August 11, 2019



  1. President Ram Nath Kovind Gives Assent To Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019
  • President of India Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019 aimed to make India hub of domestic and global arbitration for settling commercial disputes. It will amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996.
  • Features of the new bill: It provides a mechanism to deal time-bound settlement of disputes and ensures accountability of the arbitrator
  • ACI: It provides for establishing an independent body called Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation, and other alternative dispute redressal mechanisms. This will make the arbitration process more friendly and cost-effective, and ensure timely disposal of cases.
  1. President Ram Nath Kovind gives assent to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019
  • President of India Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, to improve road safety and facilitation of the citizens while dealing with transport departments. The Act will amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
  • Provision: The Act provides for the grant of licenses, regulation of cab aggregators, road safety and penalties for violation of these provisions.
  • Golden hour: The bill allows to develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour(the time of up to one hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest).It also enables to make a scheme for providing interim relief to claimants seeking compensation under third party insurance.
  1. Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan inaugurates inter state portability in two cluster of states
  • Shri Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution inaugurated the inter-State portability in two clusters of adjoining States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana and Gujarat & Maharashtra, as a major step towards achieving the objective of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’.Under the National Food Security Act, beneficiaries can avail the benefits from any of the two cluster States.

Key points

♦11 States/UT have implemented the intra-State portability. The 11 states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura.

♦Having implemented intra-State portability already, the inter-State portability will be introduced in these 11 States by 1st January 2020.

♦Other states apart from these 11 states will be included in the inter-state portability in a phased manner starting from 1st of June 2020.

♦To sustain the reforms brought in by the ongoing scheme of ‘End-to-End Computerization of TPDS Operations’ and to introduce new reforms, the Department of Food & Public Distribution, is targeting implementation of nation-wide portability in distribution of subsidised foodgrains to the beneficiaries without the need of obtaining a new ration card under ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ System.

♦electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices supported by the biometric/Aadhaar authentication will be installed at Fair Price Shops(FPS)

♦More than 4.1 lakh (77%) ePoS devices are already operational across the country. 25 States/UTs have either completed the installation in all FPSs or having significant progress. More than 85% ration cards (at least one member) in the country are linked with the Aadhaar numbers of the beneficiaries.

  1. Mukhyamantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana – vice president honorable M. venkaiah Naidu launches Jharkhand government’s financial assistance program for its farmers
  • Under the Jharkhand state’s scheme,Mukhyamantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana launched by Shri Venkaiah Naidu, farmers/ beneficiaries having farmlands of less than 1 acre to 5 acres will be provided a financial assistance of Rs5,000-25,000. The launching ceremony was held in 23 districts apart from Ranchi.

Key points

♦This scheme would benefit approximately 35 lakh farmers and by september/october this year Rs 3000 crore will be sent to beneficiaries’ account.

♦This scheme is apart from the benefits that the farmers are getting under Pratan Mantri Kisan yojana.

♦As soon as this scheme was launched, money was transferred to the beneficiaries’ account.

♦The centre has pledged to double the income of farmers by 2022.

♦The government is increasing Minimum Support Price of 23 farm produce in achieve the goal of boosting the income by 2022.

♦Mr. Naidu praised the governments effort in protecting the interest of “annadata” (food providers).


  1. Draft Agricultural policy released by Odisha government
  • As a way of developing the agriculture sector and to focus on increasing the income of farmers, the Odisha government released a Draft Agricultural Policy.

Key points

♦Aim: To strengthen the social as well as economic well-being of the farmers, sharecroppers and landless labourers.

♦Focus: Proper use of resources and opportunities with advanced technologies available to contribute to the farmers’ wellbeing. Address the constraints faced in agriculture.

♦Target: There are about 50,000 single landless women in Odisha. These women will be specially targeted in this draft policy scheme to provide them economic development.

♦Sector specific strategy: The draft policy deals with 8 specific strategy. They are leveraging science and technology, adoption to climate change, markets, higher productivity, infrastructure, diversification, skilling and strengthening institutions.

♦The last time an agricultural policy was implemented in Odisha was in the year 2016. The year witnessed surplus production of food grains by producing 117 lakh MT (Metric Tonne) for 2016-2017.

♦The rate of monthly income of the farmers grew the fastest between 2002-03 and 2015-16 where average monthly income of a farmer of Odisha increased from ₹1,062 to ₹7,731. This indicated a growth of 16.5%against the national growth of 11.7%.

♦Other previous scheme: Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme was launched in December, 2018. This scheme is being extended for another five years.

  1. 9 year old Manipuri girl, Valentina Devi made Manipur’s green ambassador
  • Elangbam Valentina Devi, a 9 year old girl from Manipur was made the ambassador of ‘Chief Minister’s Green Manipur Mission’, after a video of her crying over felled trees went viral on social media.
  • The govt. Made this step in recognition of her immense love and affection for trees.
  1. Rajasthan becomes the first state in the country to implement biofuel policy:  Sachin Pilot
  • Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan state Government , Sachin Pilot stated that Rajasthan is the 1st  state in the country that released biofuel rules-2019 (after the notification of the Centre on April 30,2019) with the vision to promote the use of biofuels. He introduced the  biofuel rules-2019 at a state level function on the eve of the World Biofuel Day(August 10,2019).

Key points:

♦Pilot also stated that there will be no delay in taking necessary steps for progress and welfare of the society and country.

♦Present status: 82% of fossil fuel in India comes from overseas which is a big burden on the taxpayers and India’s economy.

♦The Rajasthan state currently using 1250 crore liters of fossil fuel, where 5% of it is replaced by biofuel ,lead to 62 crore liters of biofuel will have to be produced in the state.

Banking & Finance

  1. Chola MS ties up with Indian bank to provide insurance products to indian bank customers
  • Indian Bank Managing Director and CEO( (Chief Executive Officer), Padmaja Chunduru and Cholamandalam MS (Chola MS) General Insurance Company, Managing Director, SS Gopalarathnam, have signed a corporate agency agreement where the Chola MS will deliver a wide range of insurance policies to the Indian bank customers.

Key points

♦Having over 2872 branches, this partnership would greatly benefit customers of the Indian bank.

♦Corporate Agency Agreement: An agency agreement is a legal contract creating a fiduciary relationship whereby the first party (“the principal”) agrees that the actions of a second party (“the agent”) binds the principal to later agreements made by the agent as if the principal had himself personally made the later agreements.

  1. India’s first Corporate credit card for SMEs launched by B2B payments startup EnKash
  • Business-Business payments startup company EnKash launched the country’s first corporate credit card called ‘Freedom Card’ for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • Freedom card: This card provides the freedom to avail credit facility for immediate needs and to manage liquidity of startups. To enhance the experience, banks are currently offering credit cards and EnKash partners.
  • Enkash: It has come up with a corporate card to look into to the varied billing cycles as per the working capital cycles of different businesses. This step is a first of its kind in India.

About Enkash

♦Founded–  2017 by Yadvendra Tyagi, Hemant Vishnoi, and Naveen Bindal(Co-Founder).

♦Recently Enkash has raised $3 million in a Series A round from Mayfield India and Axilor Ventures in April 2019.

  1. DBS Bank India join hands with Social Alpha to incubate social entrepreneurs
  • A leading financial services corporation , DBS Bank India has tied up with Social Alpha, the non-profit start-up incubator to mentor &support the start-ups (Even Cargo, Trust Circle Incredible Devices) focusing including inclusion, healthcare, and environment in India over the next 18 months..

Key points:

♦DBS Bank will also give an annual programme grant of ₹1 crore to the three ventures.

♦Even Cargo: It is a is a social enterprise that has trained and employed women as delivery personnel for major  e-commerce companies.

♦Trust Circle: It is a mental healthcare start-up that utilises mobile & AI(Artificial Intelligence) technology to improve emotional resilience & well-being.

♦Incredible Devices: It is a medical devices startup with a mission to make safe, affordable & accessible healthcare solutions.

♦The partnership will encourage social entrepreneurs who are sustainable by generating enough returns to build scale.

Business & Economy

  1. Centre sets target of transporting nearly 25% of cargo through coastal shipping and inland waterways over the next 10 years: Mansukh Mandaviya
  • In the event of 30th anniversary celebrations of the nation’s largest container port JNPT(Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust) Union Minister of State for Shipping , Mansukh Mandaviya stated that the central government has set a target of transporting nearly 25% of cargo through coastal shipping and inland waterways over the next 10 years in Mumbai.

Key points:

♦This target will be achieved with the help of initiatives for development of ports taken by the centre

♦The increment in exim cargo will also help to reduce inflation by nearly 2.5 %.

♦The government also aims to develop the infrastructure of railways, roads and airports sector. These initiatives are aimed at making the economy competitive in global markets and for that it is necessary to bring down the cost of logistics.

♦Present status: India’s logistics cost (14%) is still 5 percent more than global cost(9%).

Award & Honors

  1. 4th edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards, 2019 announced by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
  • In a bid to encourage and recognise entrepreneurs and also to catalyse a cultural shift in youth for entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has announced the 4th edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA) for the year 2019.
  • Aim: To honour outstanding young first generation innovative, inspiring and accomplished micro entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders for their contribution in entrepreneurship development.
  • Objective: to recognize the businesses and businessmen and also to address the discontinuity towards better business systems and enhanced products & services with the help of a prize money.
  • The awards will be given on November 09, 2019.
  • Award: A total of 45 awards are to be announced with 39 enterprise awards and 6 Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders awards. Winners will be presented with a Trophy, Certificate and a Cash Prize of Rs.5 lakh (enterprises/ individuals) and Rs.10 lakh (organizations/ institutes)
  • Eligibility: to avail this award, The nominee must be under the age of 40 years. Must be first-generation entrepreneur, holding 51% or more equity and ownership of the business.


  1. Greek sculptor Takis, known for kinetic artworks passed away at the age of 93
  • Takis(Panayiotis Vassilakis,),a Greek artist known for his kinetic sculptures, known for artworks that made use of technology, motion and light and were displayed in art galleries and museums around the world has passed away in athens, Greece  at the age of 93.
  • He was born on 25 October 1925, Athens, Greece. Over a 70-year career, Takis created some of the most innovative art of the 20th century.
  • He was the founder of Takis Foundation,a research Center for the Art and the Sciences that contains a museum, garden and the sculptor’s studio, and aims to promote the appreciation of the visual arts..
  • His works adorn the most important museums of the world which include George Pompidou Center for Contemporary Art (Paris), the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the De Menil Collection (Houston), the Tate Modern (London), the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice).

Important Days

  1. World Biofuel Day celebrated on August 10, 2019
  • Inorder to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector, August 10 is observed as WorldBiofuel Day.

Ministers present:

♦At Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The programme was inaugurated by  Shri. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas & Steel.

♦Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan was the Chief Guest of the function.


August 12, 2019

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