October 04, 2019

National

  1. Amit Shah Flags off Vande Bharat Express
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the Vande Bharat Express. This train will run between Delhi and Katra, Jammu.
  • Railway officials said that there are 16 coaches in this train, of which 14 are chair cars and 2 are of executive class. Each coach has 78 chairs.
  • Vande Bharat Express will reach Katra from Delhi in 8 hours. In other trains, the journey from New Delhi to Katra takes about 12 hours.
  1. Paryatan Parv-2019 inaugurated
  • The Ministry of Tourism has organized a nationwide program from October 2 to 13, 2019, titled Paryatan Parv-2019.
  • The purpose of celebrating Paryatan Parv-2019 is to promote the message of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ along with the objective of encouraging Indians to visit various tourist destinations in India and to spread the message of ‘Tourism for all’.
  • Paryatan Parv-2019 is dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. The objective of the event is to spread awareness about the benefits of tourism and showcasing the country’s cultural diversity.
  1. ISRO to celebrate ‘World Space Week’ with 7 academic institutions in Karnataka
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared World Space Week’ as an annual event to be commemorated between October 4 to October 10 every year
  • As a part of World Space Week program, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has joined hands with seven academic institutions across Karnataka to spread information and knowledge about the benefits of space science and technologies to the student community.
  • The programme will start on October 4 and will continue till October 10
  • The one day program consists of various competitions for students, an exhibition of satellite models, posters, videos and talks depicting the past, present, and future of Indian space program.
  • The space agency has invited students to participate in these events and enrich themselves about space activities in general and activities of ISRO-U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC).
  • URSC is the lead centre of ISRO, which is responsible for design, development and realisation of satellites for the Indian space program aimed at benefitting the common man.
  1. 4th edition of KAZIND-2019, a joint military exercise between India & Kazakhstan begins at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand
  • 4th edition of KAZIND-2019, the joint military exercise between India and Kazakhstan commenced in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand on October 2, 2019, which will continue till October 15, 2019 with the involvement of 100 soldiers from both the armies. It aims to carry out counter-terrorism operations in hilly areas.

Key points:

♦During this time the soldiers of the two countries will share experiences of various military operations and counter-terrorism retaliation.

♦Various aspects of the emerging trends of global terrorism and hybrid warfare during military exercises have been included due to contemporary influences in current times as well as global scenarios.

♦This joint military exercise will enhance mutual defense cooperation between the two countries. At the same time it will prove to be helpful in strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.

♦About KAZIND: It is an annual event organized in turn in both countries.

State

  1. Haryana had the highest number of dry districts: IMD data
  • As per the recently released report , “2019 Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall and IMD’s Long Range Forecasts” by IMD (India Meteorological Department), Haryana had the highest number of dry districts, 19 out of 21, including three where rainfall was scanty.

Key points:

♦State wise: Haryana was the 2ndmost rain deficit state in India after Manipur(the most rain deficit with a recording of 56%). Haryana recorded rainfall of 255.2 mm against a normal of 438.6 mm, results to a deficit of 42 percent.

♦Out of 36 meteorological subdivisions in the country, five sub divisions, however, received deficient rainfall, but deficiency was approximately 20% except for Haryana, Delhi (which has 5 dry districts out of 6)and Chandigarh where the deficiency was accounted around 42%.

♦Over third of the dry districts (52), are in the high-yield agriculture belt of Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh, including Delhi.

♦Around 30% of the districts in India received deficient or scanty rainfall during a normal monsoon year. But in 2019,due to higher rain, that figure is closer to 20% (968.3 mm).There were 254 dry districts across the country in 2018 ,when the monsoon was more than 9% below normal level.

♦The “deficient” rainfall in a district defined as rainfall that is 20% – 59% below normal. If the Deficiency of 60% or more, it falls in the category of “scanty” or “large deficient”.

  1. Uttarakhand CM launches awareness campaign called ‘Urjagiri’ to stop power theft
  • The Chief Minister (CM) of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat has launched a public awareness campaign called ‘Urjagiri’ to stop the electricity theft and saving in Dehradun,Uttarakhand.
  • The CM also directed to strengthen UPCL (Uttarakhand Power Corporation)Vigilance Cell to ensure effective action on power theft.
  • Uttarakhand is second only to Gujarat in preventing line loss and power theft. After the formation of the state, distribution losses have been brought down from 29.52 percent to 14.32 %.

International

  1. Madagascar to issue postal stamp on Mahatma Gandhi
  • Madagascar is set to issue a postal stamp bearing the image of Mahatma Gandhi to celebrate his 150th birth anniversary
  • The island nation had issued a postal stamp on Mahatma Gandhi back in 1998.
  • India’s Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar had recently unveiled a plaque of a road named after Mahatma Gandhi
  1. Ecuador to quit OPEC in 2020
  • Ecuador will quit Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) from January 1, 2020 due to fiscal problems. It will continue to support efforts to stabilise the world oil market. It is one of the smallest members of the OPEC.

Key Points:

♦Ecuador produces about 545,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and is attempting to increase crude production to raise more income.

♦It is set to provide around $603 million in government income in 2020, assuming a crude price of $57 per barrel.

♦It reached a $4.2 billion (3.42 billion pounds) deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February 2019.

♦Since January 1, 2019, OPEC, Russia and other producers have implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd. The alliance is known as OPEC+. It is renewed until March 2020.

♦The country had joined OPEC in 1973, withdrew in 1992, then rejoined in 2007.

Banking & Finance

  1. NBFC Paisalo Digital signs co-origination loan pact with Bank of Baroda
  • Non-banking finance company Paisalo Digital has signed a co-origination loan agreement with government-owned Bank of Baroda to empower farmers, MSME segment and small businesses
  • The company already has similar tie-ups with State Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra.
  • The company already has similar tie-ups with State Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra.
  • Under the agreement with Bank of Baroda, both entities will jointly reach out to prospective customers and conduct due diligence for extending small-ticket size loans ranging between Rs 10,000 to 40,000 with a special focus on Uttar Pradesh.
  • The co-originating arrangement will entail a joint contribution of credit by the company and the bank. It will involve sharing of risks and rewards between the two entities
  1. SBI, BoB limits cash withdrawals using micro-ATM transactions of other banks
  • State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB) limited the cash withdrawals of customers using micro-ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) of other banks to 4 times a month. BoB permitted its customers to do 4 transactions a day while SBI limited it to 1 transaction. SBI account holders who are not part of the government’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme are allowed to do 5 transactions a month.

Key Points:

♦It will cause a significant drop in transactions undertaken through the Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS).

♦Banks provide the service through micro-ATM terminals in areas where ATMs are not viable. Through micro-ATMs, banks can connect to their core banking system and help customers undertake basic financial transactions.

Sports

  1. Indian women chess player Koneru Humpy ranked world no 3 in FIDE 2019 rankings
  • Indian woman chess player Koneru Humpy, aged 32, from Andhra Pradesh was ranked world number 3 in the 2019 rankings released by Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) or World Chess Federation. She recently won the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix tournament 2019 held in Skolkovo in Russia and accumulated 17 ELO points to rise to the third spot with a global rating of 2,577.

Key Points:

♦Chinese players Hou Yifan (2,659 points) and Ju Wenjun (2,586 points) were ranked first and second respectively.

♦In the Open section, world champion Norwegian Magnus Carlsen held the first spot with 2,876 points. India’s five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand was ranked ninth with 2,765 points.

♦In Juniors, China’s Yi Wei (2721 points) and in Girls Jiner Zhu of China (2507) held the top spot.

  1. FIFA bans former CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo for lifetime
  • FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) banned former president of South American Football Confederation, commonly known as CONMEBOL (CONfederación SudaMEricana de FútBOL) Mr Eugenio Figueredo, aged 87, for lifetime due to bribery charges and fined Swiss Franc (CHF) 1,000,000 (€914,266).
  • He was accused of accepting bribe relating to “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions” between 2004 and 2015 and had breached Article 27 (bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA code of ethics.
  • He had served as the head of Uruguay’s football association for nine years from 1997 and as CONMEBOL’s vice-president for two decades until 2013.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Tata communications named Amur S Lakshminarayanan as its MD & CEO
  • Indian telecommunications company, Tata Communications has named Amur Swaminathan Lakshminarayanan as Managing Director (MD) and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO).He succeeds Vinod Kumar, who has resigned from the company on July 8, 2019.

Key points:

♦Prior to this appointment, Lakshminarayanan was President and CEO of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Japan, Ltd. He also worked in the company as Global Head of Telecom, Media and Information Services, HiTech and Utilities, and Head of TCS UK (United Kingdom) and Europe.

♦Lakshminarayanan will consult the Interim Management Committee of Tata Communications as the nominated MD and CEO. The Board of Directors of the company will appoint them as MD and CEO after getting necessary regulatory approvals. He has 35 years of experience in large areas.

  1. Yes bank’s senior group president Rajat Monga resigns
  • Rajat Monga, the senior group president and former chief financial officer (CFO) of Yes Bank resigned from his post. The announcement was made by the bank’s Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Ravneet Gill.

About Yes bank:

♦ Founded- Mumbai, Maharashtra.

♦ Headquarters- Mumbai.

  1. Amrit Lugun appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Greece
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of Government of India notified that Mr Amrit Lugun was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Greece.
  • He is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1989 batch. He succeeds Ms. Shamma Jain.

About Greece:

♦ Capital: Athens

♦ Currency: Euro

Award & Honors

  1. Kyrgyz human rights lawyer wins UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award
  • A lawyerAzizbekAshurov, whose work has supported the efforts of the Kyrgyz Republic in becoming the first country in the world to end statelessness.
  • He has been selected as the 2019 winner of the UN Refugee Agency’s Nansen Refugee Award.
  1. Sachin Tendulkar gets most effective Swachhata Ambassador award
  • Sachin Tendulkar bagged the ‘Most Effective Swachhata Ambassador’ award at India Today Group’s fifth edition of the Safaigiri Awards
  • The award was given for utilizing his popularity and fame to ensure India achieves its goal of a Swachh Bharat.
  • Sachin Tendulkar was nominated by Prime Minister NarendraModi as one of India’s swachhata ambassadors’ in 2014.
  • There are awards in 16 categories: Corporate Trailblazer, Community Mobiliser, Garbage Guru, Tech Icon, Toilet Titan, River-Cleaning Initiative, Water Warrior, Best Sanitation App, Cleanest Religious Place, Cleanest City, Cleanest School District, Most Effective Swachhata Ambassador, Waste Wealth Creators, Cleanest Railway Station, Best Institution for Sanitation Skill Training and Cleanest Village
  1. Ben Stokes wins PCA Players’ Player of Year award
  • England all-rounder Ben Stokes won the Professional Cricketers’ Association Players’ Player of the Year title
  • Stokes won the award for his exceptional performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The all-rounder amassed 465 runs including 84 (not out) in the final against New Zealand.
  • Somerset batsman Tom Bantonwas voted young player of the year
  • Sophie Ecclestone was named as the women’s player of the summer,
  • Other award winners included ODI player of the summer Chris Woakes, Test player of the summer Stuart Broad, and County Championship player of the year Harmer.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Scientists excavates dried-up river in Prayagraj ,Uttar Pradesh
  • A team of scientists from the CSIR-NGRI (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Geophysical Research Institute) and the Central Groundwater Board, Ministry of Jal Shakti, have found an undiscovered ,old, dried-up river in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad),Uttar Pradesh that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers , during the geophysical survey in the Kaushambi and Prayagraj region in December 2018.

Key points:

♦The Union Jal Shakti Ministry wants to develop this river as a potential groundwater recharge source.

♦About the ancient river: It is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under soil.

♦These Palaeochannel (a remaining trace joins the Yamuna river at Durgapur village, about 26 km south of the current Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Prayagraj.

♦A 7-member committee chaired by Professor K.S. Valdiya of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), has prepared a detailed report on palaeochannel on North-West India in 2016, which suggested that the mythological Saraswati River actually existed.

♦The ancient river was the lifeline of the North-Western states of India.

♦Benefits: This new discovery will play a key role in the planning of Ganga cleaning and protecting safe groundwater resources.

  1. Scientists develops strongest silver ever, 42 % sturdier than the previous world record
  • A team of scientists from Vermont University of the United States(US) has developed the strongest silver ever – 42 % stronger than the previous world record.

Key points:

♦The team has mixed a trace amount of copper into the silver, that transformed two types of inherent nanoscale defects into a powerful internal structure, due to the impurities are directly attracted to these defects. It also helps in maintaining its electrical conductivity.

♦All existing metals have defects, which lead to undesirable qualities, like brittleness or softening.

♦The research published in the journal Nature Materials.

Obituary

  1. Padma Shri Awardee Dr. HL Trivedi Passes Away
  • Dr Hargovind Laxmishanker Trivedi was a renowned kidney transplant surgeon and Padma Shri recipient. He was 87.
  • He was awarded Padma Shri in 2015 for his valuable contribution to society as a nephrologist.
  • HL Trivedi established a dialysis centre in all district hospitals of Gujarat with the help of state government. He had conducted more than 5,000 transplants during his entire career.
January 26, 2020

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