August 20, 2019



  1. CPCB added 20 more cities in polluted cities list
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has added 20 more cities from eight states to the list of polluted cities which do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
  • These additions, including eight from Andhra Pradesh and six from West Bengal, have expanded the list of non-attainment cities (NACs) from 102 to 122.
  • National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) had set a national target of reducing key air pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 (particulate matters) by 20-30% by 2024 taking 2017 as the base year.
  1. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurates two-day international conference on teacher education by NCTE
  • The Honorable Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated the International Conference titled ‘Journey of Teacher Education: Local to Global’ in New Delhi.
  • The two-day event is being organized by the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) as part of silver jubilee celebration of its establishment in 1995.
  • 40 renowned experts from India and abroad deliberated on the areas like the present scenario of teacher education in the Indian context; innovations in teaching practices; integration of information and communications technology in teaching; inclusive education in teaching-learning environment; and internationalization of teacher education.
  1. President Ram Nath Govind inaugurates Bunker Museum at Raj Bhavan
  • The president of India, Shri Ram Nath Govind inaugurated the 15,000 square feet underground bunker museum at Raj Bhavan(Governor’s government house) in Mumbai.

Key points

♦It is a bunker of the British era in the 19th century and was discovered in 2016. It was used to fire cannons at enemy ships and the other section depicts the history of Raj Bhavan.

♦It has 13 rooms comprising of shell store, Gun shell, Cartridge store and Central Artillery store. The museum is expected to be opened to the public by the end of 2019 with online booking facility.

♦The museum has virtual reality booths where visitors can virtually time travel to the 19th century.

Jal Bhushan: The president also unveiled the foundation stone for the reconstruction of Jal Bhushan. It is the Governor’s office-cum-residential building with a history of nearly 200years. The present building has undergone renovation.

♦It was the residence of British governors in 1885 and was shifted to Malabar Point from Parel,Mumbai.

Members present:

The members present during the function were

♦Savita Govind, First lady of India.

♦C Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra

♦Devendra Fadnavis, Chief minister of Maharashtra.

♦Chandrakant Patil- state minister for revenue and public works.

♦Vinod Tawde- Minister of Higher and technical Education.

  1. Panel to examine illegal sand mining in river Yamuna formed by NGT
  • The National Green Tribunal(NGT) has formed a committee to look into the issues of illegal sand mining in the Yamuna river and sought a report within a month. This is done following a move by the Delhi Jal Board(DJB) chief executive officer (CEO) Anil Kumar Singh alleging blockade in the main river course and illegal sand mining in the Yamuna river.

Key points

♦The bench is headed by NGT chairperson justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and the panel consists of Delhi district magistrate, Delhi Pollution Control Committee(DPCC) which is the nodal agency for coordination and compliance and the Central Pollution Control Board.

About NGT

♦It is a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of cases pertaining to environmental issues. It is the thirdcountry following Australia and New Zealand to have such a system.

♦Act- National Green Tribunal Act,2010

♦First chairman- justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta(2010).


  1. Religious bodies can’t dissolve marriages: Madras high court
  • The Madras High Court ruled recently that religious organizations have no power to dissolve a marriage or even allow a marriage. The court stated that utilization of such power by a religious organization is condemnable and the matter should be dealt with some severity.
  • The Madras High Court also condemned the religious organizations for encouraging second marriages before the dissolution of the first marriage. The court stated that a woman, regardless of the religion she belongs to, is referred to as destitute when she is deserted by her husband.
  • The court’s ruling came in response to a petition filed by a Muslim CISF constable, who had filed an appeal against his sacking from the job, after his second marriage.
  1. Gujarat to get country’s first Institute for chemical engineering and technology
  • As a boost to the chemical industry in the country, Gujarat is to get the country’s first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (CICET). The CICET would be built either at Ahmedabad or Surat.

Key points

♦A plastic Waste Management Centre in Ahmedabad is to be set up to find out solutions to systematic segregation and recycling of plastic waste.

♦A skill development centre will start functioning at Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

♦CIPET: Another campus, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology(CIPET) is to be set up at a cost of ₹54crore in Valsad, Gujarat for the benefit of tribal students and the plastic industry. The Minister of State for chemical and fertilizers, inaugurated the hostel of CIPET built at a cost or Rs 31 crore.


  1. Narendra Modi cements Bhutan ties with RuPay launch
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering held wide ranging talks in Thimpu Saturday. They also discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors and signed 10 MoUs to infuse new energy in India-Bhutan ties
  • Modi inaugurated Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant and also launched stamps to commemorate five decades of India-Bhutan hydropower cooperation. The two countries signed 10 memoranda of understanding in space research, aviation, IT, power and education.
  • Modi also launched RuPay Card in Bhutan by making a purchase at Simtokha Dzong, which functions as a monastic and administrative centre and is one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan.
  • Bhutan is the second country this (RuPay Card) will be launched in after Singapore. This will be done in two phases — in the first phase Indian banks will issue RuPay cards which can be used by Indian travellers in Bhutan. The next phase will be where the banks of Bhutan will be empowered to issue RuPay cards to Bhutanese citizens to use in India.

Banking & Finance

  1. RBI directs banks to be more proactive on GMS
  • The Reserve Bank of India’s direction to all lenders to promote and publicise the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) from their branches underscores the intent of the banking regulator to make the Scheme a success.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directed all scheduled commercial banks (except regional rural banks) to promote the Gold Monetisation Scheme that was introduced on October 22, 2015 to replace the Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999.
  • All designated banks shall give adequate publicity to the Scheme through their branches, websites and other channels.
  1. Sebi imposes restrictions on mutual fund investments in short-term bank deposits
  • Mutual fund houses should ensure that banks where a scheme has parked funds in the lender’s short-term deposits do not invest in that particular scheme.
  • Trustees/ asset management companies (AMCs) shall ensure that no funds of a scheme is parked in STD (short-term deposit) of a bank which has invested in that scheme.
  • Trustees and AMCs should ensure that the banks in which a scheme has STD do not invest in the same scheme until the scheme has STD with such banks.


  1. ICC Test Rankings Released
  • Steve Smith is now trailing the top-ranked Virat Kohli by only nine points. Smith has aggregated 913 rating points, while Kohli is on top with 922 rating points.
  • Kane Williamson of New Zealand scored 887 points and secured the third position. However, Cheteshwar Pujara (881 points) is in the fourth position.
  • Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who stroked a century and bagged the Player of the Match award against New Zealand in Galle, has jumped four places to No 8 in the batsman’s rankings.
  1. Medvedev and Madison win respective finals
  • Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and American Madison Keys recorded straight-set victories to win the men’s and women’s Cincinnati Masters titles in Ohio.
  • Medvedev beat Belgium’s David Goffin 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to win his first ATP Masters 1,000 title. He defeated world’s number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.
  • Madison Keys (24) beat two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 7-6 (7-5) to win a second title of the season.
  1. Hima Das, Mohammad Anas win gold at Athleticky Mitink Reiter event
  • Hima Das and Mohammad Anas have won gold medals in 300m races at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter event in the Czech Republic.
  • This was Hima’s sixth gold in 2019 in European races since last month. Mohammad Anas won the gold clocking 32.41 seconds.
  • National record holder Anas has already qualified for 400m event for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October while Hima is yet to achieve it.
  1. Uganda beat Zambia in Victoria Rugby Cup
  • Uganda Rugby Cranes have defeated visiting Zambia national team in a 2019 Victoria Rugby Cup game at the Kyadondo ground in Kampala.
  • The Victoria Cup is a rugby union tournament played between four African nations involving Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia based on a double round-robin system.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Paytm promoted CFO Madhur Deora as its President
  • Indian largest digital wallet company, Paytm has promoted its CFO(chief financial officer) Madhu Deora as President of the company.

Key points:

♦He joined the paytm in October 2016 and prior to this, he has served as Managing Director (MD)in Citigroup’s investment banking business in New York, London, and Mumbai.

♦He will now be tasked with several businesses in the consumer services segment to oversee their growth and financials.

♦On May 3, 2019, Bhushan Patil quits as a  president of Paytm.

Award & Honors

  1. Chief scientist K Thangaraj of CCMB wins JC Bose Fellowship for the year 2019
  • K Thangaraj, chief scientist at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB), Hyderabad, Telangana, bagged this year’s J C Bose Fellowship for his outstanding contribution in the field of population and medical genomics on August 17,2019.

Key points

♦His research work includes genetic basis of male infertility, cardiovascular disease,sex determination,mitochondrial disorders, ayur genomics and forensic genetics.

♦He and his fellow researchers established the association of mitochondrial DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) variations with several disorders which is the first in India.

About the JC Bose fellowship

♦It is awarded to active scientists and engineers in recognition of their outstanding performance and contributions by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.

♦The award is named after Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose who is the inventor of crescograph(device used to measure growth of plants) and also known as father of Bengali science fiction.

♦The duration of the fellowship is 5 years. Each fellow will receive a contingency of Rs10 Lakh per annum for conferences and other expenses

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Scientists discovered a new pain-sensing organ in the skin
  • Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered a new mesh-like organ in the skin that senses pain and able to detect painful mechanical damage such as pricks and pressure. This could pave the way for painkilling medication effectively.

Key points:

♦The new two-cell receptor sensory organ is made up of glial ‘Schwann’ cells with multiple long protrusions present below the outer layer of skin (the epidermis

♦The sensitivity to pain occurs in the skin’s nerve fibers as well as in the new pain-sensitive organ.

♦The activation of the organ creates electrical impulses in the nervous system that result in reflex reactions (such as pulling our hand away when we feel a jab from a sharp object) and experience of pain.

♦Almost one in five people suffered from constant pain and spent a considerable amount of money and put effort into finding painkilling drugs.

♦The study has been published in the journal, ‘Science’.


  1. India is the top emitter of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the world: Greenpeace
  • According to a data released by a non-governmental environmental organization, Greenpeace, India is the world’s top emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide(SO2) in the world with more than 15% of all the SO2 hotspots, tracked by NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.
  • SO2 hotspots in India: The reports finds that Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Neyveli, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in Maharashtra are the major SO2 hotspots in India.
  • SO2 Hotspots in the World: Norilsk smelter complex in Russia is the largest SO2 emission hotspot in the world, followed by China, Mexico, Zagroz (Iran) and  Kriel in Mpumalanga province (South Africa).
  1. Researchers of RGU in Arunachal Pradesh discovered 5 new fish species
  • Researchers from the Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh have discovered 5 new fish species in various districts of the state.

The discovered fish species are

Fish species Place
Mystus prabini Sinkin and Dibang rivers in Lower Dibang valley district.
Exostoma kottelati Ranga river in Lower subansiri district.
Creteuchiloglanis tawangensis Tawangchu river in Tawang district.
Garra ranganensis Ranga river
Physoschistura harkishorei Dibang and Lohit rivers in lower Dibang valley district.

Key points

♦The team was led by Prof. D N Das of the fisheries and aquatic ecology research wing of the Zoology department of the university.

♦Two new freshwater fish species: Similarly, two new species of freshwater fish species are discovered by the zoological Survey of India(ZSI) in the northeastern part of India. They are Glyptothorax gopii in Mizoram’s Kaladan river and Garra simbalbaraensis in Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara river.


  1. Former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra passes away at 82
  • Jagannath Mishra, former Bihar chief minister and JD(U) i.e.,Janata Dal (United) leader passed away after battling cancer on August 19,2019. He was undergoing treatment in New Delhi and breathed his last there.

Key points

♦Born on 24 June 1937, Mishra served as the chief minister of the state thrice. He was the last Congress chief minister of the state as well as a cabinet minister at the centre.

♦Mishra served as an economics professor at Bihar University before joining politics and also authored some books.

♦A three-day state mourning was announced condoling the former chief minister’s demise.

Important Days

  1. World photography day celebrated on August 19, 2019
  • World photography day was celebrated across the world. The aim of this day is to encourage people to express their feelings, emotions and social thinking through their photography skills.

Key points:

♦The date of August 19 was chosen to commemorate the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837. On January 9, 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype process & then the French government purchased the patent and announced the invention as a gift free to the world without copyright.

♦The first selfie was clicked by US (United States) photo enthusiast Robert Cornelius in the early months of 1839.


August 22, 2019

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