September 27, 2019

National

  1. DRDO and Jammu Central University sign MoU to set up Kalam Centre for Science and Technology
  • Jammu Central University and Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed an MoU to establish Kalam Centre for Science and Technology (KCST) in the region.
  • This centre will be established with an aim to provide facilities of basic and applied research and technology development in the identified research verticals.
  • Kalam Centre for Science and Technology will be equipped with all modern-day facilities and equipment to increase in research scholars in these areas.
  1. Dr Harsh Vardhan launched ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ campaign & National TB Prevalence Survey 2019
  • Union minister for Health and Family Welfare (HFW) Dr Harsh Vardhan launched ‘TB Harega Desh Jeetega’ campaign & National TB Prevalence Survey 2019 in New Delhi
  • He flagged off a van for the National TB Prevalence Survey 2019 (25 vans will be part of the survey for 6 months) and unveiled TB India Report (2019)
  • 5 lakh TB cases were reported in 2018 compared to 18 lakhs in 2017 (increase of 17%). Notifications from private sector health care providers stood at 5.4 lakhs, an increase of 40%, contributing to 25% of all TB notifications.
  1. Government reconstitutes EAC-PM till 2021
  • Union Government reconstituted the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) for a period of 2 years with effect from September 26, 2019. Dr. Bibek Debroy will continue as Chairman and Mr Ratan P. Watal will continue as the Member Secretary. These are the 2 full time members.

Key Points:

♦The strength of the EAC-PM was reduced to 4 from 5, with 2 full-time members and 2 part-time members.

♦Part-Time Members: Dr Sajjid Chinoy, Indian economist at JP Morgan is the new part-time member and Ashima Goel of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) will continue to be the Part-Time Member.

♦Rathin Roy from the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and Shamika Ravi of Brookings Institution were dropped as part-time members.

♦The EAC-PM was revived in September 2017 with a term of two years and it has submitted papers on issues like employment, fiscal situation, economic growth, manufacturing and infrastructure to the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).

  1. 47th CSMC approves construction of 1.23 lakh houses with an overall investment of Rs. 4,988 cr under PMAY-U
  • The 47th Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) headed by Union Housing and Urban Affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra approved 630 proposals from participating states for the construction of 1.23 lakh houses with an overall investment of Rs. 4,988 cr under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana– Urban (PMAY-U). With this, cumulative sanctions of houses under PMAY(U) crossed 90 lakh houses against the validated demand of 1.12 crore.

Key Points:

♦Participating states: 10 states namely West Bengal for 27,746 houses, Tamil Nadu for 26,709, Gujarat for 20,903, Punjab for 10,332, Chhattisgarh for 10,079, Jharkhand for 8,674, Madhya Pradesh for 8,314, Karnataka for 5,021, Rajasthan for 2,822 and  Uttarakhand for 2,501 houses had participated in the meeting.

♦The union government will provide the assistance worth Rs. 1,805 cr.

♦The overall investment approved till date is Rs. 5.54 lakh crore (Rs. 3.01 lakh crore from Central and State Governments & Rs. 2.53 lakh crore from private investment)

♦Out of the Rs. 1.43 lakh crore committed by the union government, Rs. 57,758 crore has already been released.

♦The government aspires to achieve the target of ‘Housing for All’ in 2020, two years before the deadline of 2022.

State

  1. CM of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal launched Mukhyamantri Kirayedar Bijli Meter Yojana
  • Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal notified the launch of Mukhyamantri Kirayedar Bijli Meter Yojana under which tenants residing in Delhi will be able to avail power subsidy. They will get a separate power meter.

Key Points:

♦Through this new scheme, tenants will get a prepaid meter using 2 documents – rent agreement or rent receipt and current address proof. They will have to deposit security money of Rs 3,000.

♦The meters will be delivered to their respective houses by calling the helpline numbers of power distribution companies – 19122 for BSES (Bombay Suburban Electric Supply) Yamuna, 19123 for BSES Rajdhani and 19124 for Tata Power.

♦Under the existing power subsidy scheme in Delhi, public are not required to pay bills for the electricity consumption of up to 200 units and 50% subsidy is given on bills for power consumption between 201 units and 400 units.

  1. 6000 rupees will be given annually to women suffering from triple talaq: UP Govt.
  • Uttar Pradesh (UP) state Government led by its Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath will provide an annual assistance of ₹6,000 to the triple talaq victims till their rehabilitation and also they will get free legal aid.

Key points:

♦Apart from this, they will also be given affordable housing, their children’s education, government jobs as per their qualifications, scholarship and health cover under Ayushman Yojana or under the Chief Minister Arogya Scheme. Special plans will be made for the welfare of such women.

♦As many as 300 women from across the UP state attended the event,where Adityanath interacted with the victims of triple talaq under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK).

Triple Talaq:

♦It is a personal practice followed by Muslim communities in the country as a form of divorce wherein a man can unilaterally and arbitrarily end his marriage by merely pronouncing the word Talaq thrice. The man pronouncing the divorce may deliver it through a letter, text message, email or even through a video recording.

International

  1. ICC announces partnership with Facebook for carrying out digital content
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced a partnership with social media giant Facebook for carrying out a range of digital content across four years.
  • The content will include match recaps, in-play key moments and other match and feature content.
  • ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup became an unprecedented success as it netted around 4.6 billion video views across ICC’s digital and social media platforms.
  • The package includes major global events of ICC such as Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021, Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 among others.
  1. Tripartite step on Rohingya return agreed by Bangladesh, Myanmar and China
  • A tripartite mechanism to monitor and assess on-the-ground repatriation process of the displaced Rohingya people to Myanmar was jointly agreed by the nations of Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.

Key points:

♦The proposal for the formation tripartite group was placed by China,Myanmar and Bangladesh already have a joint working group signed November 2017 for return of the Rohingyas and China is only helping in implementing the agreements taken by two countries.

♦In October 2019, tripartite group (which consists of the Chinese and Myanmar ambassadors in Dhaka and a director general from the Bangladesh foreign ministry) will hold its first meeting.

♦7 lakh 50 thousand refugees mostly women, children and aged people, entered in Bangladesh  after the Myanmar government rapids the process of ethnic cleansing in 2016 & 2017, and Rohingya were forced to cross the border into Bangladesh beginning from August 25, 2017.

Banking & Finance

  1. PNB launches 1st of its kind Preventive Vigilance portal to facilitate all staff to contribute towards arresting procedural lapses
  • In order to promote vigilance awareness,the Punjab National Bank(PNB) has introduced 1st of its kind Preventive Vigilance (PV) portal to facilitate all staff members to contribute towards arresting procedural lapses and unhealthy practices at a function held at PNB Corporate Office, chaired by Sharad Kumar,Central Vigilance Commissioner.
  • In a bid to promote a central theme of ‘Integrity – A way of Life’, the bank introduced e-pledge mission, social outreach through technological platforms & modern technology based solutions through the Preventive Vigilance (PV) portal.
  1. Airtel payments bank joins hands with HDFC ERGO to offer mosquito-borne diseases protection policy
  • India’s first Payments Bank, the Airtel Payments Bank has joined hands with India’s leading private sector general insurance company, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company to offer unique Mosquito Diseases Protection Policy (MDPP) to protect against mosquito-borne diseases.

Key points:

♦This partnership aims to contribute to the financial inclusion of the country through the strong distribution network of Airtel Payments Bank and strong innovation of HDFC ERGO(Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd).

♦The MDPP will provide cover on 7 common mosquito-borne diseases, including Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, Kala-azar, Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) and Zika virus. The product, which is part of HDFC Ergo’s ‘wallet insurance portfolio’, will be offered to Airtel Payments Bank remittance consumers at a nominal premium of Rs 99 per year.

♦At present, the policy available to over 40 lakh remittance customers of Airtel Payments Bank. This segment of consumers consists mostly of migrant workers, who are usually the sole earners of the family.

♦This pocket-friendly product is quite different in the insurance industry, being the only policy that provides the insured with the benefit of the sum assured even when hospitalized for 24 hours for treatment.

Sports

  1. Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta clinched IBSF World Snooker Team Championship 2019
  • The Indian duo of Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta clinched International Billiards & Snooker Federation (IBSF) World Snooker Team Championship 2019 held in Mandalay, Myanmar by defeating Thailand’s C.Pongsakorn and D.Poramin by 5-2.
  • Myanmar Open Billiards 2019 which consisted of the 150 Up World Billiards Championship and World 6Reds, World Team Snooker championships 2019 was held from September 9-25, 2019 and was hosted by Myanmar Billiards & Snooker Federation (MBSF).
  • It was the 23rd world title for Advani and the first title for Mehta.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Sebastian Coe gets re-elected as IAAF chief
  • Britain’s Sebastian Coe was re-elected as president of the IAAF for a second term following four years dominated by doping and the issue of gender.
  • XimenaRestrepo, Sergey Bubka, Geoffrey Gardner and Nawaf Bin Mohammed Al Saud were elected as vice-presidents.
  • Restrepo will become the first woman to serve as an IAAF Vice President.
  1. Kristalina Georgieva is the IMF’s new chief, becomes 2nd woman to get the post
  • Bulgaria’s economist Kristalina Georgieva (66) has been elected as the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She will be the second woman chief of the 189-member IMF & will take over as Managing Director of the IMF on October 1, 2019. She will replace Christine Lagarde, who resigned from her post after being elected president of the European Central Bank (ECB).

Key points:

♦Prior to this, she was the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank in January 2017. She was also the interim president of the World Bank Group from February 1 – April 8,2019.

♦Georgieva received a PhD (postgraduate doctoral degree) in Economic Sciences from the University of National and World Economy, Bulgaria, and an MA (Master of Arts) in Political Economics and Social Sciences degree obtained at this university from 1977 to 1991.

♦She has served in the European Commission as the Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response. After that, she was also the Vice President of the commission for Budget and Human Resources.

Award & Honors

  1. Payal Jangid receives ‘Change Maker Award’ at New York
  • Payal Jangid has made the country proud by receiving the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s ‘Change Maker Award’ for her campaign to end child labour and child marriage in Rajasthan.
  • She worked in Alwar, Rajasthan to stop child marriages in her area. Kailash Satyarthi Foundation helped and guided her to form a community against child marriages.
  • Payal said that she wants to do the same on the world level, just the way she has eliminated these problems by campaigning in her village.

Books

  1. Siddharth Shanghvi pens book on mortality
  • Award-winning author SiddharthDhanvantShanghvi will come out with a memoir on death and grief, drawing on a string of personal losses – of his parents and a beloved pet.
  • In “Loss”, the author will chart the landscape of bereavement as he takes the reader down the dark, winding path to healing.
  • Shanghvi, whose first novel “The Last Song of Dusk” won the Betty Trask Award, the PremioGrinzane Cavour, and was nominated for the IMPAC Prize.
  • Shanghvi, whose second book “The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay” was shortlisted for the Man Asian Prize.
  • “Loss” will hit stores next summer.
  1. Pranab Mukherjee launches the book titled ‘Reset: Regaining India’s Economic Legacy’ written by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy
  • Pranab Mukherjee , the Former president of India has released a book entitled ‘Reset: Regaining India’s Economic Legacy’ penned by BJP MP (Bharatiya janata party -member of parliament) Subramanian Swamy in New Delhi.

Key points:

♦The book documents economic growth of India over the years & provides the master solutions for future growth.

♦Swamy, who often criticizes the government’s economic policies, is of the opinion that the government now needs a team of experienced politicians and professionals for crisis management.

♦The author also denounced the present Government’s (BJP-led NDA government) handling of macroeconomic issue.

♦The book has been published by Rupa Publications India.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. World’s biggest transport spaceship Kounotori8 launched by Japan
  • Japan’s unmanned H-2B rocket lifted off with cargo vessel Kounotori8 towards the International Space Station (ISS) from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, which is considered as the world’s biggest transport spaceship. It intends to deliver about 5.3 tonnes of supplies to astronauts at the ISS.

Key Points:

♦Kounotori8 means “white stork” in Japanese.

♦The main contractor for the Japanese H-2B rocket was Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

About JAXA:

♦ Formation: 1 October 2003

♦ Motto: One JAXA

♦ Headquarters: Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan

Obituary

  1. Venu Madhav, Telugu comedian, passes away at 39
  • Venu Madhav was popular Telugu comedian, who was suffering from multiple health issues, recently passed away. He was 39.
  • He was advised to undergo liver transplant surgery. Apart from that, he was suffering from kidney issues, high BP, liver cirrhosis and diabetes.
  • Venu Madhav worked in more than 170 movies. However, he made his debut in 1996 in Sampradayam.
  1. Former French president Jacques René Chirac passed away at the age of 86
  • A two-term (1995-2007) French president Jacques René Chirac, aged 86, passed away in Paris, France. Born 29 November 1932 in Paris, he was the first leader to accept France’s role in the Holocaust (World War II genocide) and opposed the United States invasion on Iraq in 2003.
  • Nicknamed as “Le Bulldozer”, he also served as the Prime Minister of France, Mayor of Paris, President of Rally for the Republic, Minister of the Interior, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Minister for Parliamentary Relations of France, President of the Corrèze General Council and also served in the military.
  • He has won many National and Foreign honours, Ig Nobel prize for peace (1996) and State Prize of the Russian Federation (2007).

Important Days

  1. World Contraception Day
  • World Contraception Day is observed on 26 September annually.
  • It is a global campaign to improve the awareness about the contraceptive methods available and enable the young people to make informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
  1. World Maritime Day
  • World Maritime Day is observed annually on 26 September to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality which is also necessary to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also to highlight the contribution of women in the maritime sector.
  • The theme of 2019 is “Empowering women in the maritime community”.
January 25, 2020

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