Current Affairs April 22 2019

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Indian, US navies conduct Anti-Submarine Warfare drill in Indian Ocean
Recently, Indian and the US navies conducted joint submarine hunting exercise near Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in which India’s P8I Neptune Aircraft and US P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft along with the USS Spruance have participated. The objective of this exercise is to lay the groundwork for coordinating maritime patrol and reconnaissance.
Key Highlights
i. The Indian P-8I anti submarine aircraft which participated in the exercise is from Naval Air Squadron 312 based at Naval Station Rajali in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu and US P-8A Poseidon aircraft which participated in the exercise is from Patrol Squadron VP-8 ‘Fighting Tigers’, based in Jacksonville, Florida.
ii. The maritime exercise is focused on anti-submarine training, information sharing and coordination between maritime patrol aircraft and surface combatants.
iii. This is first bilateral anti-submarine exercise after signing of a Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) which enable closer interoperation between US and Indian military assets.


India ranks 19th out of 28 countries in Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP) released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released the 2019 Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP) in which out of 28 countries India is in 19th position from the top. The wide range of data indicates variation of cancer preparedness of countries i.e. methods to treat and prevent cancer.

i. Cancer in 2018 caused 9.6 million deaths worldwide making it the 2nd biggest killer.
ii. The title of the report under which ICP has been introduced is “Cancer preparedness around the world: National readiness for a global epidemic.”
About Index of Cancer Preparedness (ICP):
i. The objective of ICP is to allow benchmarking of national efforts and identifying the best practices in addressing the cancer challenge.
ii. The three broad domains under which ICP explores the issue of cancer preparedness are as follows:

  • policy and planning
  • care delivery
  • health systems and governance.

Findings on overall best practices for cancer preparedness:
Top 3 nations: Australia tops the ICP, followed by the Netherlands and Germany.
Bottom 3 nations: Saudi Arabia, Romania and Egypt.
India’s Scenario:

  • In overall ranking India ranks 19th and has a score of 64.9 out of 100.
  • India ranks 17th in Cancer policy and planning and scored 80.8 out of 100 for this rank. According to the ICP rankings, India ranks 1st for research and 3rd for tobacco control in the list of 28 countries.
  • India ranks 23rd for its national cancer control plan, which is relatively poor.
  • India’s healthcare system ranks 25th with a score of 40.3 out of 100. This rating is above Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Egypt.
  • India’s healthcare system is rated second worst in the list and the Indian government is rated to have low political will to bring about betterment.
  • In its delivery of cancer care, India is in 20th position with a score of 61.3. India ranked 1st in the category of ‘Clinical Guidelines’ but lags behind in 3 stages, namely, immunization, screening and early detection.

 The four essentials of cancer preparedness Index as released by EIU are as follows:

  • Essential investment (appropriate spending and resources)
  • Roadmap (effective planning)
  • Foundation (functioning health systems)
  • Intelligence (availability and quality of cancer-related data).

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU):
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), founded in 1946, with its headquarters in London, England, is the research and analysis division within The Economist Group and the world leader in global business intelligence. Its present Managing Director is Robin Bew, formerly the company’s Editorial Director and Chief Economist.

Amartya Sen Chairs at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for research on inequality 
On 19th April 2019, To honor the Indian Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has created the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies. He was a Professor of Economics at LSE from 1971-82.
.Key Points:
i. He will also serve as the director of the LSE International Inequalities Institute, focused on studying and challenging some of the most pressing issues. The Institute is a living embodiment of the School’s enduring commitment regarding the improvement of society through research, education and public engagement.
ii. The chair, along with Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity (AFSEE), will benefit from a significant investment by Atlantic Philanthropies for harnessing the power of research and social change initiatives to further global equity.
iii. He won the Nobel Prize in Economic sciences in 1998 and honoured with Bharat Ratna in 1999.
iv. He was born on 3rd November 1933 in Manikganj, Bangladesh.


SBI General launched cyber defence insurance
On 22nd April 2019, SBI General Insurance has launched its new product – cyber defence insurance to protect businesses from financial and reputational losses due to cyber attacks.
Key Points:
i. At first, it will focus on SMEs and mid-market businesses, but later it can cater to larger businesses.
ii. This offers protection against the growing threat of cyber breaches like hacking attacks, identity theft, disclosure of sensitive information and business interruption. Also, provides IT forensic investigations, legal advice, reputational and PR management.
iii. SBI General Insurance’s (SBIG) Cyber Defense comes with CyRUSS (Cyber Risk Underwriting & Solution Suite) which is a cloud-based tool for Commercial Cyber polices including risk assessment, ongoing risk management, and claim management.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance in a partnership with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance launched their 1st product: ‘Total Health Secure Goal’
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance collaborated with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance to launch their 1st product titled ‘Total Health Secure Goal’.
i. The product is a combination of 2 existing plans, namely, Health Guard policy by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and iSecure policy by Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance.
ii. This combined plan offers customers a 5% extra discount on the total premium and also provides the flexibility of availing service or communication on the product.
iii. The product provides an overall insurance solution and ensures that health and security needs of the customer are taken care of without compromising on their savings.
iv. Under Health Guard policy, a customer can choose the option between a Silver or a Gold Plan with an insured sum ranging from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 50 Lakh. This sum is inclusive of the hospitalisation expenses incurred by the customer.
v. Under Bajaj Allianz’s iSecure policy, customers are offered the advantage of a level term cover at a low cost. Some extra features provided include special premium rates for non-smokers and high sum assurance.
vi. Both of the companies have common promoters Bajaj Finserv and Allianz of Germany.


Network Intelligence inks MoU with BSE to provide Cyber Security Services
Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Asia’s first and India’s largest stock exchange and Network Intelligence, a global cybersecurity services provider & CERT-IN empanelled vendor inks Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide cybersecurity services to its members according to the cybersecurity framework set by SEBI. Last year, SEBI had released its guidelines on cybersecurity titled “Cybersecurity & cyber Resilience Framework for Stock Brokers/Depository Participants.”
Key Highlights
i. BlueScope, a platform developed by Network Intelligence, will offer 24×7 monitoring to the members.
ii. To offer services like VAPT, Asset Management, Endpoint Security, Network Security, etc, Network Intelligence will use modern technology solutions. Network Intelligence will use its state-of-the-art Next-Gen Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) which is based in Mumbai, to provide various cyber security services.
About BSE
♦ Established: in 1875
♦ MD & CEO: Ashish Kumar Chauhan
About Network Intelligence
♦ Founded: in 2001
♦ CEO: KK Mookhey

Ministry of Ayush inked MoU with CSIR to cooperate in the field of research and education
Ayush Ministry has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi for cooperation in the field of research and education of traditional system of medicines and its integration with modern science.

Key Highlights
i. Earlier, CSIR and Ayush Ministry jointly developed the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) which prevents bio-piracy and misappropriation of traditional knowledge.
ii. Under the agreement, both CSIR and Ayush Ministry jointly endeavor to proceed in the activities like R&D covering fundamental research; gene expression and Prakriti; exploring modern scientific methods for integration with traditional Indian Systems of Medicine, etc.
About CSIR
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
♦ Director General: Shekhar C. Mande
About Ayush Ministry
♦ Founded: 9 Novemeber, 2014
♦ Minister: Shripad Naik (MOS independent charge)

FAME II scheme has made compulsory for electric vehicles to feature 50% localisation for receiving subsidies
Under the FAME II scheme, the Central Government has made compulsory for Electric Vehicle (EV) manufactures in India to locally source at least 50% components for the provision of receiving subsidies. This step has been taken to encourage local manufacturing and relying less on imports. The conditions under FAME II scheme were decided by the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee of National Mission for Transformative Mobility headed by Amitabh Kant, (Chief executive Officer) CEO of NITI Aayog.
Key Points:
i. Only the companies that meet the 50% localisation threshold will be eligible for incentives and subsidies under Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME-II) scheme for enhancing electric mobility.
ii. The government will adopt a challenging route to choose states and entrepreneurs to set up major factories for large scale manufacturing of cells and batteries in India.
FAME II Scheme:
The scheme administered by Union Ministry of Heavy Industries aims to promote eco-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles in India. It also seeks to address the issue of environmental pollution and fuel security.


Political Neophyte and Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky wins Ukrainian presidential election 2019
In Ukrainian presidential election 2019, Comedian Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky defeated incumbent Petro Poroshenko of Petro Poroshenko Bloc “Solidarity” party. Mr. Zelensky, 41-year-old, received 73% of the vote. He becomes the sixth president of Ukraine, hailing from the south-eastern city of Kryvyi Rih. His term is expected to begin on 3 June 2019. His election campaign slogan was ‘unify Ukraine’.
i. Zelensky, a trained lawyer, is best known for his role in the television series ‘Servant of the People’ in which he played a history teacher who becomes president of Ukraine.
ii. The election was held between 31st March 2019 and April 21st. According to Ukrainian law, President’s election must come about on the last Sunday of March of the fifth year of the term of the incumbent President.
iii. Incumbent Ukrainian head of state, who has acquired 25% vote, was decorated the Minister of Foreign Affairs title in 2009 and Minister of Trade and Economic Development title in 2012.
About Ukraine:
♦ Capital: Kyiv
♦ Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia

Twitter Appoints Manish Maheshwari as New India Head
On 22nd April 2019, Former Network 18 Digital CEO, Manish Maheshwari has been appointed as Managing Director of Twitter India with effect from 29th April 2019. He will succeed Balaji Krish who was serving as the interim head after Taranjeet Singh had stepped down from the same role.

i. Maheshwari will be responsible for managing an integrated business strategy to stimulate Twitter’s audience and revenue growth in the country, overseeing Twitter India’s teams in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru.
ii. He has served various roles at Flipkart, txtWeb, Intuit, McKinsey and P&G.
About Twitter:
♦ CEO: Jack Dorsey (30 Sep 2015–)
♦ Founded: 21 March 2006, San Francisco, California, United States
♦ Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States
♦ Founders: Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Evan Williams

Nasim Zaidi resigned from Jet Airways board
On 22nd April 2019, Former Chief Election Commissioner of India (ECI), and ex-civil aviation secretary, Nasim Zaidi has resigned from the post of non-executive and non-independent director of Jet Airways with effect from 21st April 2019, due to personal reasons.
Key Point:
i. Last week, Jet Airways temporarily ceased all its operations, and now is under the management control of State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders following a debt-recast plan approved by its board.


A new species of East Asian birds ‘Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo’ (Chalcites basalis) have been spotted at Andaman And Nicobar.
A new species of East Asian birds ‘Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo’ (Chalcites basalis) have been spotted at Andaman And Nicobar. This species is a native of Australia and New Guinea. According to the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) sighting of these birds have increased ever since the 2004 Indonesian tsunami.
About ‘Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo’:
i. They are differentiated by their green and black feathers at their back.
ii. The tiny bird measures roughly about 15 cm and weighs 22 g.
iii. Apart from the above, researchers also recorded the presence of other East Asian birds namely Zappey’s Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cumatilis), Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki), Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) and the Chinese Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone incei). A Thai bird named Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa), usually found in Thailand and Cambodia was also spotted.

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Fabio Fognini makes history, became the first Italian to win an ATP Masters 1000 title
Italy’s Fabio Fognini clinched Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters after defeating Dusan Lajovic of Serbia by 6-3, 6-4, the first Italian to triumph in more than 15 years. Last time an Italian player Nicola Pietrangeli won the trophy in 1968. This event held every year at the Monte Carlo Country Club in France.
Key Highlights
Fognini has defeated 11-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.
About Italy
♦ Capital: Rome
♦ Currency: Euro
About Serbia
♦ Capital: Belgrade
♦ Currency: Serbian Dinar

Services bags the 6th Santosh Trophy Football Tournament title against Punjab at Guru Nanak Stadium
With a second-half strike by Bikash Thapa at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana, Services won their 6th Santosh Trophy Football Tournament title with a 1-0 victory over Punjab. The Services football team represents the Indian defense services in the Santosh Trophy.

i. Earlier, Punjab beat Goa 2-1 to reach the Santosh Trophy-finals for the 1st time in 8 years.
ii. The last time that Services played in the Santosh Trophy final was in 2015, at the same venue and against the same opposition, Punjab. Then they had won the match by  5-4 on penalties after it ended 0-0 post extra time.


DD Director Kismat Sagar passes away at 47
Lucknow Door Darshan Kendra Director Ms.KismatSagar has passed away at the age of 47 during her treatment in a hospital in Mumbai.
Key Points :
i. She was suffering from cancer.
ii. She was a 1998 Batch Indian Information Service Officer.
iii. She also worked in several media units like DAVP, DFP, PRO Defence in Lucknow under Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.


April 22 observed as an Earth Day 2019 with a theme ‘Protecting Our Species’
Initiated on April 22, 1970, by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, the Earth day is observed annually to support environmental protection. The theme for 2019 was Protecting Our Species, which are on the verge of extinction.

Key Highlights
i. The objective of Earth Day is to share responsibilities among people of this world and set agenda for peaceful coexistence with nature.
ii. As a part of celebrations, in India, the Lalbagh arm of the Rotary Club in Bengaluru has launched a 45-day long festival titled ‘Avani’ to mark the beginning of World Earth Day till June 5, which is celebrated as World Environment Day.


Ex-Deputy Poll Commissioner selected as Special Observer for Tripura
On 22nd April 2019, Former deputy election commissioner Vinod Zutshi has been appointed as special observer for Tripura. The Election Commission (EC) had postponed polling in the Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on 23rd April from 18th April, due to law and order situation.
Key Points:
i. He was one of the special observers appointed by the Election Commission (EC) to ascertain when the assembly elections in Jammu and Kasmir can be held.
ii. Vinod Zutshi, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1982 batch, served as the Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India from 2015 to 2017.
About Tripura
♦ Capital: Agartala
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ Chief Minister: Biplab Kumar Deb

S Muthiah, Master chronicler of Madras, dies aged 89
On 20th April 2019, Renowned Journalist-writer Subbiah Muthiah passed away at the age of 89 in Chennai due to age-related illnesses. He was born in 1930 in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu and attended school in Colombo.
Key Points:
i. In 1981, Muthiah published a book about heritage and history of Madras named ‘Madras Discovered’.And also he was best known for the Book ‘Madras Rediscovered’. He was also the founder of the fortnightly newspaper Madras Musings and Madras Book Club.
ii. He was conferred the’ Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ in 2002.
iii. He was noted for his popular column in The Hindu, called ‘Madras Miscellany’.

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