September 13, 2019

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National

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019
  • The Prime Minister, ShriNarendraModi launched Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019, a massive countrywide awareness and mobilization campaign on Swachhata at Mathura.
  • SHS 2019, with special focus on ‘plastic waste awareness and management’ is being organized from 11th September to October 2nd 2019, as the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is poised to dedicate an ODF India to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
  • The launch of SHS was organized jointly by the central Departments of Animal Husbandry and Dairying and Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Prime Minister also visited the PashudhanArogyaVigyanMela, where he saw cows being operated upon to remove plastic waste from their stomachs.
  1. Overview of PM Modi’s visit to Jharkhand on September 12, 2019
  • The Prime Minister(PM) of India Shri Narendra Modi paid a one-day visit to Jharkhand and launched schemes namely KMY, PMLVMY and Swarojgar. He also inaugurated Jharkhand assembly and schools in the state.
  • The “Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana”(KMY) for small and marginal farmers was launched in Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand. This scheme would benefit 5crore farmers nationwide.
  • Pradhan Mantri Laghu Vyaparik Mandhan Yojana (PMLVMY) was launched with the aim of providing pension to small shopkeepers and traders benefiting 3crore people in the country.
  • New Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha (state assembly building) was inaugurated by PM in presence of Jharkhand Chief Minister(CM) Raghubardas and governor Droupadi Murmu and had also laid foundation stone for the New Secretariat Building at Ranchi.

State

  1. ONGC will invest over Rs. 13,000 crore in Assam to dig oil wells
  • Indian multinational oil and gas company, ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation ) has signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding ) with the Assam state government to invest more than Rs. 13,000 crore in the next 5 years to excavate over 220 oil and gas wells in Assam.

Key points:

♦ONGC is working towards reducing imports by 10 % by the year 2022 according to the call of the Prime Minister and the hydrocarbon vision 2030.

♦At present, the company has implemented 27 projects across India at an investment of more than  Rs 86,000 crore.

  1. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar launched 2 insurance schemes “Mukhyamantri Vyapari Samuhik Niji Durghatna Beema Yojana” and “Mukhyamantri Vyapari Samuhik Niji Durghatna Beema Yojana’” for traders
  • The Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar launched 2 insurance schemes named “Mukhyamantri Vyapari Samuhik Niji Durghatna Beema Yojana” and “Mukhyamantri Vyapari Kshatipurti Beema Yojana‘” for traders registered under the Haryana Goods and Service Tax (HGST) Act, 2017. Premium of Rs 38 crore for both the schemes will be paid by the Haryana state government.

Key Points:

♦Under the Mukhyamantri Vyapari Samuhik Niji Durghatna Beema Yojana, an accident insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh will be provided for 3.75 lakh registered traders.

♦Under the Mukhyamantri Vyapari Kshatipurti Beema Yojana, an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh will be provided for 3.13 lakh registered small and medium traders. Haryana became the first state in India to implement this scheme.

♦All the families in Haryana with an annual family income of Rs 1.80 lakh will be covered under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

♦The monthly wages of ‘Safai Karamcharis’ working in urban areas was hiked to Rs 15,000 from Rs 13,500 and in rural areas to Rs 12,500 from Rs 11,000.

♦Families living in electricity-deprived habitats outside a radius of one kilometer from villages will be covered under the Manohar Jyoti Yojana.

International

  1. The UK introduced a post-study work visa
  • The United Kingdom (UK) government has recently announced that it was reinstating the two-year post-study visa for foreign students.
  • This will have no cap on numbers and allow graduates to apply for jobs regardless of their skills or the subject they studied.
  • According to the announcement, Indian students will get the maximum benefits as they have good strength in the UK. Enrolments from the 2020-21 sessions are expected to benefit from changes.
  1. Vietnam opens Southeast Asia’s largest solar power farm
  • Vietnam has inaugurated Southeast Asia’s largest solar power farm which has the capacity to produce 688 million kWh of electricity annually.
  • The DauTieng Solar Power Complex, a joint venture with the Thai industrial group B.Grimm Power Public Company, occupies 540 hectares in TayNinh province, some 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City, and has an investment of more than $391 million.
  1. 24th World Energy Congress
  • The 24th World Energy Congress is being held in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 9-12 September 2019.
  • It is a triennial event and is organized by the World Energy Council. World Energy Council is headquartered at London, United Kingdom.
  • The theme of the event in 2019 is “Energy for Prosperity”.
  • The 24th World Energy Congress aims to bring together international energy stakeholders, including governments, private and state corporations, academia and media.
  • With over 15,000 participants expected, the Congress is set to welcome over 250 high-level speakers, 70 ministers, 500 CEOs, 600 media with an 40,000 sqm exhibition space that will cover the entire energy spectrum.
  1. S. designates TTP chief Noor Wali Mehsud as global terrorist on the eve of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks
  • On the eve of the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States (US) Department of State designated the chief of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Noor Wali Mehsud, also known as Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ (SDGT). TTP has held over 1400 terrorists attacks in Pakistan in last 12 years.
  • He became the chief of TTP in June 2018 after the death of Mullah Fazlullah in Afghanistan.
  • He is among the 12 SDGT leaders of previously designated groups which includes TTP, Hizbullah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Islamic State (IS), IS-Philippines, ISIS-West Africa and an al Qaeda affiliated group fighting in Syria.
  1. SL’s new luxury train Pulathisi Express by Indian railways ‘make in india’ product flagged off
  • The new luxurious train of Sri Lanka(SL), Pulathisi Express which was produced under the ‘Make in India’ project of the Indian Railways was launched. The president of SL Shri Maithripala Sirisena flagged off the new train from Fort railway station in Colombo to Polonnaruwa, North central province of SL.
  • The train was supplied under Line of Credit (LoC) by Rail India Technical and Economic Service(RITES) ltd and was manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai .

Banking & Finance

  1. Karnataka Bank MD & CEO MS Mahabaleshwara inducted into IBA’s Managing Committee
  • The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Karnataka Bank, M S Mahabaleshwara was included in the Managing Committee of Indian Banks Association (IBA). He was elected unopposed from the private sector member banks category.
  • This announcement was made during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of IBA held at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • The total membership of IBA stands at 253.

Sports

  1. BCCI announced a new test team, KL Rahul dropped
  • The BCCI named a 15-man team for the three-match Test series against South Africa starting October 2.
  • The name of KL Rahul had dropped due to poor performance in the 2 last Tests in the West Indies. He was dropped while Shubman Gill got his maiden call-up in the Test side.
  • Shubman Gill has scored 1,443 runs in 14 first-class matches at an average of 72.15. India-South Africa Test series will begin on October 2.

Award & Honors

  1. England greats Boycott, Strauss given knighthoods
  • England cricket greats Geoffrey Boycott and Andrew Strauss have been given knighthoods by Theresa May in her resignation honours list.
  • Boycott and Strauss both received the honour for their services to sport after outstanding careers for England.
  • Geoffrey Boycott played 108 tests between 1964 and 1982 for England and scored 8,114 Test runs at an average of 47.72.
  • Andrew Strauss played 100 tests for England from 2004-12, scoring more than 7,000 runs at an average of 40.91, and captained the team to two Ashes series wins. He also served as England’s director of cricket between 2015 and 2018.
  1. IIT Ropar & IISc Bangalore ranked No 1 among the 56 Indian institutes in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2020
  • World University Rankings 2020, published by the United Kingdom (UK) based Times Higher Education (THE), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore were ranked number 1 among the 56 Indian institutes on the list of the best universities of the world, beating IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi. Since 2012, for the first time Indian institutions did not feature among the top 300 in World University Rankings 2020.
  • The rankings were released on September 11, 2019, at the THE World Academic Summit in Zurich, Switzerland and the event was hosted in partnership with ETH Zurich University.
  • India is the fifth most represented country in the list and the third most-represented in Asia after Japan and mainland China.

Top 3 Indian Institutes:

Rank              Institute

1      IIT Ropar & IISc Bangalore

2      IIT Indore  (351-400 band)

3      IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi & IIT Kharagpur (In the top 401-500 universities bracket)

  1. Indian Ambassador to UAE Navdeep Suri conferred with UAE Order of Zayed II
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has honored Indian Ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri with its highest civilian honor Order of Zayed II award. He has been given this honor for strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

Key points:

♦UAE Minister for Foreign and International Affairs HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented the honor to Suri, who has been serving as the Indian ambassador to the Gulf nation since October 2016. He will retire in September 2019. Senior diplomat Pavan Kapoor will succeed him as the new ambassador to the UAE.

♦The honor was instituted in the name of Dubai founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

♦Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given the Order of Zayed, UAE’s highest honor on 24 August 2019.

About UAE:

♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi

♦ Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham

♦ President : Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

♦ Prime Minister : Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Science, Space & Technology

  1. Scientists found ‘Super-Earth’, a potentially life-friendly planet
  • Hubble Space Telescope has discovered an Earth-size planet with the possibility of water on it.
  • After years of observations, exoplanet K2-18b, a super-Earth, was found about 111 light-years away from the earth.
  • According to the scientists, it is more than eight times the mass of Earth, which means it’s either an icy giant like Neptune or a rocky world with a thick, hydrogen-rich atmosphere.
  1. BHEL commissions 1,320 MW thermal plant in Jharsuguda, Odisha
  • of India owned state run engineering firm Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) announced commissioning of 1320 MegaWatt(MW) power project in Ib Thermal Power Station(ITPS) in Odisha’s Jharsuguda district. This generated power will be supplied to Grid Corporation of Odisha(GRIDCO).

Key points

♦The project is owned by Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited (OPGC), which is a joint venture company between govt. Of Odisha and AES(Applied Energy Services), a United States(US) based energy company.

  1. DRDO successfully test fires indigenous MP-ATGM in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh
  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested indigenously developed low weight, fire-and-forget Man Portable Anti Tank Guided Missile (MP-ATGM) from a firing range in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
  • It was the third successful test-firing of the 100% indigenous ATGM, developed for the infantry battalions of the Indian Army.
  • The missile, incorporated with state-of-the-art Infrared Imaging Seeker along with advanced avionics, was launched from a man-portable tripod launcher and it hit the target of mimicking a functional tank in top attack mode and destroyed it with precision.
  1. China launches 3 satellites, will help areas including disaster management and climate monitoring
  • China has successfully launched three satellites ( a resource satellite- ZY-1 02D and two small satellites). These satellites have been launched in a predetermined orbit that will help in disaster management, urban construction and monitoring of polar regions and global climate change.

Key points:

♦The Resource Satellite and 2 other small satellites were launched by a long march-4B carrier rocket from Taiyuan satellite launch center in Shanji Province, North China at 11.26 am (local time).

♦The resource satellite, developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), is an important part of China’s space-based infrastructure. This resource satellite, aged about 5 years, will form a network with other satellites. It will provide data by monitoring natural resource asset management, ecological monitoring, disaster prevention and control, environmental protection, urban construction, transportation, and contingency management.

♦With the help of a near-infrared camera, 166-band hyperspectral camera, it can observe large and medium-sized cities for urban planning & analyze complicated mineral compositions and distribution.

♦One of the 2 small satellites sent by china belongs to Beijing Normal University, and is called BNU-1 (about 16 kilograms), will primarily monitor polar climate. another one belongs to a Shanghai-based private space technology company.  Both the satellites have the lifespan of 1 year.

About China:

♦ Capital: Beijing

♦ Currency: Renminbi

  1. DRDO gives second indigenously developed AEWC aircraft ‘Netra’ to Air Force
  • The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has handed over the 2nd indigenously developed AWAC (Airborne Early Warning and Control) aircraft, ‘Netra’ to the Indian Air Force(IAF). Western Air Command Chief Air Marshal R Nambier Nambiar accepted the planes at the acceptance ceremony at Bathinda Airbase in Punjab.

Key points:

♦At the time of the Balakot attack in February 2019, Netra has played a major role.

♦The indigenously developed missile by DRDO with assistance from the Bengaluru-based Centre for Airborne Systems is equipped with indigenously developed electronics and hardware.

♦The maximum firepower of this missile is about 2.5 km. It can be used for surveillance, tracking, identification and classification of airborne and sea surface targets and is useful in detecting upcoming ballistic missile threats.

Environment

  1. Scientists from BSI discovered two new species of ginger from Nagaland
  • Scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) discovered 2 new species of ginger- Zingiber namely Zingiber perenense and Zingiber dimapurense from Nagaland. The article on Zingiber dimapurense was published in NeBIO, an International Journal of Environment and Biodiversity and the article on Zingiber perenense was published in The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal.
  • Zingiber perenense was discovered from the Peren district of Nagaland. It’s the leafy shoots reach up to 70 cm and the specimens were collected in September 2017, when botanists were working on the ‘State flora of Nagaland’ in the Peren district.
  • Zingiber dimapurense, discovered from the Dimapur district of Nagaland, is taller, with leafy shoots measuring 90-120 cm high. It’s specimens were collected in October 2016 from the Hekese village forest under the Medziphema subdivision.

Obituary

  1. Tongan prime minister dies in New Zealand
  • Prime Minister of Tonga Akilisi Pohiva, 78, was hospitalized for two weeks in the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa with pneumonia. But he was transferred to New Zealand recently but passed away in this morning.
  • He is known as towering democracy in the country. He was first elected in 1987.
  • Akilisi Pohiva was first elected as PM of Tonga in 2014 after decades of campaigning for democratic representation and reforms.

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September 17, 2019

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