July 21, 2019

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National

  1. Amit Shah to head panel on Air India disinvestment
  • The government reconstituted a group of ministers tasked with working out the modalities for sale of Air India.
  • The GoM, called the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism, will now be headed by home minister Amit Shah and comprise three other ministers. The earlier panel had five members. The other ministers in the panel will be finance minister NirmalaSitharaman, commerce and railway minister PiyushGoyal and civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
  • In its first attempt, the Central Government had invited bids from investors in 2018 to buy out the government’s 76 percent stake in Air India. However, this failed as the investors did not put in their bids. Hence the committee has been reconstituted to start the bidding process from a new point.
  1. Health Ministry signs MoU with MoD, Railway and AYUSH ministries to eradicate TB by 2025
  • Union Health Ministry signed anMoU with the Ministries of Defence, Railways and AYUSH to eliminate tuberculosis from India by 2025.
  • The aim of the scheme is to provide quality healthcare at more than 400 polyclinics. So, now these polyclinics will identify TB cases if any and refer it for TB diagnosis
  1. 8th edition of Hand-in-Hand Military exercise 2019 between India, China to be held in Meghalaya in December 2019
  • The 8th edition of Hand-in-Hand(HiH)Military exercise 2019 between India, China will be held on December 2019 at Umroi near Shillong in Meghalaya.

Key points:

♦The exercise will focus on transnational counter-terror operations, the establishment of a joint command post, joint combat, and HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) missions.

♦The 7th edition was held at Chengdu, China in December 2018.

♦HiH: The exercise was started in 2007 in Kunming. The drills got hindered in the 6th edition 2016 in Pune because of a 73-day standoff in Doklam in Sikkim sector of the border. between Indian and Chinese forces. In 2018, the situation eased and the troops of the two sides interacted once again in China.

State

  1. Parliament passes Central Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009
  • The Parliament of India passed Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2019, for the establishment of two Central Universities in Andhra Pradesh namely Central University and Tribal University. The bill seeks to amend the Central Universities Act, 2009.

Key points:

♦Allocation: These two universities will be set up with the cost of Rs.1700 crore in four years in Andhra Pradesh. In the 1st phase, Rs.450 crore will be provided for Central University against the total outlay of Rs 902.07 crore and Rs.420 crore for Central Tribal University against the outlay of Rs 836 crore.

♦Benefits: The establishment will increase access and quality of higher education in the state. It will also facilitate and promote avenues of higher education and research facilities for the people of the State.

♦Central University: For establishing a Central University by the name of the Central University of Andhra Pradesh in Janthaluru Village of Ananthapur was approved by the cabinet on May 2018.

♦Central Tribal University: It will be set up in Relli village in Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh. It will be established under 13th Schedule to Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

♦Central Universities Act, 2009: It establishes universities for teaching and research in various states.

  1. e-challan system, e-payment gateway for Delhi Traffic Police
  • New e-challan system and the e-payment gateway for the use of Delhi Traffic Police launched by Amulya Patnaik, Delhi Police Commissioner in New Delhi. With this launch, traffic violators can now pay fine from anywhere online.

Key points:

♦The new e-challan system launched with 1,000 hand-held devices & are equipped with active GPS( Global Positioning System) where the challenging officer and the violator, both can be logged and tracked to a particular geo-location. Further, the camera violation app is also connected to the e-challan system, so that the data is updated regularly.

♦The e-payment gateway will help the Delhi citizens with the flexibility to securely log in at their convenience and settle the pending violation notices with proof of payment.

♦The system is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) with key inputs from Delhi Police.

♦The new system is likely to result in improved prosecution and better road safety standards in Delhi.

International

  1. Indian Navy’s frontline warship INS Tarkash reaches Sweden
  • The Indian Naval Ship(INS) Tarkash reached Sweden on a three-day visit, as a part of Indian Navy’s mission of building “bridges of friendship” and strengthening international cooperation with friendly countries.
  • This marks the first visit of an Indian Naval Ship which made a port call at Karlskrona in Sweden shores after a gap of 15 years.

Key points:

♦Plan: Professional interactions, sports, and social engagements are planned with Sweden navy towards further enhancing maritime co-operation between the two forces.

♦Tarkash: The ship is a part of the Indian Navy’s western fleet equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors capable of addressing threats in all three dimensions.

Banking & Finance

  1. Standard Chartered to be first foreign bank to launch ops at GIFT IFSC
  • The GIFT City said UK-based Standard Chartered will be the first foreign bank to launch operations at International Financial Services Centre (IFSC).
  • Standard Chartered has received in-principle regulatory approvals to set up its IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City)
  1. World Bank drops $700-million Amaravati infrastructure project
  • In a major development, the World Bank has ‘dropped’ the $700-million Andhra Pradesh Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project that seeks to develop the greenfield capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The World Bank has committed $300 million out of the total project cost of $700 million.
  • The project, a vision of former Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, to build a world class capital, is being implemented by the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), which has the mandate to develop the Amaravati capital region.
  • The project, approved last year, was aimed at providing urban infrastructure in designated locations in the capital and supporting the initial development of its institutional and governance structure.

Business & Economy

  1. Motihari-Amlekhgunj oil pipeline to start commercial operation from August 2019
  • The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) successfully concluded the ‘testing transfer’ of Rs 325 crore Motihari in Bihar to Amelkhgunj in Nepal pipeline project and it is set to start commercial operation from August 2019. The 69-km long petroleum pipeline was constructed by India which was first proposed in 1996.

Key Points:

♦It will tackle the oil storage problem in Nepal and eliminate transportation of petroleum products through tankers.

♦It will ensure smooth, cost effective and environmentally-friendly supply of petroleum products to Nepal.

Sports

  1. Prithu Gupta becomes India’s 64th Grandmaster of India
  • Prithu Gupta, a 15-year-old boy from Gurgaon, has become India’s 64th Grandmaster
  • He crossed the Elo threshold of 2500 points, beating IM Lev Yankelevich in the fifth round of the Portuguese League, 2019
  • Anand had become India’s first Grandmaster in 1988
  1. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju unveiled AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20
  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju unveiled All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20 on the sidelines of the Intercontinental Cup in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. At the event, he also renamed the ‘AIFF Baby Leagues’ to ‘AIFF Golden Baby Leagues’, with the focus laid for ages under 6 to under 12 both for girls and boys.

Key Points:

♦The Minister was accompanied by AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.

♦The handbook, which can be downloaded from the ‘Document Library’ of the AIFF website, will serve as a guide to help the stakeholders to organize the Golden Baby League.

  1. Nigerian footballer John Obi Mikel announces retirement
  • Nigerian footballer John Obi Mikel, aged 32, announced retirement from international football after the end of Nigeria’s campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). He made his debut in 2003 in under 17 World Cup.

Key Points:

♦He was the former captain of the Nigeria National Team and played for Trabzonspor as a defensive midfielder.

♦He won 89 caps and scored six goals between 2005 and 2019 for the Super Eagles. He won a winners’ medal at the 2013 Africa Cup in South Africa.

♦He led Nigeria to win a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.

♦He represented Nigeria in 2014 and 2018 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup, won the AFCON in 2013 and 2 Premier League titles along with the Champions League and Europa League trophies while representing English club side Chelsea.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Amita Prasad appointed Chairperson of Inland Waterways
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Amita Prasad (IAS) as Chairperson of Inland Waterways Authority of India.
  • Inland Waterways Authority of India is an arm of Ministry of Shipping
  • Prasad is currently serving as Director General, National Productivity Council (NPC), Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • Arun Kumar Jha, 1985 batch IES official, has been appointed as the Director General of National Productivity Council (NPC).
  1. IFS officer Vivek Kumar appointed private secretary to PM NarendraModi
  • Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Vivek Kumar was appointed as private secretary to Prime Minister NarendraModi.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by the prime minister, cleared the new assignment for Kumar, who is currently working as Director in the Prime Minister’s Office.
  1. Upender Singh Rawat named India’s next Ambassador to Panama
  • Upender Singh Rawat, A 1998-batch IFS officer, was appointed as India’s next Ambassador to Panama
  • He will be succeeding Ravi Thapar
  1. President Kovind has changed the governor of 6 states
  • Anandiben Patel has been transferred and appointed as the new Governor of Uttar Pradesh
  • ShriJagdeepDhankhar as Governor of West Bengal
  • Shri Ramesh Bais as Governor of Tripura
  • ShriLalJiTandon, Governor of Bihar is transferred and appointed as Governor of Madhya Pradesh
  • ShriPhaguChauhan as Governor of Bihar
  • Shri R. N. Ravi as Governor of Nagaland

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Indian Army successfully conducted the trials of third Generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile- NAG at Pokhran, Rajasthan
  • The Indian Army successfully conducted the trials of third generation anti-tank guided missile NAG, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), at Pokhran, Rajasthan from July 7-18, 2019. It was launched from the NAG Missile Carrier (NAMICA) and is capable of carrying up to 6 combat missiles. It will be inducted in the Indian Army.

Key Points:

♦It will be engaged in highly fortified enemy tanks in all weather conditions with day and night capabilities.

♦It has a minimum range of 500 metres and maximum range of four kilometres.

♦6 missions were carried out under extreme temperature in Pokhran ranges as a part of the NAG summer user trials. The winter user trials were conducted in February 2019.

Obituary

  1. Former 3 time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit passed away in New Delhi
  • Former 3 time chief minister of Delhi from Congress Sheila Dikshit passed away at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla in New Delhi due to cardiac arrest. She was 81 years old.

Key Points:

♦Born on March 31, 1938 in Kapurthala, Punjab, she had served as the president of Delhi Congress, chief minister of Delhi for 15 years from 1998-2013 and the governor of Kerala.

♦She became a Member of Parliament (MP)  for the first time from Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh in 1984.

♦She was appointed as the president of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee in 2019 and contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha election against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Manoj Tiwari from the North-East Delhi parliamentary seat.

♦The longest-serving chief minister of Delhi was the recipient of 2010 Dara Shikoh award by Indo-Iran Society and Delhi Women of the Decade Achievers Award 2013 by All Ladies League for Outstanding Public Service.

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July 22, 2019

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