September 06, 2019

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National

  1. First Mobile Science Exhibition in Leh flagged off
  • First Mobile Science Exhibition at Leh Palace, in Leh, was flagged off by Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel
  • The Mobile Science Exhibition will be moving to various schools in the Leh district. It is specially designed in a bus so that it can reach the doorsteps of people.
  • The bus will travel from school to school in rural areas to organize exhibitions and some other programmes like Sky Observation Programme through the telescope, science film shows, Science Demonstration Lectures etc will also be organized.
  1. Vaishno Devi Shrine adjudged as Best Swachh Iconic Place in India
  • Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir has been adjudged as the ‘Best Swachh Iconic place’ in the country in the ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ list
  • The list was released by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation
  • The shrine has been adjudged on the basis of the overall improvement in sanitation.
  • The President will confer the prestigious award to the Shrine during the Swachh Mahotsav to be organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation on the 6th September.
  1. India-Pakistan 3rd round of negotiations on Kartarpur Sahib corridor held in Attari, Amritsar
  • The 3rd round of meeting between officials of India & Pakistan on the modalities for operationalization of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor held at Attari in Amritsar, Punjab. This is the second meeting between the two countries in the backdrop of tensions arising between India and Pakistan after the withdrawal of special state status from Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).
  • Both sides signed agreement on visa-free travel of Indian pilgrims, without any restrictions. Persons of Indian origin holding OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card can also visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using Kartarpur Corridor.
  • Pakistan allows 5,000 Sikhpilgrims to visit Holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor every day. While additional pilgrims (above of 5,000) can also visit on special occasions such as Gurpurab and Baisakhi, subject to capacity expansion by the side of Pakistan.
  1. 3rd India-Australia Cyber Dialogue for the year 2019 held in New Delhi
  • 3rd India-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue for the year 2019 was held in New Delhi. Shri Upender Singh Rawat, Joint Secretary in charge of e-Governance, Information Technology and Cyber Diplomacy at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs led the Indian delegation and Australian delegation was led by the Ambassador for Cyber Affairs Dr. Tobias Feakin.
  • Discussions were made on the current and emerging cyber security issues including emerging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) technologies, national approaches to cyber security policy and legislation, international issues including the respective views on the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts and Open Ended Working Group, critical technologies, and cooperation to address cybercrime.
  1. First National Conference on Cyber Crime Investigation and Cyber Forensics held in New Delhi
  • The Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Rishi Kumar Shukla inaugurated the first National Conference on Cyber Crime Investigation and Cyber Forensics in New Delhi at the CBI headquarters. It was a 2-day conference held on September 4-5, 2019.

Key Points:

♦It included one of the mandates of CBI which notifies to investigate crimes with inter-state & international ramifications.

♦It aimed to create a platform and bring together investigators, lawyers, forensic experts and academia to discuss challenges related to cyber crime and ways to find solutions.

About CBI:

♦ Parent Crime Branch: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions

♦ Motto: Industry, Impartiality, Integrity

State

  1. For the 1st time, Gujarat govt signs sister state MoU with American state Delaware
  • For the 1st time, The State Government of Gujarat signed sister-state MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Delaware State of America in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

Key points:

♦An 8-member American delegation led by Jeffery Bullock, Secretary of the State of  Delaware called on Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the state capital to sign the MoU.

♦Both the leaders discussed to boost bilateral relations between the two states by way of tie-ups in the field of services and investment opportunities for investors from Delaware in GIFT()(Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) IFSC(International Financial Services Centre

♦The American delegation also showed interest in future cooperation in sectors of biosciences sector, animal husbandry, and financial services.

♦Information about biotechnology universities and Gujarat State Biotechnology Mission (GSBT) were also provided by Vijay Rupani. The American delegation which included Secretary of State, Secretary of Agriculture, Deputy Secretary of State and senior officials has also invited Gujarat Chief Minister to visit Delaware State.

International

  1. Iran lifts all limits on nuclear research and development programme
  • Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian President, has ordered to lift all limits on nuclear research and development as part of the third step in reducing Iran’s commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal.
  • The President of Iran announced that Iran will begin developing centrifuges to speed up uranium enrichment.
  • Rouhani also said Iran’s new measures will be “peaceful, under the surveillance of the U.N. nuclear watchdog and reversible.
  1. India ranks 9th among the top 10 individual nations in gold reserves with US ranking 1st in the list
  • The World Gold Council (WGC) released the 2019 list of gold reserves in each country. The list was topped by United States(US) with gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes followed by Germany (3,366.8 tonnes) at second place. India entered the top 10 list this year ranking at 10th spot surpassing Netherlands (612.5 tonnes) whereas it is ranked at 9th position in terms of individual countries with 618.2 tonnes, as the International Monetary Fund(IMF) ranks third (2,451.8 tonnes) in the gold reserve list.

Key points

♦India’s previous report: In the previous report of 2018 India’s gold reserve stood at 607 tonnes and also its gold reserve has grown from 357.8 tonnes in the first quarter of 2000 to 618.2 tonnes at present. India’s neighbouring country Pakistan, stood at 45th position (64.6 tonnes) in 2019 list.

Rankings:

Rank              Country

1      United States

2      Germany

3      International Monetary Fund(IMF)

4      Italy

5      France

10   India (overall, including IMF)

9      India (individual country ranking, excluding IMF)

Banking & Finance

  1. RBI makes it mandatory for banks to link retail loans with external benchmarks from October 1
  • The RBI has made it mandatory for banks to link all new floating-rate loans for housing, auto and MSMEs to external benchmark like repo from October 1, a move aimed at ensuring faster transmission of policy rate cuts to borrowers. Industry and retail borrowers have been complaining that banks do not pass on the entire RBI’s policy rate (repo rate) reduction to them.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been observed that due to various reasons, the transmission of policy rate changes to the lending rate of banks under the current marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) framework has not been satisfactory.
  • In 2019, the Reserve Bank has already reduced the repo or short-term lending rate by 110 basis points, but the banks have reportedly passed on only up to 40 bps to borrowers. The external benchmarks, to which the banks will be required to link their lending rates, could be repo, 3-month or 6-month treasury bill yield, or any other benchmark published by the Financial Benchmarks India Private Ltd (FBIL).
  • The banks have also been asked to reset the interest rate under external benchmark at least once in three months.
  1. Standard Chartered Bank launches new “DigiSmart” credit card
  • The Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company has launched its “DigiSmart” credit card primarily focused on the ever-growing segment of millennials.

Key points:

♦The new credit card is available for a nominal monthly fee of only Rs 49. However, this fee will be waived off if the spends of the customer are Rs 5,000 or above in the previous month.

♦Instant discounts and other benefits make this card special. key e-commerce portals, travel, entertainment, fashion, grocery and food delivery can be discounted on various categories of products.

♦Standard Chartered Bank has partnered with several companies such as Myntra, Grofers, Yatra, Zomato, Ola and INOX in the initial phase to offer customers with discounts and other benefits.

About Standard Chartered Bank:

♦ Headquarters: London, United Kingdom

♦ Chairman: Jose Vinals

♦ Tagline: Your Right Partner

Business & Economy

  1. FDI grew by 28% to $16.33 bn in Q1 FY 2019-20; Singapore emerged as the largest source
  • According to the official data from the Commerce and Industry Ministry, Government of India, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India grew by 28% to $16.33 billion in the first quarter (Q1)- April-June 2019-20. FDI inflows in April-June of 2018-19 was $12.75 billion.

Key Points:

♦Maximum foreign inflows: Services Sector ($2.8 billion), computer software and hardware ($2.24 billion), telecommunications ($4.22 billion), and trading ($1.13 billion) sectors received the maximum foreign inflows during April-June 2019-20.

♦Sources: Singapore emerged as the largest source of FDI in India during April-June 2019-20 with $5.33 billion investment, followed by Mauritius ($4.67 billion), the United States  ($1.45 billion), the Netherlands ($1.35 billion), and Japan ($472 million).

About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:

♦ Minister In-charge: Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha- Maharashtra)

  1. MoU signed between MCX & ZCE for co-operation and the exchange of information
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) and Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE), a commodity exchanges in China, for co-operation and the exchange of information. It will help in cooperation between the two exchanges in areas like knowledge sharing, education & training, organizing events and exploration of the areas of mutual interests between the exchanges.

Key Points:

♦MCX trades commodity futures contracts in bullion, base metals, energy and agricultural commodities, options on Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, Copper and Zinc futures.

♦ZCE offers commodity futures with both Agricultural and non-agricultural products like Cotton, Rapeseed Oil, Seed & Meal, Sugar, Flat Glass, Methanol, Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Thermal Coal, option products on White Sugar and Cotton.

Sports

  1. Rashid Khan becomes youngest ever Test captain
  • Afghanistan’s leg spinner Rashid Khan has become youngest skipper ever in the Test Cricket history.
  • 20-year-old Rashid Khan broke the 15-year-old record of Zimbabwe wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu. He was holding this record for more than the last 15 years.
  • He was given this responsibility because Afghanistan skipper Asghar Stanikzai was diagnosed with appendicitis.
  1. Misbah-ul-Haq named as Pakistan head coach and chief selector
  • Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been appointed as Pakistan head coach of men’s cricket team and chief selector on a three-year contract
  • Waqar Younis appointed as bowling coach
  • The first assignment of Misbah-Waqar combination will be the upcoming three ODI and three T20I home series against Sri Lanka, which will be played from September 27 to October 9
  1. Rohit Sharma Launches Campaign to save Rhinos in India
  • India vice-captain Rohit Sharma is launching Rohit4Rhinos campaign, in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet on World Rhino Day on September 22,
  • The campaign is aim to build awareness for the need to conserve the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros or the Indian Rhino
  • Rohit Sharma joined WWF India as its Brand Ambassador for Rhino Conservation in 2018

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Jaideep Sarkar concurrently accredited as the next High Commissioner of India to the Kingdom of Lesotho
  • Shri Jaideep Sarkar has been concurrently accredited as the next High Commissioner of India to the Kingdom of Lesotho, with residence in Pretoria.
  • Sarkar, A 1987 IFS-batch officer, presently working as High Commissioner of India to the Republic of South Africa

Award & Honors

  1. President Kovind gives away National Awards to Teachers
  • National Awards to teachers for the year 2018 on the occasion of Teachers’ Day 2019 were conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Total 46 teachers were chosen from across the country to be felicitated in the national capital as India geared to celebrate Teachers’ Day.
  • It was 61st year of the National Teacher’s Award while Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), has already released the list of teachers.
  1. Muhammad Yunus conferred ‘Lamp of Peace of Saint Francis ‘ award by Vatican
  • Bangladesh Professor Muhammad Yunus was conferred the ‘Lamp of Peace of Saint Francis ‘ award by the Vatican
  • He was given the award at the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, Italy,
  • The awards was conferred for his contribution towards establishing peace and harmony
  • The award is a recognition for distinguished work by an individual for promoting peace and dialogue among people.
  • The Lamp of Peace award was first given to the Polish trade union leader Lech Walesa in 1981
  1. Skill India felicitates 53 Skill Trainers in the annual Kaushalacharya Awards event for 2019
  • Kaushalacharya Samadar 2019 was organized by the Skill India Mission, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on the occasion of Teachers Day in New Delhi which honoured 53 skill trainers from different sectors for their exceptional contribution. “Kaushalacharya Awards” will be an annual event.
  • Awardees: 53 trainers were the experts from different backgrounds which included WorldSkills Competition winners, trainers from National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs), Industrial Training Centres, Jan Sikshan Sansthans (JSS) and trainers from reputed Corporate houses.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DGT and Dhanbad (Jharkhand) based Kaushalya Kameshwar Techno Solution Pvt Limited under which training will be provided in Industrial environment in mining sector courses.

Important Days

  1. International Day of Charity
  • International Day of Charity is observed on 5 September every year to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions to achieve sustainable development goals.
  • It was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012.
  • This date commemorates the anniversary of passing of Mother Teresa who worked tirelessly for the people who are in need, to overcome poverty, distress and suffering of the poorest in the world.
  1. National Teachers’ Day
  • Teachers’ Day commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was a scholar, recipient of Bharat Ratna, first Vice President and second President of independent India.
  • He was born on 5 September, 1888. He was a grand advocate of edification, and was the distinguished envoy, academician, and India’s President, above all a great Teacher.

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September 8, 2019

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