October 17, 2019


  1. Dr Harsh Vardhan launches Food Safety Mitra Scheme
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, launched Food Safety Mitra Scheme to engage youth with the food safety ecosystem at ground level.
  • He also launched two other initiatives – Eat Right Jhola and Eat Right Jacket on the occasion of World Food Day.
  • Eat Right Jhola is a reusable and bio-degradable bag while Eat Right Smart Jacket is a uniform for FSSAI staff.
  1. India slipped to the 102 spot in the Global Hunger Index which features 117 countries
  • India was the lowest ranked South Asian country in Global Hunger Index even behind Pakistan which was ranked 94th.
  • Among the 117 countries, 43 have “serious” levels of hunger. The report said that the Central African Republic is in the “extremely alarming” level in the hunger index while Chad, Madagascar, Yemen, and Zambia were in the “alarming” level
  • Seventeen countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Cuba and Kuwait, shared the top rank with GHI scores less than five. Countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda have shown notable progress
  • The share of wasting among children in India rose from 16.5 per cent in the 2008-2012 period to 20.8 per cent in 2014-2018
  • The GHI calculates the levels of hunger and undernutrition worldwide. The four indicators for the index are undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting (weight for age) and child mortality.
  • The focus of GHI 2019 is Climate Change and Hunger, exploring the impact of extreme weather on food production, nutrition and food security.
  1. Tribal Affairs Ministry launched Van Dhan Internship Programme
  • Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda launched the Van Dhan Internship Programme on 16 October 2019.
  • It was organized by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

Van Dhan Internship Program:

♦ The program will help the tribal population to become self-reliant and entrepreneurs.

♦ All the interns will be a part of the National Building Team.

  1. ONGC Videsh discovered oil in Colombia and Brazil
  • ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) has discovered oil in its onshore exploration block CPO-5, Colombia, in the Llanos Basin.
  • It also discovered major gas in the deep offshore exploration block BM-SEAL-4, Brazil, in the Sergipe Alagoas Basin.
  • ONGC Videsh Limited is the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
  • Well Sol-1 was discovered in the block CPO-5.
  • It encountered the oil-bearing sands of 8 meters at a depth of 2852m. Oil discovery in Sol-1 has confirmed the extent of oil.


  1. Spain and Britain suspends military exports to Turkey
  • Turkey will not be able to receive military exports from Britain and Spain anymore as both countries have joined other major powers in suspending military exports to Turkey.
  • Britain announced that no further export licences will be granted to Turkey and Spain said that there will be a halt on sales of military material to Turkey.
  • The world powers are taking such action because Syrian forces are entering into some areas of Turkey.
  1. India hands over second pair of Mi-24V helicopters to Afghan forces
  • India handed over the second pair of Mi-24V helicopters to war-torn Afghanistan, boosting the capability of the Afghan forces.
  • The helicopters were officially handed over by Indian Ambassador Vinay Kumar to Afghanistan’s acting Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid at a ceremony held at the military airport in Kabul.
  • These helicopters are a replacement for the four attack helicopters previously gifted by India to Afghanistan in 2015 and 2016.

Banking & Finance

  1. RBI guidelines for ‘on tap’ payment systems
  • RBI has issued some instructions and guidelines authorisation of payment systems. It includes minimum net worth criteria for different players.
  • The government has decided to offer on-tap authorisation for Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU), White Label ATMs (WLAs) and Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS).
  • As per the guidelines, interested entities should have a minimum of 100 crore rupees net worth and should be maintained at all times.
  1. RBI stopped printing Rs.2000 currency notes
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it has stopped the printing of Rs.2,000 currency notes.
  • The Central Bank also revealed that not even a single Rs.2,000 note had been printed in the current financial year, FY 2019-20.

Rs.2000 currency notes printing:

♦ In the financial year 2016-17, the RBI printed 3,542.991 million notes

♦ In the financial year 2017-18, the RBI reduced the printing of the Rs.2000 currency notes to 111.507 million notes

Business & Economy

  1. SEPC launched India IP Guide in MIPCOM 2019 at Cannes, France
  • Services Exports Promotion Council (SEPC) launched India Intellectual Property (IP) Guide in 36th MIPCOM 2019 on 16 October at Cannes, France.
  • MIPCOM 2019 is being held from 14 October to 17 October for the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry.
  • The guide features a catalog of over 60 Indian IPs. It is popular in over 160 countries. It breaks the narrative of only low-end work that is being carried out in India in a comprehensive manner.


  1. Mercedes’s ValtteriBottas wins Japanese Grand Prix 2019
  • ValtteriBottas won the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix to help Mercedes clinch a record-tying sixth straight constructors’ championship,
  • Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished 2nd while Lewis Hamilton came 3rd.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. P.S. Chawla takes charge as new Controller General of Accounts
  • JPS Chawla is 1985-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) Officer. He has assumed the office as new Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
  • He has served as Principal Chief Controller of Accounts, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC).
  • JPS Chawla has held various cadre posts at different levels in a number of Ministries/Departments with Prasar Bharti, Urban Development, Civil Aviation and Tourism among others.
  1. Anoop Kumar Mendiratta has been appointed as the new Union Law Secretary
  • Anoop Kumar Mendiratta has been appointed as the new Law Secretary (Secretary, Legal Affairs) in the Union Law Ministry
  • Mendiratta is at present the District and Sessions Judge, North-East District, Karkardooma Courts, Delhi.
  • He has been appointed to the post on contractual basis till March 30, 2023
  • District & Sessions Judge, Anoop Kumar Mendiratta has become the first sitting judge to be appointed as the Union Law Secretary

Award & Honors

  1. India wins four UNESCO heritage awards
  • The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation awards were announced at a ceremony held in Penang, Malaysia, marking 20 years since its institution
  • The four winners from India, include one from Ahmedabad — Award of Distinction for Vikram Sarabhai Library, Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
  • Three from Mumbai — Award of Merit for KenesethEliyahoo Synagogue and Our Lady of Glory Church
  • While Honourable Mention for Flora Fountain.
  • The renewal of the historic Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong received the Award of Excellence, the highest award among all categories.

Complete list of winners

Award of Distinction

  • Keyuan Garden, Suzhou, China
  • Vikram Sarabhai Library, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India
  • Nelson School of Music, Nelson, New Zealand

 Award of Merit

  • TsetoGoenpa, Paro, Bhutan
  • Guyue Bridge, Chi’an Town, Zhejiang, China
  • KenesethEliyahoo Synagogue, Mumbai, India
  • Our Lady of Glory Church, Mumbai, India
  • LytteltonTimeball Station, Christchurch, New Zealand

Honourable Mention

  • The 5s Classroom, Preshil The Margaret Lyttle Memorial School, Kew, Australia
  • Westpac Long Gallery, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia
  • Liddell Bros. Packing Plant, Wuhan, China
  • Flora Fountain, Mumbai, India

New Design in Heritage Contexts

  • Joan Sutherland Theatre Passageway and Lift, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
  • Dry Pit Latrine in Jiaxian Ancient Jujube Garden, Nihegou Village, Shaanxi, China
  • The Mills, Hong Kong SAR, China
  1. Kiran Uniyal sets Guinness World record
  • Kiran Uniyal, the wife of a serving Colonel of Indian Army, has created Individual Guinness World Records for The most full contact knee strikes in three minutes (one leg) (female) with 263 strikes and The most full contact knee strikes alternate legs in one minute(female) with 120 strikes. The previous records were of 177 strikes and 102 in the female category, respectively.
  • The aim of her records was to promote martial arts for girls and women’s safety and self-defense.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. NASA unveils space-suit for Moon mission
  • NASA has unveiled its next-generation space-suits for upcoming Artemis programme. Artemis is scheduled to launch by 2024.
  • It will be NASA’s first woman mission on the Moon. This space-suit will be more flexible and easy to wear, NASA reported.
  • NASA announced that it will allow astronauts to squat to pick up rocks and move more easily.
  1. ISRO to develop Reusable Launch Vehicles
  • The Indian Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is currently developing a space program for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV).
  • The Indian space agency has been testing the RLV since 2016.
  • Aim: The RLV program aims to reduce the launch costs by, well, reusing the spacecraft. Currently, ISRO’s project is using a hybrid design type launch vehicle.
  • RLV: India’s RLV will include a Space Shuttle-like craft that features an air-breathing ramjet engine.


  1. Glaciers in Switzerland shrinks 10 percent in five years
  • An annual study on the state of the glaciers by the Cryospheric Commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences said that Switzerland’s glaciers had lost one-tenth of their volume in the past five years alone.

Report highlights:

♦ Despite the growing global alarm over climate change, the intense heatwaves over the summer in Switzerland will cause a snow-filled winter is expected to limit the glacier melt in 2019.

♦ The commission also said that in April-May 2019, the snow.

Important Days

  1. World Food Day
  • World Food Dayis celebrated every year around the world on 16 October
  • The day was celebrating in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.
  • The day is celebrated widely by many other organizations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
January 26, 2020

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