Current Affairs October 2019: General Awareness Section can be the easiest and qualifying section in most competitive exams with the right focus. To bag a good score in these sections one must follow the current affairs for at least a few minutes on a daily basis. Current affairs are vastly diversified with topics from politics, finance, sports, etc and getting lost in this vastness might be confusing sometimes. It is essential for the candidates who are preparing for competitive exams to know what topics to focus on instead of wandering. GK can be divided into static and dynamic. Static GK will involve topics from Indian History, Geography, Indian Polity, Indian Economy, etc and these topics can be grasped by various general knowledge-based books. Dynamic GK, on the other hand, will be based on daily happenings around the world and following them regularly will aid in cracking the competitive exams. For dynamic GK, start by reading news from quality outlets. You can start right away by bookmarking this article.
Current Affairs April 2019 is specifically designed to provide you with the information on top happenings around the world to make sure your limited and precious time is well spent. Whether you are preparing for a written test or an interview of any competitive exam, you have come to the right place to enhance your GK knowledge.
Current Affairs October 2019
Top Current Affairs for October 31, 2019
October 31 celebrated as World Cities Day
To promote the International community’s interest in global urbanization United Nations celebrates World Cities Day (WCD). This day was first celebrated in 2013. The overall theme of World’s Cities Day is Better City, Better Life.
- Every year a different sub-theme is selected. The sub-theme either promote the success of urbanization or address specific challenges from urbanization.
- The theme for the year 2019 World Cities Day is “changing the world: Innovations and a better life for future generations”.
- 31st October was designated as World Cities Day by the General Assembly by passing resolution 68/239 in December 2013.
- This day was constituted for the overall social and economic development and for recognition of the significance of urban basic services as a foundation
Himachal Pradesh: Prakritik Kheti Khushshal Kisan Yojana
Under Prakritik Kheti Khushshal Kisan Yojana around 2,209 panchayats are brought under natural farming in Himachal Pradesh.
- Organic and Zero Budget Natural Farming is being promoted by the state under the scheme.
- The main objective of the scheme is to increase farmers income and to reduce the use of chemicals and fertilizers on the farm.
- Under the scheme, 75% subsidy is provided on drums that are required to make inputs of natural farming. It provides financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to open natural resources store in villages.
- 50,000 farmers will be trained under the scheme in the year 2019.
- So far 20,579 farmers have been trained. Out of this, 15,391 are already practising natural farming in their fields.
- The State Government plans to hold a minimum of 5 training sessions per month until March 2020.
- Technology block manager and Assistant Technology manager have been recruited under Agricultural Technology Management Agency to fulfil the needs of the training.
New Delhi hosted the 5th International Conference on ROADTECH
New Delhi hosted the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Roads and Highways-Smart Use of Available Resources for Green and Sustainable Roads (ROADTECH) on 30 October. V.K. Singh,Union Minister of State for Road Transport addressed the meeting.
- To improve the growth of the economy by propelling the infrastructure was included in the discussion. To achieve this growth India needs sustainable and environment-friendly roads and highways.
- The centre has planned to improve the field of infrastructure in the future than the work done in the last five years
- Finding a unique way to monetize the road projects in an environment-friendly manner was also discussed.
- The meeting culminated by deciding to focus on the infrastructure sector to fight the economic slowdown
Three Indian-origin CEOs featured in HBR’s top 10 best-performing CEOs
In the list compiled by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) which features 100 CEOs three Indian-origin chief executive officers (CEOs) have been featured in ‘The Best-Performing CEOs in World, 2019′ list of world’s top 10 best-performing chief executives.
- Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga and Microsoft chief Satya Nadella have acquired 6th,7th and 9th spot respectively.
- American technology company NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang topped the list
- 3 metrics were taken into account by HBR for each tenure of CEO’s- the total shareholder return, which includes dividends reinvested adjusted by country and by industry and change in m-cap (market capitalisation) adjusted for share issues, share repurchases and dividends measured in inflation-adjusted USD.
- Since 2015, the rankings in the list have been based not only on financial performance but also on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scores ratings.
- To compile a list of world’s best-performing CEOs, the HBR began with companies that at the end of 2018 were in S&P Global 1200, which is an index that reflects 70% of the World’s stock market capitalisation and includes firms in North America, Latin America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
MIT researchers develop new technology to remove CO2 from air
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States (US) researchers have developed a new technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from a stream of air, virtually at any concentration level. This is a new advance may pave the way for new strategies to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) levels. This research was published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science.
About the New Technology
While in most of the prevalent methods, removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from a stream of gas required higher concentrations like those found in flue emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants, but the new method could take out gas even when it was present in very low concentrations.
- As per the research the device has a specialized battery with a stack of electrodes coated with a compound called poly anthraquinone compounded with carbon nanotubes that absorbs CO2 from air passing over its surface as it was being charged up, and then released gas as it was being discharged.
- A chemical reaction then takes place at the surface of each of a stack of electrodes as battery charges.
- This new technology device operates at room temperature and normal air pressure.
- The biggest advantage of this technology over most other carbon absorbing/carbon capture technologies is- ‘binary nature of the adsorbent’s affinity to carbon dioxide’.
India to host the second assembly of International Solar Alliance
India is hosting the second assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA). The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is conducting the event in New Delhi.
- Over 400 delegates of 81 nations are participating in the ISA.
- It offers concrete solutions to reduce the cost of solar installations in developing countries.
- The Assembly will be co-chaired by French Deputy Minister Brune Porison along with Union Minister of State for New and Renewable energy Raj Kumar Singh.
- The ISA assembly is the highest decision making body which gives directions on financial and administrative issues.
- So far, 81 countries of 121 members have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA. OF these, 58 have ratified the agreement.
ISA First Assembly
- A total of 78 countries attended the first Assembly of ISA .
- Since its inception, 1000 MW of solar power and 300,000 solar water pumps have been aggregated from the member countries.
- ISA sent country missions to 8 countries-Togo, Uganda, Niger, Mali, Malawi, Guinea, Congo and Benin to understand the challenges and issues in the path of ISA programmes
- India has been providing full support to the alliance since its inception. GoI has allotted 5 acres of land to ISA. It has released a sum of Rs 160 crore for building infrastructure.
Top Current Affairs for October 30, 2019
Lt Governors of J&K, Ladakh appointed
- Girish Chander Murmu, a senior IAS officer has been appointed as the first Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
- The oath ceremony will take place on October 31 in Srinagar after which he will be the administrative head of Kashmir and Jammu provinces.
- R K Mathur, The 65-year-old bureaucrat, belonging to 1977 IAS batch and the former defence secretary has been appointed as the first Lt Governor of Ladakh.
- He will be administered the oath of office on October 31 in Leh.
NIIF’s Governing Council’s meeting chaired by Finance Minister
- Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India chaired the governing council meeting of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).
- The meeting was held in North Block, New Delhi.
- Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur was also present at the meet.
About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
- NIIF was set up in 2015 by the government of India and is India’s first sovereign wealth fund.
- It is a fund manager that invests in infrastructure and related sectors in India.
- It was created with the objective to maximise economic impact especially by infrastructure investment in commercially viable projects.
- NIIF is operationalised by establishing three alternative investment funds (AIFs) under SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) regulations.
- Government of India’s contribution to AIFs under the NIIF scheme is 49% of total commitment. The proposed corpus of NIIF is Rs.40,000 crore (about $6 billion).
- NIIF has the mandate to seek equity participation from strategic anchor partners like quasi-sovereign, overseas sovereign, bilateral/multilateral investors, as one of the key sources of funds.
PRAKHAR: Delhi Police’s anti-street crime vans
- Amulya Patnaik, Delhi Police Commissioner, flagged off 15 ‘PRAKHAR’ vans from the police headquarters at ITO, New Delhi.
- The vans are special vehicles to curb street crimes in the national capital.
- The new vans are in addition to already operational 15 ‘PRAKHAR’ vans launched in September 2019, thus taking the total number of vans plying in New Delhi to 30.
- These patrol vans are tasked especially to curb street crimes as well as crimes against women in vulnerable areas in the national capital.
- They are specially designed and equipped with the latest gadgets for quick transmission of information about any crime.
- These vans conduct intensive patrolling and dedicated checking at vulnerable points in crime-prone areas of the districts. Thus with the latest induction, each district will now have 2 such vans to cover vulnerable stretches.
- The deterrent presence of ‘PRAKHAR’ MPVs (Multi-purpose Vehicle) has substantially helped in curbing crime.
- During the one month of operation of these patrol vans in city, the number of calls related to snatching and robbery incidents has decreased in localities covered by them.
Nelloptodes gretae: Tiny beetle named after climate activist Greta Thunberg
- To honour Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has done splendid contribution in raising global awareness of climate change, scientists at the British Natural History Museum in London, UK have officially named a tiny species of beetle “Nelloptodes gretae”.
- This tiny species of beetle was first found in 1965 by British naturalist Dr William C Block in Nairobi, Kenya.
About Nelloptodes gretae:
- It is an arthropod, which has no eyes or wings and rather has a small pit between where the eyes should have been.
- It is a tiny species of beetle, pale yellow and gold, with less than 1mm long.
- It belongs to Ptiliidae family, which is made up of some of the world’s smallest beetles.
Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde appointed as 47th Chief Justice of India
- Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde (aged 63) was appointed as 47th Chief Justice of India (CJI).
- President Ram Nath Kovind under Article 124 of the Constitution of India issue and signed the Warrant of Appointment.
- The oath-taking ceremony will be conducted on 18 November 2019.
- He will replace Ranjan Gogoi and his tenure will be of total 17 months and will be demitting office on 23 April 2021.
About Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde
- Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde was born in Nagpur Maharashtra on 24 April 1955.
- He had studied at Nagpur University.
- He was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978 and was designated as a senior advocate in 1998.
- He was sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in October 2012. He was elevated as a judge of Supreme Court on April 2013.
Commemorative Coin released on Paramahansa Yogananda
- Smt Nirmala Sitaraman, the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs released a commemorative coin on Paramahansa Yogananda on October 29, 2019.
- This was done to mark Paramahansa Yogananda’s 125th birth anniversary.
- Earlier In 1977, India released a commemorative stamp to honour Yogananda. On March 7, 2017, PM Modi released another stamp to honour him on his 100th death anniversary.
About Paramahansa Yogananda
- Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian monk and guru. He introduced millions of teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his organization Self-Realization Fellowship.
- He was the first major teacher to settle in USA.
- In 1946, he published his Autobiography.
- The book has been regularly reprinted in the name “The book that changed the lives of millions”. In 2014, a documentary “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” was released and it won multiple awards all over the world.
Top Current Affairs for October 29, 2019
Indian Monsoon 2019
India received the highest amount of monsoonal rain in the past 25 years.
- The monsoon accounts for around 70 per cent of India’s annual rainfall.
- The surplus Monsoon in 2019 has caused major hardship.
- Floods in 2019 have displaced nearly 2.5 million people across the country
- In June 2019, much of India saw major heat waves related to meagre rainfall and a late monsoon rains arrival.
- Rain in 2019 was caused by an increased number of low-pressure systems.
- The increased rain events will be associated with a phenomenon known as the Indian Ocean Dipole.
- Irregular oscillation of sea-surface temperature, in which the Western Indian Ocean becomes alternately warmer and then colder than the eastern part of the ocean is known as Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)
The second round of smart cities may roll out in 2020
The second round of the Centre’s flagship urban development schemes — the Smart Cities Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) may be rolled out in 2020.
Key Points: Smart cities mission
- An urban renewal program launched by the Government of India.
- Mission: to develop 100 smart cities across the country.
- Smart cities will be citizen-friendly and sustainable.
- Ministry responsible: The Union Ministry of Urban Development and state governments.
- First greenfield industrial smart city of India: Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
- Launched by Prime Minister of India in 2015.
- Focuses to establish an infrastructure that will ensure adequate sewage networks and water supply urban.
- Transformation by implementing urban revival projects.
- The first state in the country to submit State Annual Action Plan under AMRUT: Rajasthan.
- Various schemes like Swachh Bharat Mission, Housing for All and state schemes related to infrastructure can be linked to AMRUT.
Air India depicts ‘Ik Onkar’ on the tail
To mark 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Devji, Air India has depicted Sikh religious symbol ‘Ik Onkar’ on the tail of one of its aircraft.
- Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism.
- He was the first of the ten Sikh Gurus.
- His birth is celebrated as Guru Nanak Gurpurab in the month of October–November.
- He preached the message of one God.
- Guru Nanak’s words are registered in the form of poetic hymns in the holy book of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib.
- Ik Onkar is a symbol appearing at the beginning of Sikh scripture which means, “One With Everything”.
- The symbol is in the Gurmukhi script.
Aarambh foundation for civil servants
‘Aarambh’, the common foundation course for civil service probationers is underway at the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, with around 450 civil service probationers participating in it.
- Common foundation course for civil servants who are in probation.
- The theme is: ‘How to achieve the goal of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy’.
- The event was addressed by World Bank president David Malpass.
- The closing session will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31st October 2019.
Shakti military exercise
Indian and French armies will conduct joint counter-terrorism drills under ‘Exercise Shakti-2019’ in the Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan from October 31 to November 13.
- Exercise Shakti will focus on countering-terrorism operations.
- It is a biennial exercise.
- It had started in 2011.
- The training will focus primarily on a high degree of physical fitness, sharing of the drill at a tactical level and learning of best practices from each other.
Guinness World Record for Ayodhya
The Indian city of Ayodhya on 26th October set a Guinness world record by lighting hundreds of thousands of earthen lamps as part of an annual Hindu festival, Diwali.
- 409,000 oil lamps were lighted on the banks of river Sarayu.
- Over 6,000 volunteers, majority college students, participated.
- Hindus have faith that their main deity Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya, where he returned after 14 years in exile.
- To celebrate his return in exile, people light this diyas.
- Hindus and Muslims are fighting a legal battle over the ownership of a piece of land situated in Ayodhya.
- Hindus believe that a temple was present in that place which was demolished by the Mughal Empire in the 15th century and a mosque was constructed.
- The mosque got demolished in 1992.
Top Current Affairs for October 26, 27 & 28, 2019
Ladakh Literature Festival
Ladakh Literature Festival is organised by Ladakh administration. This year the 3-Day Festival is being organised from 29th to 31st October 2019.
- The Ladakh Literature Festival will begin in the State of Jammu & Kashmir state and end in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, as Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will officially become two separate UTs on 31st October,2019.
- The first-ever Ladakh Literature festival purpose is to celebrate the exclusiveness of the region in the fields of Art, Culture and Literature.
- During the festival there will be screenings of Ladakhi films, discussions on Heritage and presentations on History and Archeology of Ladakh.
- To provide an opportunity for children, youth and women to participate in the 3 Day Ladakh Literature Festival several competitions and events like Calligraphy, Culinary art are also incorporated.
- This is an initiative of Divisional Commissioner Ladakh, Saugat Biswas, the Ladakh Literature Festival 2019.
- This Festival is being jointly organised by J&K Tourism, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh, Ladakh Media & Art Organisation (LAMO) and All Ladakh Tours Operators’ Association (ALTOA).
Programmes are as follows:
On First Day:
Ladakh Literature Festival will begin at Leh Palace with Lhar-nga, a musical offering to God, followed by a number of activities including ‘A Confluence of Music and Dance’, talk on Leh Palace.
On Second Day:
Ladakh Literature Festival will include ‘Scaling the Everest; In Conversation with women Everesters from Ladakh, presentations on Tracing the culinary evolution of Ladakh, multilingual Mehfil-e-Mushaira, fiction Writers of Ladakh.
The last day:
At the end of conclusive day there will be talks and presentations on Journalism in age of Fake News, Economics of Journalism, and Gender and ethnic representation in media.
DEFCOM 2019 is to be held on 26 and 27 November 2019 at Manekshaw Centre, New Delhi. DEFCOM 2019 is jointly organised by the Corps of Signals and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has evolved over the years to become a landmark symposium for collaboration between the Indian armed forces, academia, research and development organisations, and the Industry on aspects pertaining to Information and Communications Technology.
Highlights of the Seminar:
- 22 October 2019 is the curtain raiser ceremony for this event which was held at India Habitat Centre and attended by senior officers of the Indian armed forces, academia and industry.
- The brochure for the upcoming seminar will released by Lieutenant General Rajeev Sabherwal, Signal Officer-in-Chief.
- General Rajeev Sabherwal stressed on the need for the three services to be able to seamlessly communicate with each other from the strategic to the tactical level and apprised the audience on aspects that would be deliberated in this seminar.
- The theme of DEFCOM 2019 is, “Communications as a Decisive Catalyst for Jointness”.
India, Nepal and Bhutan to create a trans–boundary wildlife conservation park
India, Nepal and Bhutan have signed a MoU to create the trans-boundary wildlife conservation ‘peace park’.
Key points of MoU’s:
- “The MoU process is in its final stage currently going back and forth among the countries for final changes”.
- According to the Director General of Forest Siddhanta Das the proposed Park will include biodiversity-rich landscapes in adjoining areas of the three countries.
- The trans-boundary wildlife conservation ‘peace park’ present a fundamental shift in which wildlife conservation is to be done.
- There is also a one trans-boundary Protected Area in India and Bhutan, which includes the Manas landscape of Assam, and the new tripartite park will be an extension of this.
- It keeps in mind the view the migratory wildlife species such as elephants.
- This year the process started with the idea that wildlife species, their movement and conservation should not be interrupted by political boundaries.
- This initiative will maintain the natural connectivity of wildlife species, undisturbed by political boundaries and also maintain the traditional and cultural continuity of villages that share similar traditions from time immemorial, but have been separated by the political boundary.
A Lucknow school bags Guinness World Record for becoming the ‘World’s Largest school’
In terms of strength of students a Lucknow-based school has won the Guinness World Record for becoming the ‘world’s largest school’. City Montessori School (CMS) has won the global award.
- As stated by CMS founder, Jagdish Gandhi City Montessori School (CMS) has won the global award for having 55,547 students in 2019-20.
- The school will make children to be balanced in the physical, social and spiritual knowledge and also teach them human education and the importance of peace and unity.
- Students are highly adept in physical knowledge and fully capable of clearing the global examinations.
- All over the city, the CMS has 18 branches and approximately 56,000 students.
About Guinness World Record:
- Guinness World Records, started from 1955 until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records in previous United States editions as The Guinness Book of World Records.
- The Guinness Book of World Records is a reference book published annually for listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.
- In the Guinness World Records database there are more than 40,000 current records. About 4000 are published in the book.
- Publisher of Guinness World Records is Jim Pattison Group.
Sakharov Prize 2019
The Uighur economist Ilham Tohti, currently an academic jailed for separatism in China has been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize 2019 from the European Parliament.
Who is Ilham Tohti?
- Ilham Tohti was born in the city of Artush in Xinjiang.
- He is a Beijing-trained economist and university lecturer, who looked to strengthen the position of the Uighurs, mostly Muslim minority group in China’s western region of Xinjiang, inside the Chinese system.
- Tohti is a prisoner in 2014, Tohti was a leading Uighur intellectual best known for founding the website Uighur Online, before he was arrested.
About Sakharov Prize:
- The Sakharov Prize was founded in 1988.
- The Sakharov Prize was founded for Freedom of Thought, the prestigious human rights award in honor of the Soviet dissident and scientist Andrei Sakharov and is awarded by the European Parliament, the European Union’s legislative body.
- The Sakharov Prize usually goes to political dissidents and intellectuals, with a wide geographic sweep.
Top Current Affairs for October 25, 2019
TechSagar: National Repository of India’s cyber tech capabilities
- The Data Security Council of India (DSCI) along with National Cyber Security Coordinator’s office has launched “TechSagar’.
- It is a national repository ‘to facilitate new opportunities for businesses and academia to collaborate, connect and innovate, in future.
- The portal www.techsagar.in will feature more than 4,000 business and research entities from startups, academia, Information Technology (IT) industry, and individual researchers.
- The website will provide targeted search , granular navigation and drill-down method using more than 3,000 niche capabilities.
- It will also be frequently updated with new entities and information to maintain its relevancy and usefulness.
- The DSCI is a not-for-profit, industry body on data protection in India.
- It is set up by NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies), a trade association of Indian IT and Business Process Outsourcing industry.
Homen Borgohain bestowed with Sadin-Pratidins Lifetime Achievement Award
- Homen Borgohain, an Assamese writer and journalist, was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sadin-Pratidin Achievers Award 2019 on 23 October.
- This was the 6th edition of Sadin-Pratidin Achievers Award 2019
About Sadin-Pratidin Achievers Award:
- The Sadin-Pratidin Achievers Award is presented by Sadin-Pratidin group.
- The group is based at Guwahati.
- The annual award recognizes the eminent person and luminaries who have excelled in their chosen area of activities ranging from literature to corporate and culture to sports.
‘Tamanna’: CBSE, NCERT’s aptitude test for Class 9, 10 students
- Under the supervision of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) have launched an online aptitude test ‘Tamanna’ (Try And Measure Aptitude And Natural Abilities) to help students make right career choices.
- It is an aptitude test for Class 9 and Class 10 students to enable them to make a better choice of subjects in Class 11 and 12.
- However, there is no pass or fail in this test as Tamanna only provides information about the weaknesses and strengths of students.
- CBSE initially is conducted piloting of test with 17,000 students of Class 9 and 10 across India.
CBSE KYA registration process:
- As per CBSE circular, the registration process for KYA will begin from 29 January 2020 on CBSE’s official website – cbse.nic.in. Students can appear for the test on any working day, by using the school’s log-in id.
- CBSE has also availed a test manual in which details about the use of aptitude test, dimensions measured in the test, construction and standardization of test, administration and scoring and understanding meaning of aptitude test scores are available.
World Bank: Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate-resilient Agriculture in Odisha
- A loan agreement of 165 million USD has been signed between the Government of Odisha and the World Bank.
- The aim of the loan is to implement “Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture” and strengthen the resilience of the smallholder farmers against adverse climate.
- The project will help to increase the share of high-value and more nutritious products like fruits and vegetables and reduce the current emphasis on food grains, especially paddy and wheat.
- The loan will help strengthen the resilience of the farmer production and to improve the marketing of their produce.
- The scheme will be implemented in 128,000 hectares of land in rural areas that are largely rain-fed and vulnerable to droughts.
- It is estimated that the scheme will benefit 125,000 smallholder farmers from 15 districts of Odisha
- The project also aims at improving access to better water management and irrigation services.
- The project will also support rehabilitation of 532 water tanks and irrigate 91,435 hectares of land.
India Pakistan sign Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Agreement
- India signed the agreement with Pakistan for the operationalization of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at Zero Point international Boundary on October 24, 2019.
- The representatives from Punjab Government, the Ministry of Defence, External Affairs, Home Affairs were present during the ceremony.
- The Pilgrims can register on prakashpur550.mha.gov.in to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara
About Kartarpur Sahib Corridor
- To celebrate the occasion of 550th Birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak the Indian Government passed a resolution in November 2018 for the construction of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
- The 4.2 km corridor connects the Dera Baba Nanak in the Indian side with the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan
Highlights of the agreement
- Every Indian pilgrim of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor
- The travel is Visa free and the pilgrims have to carry a valid passport alone
- The persons of Indian origin are required to carry the OCI card
- The corridor will remain open from morning to evening. However, pilgrims have to return on the same day
- Pakistan will levy 20 USD as service charge per pilgrim per visit.
Top Current Affairs for October 24, 2019
World Development Information Day
October 24 is celebrated as The World Development Information Day (WDID) every year. This day is celebrated to let the world know about development problems and the necessity of strengthening international cooperation to solve them.
On this occasion, many events are organized to put light on work that UN does, particularly with regard to problems of trade and development. Many of these are aimed at journalists working for a range of media, including radio, television, newspapers, magazines and internet sites.
On May 17, 1972, the UN Conference on Trade and Development had put forward measures for problems related to information dissemination and mobilization of public opinion relative to trade and development. These solutions were then known as resolution 3038 (XXVII), which was passed by UN General Assembly in 19, 1972 and instituted World Development Information Day on October 24.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development decided that date this day should coincide in principle with the date of adoption of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade in 1970 that was24 October.
Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2019
A Switzerland-based multinational investment bank, Credit Suisse Group, has released the 10th edition of its annual Global Wealth Report. The report focuses on the growth and distribution of wealth, in terms of numbers of millionaires and billionaires, the proportion of wealth that they hold as well as the status of inequality globally.
Definition of Wealth: Wealth is defined in terms of ‘net worth’ of an individual, which, in turn, is calculated by adding up the value of financial assets like money and real assets like houses and then subtracting any debts an individual may have.
Key Findings of Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2019
Just 0.9% of the world’s adult population i.e only 47 million people, owned $158.3 trillion, which is almost 44% of the world’s total wealth.
On the other end almost 57% of the world’s adult population i.e. around 2.88 billion people owned merely $6.3 trillion, which is almost 1.8% of the world’s wealth.
China has overtaken the United States (US) in 2019 to become ‘the country with most people in the top 10% of global wealth distribution’.
The report states that India, along with China and Vietnam as best examples of how wealth can be raised by pushing for higher economic growth as a multiple of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by addressing institutional as well as financial-sector deficiencies.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu to lead the Indian delegation at 18th NAM Summi
Venkaiah Naidu, vice-president of India, will lead the Indian delegation at 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held at Baku, Azerbaijan on 25 to 26 October 2019.
Highlights 18th NAM Summit
The Summit will focus on issues like Terrorism, threats to peace and security, UN reform, sustainable development, climate change, south-south cooperation and economic governance.
The theme for Summit
‘Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world’. The theme relates to the upcoming 65th anniversary of Bandung Principles in 2020 and 60th anniversary of NAM establishment in 2021.
What are Bandung Principles?
Bandung Principles are ten principles that were formulated at the Asian-African Conference in 1955. They are a political statement that encapsulates the need to promote world peace and cooperation.
India at NAM
Vice President will deliver a national statement at NAM Summit and hold bilateral meetings with other Heads of States and Governments including President of the host country, Azerbaijan, on the sidelines.
Vice President will lead the delegation comprising of External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, India’s Permanent Representative to United Nations Syed Akbaruddin and Secretary to Vice President I.V Subba Rao.
Non-Aligned Movment (NAM)
It is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. After the United Nations (UN), NAM is the largest grouping of states globally. It is headquartered in Central Jakarta, Indonesia.
World Polio Day
World Polio Day is celebrated yearly on 24 October. The aim behind celebrating this day is to raise awareness about the polio disease and efforts for eradication.
In India, on this occasion polio drives will be organized across the country. People will be motivated and information will be provided to them about the simple method of immunisation and how it saves them from a lifelong disability.
History of World Polio Day:
World Polio Day was first observed a decade ago by Rotary International established to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis. The use of inactivated vaccine of poliovirus and subsequent widespread use of the oral poliovirus which was developed by Albert Sabin led to the establishment of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) in 1988.
According to WHO, by 2013, GPEI had reduced polio worldwide by 99%.
Polio is a fatal infectious disease. There is no cure, but due to safe and effective vaccines, it can be prevented. That is through immunisation it can be prevented. For eradication of polio, the strategy was to provide immunisation to almost every child until transmission stops and to make world polio-free.
October 24 observed as UN day
Every Year October 24 is observed as UN Day by its member nations. The day was first celebrated in 1948 and marks the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945.
On October 24, 2020, the UN will celebrate 75 years of success.“UN75: 2020 and Beyond-Shaping our future together” theme has been launched by the UN to mark the anniversary. UN will hold meetings with nations and will invite them to participate in its collective action to realize peace, development and human rights for all.
- UN will hold dialogues around the world from January 2020
- It will work towards the aim of reaching the global public, listen to their hopes and fears and learn from their experiences.
- UN75 will undertake global opinion polling, internet analysis to collate robust, representative and comparative data.
- It will also collect video and audio recordings with testimonials from people who have participated in illustrating people’s views and ideas.
About the UN
The United Nations came into existence on 24 October 1945 at San Francisco, California, United States. It is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations, achieving international cooperation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.
Massive galaxy found hidden amid cosmic dust
A study published in the Astrophysical Journal provides new insights into the first growing steps of some of the biggest galaxies in the universe.
Lead author the study Christina Williams noticed a faint light blob in new sensitive observations. He used the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, or ALMA, a collection of 66 radio telescopes high in the Chilean mountains to study this faint light blob.
vo Labbé, of the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia is the co-author of the study.
According to the researchers, the signal took 12.5 billion years to reach Earth, therefore giving them a view of the universe in its infancy. According to them, the observed emission is caused by the warm glow of dust particles heated by stars forming deep inside a young galaxy.
In March 2021, NASA will launch James Webb Space Telescope to investigate these objects in more detail.
What is Galaxy
A system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matter which is bounded by gravity is termed as Galaxy.
3 PSLVs to launch 14 small foreign satellites
The PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch 14 small spacecraft of four international customers namely Analytical Space, Spire, iQPS and Kleos Space.
The ISRO will have one of its earth observation satellites as the larger primary payload on each of the three PSLV flights.
In November and December, the customer satellites will be sent to their respective orbits on the PSLV-C47 (where ISRO’s own Cartosat-3 is the main payload), C48 & C-49 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
About Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle
It is an expendable medium-lift launch vehicle. It is designed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
Top Current Affairs for October 23, 2019
Engineers develop a new Catalyst to Convert Carbon Dioxide into Natural Gas
A new catalyst has been developed by the Engineers at Stanford University which will help to transform carbon dioxide from cars into fuels like propane or natural gas.
Scientists developed this new catalyst by combining ruthenium and iron oxide nanoparticles. The ruthenium nuggets sit in the core of the catalyst surrounded by an outer sheath of iron. This arrangement activates the hydrocarbon formation from Carbon-Dioxide.
What is Catalyst?
Catalysts are substances which induce chemical reactions without being used up in the reaction.
It belongs to a platinum group of elements and is a transition element. It is more in buzz after its electrical applications in contacts and thin-film resistors were discovered by Scientists. Since then the annual production of ruthenium from the platinum ores has increased from 19 tons in 2009 to 35.5 tons in 2017.
‘Feed Our Future’ cinema ad campaign launched by WFP in India
A cinema ad campaign ‘Feed Our Future’ against hunger and malnutrition has been launched by the United Nations World Food Programme in India. WFP has launched this in collaboration with India’s largest in-cinema advertising platform -UFO Moviez and SAWA -the Global Cinema Advertising Association. Showbox Music TV Channel, LF (Living Foodz TV Channel) and Red FM 93.5 are also associated with this campaign. It will help drive the message of zero hunger deeper into the hearts & minds of India.
Earlier a similar campaign was launched by WFP in collaboration with UFO Moviez and SAWA in India to raise awareness on hunger and malnutrition.
The aim behind this campaign is to connect with people and generate support it deserves to highlight urgent attention for the critical issue of hunger and malnutrition in India. Sir John Hegarty of The Garage SOHO, is the creative force behind this new campaign.
This campaign highlights potential loss to the world when children’s voices are silenced due to hunger. Its heart touching narrative sees a group of Syrian refugee children selected from the local community playing in rubble and gazing out of bombed-out buildings in an apparent war zone.
About World Food Programme (WFP)
World Food Programme, headquartered in Rome, Italy was established in 1961 after the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference 1960. It is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and is a member of the UN Development Group (UNDG) and part of its Executive Committee. With more than 80 country offices around the world. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization promoting food security and addressing hunger. It provides food assistance to approx. 80 million people in 75 countries each year.
Environment Flows and Assessment Workshop
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti inaugurated the International Workshop on Environment Flows.
- A Guidance Document on Environment Flow Assessment was released by the minister.
- Following two questions will be answered in the workshop
- What is the overall aim for environment flows assessment in India?
- What are the long term and short-term goals to implement environment flows according to overall aims and targets?
- The workshop brings together Indian and European experiences.
- Experts from Germany, UK, Africa, Bhutan, Poland, Netherlands and South Africa are participating in the workshop
According to the IUCN,
- The water provided within the river, wetland or coastal zone is the environmental flow to maintain ecosystems and their benefits.
- It is a tool for allocating water among multiple, competing uses in a river basin or watershed.
- The Environmental Flows provide the means for integrated management of river flows to meet the needs of the people, industry, agriculture, energy and ecosystems. For instance, River Ganga Supports 400 million people and it provides a unique ecosystem to India’s National Aquatic animal Gangetic Dolphins, turtles and gharials.
“Hunar Haat” – An initiative of Government of India
Hunar Haat is organized under Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTTAD) scheme. It is an initiative of the Ministry of Union Minority Affairs. The purpose of this Haat is to provide employment opportunities to traditional culinary experts, artisans and craftsmen. It is an exhibition of handicrafts and traditional products made by artisans from the Minority communities.
It has effectively provided employment opportunities to more than 2 lakh 50 thousand artisans and craftsmen in the last three years. The aim of the scheme is to establish Hunar Hub in all the states where programs like Hunar Haat and other cultural events can be organized.
“Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat” will be the theme of all the events to be organized for the year 2019.
KVIC’s initiatives to generate employment in Goa
Goa Government along with the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) have inaugurated a series of initiatives like spinning and weaving activities to generate employment in Goa.
- Electric potter wheels were distributed to 160 families.
- New Model Spinning wheels to 50 trained women were distributed.
- A Lijjat Papad unit was established. This will generate employment to 700 people.
- The aim of the initiatives is to assist the locals and help create jobs.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission was established in 1956. The commission took over the works of the former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board. The main objectives of KVIC are as follows:
- To provide social employment.
- To produce saleable articles.
- To create self-reliance amongst the poor.
Top Current Affairs for October 22, 2019
Dutee Chand won the Vogue award for Sportsperson of the Year
Vogue award for Sportsperson of the Year 2019 was awarded to Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand. In 59th National Open Athletics Championships 2019 held in Ranchi, she completed the semi-final women’s 100m event in 11.22 seconds and broke her own previous national record of 11.26 seconds. Dutee Chand is also the first Indian to win a gold in 100m event.
Joko Widodo was sworn in as the President of Indonesia for the second time
Joko Widodo has been sworn into office for his second and final five-year term as President of Indonesia. Jokowi won the presidential election polls that took place on 17 April 2019 with 55.5% vote. The oath ceremony took place in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Many foreign dignitaries and politicians attended the ceremony. In his address to the nation during the oath-taking ceremony, he stated that his focus will be on eradicating poverty and catapulting Indonesia into a developed country with one of the world’s top 5 economies by 2045.
Along with Jokowi, Maruf Amin was also sworn into office as vice president. He replaced Jusuf Kalla.
Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurates CCRT e-portal and YouTube Channel
Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture, inaugurated an e-portal and a YouTube channel of Rashtriya Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT). The inauguration was done at ‘Digital Bharat-Digital Sanskriti’program being held at CCRT headquarters, in New Delhi. A book titled‘Dewas Ki Sanskritik Parampara’ written by Jeevan Singh Thakur and is published by CCRT will also be released by the Union Minister.
The aim behind launching the CCRT e-portal and YouTube Channel (with support from Routes 2 Routes) is to take India to a newer digital pinnacle and to promote Indian culture.
Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT)
CCRT, established in May 1979, is an autonomous organisation under the Union Ministry of Culture. It was established to support cultural education in the country.
With its establishment, it took over Scheme-Propagation of Culture among College as well as School students, which was earlier being implemented by Delhi University since 1970.
Defence Acquisition Council meet
Rajnath Singh, defence minister of India chaired the Defence Acquisition Council held on October 21, 2019. The objective of the council is to ensure prompt procurement to meet the requirements of the armed forces.
- The Council approved a capital procurement of Rs 3300 crores for indigenously designed and developed equipment for the Defence forces.
- It also approved 3 make in India initiative projects that are to be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured.
- The first two projects include ATGM-Anti Tank Guided Missile and APU-Auxiliary Power Units for T-72 and T-90 tanks. These 2 projects are to be progressed under Make II category. It will also provide a boost to the private sectors.
- The third-generation ATGM will provide “Fire and Forget” and “Top Attack” capabilities to the Indian forces in the battlefield.
- The APUs will upgrade the Fire Control Systems and Night Fighting capabilities in the tanks.
- The third project relates to distinct Electronic Warfare (EW) systems. This project is for mountains and high-altitude terrains. These systems are to be designed and developed by DRDO.
9th India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative
New Delhi will host the ninth India-US Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI) group meeting in last week of October.
- DTTI makes sure that senior leaders from both countries are engaged consistently to strengthen opportunities in the field of defence.
- DTTI’s 8th session was held on February 2018 in New Delhi. This session was co-chaired by Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff from India and Acting Director, International Cooperation from the US.
- The main objective of DTTI is strengthening India’s defence industrial base, exploring new areas of technological development and expanding U.S-India business ties.
- DTTI’s initiative is led by the Undersecretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment from US and Secretary for Defence Protection from India.
Top Current Affairs for October 21, 2019
India Myanmar Naval Exercise “IMNEX-2019” being conducted in Visakhapatnam
IMNEX-2019 – joint Naval Exercise between India and Mayanmar is being organised in Visakhapatnam from 19 to 22 October. The opening ceremony of the second edition of this exercise was conducted on INS Ranvijay.
IMNEX-2019 is being conducted in two phases –
- Harbour phase– This includes visits to Indian Naval units, training and maintenance facility at Visakhapatnam.
- Sea Phase– During this phase, Myanmar ships UMS Tabinshweti, a corvette and UMS Sin Phyu Shin, a frigate in the Bay of Bengal. India will be carrying out a joint exercise with Navy’s INS Kuthar, a missile corvette and INS Ranvijay, a guided-missile destroyer.
The joint exercise will also encompass a variety of operations such as seamanship evolutions at sea, flying exercises using an integral helicopter and anti-air and surface firing exercises.
This 2019 edition includes increased scope and complexity and is a testimony of growing maritime cooperation between the two navies.
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde to be the new head of European Central Bank
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be the new head of the European Central bank (ECB). She will be the 1st woman to lead a powerful institution of ECB. She will be taking charge from Mario Draghi on 1st November 2019.
About Christine Lagarde
The 63 years old French was appointed as France’s trade minister in 2005 and in 2007 as finance minister, she then joined IMF in 2011 and became the 1st woman to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
About the European Central Bank
- European Central Bank, Headquartered in Ostend district, Frankfurt, Germany, was established on 1 June 1998. It acts as a central bank for 19 European Union (EU) countries having Euro as its currency.
- ECB is responsible for administering of Euro and Monetary policy of Eurozone. It is one of the largest monetary areas in the world. After U.S. Federal Reserve, ECB is the most influential central bank in the world.
ECB Presidency is the most powerful position in Europe and is one of the most significant policymaking positions in the world.
PM Modi releases a book titled ‘Bridgital Nation’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons and Roopa Purushothaman’s book titled ‘Bridgital Nation: Solving Technology’s People Problem’ in New Delhi on 20 October 2019. He presented books’ first copy to eminent industrialist and philanthropist Ratan Tata.
About Bridgital Nation
‘Bridgital Nation’ presents a powerful vision of the future where technology and human beings co-exist in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. It stresses that instead of accepting technology as the replacement of human labour, India can use it as an aid to generate more jobs. The term ‘bridgital’ means that the cutting edge digital tools can act as a bridge between aspirations and achievements.
Sri Lanka removed from FATF’s Grey List
Following Sri Lanka’s sound framework to bring the commitment of all stakeholders for enhancing AML/CFT standards in order to improve compliance and country rating, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has removed Sri Lanka from its ‘Grey List’ of countries at risk for money laundering. The term ‘Grey List’ by FATF refers to a jurisdiction with strategic Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) deficiencies.
This announcement was made by Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lankan Minister of Finance after a 5-day FATF plenary concluded in Paris, France.
Sri Lanka was first included in FATF’s blacklist in 2011, and by 2012, Sri Lanka was listed in the list as a dangerous country with no commitment to the financial security plan.
IN 2016, Sri Lankan government together with the country’s Central Bank and other financial institutions have taken several measures to ensure the financial security of the country. As a result, Sri Lanka has declared a cooperating state and was put in FATF’s grey list from November 2017.
About the Financial Action Task Force
Financial Action Task Force is a Paris (France) based inter-governmental organisation established in 1989. It is the international terror financing watchdog that combats terrorist financing, money laundering as well as other related threats to the integrity of international financial system.
K Parasaran awarded the Most Eminent Senior Citizen Award
On the occasion of Elder’s Day celebration organized by Age Care India.
K Parasaran, former Attorney General of India was honoured the “Most Eminent Senior Citizen Award”. The award was presented to him by The Vice President Shri Venkaiah Naidu.
About K Parasaran
Born in 1927 K Parasaran is an Indian lawyer. He has served as Advocate General of Tamil Nadu in 1976 and Attorney General of India under former PMs Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi. He was also bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 2003 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011.
Chile declares state emergency in Santiago
Followed by the worst violence in Santiago (Capital of Chile), Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile, has declared a state of emergency.
There was a violent protest over an increase in the price of metro tickets held in the state, following which protesters blocked the railway system and clashed with the police. Protestors clashed with riot police in several parts of Santiago and attacked the subway system. The decision of declaring a state of emergency was taken.
- The objective behind emergency declaration is to ensure public order and peace for the seven million inhabitants of Santiago.
- All the powers have been given to the country’s military for bringing security, peace and harmony in the state.
- President has also appointed Major General Javier Iturriaga del Campo as the head of national defence.
- Initially, the state of emergency has been put in place initially for a period of 15 days.
Top Current Affairs for October 19 & 20, 2019
New Kiln technology helps to cut down 70% emissions in Punjab
In March 2019, post getting orders from NGT (National Green Tribunal) and CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), the Punjab Government had ordered the closure of traditional kilns. This step was taken to control the toxicity of the National Capital Region. The stubble burning, industrial and kiln smoke from Punjab, slogged NCR making lives difficult.
New Klin Technology has now been introduced in Punjab which cuts the emissions by 70-80%. It also saves fuel for users. The districts of Punjab like Barnala and Sangpur have seen 100% conversion. According to the Department of Science and Technology around 800-900 kilns in Punjab are yet to convert to the new technology.
The kiln industry in Punjab provides employment to around 5 lakh workers. It contributes to 8% of brick production in the country producing 15-20 billion bricks.
Punjab State Council for Science and Technology is helping to implement the new Klin technology by providing technical assistance to the traditional kilns to get converted.
About the Technology
In the new kiln technology, the bricks are arranged in a zig-zag pattern. This allows hot air to cover the long path, unlike traditional kilns. This makes the operation more efficient and reduces coal consumption by 20%. It also uses fans to regulate the air.
11th Nuclear Energy Conclave held in New Delhi
11th Nuclear Energy Conclave was organized in New Delhi by India Energy Forum. The conclave was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for the development of North Eastern Region, Minister of State Atomic Energy and Space, Prime Minister’s Office and Personnel, public grievances and pensions.
Theme – “Economics of Nuclear Power-Innovation towards safer and cost-effective technologies”.
- Construction of a nuclear power plant in Gorakhpur, Haryana.
- The Department of Atomic Energy is working in coordination with TATA Memorial Centre towards the implementation of flagship programmes of the Government. The priority is to shift towards cashless transactions.
- The event organized three technical sessions on the following themes:
1.Use of Nuclear Energy in Healthcare and Municipal Waste Treatment.
- Growth of Nuclear Power for meeting base load demands-Opportunities and Challenges in the manufacturing industry.
- Emerging Technologies for Economy and Enhanced safety; Molten salt reactors, passive safety features, small and medium-size reactors.
- A hall of Nuclear Energy was opened at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. The aim is to use the hall in the process of educating students and the public about the applications of nuclear energy.
CII: Asia Health Conference, 2019
The National Health Authority along with CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) is organizing the Asia Health Conference, 2019. It includes CII National Biotechnology Conclave, CII 12th Medical Technology Summit, CII Ayurveda Conclave, CII 16th Health Summit, CII Health Tech, CII Public Health Conference, CII 13th Health Insurance Summit and CII National Pharmaceuticals Conclave.
The theme of the conference is “Competitiveness of India Inc-India@75: Forging Ahead”.
- Certification courses in healthcare management and medical ethics are to be conducted during the conference.
- The conference will provide a platform to policymakers, Indian and Global thought leaders and Global investors to connect and have interactions.
- With an aim to promote multi-sectoral convergence under one roof with various stakeholders focusing on Model Health care centres, Cutting-edge Technologies, Health Care Products and Services, Innovative Ideas and Solutions, Asia Health 2019 will also showcase an Exhibition.
In the next five years, India is set to become a 5 trillion USD economy. Indian Industries will remain the main growth engine to achieve the target. CII in order to achieve this, is focusing on the 5 major areas namely rural-urban connect, employment generation, energy security, governance and environmental sustainability.
NAM Summit, 2019 to be held in Baku
The 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit is to be held between October 25 and October 26, 2019, at Baku, Azerbaijan. This summit will be preceded by Ministerial meetings and senior official meetings.
- Nepal PM Oli and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina will attend the summit.
- Nepal is a founding member of NAM and has been an active participant since its inception.
- The principles of non-alignment constitute one of the basic tenets of Nepal’s foreign policy.
Founded in 1961, Non-Alignment Movement was based on Bandung principles that was adopted at the Belgrade Summit (an Afro-Asian Conference) in 1955. It was founded during the collapse of the colonial system and independence struggles of Asia, Africa and Latin American countries. The movement worked towards the attainment of independence for many countries. India is a founding member of the NAM summit.
Defence Minister gives a nod to the admission of girls in Sainik Schools from 2021
Post the success of the Pilot project for admission of girl children in Sainik School Chhingchhip in Mizoram two years ago, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a proposal for admission of girl children in Sainik schools from the next academic session (2021-22) in a phased manner all over India. The Defence Ministry has directed all concerned authorities for ensuring availability of necessary infrastructure as well as sufficient female staff in Sainik schools for the smooth implementation of this directive.
This decision is in line with the Government’s objective towards gender equality, greater inclusiveness and enabling greater participation of women in Armed Forces. It also strengthens the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ motto, propagated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
About Sainik Schools
Sainik Schools are established and managed by Sainik Schools Society under the Union Ministry of Defence. With an objective to rectify the regional and class imbalance amongst Officer cadre of the Indian Military, and to prepare students for entry into National Defence Academy (NDA), V. K. Krishna Menon (then Defence Minister) in 1961 established this school. As of now, there are 27 Sainik schools running and proposed for future covering all the Indian states.
65th Indian Grand Master (Chess)
At the young age of 13, Raunak Sadhwani will be the 65th Indian Grand Master (Chess). He has already gained 23 points on October 18, 2019, with a rating of 2479 and just needs to turn up for the next two rounds to cross the stipulated mark of 2500 in live ratings.
Viswanathan Anand and Adhiban were also battling on the leading boards.
However, the young champ drew with Gabriel Sagrissian to take four points from seven rounds.
International Master Raunak is from Nagpur. He got his first master title at Aeroflot Open 2019 and second title at Poticcio Open 2019. Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik trained him.
About Grand Master
The world chess organization FIDE awards the title of Grand Master to chess players. FIDE is Federation Internationale des Ethecs or International Chess Federation. It connects various national chess federations all over the world. It is the governing body of international chess competition, founded in Paris.
Indian Railways to run its first Buddhist Circuit train
First Buddhist Circuit train will be run by Indian Railways from 20 to 26 October 2019 covering sites related to Gautam Buddha in India and Nepal.
- The circuit train will cover destinations such as-
- Lumbini (where Buddha was born)
- Bodhgaya (where Buddha gained enlightenment)
- Sarnath (where Buddha gave his first sermon)
- Kushinagar (where Buddha attained nirvana)
- The significance of these destinations can be seen in Mahaparinirvana sutra, where the Lord Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimages to these places.
- The package includes accommodation, meals, road transport by AC deluxe coaches for Nepal tour, visits to monuments and locations, services of the tour manager, guides, entrance fees and travel insurance will cost Indians Rs.1,23,900 per couple in AC first class and Rs.1,01,430 per couple for AC II-tier.
- But, passengers will have to pay their visa fee for Nepal leg of the journey and any other expenditure including laundry and other such services.
Top Current Affairs for October 18, 2019
India-Oman conducts Joint Exercise EX-EASTERN BRIDGE-V
Indian Air Force and Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) are participating in a bilateral joint exercise named as EX-EASTERN BRIDGE-V. This bilateral exercise is being conducted at Masirah Air Force Base in Oman from 17 to 26 October 2019. In 2017 at Jamnagar, a similar Indo-Oman Air Force exercise was held.
The aim of this bilateral exercise is to enhance interoperability during mutual operations between two Air Forces. This will also provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. The Indian Air Force participation in this exercise will also promote professional interaction, exchange of operational knowledge and experience.
MiG-29 UPG (upgraded) combat aircraft along with C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft will be participating.
MiG-29 will be exercising with RAFO’s Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16 and Hawk 200 combat aircraft. For the first time, MiG-29 fighter aircraft will be participating in an International Exercise outside India.
Postal Stamp on National Institute of Nutrition released
Commemorative postal stamp of the National Institute of Nutrition was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The stamp was introduced under the India Post’s scheme “Corporate My Stamp”. The stamp was released during the completion of the Centenary Celebrations of National Institute of Nutrition.
The theme of the celebration was “Empowering the nation through nutrition”.
About Corporate My Stamp Scheme
This scheme was launched in the year 2016. In this scheme a corporate entity or an individual can get their photo printed inside the postage stamp by paying a price of 12 lakh rupees. The stamps can be used for general postal mail. Customized stamps for e-commerce platforms like Amazon India, HAL, etc. have been released by post office earlier. With this scheme, the Postal Department earned a revenue of 2.83 crore rupees in 2016-17.
About National Institute of Nutrition
National Institute of Nutrition was founded in 1918 by Sir Robert McCarrison as a laboratory is Indian public health, nutrition and research centre situated in Hyderabad. It was earlier located in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu and was moved to Hyderabad in 1958 and was renamed National Institute of Nutrition. It is one of India’s largest and oldest centre under the UCMR-Indian Council of Medical Research.
The institute carries out research in clinical nutrition, endocrinology, ophthalmology, community nutrition, regenerative medicine, molecular biology, etc.
2nd Indo-French Knowledge Summit held in France
The University of Lyon in France is hosting the second edition of Indo-French Knowledge Summit that is dedicated to higher education, research and innovation. The summit is being held from 17-18 October 2019.
- The Union Ministry of Science and Technology and Union Human Resource Development (HRD) along with the Embassy of France in India are organizing this summit.
- The second Knowledge Summit is expected to be attended by more than 300 participants from Indian and French academia, competitive clusters & start-ups, corporate houses, research organisations, and public authorities.
- In the summit, there will be a series of interactive sessions that will launch initiatives and will allow participants to deepen academic and scientific cooperation between the two countries.
This two-day summit will help in developing and structuring India-France collaborations in the fields of education and research, stimulate connections between research and industry, and encourage the mobility of students and scholars.
The first edition of Indo-French Knowledge Summit was held during the 2018s state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India. After the success of the first edition in India, the second edition of Knowledge Summit is taking place in France.
J&K’s Chenani-Nashri Tunnel to be renamed after SP Mukherjee
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has announced that Chenani-Nashri tunnel also known as the Patnitop tunnel will be renamed after Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Dr Shyama Prasad’s battle for Kashmir, One Nation One Flag has immensely contributed in national integration and this renaming is homage by the Central government to him for his efforts.
About Chenani-Nashri tunnel
Chenani-Nashri tunnel inaugurated in 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the longest road tunnel in India and is located in Jammu and Kashmir on National Highway (NH) 44. It is equipped with latest security systems and has smart features like ventilation, surveillance and broadcast systems; fire-fighting system; integrated traffic control system (ITCS); and SOS (emergency) call-boxes at every 150 metres. It is India’s first tunnel with a fully integrated tunnel control system.
This bi-directional tunnel provides a safe, all-weather route to travellers travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar. This tunnel reduces distances between Jammu and Srinagar by 30 km and travel time by 2 hours.
Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee
Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951. He died on 23 June 1953, in police custody, after he was arrested by the J&K police for entering the erstwhile state without a permit.
Switzerland Glaciers Shrink 10% in the past five years
According to Cryospheric commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences’ annual study on the state of glaciers, Switzerland Glaciers have lost a tenth in their volume in the past five years. The melting is the largest in the last 5 years of observation and around 20 glaciers have shown melt rates that have reached record levels.
- Switzerland has more than 500 glaciers.
- The snow cover in the glacier was 20% to 40% higher than usual and reached depths of 6 meters in late June and July.
- The volume of snow and ice that melted in late June and July was equal to the country’s total yearly consumption of drinking water
- In the last 12 months, Switzerland has lost 2% of the total glacier volume despite increased snowing.
- In the last 5 years, the rate of melting has also increased by 10%.
Recently, “Funeral March” was undertaken to mark the disappearance of Pizol Glacier in the beginning of the 21st century. More than 4,000 glaciers are to disappear from the Alps at the end of this century if greenhouse gas emissions are not controlled.
20th Livestock Census by the Government of India
20th Livestock Census have been released by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying. According to the census, the total Livestock population has increased by 4.6% as compared to the previous census (2014). The present Livestock population is 535.78 million.
- The total Bovine population that includes Buffalo, cattle, Mithun and Yak is around 302.79 million and has increased by 1% in 2019.
- The total number of cattle is 192.49 million and has increased by 0.8%. Female cattle population is 145.12 million and has increased by 18% as compared to the previous census (2012).
- The Exotic and Indigenous female cattle population has increased by 10% in 2019.
- The population of Non-Descript cattle has declined.
- The crossbred cattle population has increased by 26.9%.
- The total of Buffalo’s population is 109.85 million and has increased by 1%.
- The Goat Population is 148.8 million and has increased by 10.1%.
- The Total population is pig is 9.06 million. It has declined by 12.03%.
- Commercial Poultry has increased to 534.74 million and has increased by 4.5%.
Indian Army inducts US-made precision-guided Excalibur artillery ammunition
The Indian army with an aim to boost its firepower has added US-made precision-guided Excalibur artillery ammunition and indigenous Dhanush howitzer in its inventory. This announcement was made in an Army Commander’s Conference.
About Excalibur Artillery Ammunition
This precision-guided Excalibur made by American company Raytheon is capable of hitting targets within the 50-kilometre range, with less than 2 metres error margin. It has been acquired by the Indian Army under fast track procedure.
About Dhanush Howitzer
Dhanush Howitzer is a 155 mm towed howitzer (a short gun for firing shells on high trajectories at low velocities) used by Indian Army. Its design is based on Bofors Haubits FH77 which was acquired by India in the 1980s.
In 2018 the development trials of the gun were completed and in 2029 its series production was approved.
Eat Right India movement
On the Occasion of World Food Day, on October 16, 2019, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry launched the Food Safety Mitra Scheme. The main aim of the scheme is to scale up “Eat Right India movement”. Eat Right Jacket and Eat Right Jhola were also introduced along with the scheme.
The Food Safety Mitra will undergo training and be certified by the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). They can earn from food businesses for their services.
- Small and medium scale food business will be supported under the scheme.
- The scheme will also have periodical checks if the food safety laws, licensing, hygiene training and ratings are rightly followed.
- The “Eat Right Jacket” was introduced for the field staff.
- The jacket is designed to hold a smartphone, RFID tags, QR code for identification and tracking purposes. This will help to bring in efficiency and transparency in food safety administration.
- The “Eat Right Jhola” is a reusable cloth bag. The purpose is to replace plastic with these bags.
Top Current Affairs for October 17, 2019
Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair begins in Greater Noida
The 48th Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) began in Greater Noida on October 16, 2019. The event is organized by the Ministry of Textiles. More than 3,200 Indian exhibitors and around 110 overseas buyers from 110 countries are participating in the event. Furniture, fashion, lifestyle and textiles products are the main attraction of this fair.
In this fair, the proposal of EPCH for setting up handicraft parks for apparel and handloom was supported by the Ministry
Importance of IHGF
Handicrafts play an important role in economic development. This sector has minimal investment but provides a number of opportunities for the unemployed. The annual turnover of this sector is around INR 43,000 crores (2015).
Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts commonly known as EPCH was established under Companies act (1986-87). It is a nodal agency for the handicraft exporters in India and promotes exports of handicrafts to different destinations. Handicrafts Carpet Sector Skill Council that implements the VRIKSH initiative has been set up by the Council. The council has also launched the Indian Timber Legality Assessment and Verification Scheme which aims to establish a chain of custody and legality of wood.
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty celebrated on October 17
Every year International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is celebrated on October 17.
Father Joseph Wresinski, born to immigrant parents in a poor neighbourhood of France grew up in chronic poverty and was ordained a priest in 1946, was the major inspiration to commemorate the day. He urged the United Nations to declare the IDEP. And, then in 1987, Father Joseph Wresinski unveiled a commemorative stone honouring victim of poverty, hunger, violence and fear in presence of more than 100,000 people at the Human Rights and Liberties Plaza, Paris, France.
United Nations then declared October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) in 1992.
The theme for International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2019 is : Acting together to Empower Children, their families and Communities to End PovertySDG and Poverty.
Under Program “GOAL” Young Tribal Women to Receive Digital Training
Going Online As Leaders (GOAL) programme launched by Facebook aims to guide, inspire and encourage tribal girls all over India to become village level digital leaders for their community by providing digital literacy, leadership, life skills and entrepreneurship skills. Tribal girls should be above 18 years and school pass out to become part of the beneficiary program.
The first phase of this programme was launched in March 2019 and the second phase was recently launched by Union Minister of Tribal Affairs.
Key Points of the second phase
5000 young women in India’s tribal-dominated districts will be mentored by the Facebook and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
In the programme, there will be weekly one-to-one mentoring sessions which will focus on online safety, entrepreneurship. Till now more than 125 young women have enrolled in the program.
Kiran Uniyal sets Guinness World record
Kiran Uniyal, the wife of a Colonel of Indian Army, has created Individual Guinness World Records for The most full contact knee strikes (one leg) (female) in 3 minutes with 263 strikes and The most full contact knee strikes alternate legs in one minute with 120 strikes.
The previous records were of 177 strikes and 102 in the female category, respectively.
The aim behind setting up this record was to promote martial arts for girls and women’s safety and self-defence. She also surpassed the existing male category record of 226 knee strikes.
Uniyal has achieved 15 World Records, including 10 Guinness World Records in Martial Arts, Fitness, and Social Work, so far.
India slips to 102nd position in the Global Hunger Index, 2019
Concern worldwide and Welthungerhilfe jointly publish The Global Hunger Index (GHI). International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calculates the score in the index by measuring and tracking hunger at regional, national and global levels. Hunger of 117 countries was measured in The 2019 Global Hunger Index. India was slipped from 92 ( 2015) to 102nd position and was the lowest-ranked among South Asian countries.
The factors considered for The Global Hunger Index score are – country’s child population that is undernourished, children who are under 5 years of age and have insufficient weight for their height, Infant Mortality Rate (IMR under 5 years old children) and children whose height is not commensurate to their age.
Among the BRICS nations, Brazil topped on 18th rank, followed by Russia on 22nd, China on 25th, followed by South Africa (59), Sri Lanka (66), Nepal (73), Bangladesh (88), Pakistan (94), and India (102).
India’s child wasting is extremely high at 20.8% Only 9.6% of children (6 to 23 months) were fed minimum acceptable diet The report praised Bangladesh and Nepal for their progresses.
Top Current Affairs for October 16, 2019
Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share the Booker Prize 2019 award
2019 Booker Prize has jointly been awarded to Margaret Atwood and Bernardine. This is the first time in the past 30 years that this award has been bestowed jointly on two people. Winners will have to share the prize money of 50,000 British Pounds.
The award was bestowed upon Margaret Atwood for her novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and to Bernardine Evaristo for her novel ‘Girl, Women, Other.’ With this award, Bernardine Evaristo has become the first black woman and Canada’s Margaret Atwood has become oldest (79) to win this prize.
It is the second time that Margaret Atwood has won this award. She first won it in 2000 fir her book ‘The Blind Assassin.’
About Booker Prize
Booker–McConnell Prize or the Man Booker Prize presently known as The Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded every year for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom.
Four Indian sites bags the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Conservation Awards
Three sites from Mumbai, Maharashtra and one from Ahmedabad, Gujarat have been chosen for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The announcement was made during the award ceremony held in Penang, Malaysia on 14 October 2019. 2019 marks the 20 years since the institution of awards.
Highlights of the Award
In 2019, an international jury of conservation experts has recognized 16 projects from 5 countries namely– Bhutan, India, China, New Zealand and Australia. In August 2019 a meeting of the Jury was held to review 57 entries from 14 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.
List of Awards Category
Award of Distinction: Vikram Sarabhai Library, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. It is restored by architect Brinda Somaya
Award of Merit: Keneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue (Mumbai), a Jewish Synagogue restored by Abha Narain Lambah and Our Lady of Glory Church (Mumbai) restored by David Cardoz and Ainsley Lewis
Honourable Mention: Flora Fountain (Mumbai). It is restored by conservation architect Vikas Dilwari and his team.
Award of Excellence: historic Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong.
About the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation
The award applauds the efforts made by private individuals as well as organizations that have successfully restored and conserved the structures, historic properties and buildings of heritage value in the region.
Air India becomes the 1st airline in the world to use Taxibot on A-320 aircraft
The flag carrier airline of India, Air India has become the first airline in the world to use a Taxibot on an A-320 aircraft with passengers on board. Flight AI665 (Delhi – to Mumbai) was flagged off by Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD of Air India, and it was carried to runway using Taxibot at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), New Delhi.
This is the first time in the world that there is such usage on any Airbus aircraft and is a giant step forward towards a cleaner environment. With this intiative, it is expected that the fuel consumption will come down by 85%. It will also reduce engine wear and tear as the ignition will be turned on only when the aircraft reaches the runway. boarding gates and the apron area will also decongest with the help of Taxibots by providing efficient pushbacks.
Taxibot is a robotic aircraft tractor used for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice-versa. taxibot is a pilot-controlled semi-robotic towbar-less aircraft tractor which is used as alternate taxiing equipment, so it is possible to tow an aircraft from parking bay to runway with its engines switched off. As of now, Taxi boats will be used for departing flights only.
New Delhi hosts the Conference on ‘One Nation One Tag – FASTag’
Conference on ‘One Nation One Tag – FASTag was inaugurated by Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari at New Delhi. The conference is held to roll out the process for having a unified electronic system across the country. V.K Singh, MoS Road Transport and Highways, Gen. (Retd.), ministers and senior officials from several states were also present on the occasion.
Key Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at Conference
Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) signed an MoU for the integration of FASTag with GST e-way bill system. Revenue authorities will be able to track the movement of vehicles and will also ensure that the vehicles are travelling to the same destination that transporter/trader had specified while generating e-way bill with this integration of FASTag with e-way bill system. Not only this, but the transporter will also be able to track their vehicles via SMS alerts generated at each toll plaza.
Indian Highways Management Company Ltd also signed MoUs with several state departments/other agencies/ authorities for integrating with FASTag. According to this the same FASTag affixed on the windscreen of a vehicle can be used at every toll plaza in the country under the jurisdiction of different states or agencies and other entities, thus providing seamless services to consumers across the country. From 1 December 2019, toll collections on all National Highways will mandatorily be done through FASTag only.
FASTag is a simple to use, reloadable tag or device that employs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets vehicle passes through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.
Tamil Nadu and Gujarat top performers under PM-JAY health scheme
With free secondary and tertiary treatment worth nearly ₹7,901 crores availed under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the flagship health assurance scheme of the Government in just over a year Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh have emerged as the top-performing States.
Launched in 2018 the scheme crossed the 50-lakh treatment mark this week with secondary and tertiary level treatments worth ₹7,901 crores being carried out across 32 States and Union Territories.
About PM-JAY health scheme
Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW in India. The aim of scheme is to make interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically.
Top Current Affairs for October 15, 2019
President Kovind to visit Philippines and Japan
President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Philippines and Japan on 17th October 2019. It is a seven-day visit in which the President will first go to the Philippines. He will meet his Filipino counterpart Rodrigo Roa Duterte and will hold delegation-level restricted talks. On October 21, 2019, he will leave for Japan to attend the Enthronement ceremony of the Japanese emperor Naruhito.
India and Japan’s bilateral trade is around 15.71 billion USD. India has been the most attractive destination for Japanese manufacturing countries. The FDI to India from Japan are electrical equipment, automobile, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Approximately 34,348 Indians are living in Japan.
India and the Philippines’s bilateral trade is around 1.6 billion USD (2016-17). According to the data of December 2018, approximately 1,20,000 Indians are living in the Philippines.
International Day of Rural Women celebrated on October 15
United Nations commemorates the International Day of Rural Women every year on October 15th. In 2017 the first resolution was passed for it. Rural women play a vital role in fulfilling the vision of SDG – Sustainable Development Goals. By improving the role of rural women in every aspect of global development below mentioned 3 major goals can be achieved
- Ending poverty and hunger
- Empower women and girls
- Achieve food security
The theme for International Day of Rural Women 2019 is Rural Women and girls building climate resilience
On this day, the UN Women Community along with other organizations are drawing attention towards the implementation of following commitments
- UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – Gender Action Plan.
- Call for actions to support the capacities of rural women towards climate change through agricultural production and food security.
Indian Army celebrates Sangam Youth Festival
Indian Army in collaboration with Jammu University organized Sangam Youth Festival from 11 October to 15 October 2019. The festival was held at Bhadarwah, Jammu and Kashmir and more than 1500 students participated in it. Northern Army commander Lt General Ranbir Singh inaugurated the festival.
This 5-day festival was organised with the aim of spreading a message of peace, prosperity, communal harmony and national integration. This is a part of the Indian army and the administration’s effort to engage youngsters in productive activities and connect them to mainstream maintaining the country’s rich cultural heritage.
35 events, including outdoor and indoor activities, were conducted during the event and students showcased their talent, skills, and performances in sports, cultural and fine arts.
Pradeep Kumar appointed as Member (Signal and Telecom), Railway Board
On 11th October 2019, Pradeep Kumar took over as the charge as the Member (Signal & Telecom), Railway Board and ex-officio Secretary. Prior to this Pradeep Kumar worked as the Director-General, National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR).
About Pradeep Kumar:
Pradeep Kumar is an Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineer (IRSSE) officer of batch 1981. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics & Communication) and Master of Engineering (Communication Systems) from the IIT Roorkee. He did his Master of Business Administration (Marketing & Finance) from Southern Cross University, New South Wales, Australia.
He joined the Northern Railway in 1983. He served the Northern Railway, South Eastern Railway, South Central Railway, West Central Railway, Railway Electrification, Railway Board and RailTel Corporation of India Limited, New Delhi, besides serving as DG/NAIR, Vadodara.
World Students’ Day 2019 celebrated on 15th October 2019
To mark the birth anniversary of the Missile Man and former President of India Dr Abdul Kalam World Students’ Day is celebrated every year on 15 October.
In 2010, The United Nations had declared celebration of World Students’ Day on 15 October.
About Dr Abdul Kalam
Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam fondly known as APJ Abdul Kalam was born on 15th October 1931 at Dhanushkodi, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Before becoming president he was working with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) as an aerospace engineer.
Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam served as the 11th President of India from 2002-2007. He used to call himself a teacher. He earned the title ‘Missile Man of India’ because he played a crucial role in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. On 27 July 2015, he suffered a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to the students of IIM Shillong
Nobel Prize for Economics 2019 awarded to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer.
Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer were jointly awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize for economics for their experimental approach to alleviate global poverty.
How their study transformed Developmental Economics?
The research of the Nobel prize winners has considerably improved the world’s ability to fight global poverty. The laureates bypassed the debates on poverty and instead, they focused on breaking down a problem, study its different aspects, conduct various experiments and, based on such “evidence”, they decide what needs to be done.
Their research look at the various aspects of poverty i.e., poor health, inadequate education, etc. They then found out a solution for each of these components. With poor health, for instance, they look at nutrition, provisioning of medicines, and vaccination, etc. With vaccinations, they try to ascertain “what works” and “why”.
They undertook the study through the use of tool Randomised Control Trials (or RCTs).
According to them, without understanding the mysqladmins of their problems, people have reduced the poor to caricatures. Their study tries to unpack the problem and analyse each component scientifically and rigorously.
Top Current Affairs for October 14, 2019
10th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is being held at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh
Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav, flagship and premier festival of Ministry of Culture, is being conducted in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. The Mahotsav was launched on 14th October 2019. This Mahotsav is a part of the Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat initiative that is being organized between 14th October 2019 and 21st October 2019.
The festival was initiated by PM Narendra Modi on the Occasion of 140th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on October 2015. The aim of this festival is to increase engagements between states and UT’s to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse culture. This will secure stronger unity and integrity of India. The following are the main objectives of the initiative
-To honour unity and diversity of the Nation
-To encourage the spirit of national integration
-To showcase the rich heritage and culture, traditions and customs of the country
-To maintain long-term engagements
– To generate an environment that promotes learning between states
Recently after India-china informal summit, PM Modi chaired the meeting on Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat.
World Standards Day observed globally on 14th October 2019
The World Standards Day is observed globally on 14 October. The aim behind celebrating this day is to increase awareness about the significance of standardization to the international economy among the industry, consumers, regulators, and the government.
The idea of celebrating this day came in 1946 when in London for the first time delegates from 25 countries gathered and decided to create an international organization focused on facilitating standardization. While ISO was formed one year later, the World Standards Day was first celebrated in the 1970s.
The theme of World Standards Day 2019 is- “Video Standards Create a Global Stage”
This year the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in India, as the National Standards Body, is celebrating the event at its Head Quarters, Regional offices, Branch offices, Laboratories and National Institute of Training for Standardization(NITS), through inhouse programmes and technical seminars.
Rozgar Mela organized in Bikaner
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship organized a Skill India Rozgar Mela in Bikaner on 12th and 13th October 2019. Over 100 corporate participated in the event and nearly 2000 youths were shortlisted.
Rozgar Mela is one of the key initiatives of the NSDC. NSDC aims to provide vocational training and job opportunities to the youth through this initiative.1088 Rozgar fairs have been organized in the last 18 months.
At the fair, the candidates have opportunities to register with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra Yojana.
NSDC is a not-for-profit public limited company formed on July 31, 2008, under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. It was set up by the Ministry of Finance as the Public-Private Partnership model.
Asian Development Bank and India signs 190 million USD loan
Government of India on 12 October 2019 signed a 190 million USD loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to upgrade road transport in the state of Rajasthan. The project will cover 14 districts of Rajasthan and will benefit 26 million people.
Under the project 754 km of state highways, major district roads to two-lane will be upgraded. Construction of more than 200 bus stops and 2 km of the raised sidewalk is also included in the project.
ADB and India
India is the fourth-largest shareholder and is among the founding members of the ADB. The bank in the 1980s and 1990s supported the government’s program of industrialization. The first loan was provided to India by ADB in 1986 as Industrial credit to introduce new technologies and to modernize medium-sized industries.
Asian Development Bank, headquartered in the Philippines, was established in 1966. The bank was designed on footprints of The World Bank. Every year an annual report that summarizes budget, operations and other materials for review by the public is released by the bank. ADB is a UN observer. Japan, US, China, India and Australia are the key shareholders of the bank.
DHARMA GUARDIAN – 2019: Indo-Japan Joint Military Exercise
A two-week-long joint military exercise called Dharma Guardian-2019 will be organized between India and Japan in Mizoram from 19 October to 2 November 2019. Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School in Vairengte, Mizoram will host this Joint Military Exercise.
50 soldiers of the Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF) will participate in this exercise with an aim to share experience gained during various Counter-Terrorism Operations in respective Countries.
Exercise Dharma Guardian is a yearly training event, which is being conducted in India since 2018. Its objective is to increase interoperability between forces of two nations and enhance coordination in dealing with various security challenges including counter-terrorism. Another aim is to cover platoon-level joint training on counter-terrorism operations in the jungle and urban scenario.
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2019 awarded to Austrian author Peter Handke
Peter Handke, an Austrian author has been awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature 2019 for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience. Nobel Prize in Literature 2018 was awarded to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk.
This year, the winners were announced for both 2019 and 2018, as the prize was not awarded in 2018. The Swedish academy had suspended the prize in 2018 following a sexual assault scandal.
The Nobel Prize announcement was made at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm on October 10, 2019. Mats Malm, permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, presented the awards.
Peter Handke published his first novel- ‘Die Hornissen’ in 1966. His novel and play ‘Publikumsbeschimpfung’ gave him recognition in this field. He is known to pay extra attention to landscapes and all the material presence and cinema and painting have been his biggest inspiration.
Top Current Affairs for October 11, 2019
International Day of Girl Child
11th October has been marked as the International Day of Girl child, since 2012. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls faces while promoting girls empowerment.
Theme: GirlForce – Unscripted and Unstoppable
- The day is also observed as spreading awareness about eliminating gender abnormalities against girls around the world.
- The proposal for the International Day of Girl Child was initiated by Canada.
- In 1995, the fourth World Conference of Women in Beijing which was held with 30000 women and men from around 200 countries to recognise the rights of women and girl as human rights.
- This movement came forward for tackling issues like child marriage, gender-based inequality, gender-based violence and girls rights to enter places of worship during menstruation.
Draft Arms (Amendment) Bill
According to the draft Bill, anyone possessing more than 2 licensed guns will have to deposit the third one with authorities.
- The Draft Arms bill covers areas like illegal trafficking of arms, and their components from manufacturers to end-users organised crime syndicates, and celebratory firing — with varying punishment for these offences.
- Section 25 (1AA) of the Arms Act, 1959 to be amended by Government of India
- The section will amend for giving punishment from the usual life term of 14 years to imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s life.
- A sportsperson can possess the third weapon – 0.22 calibre rifle only, provided, if the user is a dedicated sportsperson whose participation is recognized in national and international events in the last 2 years.
- Estimate says India has a total of around 35 lakh gun licences. Thirteen lakh people have licences to carry weapons in Uttar Pradesh, followed by militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir,
- Around 3.7 lakh people possess arms licences, most of which were taken in the name of personal security.
A new species of giant dinosaur remains were found in Thailand
A new species of giant dinosaur remains were found in Thailand which is four times bigger than a velociraptor that lived around 145 million years ago which was unearthed in Thailand.
- The dinosaur is 26 feet long and is an early member of a widespread group of dinosaurs called Carcharodontosaurids.
- Carcharodontosaurids are some of the largest land predators ever known like Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Tyrannotitan.
- The remains discovered were skull, backbone and hip fossils that came from a family that belonged to four individuals of the new species.
- The fossilised remains were analysed by Palaeontologists Duangsuda Chokchaloemwong of the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University.
- The team have named the new species Siamraptor suwati, in honour of a benefactor of the research of both Thailand and Suwat Liptapanlop.
- According to researchers the dinosaur evolved and diverged from the other members of the carcharodontosaur group early in their history.
- Notably, the Siamraptor suwati is also the first definitive archarodontosaurian fossil found in Southeast Asia, with earlier remains being unearthed in Europe and Africa.
UNICEF has become the 1st UN organization to hold and make transactions in cryptocurrency
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies ether and bitcoin, through its newly-established UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund. UNICEF for the first time will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.
- The Ethereum Foundation will be the first one to be contributing to UNICEF through Cryptocurrency Fund, in form of donations to three grantees of UNICEF Innovation Fund.
- UNICEF is one of the co-leaders of the UN Innovation Network and it helps in researching the potential of blockchain and problems associated with them.
- This new donation model would boost funding for children in need and motivate more charities to accept cryptocurrencies.
Yes Bank has appointed Anita Pai as the COO and Jasneet Bachal as the CMO of the bank
Yes Bank Ltd has appointed Anita Pai as the chief operating officer (COO) and Jasneet Bachal as the chief marketing officer (CMO) of the bank.
- Anita Pai, who was a senior general manager and the head of the ATM business at ICICI Bank Ltd, will lead the bank’s operations and service delivery. She will also look after the information technology functions of the lender.
- Jasneet Bachal has experience as a Senior Vice President and Marketing Head of Kotak Life. She has experience of around 8 years in Kotak Mahindra Bank. She will be heading the marketing and communication efforts.
- Resignation of Senior Group President Rajat Monga, who was associated with the bank since its inception in 2004, did not go well with the investors.
- Yes Bank is in talks with Microsoft Corporation to raise funds.
India to set up solar and wind projects along the border of Indo- Paks
India is running the world’s most ambitious renewable energy programme, with a target of achieving 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022 under its climate commitments.
- 30km long and 20km wide parcel of land has been identified along the border in Kutch district of Gujarat and Bikaner, Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan.
- The land allocated is fallow, this will help to tackle the problem of agricultural land being diverted for such projects.
- At present, India generates 82,580 megawatts (MW) of clean energy, or 23% of its total power production.
- The government has proposed that state-run companies build massive clean energy parks of 2000MW at a cost of around $2 billion each, with built-in incentives to ensure states and operators are invested.
Top Current Affairs for October 10, 2019
Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Scientists John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries are a lightweight, rechargeable and powerful battery which are widely used in mobile phones, laptops and electric vehicles. It can also store a significant amount of renewable energy, which would make for a fossil-fuel-free society.
- The foundation of the lithium-ion battery was laid in the 1970s, due to the oil crisis.
- Stanley Whittingham started developing methods that could lead to fossil-fuel-free energy technologies.
- In 1980, John Goodenough demonstrated cobalt oxide with intercalated lithium ions which can produce as much as four volts.
- The first commercially viable lithium-ion battery was created by Akira Yoshino, in 1985. He used petroleum coke, a carbon material, like the cathode’s cobalt oxide, can intercalate lithium ions.
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Science founded in 1739, announce the Nobel Prize in Chemistry award annually. It was first awarded in 1901.
World Health Organisation- India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare has launched ‘the World Health Organisation (WHO) India Country Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023.
- The Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS) is a medium-term vision for WHO’s cooperation with a given Member State.
- This CCS provides a strategic roadmap for the WHO to work with India in achieving its health sector.
The 4 areas for strategic cooperation of WHO with India include:
- Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
- Health and wellness by addressing the determinants of health.
- Protection against health emergencies.
- India’s global leadership in health.
- The India CCS totally aligns itself with WHO ‘triple billion’ targets, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and WHO South-East Asia Region’s eight Flagship Priorities.
- It addresses the emerging health scenario of the country like non-communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and air pollution, etc.
- The India CCS also connects with India’s National Health Policy 2017, and other initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, National Viral Hepatitis programme, Eat Right India movement, the Fit India movement and Poshan Abhiyaan that have collectively engaged with the people and enhanced the awareness about crucial health areas.
GEMINI Device to aid fishermen
The government launched the Gagan Enabled Mariner’s Instrument for Navigation and Information (GEMINI) device. It was unveiled by Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Science & Technology and Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi.
- This device was developed by the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
- The device was electronically designed and developed by a private industry M/S Acord, Bangalore under Make in India Program.
- This device has been developed to provide satellite-based communication which will be highly used to deal with cyclones, high waves, and tsunamis.
- It also provides effective dissemination of emergency information and communication on disaster warnings.
- This device would be a low-cost device which will forecast and map Potential Fishing Zones (PFZ) and Ocean States Forecasts (OSF) to fishermen.
- The device utilizes the GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) satellite system for the transmission of the PFZ, OSF and disaster warnings to fishermen. GAGAN system consists of three geosynchronous satellites namely GSAT-8, GSAT-10, and GSAT-15.
- The PFZ Advisories provide information on the probable locations on fish aggregation in the seas and the OSF will provide the accurate state of the ocean to the fishermen.
Meghalaya tribes have asked Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma to intervene the move to exclude five minor tribes from the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- The five minor tribes namely Bodo-Kachari, Hajong, Koch, Mann and Rabha are clubbed as “unrepresented tribes” for the nomination in Meghalaya’s autonomous tribal councils.
- The tribal councils are in the names of Garo, Jaintia and Khasi, the State’s three major matrilineal communities.
- On September 26, a sub-committee on the amendment to the Sixth Schedule constituted by the State government decided to recommend to the Standing Committee of Parliament the removal of the word “unrepresented tribes” from the amended special provision.
- The Sixth Schedule of India Constitution is specially meant for the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes.
- The proposed amendment of the sixth schedule will deprive certain democratic rights of the communities in the district councils according to MHWA – Meghalaya Hajong Welfare Association.
Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokriyal is all set to launch the Pradhan Mantri Innovative Learning Programmes called DHRUV. The programme will be launched from the Indian Space Research Organization Headquarter Bangalore on 10th October 2019.
- The programme is named after a pole star called DHRUV TARA.
- The program is to cover two areas namely Science and Arts.
- The program is to be launched from ISRO. Around 60 students are selected broadly from Class 9 to Class 12 all over the country.
- The target of the program is to help the nation achieve the target of 5 trillion Dollar economy.
- This scheme will help in sharpening the innovative imagination skills of the students along with their knowledge.
- The scheme will help the students in contributing to bring about various solutions to the socio-economic, environmental and political issued currently faced by the country.
The cabinet decisions under Empowered Program Committee
The cabinet appraised decisions under Empowered Program Committee (EPC), Mission Steering Group (MSG) and National Health Mission (NHM) on October 9, 2019.
- MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate), U5MR (Under 5 Mortality Rate) and IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) has been declined since the launch of NHM.
- India will reach its SDG goal of MMR – 70 and U5MR – 25 by 2030 at this rate.
- The rate of MMR decline is 8% (2013 – 2016). India achieved the biggest success in bringing down Malaria cases and deaths by 49.09%. It is now leading with its initiatives against malaria among the other Malaria endemic countries.
- Similar to Clean India Mission where districts and states were declared ODF – Open Defecation Free, the districts and states will be declared disease-free under the awarding scheme. This will promote competitiveness among the states.
- The diseases to be certified are TB, Leprosy, Malaria, Kala – Azar, Cataract, Lymphatic Filariasis. National Viral Hepatitis Control Program was approved It was rolled out to treat Hepatitis A, B, C and E More than 5 crore patients are estimated to be benefited from the program.
Top Current Affairs for October 9, 2019
World Post Day
World Post Day is celebrated every year on 9th October. It marks the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Post Union (UPU) which was set up in Bern, Switzerland in the year 1874.
- Universal Post Union declared 9th October to be the world post day in the UPU Congress held in Tokyo in 1969. More than 150 countries join in the observance of this day.
- It is observed to create awareness about the role of postal services in the lives of people, as well as its contribution to global development.
- Postal services have come a long way in connecting people. In the era where phones were not common, posts were used to communicate with the loved ones.
- More than 150 countries celebrate World Post Day and, in a few countries, it is observed as a working holiday. It’s a day when new postal products and services are promoted.
- Most of the official documents are still sent by post.
- In 2019, Bengaluru General Post Office and Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation came together to deliver fresh mangoes from local farms to the people.
Section 144 lifted in Aarey
- Section 144, which was imposed in the Aarey Milk Colony on Monday, has been lifted.
- It was imposed to stop tree activists from entering the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation car shed site. The tree activists were protesting against the felling of 2000 trees by MMRC in Aarey Colony, Mumbai.
- The tree activists had earlier filed a case against MMRC’s plan of cutting down 2000 trees to develop metro in the area. The Bombay high court’s verdict came in favour of MMRC which led to severe protests by the tree activists.
- The police had to impose section 144 to bring the situation in control.
What is Section 144?
- It is mentioned in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973. The Executive Magistrate of any state or territory can issue an order to impose section 144 in an area if there is a law and order issue or a riot-like situation.
- It prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area.
Saturn and its entourage
Astronomers have recently discovered 20 new moons around Saturn, increasing its count of natural satellites to 82. Saturn has beat Jupiter which has 79 natural satellites revolving around it.
- The discovery of these new moons can assist the astronomers in understanding the chaos and collisions that took place in the early solar system. These moons can also serve as the flyby targets for future missions to Saturn.
- These newly discovered moons are about three miles wide. They emit faint light and therefore their discovery took about 10 years. From 2004-2007 Sheppard and his colleagues used Subaru telescope to take a close look at some intriguing points of light orbiting Saturn. With time Sheppard and his team made use of better technology to prove their discovery.
- Seventeen of the twenty new moons have been found in the opposite direction of Saturn’s rotation. These retrograde moons take three years to orbit around Saturn. Two of the prograde moons take two years to trace out one orbit. One of those three prograde moons takes three years to orbit around Saturn.
- These newfound moons are not named yet. They may be put into previous groups of Saturnian satellites based on their orbital direction, distance from Saturn and orbit’s inclination.
Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2019
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019 was awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.”
- This year’s Nobel Prize awarded work reveals the molecular mechanisms that underlie how cells adapt to variations in oxygen supply, a statement from the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.
- It paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anaemia, cancer and many other diseases.
- Based on their research, many laboratories and pharmaceutical companies are now on the path of developing drugs that can interfere with disease states by activating or blocking the oxygen – level in the cells.
- The Scientist, Semenza and Ratcliffe separately studied the processes surrounding the sensing of oxygen and found it was at work in virtually all the body’s tissues.
- Semenza worked in the 1990s in identifying a protein complex that binds to cells’ DNA in response to levels of oxygen in the cell’s environment.
- Kaelin’s work linked the same oxygen-regulating machinery to a role in cancer, which is also being mined for potential therapeutics.
Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The total amount for each of the 2019 prizes is 9 million kronor ($909,000).
TOPIC: India International Cooperative Trade Fair
The First-Ever India International Cooperatives Trade Fair (IICTF) is going to be held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from 11th to 13th October 2019.
- It is being organized by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC). The endeavour is being supported by NEDAC, an international organization, three ministries and several Indian cooperative organizations.
- The trade fair is in line with the Agriculture Export Policy 2018 which aims at doubling the agriculture export and integrating Indian farmers and agriculture products with global value chains.
- Many Indian and International Cooperative Organizations are expected to take part in the event.
- The international buyers can be from cooperative, corporate, private, government, IICTF covers exhibitors /sellers/buyers who have a focus on the Cooperative-to-Cooperative trade.
- The major focus will be on the promotion of agriculture and allied sectors, complete value chains, cold chain, dairy, commodities, exports, technology, climate-smart agriculture, processing, packaging, storage, machinery, brand promotion, marketing, coop-banking, agri-tech, cyber-security, livestock, fisheries, handloom, handicrafts, textiles, consumer goods, retail, hospitality, insurance, finance, credit, healthcare, products by women groups and capacity development.
- It is anticipated that trade fair can promote cooperative to cooperative trade within India and abroad leading to enhanced rural and farm prosperity. This fair will extend an opportunity for the industry and business houses from India and abroad to build alliances, business networks and interact with the primary producers.
- IICTF would be major platform to promote exports by cooperatives with direct benefits to their members who are mainly farmers, artisans, women, SC /ST etc.
Top Current Affairs for October 7, 2019
Through IFC India starts sharing maritime data
The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) has started functioning as an information-sharing hub of maritime data and “cuing incident responses” to maritime security situations
- The IFC-IOR was set up in December 2018 which is located at Gurugram.
- Generating a seamless real-time picture of nearly 7500 km coastline, the IFC-IOR is a single point centre which links all the coastal radar chains.
- It actively interacts with the maritime community with 18 countries and 15 multinational and maritime security centres.
- A website administered by the centre will host the Monthly Maritime Security Update (MMSU) highlighting analysis on incidents, warnings and advisories in IOR.
- Presently, the exchange of information is being undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over the Internet.
Wildlife Week India, 2019
In India, Wildlife Week is observed all over the country from 2019 October 2nd to October 8th. It is celebrated every year with the view to preserve the wildlife of the country. It will help to the people to understand that harms these animals.
- It is celebrated every year to raise awareness about protection of wildlife.
- The Government of India organizes a various activities during this week through the environmentalists, activists, educators who encourage and accelerate the people mind to become aware of the wildlife conservation.
- As being a mega-storehouse country, India has stored a variety of fauna species.
- According to the recent study published in Science More than 5,500 species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are bought and sold on the worldwide animal market, a volume that is around 50 percent higher than earlier records.
- The legal and illegal trade of wildlife as pets or animal products is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and recognized as one of the most severe threats to biodiversity.
Theme of World Wildlife Day 2019
World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event for Wildlife. The theme for World Wildlife Day in 2019 is “Life below water: for people and planet”, which aligns with goal 14 of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
About Wild Life Week
It was started in the year 1952 for saving the life of the Indian animals by taking some critical steps. It involves the planning to save animal extinction of any species in India.
The Government of India has established an Indian Board of Wild Life which works to improve the awareness as well as the consciousness of the Indian people towards wildlife preservation.
A coastal surveillance system to be set up in Bangladesh
India PM Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart signed several MoUs that will enable Delhi to set up a coastal surveillance system radar in Bangladesh.
The agreements include
- MoU for providing a Coastal Surveillance System.
- Standard Operating Procedure on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports.
- MoU on withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs of water from Feni River by India for drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town, Tripura.
- An agreement which concerns the Implementation of the Lines of Credit committed by India to Bangladesh.
- MoU between the University of Hyderabad and the University of Dhaka.
- Renewal of Cultural Exchange Programme – Co-operation in Youth Affairs.
The two leaders inaugurated three bilateral development partnership projects
- Import of LPG from Bangladesh
- Inauguration of BIPSDI – Bangladesh – India Professional Skill Development Institute.
- Inauguration of Vivekananda Bhaban, students hostel at Ramakrishna mission in Dhaka.
- Both parties recognized that increasing connectivity through air, water, rail and road offer a mutually beneficial opportunity for enhancing the economy.
- The leaders jointly agreed that the India – Bangladesh coastal Shipping Agreement should be taken as a template for Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan (BIMSTEC). This will enhance the security of the Indo – Pacific region.
Scotland becomes the first country in the UK to ban the smacking of children
Scotland has become the first country in the United Kingdom to ban the smacking of children. The country introduced a law that makes smacking children a criminal offence for parents and carers to use physical punishment against a child.
- Sweden became the first country in the world to ban smacking in the home when it outlawed corporal punishment in 1979 – with Scotland becoming the 58th to do so.
- The bill will end the defence of reasonable chastisement which means parents could face prosecution for any use of physical punishment on their children.
- The change in the law is aimed to give children the same protection from assault as adults.
- This law has brought Scotland into line with United Nations recommendations.
- Currently, parents and carers are allowed to use reasonable physical force in order to discipline children.
- The Scottish Parliament voted by a margin of 84 to 29 to pass the Children (Equal Protection from Assault), Bill.
UNESCO has appointed Yalitza Aparicio as the ambassador for indigenous people
The United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO’s goodwill ambassador for indigenous peoples has appointed Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio.
- 25-year-old actress Yalitza Aparicio made history as the first indigenous performer nominated for a best actress honour at the Academy Awards this year for her excellent performance in the film “Roma” in this film she speaks in an indigenous language and Spanish.
- According to the Paris-based organization they said that Yalitza Aparicio was born in the poor Mexican state of Oaxaca, which was chosen for her commitment to fight racism and advocate for gender equality and indigenous rights.
- She will also help the UNESCO’s work alongside indigenous peoples across the world, including preserving their cultural heritage and environment knowledge also fighting for equal access to education.
Uttar Pradesh CM flagged off Tejas express
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 5th October, flagged off the Tejas Express from Charbagh railway station, a semi-bullet train on the Agra-Varanasi route.
- India’s first private train run by its subsidiary IRCTC, between Lucknow and New Delhi.
- The Tejas Express cuts the time travelled between the two cities to 6.15 hours from the 6.40 hours taken by the Swarn Shatabdi, currently the fastest train on the route.
- The passengers will be paid for any delay on an hourly basis and also each passenger will get free Rs 25 lakh insurance.
- The premium train will offer passengers with aircraft-like facilities such as baggage pick up and drop from Home-to-destination.
- The passengers will also be able to avail other facilities such as cab services, hotel bookings, combo meals, RO water purifiers, tea and coffee vending machines, compensation for train delay and call buttons for crew service.
NASA is aiming to conduct all-female spacewalk again
- NASA has rescheduled the historic moment for Oct 21st once again to conduct an all-female spacewalk, six months after the first attempt had to be cancelled because of a lack of available spacesuits aboard the International Space Station. The announcement was made recently during a briefing by the agency previewing 10 upcoming spacewalks by astronauts on the International Space Station.
- The spacewalk will be arranged by NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir
- Christina Koch has been living in space since March and was scheduled for the original all-women spacewalk. Christina Koch arrived at the International Space Station in September. The newly scheduled spacewalk is possible because NASA sent up a new spacesuit that was configured with a medium-size hard upper torso in order to meet future staffing requirements.
Top Current Affairs for October 4, 2019
Alyssa scores the highest in T20I Women’s Cricket
- • Alyssa Healy has set a world record for scoring the highest individual score in women’s T20I held at North Sydney Oval.
- • Healy gave an exemplary performance against Sri Lanka in the final T20I and went on to score 148.
- • Australia won the match with a score of 226/2.
- • Healy hit 19 boundaries and seven sixes. She scored a century in just 46 balls. This has been the fastest chase for a century by an Australian and second fastest in the world.
- • She beat the record of Meg Lanning who had scored 133 against England on July 26 this year.
Points to Recollect:
Harmantpreet Kaur holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian woman. She had scored 103 runs against New Zealand in November 2018.
Rajasthan bans Pan Masala
- • Rajasthan announced a ban on Pan Masala to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Rajasthan has taken this initiative to prevent the youth from getting addicted to tobacco products. This step is taken in accordance with the Food Security Act 2006.
- • Pan Masala mostly contains Magnesium Carbonate, Nicotine, Tobacco and flavored Supari. All these ingredients are hazardous to health. The state has guided all the food security officers to keep a strict eye on the sale, distribution, and production of pan masala.
- • Rajasthan has become the third state to ban such products. Maharashtra and Bihar are the other two states to have banned tobacco products.
- • Rajasthan had banned the usage of e-cigarettes earlier this year.
World Space Week: ISRO decides to showcase Space Science in seven institutions
- • World Space week is the world’s largest astronomy event. It is annually celebrated from 4th October to 11th October. ISRO conducts various programs to spread information on space science over this week.
- • This year ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) has decided to collaborate with seven academic institutions across Karnataka to showcase space science to the young minds of the country. ISRO aims to raise interest in Space Science in the student community.
- • The seven institutions who will be joining ISRO in this program are Poornaprajna PU College at Adamar, SJM Institute of Technology at Chitradurga, Konkan Education Trust High School at Kumta, RV College of Engineering at Bengaluru, Tontadarya College of Engineering at Gadag, Sri Sai Vidyaniketan Residential School at Shahpur and Siddaganga Institute of Technology at Tumkur.
- • It is because of these continuous efforts of ISRO and its scientists that India ranks among the top five in space science in the world.
Mallikarjuna Rao appointed as MD and CEO of PNB
SS Mallikarjuna Rao was appointed as the Managing Director (MD)and Chief Executive of the Punjab National Bank(PNB).
- • He has more than 34 years of experience in the banking sector.
- • He is currently serving as chief executive of the Allahabad Bank.
- • Previously he served as Executive Director of Syndicate Bank, since 2016.
- • He will replace Sunil Mehta of PNB.
- • Headquarters: New Delhi
- • Founded: 19 May 1894
- • Founder: Dyal Singh Majithia and Lala Lajpat Rai
Oil India Limited (OIL) appointed Sushil Chandra Mishra as the new MD and CEO
Oil India Limited appointed Sushil Chandra Mishra as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. He will replace Utpal Bora. Mr. Bora ceased to be Chairman & Managing Director of the company on 30th September.
- • Mishra started his career as an executive trainee with OIL in 1984.
- • He developed deep expertise in commercial matters and played a key role in framing and implementing procurement policies and procedures for inventory management, vendor development, framework agreement, and its related strategies
- • He acquired significant Board level exposure at the corporate office at the time of launch of OIL’s IPO in 2009. He also developed the Strategic Plan 2020.
Oil India Limited (OIL)
- • OIL is the second largest hydrocarbon exploration and production India Public sector company with its operational headquarters in Duliajan, Assam.
- • The company is a state-owned Navratna.
- • It is under the administrative control of India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Kapil Dev resigned as BCCI Cricket Advisory Committee chief
Kapil Dev, the former India captain, stepped down from the position of Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) chief after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
- • Kapil Dev resigned as the chief of the CAC days after Shanta Rangaswamy stepped down from the 3-member committee.
- • Kapil Dev was appointed the chief of the ad-hoc committee formed in July 2019. The CAC was tasked with the role of picking the head coaches of India women’s and men’s cricket teams. Kapil-led CAC had conducted interviews and re-appointed Ravi Shastri as head coach of Virat Kohli-led senior national team.
Top Current Affairs for October 3, 2019
Village Secretariat system launched in Andhra Pradesh
- Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, launched the Village Secretariat system at Karapa village near Kakinada on Wednesday. He said that this is one of the steps that he has taken to decentralize the administration and give power in the hands of people who are in the lower rung of administration in the government.
- The launch coincided with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whose work majorly revolved around the development of villages.
- The village and ward secretariat will act as a bridge between the government and the people providing over 500 services to the government.
- Around 4.50 lakh people have been employed in the secretariat system over 4months.
- The Village Secretariats will play a key role in making people aware of the various schemes and programs of the government. They are responsible for showcasing how the government schools and hospitals have changed under the caption of ‘then and now’.
Jaipur has the cleanest station as per the recent station cleanliness survey
- Ministry of Railways has recently released the ‘Station Cleanliness Survey Report’ for the year 2019. Jaipur station has been assessed as the cleanest station in this report. Jodhpur and Durgapur have been ranked second and third in the list. Vijayawada has slipped to seventh place on the list.
- The Ministry of Railways has been conducting this survey since 2016.
- Maharashtra’s Andheri Station has topped the list of suburban group of stations.
- North Western Railway Zone maintained its top position in the category of cleanest railway zone.
- Rajasthan has performed very well in the survey. Six out of ten cleanest stations on the list are from Rajasthan.
- Around 720 stations participated in this survey. Process Evaluation, Direct Observation, and citizen Feedback were the three parameters on which the stations were assessed.
- The Ministry of Railway also used this occasion to declare a ban on single-use plastic in railway premises. The Ministry reassured that safety is its biggest concern and announced the addition of several LHB coaches with attached bio-toilets.
CBDT launches Documentation Identification Number
Marching forward towards ‘Digital India,’ the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) implemented a computer-generated Document Identification Number (DIN) which will ensure greater transparency and accountability in tax administration.
- The DIN system has been created as per the direction of Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman.
- DIN will apply to all kinds of communications from the income tax department, such as assessment, appeals, investigation, penalty and rectification. It helps taxpayers to detect fake notices and letters as the notice would be verifiable on the department’s e-filing portal.
- Any communication issued manually under exceptional circumstances should be uploaded and regularized on the system portal within 15 days.
Sachin Tendulkar gets Swachhata Ambassador award at Safaigiri
Safaigiri 2019 was organized by the India Today group. The cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was awarded “The most effective Swachhata Ambassador”.
- It is an initiative of India Today group to celebrate the champions of the Clean India campaign.
- This is the 5th award function organized by the group.
- The award function ended with an address delivered by President Ram Nath Kovind.
- Sachin was chosen as he utilized his fame and popularity to ensure India achieved its goal of Swachh Bharat.
President of India to Confer ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman–2019’
On October 3rd 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind conferred ‘Vayoshreshtha Samman-2019’.
This was for Eminent Senior Citizens & Institutions in recognition of their services towards the cause of elderly persons. Vayoshreshtha Samman is an annual national award of the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
- These Awards are intended:
- To showcase the Government’s concern for senior citizens and also its commitment towards them with the aim of strengthening their legitimate place in society.
- To provide an opportunity for the younger generation to understand the contribution of the elderly in the building of society and nation.
- Every year since 1st October 2005 it is celebrated as International Day of Older Persons.
Consumer Affairs Ministry Launches the app to address consumer Complaints
Union consumer affairs ministry has launched a mobile App called “Consumer App” that would help consumers to register their grievances online as well as give suggestions on consumer-related issues.
- Consumer App was developed by the National information centre. The Consumer App is available for free in English and Hindi languages.
- It can be downloaded on Android and iOS platform.
- The app will help Consumer register complaints easily and get redressed within 60days while the complaints which are simple in nature will be resolved within 15 days.
- Consumer helpline and consumer courts will continue to play their role. It is an additional platform for filing consumer complaints. Consumers can register complaints and track the status also.
National Information Centre:
- National Informatics Centre (NIC) was established in 1976.
- It is emerged as a “prime builder” of e-Government / e-Governance applications up to the grassmysqladmins level as well as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development.
- NIC, through its ICT (information and communication technology) Network, “NICNET”, has institutional linkages with all the Ministries /Departments of the Central Government, 36 State Governments/ Union Territories, and about 708 District Administrations of India.
The World Economic Forum is organizing India Economic Summit on October 3-4, 2019 at New Delhi
- It is hosted in collaboration with CII-Confederation of India Industry. The summit is also aiming at collaboration with South Asia and ASEAN countries.
- The meeting will focus on accelerating the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and optimally governing them to assist India to leapfrog to an advanced stage of development and provide the world with replicable proof of a successful model, affecting billions of people globally.
- It is held under the theme” innovating for India Strengthening South Asia”.
World Economic Forum:
- World Economic Forum is a nonprofit foundation established in 1972, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It motto is “Committed to improving the state of the world”.
- Some major reports published by WEF are Global Competitiveness Report, Global Gender Gap Report, Global Risk Report, Global Travel and Tourism Report.
Fourth Industrial Revolution:
The fourth industrial revolution is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we live and work.
Top Current Affairs for October 1, 2019
Core sectors shrink 0.5% in August
- The eight-core sector industries have hit an all-time low in August this year. Five out of the eight core industries have registered negative growth. The core industries last faced such a dilemma in April 2015.
- The contraction in August comes as a surprise after the 2.7 percent growth in the month of July. The probable reason for this downfall is the continuing economic slowdown and weak demand in the system.
- The core sector depends on the demand from the power and infrastructure sector. The majority of purchases in the power and infrastructure sector is made by the government. But since the government has reduced its public spending to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.3 percent, the power, and infrastructure sector is facing huge losses. This, in turn, has affected the growth of the core industries.
- The coal sector has seen the highest contraction among the core industries. Its growth has contracted by 8.6%.
- The crude oil sector has contracted by 5.4% and the growth of the cement sector has shrunk by 4.9%.
- The government has decided to disinvest a 12.6% share of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) through an initial public offering. 35% of the IRCTC IPO has been allocated for the retail portion.
- The price band is fixed at ₹640 Crores with each share costing around ₹315- ₹ 320. A discount of ₹ 10 per share is being offered to retail investors and eligible employees. Retail investors are allowed to bid up to ₹2 lakh shares.
- The issue will close for subscription on 3rd October. The allotment of IRCTC shares will be done on the 9th of October.
- The initial public offering has already been subscribed to 1.08 times in a matter of two days. IRCTC shares will also be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange by 14th October.
- Most of the stock exchange experts have recommended the subscription to IRCTC IPO due to its reasonable valuation and monopoly in Indian Railways.
NITI Aayog’s School Education Quality Index: Kerala tops
- Niti Aayog recently assessed the quality of school education across the country. It has ranked the states on the basis of this assessment and prepared the School Education Quality Index.
- The School Education Quality Index is prepared on the basis of learning outcomes, access, infrastructure and facilities using survey data and self-reported data from States and third-party verification.
- Kerala has got a score of 76.6% and has been ranked as the best performer in this index.
- Tamil Nadu took a lead in access and equity outcomes. Karnataka performed well in the learning outcomes. Haryana topped in the assessment for infrastructure and facilities.
- Chandigarh was the top performer amongst the Union Territories. Manipur earned a name among the small states for its performance.
- Uttar Pradesh was assessed to be the last state on the index. West Bengal did not take part in the assessment.
Ancient river excavated in Uttar Pradesh
The Union Water Ministry has excavated an old, dried-up river in Prayagraj (Allahabad) that linked the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. The agenda is to develop it as a potential groundwater recharge source.
- The “ancient buried river” is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under the soil.
- According to the Executive Director NMCG, the discovery was made in December 2018.
- It was done by a team of scientists from the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) and the Central Groundwater Board during a helicopter-borne geophysical survey covering the Prayagraj and Kaushambi region in Uttar Pradesh.
- The recently discovered stream was a “buried paleochannel” that joins the Yamuna stream at Durgapur village, about twenty-six kilometres south of the present Ganga-Yamuna confluence at Prayagraj.
- Knowledge on subsurface connectivity between Ganga and Yamuna rivers can play a really crucial role in the designing of Ganga cleanup and protective safe groundwater resources.
State’s gross fiscal deficit stayed within 3%: RBI
Gross fiscal deficit of the state has remained within the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act threshold of 3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the financial year 2017-18 and 2018-19 as given by the Reserve Bank of India report on State Finances. For the year 2019-20, states have budgeted a consolidated GFD of 2.6% of GDP. However, the outstanding debt of States has risen over the last five years to 25% of GDP, posing medium-term challenges to its sustainability.
Team India lifts SAFF U-18 Championship title for the first time
India, by defeating Bangladesh by 2-1 in final, has won the SAFF Under-18 Football Championship which was held in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is India’s maiden SAFF U-18 trophy.
About SAFF U-18 Championship
- It is a football championship for males under the age of 18. It is organized by the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF). The championship was held for 1st time in August 2015 in Nepal.
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Bhadauria takes charge as IAF Chief
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria is the 26th chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF). He succeeded outgoing Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, who retired after 41 years of service in IAF on 30 September 2019.
- Bhadauria was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF in June 1980, and since then he has held various command, staff and instructional positions.
- He also has 4,250 hours of flying experience on 26 various types of fighters and transport aircraft.
- He is also first of the few Air Force pilots who could fly a Rafael jet.
- In July 2019, Bhadauria had flown the aircraft during Exercise Garuda between Air Forces of India and France.
- He is also an alumnus of National Defence Academy and has won the coveted Sword of Honour for standing 1st in overall order of merit.
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