August 29, 2019

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National

  1. India launches world’s first facial biometric-based ID for seafarers
  • India has become the first country in the world to issue a Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) to its seafarers.
  • The project was launched by Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who handed handed over the new BSID cards to five Indian seafarers in New Delhi on August 28, 2019. The move has been initiated to boost employment in the coastal shipping sector.
  • The BSID will give a foolproof identification to Indian seafarers that will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world.
  1. Indian Navy signs MoU with Indian Meteorological Department
  • The India Navy and India Meteorological Department (IMD) signed a MoU on August 28, 2019 at Kochi Naval Base to hand over the Cyclone Detection Radar (CDR) building by IMD to the navy.
  • The agreement will enable the Indian Navy to utilise the CDR building for meteorological purposes. The CDR building was built between 1983 and 1986 inside the Naval Base at Kochi.
  • The CDR building has an S-band Cyclone Detection Radar installed by Bharat Electronics Limited. The facility was operated by IMD from 1987-2017 in order to provide weather support to civil aviation at the old Kochi Airport, which is currently the Naval Air Station INS Garuda.
  • The IMD began operating a new Doppler Weather Radar (DWR) in 2017 at Mundamveli, Kochi as the S-band radar had become obsolete. The CDR building had been lying vacant and unused since then so, it was handed over permanently to the Indian Navy.
  1. India unveiled world’s first ever facial BSID
  • India launched the world’s first-ever Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) which captures the facial biometric data of seafarers. It was launched by Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/C) Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers in New Delhi. He handed over the new BSID cards to 5 Indian seafarers.

Key Points:

♦India had made a presentation on this technology at the International Labour Organization (ILO).

♦The new card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the ILO on BSID. India ratified the Convention in October 2015.

♦BSID project was formed in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai.

♦9 data collection centers to issue BSID have been setup at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla.

♦BSID will be issued to Indian seafarer who possess a valid Continuous Discharge Certificate issued by the Government of India.

State

  1. Plant set up to turn plastic waste into diesel
  • Indian Institute of Petroleum has set up a plant in Dehradun that can turn plastic waste into diesel. The plant was inaugurated by Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan on August 27, 2019.
  • The plant has the capacity to produce 800-litre diesel from one tonne of plastic. The plastic waste will be collected with the help of NGOs.
  • The plant is not only expected to provide a solution to plastic waste disposal but also reduce India’s dependence on petroleum products and boost economic growth.
  1. Delhi government announces ‘Water Arrears Waiver Scheme’
  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a one-time waiver of water arrears.
  • Through the scheme all categories of houses will receive an exemption from late fee payments, while their pending bills will also be waived either partly or fully based on the housing category.
  • households will be entitled to waiver on the principal amount of arrears depending on the category of colonies (graded from A to H) they are located in—25% for upscale colonies, 50% for middle income localities and 100% for the lower income localities.
  • Only those consumers who have installed meters before November 30 will get the benefit of this scheme

International

  1. 18th meeting of Conference of the Parties(CoP) of CITES held in Geneva, Switzerland
  • The 18th meeting of Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from August 17 -August 28, 2019.
  • The meet aimed at the discussion over the future of the ivory trade, illegal killings of rhinos and the rhino horn trade, management of African elephant populations, and the booming exotic pet business.
  • The world’s most trafficked wild product called ‘rosewood’(a dense, tropical hardwood) is now moved to Appendix II of CITES. The wood is used to make musical instruments and handicrafts.

Banking & Finance

  1. Ficci survey pegs India’s GDP growth rate at 6.9% for the entire year
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has released the latest edition of Economic Outlook Survey.
  • As per the report, the annual median GDP growth rate for India in 2019-20 (FY20) is predicted at 6.9%.
  1. SIDBI joins hands with Incuspaze to open coworking space for MSMEs and start-ups
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has partnered with Incuspaze Solutions Private Limited (Incuspaze) to open a first-of-its-kind coworking space exclusively designed for MSMEs and startups.
  • The coworking space, called @Workspaze is located at 1, Tolstoy Marg, Connaught Place, New Delhi.
  • The initiative that intends to be a market-maker for its segment is only 50 meters away from Barakhamba Metro Station.
  • Under this arrangement, an MSME accelerator programme is proposed to be started shortly by SIDBI for the MSMEs and startups who will set up their offices in @Workspaze.

Sports

  1. Sumit Nagal becomes first Indian to win a set against Roger Federer
  • Sumit Nagal became the first Indian to win a set against Roger Federer.
  • The 22-year-old became the fourth player to take the opening set against Federer at the US Open.
  1. Virat Kohli tops & Jasprit Bumrah enters top 10 in latest ICC test rankings
  • Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli ranks 1st in the latest ICC (International Cricket Council) Test rankings released on August 27, 2019, with 910 points whereas Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah made his maiden entry into the top 10 rankings placed at 7th spot with 774 points.
  • Indian Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja Ranks 4th in the Test All-Rounder Rankings with 395 points.
  • The Test Bowling Rankings is topped by Australian cricketer Pat Cummins with 908 points.
  • It is also to be noted that Bumrah is currently the world no.1 One Day International(ODI) bowler.
  1. Odisha’s Kalinga Stadium gets provisional clearance to be the 1st venue for 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
  • Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar, Odisha was named as the first venue for the upcoming Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020after getting provisional clearance. The U-17(under 17) World Cup will be held in India in 2020.

Key points

♦The stadium will be ratified by FIFA at the final inspection by the end of this year and then the city will be confirmed as a Host City for the World Cup.

♦The U-17 Women’s World Cup will be the first FIFA competition for women in India as well as the second overall to be held in India.

♦The other venues after getting the infrastructure clearance would be Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Goa.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Aingimea chosen as Waqa’s successor in Nauru
  • Nauru MP Lionel Aingimea has been sworn in as the country’s new president, replacing Baron Waqa, who lost his seat in general election.
  • Mr Aingimea, a second term MP, defeated David Adeang by 12 to 6 in the parliamentary vote.
  • Mr Aingimea is a former secretary of justice and served as an assistant minister in various portfolios in the previous government.
  1. Pavan Kapoor got appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the United Arab Emirates(UAE)
  • According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India(GoI), Shri Pavan Kapoor, the 1990 cadre Indian Foreign Service(IFS) officer has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the United Arab Emirates(UAE).

Key points:

♦He replaces Navdeep Singh Puri, who has been heading the Indian mission in UAE since October 2016.

♦Pavan Kapoor was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) of India from 2010 – 2013 & also worked in Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) in New Delhi.

♦He also worked in different capacities in the Indian Missions in Moscow, Kyiv, London, and Geneva

Award & Honors

  1. Shalija Dhami of IAF becomes first female flight commander
  • Wing Commander Shalija Dhami of the Indian Air Force (IAF), became the first-ever female officer to be appointed as flight commander(second in command) of a flying unit. She took over as flight commander of a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindon airbase, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Hailing from Ludhiana, Punjab, Wing Commander Dhami, became the first woman flying instructor of the IAF and also the first permanent commission woman officer of the flying branch with 2300 hours of flying and 15-year service of flying ‘Chetak’ and ‘Cheetah’ choppers.
  1. Noida girls clinched bronze medal for “maitri” app at 2019 Technovation Challenge
  • Five girls from Noida, Uttar Pradesh of team “Tech Witches” were awarded Bronze medal at the 2019 ‘Technovation challenge’, the world’s largest technology and entrepreneurship programme for girls held in San Francisco, United States(US). They were awarded for developing a mobile app named ‘Maitri’ which connects children at orphanages with senior citizens in old-age homes.

Key points

♦The developers include Ananya Grover, Vanshika Yadav, Vasudha Sudhinder, Anushka Sharma and Arefa, all Class 12 students of Amity International School in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

♦The maitri app is available on Google play store and allows users the facility to volunteer and donate to old-age homes and orphanages. The initial coverage area under this app will be New Delhi.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Microsoft to train 5,000 government employees in Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing
  • Microsoft India announced the “Digital Governance Tech Tour” programme to skill government IT officials in new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and intelligent cloud computing.
  • Microsoft will organise a series of physical and virtual workshops to train 5,000 government IT personnel over a period of 12 months
  • The programme was inaugurated during the “Digital Governance Tech Summit 2019”, by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, and Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)

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September 7, 2019

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