August 15, 2019



  1. Target to provide skill development to 10 lakh youth under SAMARTH scheme
  • Union Textiles Minister SmritiIrani stated that under SAMARTH scheme (scheme for capacity building in textile sector)targets to train 10 lakh persons (9 lakh in organised and 1 lakh in traditional sector) over a period of 3 years (2017-20), with an outlay of Rs. 1300 crore.
  • The guidelines of the scheme were released on 23rd of April 2018
  • The Scheme is intended to provide demand driven, placement oriented National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) compliant skilling programmes to incentivize and supplement the efforts of the industry in creating jobs in the textiles sectors
  1. 16 state governments and the textile ministry signs MoU on skill training
  • Ministry of textiles and a total of 16 states from the country have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a function in New Delhi to take project Samarth– which is Scheme for Capacity Building In Textile Sector (SCBTS) to impart skill based training to workers.
  • The aim is to develop 10 lakh youth upto 2020 in the textile sector, excluding spinning and weaving in the organised sector, with a projected outlay of Rs.1300crore.
  • The 16 states that signed MoU They are Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu,Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Karnataka, Manipur, Haryana, Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
  1. ‘Operation Number Plate’ launched by RPF in all Railway premises ahead of Independence day
  • Indian Railways’ Railway Protection Force (RPF) launched a drive named ‘Operation Number Plate’ under the direction of the Director General of RPF Shri Arun Kumar, to check and verify unauthorised parking in the railway premises.
  • Unauthorized parking of unidentified vehicles are considered as a threat to the safety and security of passengers. Hence the Principal Chief Security Commissioners of RPF and all zonal Railways have been instructed to look into the threats related to security of Railways.
  • Owners of the vehicles should have to contact helpline number 182 if their vehicles have been seized by the RPF from railway station premises.
  1. New lighting system was inaugurated in the Parliament House by the Prime minister
  • As many as 875 energy efficient LED(Light Emitting Diode) lights were installed in the parliament complex and dynamic Facade Lighting of the parliament House estate was inaugurated by the prime minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. These LED bulbs will illuminate lights throughout the year.

Key points

♦These LED bulbs are capable of creating 16 million combinations of colours and uses only one-fifth of the electricity compared to other light types.

♦The LED bulbs are programmable and controlled through computers.

♦The vibrant coloured lights create an aura and enhances Grandeur of the Parliament House.

♦On this occasion Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and other Union Ministers including Hardeep Puri(Minister of State for housing and urban affairs) and Jitendra Singh( Minister of State for Ministers of development of North Eastern Region) were present.

♦Previously the LED were installed in North block and South block of the parliament house.

  1. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launches 2nd Edition of Swaccha Survakshan Grameen for 2019
  • Jal Shakti Minister Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the 2nd Edition of Swaccha Survakshan Grameen, India’s largest sanitation survey, for 2019 in New Delhi.

Key Points:

♦Objective: To engage rural communities in improvement of the sanitation status of their districts and states through intensive campaign and to accelerate the momentum of Swachhta Abhiyan..

♦Description: Under the Swachh Survekshan Grameen, districts and states will be ranked on data collected from citizen feedback, direct observation and service-level progress.

♦Coverage: 45-day long survey will take place in 18 thousand villages of 698 districts.


  1. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik dedicates ‘The Rath’, a steel monument, to the people in Bhubaneswar
  • Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik dedicated ‘The Rath’, a steel monument seeking to accentuate Odisha’s diverse culture and rich heritage, to the people of the state. It is built at the picturesque Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar.

Key Points:

♦The steel monument is presented by Tata Steel in collaboration with Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA).

♦It is built using 13.5 tonne of Tata structura steel hollow sections.

♦The monument design is inspired by the dual narrative of the Sun Temple and the Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival).

  1. Paddy stubble burning declined by 41% in 2018 over 2016 level in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Director General & Secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) under the Ministry of Agriculture , Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra highlighted that the paddy stubble burning declined by 41% in 2018 over 2016 level in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR. It was reduced with the help of a Rs 1,151.80 crore (2018-19 to 2019-20) Central Sector Scheme (CSS) on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue’.

Key Points:

♦In 2017, it was reduced by 15%.

♦More than 4,500 villages in Punjab and Haryana were declared as zero stubble burning villages in 2018.

♦The CSS is implemented by ICAR through 60 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of Punjab (22), Haryana (14), Delhi (1) and UP (23).

♦Within 1 year of its implementation utilizing an amount of Rs 500 crore, the happy seeder/zero tillage technology was adopted in 8 lakh hectares of land in the north-western India.

♦In 2018-19, the funds amounting to Rs 269.38 crores, Rs 137.84 crores and Rs 148.60 crore were released to the Governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, respectively.

♦In 2019-20, funds amounting to Rs 273.80 crore, Rs 192.06 crore and Rs 105.29 crore are released so far to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, respectively.

♦Crop residue burning in north-west India contributes to air pollution, health hazards, disruption of transportation, school closures and soil degradation.

  1. A 3-day Global Investors Summit 2019 will be held in Srinagar, J&K
  • A 3-day Global Investors Summit 2019 starting from October 12, 2019, will be held in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) which will provide the state an opportunity to showcase its strengths, strategies, and potential.

Key points:

♦National Partner: The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will be the national partner for the investor’s summit, which has signed an MoU(Memorandum of understanding) with Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organisation (JKTPO).

♦The summit, which was announced after the government removed special status to J& K under Article 370, will help reduce fears and apprehensions in the minds of trade and business communities outside the state.

Banking & Finance

  1. Aditya Birla Health Insurance and Axis Bank ink bancassurance pact
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance (ABHI) has entered into a bancassurance partnership with Axis Bank
  • Through this partnership, Aditya Birla Health Insurance will offer health insurance solutions to the Axis bank’s customers across its 4,094 branches and digital channels
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance is a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital, has completed two years of operations as of end March 2019
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance also ties up with KarurVysya Bank for bancassurance
  1. India contributes $1 million to UN Special Purpose Trust Fund
  • India has contributed one million US Dollars to the United Nations Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator System.
  • The Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) is a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat established to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way
  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador – Syed Akbaruddin
  • The SPTF web portal, displays in real time all commitments, contributions and expenditures recorded for the fund
  1. Injeti Srinivas committee suggests CSR expenditure be made tax deductible
  • A high level steering committee on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) headed by Injeti Srinivas, Corporate Affairs Secretary has recommended to make CSR expenditure tax-deductible and that non-compliance of CSR norms be treated as a civil offence.
  • The committee presented its recommendations to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • The committee also recommends companies may be exempted from constituting a CSR committee, if its CSR prescribed amount below Rs 50 lakh.
  1. HFCs will be treated as one category under NBFCs: RBI
  • India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) stated that, for regulatory purposes, Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) will be treated as one of the categories of NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Companies) & it will come under RBI’s supervision.

Key points:

♦This comes after the Finance (No 2) Act, 2019 (23 of 2019) amended the National Housing Bank Act, 1987, granting certain powers to RBI for the regulation of HFCs.

♦RBI will review the regulatory framework applicable to the HFCs & release a revised guideline for these companies. Till the time RBI issues fresh revised guideline, HFCs will continue to comply with the National Housing Bank’s(NHB) directions and instructions and submit various returns to it.

Business & Economy

  1. Ola acqui-hires Bengaluru-based AI startup
  • Ride-hailing firm Ola has acqui-hired, a Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence start-up. Co-founded by Inder Singh and RitwikSaikia
  • ai uses autonomous technologies like computer vision and sensor fusion to provide seamless AI-powered solutions for businesses.
  • As part of the deal, the team at will join Ola
  • Acqui-hires is the process of acquiring a company primarily to recruit its employees, rather than its products or services.
  1. NAE and CIAL signs MoU for commencement of air naval operations
  • The Naval Air Enclave (NAE) which is a naval aviation facility in Kochi, Kerala, and Cochin International Airport Limited ( CIAL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the commencement of Naval air operations from NAE in Nedumbassery, Kerala.

Key points

♦The MoU was signed between NAE Officer-in-charge, Captain Satish Kumar S and CIAL airport director A.C.K Nair on behalf of both the organisations for safe and Secure military air operations.

♦On the northwest side of the CIAL, the facility comprises of an independent dispersal, aircraft hangar (a closed building structure to hold aircraft or spacecraft), administrative building and a taxy track.

♦The CIAL runway will be used as a runway for military aircraft take off and landing.


  1. Women’s cricket, beach volleyball and Para table tennis confirmed as events at Birmingham 2022
  • Women’s Twenty20 cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis have been included in the 2022 Commonwealth Game scheduled to be held in Birmingham, England.
  • However, this time shooting and archery events will not take place in the 2022 Commonwealth Game.
  • The last time cricket was played in Commonwealth Games was in the year 1998 that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was 50 over men’s cricket in which South Africa won the Gold Medal.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. India’s greatest athlete PT Usha got appointed as Asian Athletics Association’s Athletes Commission member
  • Queen of Indian athletics, P T Usha (Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha) from Payyoli (Kerala) has appointed as one of the six members of the Asian Athletics Association’s (AAA) Athletes Commission, in recognition of her outstanding achievements at the continental stage. This is the 2nd time she has been appointed a member of the Commission.

Key points:

♦Other members: The commission will be headed by Andrey Abduvaliyev (Uzbekistan),a1992 Olympics gold medallist hammer thrower. other members of the commission include Wang Yu (China), Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan), a 2012 London Olympics gold medallist triple jumper, Lee Hup Wei (Malaysia) and Saad Shaddad (Saudi Arabia).

♦About Usha: She is popularly known as ‘Payyoli Express’, created a string of good performances at the Asian stage in the 1980s.  She won 4 gold medals and 1 bronze in the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea & in the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships, she won 6 medals (5 gold and 1 bronze).

♦Missed medal: A first-class athlete, Usha missed an Olympic medal in the 1984 Games in Los Angles by a whisker as she finished 4th by falling behind the eventual bronze medalist by 1/100th of a second in women’s 400m hurdles.


  1. Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary land to be extended
  • Forest Department has recently identified around 300 hectares of revenue land for inclusion in the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The land is being diverted as compensation, for setting up a new Missile Test Launch Facility by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the mangrove wetland in Andhra Pradesh and is located in the coastal plain of Krishna delta, spread across Krishna and Guntur districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Important Days

  1. World Sanskrit Divas 2019
  • World Sanskrit Divas 2019 will be observed on 15 August 2019 this year. It is celebrated every year on Shravana Purnima that is on full moon day in the month of Shravana according to the Hindu calendar.
  • It was first time celebrated in 1969 and is a day full of seminars and events talking about the importance and positive points about Sanskrit.
  • Sanskrit is known as the first Indian language which developed several other branches like Tamil, Hindi, etc.


August 22, 2019

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