October 12, 2019

National

  1. Union Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurates 5 JNVs
  • Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ recently inaugurated 5 Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs) through video conferencing in New Delhi.
  • On the same occasion, the Minister laid the foundations tone of 9 new JNVs.
  • The construction of these new JNVs, where the foundation has been laid, will be completed in the next 2 years at an estimated cost of 417.06 crores.
  • The Navodaya Vidyalayas provides quality education in the rural areas of India.
  1. National Blindness and Visually Impaired Survey 2019 released by health minister Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi
  • Union health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan released the National Blindness and Visually Impaired Survey 2019 at 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare in New Delhi marking the occasion of World Sight Day.
  • The survey was conducted from 2015-2019 by the health ministry in collaboration with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)- RP (Rajendra Prasad) Eye Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences across 24 states and Union Territories(UT). Around 1.11 lakh people were tested during the survey.

Reports:

♦Visual impairments reduced: Visual impairment in India has been reduced by about 52%. This reduction percentage surpassed the World Health Organisation’s global action plan for the Universal Eye Health (2014-19) target of 25%, according to the National Blindness Visually Impaired Survey (2015- 2019).

♦Blindness prevalence: Prevalence of blindness in India came down by around 47% since the last survey which was conducted in 2006-2007. The number of people suffering from blindness has reduced from 12 million in 2006-07 to 4.8 million in 2019. Also, the Indian government is working on the target of achieving the WHO’s goal of blindness prevalence to 0.3 percent by 2020.

♦Blindness definition: India changed it’s over the four-decade-old definition of blindness in 2017, to bring it in line with the WHO criteria. The new definition is that a person, if unable to count fingers from a distance of three metres would be considered “blind” as against the earlier stipulation of six metres, adopted in 1976.

♦RAAB-6: A Rapid Assessment Avoidable of Blindness (RAAB-6) methodology was used to conduct the survey.

♦It is a common method for detecting the blindness prevalence in people above 50 years of age.

  1. Railways launched Sahyatri mobile app and a new website for online complaint registration
  • The Indian Railways launched a Sahyatri mobile app and a website www.railways.delhipolice.gov.in through which the passengers can register their complaints online. It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Mr Nityanand Rai at the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) Convention Centre on Sansad Marg, New Delhi.

Key Points:

♦Benefits: Railway police can address the complaints of passengers from across India, provide information on various issues and help in crime detection by integrating the criminal database online.

♦Delhi GRP has uploaded 6171 data on the website and only the authorized Government Railway Police (GRP) officers can access the entire website.

♦Super admin: GRP heads of 24 states and 1 Union Territory (UT) are made super admin.

♦The Sahyatri app will help railway passengers locate the jurisdiction of a police station and the details of GRP officials by geo-tagging with Google Maps

♦Other members present: Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Railways) Dinesh Kumar Gupta and other officials were present during the launch.

State

  1. Rajasthan govt has increased the unemployment allowance for transgenders to Rs 3500/pm from Rs 3000/pm
  • Under the Mukhyamantri Yuva Sambal Yojna, the Rajasthan state government has increased the unemployment allowance for transgenders in the state to Rs 3,500 from Rs 3,000 per month.

Key points:

♦The eligible candidate of the transgender category should be a graduate degree holder from any university established by law located in the state.

♦On May 25, 2019, The government of Rajasthan has launched the Mukhyamantri Yuva Sambal Yojana for the unemployed youths of the state whose annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh and any of the two members of a family could avail the benefit. The eligible applicant will be given monthly financial assistance of Rs.3500 for women and Rs.3,000 for men from the State Government.

International

  1. UNICEF became the first UN organisation to make transactions in cryptocurrency
  • United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) became the first United Nations’ organisation to transact in cryptocurrency.
  • UNICEF will now receive and disburse donations in cryptocurrency through the newly launched UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund.
  • UNICEF will be carrying out transactions on Ether and Bitcoin platforms.
  • The first donation to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation.
  1. UK to issue coin in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
  • The United Kingdom’s (UK) Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr Sajid Javid (Pakistani-origin British finance minister) notified that the UK (United Kingdom) government will issue a commemorative coin to mark the 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The announcement was made at the 21st Edition of the annual GG2 Leadership Awards ceremony 2019 in London hosted to celebrate the British Asian success. UK’s Royal Mint will work on the coin.

Banking & Finance

  1. Government e-Marketplace & Union Bank of India sign MoU to avail various services
  • Union Bank of India (UBI), one of the largest government-owned banks of India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Government e-Marketplace (GeM) to provide cashless, paperless and transparent payment system to small traders.

Key points:

♦As per the MoU, Union Bank will provide a number of services, including transactions in the GEM Pool account, functioning bank guarantees and earnest money deposit to users registered on the GEM portal.

♦GeM has already signed an MoU with 14 public and private sector banks in this regard.

♦2,88,212 sellers and service providers have registered with the GeM portal, till date, to sell 1,348,380 products and 17,677 services.

♦The MoU has been signed by S.Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GeM and SK Mohapatra, Field General Manager of Union Bank of India.

  1. Credit Saison India receives RBI’s NBFC license
  • Credit Saison India, the domestic subsidiary of Japanese financial services leader Credit Saison, has received a licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI ) to set up a non-banking financial company(NBFC) in Bengaluru, Karnataka, which will begin operations by October 2019 end.

 Key points:

♦It operates in India under its registered name of Kisetsu Saison Finance India. It has also received $30 million from the Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed parent entity.

♦The Bengaluru-based NBFC, headed by former UBS executive Presha Paragash will focus on three segments such as consumer and corporate lending, providing debt to fintech ventures and co-lending with other NBFCs.

Business & Economy

  1. EESL, NIIF form joint venture to deploy smart meters across India
  • Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) have entered into a joint venture for the deployment of smart meters across India.
  • The new joint venture, named IntelliSmart Infrastructure will implement, finance and operate the smart meter roll-out programme of power distribution companies.
  • This venture will support the ambitions of ongoing government programmes, such as UDAY and National Smart Grid Mission.
  • The Central government plans to install 250 million smart meters in the next few years.
  • EESL has been spearheading the smart meter deployment in India with the installation of over 625,000 smart meters. This partnership of NIIF and EESL will give a fillip to the smart meter ambition of the Government of India.
  • IntelliSmart will support the efforts of the Indian power sector as it strives towards delivering dependable 24/7 service to end-consumers.

Sports

  1. Sprinter Nirmala Sheoran banned for 4 years, stripped of Asian titles
  • Indian sprinter Nirmala Sheroen has been stripped off her two Asian Championships gold medals and banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which manages track and field doping cases.
  • The AIU came out with the order to ban Nirmala for testing positive for the steroids drostanolone and metenolone at a competition back home in June 2018.
  • The period of her ban will start from June 28, 2018. Her results from August 2016 to November 2018 were also disqualified.
  • Nirmala had won gold medals in the 400m and 4x400m relay at the 2017 Asian Championships in India.
  • She also ran in both the events at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Anita Pai appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Yes Bank
  • Anita Pai was recently appointed as the Chief Operating Officer of Yes Bank, the 4th-largest Private Sector Bank in India.
  • On the other hand, Jasneet Bachal was appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the Bank.
  • Pai will be looking after the information technology functions, while Bachal will head marketing and communication operations.
  1. Jasprit Bumrah appointed as a brand ambassador of Cultsport
  • Bengaluru(Karnataka)-headquartered health and wellness start-up company curefit announced the appointment of Indian cricket player Jasprit Bumrah as the brand ambassador for its sportswear brand “cultsport”.

 Key points

♦As per the recently released International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s ODI (One Day International) Player Rankings 2019, Bumrah retained the top position in the bowler rankings.

About Curefit:

♦CureFit is an Indian health and fitness company that offers digital and offline experiences across fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being. It was launched in 2016 by Myntra co-founder Mukesh Bansal and ex-chief business officer at Flipkart Ankit Nagori.

Award & Honors

  1. GOPIO honored 3 Indian-Americans with Health Council Award 2019 for contribution in the health sector
  • An International body named Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), presented the Health Council Award 2019 during the GOPIO health summit in New Jersey, United States(US), to people who have contributed in the health sector.
  • The summit aims at improving the health of Indian diaspora people across the world. Among other awardees, 3 Indian Americans were awarded the Health Council Award.
  • Firm awarded: The GOPIO also honoured US-based firm Sabinsa Corporation, by Indian-origin Muhammed Majeed, for its achievement and contributions in the health supplements sector.
  1. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali became the first Ethiopian to be felicitated with Nobel Peace Prize 2019
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Nobel Institute (Norska Nobelinstitutet) has awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize which is the 100th Nobel Peace Prize to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, aged 43, for his efforts to promote reconciliation, solidarity and social justice, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict (more than 20 years of conflict) with neighbouring Eritrea. He is the first Ethiopian to be awarded a Nobel Prize.

 Key Points:

♦The chair of the Nobel Committee was Berit Reiss-Andersen. The prize amount for 2019 is Swedish kronor (SEK) 9.0 million.

♦He is the youngest head of government in Africa.

  1. Mukesh Ambani retains the top position for 12th straight year in Forbes India Rich List 2019
  • Forbes India Rich List 2019 was released by Forbes India in which Mukesh Ambani, aged 62, Chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) held the top spot for the 12th consecutive year with a net worth of $51.4 billion.
  • Overall, the total wealth of tycoons on the 2019 Forbes India Rich List decreased 8% to $452 billion from a year ago (2018).

Books

  1. Bill Gates’ new book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” to release on June 2020
  • The founder of Microsoft Corporation and American philanthropist Bill Gates’ new book titled “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” will be released on June 2020. It will be published by UK-based Allen Lane publishers.
  • The book is about climate change and the possible solutions to prevent an environmental crisis.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. mHariyali mobile app launched to encourage plantation of trees
  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs recently launched the mobile app ‘mHariyali’ to promote plantation of trees.
  • Through this app, people can upload photos of plantation done by them, which will be directly displayed @ epgc.gov.in.
  • The nodal officers can monitor the plantation through this app.
  • The mobile app offers automatic geotagging of plants.
  • The App works on any android mobile phone.
  1. NASA launched ICON space weather satellite to study earth’s ionosphere
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) space weather satellite from Northrop Grumman’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, with the company’s Pegasus XL rocket attached beneath, from the Skid Strip runway at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, United States. Ionospheric is the layer of the earth’s atmosphere that contains a high concentration of ions and free electrons and is able to reflect radio waves.

Key Points:

♦It will study the dynamic zone in an atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above for 2 years.

♦The ICON mission is part of NASA’s Explorer Program managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for the Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

♦The cost of the satellite is $253 million, which weighs as much as a vending machine, was built by Northrop Grumman.

♦In 2018, NASA had launched a satellite named Gold which is studying the upper atmosphere.

Obituary

  1. Renowned saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath passed away in Mangaluru, Karnataka
  • Renowned saxophone player & Padma Shri awardee Kadri Gopalnath has passed away at a private hospital in Mangaluru, Karnataka following a cardiac arrest. He was 69.
  • Born on 11 December 1949, Mangalore, Karnataka, Gopalnath was one of the pioneers of Carnatic music on the saxophone. His son, Manikanth Kadri is a popular music director.
  • He was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honors in 2004 and also Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Carnatic Music – Instrumental (Saxophone) in the same year.
  • He had earned the distinction of being the 1st Carnatic musician to be invited in the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation ) Promenade concert in 1994, in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
  • Gopalnath was bestowed with many awards for his extraordinary talent.

Important Days

  1. International Day of Girl Child 2019 observed globally
  • The International Day of Girl Child 2019 was observed globally on October 11, 2019.
  • This year’s theme was ‘Girl Force: Unscripted and unstoppable’.
  • The day was observed to highlight the challenges faced by girls worldwide.
  • The day aims to promote the empowerment of girls and realisation of their human rights.
January 26, 2020

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