August 04, 2019



  1. NCAT releases Phase II study entitled “Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India: A Value+ Approach”
  • A statutory body of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has released a phase II(2016-19) study titled “Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India: A Value+ Approach” with the aim to promote tiger conservation.
  • It was authored by the Centre for Ecological Services Management at the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Key points:

♦Ten tiger reserves were surveyed in Phase II which include, Anamalai (Tamil Nadu), Bandipur (Karnataka), Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh), Melghat (Maharashtra), Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Pakke (Arunachal Pradesh), Palamau (Jharkhand), Panna (Madhya Pradesh), Similipal (Odisha), and Valmiki (Bihar).

♦The Study values country’s 10 tiger reserves at Rs 5.96 lakh crore & highlights the health benefits derived from these reserves range between Rs 11,014 crore and Rs 34,592 crore.

♦The phase I study (2013-15) was conducted valuation in 6 tiger reserves in India includes Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore, and Sundarbans.

  1. Jaipur to hold Regional Conference on Good Governance in the month of November
  • Regional Conference on Good Governance will be held in Jaipur,Rajasthan by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in association with the Department of Administrative Reforms, Government of Rajasthan and the Harish Chandra Mathur Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration (HCMRIPA).
  • The theme of the conference for 2019 is “Strengthening State Institute of Public Administration”.
  • The conference will be held between 14th and 15th November 2019 and will be inaugurated by Ashok Gehlot, chief minister of Rajasthan and Union Minister JitendraSingh.This conference aims to develop and provide opportunities in improving the Public Service Delivery by enhanced quality of Administration.


  1. Free electricity up to 200 units in Delhi: CM Arvind Kejriwal
  • The Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced free electricity to those consuming up to 200 units a month with effect from August 1, 2019.
  • Consumption of electricity between 201-400 units will approximately get 50% subsidy.
  • For consuming 250 units of electricity, people will have to pay Rs 252, for 300 units- Rs 526 and for 400 units- Rs 1075.
  • The allocation to subsidy will approximately remain the same from Rs 1800 crore to Rs 2000 crore.


  1. 8th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting 2019 held in Beijing, China
  • A two-day 8th Interregional Ministerial Meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) 2019 was held in Beijing, China on August 2-3, 2019 before the 7th RCEP ministerial meet which will be convened in Bangkok, Thailand on September 2019. In this meeting, all partner countries agreed to finalize trading deal negotiations.
  • The Commerce Secretary Dr. Anup Wadhawan represented India to the meeting.
  • During the meeting with ASEAN Economic Ministers, he highlighted the importance of services trade which supports both goods trade and investment.
  1. Netherlands imposed ban on burqa and niqab in public places
  • The cabinet of Netherlands imposed a ban on Burqa or niqab in public places, including public transport, government buildings and at health and education institutions. It is not applied to public streets. Anyone found guilty will have to pay a fine of Rs 28,000.
  • Along with burqa, niqab or veil, it also banned motor helmets and ski masks. It does not include headscarves, as they cover only the head and not the face. A fine of 150 euros will be imposed on breaking the law.

Banking & Finance

  1. Reserve Bank bars NBFCs From Charging Loan pre-payment Penalties
  • The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has barred the both deposit-taking and non- deposit taking NBFCs(Non-Banking Finance Companies) from charging pre-payment /foreclosure charges on any floating rate term loans sanctioned for purposes other than business to individual loan borrowers.

Key points:

♦Impact: The move will affect income line of NBFCs which are now troubling with the stock of issues including liquidity crisis.

♦For Banks: RBI barred commercial banks from charging such penalties from individual borrowers with mortgage loans in May 2014. But it allows banks to charge on unsecured loans like credit cards, personal loans.

♦Foreclosure: The foreclosure of personal loan is the full repayment of the remaining loan amount in one single payment instead of paying monthly installments.

  1. Karnataka Bank inks pact with Finwizard Tech to offer MFs via ‘KBL Mobile Plus’ app
  • An ‘A’ Class Scheduled Commercial Bank, Karnataka Bank has tied up with fintech company Finwizard Technology Pvt Ltd (widely known as “fisdom”) to offer wealth management products and services, beginning with mutual funds(MFs), through its ‘KBL Mobile Plus’ application.

Key points:

♦The app enables customers to invest in any mutual fund & also help them navigate and select the best-suited funds besides having additional services like redemption assistance and live tracking.

♦With this, the bank will deepen the penetration of its product offers and enable more customers experience through a digital proposition.

♦since 2006, The Karnataka bank offering mutual funds to its customers.

Business & Economy

  1. Microsoft joins hands with Apollo Hospitals to use AI for Cardiovascular Disease
  • Targetting cardiac diseases, Microsoft India, a Software company headquartered in Hyderabad has partnered with Apollo Hospitals Group to set up a National Clinical Coordination Committee (NCCC), which will guide the two entities on all cardiovascular-related Artificial Intelligence(AI) projects. It will work for the AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease(CVD) Risk Score API (application program interface) built on Microsoft Azure (cloud computing service), to predict the risk of disease.

Key points:

♦Members: The committee comprises the members from Apollo Hospitals, All India Institute of Medical Sciences(New Delhi) and King George’s Medical University(Lucknow).

♦Goal: It will help Apollo & Microsoft to fight against the rising tsunami of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) & help attain World Health Organization’s (WHO) goal of reducing the risk of premature mortality by 25% (30 to 69 years of age) from NCDs, including CVDs, by 2025.

♦CVD: This is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels are the biggest cause of mortality in India with nearly 25% of mortalities in the age group of 25 to 69.


  1. Overview of Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament 2019 held in Kaspiysk, Russia
  • The Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament 2019 was held in Kaspiysk, Russia. It was the 21st Edition organised by European Boxing Confederation (EUBC). Indian boxers claimed 6 medals at the tournament- 2 golds, 1 silver and 3 bronze.
  • Boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) defeated Italy’s Assunta Canfora and Neeraj (57kg) defeated Russia’s Malika Shakhidova. They both clinched gold medals.
  • Gaurav Solanki had to settle for a silver against Uzbekistan’s Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov.
  • Pooja Rani (75kg), Govind Sahani (49Kg) and Jony (60Kg) settled for bronze.

Award & Honors

  1. English Actor and film Director, Andy Serkis will be awarded IBC’s  Highest Honor in Amsterdam
  • The England-born English actor and film director, Andy Serkis will receive the International Broadcasting Convention’s(IBC) highest award “International Honor for Excellence” for bringing extraordinary humanity to computer-generated characters, at the IBC’s awards ceremony scheduled to be held on September 15, 2019, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Key points:

♦Serkis is best known for his performance-capture roles of Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” film series & and as Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy.

♦Filmmakers, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, and Jeffrey Katzenberg were the past recipients of this prestigious award.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. India test-fires QRSAM from a test range in Odisha
  • India test-fired a sophisticated all-weather and all-terrain Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) from a mobile truck-based launch unit at complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha which was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the India Army.
  • QRSAM, the state-of-the-art missile, uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.
  • It is equipped with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars. It can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister.
  • The first trial of the QSRAM was conducted on June 4, 2017.


  1. Oscar-winning documentary maker D.A. Pennebaker passed away at Long Island, New York, US
  • A. Pennebaker, the Oscar-winning documentary maker of America, passed away at Long Island, New York, US due to natural causes. He was 94.
  • Born on July 15, 1925 in Evanston, Illinois, United States, he was the recipient of honorary Academy Award/ Lifetime Oscar in 2013 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


August 5, 2019

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