October 05, 2019

National

  1. ‘Sarbat Da Bhala Express’ flagged off
  • Indian Railways has renamed ‘New Delhi-Lohian Khas-New Delhi Intercity Express’ as ‘Sarbat da Bhala Express’.
  • The rain was recently flagged off by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Harsimrat Kaur Badal. The train will run between New Delhi and holy city Sultanpur Lodhi.
  • The train has been renamed on the occasion of 550th Prakash Purab. Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent 14 years of his life in Sultanpur Lodhi.
  1. Government launches Prakash portal to improve coal supply to power plants
  • The government launched a web portal, Prakash, with a view to improving coordination between the power, coal and railway ministries to ensure coal supplies to power plants.
  • The portal was jointly launched by power minister RK Singh and coal minister Pralhad Joshi.
  • The portal will also help stakeholders monitor the movement of railway rakes and coal availability at power plants.
  • Prakash stands for ‘Power Rail Koyla Availability through Supply Harmony’.
  1. Rajasthan becomes first Indian state to launch policy on Pneumoconiosis
  • Chief Minister of Rajasthan Mr Ashok Gehlot launched ‘Policy on Pneumoconiosis Detection, Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation’. With this, Rajasthan became the first state in India to launch such a policy and in January 2015, it had became the first Indian state to notify Pneumoconiosis as an epidemic. Pneumoconiosis is a disease of the lungs due to inhalation of dust, characterized by inflammation, coughing, and fibrosis.
  • People having pneumoconiosis will be declared permanently disabled, and all benefits under the Persons with Disability Act, 1995, will be accrued to them and their families.
  • A standing committee under the chairmanship of Rajasthan’s chief secretary D B Gupta has been formed to monitor and periodically review progress of implementation of the policy.
  1. NHSRC re-designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Priority Medical Devices and Health Technology Policy
  • The National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) was redesignated as the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Priority Medical Devices and Health Technology Policy. It was announced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) of Government of India in collaboration with the WHO.

Key Points:

♦The mandate of the Division of Healthcare Technology at NHSRC is to assist in policy and strategy development in the provision and mobilization of technical assistance to improve health outcomes.

♦In 2019, NHSRC and WHO’s country office jointly developed a guidance document for the MoHFW’s free diagnostics initiative to strengthen the agenda of Universal access to affordable diagnostics.

State

  1. ECI appoints 2 special expenditure observers for bye-elections of Telangana and Sikkim
  • Election Commission of India (ECI) appointed an ex-Indian Revenue Service (ex IRS 1983) officer Mr. B. R. Balakrishnan and a serving IRS officer, Mr Suresh Kumar (IRS 1988) as Special Expenditure Observers for the Bye-Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Telangana and Sikkim, respectively.
  • They were appointed according to the powers conferred under Article 324 of the Constitution and Section 20B of The Representation of the People Act 1951.
  • They will supervise and monitor the election work.
  1. CM Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘YSR Vahana Mitra’ in Eluru, Andhra Pradesh
  • The Chief Minister (CM) of Andhra Pradesh state government Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched ‘YSR Vahana Mitra scheme’ in Eluru ,Andhra Pradesh (AP), under which the government will provide a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per annum to owner-driver of an auto-rickshaw, or taxicab with the aim to meet their insurance premium, licence fee and other recurring expenses.

Key points:

♦For this welfare scheme, the state has allocated Rs 400 crore in the annual budget, of which, SCs (Scheduled Castes) would get Rs 68 crore, STs (Scheduled Tribes)₹20 core and the balance amount for others.

♦As part of the scheme, 1,73,102 applications were cleared of a total of 1,75,352.

♦Visakhapatnam topped the chart of beneficiaries with 24,512 followed by Krishna with 20,333 and East Godavari with 19,209 autos in the state.

♦In the past on May 14, 2018, CM Mr. Reddy, during his padayatra in Eluru had promised to help auto drivers in the city.

International

  1. First UAE astronaut returned from ISS
  • The first astronaut of UAE Hazzaa Ali Almansoori along with NASA astronaut Nick Hague returned to Earth from the International Space Station.
  • They contributed to the experiments related to biology, physical science, earth science and biotechnology.
  • Almansoori completed 8 days at International Space Station (ISS) and covered 128 orbits of Earth. He had done a journey of 3.1 million miles since launching.
  1. Hong-Kong banned Face Masks
  • Hong-Kong government has decided to put a ban on face masks under the emergency laws. Emergency laws allow authorities to take any proper action to control law and order in the country.
  • The government decided to ban masks because several protesters wear masks and respirators to protect themselves from tear gas.
  • Concern government authority said that violence was destroying the peace of the city and authorities couldn’t leave the situation to get worse.
  1. PM Modi and Mauritius PM Pravind Jugnauth Jointly inaugurated Metro Express and ENT hospital in Mauritius
  • The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Mauritius PravindJugnauth, jointly inaugurated the phase 1 of Metro Express and new ENT(ears, nose and throat) Hospital in Mauritius through a video link. This ENT hospital is also the first paperless E-Hospital in Mauritius.

Key points

♦The event was first such occasion bringing both national leaders together through a video link across the Indian Ocean. The Light Rail Transit metro express project will help transform efficient, faster and cleaner mode of transport while the ENT hospital will expand quality healthcare in the nation.

♦PM Modi also conveyed Government of India’s decision in supporting Mauritius by constructing a Renal unit as well as Medi-Clinics and Area Health Centres through its grant assistance.

Banking & Finance

  1. RBI raises lending capacities of MFIs
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced to raise household income limit for borrowers of NBFC-MFIS. The objective of this measure is to develop offshore rupee market.
  • In rural areas, the household income limit will be hiked to Rs. 1.25 lakh from the current Rs. 1 lakh. In urban areas, limit will be increased from Rs. 1.6 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.
  • Now, every eligible borrower can lend from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.25 lakh. RBI will issue guidelines regarding the same.
  1. 4th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Report
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India has decided to reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 5.15% from 5.40% with immediate effect
  • The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands reduced to 4.90%,
  • Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 5.40%.
  • GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 is revised downwards from 6.9% to 6.1%
  1. Government reduces interest on house building advance to 7.9%
  • To overcome the sluggishness of the real estate sector & boost housing demand, the government has reduced the interest rate on House Building Advance (HBA) from 8.5% to 7.9% for one year.
  • As per the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, the new interest rate was effective from October 1, 2019 & will apply to all loan amounts.

Key points:

♦All permanent employees are eligible for House Building Advance. Also, temporary employees serving five years of continuous service can also avail this facility.

♦In September 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced in this regard that the interest rate on the house building advance would be reduced and would be linked to the returns of 10-year government securities (G-Sec).

♦About HBA: It is provided to the Central and State Government employees. Under this, employees can get an advance payment for building a house on their land. Under it, advance payment is also available for the purchase of a new house or flat, which can be used in repayment of housing loan.

  1. UCO Bank launches UCash, Digilocker and an app in Kolkata, West Bengal
  • A major government-owned commercial bank of India, UCO Bank’s (United Commercial Bank) managing director (MD) and CEO, A K Goel has launched three new digital products called , UCash, Digilocker and an app in Kolkata,West Bengal.A new current account facility has also been launched by the bank.

Key points:

♦UCash : It allows the UCO bank Customers to withdraw money from ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) through mobile banking services without using debit card.

♦Digilocker : It is designed to enable sharing of verified electronic documents without the use of physical documents.

♦Mobile app: It comes with the integration of four existing apps of the bank – UCO Mbanking, UCO UPI, UCO Mpassbook and UCO Secure in a single platform.

♦Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) certificate can be downloaded through online.

Sports

  1. Maj AQ Khan won silver medal in 53rd Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship 2019 in Indonesia
  • Maj Abdul Quadir Khan of the Indian Army Corps of Signals, won a silver medal in the 53rd Asian Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championship 2019 that held in Batam, Indonesia in his maiden event.
  • Khan participated in the Indian Body Building Federation (IBBF) selection trials held at Khammam, Telangana in July 2019 and was selected to represent India.
  1. India’s first floating basketball court opens in Arabian Sea in Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • For the first time, a floating basketball court was brought to India in the Arabian Sea near the Bandra Worli Sealink in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It has been brought for the National Basketball Association (NBA) game 2019, which features the Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers, who play two pre-season games on October 4 & 5 , 2019 at the Dome, NSCI (National Sports Club of India), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (SVP)Indoor Stadium in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Key points:

♦On 20 December 2018, NBA India has announced the first NBA game in the country would be held in Mumbai on October 2019.

♦It’s the first time teams from a North American sports league have ever played in India.

About NBA:

♦ Founded :June 6, 1946

♦ Headquarters: New York City,US.

♦ It is a men’s professional basketball league in North America, composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada).

♦ It is an active member of USA (United States of America) Basketball which is recognized by FIBA (also known as the International Basketball Federation) as the national governing body for basketball in the United States(US).

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Vaibhav Gehlot becomes president of Rajasthan Cricket Association
  • Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, has been elected the president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association.
  • He won the election with 25-6 margin of votes. Mahendra Sharma was elected as new secretary while Amin Pathan became new Vice President.
  • Mahendra Nahar and KK Neemawat were appointed as new joint secretaries of Rajasthan Cricket Association.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Tourism Ministry launches “Audio Odigos” app for 12 sites of India during “Paryatan Parv 2019” in New Delhi
  • The second day of nationwide 3rd edition of “ParyatanParv 2019”, the tourism ministry secretary Shri YogendraTripathi launched an audio guide facility app “Audio Odigos” for 12 sites of India inclusive of iconic sites in New Delhi for benefiting tourists. A Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) for Delhi’s GolGumbad(15th century domed tomb from the Lodi dynasty period) with Government of Delhi and Resbird Technologies were signed in developing the tourism amenities in presence of Director General(DG) of Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) Smt. Usha Sharma.
  • 12 sites: The 12 sites for which the AudioOdigos can be used are Amer Fort in Rajasthan, ChandniChowk, Red Fort, PuranaQuila, Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, FatehpurSikri, Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, Somnath and Dholavira, Gujarat, Khajuraho in Madhya pradesh, Mahabalipuram in Tamilnaduand Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar.

Obituary

  1. Centenarian philatelist & coin collector Krishna Gopalkrishna Kadekodi passes away in Belagavi, Karnataka
  • Well-known philatelist and coin collector Krishna Gopalkrishna Kadekodi passed away at his residence in Sadashiv Nagar in Belagavi, Karnataka. He was 102.
  • Kadekodi, who established the Society of Philatelists in Belagavi in 1975, started his career as a revenue inspector.
  • He has a collection of coins made of gold/silver from the period of Mughals and Peshwas & currency notes dating back from the year 1860 . The United States had released 41 cents stamp in his honor, on his 90th birthday.
  • He has been awarded gold medal from the central government for collecting stamps released in 64 different countries with the picture of Mahatma Gandhi.The gold mohur coin released by the East India Company in 1765 was his precious possession.
January 26, 2020

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