September 04, 2019

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National

  1. KVIC launched ‘Terracotta Grinder’
  • A unique project was launched by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in Varanasi. This machine is called ‘Terracotta Grinder’ that will grind the wasted and broken pottery items for re-using in pottery-making.
  • According to an estimate, the cost of one tractor trolley of clay is Rs 2,600 in the Varanasi area. The potter will make a saving of at least Rs 520.
  • KVIC Chairman also distributed 200 Electric Potter Wheels and other pottery machines among the villagers.
  1. Cultural event ‘Namaste pacific’ held in Delhi
  • The High Commissions of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea jointly organised “Namaste Pacific”, event in Delhi
  • The event was organized to showcase in India the culture of the Pacific countries.
  • There was also showcase of the International Solar Alliance and Pollinate Energy based in Australia, Nepal and India, and solar lanterns from Barefoot College in Rajasthan
  1. Harsh Vardhan inaugurates 72nd Session of WHO Regional Committee of South-East Asia meet
  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a week-long meeting of WHO Regional Committee of South-East Asia in New Delhi
  • Dr Harsh Vardhan was also unanimously elected as Chair of the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia.
  • Eight Ministers of Health from the 11 countries of the WHO South East Asia Region (SEAR), SmtPreeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW), Dr PoonamKhetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region were also present at the inaugural session.
  • This is the second time that India is hosting the Regional Committee meeting; the previous one was also hosted by India in New Delhi.

State

  1. Haryana government waives 4,750 croreinterest, penalty on crop loans
  • Haryana Chief Minister ManoharLalKhattarannounced ₹4,750-crore interest and penalty waiver on crop loans taken from cooperative banks
  • Around 10 lakh farmers, who had borrowed from Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS), District Cooperative Central Banks (DCCB) and Land Mortgage Bank (LMB) — would be benefitted.
  1. Nuakhai- harvesting festival celebrated in Odisha
  • Marks this year’s Nuakhai festival, as the day is celebrated one day after the Indian festival Ganesh Chathurthi(September 2, 2019) in Odisha, especially in its western part.
  • The name is derived from ‘nua’ which means new and ‘khai’ means food, thus denoting the newly harvested food by the farmers.
  • The festival is also called as NuakhaiParab or NuakhaiBhetghat.

About Odisha:

♦ Capital- Bhubaneswar.

♦ Governor-GaneshiLal.

♦ Chief minister- Naveen Patnaik.

♦ Dance forms- Ghumra Dance, Chhau dance,medhanacha, odissi.

International

  1. RL Power to set up 750MW power plant in Bangladesh
  • Reliance Power has signed a partnership agreement with Japan’s JERA to set up a 750 megawatt, gas-based combined cycle power plant in Bangladesh.
  • Reliance Power will hold a 51% stake while JERA will hold a 49% stake in the joint venture.
  • The company signed a power purchase agreement, land lease agreement and gas supply agreement with Bangladeshi government entities.
  1. Japan-India Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue held
  • The Ministers affirmed their intention to hold the first Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2) ahead of the Japan-India Annual Summit this year for advancing cooperation towards peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Ministers recognised that peace and stability of the Indian and Pacific Oceans are crucial for ensuring prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and the entire world.
  • The regular exchange of students between the defence educational and research institutions of the two countries, including the National Institute of Defence Studies and the JSDF Staff Colleges of Japan.
  1. IAF inducts 8 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters
  • The Indian Air Force inducted eight US-made Apache AH-64E attack helicoptersat the Pathankot airbase.
  • The Apache choppers would replace the old Russia-made Mi-35
  • The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters, and is flown by the US Army
  • The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.
  • The first four of the 22 helicopters was handed over to the air force by Boeing on July 27
  • India is the 14th nation in the world to be operating the Apache attack helicopters
  1. 4th South Asian Speakers’ Summit organised in Maldives
  • Two day organised 4th South Asian Speakers’ summit on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) was held in Malé, Maldives from September 1-2, jointly organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the People’s Majlis(single legislative body of the Maldives). The summit was attended by Secretary General of the IPU, Martin Chungong and senior lawmakers from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Key points

♦Delegations: The Indian delegation was led by Om Birla, 17th Lok sabha speaker and the RajyaSabha’s Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh.

♦Malé declaration rejects Pakistan’s Kashmir issue concerns:  The Malé declaration ignored Pakistan delegate QasimSuri’s concern on bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into Union Territories(UT), raised during the summit citing the reasons that the issue wasn’t part of the summit’s agenda.

♦Summit agenda: The agenda for the summit was on equal pay, youth employment, nutrition, food security and delivering the Paris agreement on climate change.The summit will hold discussions on the themes

  • ‘Promoting equality at work including equal remuneration and creating jobs for young people’.
  • ‘Achieving SDGs 2 and 3 – Nutrition and food security as drivers of maternal, child and adolescent health in the Asia-Pacific region’ and
  • ‘Catalyzing the global agenda on climate change-overcoming challenges and utilizing opportunities to strengthen the regional agenda for delivering on the Paris Agreement.

♦Previous summit: The previous/3rd summit was held by the Parliament of Sri Lanka in 2018.

About Maldives:

♦ Capital- Malé.

♦ Currency- Maldivian rufiyaa.

♦ President- Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Banking & Finance

  1. World Bank to fund pro-poor tourism development projects worth $57 mn
  • World Bank will fund ‘pro-poor tourism’ (PPT) development projects worth more than $57 million in top tourist hotspots of Agra and Braj-Mathura regions in Uttar Pradesh.
  • While the World Bank will incur 70% of the project cost, the remaining 30% will be borne by the UP government.
  • According to UP tourism directorate, the World Bank and the union finance ministry have already signed loan and project agreements for the proposed PPT projects.
  • Pro-poor tourism is a holistic tourism concept aimed at poverty alleviation in the periphery of selected tourism hubs through interventions pertaining to the economic, social and cultural aspects of the area.
  1. India’s GDP growth rebound expected to be weaker: Fitch Solutions
  • Fitch Solutions said as it trimmed GDP forecast for the current fiscal to 6.4 per cent from 6.8 per cent previously.
  • India’s real GDP growth slumped further in Q1 of FY2019/20 (AprilMarch) to 5 per cent year-on-year, from 5.8 per cent in Q4 (January-March) FY2018/19 due mainly to a sharp slowdown in private consumption growth.
  1. DBS lowers India’s FY20 GDP growth to 6.2%
  • Singapore’s banking group DBS has revised India’s real GDP growth forecast downwards for the current financial year to 6.2 per cent from 6.8 per cent projected earlier.
  • The resultant negative output gap will keep inflationary pressures in check. Expecting the trajectory to improve in FY21, the growth is likely to close in on 7 per cent with a 6.8 per cent growth pace.
  1. Cabinet approves Rs 9,300 crore package capital infusion for IDBI Bank
  • Information and Broadcasting(I&B) Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that the central Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Government of India(GoI) has approved a capital infusion of Rs 9,300 crore in IDBI Bank(Industrial Development Bank of India). The objective behind the government’s move is to increase the bank’s capital base.

Key points:

♦Out of Rs 9,300 crore, the government (49 %)will give Rs 4,557 crore, while Rs 4,743 crore will be given by LIC- Life Insurance Corporation (51%).

♦LIC completed the acquisition of a controlling 51 % stake in the troubled IDBI Bank in January 2019. After this, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) placed IDBI Bank in the category of private sector bank.

♦IDBI Bank was placed under the immediate corrective action framework of RBI. It prohibits loans to companies and branch expansion, increments and other regular activities. This infusion will be through recap bonds ( Government infusing capital into the bank and the bank buying the recap bond from Government the same day) will help the bank to come out of RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework sometimes in 2020.

♦The Bank has over 800 branches, about 1.5 crore retail customers and has about 18,000 employees.

  1. India increases contribution to Global Fund, $ 22 mn for 6th cycle
  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare , Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the central government has announced a contribution of $22 million to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFTAM) for the 6th replenishment cycle (2020-22), an 10% jump of the amount US$ 20 million contributed in the 5th cycle. So far, India has contributed US$ 46.5 million till 2019.

Key points:

♦India stands strong to its long-standing partnership with the Global Fund  in fighting the epidemics of these three diseases(AIDS- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, TB- Tuberculosis, and Malaria) & has now become the first among G20(an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union), BRICS(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and implementer countries to announce the pledge for the 6th Replenishment cycle.

♦India adequately financing to eliminate three diseases has now stepping towards to strengthen health systems and save 16 million more lives across the world.

♦since the year 2002, India has a strong partnership with the Global Fund both as recipient and as a donor. Global Fund support with the amount of US $ 2.0 billion so far has made to fight against three diseases. It has allocated US$ 500 million to India for the present funding cycle (2018-21).

Business & Economy

  1. IAF receives 8 US-made ‘Apache AH-64E’ fighter helicopters
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has received 8 US-made ‘Apache AH-64E’ fighter helicopters from US (United States)aerospace major Boeing at Airforce Station, Pathankot, Punjab. Air Chief Marshal B. S. Dhanoa was the chief guest of the ceremony held at the Pathankot Station.
  • Order: In September 2015, IAF had signed a contract with US Government and Boeing for purchasing 22 AH-64E Apache helicopters. Boeing delivered the first 4 out of 22 helicopters on 27 July 2019. The first batch was delivered to the Indian Air Force at Hindon Airbase in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh(UP). The remaining of 22 will get to India in a phased manner.
  1. Asia’s only 5th Generation VR based Advanced Driver Training Simulator Centre launched at Chennai
  • Rtn G Chandramohan, Rotary Governor, Rotary International District 3232 launched Asia’s first 5th Generation – Virtual Reality (VR) based Advanced Driver Training Simulator Centre at the Automobile Association of Southern India Centre (AASI), Chennai, in the presence of T D Sadasivam, Chairman and other Executive Committee members of AASI. It is aimed to reduce on-road fatalities and make Indian roads safer.

Key Points:

♦Under ‘Safe Drivers Campaign’, AASI will train 200 Ambulance drivers free of cost in the initial 6 months.

♦The patented simulator was ideated, designed and developed by Chennai based Red Chariots Technologies Pvt Ltd.

♦A team of 12 engineers developed the hardware and software which took them nearly 3 years to complete.

♦The existing drivers can make use of this simulator at the nominal cost of Rs 100 for an 8-minute session.

  1. Ashok Leyland becomes the first OEM to meet BS-VI emission norms
  • Ashok Leyland, Indian automobile major headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu has become the 1st Indian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to meet the Bharat Stage (BS ) VI emission standards for all its heavy-duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 16.2 tonnes and above.

Key points:

♦N Saravanan, Chief Technology Officer of Ashok Leyland got the certificates for compliance to BS-VI emission standard from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), an autonomous body affiliated to the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.

♦The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered that BS-IV vehicle will not be sold across the country from April 1, 2020.

♦The difference between the current BS-IV and the upcoming BS-VI norms is the presence of sulfur in the fuel. These emissions norms were prescribed by the central government to check pollutant levels emitted by vehicles using combustion engines.

♦Ashok Leyland was the 1st company to showcase Euro-VI trucks during Auto Expo 2016 held in New Delhi.

About Ashok Leyland:

♦ Founded: 7 September 1948

♦ Parent organization: Hinduja Group

♦ Chairman: Dheeraj Hinduja.

Sports

  1. Steve Smith dethrones Virat Kohli to become top batsman
  • Steve Smith secured top spot in test ranking and dethroned Indian captain Virat Kohli to reclaim this position in ICC Test rankings.
  • Virat Kohli was dismissed for a first-ball duck in the second innings of the final Test against the West Indies, which saw him slip to the No.2 spot.
  • Australia’s Pat Cummins, who picked four wickets in the Leeds Test against England, continues to lead the rankings with 908 rating points.
  1. Mithali Raj announces retirement from T20 Internationals
  • Former India women’s team skipper Mithali Raj announced retirement from T20 Internationals
  • She led India in 32 T20Is India including 3 Women’s T20 World Cups in 2012 (Sri Lanka), 2014 (Bangladesh) and 2016 (India).
  • In 89 T20 Internationals, Mithali scored 2364 runs including 17 fifties with a career-best 97 not out.

Award & Honors

  1. PM Modi to be honoured with ‘Global Goalkeeper Award’
  • Prime Minister NarendraModi will be honoured with the prestigious ‘Global Goalkeeper Award’ by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his leadership and commitment to the Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan.
  • The annual awards, in five categories, are presented to leaders and individuals for their efforts in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The categories are Progress, Changemaker, Campaign, Goalkeepers Voice and the Global Goalkeeper
  1. John Mondal gets CSIR Young Scientist Award 2019
  • Scientist John Mondal has been selected for the CSIR Young Scientist Award 2019 in the field of Chemical Sciences.
  • He is a scientist at the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad. He has made contributions in the area of heterogeneous catalysis.
  • Mondal is currently pursuing research in biomass conversion of waste cooking oils to value added products, clean fuel hydrogen production
  • The CSIR Young Scientist Award is given to those under 35 years and it carries a cash prize of ₹50,000 and a plaque.

Books

  1. A new book entitled “First They Erased Our Name: A Rohingya Speaks” to be released by Penguin Random House (India)
  • A new book entitled “First They Erased Our Name: A Rohingya Speaks” penned by journalist Sophie Ansel(France) will be formally released by Penguin Random House (India) on September 9, 2019.

Key points:

♦The book documents the troubles of Rohingya community, through the eyes of a Rohingya, “Habiburahman”, who was born and raised in a small village in western Burma( now Myanmar), in 1979, grew up stateless with his people when their own country’s military leader ordered that Rohingya were not one among the 135 recognized ethnic groups that formed the 8 ‘national races’.

♦As a result of utmost prejudice and persecution, millions of Rohingya people had left their homes since the year 1982.

♦The Myanmar government rapids the process of ethnic cleansing in 2016 & 2017, and about 600,000 Rohingya were forced to cross the border into Bangladesh.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. India to join developed nations in ocean studies with ‘Samudrayaan’ project
  • India’s ambition to send men to the deep sea in a submersible vehicle is likely to be a reality in 2021-22 with the ‘Samudrayaan’ project.
  • The project proposes to send a submersible vehicle with three persons to a depth of about 6000 metres to carry out deep underwater studies.
  • The indigenously developed vehicle is capable of crawling on the sea bed at a depth of six kilometre for 72 hours.
  • The₹200 croreproject proposes to carry three persons in a submersible vehicle to a depth of 6000 metres under sea for various studies.

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September 7, 2019

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