August 21, 2019



  1. Government removes debenture reserve requirement for HFCs, NBFCs, listed firms
  • The government has removed the redemption reserve requirement for issuance of debentures by non-banking financial companies, housing finance companies and listed firms, a move aimed at reducing cost for raising capital.
  • For listed companies- the requirement for the creation of a Debenture Redemption Reserve (DRR) of 25% of the value of outstanding debentures has been removed. This includes NBFCs registered with RBI and for Housing Finance Companies registered with National Housing Bank (NHB) both for public issue as well as private placements.
  • For unlisted companies- Debenture Redemption Reserve (DRR) has been reduced for unlisted companies from 25% to 10%, so as to safeguard interests of investors.
  1. MoU between India & Maldives on training and capacity building programme for Maldivian Civil Servants operationalised
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Maldives on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian Civil Servants was operationalised
  • National Center for Good Governance, India and the Civil Services Commission of Maldives had signed an MoU which envisaged capacity building activities for 1000 Civil Servants of Maldives at the National Centre for Good Governance over the next 5 years.
  • It envisaged that the National Center for Good Governance, India will be the nodal institution for designing customized training modules and its implementation taking into account the requirements of the Civil Service Commission of Maldives.
  1. The second Uday Express between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada to be launched
  • In order to cater to the busy route in the East Coast Railway zone, The Indian Railways’ second luxury double-decker Uday(Utkrisht Double-decker Air-conditioned Yatri) Express is to be run between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. This was announced on August 19, 2019.

Key points

♦Facilities:The train consisting of nine double-decker coaches and two power cars will be equipped with WiFi facility, striking interiors, cushioned seating, display screens, automatic food and beverages vending machine, LED screen in pantry-cum-dining area for entertainment of passengers, smoke detection alarm system, modular bio-toilets, etc.

♦Uday express service between between Bengaluru city and the chennai central was also proposed.

Features of the second uday express:

♦The second Uday Express will be having a carrying capacity of 50 passengers on the upper deck, 48 on lower deck and 22 on the ends.

♦There will bethree coaches with dining facilities and five coaches without dining facility having a seating capacity of 104 passengers and 120 passengers each.

  1. All CAPFs to adopt uniform retirement age of 60 years: Union Home Ministry
  • According to the order of the Union Home Ministry, all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years. The decision comes in the wake of a January 2019 order of the Delhi High Court where it had called the policy of different age of superannuation as discriminatory and unconstitutional, and said it created two classes in the uniformed forces.

Key Points:

♦All personnel of the forces- the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) will superannuate at the age of 60, instead of 57 years for certain rank of officials. Officers from the rank of Deputy Inspector General upto the top-most rank of Director General in these four forces retired after attaining the age of 60.

♦According to the existing policy, all personnel in the Central Industrial Security Force and the Assam Rifles retire at the age of 60.

♦The personnel who have retired at 57 years in between the court order and the Home Ministry directive will have two options – either to join service after returning all pensionary benefits or straightaway get all pension benefits as due to them as on completion of 60 years of service.

♦The personnel who had retired and approached court for clarification or were granted stay will be deemed “not superannuated” and will continue to serve until 60 years of age.

  1. SMVDU signs MoU with NISE to achieve national solar mission
  • An autonomous Institution of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) to work jointly to accelerate, expand and achieve the objective of National Solar Mission through training programmes.

Key points:

♦The MoU will be valid till 5 years. It was signed by Prof Mukkapandhoy and Prof V K Bhat of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU), and Deputy General Director of NISE Dr Chandan Banerjee, said SMVDU PRO Rajan Badyal.

♦National Solar Mission: It  is an initiative of the Government of India and State Governments to promote solar power as a  part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.


  1. Karnataka CM inducts 17 new ministers in his Cabinet
  • Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa expanded his Cabinet with the induction of 17 new Ministers. New Ministers took the oath while Governor Vajubhai Vala administered the oath of office and secrecy.
  • Prominent leaders including Govind Karajol, C N Ashwath Narayan, Laxman Savadi, KS Eeshwarappa, R Ashok, Jagadish Shetter and B Sreeramulu are among those who sworn in today. The lone Independent MLA H Nagesh has also been inducted into the cabinet.
  • This is the first expansion of the Council of Ministers after he assumed office on 26th July and proved his government’s majority on the floor of the Assembly on 29th of July after the previous coalition government collapsed due to the resignation of their 17 MLAs.
  1. Poisons (Possessions and Sale) Rules 2015 amended by Karnataka
  • According to the Poisons (Possessions and Sale) Rules, 2015 amendment by Karnataka Nicotine has been notified as Class A poison.
  • The move aims at strengthening the enforcement of the ban on production and sale of electronic cigarettes.
  • Nicotine is a plant alkaloid that contains nitrogen, which is found in several types of plants, including the tobacco plant and can also be produced synthetically.
  1. Punjab government brings around 4500 journalists into the ambit of its flagship scheme SSBY
  • The Punjab state Government has announced to bring around 4500 journalists into the ambit of its recently launched flagship universal health insurance scheme ‘Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana’ (SSBY). The state will bear the full premium under this scheme and around 400 private hospitals have been included in the list.

Key points:

♦Eligibility: All journalists or yellow card holders recognized by the state would be eligible for the scheme.

♦Treatment:  Under this scheme, the beneficiaries will be provided 2nd  and 3rd  tier treatment, for which all the hospitals above the Community Health Center(CHC) have been included.

♦Extension: This scheme has been extended by state government beyond BPL families to a total of 42.5 lakh families with effect from July 1, 2019.

♦PMJAY:  The state government had decided to extend Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), under which a plan to provide cashless health cover of Rs five lakh per family every year.

♦Premium : The premium payment of 14.86 lakh families covered under PMJAY is borne by the Center and the State in the ratio of 60:40 respectively, the entire cost of the premium of all the beneficiaries including journalists will be borne by the State Government.

Banking & Finance

  1. Japan Credit Bureau issues new credit card in India
  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) International have announced the launch of a new credit card — RuPay JCB Global Cards — in Mumbai. The partnership was established in 2015 to connect to a global network of merchants and ATMs.
  • Where the first phase of the partnership between NPCI and JCB enabled merchants and ATMs in India to accept foreign JCB credit cards, the second phase would enable Indian travellers to use their JCB credit card in foreign countries where the card is accepted.
  • Eight banks in India will issue RuPay JCB Global Cards- including State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Andhra Bank, City Union Bank, and TJSB Bank.


  1. Show cause notice issued to Sakshi Malik
  • A show-cause notice was issued to Sakshi Malik (Olympic medallist) by the Wrestling Federation India (WFI) for leaving the national camp without permission.
  • Twenty-five out of the 45 women wrestlers, who train at the SAI centre in Lucknow, reported absent from the national camp without taking permission from the National Federation.
  • Out of these 25, three grapplers including Sakshi (62kg), Seema Bisla (50kg) and Kiran (76kg) had recently qualified for the World Championship. The trio has been issued show-cause notices and their deadline for submitting reply within 48 hours.
  1. BCCI reduced Sreesanth’s life ban to 7 years
  • Pacer S Sreesanth’s life ban for his involvement in 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal has been reduced to seven years by BCCI Ombudsman Justice DK Jain. The 36-year-old’s ban will end next year.
  • This comes months after the Supreme Court set aside the life ban imposed on Sreesanth and asked BCCI to take a fresh decision on the quantum of punishment.
  • BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain has ordered, observing that the cricketer is well past his prime having already served six years.
  1. Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has been made an honorary life member of MCC
  • The Marylebone Cricket Club stated that Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson (37) has been elected as an Honorary Life Member of the MCC, the custodian of the rules of cricket, during the second Test against Australia and England.

Key points:

♦Johnson took 313 wickets for Australia in 73 Tests at an average of 28.40.

♦The fast bowler made his Australian debut in 2005 and retired in 2015 after playing for a decade.

♦He was a part of Australia’s 2007 & 2015 World Cup winning teams. He took 239 wickets in 153 ODIs (One Day Internationals ) for Australia and 38 wickets in 30 T20(Twenty 20) Internationals.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Manmohan Singh elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha
  • Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.
  • The former PM was nominated by the Congress while the BJP did not field any candidate for the bypoll, necessitated due to the death of Rajya Sabha MP Madan Lal Saini.
  • Singh was a member of the Upper House of Parliament from Assam for almost three decades. He was a Rajya Sabha member for five consecutive terms from 1991 to 2019 and the country’s Prime Minister for two consecutive terms between 2004 and 2014.
  1. Ravinder Takkar appointed as the new CEO of vodafone India replacing Balesh Sharma
  • The Board of Vodafone India, has appointed Ravinder Takkar, who is currently Vodafone Group’s representative in India, as the new MD(Managing Director) and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) with immediate effect. Takkar replaces CEO Balesh Sharma, who has stepped down citing personal reasons.

Key points

♦Sharma was the representative of Vodafone in the JV(Joint Venture) between British telecom giant Vodafone and Aditya Birla Group’s Idea that was formed to fight the onslaught of free calls and cheap data plans implemented by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio.

♦This move comes immediately after Sharma was announced as the chairman of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) at industry association’s Annual General Body meeting held in june 2019.

Award & Honors

  1. Guinness Award for Blessy’s documentary film on Mar Chrysostom
  • The biopic “100 years of Chrysostom” on emeritus Metropolitan of Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan, of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church located at Kerala, enters Guinness world book of records as longest documentary.
  • The documentary was scripted and directed by filmmaker Blessy. Malayalam actor Mohanlal did the voice-over for the documentary and will also be the guest of honour.
  1. Indian-American teen Navneeth Murali wins 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee competition
  • Navneeth Murali, an Indian-American teenager from New Jersey, America, has won the 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee contest and earned grand cash prize of USD 3,000.

Key points

♦He ousted other competitors in the finals by spelling the word flipe, which means “to strip off by or as if by peeling”.

♦Navneet was the first ever winner emerged on an appeal. The reason for the appeal was he spelled flype as flipe, yet declared a winner as flipe and flype are variant spellings according to Merriam-Webster’s Third Unabridged Dictionary.

South Asian Spell(SAS) bee competition

♦It is an annual spelling bee platform in the US for children of South Asian descent, in which contestants are asked to spell a broad selection of words, usually with a varying degree of difficulty.

♦It is to children up to 14 years of age held in five regional centres across the US(United States), including New Jersey, Washington DC, Dallas, the San Francisco Bay Area and Charlotte.

♦ SAS Bee founder- Rahul Walia.

♦ Launched – 2008.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. US successfully test-fires cruise missile
  • The US tested a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 kilometres, the first since it withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia earlier this month.
  • The missile was launched from the San Nicolas Island off the coast of Los Angeles. INF treaty banned the development of missiles with a range of 500-5,500 kilometres.
  • In a statement, the Pentagon said the test took place on Sunday at San Nicolas Island, California, and the missile hit its target after more than 500 km of flight.
  1. Membranes that can separate oil and water developed by IIT Guwahati researchers
  • The researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, Assam invented two distinct and special membranes that can separate oil and water, even under harsh conditions. This development is expected to be used in applications of oil spill management. The work is published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering journal.

Key points

♦Features of the membrane: The membranes are super-water repellent in air and super oil-repellent in water.

♦Research team: The research was led byUttam Manna, Assistant prof. at Department of Chemistry, IIT Guwahati along with his research team Avijit Das, Dibyangana Parbat and Arpita Shome.

  1. Astronomers discovered a 2nd planet called ‘B Pictoris c ‘ for Beta Pictoris star
  • Astronomers at the Institute for Planetary sciences and Astrophysics, Grenoble, France (IPAG) have discovered a 2nd planet called ‘B Pictoris c’.  It is roughly around 3,000 times more massive than Earth. It orbits Beta Pictoris star, which is about nearly twice the mass of Sun and lies about 63 light years away from Earth.

Key points:

♦The planet  ‘B Pictoris c’, situated 2.7 times further from its star than the Earth is from the Sun. It takes about 1,200 days to complete its orbit.

♦The discovery has been done by analysing 10-years worth of high-resolution data with High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) spectroscope on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile.

♦Another exoplanet discovered orbiting the Beta Pictoris star known as ‘B Pictoris B’ discovered by Lagrange and her team in 2009.It spins at a breakneck speed of some 25 kilometres per second (90,000 kph).

♦Beta Pictoris: It is the second brightest star located in the southern constellation of Pictor, “The Painter’s Easel”.

♦The discovery was published in the journal Nature Astronomy .The lead author of a study was Anne-Marie Lagrange, an astronomer at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research.


  1. Veteran music director-composer Khayyam passed away aged 92
  • Mohammed Zahur ‘Khayyam’ Hashmi passed away aged 92.. Suffering from lung infection he was admitted at a hospital in mumbai where he died of cardiac arrest

Key points

♦Born in Rahon, Punjab, Khayyamserved in the army during World War II for a short period after which he moved to Bombay starting his music career

♦He started his career at the age of 17 and composed music for many hit films like ‘Kabhie Kabhie’,’Umrao Jaan, ‘Trishul’, ‘Noorie’ and ‘Shola Aur Shabnam’.

♦He  was honoured Sangeet Natak Akademi  for creative music by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in  2007 and the Padma Bhushan(third highest civilian award) in the year 2011.

Important Days

  1. World Mosquito Day
  • World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August every year to commemorate the British doctor, Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 that ‘female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans’.
  • The event raises awareness about the threat of malaria and other diseases transmitted by the world’s deadliest animal.
  1. Sadbhavna Diwas
  • Sadbhavna Divas is observed on 20 August every year to commemorate the memory of our late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • In English, Sadbhavna means goodwill and bonafide.


August 22, 2019

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