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Important Current Affairs 23rd August

NATIONAL:

India to launch e-commerce portal Bharatcraft for MSMEs.

• Union Government is planning to launch an e-commerce portal named “Bharatcraft” for MSME’s. The portal is based on other e-commerce portals like ‘Alibaba’ and ‘Amazon’. The portal will provide a platform for MSMEs to market and sell their products and in turn boost the sector. The MSME Union Minister, the Bharat Craft portal has a huge potential to generate revenue worth ₹10 lakh crore in the next 2-3 years.

Amazon

Founded: July 5, 1994

Founder: Jeff Bezos

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington and Arlington, Virginia, United States

Shri Amit Shah chairs the 24th Meeting of Western Zonal Council at Panaji.

• Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah chaired the 24th meeting of the Western Zonal Council at Panaji (Goa) The dignitaries attending the meeting includes Chief Minister Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani, CM Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis, CM Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant and Administrator of the Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Shri Praful Patel and senior officers from the Central and State Governments.

Members of the Council

The members of the Council to the 24th meeting the issues having Centre-State and inter-State ramifications will be resolved with consensus.Home Minister stated West Zone instrumental in giving impetus to the Indian economy as the States of the Zone are contributing around 24% to the GDP and 45% to the total exports of the country.  The pending issues between the States and the Centre need to be resolved on priority through the medium of Western Zonal Council.  The States in Zone have been a big exporter of sugar, cotton, groundnut and fish and contributing immensely to the economic development of the country.

The issues listed in the agenda add and discuss issues relating to law & order and administrative reforms to the development of the country.

He mentioned that the Government of India has taken an initiative to assess the damage on its own, for which Central teams have already been constituted to visit the flood affected areas without waiting for the reports from the States.The Council reviewed the progress of implementation of the recommendations made at the last meeting.

Council among others focused on the following issues:

Action on the Master Plan submitted by Maharashtra Government for utilization of surplus Salt Pan Land for rehabilitation of slum dwellers was discussed at length.  State Government will send a detailed proposal in two months suggesting broad contours of a transparent financial model for involvement of slum dwellers (and utilization of remaining land as per high FSI in keeping with provisions of a scheme to be formulated as per Slum Rehabilitation Act) on a competitive basis for rehabilitation of slum dwellers & transfer of land/monetization for Government of India.

Direct Benefit Transfer

Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) done through IPPBs also everywhere covered by Core Banking Solution.

The enhancement of DBT Portal to include scheme/village-wise details by collecting real time information from respective portals of beneficiary-oriented schemes to give village level DBT fund transfer & benefits.

 The detailed monitoring mechanism to ensure that investigation and trial of sexual offences/rape against girls below 12 years of age are completed within two months (POCSO Act and Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018] each. Home Minister called upon the States to give their suggestions for improvements in Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

He urged the Chief Ministers to ensure regular monitoring at the Chief Secretary’s level of investigation and prosecution of cases in the courts in case of heinous offences such as Narcotics, POCSO Act, murders.

The States should fill the post of Director Prosecution without any further delay.

He stressed on the need for setting up Forensic Science Laboratories in the States. There should also be regular monitoring of all decisions in various areas narrated above through Video Conference by the Home Secretary and Special Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU'S:

Power Minister Shri RK Singh approves proposal to declare ocean energy as Renewable Energy.

• Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri RK Singh approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as Renewable Energy.

Accordingly, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy clarified to all the stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, etc. shall be considered as Renewable Energy eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO).

Ocean Energy 

The oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface and represent an enormous amount of energy in the form of wave, tidal, marine current and thermal gradient. A variety of different technologies are currently under development throughout the world. Deployment is currently limited has the potential to grow, economic growth, reduction of carbon footprint and creating jobs not only along the coasts but also inland along its supply chains.

The Government of India's effort to reach the objectives to contemplate its Renewable Energy and climate change objectives post-2022 to explore all possible avenues to stimulate innovation, create economic growth and new jobs as well as to reduce our carbon footprint. India has a long coastline with the estuaries and gulfs. MNRE looks over the horizon at the development of new technology and considers the various options available to support its deployment. MNRE to support demonstration projects of proven technologies and as approved by an expert committee constituted by MNRE.

Potential Energy

The Total identified potential of Tidal Energy is about 12455 MW. It has potential locations identified at Khambhat & Kutch regions, and large backwaters, where barrage technology could be used.

The total theoretical potential of wave energy in India along the country’s coast is estimated to be about 40,000 MW. This energy is however less intensive than what is available in more northern and southern latitudes.

OTEC has a theoretical potential of 180,000 MW in India subject to suitable technological evolution.

Tidal Energy 

The tidal cycle occurs every 12 hours due to the gravitational force of the moon. The difference in water height from low tide and high tide is potential energy. The capital cost for tidal energy power plants is very high to civil construction and high power purchase tariff. 

The sufficient power from the tidal energy potential, the height of high tide must be at least five meters (16 feet) greater than low tide.

The Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat on the west coast have the locations in the country where the potential exists.

Wave Energy 

Wave energy is generated by the movement of a device either floating on the surface of the ocean or moored to the ocean floor. Many different techniques for converting wave energy to electric power have been studied. Wave conversion devices that float on the surface have joints hinged together that bend with the waves. This kinetic energy pumps fluid through turbines and creates electricity. Stationary wave energy conversion devices use pressure fluctuations produced in long tubes from the waves swelling up and down. This water is allowed to runoff through narrow pipes that flow through a typical hydraulic turbine.

Current Energy 

Marine current is ocean water moving in one direction. This ocean current is known as the Gulf Stream. The tidal currents with submerged turbines that are very similar in appearance to miniature wind turbines. The movement of the marine current moves the rotor blades to generate electric power.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) 

Ocean thermal energy conversion uses ocean temperature differences from the surface to depths lower than 1,000 meters, to extract energy. The research focuses on two types of OTEC technologies to extract thermal energy and convert it to electric power: closed cycle and open cycle. The working fluid, such as ammonia, is pumped through a heat exchanger and vaporized. In the open cycle system, the warm surface water is pressurized in a vacuum chamber and converted to steam to run the turbine.

Technology Objectives

 The objective of the technology program is to accelerate and enhance support for the resource assessment and deployment of ocean energy in the country and to harness it for power generation and to overcome the barriers. The technology program is open to public and private sectors to carry out projects in India. Industry lead R&D proposals are invited from stakeholders, for solving problems in Indian conditions. Basic R&D is being looked after by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (example: National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai).

The stakeholders desirous of utilizing Ocean Energy are invited by MNRE for demonstration projects of proven technologies under Research, Design, Development and Demonstration (RDD&D) program/policy of the Ministry.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Manmohan Singh takes oath as RS member from Rajasthan.

• Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took oath as a Rajya Sabha member at the Parliament House on Friday. He was elected unopposed to the Upper House from Rajasthan on Monday after the BJP did not field any candidate. The bypoll was necessitated after the demise of sitting Rajya Sabha BJP MP Madan Lal Saini.

Klusener named SA's assistant batting coach for India T20Is.

• Former allrounder Lance Klusener was on Friday appointed the assistant batting coach of South Africa for the three-match T20I series against India in September. The board also announced that former pacer Vincent Barnes will serve as the assistant bowling coach, whereas former allrounder Justin Ontong will be the assistant fielding coach.

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Important Current Affairs 22th August

NATIONAL:

MHRD launched NISHTHA.

• The Ministry of Human Resource Development launched the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancements (NISHTHA). It aimed at training over 42 lakh teachers to boost education and employment focusing on reskilling the teaching workforce.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched the initiative’s website, training modules, primer booklet and mobile app built for the purpose.

The programme was launched in the presence of Smt Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and other senior officers from MHRD, all States and UTs, Senior Policy Makers and Heads of Institutions.

About NISHTHA:

NISHTHA is the world’s biggest project.  The objective of this massive training programme ‘NISHTHA’ is to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students.  As the teachers are the powerhouse of the nation, the teachers deserve worldwide respect.

Under NISHTHA, the teachers will develop their skills on Artificial Intelligence, Health, School Leadership qualities, Environmental Concerns in a joyful learning manner.

About Training:

National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancements (NISHTHA) programme is a 100 days programme of the Government. The training modules are developed at the national level for all States and UTs with their own material. The integrated programme will train all teachers as first-level counselors and responsive needs of the students in promoting joyful learning.

The training Modules for NISHTHA have suggestions from the States and UTs and CBSE, KVS, NVS, School Principals and Non-Governmental Organizations such as Kaivalya Foundation, Tata Trust, Azim Premji Foundation and Aurobindo Society.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Rajiv Gauba is appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary.

• The Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary for a tenure of two years. His appointment as Cabinet secretary was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

• Gauba is a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre. He initially joined as the Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet Secretariat. He will now replace the incumbent P K Sinha, who is a 1977 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mr.Sinha is the 31st Cabinet Secretary of India.

About Rajiv Gauba:

• Gauba was born in Punjab. He is a graduate in physics from Patna University. He had served in Jharkhand as the chief secretary before returning to serve in the central government in 2016.

• Gauba took charge as the home secretary on August 31 in 2017. While serving as the Union home secretary, he has handled issues such as militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, internal security, and the Northeast Maoist problems in the central and east India besides other issues.

Dr.Ajay Kumar is appointed as Defence Secretary in the Ministry of Defence.

• Dr.Ajay Kumar has been appointed as Defence Secretary in the Ministry of Defence. The appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Dr. Kumar will replace Shri Sanjay Mitra as his tenure ends on 23 August.

Mr. Mitra is a 1982-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre. He is currently serving as the Secretary, Department of Defence Production.

Other appointments:

The ACC has cleared the appointment of Shri Subhash Chandra as Secretary of Defence Production. He is currently the Special Secretary Defence. He will replace Dr. Kumar. Subhash Chandra is a 1986-batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre.

DAYS:

World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21 August.

• World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21 August across the world. The day is observed every year. The day aims to increase awareness about the issues that affect older adults. It also provides an opportunity to appreciate the elders for their dedication, accomplishments, and the services they give throughout their lives.

The day also reminds the governments of its commitment to work for the welfare of older persons. 

United Nations report says that by 2050, 2 billion people, over 20% of the world's population, will be 60 or older with Asia having the largest number of older persons.

History:

Former president of United States Ronald Reagan officially announced the day as the 'World Senior Citizens Day' after he had signed Proclamation on August 19, 1988. He declared August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day in US. The day aims to pay respect to the elderly community. On 14th of December 1990, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed to observe 21 August as World Senior Citizens Day.

AWARDS:

JNU Professor Meeta Narain conferred the Pushkin Medal 2019.

• JNU Professor Meeta Narain conferred the ‘Pushkin Medal – 2019’. It is the highest honour given to an Indian scholar by the Russian government.

Pushkin Medal is given to a scholar of Russian language and literature. It is given for outstanding contribution to Russian studies.

‘Pushkin Medal – 2019

Medal of Pushkin is a state decoration of the Russian Federation. It is awarded to its citizens for achievements in the arts and culture, education, humanities, and literature. It is named in honor of Russian author and poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

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Important Current Affairs 21st August 2019

NATIONAL:

LS Secretariat has banned the use of non reusable plastic water bottles.

• The Lok Sabha Secretariat has banned the use of non-reusable plastic water bottles and other plastic items within the Parliament complex. All officers and staff of the Secretariat and other allied agencies working in the Parliament House Complex have been advised to use environment friendly biodegradable bags and other material.

• The above initiative steps by the Lok Sabha Secretariat is a step towards the call by the Prime Minister to the nation to make the country free from plastics which was set to be achieved by October 2 as the country celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

About non-reusable plastic bottles:

• As many plastics are safe to reuse but some contain components that may be harmful to humans and the environment that can’t reusable. Plastics made up of polyvinyl chlorides having many phthalates which a group of chemicals exposure to phthalates allergy and respiratory problems. Most plastics used for food packaging and disposable food items such as plastic plates, bowls, etc will cause toxin damage, gastrointestinal, kidney and respiratory function.

• The World Health Organization's International Agency that did research on Cancer classified styrene in plastics also possible to cause carcinogenic cancer to humans.

INTERNATIONAL:

Nepal to hold SAARC Foreign Ministers informal meeting.

• Nepal plans to hold SAARC Foreign Ministers informal meeting on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in September 2019. The aim is to prove the country's role in creating an environment for the commencement of the regional summit.

India and SAARC summit:

The 18th SAARC summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2014. India is the largest member of SAARC forum. The 19th SAARC summit was supposed to held in 2016. But the summit was canceled after India boycotted the meeting. India protested after the terror attack at the military base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 2016. The attack killed 19 soldiers. After India boycotted the SAARC summit countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan walked out. India's decision is to set up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. India also declared that it will participate only if Pakistan took steps to tackle terrorism.

About SAARC:

SAARC: South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Member states: 8 members

Headquarters: Kathmandu

Official languages: English

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Balesh Sharma resigns as CEO of Vodafone Idea.

• Vodafone Idea CEO Balesh Sharma resigned on Monday with immediate effect, less than a year into his job. Ravinder Takkar was appointed CEO and MD of the mobile phone company whose share price is near an all-time low amid losses and falling subscriber and revenue market shares.

• Sharma, who was chief operating officer at Vodafone India since April 2017, took over as CEO of Vodafone Idea on August 31 last year, when Vodafone India and Idea Cellular merged to create India’s largest telco by subscribers and revenue market share.

• Takkar, Vodafone Group’s representative in India since 2017 and a non-executive director at Vodafone Idea, has been appointed for three years, starting August 19. Takkar has spent 25 years with the Vodafone Group and was CEO of Vodafone Romania for three years and CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets in London.

OBITUARIES:

Former Madhya Pradesh CM Babulal Gaur passed away.

• Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Babulal Gaur passed away on 21 August. He was 89 years old. He died due to various old-age ailments followed by cardiac arrest.

• The veteran BJP leader served as Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister from 2004-2005. He represented his traditional Govindpura Vidhan Sabha seat 10 times.

About Babulal:

• Mr.Babulal Gaur was born on June 2 in 1930 at Naugeer village in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh. He worked at the Bhopal Textiles Mill and led agitations for labour rights. His political carrer started in 1946 as he entered in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. He was a founder-member of the Rashtriya Mazdoor Sangh. He served as the secretary of the Jana Sangh in 1956.

• Babulal  took part in several national-level movements such as the agitation against the Emergency and for Goa Independence. During the Emergency, he was detained for 19 months under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act.

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Important Current Affairs 20th August 2019

NATIONAL:

Amit Shah laid foundation stone of Karbi Bhawan and Dimasa Bhawan

• The Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of Karbi Bhawan and Dimasa Bhawanof Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, Diphu, Assam and North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, Haflong, at Dwarka, Gujarat. The Karbi Bhawan and Dimaa Bhawan will be constructed with a cost of Rs.130 crore. They will give an identity to their unique culture. It aims to take forward North East (NE) while preserving its rich cultural identity, along with its development. The Central government aims for the overall development, prosperity, and peace in the North East.

Center's measure for NE region:

The Centre has increased the funds allocated for North East to 258% between 13th and 14th Finance Commissions. The amount increased from Rs.87,000 crore to Rs.3,13,375 crore. Centre also has increased various schemes for Northeast such as Skill Development centre, setting up of Medical College and  Law College, among others.

DoNER at doorsteps:

Centre has been not focusing to bring North East closer to rest of India, but to bring rest of India closer to North East. It has planned to set up a ‘camp secretariat’ every month in North East. This initiative was named 'DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region, India) at doorsteps'. Centre also is working towards the North East road sector development scheme and train connectivity.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India to train Maldivian civil services officers training.

• The India-Maldives MoU on Training and Capacity Building Programme for  Maldivian civil services officers training has been made operationalized in the ceremony held at the Civil Services Commission of Maldives at Male. The training will take place in three phases upon the agreement between the two countries. The first 3 training programs will be held in September and November for 60 officers and in December for 30 officers of top management level.

High-level discussion:

The training program was operationalised after the discussions between the senior officials of the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) and the Maldives Civil Service Commission. A high-level discussion was also held between An Indian delegation led by Shri V.Srinivas, Additional Secretary Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and a Maldives delegation led by Dr. Aly Shameem, Chairman of the Civil Services Commission of Maldives.

The subject matter of the training programs includes public administration, e-governance and service delivery, public policy and governance, information technology, urban development and planning, ethics in administration and challenges in the implementation of SDGs.

MoU between India and Maldives:

During the Prime Minister of India's visit to the Maldives in June 2019, India signed MoU to provide training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian civil servants. Maldives Civil Service Commission signed with India's National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) with the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances. The aim to emphasize India's Neighbourhood First policy.

India is now providing its full support to the Maldives in realizing its socio-economic development and strengthening of democratic and independent institutions.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Shavendra Silva appointed as Commander of the Sri Lankan Army.

• Sri Lankan field commanderappointed the new Army Commander, the President's office announced.Lt Gen Shavendra Silva, 55 take charge as incumbent Army chief Lt Gen Mahesh Senanayake's service. President Maithripala Sirisena's office announced that Lt Gen Shavendra Silva named as the new army commander.Silva headed the Army's 58th Division in the final battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels in the final stages of the civil war in 2009.

Silva's name was mentioned in the resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2013.

Critics say Silva's appointment as the Army chief may strain Sri Lanka's cooperation in UN Peacekeeping operations and the defence cooperation between the US and Sri Lanka. After the brutal civil war ended, Silva served in New York as Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN Mission.

According to a United Nations report, some 45,000 Tamil civilians were killed in the last months of the war alone. The United Nations and human rights groups have urged the Sri Lankan government to establish a war crimes tribunal to investigate allegations of crimes against humanity, both by the military and the Tamil militant groups.Sri Lankan governments have resisted attempts to establish an international probe, saying it is an internal issue of the island nation.The promotion of Lieutenant-General General Silva severely compromises Sri Lanka's commitment to promote justice and accountability.

UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Founded: April 2006

Formation: 15 March 2006

DAYS:

Sadbhavana Diwas observed on 20 August.

• Sadbhavana Diwas is celebrated on 20 August every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This year will be the 75th Birth Anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.

On this day national integration, peace, love, affection and communal harmony among all Indians are encouraged. Shri Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, in Bombay. Mr Rajiv Gandhi youngest Prime Minister of India.

Rajiv Gandhi

He was the youngest Prime Minister of the country. He became Prime Minister at the age of 40. Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister. He served from 1984-89.

He contributed greatly to the development of the country. He announced a National Policy on Education in 1986 to modernise and expand higher education programs across India. He founded a central government based institution namely Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya System in 1986 for the upliftment of the rural section of the society providing them free residential education from 6th till 12 class. Due to his efforts MTNL established in 1986 and also created public call offices (PCOs) for spreading telephones in rural areas.

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Important Current Affairs 19th August 2019

NATIONAL:

Income Tax Department to adopt 'taxpayer friendly' approach

• The Income Tax (I-T) Departmentdecided to adopt friendly approach in its dealings with the tax assessees following Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's call for a mindset change among tax officials.The I-T Department to bridge the communcation gap between tax officials and the assessees and sought a change in mindset amid allegations of "tax terrorism".The issues are concerned and solve issues by treating them respectfully

The I-T department is set to change its approach and adopt friendly language but not at the cost of forgoing any lapses.

The department will use friendly language in its communications with taxpayers rather than intimidating, according to a source, amid allegations of intrusive, threatening and arbitrary behaviour by the department.

The data mining and data analytics, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is now working on ways to ensure the department makes information such as large-cash deposits or high-value transactions" available to taxpayers well in time for filing of tax returns.

On the lines of reminders for filing returns, messages could be sent to indicate transactions while stating that they are ignored if already responded to or accounted .The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) introduce a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN), which will be quoted in any notice issued by its officials.

Manipur Govt launches School Fagadaba scheme.

• Chief Minister (CM) of Manipur, N Biren Singh launched “School Fagadaba” (Make education better) scheme.

The main aim of the scheme is to improve the infrastructure, quality education and overall improvement of government schools.The regular attendance of teachers, biometric devices would be installed in every Government school in the state.The teachers posted in these schools stay at the place of their posting for at least 3 years.

The 60 Assembly constituencies in the state selected under the 1st phase of the scheme.The state also set a target to increase enrollment of students from 26,000 at present to around 44,000 in the next academic session.The additional infrastructures like a modern school campus, sufficient school furniture, outdoorgymnasium, separate toilets for boys and girls, drinking water facilities will be provided to these schools as per the Right to Education (RTE) norms.

DAYS:

World Photography Day observed on 19 August.

• World Photography Day is an annual, worldwide celebration of the art, craft, science, and history of photography. World Photography Day signifies about the photography event in the world.

History

Early 19th century, photography has become an ever-increasing medium of personal expression and appreciation for countless people around the world.A photograph the ability to capture a place; an experience; an idea; a moment in time. Photographs can convey a feeling faster than, and sometimes even more effectively than words can. A photograph can make the viewer see the world the way the photographer. Photographs even transcend the passing of time - a photo from a hundred years ago can still be as appreciated now as. A photo can still by others in a hundred years time.

World Photo Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837.

The Daguerreotype wasn’t the first permanent photographic image. In 1826, Niepce captured the earliest known permanent photograph known as “View from the Window at Le Gras” using a process called heliography.

The first durable color photograph was taken by Thomas Sutton in 1861. It was a set of three black-and-white photographs taken through red, green and blue filters. However, the photographic emulsions then in use were insensitive to the spectrum, so the result was very imperfect.

World Photo Day hosted its first global online gallery. There are 270 photographers shared their pictures and people from over 100 countries visited the website.

World Humanitarian Day observed on August 19.

• World Humanitarian Day (WHO) is observed every year on 19 August. The main aim is to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian crises around the world.

The theme of 2019 WHD campaign is #WomenHumanitarians On World

The contribution of thousands of women humanitarian aid workers who provide life-saving support to vulnerable people caught up in crises in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

History of the Day

When the UN headquarters in Baghdad was targeted by a large terrorist truck bomb, killing 22 people, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN’s top representative in Iraq.

The focus is to salute the efforts of women humanitarian workers across the world who rally to people in need and are often the first to respond and the last to leave.

Around 4,500 aid workers of all genders have been killed, injured, detained, assaulted or kidnapped while carrying out their work.

Save humanitarians

The UN emphasizes that under international law, all humanitarian workers must be safeguarded.

As part of this year’s WHD commemorations, the UN and partners are launching the #WomenHumanitarians global campaign to pay special tribute to and raise support for the work women do to save lives and alleviatehuman suffering.

The dedication of these women to help the world’s most vulnerable people is admirable, particularly those women who are often the first to respond in their communities when faced with a crisis

SPORTS:

Hima and Anas won gold in the Athleticky Mitink Reiter 2019.

• Indian sprinters Hima Das and Mohammad Anas won gold at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter event in the Czech Republic. They won gold in the women's and men's 300m category respectively. India's Nirmal Tom clinched bronze in men's 300m category.

Muhammed Anas clocked 32.41 seconds to claim gold in the event. India's Nirmal Tom clocked 33.03 seconds.

Hima Das:

This is her 6th gold medal this year 2019. On July 20 she clinched gold in her pet 400m event at Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic.

Czech Athletics:

Czech Athletics is an annual outdoor field competition. It is the National championship for sports in the Czech republic. It was organized by Czech athletic federation.

India to host World Youth Chess Championship

• For the first time ever, India is to host the World Youth Chess Championship 2019. The All India Chess Federation (AICF) won the bid to conduct the World Youth and Junior Chess championships 2019 in the country. The championship will be held from 1 October to 13 October 2019 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.The championship aims to produce many young stars and aspire to take part in such world events.

World Youth Chess Championship 2019:

The World Chess Federation (FIDE-Fédération Internationale des) conducts 15 World-Level Tournaments in a year.

The Youth Tournament will be held in three age categories in both the open and girls group.

The Tournament will be played in the:

♦ U-14 age groups for Boys & Girls

♦ U-16 age groups for Boys & Girls

♦ U-18 age groups for Boys & Girls

The participants include around 700 young Chess masters from over 100 Chess playing countries. Six World Champions will be crowned at this Tournament.

Bombay Gymkhana Youth Snooker 2019 Open title won by Kreishh Gurbaxani.

• Mumbai Kreishh Gurbaxani is currently at the no. 2 spots in the India junior snooker rankings.

He won the 2019 Bombay Gymkhana Youth Snooker Open title. He defeated Odisha’s Asutosh Padhy for 5-4 in the 4-hour final contest. He was awarded the champion’s trophy and a cheque of Rs 30,000.The runner up trophy and a cheque of Rs 20,000 were given to Asutosh Padhy.

India clinched gold at Under- 12 Asian Tennis Team Championship 2019 in Kazakhstan.

• India won gold at the Under 12 Asian Tennis Team championship.

• The event held in Kazakhstan. India defeated Chinese Taipei in the score 2-1 in the summit clash to win the title. The final was a tie of three matches.

• Indian Team won both the singles matches. The team comprised of Manas Dhamme, Arnav Paprakar and Tamil Nadu's Pranav Rethin. Manas and Rethin won their singles matches.

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Important Current Affairs 17th August

NATIONAL:

Chhattisgarh state government increases reservation for SC and OBC

• Chhattisgarh government announced an increase in the reservation for Scheduled caste (SC) from 12% to 13% and for Other Backward Classes (OBC) from 14% to 27%. This announcement was made by Chief Minister (CM) Shri Bhupesh Baghel This announcement was made on August 15 celebration at the Police parade ground in Raipur, Chattisgarh.

• The state’s reservation becomes a total of 72 percent is the highest in the country The reservation limit of 50 percent mandated by the Supreme court.The “Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi” which will be carved out of Bilaspur. This is done for better administration of the state. The state will have total districts to 28.

• Cow shelters: Cow shelters in the state will now be linked to biogas plants as a move of income generation. Also assistance of Rs.10,000/month given to Gowtham (cow shelter) committees.

Lemru forest development: Development of the Lemru forest area as ‘Lemru elephant reserve announced. It is a mineral rich area in Korba district of Chhattisgarh. This move to take deal with the increasing man-animal conflicts in the northern part of the state.The govt. will be launching a new scheme ‘Suposhan Abhiyan’ on October 2 2019 to fight malnutrition across the state.The special initiative to provide forest land rights to tribals in Abhujmad was launched.There are 200 food parks in the state were promised.

Online revenue payment system launched by CM of Odisha

• Chief Minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik launched online revenue payment. The main aim is to provide people with an easier way to make their land revenue payments-online on 73rd Independence Day on August 15, 2019, at Bhubaneswar. This online payment system was developed at the National Informatics Centre- Bhubaneswar, Odisha. This is an initiative of the State revenue department of Odisha under the “5-T mantra”.

• The 5T mantras are based on Technology, Transparency, Team work, Time and Transformation .Mahatma Gandhi’s talisman dedicated as part of his 150th birth anniversary. The talisman is inscribed on a brass plate in both English and Odia language with a neat sketch of the Father of the Nation.Veteran freedom fighters Bhavani Charan Patnaik and Nilamani Samal were present.

• The newly constructed Kharavel Bhavan built at a cost of Rs.128crore by L&T(Larsen & Toubro) on 8.3acres of land in Bhubaneswar was inaugurated by the CM.Around 11 departments of the state government will function in this building.It have a lounge and a conference hall for the CM.The building was named after Kharavela who was a king of Kalinga.

INTERNATIONAL:

Fifth Meeting Of BRICS Minister Of Environment Held In Sao Paulo, Brazil

• Fifth BRICS Minister of Environment Meeting held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is preceded by the 2-day meeting of BRICS Joint Working Group on Environment. The Indian delegation led by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar.

Prakash Javadekar stated that India achieved its Nationally Determined Contributions(NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, reduction of energy intensity by 25 %, increment of forest cover by nearly 15,000 sq km , Swachh Bharat Mission initiative, Waste Management Rules.The initiatives of BRICS countries and reaffirmed India’s support to BRICS cooperation.

• The BRICS Ministers delegations to join at 14th CoP (Conference of Parties ) scheduled to be held from  2 – 13 September 2019 and contribute to the efforts to combat desertification and land degradation.

India free of single-use plastic campaign . The massive campaign that will be launched to make India free of single-use plastic.The Ministers of BRICS countries underlined the” Partnership on Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative (PUESI)”. This is used to share knowledge & experience on major issues such as waste management, cogeneration, reverse logistics, sanitation, urban air quality, urban green areas.

BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) Cooperation Platform was highlighted for innovations, knowledge sharing and capacity building

• It was adopted for improvement of the river ecosystem and tackling marine waste.The Ministers agreed to support the development of Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework & they urged developed countries to meet their commitment under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and its Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement to provide means of implementation of climate finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building support.

Brazil was led by Mr. Ricardo Salles, Minister of Environment. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Dmitry Kobylkin led the Russian delegation, while the Chinese delegation was led by Mr. Huang Runqiu, Vice-Minister of Ecology and Environment and the South African delegation was led by Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Ms. Barbara Creecy.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Harshad Pandurang Thakur appointed as NIHFWs director

• Harshad Pandurang Thakur appointed as the director of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare. The proposal of appointment was approved by the appointments Committee of the Cabinet. The cabinet is headed by Prime Minister.

• National Institute of Health and Family Welfare

The National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) established on 9th March 1977 by the merger of two national-level institutions namely the National Institute of Health Administration and Education (NIHAE) and the National Institute of Family Planning (NIFP). The NIHFW, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India They acts as an ‘apex technical institute’ as well as a ‘think tank’ for the promotion of health and family welfare programs in the country.

SPORTS:

Bajrang Punia to get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019

• Bajrang Punia awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019. It is the highest country award in India. Bajrang Punia is set to be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019.The country's highest sporting honour.

Punia will be rewarded with the award for his consistent showing in the field of wrestling. His contribution in bringing laurels to the country. Punia along with Vinesh Phogat was recommended by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the prestigious award.

Punia his title at the Tbilisi Grand Prix won the gold medal by prevailing over Iran's Peiman Bibyani in the 65kg final of the men's freestyle competition.

His achievements

Punia stamped his authority in the Asian circuit. He won the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an, China.Punia won the gold medal in the 65-kg freestyle wrestling event at the Asian Games held in Jakarta.

He defeated Japanese wrestler Takatani Daichi 11-8.He won the gold medal in the same category at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. He overcame Kane Charig of Wales by Technical Superiority to clinch the gold.

Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu were awarded the Khel Ratna Award.

The first recipient of the award was Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand who was honored for his performance in the year 1991-92.

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Important Current Affairs 16th August

NATIONAL:

ONGC to invest Rs.83,000 crore to boost oil.

• The Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is to invest around Rs.83,000 crore in 25 major projects to boost oil and gas production has stagnated in 2018. The cumulative oil and gas gain from these projects is expected to be over 180 million tonne of oil and oil equivalent gas over 32 Billion Cubic Meters (BCM) by financial year 2024.

ONGC's production:

ONGC already logged a net profit of Rs.26,716 crore an increase of 34% over in  2017-18. The MRPL achieved the highest ever throughput of 16.43 MT with a utilisation of 109.5%.

ONGC had launched a nation-wide Solar Chulha Challenge with 86 Solar PV cooking stoves were installed at Bacha and Jamthi in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh.

In FY19 the ONGC spent about Rs.615 Crore on CSR initiatives with a focus on national campaigns of the government like Swachh Bharat, education, health and nutrition among others. The company has earned its highest revenue of Rs.1,09,655 crore in FY19 as an increase of 29% from 2018.

Palani panchamirtham get GI tag.

• The renowned Palani panchamirtham the prasadam at Dhandayuthapani Swamy temple in Palani has been given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. It is the first GI tag to prasadam in Tamilnadu.

• The  GI application of panchamirtham has made limited to the temple and the Palani town in Dindigul district by the Joint Commissioner and Executive Officer of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Thirukoil of Palani in June 2016. The prasadam is  prepared only to meet the demands of devotees not for commercial purposes.

About Palani  panchamirtham:

• The palani  panchamirtham is a  Abishega  prasadam  for religious devotees prepared at the top of Palani Hills by labourers and  the employ of the temple. The Palani panchamirtham is made by combining the five natural substances like banana, cow ghee, cardamom, jaggery and honey. Dates and sugar candies are added to it for extra flavours. 

• The panchamirtham is made without adding any water, preservatives or artificial ingredients in the absence of any chemical processes. The Palani panchamirtham is made under the guidance of Mysuru’s Central Food Technological Research Institute. It is also certified by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

About GI Tags in Tamil Nadu:

• Geographic Indication (GI) is a sign used on products that had a specific geographical origin, quality, reputation.

• Tamil Nadu has 30 GI tags for various products including handicrafts such as Salem fabric and Kancheepuram silk, agricultural items like Virupakshi Hill banana, Erode turmeric and Madurai Malli.

           

BANKING AND ECONOMICS:

Denmarks Jyske Bank unveiled worlds first negative interest rate home loan.

• Denmark’s third-largest bank Jyske Bank launched the world’s first negative interest rate mortgage. The bank handling out loans to homeowners where the charge is minus 0.5% a year. It has begun offering borrowers a 10-year deal at -0.5%. Jyske bank borrowers will make a monthly repayment, as usual, The amount still outstanding will be reduced each month by more than the borrower.

Negative interest rates effectively mean that a bank pays a borrower to take money off their hands, so they pay back less than they have been loaned.

Another Danish bank, Nordea will begin offering 20-year fixed-rate deals at 0% and a 30-year mortgage at 0.5%.

About Jyske Bank:

♦ Founded: 1967

♦ Headquarters: Silkeborg, Denmark

♦ CEO: Anders Dam

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Ravi Shastri re-appointed as India’s coach.

• Former India allrounder Ravi Shastri, who was re-appointed as India’s head coach on Friday by the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) set up by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), responded to former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson’s congratulatory tweet. Shastri was given a second straight term as India’s coach, after he pipped Hesson and former Australia allrounder Tom Moody to retain the position

• Shastri, who had taken over the coaching role after the 2017 Champions Trophy, is expected to continue to serve in the position till the end of the 2021 T20I World Cup.

• The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) instituted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), comprising Kapil Dev, Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy, announced the decision after conducting interviews with the prime candidates. This will be Shastri’s fourth stint with the national team, having served briefly as the Cricket Manager (2007 tour of Bangladesh), Team Director (2014-2016) and head coach (2017-2019).

• Among all the candidates, Shastri’s record was unmatched as the team reached the No.1 ranking in Test matches under his guidance and won a series in Australia for the first time in 71 years.

AWARDS:

Fifty Six BSF Officials Conferred with Medals on 73rd Independence Day.

• The Fifty Six Border Security Force (BSF)officials announced for conferring the  Police Medals on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day, 2019. The five of them would confer with Police Medal for Gallantry for Distinguished Service.

The operational planning, exemplary combat audacity, operational acumen and flawless conduct of the operation, the gallant Bordermen of 8 Battalion BSF Sh. Sandeep Kumar Gupta, Asstt Commandant, Sh. Sushil Singh, Asstt Commandant, HC Vinay Krishali and CT Sanjoy Pal awarded Police Medal for Gallantry.

These 4 Bordermen were instrumental in neutralizing a dreaded naxal commander in an operation launched in the night intervening 14/15 Dec 2017 in the general area of Bandhi Gude District – Malkangiri, Orissa.

President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service - 05

1.Sh. Om Prakash Tripathi, DIG, FHQ, BSF

2.Sh. Ashok Kumar Yadav, DIG, Ftr HQ, BSF TRA

3Sh. Rabindra Pal Singh Malik , DIG Ftr HQ, BSF TRA

4.Sh. Balbir Singh Sandhu, 2IC (Work), FHQ, BSF

5.Sh. Sudhir Kumar Mishra, 165 BN BSF

 Police Medal for Meritorious Service - 46

 1.       Sh. Sandeep Rawat, Commandant, STC BSF Chakur

 2.       Sh. Rajesh Kumar Kanwar, Commandant, SHQ BSF Bhilai

 3.      Sh. Ramesh Kumar Sharma, Commandant, Ftr HQ, Jammu

 4.      Sh. Suman Florence Trikey, Commandant, Command HQ SPL OPS

 5.       Sh. C H Sethuram, Commandant, 162 Bn, BSF

 6.       Sh. Sudhindra Kumar Singh, Commandant, BIDR BSF T/PUR

 7.       Sh. Manish Aul, Commandant, SHQ BSF, SHILLONG

 8.       Sh. Sukhminderhit Singh Mand, Commandant, 56 Bn, BSF

 9.       Sh. Raja Paul, Commandant, DIG(HQ) FHQ

 10.     Sh. S. Shiva Murthy, Commandant, Ftr HQ Odisha

 11.   ShSurinder Singh Rana, LO GDE-I Commandant, SDG(WC)BSF     CHG

 12.     Sh. Dalbir Singh, 2nd-in-Command, 55 Bn BSF

 13.     Yash Pal, 2nd-in-Command, Ftr HQ, Jammu

 14.     Sh. Madan Mohan Kandpal, Deputy- Commandant, 3 Bn BSF

 15.     Sh. Madan Singh, Deputy- Commandant (Sports), Ftr HQ,   Rajasthan

 16.     Sh. Anurag Kumar Azad, Deputy- Commandant, 1 Bn BSF

 17.     Sh. Surinder Singh, Deputy- Commandant, 62 Bn BSF

 18.     ShJagdeep Kumar, Deputy- Commandant, DIG(HQ) FHQ

 19.     Sh. Kunj Bihari Prasad, Deputy- Commandant, Ftr HQ, M&C

 20.     Sh. Rameshwar Lal Bishnoi, Deputy- Commandant, 161 Bn BSF

 21.     Sh. Lakhwinder Singh Brar, Deputy- Commandant, 91 Bn BSF

 22.     Sh. Puran Lal Meena, Deputy- Commandant, 78 Bn BSF

 23.     Sh. TriyugiNathMaurya, Asstt- Commandant, 51 Bn BSF

 24.     Sh. Murari Lal Meena, Asstt- Commandant, 151 Bn BSF

 25.     Sh. Jacob Koshy, Asstt- Commandant, 3 Bn BSF

 26.     Sh. Suresh Kumar, Asstt- Commandant, SHQ BSF, JAMMU

 27.     Sh. V Nagarajan, Asstt- Commandant (Min), STC BSF, Indore.

 28.     Sh. Hari Krishan, Inspector(GD), CSWT Indore

 29.     Sh. Kailash Babu, Inspector (G), 65 Bn BSF

 30.     Sh. Ajeet Singh Shekhawat, Inspector (G), 78 Bn BSF

 31.     Sh. Surender Singh, Inspector (GD), STC BSF, K/Camp

 32.     Sh. Sumer Singh, Sub-Inspector(GD), 133 Bn BSF

 33.     Sh. Jawahar Yadav, Inspector(GD), 115 Bn BSF

 34.     Sh. Pushparajan R, Inspector(GD), STC BSF, Baikunthpur

 35.     Sh. Ashok Kumar, Inspector(GD), 38 Bn BSF

 36.     Sh. Rajbir Singh Tomar, Inspector(GD), 151 Bn BSF

 37.     Sh. HekisheSema, Inspector(GD), 111 Bn BSF

 38.     Sh. Mohan Kumar A M Inspector(COMM), 179 Bn BSF

 39.     Sh. Dalbir Singh, Inspector(RO), STS-I Tigari BSF

 40.     Sh. Hayat Singh Pundhir, Sub-Inspector(GD), 96 Bn BSF

 41.     Sh. Ashok Kumar, Sub-Inspector(GD), 100 Bn BSF

 42.     Sh. Nikhil Chandra Sharma, Sub-Inspector(GD), 179 Bn BSF

 43.     B Chandra Sekhara Raju, Sub-Inspector(GD), 10 Bn BSF

 44.     Sh. Sarjeet Singh, Sub-Inspector(GD), DIG (HQ) FHQ

 45.     Sh. Paras Ram, Sub-Inspector(GD), 170 Bn BSF

 46.     Sh. Kishan Lal, Constable(Tailor), STC BSF, Indore.

SPORTS:

Uttarakhand gets full member status in the BCCI by CoA.

• Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) granted full membership in the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). This is done by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) on August 13, 2019. The association inducted as a member association. It is the full member with amendments that are required to be communicated by CoA. This membership grant brought an end to long-standing dispute among Uttarakhand Cricket Association(UKCA), United Cricket Association ( UTCA), Uttaranchal Cricket Association (UCA) and the CAU vying for BCCI affiliation. The Uttarakhand cricket association was also asked to appoint an electoral officer by September 14, 2019, in accordance with the approved constitution.

About BCCI

Headquarters- Wankhede stadium, Mumbai.

Chief executive officer- Rahul Johri.

President- Vinod Rai (interim).

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Important Current Affairs 14th August

NATIONAL:

RPF launched Operation Number Plate.

• Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways launched Operation “Number Plate”, a Special Drive to curb unidentified vehicles. The operation was launched under the direction of DG/RPF, Sh.Arun Kumar. All Local Police and Commercial Department of Railways showed their active interest in the operation.

Aim:

The unidentified vehicles pose a serious threat to the security and safety of passengers and other stake holders of railway.

RPF will identify and verify all vehicles parked in Railway premises, circulating area, parkings and even in the No Parking areas for longer duration.

The drive was conducted from 9th August to 11th August at 466 Railway Stations all over Indian Railways. A penalty of Rs.59000 have been recovered as the charges for unauthorized parking and 549 vehicles were towed away.

All RPF and Zonal Railways were instructed to continue the activity looking into threats related to security of Railways.

State of Art Gallery at National Crafts Museum inaugurated.

• A Textiles Gallery at National Crafts Museum was inaugurated in New Delhi on 13 August by the Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani.

Aim:

The collection aims to help people explore, enjoy, and rediscover the world of Indian textiles through design and technology.

Collections in the gallery:

The Gallery consists of more than 230 different types of textiles collections more than 30 traditions. Five zones were displayed in the gallery. Zones has been named as weaving, embroidery, dying (Ikatpatola), pattern (Bandhej, Kalamkari, and Leheria) and TanaBana based on the intricacies of the textiles.

The gallery exhibits the fine Indian Craftsmanship to public. The rich collection displayed the importance of conserving India’s rich heritage of handlooms for the next generations. It will serve as a resource centre for the students of fashion technology, apparel sciences and textiles designing.

Under three categories the handlooms were displayed:

Pre Loom “Ikat”: The design that are already visualized and transferred to the yarn before the yarn is placed on the loom.

On- Loom: The design enters the loom while weaving brocade, muslin, jamdani, weaved shawls, weaved sarees.

Post Loom: Displays the techniques that can be done on cloth after it is woven-block printing, embroidery and kalamkari comes in this category.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

Indian Navy signed MoU with CIAL.

• Naval Air Enclave (NAE), Kochi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in a formal function held at CIAL. The agreement was signed by Captain Satish Kumar S, Officer-in-Charge, NAE and Shri ACK Nair, Airport Director CIAL.

The MoU was aimed with the commencement of naval air operations from the NAE, a naval aviation facility at CIAL in Nedumbassery. The MoU sets the standard operating procedures for CIAL and the Indian Navy. It also ensures safe, secure and uninterrupted military air operations.

About the Facility:

The facility will comprise of an independent dispersal, aircraft hangar, administrative building and taxy track. The facility will be located on the northwest side of CIAL. The Naval runway at INS Garuda is not enough for the landing and take-off of long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Hence, the CIAL runway will be used by the Military aircraft for take off and landing and the NAE taxy track for proceeding to and from the hangar.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI launches regulatory sandbox for Fintech companies.

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the final framework for regulatory sandbox (RS) for the startups, banks and financial institutions. The Fintech companies can now set up their own RS for live testing of innovative products in areas like retail payments, digital KYC and wealth management.

Aim:

The framework aims to enable innovations in the financial technology space. It will also foster responsible innovation in financial services, promote efficiency and bring benefit to consumers.

It will encourage innovations that are intended for use in the Indian market in areas where there is absence of governing regulations.

Eligibility to enter RS:

Fintech companies including startups, banks, financial institutions and any other company partnering with or providing support to financial services businesses.

Guidelines:

As per the guidelines:

Mobile technology applications, data analytics, application program interface (APIs) services, applications under block chain technologies, and artificial intelligence and machine learning applications can also be considered for testing under RS.

The sandbox entity should ensure that any existing obligations to the customers of the financial service under experimentation are fulfilled or addressed before exiting or discontinuing the RS.

Regulatory Sandbox (RS):

A regulatory sandbox refers to live testing of new products or services in a controlled/test regulatory environment. The regulators can permit certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.

AWARDS:

Vir Chakra for Abhinandnan Varthaman who downed F-16 flying a MiG-21.

• Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman will be awarded the Vir Chakra, the country’s third highest war-time gallantry award, on Independence Day for shooting down a Pakistani F-16 during a dogfight over the Line of Control on February 27, two officials said on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

• The February 27 dogfight took place a day after the Mirage-2000s struck targets in Balakot in response to the Pulwama suicide attack in Kashmir in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force men were killed on February 14.

• Vir Chakra is India’s third-highest wartime gallantry award, after the Param Vir Chakra and the Maha Vir Chakra.

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Important Current Affairs 13th August 2019

NATIONAL:

National Health Authority plans to include all types of cancer and its treatment under PM JAY Scheme

• The National Health Authority (NHA)plans to include all types of cancer and its treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) healthcare packages. The plain awaits approval from the governing body and the entire process will take around 3 month.

• The central government's health insurance scheme are cost-effective, proven and beneficial to the patients. It will now cover the various types of medical procedures,that include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.

• The announcement aims to give medical cover to over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families of approximately 50 crore beneficiaries. The scheme will now provide coverage of up to Rs.5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation.

INTERNATIONAL:

Alejandro Giammattei was elected as the President of Guatemala

• Alejandro Giammattei was elected as the President of Guatemala in a run-off in the country’s Supreme Electoral Council court. He will assume office on 14 January, 2020. He defeated the former first lady Sandra Torres from the centrist National Unity of Hope party.

He won on his fourth try. He won 58.26% of the votes after 98% of voting centres had been counted. Former first lady Sandra Torres won 40% of votes.

• Alejandro Giammattei:

Alejandro Giammattei is a 63-year-old conservative candidate and former surgeon. He was the director of the country’s prison system. He was involved in a scandal over extrajudicial killings in a prison in Guatemala. In 2010, he was arrested but was acquitted after 10 months in pre-trial detention.

• Republic of Guatemala:

President: Alejandro Giammattei

Vice President: Jafeth Cabrera

Capital: Guatemala City

Currency: Quetzal (GTQ)

Official languages: Spanish

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Saudi Aramco remains worlds most profitable company

• Saudi Aramco is the world’s most profitable company and paid out almost all its net income in dividends. The corporate titans such as Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and other big oil producers, many of which suffered larger declines in profit as output and crude prices fell. The Aramco paid out $46.4 billion in dividends in the first half. That included a $20 billion special payout to its owner.The Saudi government compares with a $6 billion payout last year.

The particular interest to potential investors ahead of an initial public offering planned for 2020 or 2021 according to money manager T. Rowe Price Group Inc.

• Aramco, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., published annual financial statements for the first time in April, ahead of a $12 billion bond sale.

• The average selling price for Aramco’s crude fell to $66 a barrel in the first half from $69 a year earlier, while crude production held steady at 10 million barrels of oil equivalent a day. Unlike most other energy companies, Aramco’s output is controlled by the state the world’s biggest oil exporter and the hefty royalties and taxes it pays underpin the Saudi economy.

Reliance Jio and Microsoft partner to accelerate digital transformation in India

• Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio)and Microsoft Corporation companies have a unique relationship.

Their main aim is at accelerating the digital transformation of the Indian economy and society.

• This 10-year commitment combines the world-class capabilities of both companies to offer a detailed set of solutions comprising connectivity, computing, storage solutions, and other technology services and applications essential for Indian businesses

• Jio and Microsoft aim to enhance the adoption of leading technologies like data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, Internet of Things, and edge computing among small and medium enterprises to make them ready to compete and grow, while helping accelerate technology-led GDP growth in India and driving adoption of next-gen technology solutions at scale.

DAYS:

Vikram Sarabhai's 100th birth anniversary observed on 12 August

• Founder of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and Father of the Indian Space Program, Vikram Sarabhai’s 100th birth anniversary observed across the country.

• He established Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad on 11 November 1947 & Indian National Committee for Space Research in 1962.

• He founded the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, Center for Environmental Planning and Technology(CEPT) and the Nehru Foundation for Development (NFD) in Ahmedabad. He also served as chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission.

ISRO launched the Chandrayaan-2 mission having lander called Vikram to honour the late Dr. Vikram Sarabhai that is scheduled to touch down on the lunar surface on September 7, 2019.

SPORTS:

Indian juniors won medals at the 2019 Bulgarian Junior International Championships

• Indian juniors won three gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the 2019 Bulgarian Junior International Championships in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria on 12 August.

• Results:

Girls singles: Samiya lmad Faruqui bt Anastasiia Shapovalova and secured 9-21, 21-12, 22-20.

Girls doubles: Tanisha Crasto & Aditi Bhatt bt Bengisu Ercetin & Zehra Erdfm and secured 21-15, 18- 21, 21-18.

Mixed doubles: Edvin Joy & Shruti Mishra bt Brandon Zhi Hao & Abbygael Harris and secured 21-14; 21-17

Boys doubles: William Jones/Brandon Zhi Hao bt Ishan Bhatnagar & Vishnuvardhan and secured 21-19, 21-18.

Bianca Andreescu won the 2019 Rogers Cup

• Bianca Andreescu won the 2019 Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. She defeated Serena Williams.

• In the Rogers Cup men’s final, Spanish player Rafael Nadal won the title. It is his fifth Rogers Cup title. He secured 6-3 and 6-0 won Daniil Medvedev. It is his 35th Masters 1,000 tournament win.

• Results:

Men's singles: Rafael Nadal

Women's singles: Bianca Andreescu

Men's doubles: Marcel Granollers, Horacio Zeballos

Women's doubles: Barbora Krejčíková, Kateřina Siniaková

Rafael Nadal won Montreal Masters title

 Rafael Nadal won the Montreal Masters Cup. He won the 35th Masters crown. He defeated Russian Daniil Medvedev.

He extended his record haul of Masters 1000 titles. Nadal got the title for the first time in his career. Rafael Nadal, it was the third title of 2019.

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Important Current Affairs 12th August 2019

NATIONAL:

UP govt creates world record by planting over 22 crore saplings in one day on 77th anniversary of the Quit India Movement

• Uttar Pradesh(UP) chief minister(CM) Yogi Adityanath launched the mega greenery plantation drive called “Vriksharopan Mahakumbh” sets a world record by planting over 22 crore saplings in a day.

• The state entered the Guinness World Records’ for distributing 76,823 saplings simultaneously in six hours across the state. The first record made for planting Five crore saplings in the first hour i.e. from 9 am to 10 am. The 2nd record was made for planting 1.1 lakh saplings in Kasganj in presence of UP governor, Anandi Ben Patel. The 3rd record was made in Prayagraj for distribution of a record of 66,000 saplings at the same place in a certain time frame and the 4th record was made for planting 22 crore saplings in a day.

• The state announced to plant 25 crore saplings in the Van Mahotsav in 2020. Adityanath unveiled the logo of ‘Vriksharopan Mahakumbh’ and handed saplings of ‘Sahjan’ (Drumstick) to 5 rural women. The CM launched the drive by planting Harishankari, a combination of three sacred trees (peepul, pakar and banyan) at Jaitikheda area in Lucknow.

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan inaugurates interstate portability in two clusters of states

• The main objective of ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan inaugurated the inter-State portability of public distribution in two clusters in the adjoining States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Gujarat and Maharashtra.

• One Nation one ration card  The one nation one ration card is the system has its ability to buy subsidized food grains from ration shops in any part of the country at low cost.

ABOUT ePOS:

The Installation of electronic Point of Sale (ePoS) devices is the portability of ration card holders supported by the Aadhaar authentication. About 77 percent otherwise as More than 4.1 lakh ePoS devices are already in  operational across the country. More  than 85 percent ration cards in the country have been seeded with Aadhaar numbers of the beneficiaries in  25 States/UTs have either completed the installation

Significance

There are 11 States/Union Territories, including Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Tripura, have implemented the intra-State portability of ration cardholders to lift the entitled foodgrains from any Fair Price Shops (FPSs) within their State  are expected to introduce inter-State portability from January 1,2020.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

India first Corporate credit card for SMEs launched by B2B payments startup EnKash

• EnKash launched the country's first corporate credit card called 'Freedom Card' for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The  Freedom Card is a true commercial credit card with open acceptance. The Freedom Card aims to grow exponentially with increased credit lines and efficiencies to manage their businesses better in SMP’s will give credit facility for immediate needs and to manage their liquidity.

About Corporate Card:

In India it is the first corporate card that is used to cater to the varied billing cycles as per the working capital cycles of different businesses. The Bank also offers these freedom cards in practise to the people knowledge.

• The card offers a credit limit for companies to fulfil all business payments including supplier payments, travel & entertainment expenses, utility payments, digital and cloud payments and other business expenses in short duration. The launch of the EnKash Freedom Credit Card is a natural evolution for the Company in its mission towards solving the problem of working capital and in increasing efficiencies through a payments mechanism

• Other card Features

Brex is a US-based commercial credit card company has gone on to raise millions of dollars and is currently valued at over $2.6 Billion since launch 3 years ago. Eubank is a Brazilian credit card based FinTech company started life valued at over $4.6 Billion success.

RBL Bank with digital healthcare platform Practo launches co-branded credit card RBL Bank Practo Plus

• RBL Bank, one of India’s fastest-growing private sector banks and Practo, India’s leading digital healthcare platform, have partnered to launch a co-branded credit card, powered by Mastercard. This industry-first credit card is available. The people are increasingly busy to pay attention to their day-to-day health needs, this is an innovative step to encourage users to think health-first on a daily basis. The card is designed to cater to customers in both metros and non-metro cities, through Practo and RBL Bank’s extensive customer base that spans across the country. The unlimited online consultations with doctors 24*7, users are guaranteed that there is an experienced qualified doctor available to them whenever there is a need - instead of relying on self-diagnosis or advice from friends and relatives.

• Benefits of RBL Bank Practo Plus credit card:

Unlimited online consultations with doctors 24*7 for 1 year

One free full-body health check-up.For every Rs100 spent on this card, cardholder earns 1 Practo HealthCash. HealthCash can be used while availing Practo services like ordering medicine, tests, online consultations (1 Health cash = 1 Rupee).  The moment the credit card is issued, a Practo health plan account gets created on Practo app. The cardholders need to log in with their registered mobile number to access this plan under the "MyHealth Plan" section on Practo. The card also offers two complimentary domestic airport lounge access every quarter.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:

Chandrima Shaha to be the first woman president of INSA

• Biologist Chandrima Shaha will become the first woman to head the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). She previously the vice-president of INSA and the director of the National Institute of Immunology in Delhi.

• She will prioritize communicating science “aggressively” and combat pseudoscience. She and the elected council of 30 members will take charge on January 1, 2020. Shaha was cricketer and also worked as a commentator for All India Radio.

• Shaha’s research focused on understanding cell death pathways. Her laboratory has worked on finding the precise mechanisms of cell death and how this process is regulated by “diverse signalling pathways” in unicellular (Leishmania parasite) and multicellular (cancer cells) models.

• The main aim is to provide a deeper understanding of cell death events that can help in the development of improved therapeutics for diseases associated with anomalous cell death.The Indian Science Congress come under fire after prominent scientists have suggested that events mentioned in Indian mythological texts have scientific explanations. Several politicians have also made pseudo-scientific claims in the past.

SPORTS:

Bajrang Punia won gold in 65kg at Tbilisi Grand Prix 2019

• Bajrang Punia grabbed the gold medal in the Tbilisi Grand Prix of V. Balavadze and G. Kartozia, Georgia. Greco Roman wrestler Manjeet won bronze in the 55 kg category.

• Tbilisi Grand Prix of V. Balavadze and G. Kartozia is organized by the Georgian Wrestling Federation at the New Sports Palace, Georgia.

• Around 11 Indian wrestlers have participated in the International wrestling tournament, the Indian squad include only one Freestyle wrestlera.

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