October 08, 2019

National

  1. Justice Ajai Lamba took oath as Chief Justice of Guwahati High Court
  • Justice Ajai Lamba took oath as the Chief Justice of the Guwahati High Court on October 7, 2019.
  • Justice Lamba was administered the oath of secrecy to the office by Governor Professor Jagdish Mukhi at the Raj Bhawan in Guwahati.
  • Several ministers including the Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal attended the oath-taking ceremony.
  1. Overview of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India
  • Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid a four-day official visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is the first visit of Bangladesh PM since the completion of elections in both Bangladesh and India.
  • A total of 3 bilateral projects were inaugurated through video link. The three projects unveiled were in three separate but key areas like energy, skill development and people to people ties. They were
  • Import of Bulk LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) from Bangladesh.
  • Vocational training and
  • Social training facilities.
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was invited as the Chief Guest at the 33rd edition of the India Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from 03-04 October 2019. The theme for the 2019 summit was ’Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World‘.
  • The India- Bangladesh Business forum meet was held on October 4, 2019. It was attended by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, PiyushGoyal in presence of Bangladesh prime minister Sheik Hasina.
  1. India to shift to BS VI vehicular emission norms from BS IV by April 2020
  • India will shift to Bharat Stage Six (BS-VI) vehicular emission norms from BS IV by April 2020 in order to curb vehicular pollution. This announcement was made by the Environment and Forest Minister Mr Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.

Key Points:

♦BS6-compliant vehicles will be available in Delhi in April 2020 and BS6 petrol/diesel is already available in Delhi/NCR.

♦A green logo and Quick Response (QR) coding system have been developed in order to differentiate green crackers from the conventional crackers.

♦In order to tackle crop stubble, 18,000 machines are given to the farmers in Punjab and Haryana worth Rs 1150 crore.

♦113 Air Quality Index (AQI) monitoring stations are available in Delhi/National Capital Region (NCR) and 29 more will be installed in the coming days.

Banking & Finance

  1. India receives the first tranche of Swiss Bank account details
  • Indian on October 7, 2019, got the first tranche of the Swiss Bank accounts details of the Indian Citizens.
  • The information was shared under the automatic exchange of information framework signed between the two countries earlier in 2018.
  • Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has exchanged the information within the framework of global standards on AEOI.
  • India is among the 75 countries with which Switzerland is sharing the financial accounts detail.
  1. State Bank launches debit card with EMI facility on POS
  • In order to provide a superior and affordable shopping experience to its customers, Indian multinational, public sector bank, the State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the “Debit Card EMI facility” for its existing customers. Under this service, the consumer can opt for an EMI (equated monthly installment) period ranging from 6 months to 18 months.

Key points:

♦Some other major benefits that customers get while using this service are zero documentation, no processing fees, no need for branch visits, instant disbursal and zero cost EMI at select brands.

♦This facility can be availed in less than one minute, irrespective of the amount of balance in existing savings account. EMI will commence one month after the completion of the transaction.

♦SBI debit card facility is available for those with good credit history. To know your eligibility , customers need to type DCEMI and send an SMS (short message service ) to 567676 from registered mobile number.

  1. Reliance Nippon Life AMC to rebranded as Nippon India Mutual Fund
  • The largest Japanese life insurance company, Nippon Life Insurance has renamed Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management (RNAM) as Nippon India Mutual Fund (NIMF) after acquiring 75 % stake in RNAM from Reliance Capital for around Rs 6,000 crore.

Key points:

♦With the help of a 130-year-old Nippon Life’s international network, it will be helpful in expanding the company in the tier-II and -III cities to offer a range of products suited to the investors’ need on the debt side of the mutual fund industry.

♦Sundeep Sikka will continue to lead the company with the same management team.

♦NIMF runs as an advisor for India focused equity and fixed-income funds in Japan (launched by Nissay Asset Management), Korea (launched by Samsung Asset Management) and in Thailand (launched by BBL Asset Management) & controls offshore funds through its subsidiaries in Singapore and Mauritius, and also has a representative office in Dubai, thereby, catering to investors across Asia, West Asia, the UK, the US, and Europe.

  1. U GRO Capital inks co-origination of loan agreement with BOB
  • U GRO Capital (formerly known as Chokhani securities), a technology-enabled lender to small businesses has signed its first co-origination of loan agreement with public sector bank, Bank of Baroda (BOB)  with the aim to necessitate the joint contribution of credit flow with competitive rate of interest, to empower SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) by using U GRO Capital’s co-lending technology platform ‘GRO-Xstream’.

Key points:

♦Under the agreement, U GRO Capital will work as a customer outreach for BOB. Its GRO-Xstream enables smaller NBFCs (Non Banking Financial Companies) for co-lending partnership with U GRO & also offers big banks and other gigantic financial institutions to choose customers as per their selection criterion.

♦U GRO had raised about $140 million from a stock of global private equity investors such as NewQuest, ADV Partners, PAG and Samena Capital & public market investors (such as Abakkus, PNB Metlife) in December 2017.

Sports

  1. Pakistan’s pacer Mohammad Hasnain becomes youngest player to take a T20I hat-trick
  • Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain became the youngest ever cricketer to take a hat-trick in T20I (Twenty 20 Internationals) cricket in the 2nd T20 match against Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan during the Sri Lankan cricket team tour in Pakistan.
  • He is 19 years and 183 days old. It was his second T20I match.
  • He dismissed Bhanuka Rajapaksa (32), Dasun Shanaka (17) and Shehan Jayasuriya (0) off consecutive deliveries.
  • He became the ninth player to take a hat-trick in T20I cricket and 2nd Pakistani cricketer.
  1. Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal achieved a career-best ranking of 129 in ATP men’s singles
  • Indian tennis player Sumit Nagal, aged 22, from Haryana achieved a career-best ranking of 129 in the latest Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) men’s singles rankings 2019. He moved up six places from 135. Recently, he had become the first Indian to win a set against Roger Federer in the United States (US) Open held at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, New York, US.
  • The first place was held by Novak Djokovic (Serbia), followed by Rafael Nadal (Spain) and Roger Federer (Switzerland).
  • In the doubles ranking, Juan Sebastian Cabal & Rober Farah of Colombia held the top spot followed by Horacio Zeballos of Argentina (3) and Nicolas Mahut (4) of France.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Goa origin Antonio costa re-elected as Prime Minister of Portugal
  • The Socialist Party of Goa-origin Portuguese Prime Minister (PM) Antonio Luis Santos da Costa has won re-election of Prime Minister but failed to secure an absolute majority in parliament. It will have to form a minority government.

Key points:

♦Costa’s Socialist Party has won 36.6 % of the vote followed by the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) on 27.9%, its worst result since 1983.

♦The general election witnessed nearly 11 million people to vote in the race for control of Portugal’s 230-seat parliament.

♦Nicknamed “babush”, Costa is expected to renew his commitment to stick to budget rules.

♦He joined the youth wing of the Socialist party in 1975 at the age of 14 & he came to power in 2015.

  1. Anumula Gitesh Sarma appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Australia
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of the Government of India notified that Mr. Anumula Gitesh Sarma was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Australia.
  • He is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1986 batch. He succeeds Dr. Ajay M. Gondane.

Award & Honors

  1. IFS Ramesh Pandey selected for UNEP’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award 2019
  • United Nations Environment Programme has selected the Senior Indian Forest Service officer Ramesh Pandey for the prestigious Asia Environmental Enforcement Award.
  • Pandey will be conferred with the award on November 13, 2019, at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok.
  • Pandey is a 1996-batch IFS officer. He is currently posted as the Chief Conservator Forests in Lucknow.
  • He is known for his investigation on poachers and combating trans-boundary environmental crime.
  1. 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly awarded to William G Kaelin Jr, Peter J Ratcliffe and Gregg L Semenza
  • William G Kaelin Jr, Peter J Ratcliffe, and Gregg L Semenza are jointly awarded 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. This was announced by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
  • The scientists identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.
  • This discovery will help to form new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and several other diseases.
  • The other prizes will be announced in the comings days.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Health ministry launches eDantseva website and mobile application in New Delhi
  • The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare , Dr Harsh Vardhan, has launched the eDantseva website and mobile application in New Delhi with the aim to provide oral health information collected from authentic scientific resources. He also released the Braille booklet and Voice over on Oral Health Education for the visually impaired individuals to access information, along with the oral health posters for pregnant women and children.
  • eDantseva: This portal has the information about the National Oral Health Program & the list of all the dental facility and colleges, Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material and a special feature called ‘Symptom Checker’, which gives information on symptoms of dental/oral health problems, ways to prevent these, treatment solution, and also directs the user to find their nearest available dental facility.

Important Days

  1. World Habitat day observed on October 7, 2019
  • The World Habitat Day is observed every year on first Monday in October all over the world. This year it was observed on October 7, 2019 with the theme “Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth”. The aim of this day is to reflect on the state of cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter.

Key points:

♦The theme for 2019 aims to promote the contribution of innovative frontier technologies such as automation, robotics, electric vehicles, renewable energy technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to sustainable waste management to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

♦In 1985 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day through Resolution 40/202. It was first celebrated in 1986.

January 26, 2020

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