August 18, 2019

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National

  1. SC clears Chardham project, which will connect 4 holy places in Uttarakhand
  • The Supreme Court(SC) bench comprising of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman and Surya Kant has cleared the Chardham highway project, which will connect 4 holy places of Uttarakhand(Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri)through 900 km all-weather roads by modifying an NGT(National Green Tribunal) order to form a committee to look into environmental concerns.

Key points:

♦Members: The court also ordered Union Environment and Forest Ministry to form the fresh high-powered committee by August 22, 2019 with additional representatives from Physical Research Laboratory, Wildlife Institute of India and Defence Ministry.

♦Rights: As per the order, the committee shall hold quarterly meetings to ensure compliance and may suggest any further measure after each review meeting & should consider whether revision of the full Chardham project should at all take place with a view to reducing the major impact on the environment.

♦Time-limit: The committee has given 4 months to submit the report.

♦Suggestion: It will also suggest the places in which afforestation should be taken and the kind of saplings to be planted. Further plantation should be taken place, in case of non-survival of any sapling, and compensatory afforestation should be 10 times the number of trees cut.

♦Background: The NGT had constituted a committee headed by Justice UC Dhyani , former Uttarakhand High Court Judge to oversee the project.

♦Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna:  It proposes to provide all-weather connectivity to four holy towns of Uttarakhand.

  1. 2019 ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ -national tribal festival begins at Leh-Ladakh
  • The 9 day long National tribal festival named “Aadi Mahotsav” commenced at the Polo Ground, Leh-Ladakh. It is a joint initiative of Ministry of tribal affairs and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED). The theme of this year’s festival is “A celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft,Culture and Commerce”.

Aadi Mahotsav

♦Tribes constitute 8% of the population in the country which is nearly 10 crore population. The govt works on ‘Sabkavikas’ the national objective i.e., promoting and supporting the development of tribes.

♦The important factor of this Aadi Mahotsav is the ‘adi’ which describes natural simplicity guided by primal truths and eternal values.

♦The govt. formed the TRIFED especially to take the tribal development and its business forward. Efforts are being made to improvise tribal commerce with advancement in digital and electronic transactions, thus also showcasing digital skills of the tribal people in the  Aadi Mahotsav.

♦Stalls: Tribal handicrafts will be sold through 70-100 stalls under tribes banner by tribal artisans and for the first time, each stall will be provided with PoS( Point of Sale) machines to accept payments. The State bank of India conducted special training for smooth tribal business transaction operations.

♦MoUs:  TRIBES India informs the signing of Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with various e-Commerce companies like Amazon, Snapdeal,Flipkart,PayTM and GeM(Government eMarketplace) to sell tribal products. The TRIBES India also has its own e-commerce portal www.tribesindia.com

  1. 2nd meeting of High powered panel of CM’s headed by Devendra Fadnavis for the transformation of Indian agriculture held in Mumbai
  • The 2nd meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed a High Powered Committee (HPC)of chief ministers headed by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for transforming Indian agriculture and raising farmers’ income, under NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayogheld in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • The panel sought states’ views on whether GM (genetically modified) crops could be used in restricted spaces to boost productivity& export in the agriculture sector.
  • Participants: Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, Odisha Agriculture Minister Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar have attended the meeting.
  1. Rajnath Singh approves a high-level Committee to review Defence Procurement Procedure to strengthen ‘Make in India’ initiative
  • Defence Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh has approved the formation of 12-member high-level committee, headed by the Director-General (Acquisitions) to revise and align the procedure of Defence procurement with the aim of strengthening the ‘Make in India’ initiative.Rajnath Singh approves a high-level Committee to review Defence Procurement Procedure to strengthen ‘Make in India’ initiative
  • The committee has been tasked to review the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2006 and the Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2009.
  • Time-limit: The high-level panel has been given 6 months to submit its report of recommendations.
  1. Ministry of Corporate Affairs amends provisions related to issue shares with differential voting rights
  • In a bid to help startups, The Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India(GoI) has amended the provisions relating to issue of shares with Differential Voting Rights (DVRs) under the Companies Act, 2013.It was done with the objective of enabling promoters of Indian companies to retain control of their companies, even they raise equity capital from global investors.

Key changes:

♦Raising equity capital from global investors with DVR shares now making up to 74% of total voting rights instead of existing 26 %.

♦The requirement of distributable profits for 3 years period has removed for a company to be eligible to issue shares with DVR.

♦Employee Stock Options (ESOPs) can now be issued by startups (recognized by the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) ) to promoters or directors holding more than 10% of equity shares for 10 years(5 years earlier) from the date of their incorporation.

  1. Under Swachh Bharat Mission, DEPwD launches San-Sadhan Hackathon for Divyang accessible toilets
  • Under Swachh Bharat Mission, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) has launched a nationwide Hackathon called “San-Sadhan” for Divyang/ physically challenged people accessible toilets, which will be held from September 14- 15,2019 in New Delhi.It aimed to enhance sensitivity and develop an ecosystem for creating a barrier-free environment.

Key points:

♦Deadline: The last date to apply for participating in Hackathon is August 28, 2019, in which startups, student innovators, technology enthusiasts, academicians, and industry experts can participate.

♦Present status: About 2.68 crore people in India are under the category of Persons with Disabilities (PwD) according to census 2011.

♦PWD Act, 2016: Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 enable PwDs for the accessibility of public-oriented premises and services such as health, transport, educational facilities as well as sanitation.

State

  1. Odisha CM to launch “Mo Sarkar” initiative for transparency in governance
  • During the independence day celebration in the state, the Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik announced the “Mo Sarkar” initiative. It is an initiative to ensure transparency in governance focusing fully on the common public and will be commenced from October 2,2019 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi.

Key points

♦The CM and other ministers will connect with common citizens on call, to collect feedback of the response and service they received from the government.

♦The govt. will work on this initiative to ensure that people get their rights with the help of the 5T mantras introduced by the CM to address public issues. The 5Ts are Technology, Transparency, Teamwork, Transformation and Time.

♦The program will be implemented for all police stations  and district headquarters, hospitals in its first phase. It will later be implemented in all other departments by 5th March 2020.

  1. Assam’s first CNG fuel station inaugurated at Chowkidingee, Dibrugarh
  • The Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the state’s first ever Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel station at Chowkidingee, Dibrugarh, Assam. It was installed by Assam Gas Company Ltd (AGCL).
  • It has the capacity to fuel 60 to 70 small passenger vehicles in an hour.
  • The first CNG station of North East was installed in Tripura.

International

  1. INS Tarkash participates in 14th Edition of KONKAN-19 Bilateral Exercise between Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Britain
  • The Indian Navy’s stealth frigate, INS Tarkash, participated in the 14th Edition of KONKAN-19 series of annual bilateral exercises between Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Britain off the South Coast of the United Kingdom (UK).

Key Points:

♦It exercised with the Royal Navy’s Daring Class Destroyer, HMS Defender with integral helicopter Wildcat.

♦KONKAN-19 involved Gunnery Shoots, Manoeuvres, Cross Deck Flying, ASW Screening and Air Defence exercise.

♦The thrust of the KONKAN-19 was on Anti-Air Warfare, Anti-Surface Warfare, Flying Operations and Seamanship Evolutions of varying complexities.

Sports

  1. Ravi Shastri re-appointed as head coach of Indian men’s cricket team
  • Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) headed by Kapil Dev, former Indian cricketer, unanimously re-appointed Ravi Shastri as the head coach of the Indian men’s cricket team for 2 years, ending with the 2021 T20 (Twenty 20) World Cup in India.

Key Points:

♦It will be Shastri’s fourth stint with the national team, earlier, having served as the Cricket Manager (2007 tour of Bangladesh), Team Director (2014-2016) and head coach (2017-2019).

♦Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, Australian Tom Moody and former India teammates Robin Singh and Lalchand Rajput were the other people who were in the list for the selection to the post. Former West Indies and Afghanistan coach Phil Simmons had withdrawn from the race, citing personal reasons.

♦The members of the CAC were former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad and ex women’s captain Shantha Rangaswamy along with Kapil Dev.

About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):

♦ Headquarters: Wankhede stadium, Mumbai

♦ CEO: Rahul Johri

♦ President: CK Khanna (interim)

♦ Women’s Cricket team coach: W.V. Raman

  1. FIFA bans former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia for lifetime
  • FIFA’s (Federation Internationale de Football Association) adjudicatory chamber of the independent ethics committee banned former Nigeria coach of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Samson Siasia, aged 52, for lifetime as he was found guilty of violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
  • He had breached Article 11 (Bribery) of the 2009 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics.
  • He has been banned for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level. A fine of 50,000 Swiss Francs has also been imposed.

Books

  1. Former diplomat Rajiv Dogra pens latest novel “Second Night”
  • Former Indian diplomat, Television commentator,writer and artist Rajiv Dogra wrote his latest (third) novel “Second Night” published by Rupa. This novel describes and focuses on friendship, love and loss in the life of a woman.

Key points

♦Jabalpur(Madhya Pradesh) born Rajiv Dogra has previously penned two books on the Indo-Pak relations named “Where borders bleed: An insider’s account of Indo-Pak Relation” and on the Durand Line(border line between Pakistan and Afghanistan) named “Durand’s curse: A line across Pathan Heart”.

♦He is currently writing a book on foreign policy and legacy of Indian prime ministers.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. India gets its first NEDL finalized by ICMR
  • India has got its first National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) finalized by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The objective of the list is to bridge the current regulatory system’s gap that does not cover all the medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic device (IVD). With this, India became the first country to compile such a list.

Key Points:

♦Power: In India, diagnostics (medical devices and in vitro diagnostics) follow a regulatory framework based on the drug regulations under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945. Diagnostics are regulated under the regulatory provisions of the Medical Device Rules, 2017.

♦Features: NEDL builds upon the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system. It encompasses tests relevant for new programmes like Health & Wellness Centers (HWCs) under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY). It will enable improved health care services delivery through evidence-based care, improved patient outcomes and reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure; effective utilization of public health facilities.

♦Significance: It provides guidance to the government for deciding the kind of diagnostic tests that different healthcare facilities in villages and remote areas require.

  1. China successfully launched a new rocket for commercial use named Smart Dragon-1
  • A new rocket for commercial use named Smart Dragon-1 (SD-1) with 3 satellites, developed by the China Rocket Company affiliated to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT) was launched successfully from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China.

Key Points:

♦3 satellites were developed by 3 separate Beijing-based companies.

♦SD-1 has a total length of 19.5 metres, a diameter of 1.2 metres and a take-off weight of about 23.1 tonnes.

♦It is a small-scale solid-propellant carrier rocket capable of sending 200 kg payloads to the solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.

♦It was developed in less than 18 months.

Obituary

  1. Neelam Sharma- Former DD news anchor passed away
  • Neelam Sharma, one among the founding anchors of Doordarshan News (Former anchor) for more than 2 decades, passed away after battling with cancer on August 17,2019.

Key points

♦Sharma, a strong advocate for women empowerment started her career in Doordarshan in 1995 and was known for her programmes like ‘Tejaswini’ and ‘Badi Charcha’

♦She was awarded the 2018 ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ by the President of India Shri Ram Nath Govind.

♦Apart from anchoring, she was also a widely acclaimed documentary filmmaker with more than 60 films under her name.

♦She won various other awards like Best News anchor award, Aadhi Aabadi Award and KPS Gill Fearless journalist award.

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August 22, 2019

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