September 02, 2019

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National

  1. Overview of France’s NSA Emmanuel Bonne visit to India
  • Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Adviser and G7 Sherpa to French President Emmanuel Macron, arrived in New Delhi for the biannual Indo-French Strategic Dialogue 2019.

Key Points:

♦He met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held talks with him.

♦He met National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and spoke on all aspects of the Indo-French strategic partnership, major regional and international issues, and G7 priorities on global challenges backed by India.

♦The first Rafale fighter jets manufactured by French aerospace firm Dassault Aviation will be handed over to India on September 20, 2019 which will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief- Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa.

♦In September 2016, India had signed a deal with the French government and Dassault Aviation to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets for over 7.8 billion euros.

  1. Amit Shah meets his Singaporean counterpart in New Delhi, discusses bilateral issues
  • The Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah met his Singaporean counterpart K Shanmugam in New Delhi and they discussed bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest.

Key points:

♦The two sides agreed to step up cooperation in dealing with trans-national organized crime, including drug trafficking and economic offences.

♦Shah noted that the two countries relations are based on shared values and approaches, economic opportunities and convergence of interest on key challenges. Shanmugam highlighted the importance of Singapore’s strategic partnership with India & also invited Shah to visit Singapore.

♦Both sides also exchanged views and concerns on the challenges of terrorism and extremism & agreed to strengthen the current bilateral institutional mechanisms on security issues.

  1. 3 Lakh houses sanctioned under PMAY(U) in the 46th CSMC for 2019
  • In the 46th meeting of the Central Approval and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) for the year 2019, which was chaired by Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs in New Delhi, approval was granted to 865 proposals from 10 States for the construction of 2.99 lakh houses with an overall investment of Rs. 15,109 cr. The Central assistance will be Rs. 4,482 crore.

Key Points:

♦The highest proposals among all States/ Union territories (UTs) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) [PMAY (U)] was proposed by Uttar Pradesh with 149 proposals for construction of 45,770 houses taking the tally to 13.96 lakh houses.

♦Andhra Pradesh did not participate in CSMC, but has overall sanctions for 12.48 lakh houses under PMAY(U).

♦Maharashtra participated with 62 proposals for construction of 1.23 lakh houses which is highest among all 10 participating States.

♦At present, Cumulative sanctions of houses under PMAY (U) is 88.16 lakh against a validated demand of 1.12 crore.

State

  1. West Bengal assembly passes (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019 to prevent and punish mob assaults and lynching
  • In view of the increasing case of mob lynching, the West Bengal Assembly passed (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019, which aims to protect the constitutional rights of vulnerable persons and prevent incidents of lynching. The bill also proposes action against those involved in perpetrating the crime.

Key points:

♦In this bill, mob lynching has been classified as a crime. It provides three years of imprisonment and life imprisonment for the crime of assault and injuring a victim.  If the victim dies in such a fight, then the persons responsible for it may face death penalty or life imprisonment and a fine up to 5 lakh.

♦Opposition CPI (M) and Congress party supported this bill brought by TMC(Trinamool Congress). The BJP(Bharatiya Janata Party), which emerged as the main opposition party, neither supported nor opposed the bill because it believes that this law can be used to gain political advantage.

International

  1. Overview of Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan’s visit to Russia
  • Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan visited Moscow, Russiafrom August 29-30, 2019 on the invitation of Minister of Energy of Russian Federation Mr Alexander Novakto strengthen bilateral relationship between India and Russia in energy and steel sectors.
  • The visit was in preparation for the upcoming visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Vladivostok on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He will participate in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum as the Chief Guest and the 20th Annual Bilateral Summit which will be held between the two countries during the first week of September 2019.
  • Shri Pradhan and the delegation also visited the Innovation Centre and Moscow Business School in Skolkovo.
  1. India ranks 9th on happiness index among 28 nations: Global Happiness Survey
  • As per the “Global Happiness Survey” conducted by market research firm Ipsos, India is ranked 9th with 77% on happiness index among 28 global markets. The top determinants for Indians to stay happy are Personal safety and security, friends and feeling in control of life, good financial conditions and physical well-being along with hobbies and interests.
  • There has been a 6% drop from 83% in 2018 to 77 per cent in 2019.
  • Top 8 Happiest countries in the world are as follows:
Country Percentage
Australia and Canada 86%
China 83%
Great Britain 82%
France 80%
United States 79%
Saudi Arabia and Germany 78%
  • Bottom 3 countries are:
Country Percentage
Argentina 34%
Spain 46%
Russia 47%

Business & Economy

  1. India will overtake China as the largest importer of coking coal by 2025
  • According to the report of Fitch Solutions Macro Research, India will overtake China as the largest importer of coking coal by 2025. It has been estimated that India’s coking coal consumption will grow at an annual average rate of 5.4% between 2019 and 2028, driven by an equally robust expansion in steel production.

Key Points:

♦China will remain dominant in terms of overall market share. But India will become increasingly important in terms of seaborne demand.

♦India is the largest importer of Australian coking coal. It saw a 25.8% year-on-year (YoY) increase in coking coal imports from Australia in the second quarter of 2019.

♦China is the second largest importer of Australian coking coal. It decreased imports by 8.8% YoY in the second quarter of 2019.

♦China will continue to account for roughly two-thirds of global coking coal production and consumption over the coming years.

  1. MeitY partners with Google to roll-out ‘Build for Digital India’ programme
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) has signed a statement of intent with multinational technology company, Google for rolling out ‘Build for Digital India’programme, which will provide engineering students with a platform to develop market-ready, technology-based solutions that deals with key social challenges.

Key points:

♦The program will look for college students’ bright ideas and solutions to focus on areas such as healthcare, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, women safety, smart mobility and transportation, environment, accessibility and disability, and digital literacy.

♦As part of the program, engineering students from different regions of the country can apply and join in a learning journey that will help turn their bright ideas into real-world solutions.

♦Participants will be provided online as well as offline learning opportunities on important new-age technologies like Machine Learning(ML), Android, Cloud and artificial intelligence(AI) available through the Developer Student Club network of Google and other Google Developer networks.

♦Mentorship sessions will also be offered by Google in product strategy, design, and technology to some of the most potential products and prototypes.

Sports

  1. India clinched SAFF U-15 Championship 2019 title for the 3rd time by beating Nepal
  • The India Under-15 team has defeated Nepal with7-0 score in the final of the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) U-15 Championship 2019 held in Kalyani Stadium, West Bengal from August 21 – 31, 2019. This victory means that India has now become the most successful team in the history of the tournament as it won the title for the 3rd time. Earlier, India won the trophy in 2013 and 2017 in Nepal.
  • Striker Sridarth Nongmeikapam’s hat-trick saw India to lift the title. He scored 3 goals in this one-sided match & while Maheson Singh, Amandeep, Sibajit Singh, and Himanshu Jangra scored one goal each. India scored 28 goals without conceding any in the five matches they played in the tournament, including the final.
  • The tournament was organized by South Asian Football Federation.
  • Now the next challenge for the team will be the AFC Under-16 Championship 2020 Qualifier which will be played from 18 – 22 September 2019. The Indian team is placed in Group B and will face hosts Uzbekistan, Bahrain and Turkmenistan.

2019 SAFF U–15 Championship:

♦It is the 6th edition of the SAFF U–16 Championship, an international football competition for men’s under−15 national teams.

♦Top scorer & Best player award: Himanshu Jangra(7 Goals)

♦Coach name: Bibiano Fernandes

  1. After repeated postponement, now the 36th National Games to be held in Goa from October 20 – November 4, 2020
  • The Indian Olympic Association(IOA), a body responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the international athletic meets stated that the much-delayed 36th National Games will be held in Goa from October 20 – November 4, 2020. The IOA fixed the date after meeting with the Goa delegation in New Delhi.

Key points:

♦Top officials from IOA and Goa Sports Minister Babu Ajgaonkar, Sports Secretary J Ashok Kumar, VM Prabhudesai were present in the meeting.

♦IOA has awarded the hosting the 36th edition of the National Games in November 2019 to Goa. But the state later set aside dates for the event from March 30 – April 14, 2019, then the state government expressed its inability to host the Games during that period owing to the general elections.

♦In April 2019, the IOA had asked Goa to pay a fine of 10 crore rupees for repeatedly postponing the national game. After this, the Government of Goa had assured no further delay in organizing the Games.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Govt accepts the resignation of SBI’s MD Anshula Kant, following her appointment as MD and CFO of the World Bank
  • The Central Government has accepted the resignation of Anshula Kant, Managing Director (MD) of State Bank of India(SBI). This comes after her appointment as the MD and Chief Financial Officer(CFO) of World Bank Group.
  • Anshula is from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. She is a graduate in Economic Honours from Lady Shri Ram College for Women and a Post-Graduate in Economics from Delhi School of Economics.
  • She has more than 35 years of expertise in finance, banking will be responsible for financial and risk management of the World Bank Group. She will also have to work closely with the World Bank CEO on the mobilization of the International Development Association (IDA) of WB and other financial resources.
  • She joined SBI in 1983 as a probationary officer (PO) and also worked as the Deputy MD of Operations for National Banking Group. She has been a Managing Director and member of the Board since September 2018.
  1. IPS Vivek Kumar Johri takes over as Director-General of BSF
  • Vivek Kumar(V.K) Johri, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre took charge as the 25th Director General (DG) of the country’s primary border defence organization, BSF(Border Security Force). He succeeds Rajni Kant Misra, who retired on August 31, 2019.

Key points:

♦Johri will attain superannuation on September 2020. He is an Engineering graduate from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

♦He worked as the Special Secretary in the external intelligence agency RAW(Research and Analysis Wing), under the Cabinet Secretariat.

♦On July 29, 2019, he was appointed as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Union home ministry.

♦Mishra, an IPS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, took over as the BSF DG on October 2018.

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September 7, 2019

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