October 16, 2019

National

  1. Road Transport & Highways and minister Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated conference on ‘One Nation One Tag – FASTag’ in New Delhi
  • The union minister of Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated conference on ‘One Nation One Tag – FASTag’ in New Delhi for rolling out usage of unified electronic system in the country.
  • Several states/authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with IHMCL for FASTag intergration in the state, as toll collection will be mandatorily done through FASTags effective from December 31, 2019 onwards.
  • IHMCL and Goods & Services Tax Network (GSTN) signed MoU E-way bill system integration with Fastag to overcome track and trace mechanism for GST E-Way Bill (EWB) System.
  • FASTag is an electronic toll collection system in India, operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to make toll payments directly from the prepaid or savings account linked to it or directly to toll owner.
  • My FASTag mobile App and NHAI Prepaid Wallet was also launched during the event.

State

  1. No pension to those detained during Emergency: Rajasthan Govt
  • The government of Rajasthan has announced that the pension scheme of prisoners detained under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) will be discontinued.
  • According to the latest announcement, these people will get medical facility only but pension will be discontinued.
  • Earlier, the Rajasthan Government hiked the pension of these people from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month in July 2018.
  1. AP CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched YSR Rythu Bharosa-PM Kisan Yojana in Kakturu village of Nellore district
  • Chief Minister (CM) of Andhra Pradesh (AP) YS Jaganmohan Reddy of Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP) launched YSR Rythu Bharosa – PM Kisan Samman Yojana at Vikrama Simhapuri University in Kakturu village of Nellore district to reduce the debts of the farmers by providing a sum of Rs 13,500 per annum in 3 installments in which the contribution of the State Government is Rs 7,500 and the Centre is Rs 6,000.

Key Points:

♦The amount was increased to Rs 13,500 from Rs 12,500 and the state budget allocation for the scheme is Rs 5,500 crore.

♦Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Backward Classes (BC) and minority families, tenant farmers will get a total investment of Rs 67,500 for 5 years.

♦Recently, it also launched ‘YSR Vahan Mitra’ scheme in which auto-rickshaw and cab owners will get Rs 10,000 per annum as financial assistance and YSR Kanti Velugu Scheme 2019 related to eye checkup.

International

  1. UNICEF released a report titled “The State of the World’s Children 2019: Children, food and nutrition- Growing well in a changing world”
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a report titled “The State of the World’s Children (SOWC) 2019: Children, food and nutrition- Growing well in a changing world”.
  • It was for the first time in 20 years, it evaluated the issue of children, food and nutrition.
  • At least 1 in 3 children under 5 or over 200 million are either undernourished or overweight.
  • Almost 2 in 3 children between 6 months and 2 years of age are not fed food.

Banking & Finance

  1. Reserve Bank to operationalise unified DoS/DoR, effective from November 1, 2019
  • In order to strengthen its oversight of commercial banks, urban co-operative banks (UCBs) and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) ,the country’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to operationalise unified Department of Supervision (DoS) & Department of Regulation (DoR) with effect from November 1, 2019.

Key points:

♦Issues: The decision comes after various scams and defaults affecting financial system in the last couple of years, including the ₹12,600-crore fraudulent letter of undertaking (LoU)scam at Punjab National Bank(PNB) and debt default by IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited) and its subsidiaries.

♦Formation: DoS will be formed by integrating all supervisory departments (department of banking supervision, department of co-operative banking supervision, and department of non-banking supervision into one department) & DoR is being established by merging all regulatory departments (department of banking regulation, department of co-operative banking regulation, and department of non-banking regulation into one department).

♦Functions: The core function of Supervisory would be on effective discovery of systemic risks, understanding linkages, and better off-site monitoring through new age technology. while regulatory looks after the functions including licensing, branch expansion and maintenance of statutory reserves and management and methods of operations.

♦Allocation of staff: staff of the current supervisory and regulatory departments will form the sanctioned strength of the new departments. The new staff of DoS and DoR departments will continue in their existing capacity on an ‘as-is-where-is’ basis.

Business & Economy

  1. Air India becomes first airline to use ‘TaxiBot’ on A320 aircraft
  • Air India has announced that it has become the first airlines in the world to use a Taxibot on an A-320 aircraft with passengers on board.
  • Taxibot is actually a robotic service for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice-versa.
  • The usage of Taxibot will reduce the consumption of fuel by 85 percent and bring down the engine wear and tear.

Sports

  1. Nepal and Zimbabwe readmitted as ICC Members
  • About three months after being suspended for government interference in its board, Zimbabwe has been reinstated as a member of the ICC.
  • Nepal has also been readmitted as ICC member on a conditional basis. Nepal was also suspended in 2016 due to government’s interference.
  • Now, teams of Zimbabwe and Nepal will be able to participate in ICC events. Nepal cricket board will develop a transition plan for Nepal’s full reinstatement.
  1. Mercedes’s ValtteriBottas won 2019 Japanese Grand Prix , Mercedes clinched its record constructors’ title
  • German automobile maker Mercedes’ ValtteriBottas (Finland) won the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix (formally known as the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2019) held at the Suzuka International Racing Course in Suzuka in Mie Prefecture, Japan. Mercedes won sixth consecutive Formula One(F1) constructors’ championship title.

Key points

♦Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (Germany) and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (Britain) were ranked at the second and third places respectively.

♦Mercedes has now equaled Ferrari, who won six constructors’ titles between 1999-2004.

  1. New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite tops ICC Women’s ODI Batting Rankings 2019
  • In the latest 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) women’s rankings for ODI (One Day International) match, Amy Satterthwaite of New Zealand clinched the top spot in Batting rankings with 759 points. India’s Smriti Mandhana settled down at the second spot with 755 points.

Rankings:

Rank Batting Rankings Bowling Rankings All-Rounder Rankings Team Rankings
1 Amy Satterthwaite (New Zealand) Jess Jonassen (Australia) Ellyse Perry  (Australia) Australia
2 Smriti Mandhana (India) Megan Schutt (Australia) Marizanne Kapp (South Africa) India
3 Alyssa Healy (Australia) Sana Mir (Pakistan) Deepti Sharma (India) England

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Kais Saied elected as the new president of Tunisia
  • Independent candidate Kais Saied won the 2019 presidential election and thus became the 6th President of Tunisia. He succeeds Mohamed Ennaceur(5th president).
  • Kais Saied, the former law professor secured 73% votes in the election.

About Tunisia:

♦ It is a North African country bordering the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert

♦ Capital- Tunis.

♦ Currency- Tunisian dinar.

Award & Honors

  1. Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo jointly receives 2019 Booker Prize
  • Canada’s Margaret Atwood (79) for her novel ‘The Testament’ and Britain’s Bernardine Everisto (60) for ‘Girl, Woman, Other’, have been jointly chosen as the winner of 2019 Booker Prize. Bernardine is the 1st black woman to receive this award in the 50-year history of the Booker Prize. At the same time, 79-year-old Atwood is the oldest winner of this award. Both the authors to split the GBP pound (sterling) 50,000 at a gala ceremony at the Guildhall in London, England.

Key points:

♦According to Booker Prize rules, the award cannot be shared, but the 5-member judges headed by Peter Florence, broke the rules & announced the names of the joint winners. The last joint winners were announced in 1992.

♦British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie’s tragicomic ‘Quichotte’ was among the six books shortlisted (including ‘Ducks, Newburyport’, ‘An Orchestra of Minorities’, and ’10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World’) for the prize.

♦2018 winner was Northern Irish writer Anna Burns for Milkman.

Booker Prize for Fiction:

♦Formerly known as Man Booker Prize (2002–2019),it is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom (UK) or Ireland.

  1. Kerala’s nun Mariam thresia receives the title of ‘Saint’, 93 years after her death
  • Indian nun Mariam Thresia of Kerala and four others (English Cardinal John Henry Newman, Swiss laywoman Marguerite Bays, Brazilian Sister Dulce Lopes and Italian Sister Giuseppina Vannini) declared Saints by Pope Francis (head of the Catholic Church) at a grand ceremony at the Vatican City, a city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy. The title was conferred on Thresia 93 years after her death.

Key points:

♦The methodical process of becoming a saint takes place in four distinct stages- the servant of God, the venerable, the blessed and the saint.

♦Born in Thrissur , Kerala  on 26 April 1876, Sister Thresia died on 8 June 1926 at the age of 50. She was declared ‘Blessed’ by Pope St. John Paul II on 9 April 2000.Thresia has tirelessly strived for the education and empowerment of girls in Kerala.

♦She founded the ‘Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family’ in Thrissur in May 1914. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mentioned Sister Maryam Thrasia in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ program on 29 September, 2019 as it is a matter of pride that she will be given the title of ‘Saint’.

♦Centuries-old Syro-Malabar Church in Kerala now has four saints, the first Sister Alphonsa, Father Kuriakose, Sister Euphrasia (popularly known as Evuprasiamma).

  1. 4 heritage landmarks of India won UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation 2019 held in Penang, Malaysia
  • 4 heritage landmarks from India were chosen for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation 2019. The awards were announced at a ceremony held in Penang, Malaysia. Renewal of Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong received the Award of Excellence, which is the highest award among all categories.
  • 1 site from Ahmedabad and 3 from Mumbai inclusive of its 155-year-old Flora Fountain in the honourable mention were chosen for the award.
  • Mumbai based architect VikasDilawari was the main consultant for the Flora Fountain restoration project after which it was opened to the public in 2019.
  • 16 projects from five countries namely Australia, Bhutan, China, India and New Zealand were selected by the international Jury of conservation experts for the award.

Important Days

  1. World Student’s Day observed on October 15 2019
  • World Student’s Day is observed annually on October 15 by the United Nations(UN) declaration in 2010. The day is celebrated commemorating the birth anniversary of former President(11th president) of India Shri Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who wished to be identified as a teacher and then as anything else.
  • This year, 2019, marks the 88th birth anniversary of Shri Abdul Kalam, who was also known as the “Missile Man of India” for his work Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998, development of ballistic missile and launch vehicle technology.
  1. International Day of Rural Women observed on October 15, 2019
  • The International Day of Rural Women by the United Nations(UN) is observed annually on October 15 established by the UN General Assembly under the resolution (A/RES/62/136) adopted on 18 December 2007. The theme for the year 2019 is “Rural Women and girls building climate resilience”. This day recognizes the critical role of rural women in enhancing agriculture and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.

Key points

♦On this day, the UN Women, along with the UN community, drew attention to implement commitments to gender equality by climate change, actions to support the capacities of rural women and girls in response to climate change through agricultural production, natural resources management etc.

♦According to a report by UN, 1/3rd of employed women work in agriculture globally. These women collect biomass fuels, manually process foodstuffs, and pump water. 80% of households without piped water rely on women and girls for water collection.

January 26, 2020

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