discovers first nearby super Earth
- A super-Earth was discovered by an International team of astronomers led by Lisa Kaltenegger and is considered to be the first potentially habitable world outside our own solar system.
♦The super Earth is named as GJ 357 d and it was discovered in NASA’s Translating Exoplanets Survey Satellite (TESS) according to new modelling research in “Astrophysical Journal Letters”.
♦This super Earth ,GJ 35 70 located about 31 light years away from our solar system is more massive than earth and could contain liquid on its surface.
♦This discovery of the GJ 357 system was announced in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” by Astronomers of Spain.
- Steve Sawyer, Greenpeace warrior & a founder of Global Wind Energy Council passed away
- Steve Sawyer, famed wind energy campaigner and a founder of the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has passed away in an Amsterdam (Netherlands) hospital due to lung cancer. He was 63.
- He spent over ten years between 2007 and 2017 as a general secretary at GWEC.
- Known for stubborn courage and an ability to inspire others, Sawyer came into the global spotlight after the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior vessel by the French agents in Auckland harbor on July 10, 1985.
- Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira was killed by French secret service which blew two holes in the Rainbow Warrior’s hull, sinking the vessel, when Sawyer was on board celebrating his 29th birthday.
- He spent 30 years at Greenpeace International, where he rose to become executive director from 1988 to 1993 and served in various leadership positions at the environmental activists’ organization.
- He was one of the environmental activists & create awareness about climate change.
- Madhubani painting and Sujni artist Karpuri Devi passed away in the Madhubani district of Bihar
- Madhubani painting and Sujni artist Karpuri Devi, aged 94, passed away at the Heart Hospital at Mangarauni village in Madhubani district of Bihar where she was undergoing treatment. She hailed from Ranti village of Bihar and belonged to the first generation of Mithila painting artists.
- The National Award recipient contributed towards setting up of the Mithila Museum which is located in Tokamachi hills in Japan’s Niigata region.
- She was the recipient of several state awards and national merit certificate given by the Ministry of textiles, Union government.