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Important Current Affairs 31st August 2019

NATIONAL:

Mumbai ranks 45th and Delhi 52nd in 2019 Worlds Safe Cities Index.

• Mumbai ranked as the 45th safest city on the Safe Cities Index (SCI). Delhi got at the 52nd position. The report was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit

The cities in the Asia-Pacific (Apac) region made up six of the top-10 safest cities with Tokyo taking the top spot.Tokyo, Apac cities dominated the SCI 2019. Singapore and Osaka got second and third while Sydney and Melbourne made it to the top-10 cities list.Hong Kong dropped out of this group since 2017.Seoul joined the top-10 cities' league taking eighth place with Copenhagen.

Safe Cities Index (SCI)

The Safe Cities Index (SCI) 2019 ranks 60 countries worldwide across five continents and measures the multi-faceted nature of urban safety with indicators categorised as digital, infrastructure, health and personal security.

The Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka to rank within the top-three cities in the Index. The region hosts some of the lowest-scoring cities in the world, with Yangon, Karachi, and Dhaka close to the bottom of the list.

The cities perform well across the categories of health security, infrastructure security and personal security their North American counterparts generally fare better in digital security, accounting for seven of the top-10 cities in this category.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

GeM signs MoU with SIDBI to enable the growth of MSMEs.

• Government e-Marketplace (GeM), Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and trade has signed an MoU with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). It aims to benefit Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), ladies entrepreneurs, Self facilitate teams (SHGs), ladies Self facilitate teams and varied loan beneficiaries under MUDRA and Stand-up schemes. The MoU was signed in Delhi.

MoU Special steps:

The MoU will strengthen capability building through GeM-specific coaching programs of personnel from partner agencies. Special services through networking, workshops, promoting events, awards and recognition of MSMEs with special concentrate on SHGs, ladies entrepreneurs, artisans, NGOs.

GeM MOU with SIDBI:

The MoU of GeM with SIDBI is towards its growing partnership with money establishments to alter the growth of MSMEs and Start-ups within the country. GeM needs to empower through the payments by auto-debiting GeM Pool Account. The MoU signed with SIDBI will help to promote GeM's special initiatives like Womaniya and Start-up Runway.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Union Government appoints nine pvt sector experts as joint secretaries.

• The Union government appointed nineprivate sector specialists in various fields as joint secretaries in various ministries under its lateral recruitment policy. The appointments were cleared by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The nine joint secretaries from among the private sector experts appointed for a period of three years or till further orders.

The appointments were cleared by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The nine joint secretaries from among the private sector experts have been appointed for a period of three years or till further orders.They have been deputed to various ministries in Level 14 of the pay matrix as per the Seventh Central Pay Commission . They adding their appointments will be effective from the day they assume charges.

Dignitaries appointed are

Those who were appointed are: Kakoli Ghosh (Ministry of Agriculture), Amber Dubey (Civil Aviation), Arun Goel (Commerce), Rajeev Saksena (Economic Affairs), Sujit Kumar Bajpayee (Environment, Forests).

 The others are Saurabh Mishra (Financial Services), Dinesh Dayanand Jagdale (New and Renewable Energy), Suman Prasad Singh (Road Transport and Highways) and Bhushan Kumar (Shipping).

 The posts of joint secretaries are manned by officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Forest Service (IFoS)) and Indian Revenue Service (IRS) among others who are selected through a three-phased rigorous selection process undertaken by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension had invited applications for the posts of joint secretary-rank officers through lateral entry mode in June last year. The lateral entry mode, which relates to the appointment of specialists from the private sector in government organizations, is considered as an ambitious step of the Modi government to bring in fresh talent in bureaucracy.

AWARDS:

Aswatha Narayana won gold in he World Skills competition.

• Aswatha Narayana bagged a gold medal in the World Skills competition 2019 in Kazan, Russia. The event was held from 23-27 August. He won by beating 9 other competitors in the event. Along with him Lufeng Zeng from China also won Gold. He set a record by winning the title as this is the first time that an Indian contingent was participating in the tournament.

The other participants are from countries such as Iran, Belarus, Vietnam, Korea, Germany, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

Narayana participated in the world skills tournament in the skill water technology.

Aswatha Narayana:

Aswatha Narayana is a B Tech graduate in Applied electronics from CV Raman Engineering College of Bhubaneswar. He had his first experience in a technical competition in 2017. He won a state-level automated robotics competition organized by International Institute of Information Technology, Bhubaneswar. In that event, he built a robot at a cost of Rs.950.

He then participated and won second in DrishTI, an Online Contest in Circuit Design & Digital Signal Processing held by Texas Instruments in 2017. In 2018, he won the State Skill Competition and then he participated in National Skill Competition which enabled him to participate in the World Skill Competition 2019.

Indian participants:

The other Indians who participated in the event are Pranav Nutalapati, Sanjoy Pramanik, and Shweta Ratanpura.

Other winners:

♦ Pranav Nutalapati won a silver medal in web technologies

♦ Sanjoy Pramanik won bronze medals in Jewellery

♦ Shweta Ratanpura won bronze medals in graphic design technology

World Skills Competition:

The World Skills Competition is a biennial event. More than 1,300 competitors from all over the world participated in the event. It gives youth the chance to compete, experience, and learn how to become an outstanding performer in their skill of choice. India has been participating in this event since 2007.

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Important Current Affairs 30th August 2019

NATIONAL:

Tamil Nadu 150-year-old Dindigul locks and Kandangi sarees secure GI tag.

• The Geographical Indication Registry of India finally gave Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the state of Tamil Nadu for Dindigul lock and Karaikudi Kandangi sarees.

The handmade Dindigul locks are known for their traditional design, superior quality. They are manufactured in more than 3,125 units in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu and they are concentrated in the villages of Nagal Nagar, Nallampatti, Kodaiparailpatti, Kammalapatti, and Yagappan Patti. The manufacturing unit is 150 years old. It is introduced by the Sankaralinga Acharya brothers.

There are around 50 types of locks manufactured by the industry. Each lock has its own special unique name such as Mango Lock, Almirah Lock, Export Lock, and In 2013.

An application filed by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers Co-operative Society Ltd. These Sarees are the symbol of entire Karaikudi taluk of Sivaganga district. The hand-woven Kandangi sarees are characterized by brilliant color large contrast borders. These sarees have a tradition of 150 years. Rajiv Gandhi Handloom Weavers Co-operative Manufacturing & Sales Society Limited had applied for a tag for these sarees in 2013. The GI tagging help rural artisans & highly skilled weavers, who possess unique knowledge of traditional practices and methods. They can make & market their products domestically and internationally.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’S:

Indian Navy signs MoU with IMD.

•  Indian Navy (IN) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India Meteorological Department (IMD) at naval Base in Kochi, Kerala. The MoU aims to handle the Cyclone Detection radar (CDR) building by IMD to the IN.

The MoU was signed by the flag officer RJ Nadkarni, AVSM, VSM, Chief of employees, Southern naval service Command (SNC) and Dr. D Pradhan, further Director General of Meteorology.

History of CDR Building:

The CDR building was constructed during 1983–86 within the naval Base having associated with S-band Cyclone Detection radar that restricted. The ability to operate buildings by IMD is from 1987-2017 to produce weather support for civil aviation at the Kochi aerodrome.

But IMD commenced in operation a replacement of Doppler radio detection and ranging (DWR) at Mundamveli in  Kochi because the S-band microwave radar had become obsolete in 2017.

The CDR building had been lying vacant for a few years. Now to support  IN, IMD has agreed to hand over the building permanently for meteorological purposes. The building will be utilized by the Indian military Naval.

DAYS:

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is observed on 30 August.

• The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is observed on 30 August every year. The Day was established by the international organization General Assembly resolution.

Aim:

The International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances aims to lift awareness on enforced or involuntary disappearances that occur with arrest, detention, abduction or deprivation of the State with support by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate.

Enforced disappearance became a global issue as it was not restricted to a particular region of the world. It is also concerned to stop the rising issues concerning the ill-treatment, harassment, and intimidation of witnesses of disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared.

History:

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution because of its concern to the increased enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world. The reason for the disappearances included arrest, detention, and abduction.  The Assembly adopted the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. It then decided to declare 30 August the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The day was first observed in 2011.

National sports day was celebrated on 29 August.

• The National Sports Day is celebrated nation-wide on 29 August 2019. The Day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. 2019 National Sports Day marked the 114th birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand.

Aim:

The Day aims to raise awareness about staying fit and healthy. The Day spreads awareness on the importance of sports and daily activities in every individual's life.

Dhyan Chand:

Dhyan Chand is popularly known as the Wizard of Indian Hockey. He secured over 400 goals in 22 years during the period 1926 to 1948. He is regarded as India's greatest hockey player ever. Under his leadership, the Indian Hockey team achieved several victories. He led India into 3 Olympic gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.

AWARDS:

National sports day award winners awarded on 29 August.

• President Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Sports Day Awards 2019 on the National Sports Day which was observed on 29 August.

Awardees:

The list of National Sports Day Award winners 2019 is given below:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:

Deepa Malik (Para-Athletics), Bajrang Punia (Wrestling).

Arjuna Award:

Anjum Moudgil (Shooting), Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth (Badminton), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (Athletics), Pramod Bhagat (Para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (Table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (Wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (Equestrian), Simran Singh Shergill (Polo), Poonam Yadav (Cricket), Swapna Burman (Athletics), Sundar Singh Gurjar (Para sports-athletics) and Gaurav Singh Gill (Motorsports), Ravindra Jadeja (Cricket), Mohammed Anas (Athletics), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Football), Sonia Lather (Boxing), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (Hockey), S Bhaskaran (Bodybuilding), Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi).

Dhyan Chand Award:

Manoj Kumar (wrestling), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis).

Dronacharya Award (lifetime category):

Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey).

Dronacharya Award:

Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton).

Prestigious award to Sattriya danseuse.

• Noted Sattriya danseuse and scholar Dr Anwesa Mahanta chosen for the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman for her contributions to the Sattriya tradition.

Sayanacharya Ghanakanta Bora, a Sangeet Natak Akademi and Padma Shri awardee, Anwesha extensively in India also overseas, including the USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, France, England, Northern Ireland, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. The academic presentations in various institutions of higher learning and research.

She was also awarded Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar by Sangeet Natak Akademi. Currently, Dr. Anwesa is the Director of Kalpavriksha that imparts training in Sattriya dance, music and theatre.

The coveted Kelucharan Mohapatra National Award instituted by Srijan, an acclaimed institution of Odissi in memory of its founder guru, is offered to both senior and young scholars and practitioners to mark the 25th anniversary of Srijan.

Sports:

V K Vismaya won gold in womens 400m held at MJS athletics Czech Republic.

• Indian sprinter V K Vismaya won a best timing of 52.12s and won the gold medal in the women's 400m run at the International Athletic Meeting Josef Seckr Memorial (MJS) in Brno, Czech Republic.

The 22-year-old Indian won the yellow metal, while compatriots Poovamma Machettira and Subha Venkatesan finished second and third with timings of 53.47s and Sudha 53.67s respectively.

Vismaya scored a personal best of 52.48 at Nove Mesto and Metuj (CZE) along with the quartermilers  in Europe .Hima Das recently won six gold medals in European races.

International Athletic Meeting

Headquarters : Monaco

Membership: 215 member federations

President: Sebastian Coe.

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Important Current Affairs 29th August

NATIONAL:

Rajnath Singh inaugurated 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela in Leh.

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela in Leh on 29 August. The Mela was organized by Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR).

The Ministry of Defence has asked DIHAR to work on the challenges in High Altitude Region (HAR- failure) in the coming 3 years. It is expected that DIHAR should turn the failure into JEET (Victory).

DIHAR:

The Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) is a constituent laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). DIHAR was set up in 1962 in Leh. It is located at an altitude of 3,500 m above the Mean Sea Level (MSL). The institute has core competence in cold arid agro-animal technology.

The institute aims to meet fresh food requirement of the soldiers at high altitude cold desert condition. It is also responsible to make the region reasonably green. The research stations of the institute are located at Ranbirpura, Ladakh; Partapur, Siachen Sector; Base Laboratory in Chandigarh and the world’s highest terrestrial R&D Centre at Changla, Ladakh.

The twelfth India Security Summit was held in New Delhi.

• The 12th India Security Summit was held in New Delhi on 29 August. The theme of the summit is the New National Cyber Security Strategy. The summit focused on several problems including the protection of important national infrastructure, rising cyber threats like incidents, challenges, and responsibilities.

Organized by:

The summit was organized by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). It is officially supported by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.

Cybersecurity:

Cybersecurity is the technique of computer protecting knowledge from unauthorized access or attacks. Cybersecurity activities are to safeguard the usability, responsibility, integrity, and safety of the network.

India is the third-largest user of the web and also the cybercrime has augmented in manifold within recent years.

Cyber‘s New schemes:

The Ministry of Home Affairs launched a new scheme named Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to combat cybercrime in the country. The Cyber Swachhta Kendra is also a new scheme of the Government towards Digital India under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

India Launches Worlds First Ever Facial Biometric Data Based Seafarer Identity Document.

• India became the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID),capturing the facial biometric data of seafarers. Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, MoS (I/C) Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers launched the project in New Delhi. He also handed over the new BSID cards to five Indian seafarers.

The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over the two finger or iris based biometric data, with modern security features.  It will make the identification of the SID holder more reliable and efficient, while protecting their dignity and privacy.  India made a presentation on this technology at ILO.

The country is moving ahead rapidly under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The shipping sector is seeing major developments  in the areas of coastal shipping, inland waterways and other maritime activities.The generation of employment in the sector, which  is evident in the growing number of Indian seafarers in the international shipping industry. The total number of Indian seafarers who were employed on Indian or foreign flag vessels increased from 154349 in 2017 to 208799 this year, showing an unprecedented increase of 35%. 

The development is very significant against the backdrop of the increase in seafaring activities . The new document will give a foolproof identification to our seafarers which will facilitate their movement, provide ease of getting jobs and help in identifying them from any location in the world.

The International Labour Organisation on BSID. India ratified the Convention in October 2015.The BSID introduces modern security features.  It will have a biometric chip embedded in it. The security of the BSID card  is ensured at various levels and through different methods. At the time of data capturing the live face is cross matched through passport photo using a face matching software.

The card two optical security features- Micro prints/micro texts and Unique Guilloche pattern. A software has been developed for capturing the facial biometrics and its authentication through the public key infrastructure.

A record of each SID issued will be maintained in a national database and its related information will be internationally accessible.

The BSID project has been taken up in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai. The Government notified the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers Biometric Identification Document) Rules in  2016. The issuance of SID involves the collection of biometric and demographic details of the seafarers, their verification and then issuance of the card  to them.

The nine data collection centers have been setup  at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla for issue of BSID.  Every Indian seafarer who possesses a valid Continuous Discharge Certificate issued by Govt. of India will be eligible for issue of a BSID.

The total number of existing Indian seafarers who will be required to be issued BSIDs is around 3,50,000 . All the existing seafarers will be given BSID within the next 2 years. After this, it is estimated that around 15000 new seafarers will be issued BSIDs annually.

Indo Pacific 2019 Chiefs of Defence Conference was held in Thailand.

• Indo Pacific  2019 Chiefs of Defence Conference was held in Thailand on 26 August. The conference was held during the 3 day-visit of Air Chief Marshal and Chairman Chiefs of employees Committee, Birender Singh Dhanoa to Thailand.

Aim & Theme:

The conference was aimed to strengthen the bilateral defence relations between the two countries. The theme for the conference was Collaboration during a free and Open Indo - Pacific. The conference shed its light on the common challenges faced by the nations.

The bilateral defence relationship with Thailand has gained a momentum that resulted in India's Look/ Act East Policy together at political, economic and cultural levels. The participation of the Indian Chairman COSC would increasing defence cooperation with an Asian country for bigger interaction and cooperation in the future.

India and Thailand relation:

The India-Thailand defence Cooperation has been initiated in 2003. It started with seven primary areas of focus to strengthen cooperation between countries.

The focus on primary areas was re-enforced in a joint statement issued throughout Thai Prime Minister’s official visit to India on January 2012. Both countries have the firm of diplomatic relations in 2017. India is the natural partner of Siam for regional cooperative security initiatives.

Shri Amit Shah presides over 49th Foundation Day of BPRD as Chief Guest.

• Union Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah presided over the 49th Foundation Day of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) as Chief Guest in New Delhi. Minister of State Shri G. Kishan Reddy.

The organization contributing in research and development and modernization of police forces. The main aim is to maintain the relevance of an institution for 50 years.

The maintenance of internal peace and a stable law and order system are essential requirements for achieving Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy.

He emphasized on institutionalizing efficient systems and best policing practices so that they become a part of nature to all law enforcement officials. This can only be achieved through meticulous training, here the role of BPRD becomes essential.

The changing role of police to maintain the stability of the British empire, Sardar Patel brought forth a new paradigm for Indian police system after independence. Today the primary objective of the police is to serve people and protect their rights.He made police modernization in a changing era filled with new challenges. The 34,800 police personnel who laid their lives in the line of duty to keep India safe from internal security threats.

The police reforms is a continuously evolving, never-ending process with changing society and newer challenges. He also differentiated between police reforms and reforms in policing, and urged BPRD to take lead in the latter field, involving a paradigm shift in the approach to policing. The internal security of the country is directly proportional to high quality research and inputs for policy formulation.

He made a countrywide consultative process to make changes in IPC and CrPC and encouraged BPRD to play a leadership role. The main aim is to create skilled manpower needed to tackle complex cases requiring advanced forensic science capabilities. The growing gap between demand and supply of forensic science skills in the country.

The job of prisons should be not to punish but to deter and reform. The approach of prisons should be to create good citizens. Shri Shah expounded on the need for old systems to adapt with changing times and revamp policing techniques to meet the needs of the day. He also urged BPRD to be more proactive and expand its area of operations.

The main focus is on the concept of training the trainers, and urged police to develop domain expertise.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

SIDBI partners with Incuspaze for coworking space for MSMEs.

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) partnered with Incuspaze Solutions Private Limited (Incuspaze) to open a coworking space, designed for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) and startups. This coworking space called @Workspaze is located in Connaught Place, New Delhi.

 The initiative that intends to be a market-maker for its segment is only 50 meters away from Barakhamba Metro Station.

The entrepreneurs who are at the initial stage of their entrepreneurship journey. During the first 18 months of entrepreneurship journey, an enterprise may face several challenges. At SIDBI we want to handhold entrepreneurs during this period so that they have a smooth ride in their venture. Our aim is to expand the scope of @Workspaze even in other key cities of the country. We have already started work on a similar arrangement in Mumbai,” said Mohammad Mustafa, IAS, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI, in a statement.

The fully furnished office space is equipped with training and conference room, fast-speed internet, reception, refreshment, recreational area, housekeeping facilities

Under this arrangement, an MSME accelerator programme is proposed to be started shortly by SIDBI for the MSMEs and startups who will set up their offices.

Our ideologies with SIDBI to facilitate a hassle-free coworking environment for MSMEs and provide resources to build strong connections with other industries to create ideas and develop business. We look forward to a long and fruitful association.

IIT Guwahati signs MoU with RD Grow Green India for safer drinking water.

• Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RD Grow Green India Pvt. Ltd. The Technology Transfer Signing Ceremony held at the IIT Guwahati campus between T G Sitharam, Director IIT Guwahati and Rajeev Saikia, MD, RD Grow Green India Pvt. Ltd.

The drinking water contamination is a major problem in most of the states including Assam. This "chemical-free" treatment technique might be useful to the citizens in rural and urban areas. The initiative made by the team from IIT Guwahati resulted in one of the successful incubation of a company within IIT Guwahati (RD Grow Green India Pvt Ltd) taken the challenge to supply contaminant-free drinking water in the Assam state presently using the technology.

The technology is based on the 'Apparatus and Method for Removal of Fluoride, Iron, Arsenic and Microorganisms from Contaminated Drinking Water' by Prof. Mihir Kumar Purkait, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati.

Mihir Kumar Purkait, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati applied potential generates the coagulant species in situ as the sacrificial metal anode (aluminium or iron) dissolves. The hydrogen is simultaneously evolved at the cathode. Coagulant species aggregate the suspended particles or precipitate and adsorb dissolved contaminants. The tiny bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen that are formed during electrolysis of water, collide with air bubbles which compel to float the pollutant particles. The choice of electrode material depends on various criteria such as low-cost, low-oxidation potential, inertness towards the system under consideration. The aluminium to be very effective and successful in iron, arsenic and fluoride removal at favorable operating conditions. The technology is equally effective for the treatment of industrial effluent including oily wastewater.

RD Grow Green India Pvt. Ltd. is an incubating company at the Technology Incubation Centre in IIT Guwahatiand is working on this project for the treatment of contaminated drinking water and industrial effluent as well.

The company is capable of handling Arsenic, Iron and Fluoride contamination of Assam in collaboration with the state government in an appropriate manner.

The application is time-proven state-of-art-appropriate technology in every process control unit further makes the All-In-One Packaged Water Treatment Plant.

DAYS:

International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on 29 August.

• The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed across the world on 29 August. The day aims to provoke the world organization, youth networks, and the media against nuclear testing. The day highlights the importance to ban nuclear tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world. Poisoned groundwater, cancer, leukemia, radioactive are caused by the toxic legacies of nuclear testing.

History:

UN General Assembly (UNGA) after the 64 sessions of the world organization meeting declared 29 August asInternational Day against Nuclear Tests. It unanimously adopted resolution 64/35 on Dec 2, 2009. The inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests was marked in 2010.

Kazakhstan initiated the resolution with the support of a large number of sponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991.

Nuclear Test:

Nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945. So far, nearly 2,000 test has taken place. The countries that have tested the nuclear weapons so far are USA, USR, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.

AWARDS:

President conferred the Tenzing Norgay National Journey Awards.

• Government has declared the Tenzing Norgay National Journey Awards 2018. The awards are conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi on 29 August. The award recognizes the achievements of persons in the fields of adventure.

The award is given in four categories:

♦ Land journey

♦ Water journey

♦ Air journey ♦ Life Time accomplishment

Jury:

The National Selection Committee headed by Smt. Upma Chawdhry, IAS, Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs selected the awardees. The committee was constituted with expert members from the field of adventure.

Tenzing Norgay National Journeys Award:

The Tenzing Norgay National Journey Awards is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements within the field of the journey toward the land, ocean, and air. The award is given each year to the achievements of persons within the fields of the journey. The award also aims to encourage children and develop the spirit of endurance, risk-taking, cooperative cooperation and fast, prepared and effective reflexes in difficult things.

Prize: The awardee will receive statuettes, certificates and award cash of Rs.5 lakh.

Tenzing Norgay: Tenzing Norgay was a Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer. Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 29 May 1953. Indian government instituted the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards to honour him.

Awardees:

The awardees of the Tenzing Norgay National Journeys Awards 2018 are:

Land Adventure: Aparna Kumar, Dipankar Ghosh, Manikandan K

Water Adventure: Prabhat Raju Koli

Air Adventure: Rameshwar Jangra and Sherpa

Life Time Achievement: Wangchuk.

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Important Current Affairs 27th August

NATIONAL:

Karnataka get 3 Deputy CM and 17 ministers in its Cabinet.

• Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa appointed three deputy chief ministers and inducted seventeen Ministers. The Deputy Chief Minister appointed are:

♦ Mudhol Govind Karajol (68) who is a five-time MLA 

♦ Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan (51) MLA from Malleswaram 

♦ Athani Lakshman Savadi (59) who is a three-time MLA

Roles and Duties:

♦ Govind Karjol will be in charge of PWD and Social welfare

♦ Ashwath Narayan will handle the portfolio of Higher Education, IT & BT, Science and Technology

♦ Laxman Savadi will carry out the duties in the Transport department.

List of Ministers:

List of other ministers (including the 3 deputy CM) are:

1. Govind Makthappa Karajol - Deputy Chief Minister; construction Department, extra charge welfare Department

2. Dr. Ashwath Narayan C.N. - Deputy Chief Minister; instruction, IT and BT, Science and Technology

3. Laxman Sangappa Savadi - Deputy Chief Minister; Transport

4. K.S. Eshwarappa - Rural Development and panchayat rule

5. R. Ashoka - Revenue Department excluding Muzrai

6. Jagadish Shettar - massive and Medium Scale Industries excluding Sugar

7. B. Sreeramulu - Health and Family Welfare excluding Medical Education

8. S. Suresh Kumar - Primary and education and Sakala

9. V. Sommanna - Housing

10. C.T. Ravi - business enterprise, extra charge Kanarese and Culture

11. Basavaraj Bommai - Home Department excluding Intelligence Wing

12. Kota Shrinivas Poojari - Muzrai from Revenue Department, Fisheries, Ports and upcountry Transport

13. J.C. Madhu Swamy - Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation, extra charge Minor Irrigation from Water Resources Department

14. Chandrakantagouda Channappagouda Patil - Minies and earth science from Commerce and Industries Department

15. H. Nagesh - Excise

16. Prabhu Chauhan - husbandry

17. Smt. Jolle Shashikala Annasaheb - ladies and kid Development

Banjari village of Katni district in MP to become an integral part of the digital map of the country.

• Prime Minister’s initiative among the of Digital India is the Banjari village of Katni district becomes the 1st village in Madhya Pradesh(MP) to become an integral part of the digital map of the country.

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY) won the Digital Village Project . It has planned to build 1000 digital villages across India in this phase starting from Banjari Gram Panchayat of MP.

The project provides connectivity in every village & bridge the digital gap between rural and urban areas of the country.

Akodara village of Sabarkantha district of Gujarat is the 1st digital village in India.

The MEiTY planned to create one lakh digital villages of this kind in the next 5 years.

About Digital India campaign:

The program launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015 The services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.

Fourth edition of Internet of Things India Congress 2019 held in Bengaluru.

• The 4th edition of India’s largest confluence of digital technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress 2019 held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

The theme of Edition is ‘Mainstreaming the Internet of Things’.

It was inaugurated by Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India(GoI). The IoT India Congress 2019 will include tracks on segments such as healthcare, manufacturing, telecom, smart cities, energy, retail, cybersecurity, skills and development, IoT Standards, legal and regulatory, and agriculture.

Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launches the commencement of work for 10th City Gas Distribution.

• Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan launched the commencement of work for 10th City Gas Distribution (CGD) . They cover 50 Geographical Areas (GAs) in 124 districts. He distributed Letters of Intent to 12 successful bidders of the round on 1st March, 2019. After the completion of the 10th round, over 70% of the country’s population and 52.73% of the area will be covered under the CGD. As per the minimum work program approved by the PNGRB for the 10th round, 2.02 crore PNG domestic connections will be provided, 3578 CNG stations will open, and 0.58 lakh Inch-km steel pipeline will be laid.

The 9th and 10th rounds, the country is making a giant leap in the CGD. In last 5 years, the number of domestic PNG connections, CNG vehicles and CNG stations have more than doubled.   India is the 3rd largest energy consumer of the world, and will become top consumer in a decade. The government aims to provide reliable, affordable, sustainable and universal access to clean fuel to all. The present share of gas in the energy mix in the country is 6.2% compared to 24% globally, and the aim is to increase the share of natural gas to 15% by 2030. The rising consumption of energy in the country, the share of CNG will increase the most. The country will continue to harness multiple sources of energy, including fossil fuels, renewables, EVs and gas. The hydrogen fuel-driven vehicles have already been introduced in the national capital and several auto manufacturers have introduced new CNG models. Even the coal will continue to have relevance, as Coal gasification plants are being set up. On the policy enablers to promote gas usage in India, Sh Pradhan said that CGD has been granted ‘public Utility’ status.

City Gas Distribution (CGD)

Around 5 lakh crore rupees are being invested in gas infrastructure which includes exploration, distribution, marketing, regasification, pipeline network laying.

Domestic gas production was 32.87 billion cubic metre in 2018-19, and is likely to go up to 39.3 billion cubic metre in 2020-21. LNG terminal capacity of 38.8 MMTPA augmented to 52.5 MMTPA in next 3-4 years. Long term contracts have been signed for importing LNG, and its sources are being diversified. The gas grid presently is 16,788 km, and work is in progress for additional 14,788 km.

The ethanol blending in petrol gone upto 6% from 1%, and we have to take it to 20%.

Bio-diesel is being promoted so as Recycle Used Cooking Oil (RUCO). 2G ethanol plants are being set up to convert surplus food grains into fuel. Compressed Biogas is another field of development. The union Government’s commitment to meet the COP-21 targets the country will leapfrog next year from BS-IV to BS-VI. He said that the issues concerning the setting up of Gas infrastructure are being sorted out in consultation with the state governments.The Minister stressed on conservation and efficiency aspects.

Seventh Community Radio Sammelan to be held in Delhi from 27 to 29 August.

• Seventh Community Radio Sammelan will be held at Dr. BR Ambedkar Bhawan, New Delhi from 27th to 29th August 2019. It is organized by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will witness the participation of all operational Community Radio Stations across the country.

The theme of this year’s Sammelan is ‘Community Radio for SDGs’.The representatives of the Community Radio Stations will discuss experiences and possibilities of programming for better public awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sammelan witness discussion on various flagship schemes of the Government like the Jal Shakti Abhiyaan and efforts for Disaster Risk Reduction. Research, production, broadcasting, dissemination of social welfare messages through Social Media and content management for Community Radio Stations discussed.

Union Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar will give awards to Community Radio Stations for their achievements in broadcasting development programs in various genres including Promotion of Local Culture, Most Creative and Innovative Content, Community Engagement Awards, among others.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’s:

Microsoft and Indian School of Business (ISB) signs MoU to set up AI Digital Lab.

•  IT(Information Technology) company, Microsoft and Indian School of Business (ISB) have signed an MoU(memorandum of understanding) to set up an AI Digital Lab powered by PlatiFi technologies(a Microsoft partner) to study issues that are relevant for business and public policy. The duo will also offer an executive 3-day nontechnical program titled “Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI”, which will kick start in October 2019, would equip business leaders with tools and strategies to transform their respective organizations to AI(Artificial Intelligence)-driven organizations.

Microsoft

Founded: April 4, 1975

Founders: Bill Gates.

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Important Current Affairs 26th August 2019

NATIONAL:

Gujarat topped the CWMI 2.0 report in water management.

• Gujarat topped the second Round of Composite Water Management Index (CWMI 2.0). It was released by NITI Aayog in New Delhi. It measures the performance of states on a set of water indicators. The move comes at a time when various states across the country are facing a shortage in groundwater. The index assesses the performance of States on a comprehensive set of water indicators and reports relative performance in 2017-18 as well as trends from previous years (2015-16 & 2016-17).

Composite Water Management Index was released for the first time in 2018 to instill a sense of cooperative and competitive federalism among the states. It was the first attempt to create a pan-India set of metrics that measured different dimensions of water management and use across the lifecycle of water.

Report highlights:

♦ CWMI comprises of nine themes that include attention to groundwater and restoration of water bodies.

♦ It said that 80% of states that were assessed on the Index over the last three years have improved their water management scores.

♦ States that topped the CWMI are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh.

♦ These states have further increased the scores over the last three years.

♦ States including Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Bihar continue to be in the low-performing category.

♦ The report said that Puducherry has been declared as the top-ranked among the UTs. This is the first time the Union Territories (UTs) have submitted their data.

♦ Under the theme incremental change in the index, Haryana holds the number one position among general states and Uttarakhand amongst northeastern and Himalayan states.

CM Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated new regional office Norka Roots.

• Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the associate workplace of the Norka Roots at the underground station business building on the MG Road Metro Station, Kochi. This project aims to implement a lot of welfare schemes for the non-resident Keralites (NRK). The Chief Minister also inaugurated the primary business venture being started by a non-resident Keralite at the Edapally underground station.

Under the Santhwana scheme, Norka-Roots has already spent around Rs.25 crore in 2018. It provided financial support to NRKs returning to their native place.

Aim:

NORKA Roots has been established by Non-Resident Keralites' Affairs (NORKA). Norka’s theme to provide opportunities for the Keralites living abroad to involve with the govt. within the case of an emergency and conjointly helped to ascertain their own business within the State. The Kochi railroad line Rail Ltd (KMRL) and Norka Roots can be part of hands to produce investment opportunities to Non-Resident Keralites (NRK) in railroad line stations.

NORKA:

The Non-Resident Keralites Affairs NORKA was established in 1996. The department aimed at redressing the grievances of Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs). It also aims to strengthen the connection between the NRKs and the government. It will also address the NRKs drawback, safeguarding their rights and rehabilitating the returnees.

Prakash Javadekar inaugurates National Centre for Avian Ecotoxicology in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

• Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the National Centre for Avian Ecotoxicology at Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural Sciences ((SACON)  in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.

The centre study the movement of chemical contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls and drugs through the food chain.

The impacts on bird species.

The ministry funded an amount of Rs 4 crore to the centre for modernization and to handle the challenges posed by the continued entry of newer chemicals into the environment.

Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON)

Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) is a national centre for information, education and research in ornithology and natural history in India. It was inspired by and named in honour of Salim Ali, the leading pioneer of ornithology in India. It is an autonomous organisation established in 1990 as a public- NGO partnership between the MoEF&CC, and the Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS) under the Centre of Excellence Scheme and registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act. Its headquarters are at Anaikatti, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.

INTERNATIONAL:

Shri Narendra Modi launches RuPay card in UAE.

• Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi launched the RuPay card. The UAE the first country in the Middle East to initiate the Indian indigenous system of electronic payment. RuPay card scheme was launched in 2012 to fulfill the Reserve Bank of India’s vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments.

RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions.

India launched the RuPay card in Singapore and Bhutan.

RuPay Card

RuPay card scheme was conceived and launched by National Payments Corporation of India . It was created to fulfil the Reserve Bank of India's vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions.

AWARDS:

PM received highest civilian award in UAE and Bahrain.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi was awarded the King Hamad Order of the Renaissance by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa on 24 August. The award recognizes his efforts to build a strong friendship and bilateral ties with the Gulf nation. Indian Prime Minister Modi is the first Prime Minister to visit Bahrain.

Order of Zayed:

Modi also received the Order of Zayed, UAE's highest civilian award, by Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The award recognized his vital role in building the strategic relationship between the two countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured during his 3-day visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. The visit aimed to hold extensive talks with top leaders of the two countries on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The visit strengthens India's connect with the six-nation powerful Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Several alternative Muslim nations honored PM Modi with their high civilian award namely:

♦ Rule of Nishan Izzuddeen of Maldives in June 2019

♦ Grand Collar of the State of Palestine in February 2018

♦ Emeer  Amanullah Khan Award of Afghanistan in June 2016

♦ King Abdulaziz Sash Award of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in April 2016

Shri Prabhakar Singh to be awarded the 2019 Eminent Engineer Award.

• Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI)has chosen Shri Prabhakar Singh, Director General of Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for the prestigious Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2019. The award recognizes his distinguished and exemplary service in the field of Engineering and Technology. He will be awarded on the Engineers Day on September 15, 2019, in New Delhi.

Shri Prabhakar Singh:

Mr.Singh is a B.Tech with Honours in Mechanical Engineering from IIT-Kharagpur. He is a post-graduate MBAfrom Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon. He has played a vital role in transforming the Premier Engineering Organisation of the Central Government. He has dedicated his Service to the Nation as an Eminent Technocrat.

Institution of Engineers (India) (IEI):

IEI was formed in September 1920 and is headquartered in Kolkata. It is the National organization for Indian engineers. IEI is the world's largest multi-disciplinary engineering professional society in the engineering and technology world.

SPORTS:

Lt Gen Puri became first serving Lt Gen to complete 1,200 km Paris Brest Paris circuit.

• Lieutenant General Anil Puri completed France's oldest cycling event, 1,200km Paris-Brest-Paris circuit. He became the first serving Lieutenant General-rank officer of the Indian Army.

Lt Gen Puri, the 56-year-old officer completed the event by cycling non-stop for 90 hours. 367 participants represented India. Around 80 successfully completed the trek. Six army personnel secured berths at the event for having completed at least one 1,000-km non-stop cycling event during their respective careers.

1,200- km Paris-Brest-Paris circuit:

Rambouillet hosted the 1,200- km Paris-Brest-Paris circuit 2019 event. The event was started in 1931. Over 31,125 riders have managed to complete Paris- Brest-Paris Randonneur since then.

PV Sindhu won gold at the 2019 BWF World Championships.

• Indian badminton and World number five PV Sindhu won gold at the BWF World Championships 2019.She became the first-ever Indian badminton player to win a gold medal at the event. PV Sindhu defeated world number four Nozomi Okuhara of Japan and secured 21-7, 21-7. This is her fifth medal at the world championships. With this, she has become only the fourth singles player ever to have a full set of world championship medals.

In the previous editions of the World Championships, she secured:

♦ Bronze in 2013

♦ Bronze in 2014

♦ Silver in 2017

♦ Silver in 2018

♦ Gold in 2019

BWF World Championships 2019:

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships was held from 19 to 25 August in Basel, Switzerland. It is the 25th edition of the championship. 45 countries participated in the badminton tournament.

Result:

Men's singles: Kento Momota (Japan)

Women's singles: P. V. Sindhu (India)

Men's doubles: Mohammad Ahsan, Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia)

Women's doubles: Mayu Matsumoto, Wakana Nagahara (Japan)

Mixed doubles: Zheng Siwei, Huang Yaqiong (China).

Indian team won 2 Gold medal in World Archery Youth Championship 2019.

• Indian junior (U-21) compound mixed team of Markoo Raginee and Sukhbeer Singh picked up the first gold for India.

They defeated Switzerland rivals Andrea Vallario and Janine Hunsperger with 152-147 scores at the World Archery Youth Championships 2019.

The event is organized by the World Archery Federation in Madrid, Spain from 19 -25 August 2019.

17-year-old Komalika Bari got 2nd Gold medal in the final of recurve cadet class Defeated by Japan’s Sonoda Waka with 7-3 scores.

The Indian team of Sukhbir Singh, Sangampreet Singh Bisla and Tushar Phadtare won the junior compound men’s team bronze medal by beating Colombia’s Jagdeep Teji Singh Mejia, Gomez Zuluga Felipe and Toro Vasquez Manuel got 234-231scores.

The Indians scored 60 out of 60 points in the final round. The Colombian team managed only 56 points.

World Archery Federation

Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland

First Vice-president: Mario Scarzella

President: Ugur Erdener.

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Important Current Affairs 25th August 2019

NATIONAL:

First World Youth Conference on Kindness was held in New Delhi.

• President Ram Nath Kovindinaugurated the first World Youth Conference on Kindness on 23 August in New Delhi.

Aim:

The conference aimed to impart critical competencies like empathy, compassion, mindfulness and critical inquiry in global youth. It aimed to inspire, empower and enable them to transform themselves and build long-lasting peace in their communities.

Organized by:

The conference was organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Participants:

A number of youth leaders from around the world, representing over 27 countries, and young men and women participated in the first World Youth Conference on Kindness.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU’S:

India signed MoUs with France to strengthen strategic ties in Key sectors.

• During his two-day visit to France, Prime Minister Modi and his France counterpart President Emmanuel Macron held talks discussed to strengthen strategic ties in key sectors on 22 August. They signed various MoUs in different sectors.

MoUs:

♦ An administrative arrangement was signed between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of India and the Ministry of National Education and Youth of the French Republic. The MoU aimed for Cooperation in Skill Development and Vocational Training.

♦ A memorandum of agreement was signed between National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

♦ The cooperation agreement was signed between the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and ATOS.

♦ Implementing agreement was also signed between ISRO and CNES France for Joint Maritime Domain Awareness.

Indian Army signed MoU with Tata Realty and Housing

• Indian Army signed an MoU with Tata Realty & Housing on 22 August 2019. It is a historic milestone achieved by the Indian Army.

Aim:

The MoU will empower the Indian Army personnel to take over, with immediate effect, dwelling units in 13 'Ready to Move in' projects of Tata Realty across India. The projects are spread over 10 cities including Gurugram, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune among others at a discount ranging from 11% to 27%.

The provision also includes the Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO). AWHO has always provided quality housing for Army personnel who are deployed in remote locations across the country. Rather than building houses for the soldiers, the MoU facilitates the Army for the acquisition of homes from reputed private

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

NDTV's interim CEO Suparna Singh steps down.

• Interim CEO Suparna Singh resigned from her role with immediate effect. Singh was the former head of NDTV Convergence named as its CEO in December 2017.

Suparna Singh informed the company that she will step down from her responsibilities as Interim CEO with immediate effect.The board resolved to appoint Suparna Singh as its CEO subject to the receipt of requisite approval from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

This approval was promptly applied for on December 12, 2017,

Suparna Singh company entered into an appointment agreement to appoint Singh as the CEO where the appointment was conditional upon receipt of such approval. Accordingly, Suparna Singh has been acting as the interim CEO during this interregnum. The media company said that the matter will be placed before the board and committee members for consideration.

CEO journalist Vikram Chandra's resignation from the role in the year 2016.

She is the Director of Strategy at the NDTV Group.

She established and headed NDTV's Metro Nation (its first English language, city-based channel in India) in September 2007.

The probe agency booked the media outlet's former CEO Vikramaditya Chandra under charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption.

The company floated 32 subsidiaries in several tax haven countries to bring foreign funds to India through sham transactions.

AWARDS:

Thirty five officers were awarded the Smart Policing Awards.

• Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh presented the Smart Policing Awardsat the Homeland Security 2019 conference which was held in New Delhi. 35 officers were awarded the Smart policing Awards. The award recognized their work in the various police initiatives including the areas of crime investigation & prosecution, anti-insurgency, child safety, community policing,  cybercrime management, emergency response, human trafficking, road safety & traffic management, smart police station, surveillance & monitoring, training & capacity building, women safety. The Minister also released a collection on  ‘Best Practices in Policing’.

Smart Policing Awards:

The award wad instituted by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). The award has been instituted for best practices in Smart Policing in India.

SPORTS:

Indias Hockey team won Olympic test event 2019 in Tokyo, Japan.

• The Indian women hockey team won the Olympic Test event with Navjot Kaur and Lalremsiami leading the side to a 2-1 win over Japan in the final. Navjot Kaur - 11th minute won the score to put India ahead but the lead was neutralized within a minute as Minami Shimizu (12') scored for the hosts. Japan Capital:Tokyo Prime Minister:Shinz Abe. 

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Important Current Affairs 24th August 2019

NATIONAL:

NITI Aayog release CWMI 2.0 report.

• NITI Aayog has released the Round of Composite Water Management Index (CWMI 2.0) in New Delhi. The report was launched by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog and Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister of Jal Shakti. NITI Aayog has prepared the report to supplement the efforts of Jal Shakti Ministry. The  CWMI 2.0 ranks varied states for the reference year 2017-18 as against 2016-17.

Jal Shakti Abhiyaan, a campaign for water conservation and water security in 1592 water-stressed blocks in 256 districts was launched by Jal Shakti Ministry on 1st July 2019. It also ensures the important water conservation interventions.

About CWMI 2.0:

NITI Aayog's CWMI 2.0 will assess the economical management of water resources in all States/UTs. It is a way of cooperative and competitive ideology among the states.

It will supply data for the States with Central Ministries to formulate and implement the appropriate ways for higher management of water resources.

Rajasthans free medicine scheme secures top rank.

•  Rajasthan’s free medicine schemesecured the highest position with first ranking issued by the National Health Mission (NHM) among the sixteen states of the country. NHM free drug service was introduced by the Ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) for all states/UTs.

Aim:

It aimed to supply free medication to patients coming back to public health facilities. The theme was launched on October 2011.

The Ministry has multiplied the number of free medicines from 608 to 712 and free tests from 70 to 90. The NHM has initiated the rankings to encouraging and supporting states to supply free medication to patients coming back to public health facilities.

Rajasthan’s free medicine scheme:

The main aim of  Rajasthan Medical Services Corporation Limited (RMSCL) is to produce commonly used essential medicines freed from price to patients visiting government tending establishment in the year 2011-12. The scheme consists of 2 elements like free drugs and free tests.

The Free medicines theme was enforced on the Gregorian calendar of 2011 and the free check theme was introduced on World Health Day in April of  2013.

The primary part of the free check theme was enforced in hospitals connected with state medical schools likewise as district /sub-divisional and satellite hospitals.

DAYS:

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition observed on August 23.

• Santo Domingo Haiti and the Dominican Republic the beginning of the uprising play a crucial role in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is observed on 23 August.

This International Day is intended to inscribe the tragedy of the slave trade in the memory of all peoples. The intercultural project "The Slave Route,'' should offer an opportunity for collective consideration of the historic causes. The methods and the consequences of this tragedy, and for an analysis of the interactions to given rise between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.

Director-General of UNESCO invites the Ministers of Culture of all Member States to organize events every year on that date, involving the entire population of their country and in particular young people, educators, artists and intellectuals.

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti (23 August 1998) and Goree in Senegal (23 August 1999). The cultural events and debates were organized.

The year 2001 saw the participation of the Mulhouse Textile Museum in France in the form of a workshop for fabrics called "Indiennes de Traite" (a type of calico) It served as currency for the exchange of slaves in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The UNESCO Executive Board adopted Resolution 29 C/40 at its 29th session.

AWARDS:

WCD Minister Smriti Irani distributed the Poshan Abhiyan Awards for 2018-19.

• Women and Child Development Minister distributed the Poshan Abhiyan Awards for 2018-19 in different categories in New Delhi.

The awards were given to the States, Districts, Blocks and Anganwadi Workers. The reason for their contributions in scaling up the Abhiyaan and ensuring that it reaches every household in the country.

The awards are aimed at motivating the primary stakeholders and encourage large scale citizen participation in creating awareness to combat malnutrition.

Poshan Abhiyan Awards:

The Poshan Award Ceremony will be organised in the second week of October 2018 at New Delhi under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child Development

New Delhi under the aegis of Ministry of Women and Child Development. All Awardees will be invited to Delhi to receive the award. Details of the Award Function will be issued separately.

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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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