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Defence Ministry set to have three new tri-service agencies
Ministry of Defence (MoD) is expecting to raise a Defence Cyber Agency (DCA) by May to tackle non-civilian cyber issues arise from China and Pakistan, including safeguarding critical infrastructure. Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta, Senior Navy officer will be the first head of this agency, headquartered in New Delhi.
i. As per the clearance given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2018, two more agencies are under construction namely, Defence Space Agency and Special Forces Agency.
ii. The Special Forces agency would be headed by a Major General rank officer of the Army and is likely to come up at Agra.
Indian Navy’s warships- INS Kolkata and INS Shakti at Busan, South Korea to participate in ADMM-PLUS
INS Kolkata and INS Shakti arrived at Busan, South Korea to participate in ADMM-PLUS (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting).
i. Indian Navy’s 2 warships, INS Kolkata and INS Shakti had gone to Qingdao in China to participate in the International Fleet Review (IFR), which is an international maritime parade organised off the coast of China. It is celebrated to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Navy.
ii. After participating in the parade, the 2 warships, INS Kolkata and INS Shakti reached Busan, South Korean port city on a 5-day visit as part of a deployment of the Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea. The deployment was regarding demonstration of Act East policy of India and the Indian Navy’s rising footprint and operational reach.
iii. During the 5-day visit, the warships will develop professional interaction with ADMM-Plus Navies for boosting naval co-operation between the countries.
iv. The Indian Navy notified that the 2 warships, on arrival were welcomed into the harbour by Republic of Korea’s (ROK) Navy’s officials. The ships will participate in the ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Busan.
v. The ships will depart on 1st May, 2019, after which they are scheduled to join a maritime security exercise with the participating navies. After the completion of this exercise, the warships will sail to Singapore to celebrate the closing ceremony of the ADMM-Plus exercise.
vi. The Navy also notified that INS Kolkata and INS Shakti will also participate in the International Maritime Defence Expo, IMDEX-19, and the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise, SIMBEX, both at Singapore.
vii. The ADMM-Plus is a platform for ASEAN, the 10-member bloc and its eight dialogue partners, namely, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russian Federation and the United States. The prime objective of the ADMM-Plus is to strengthen the security and defence cooperation for peace, stability and development in the region.
|South Korea||Seoul||South Korean won|
By SIPRI report, India’s military expenditure rises by 3.1% to reach $66.5 billion and Pakistan’s by 11% to reach $11.4 billion in 2018
According to the report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a think-tank, the world’s military expenditure has risen by 2.6% to reach 1.82 $ trillion in 2018. This shows that military expenditure has increased for the 2nd consecutive year to the highest level since 1988 and is 76% higher than it was in 1998. In this total share, India, United States, China, Saudi Arabia and France altogether contributed to 60% per cent of the amount, with US and China being the 2 biggest spenders.
i. The world’s military expenditure is 2.1% of its GDP.
i. By the SIPRI report, India’s military expenditure had hiked by 3.1% to reach 66.5 $ billion and Pakistan’s expenditure grew by 11% to reach 11.4 $ billion.
ii. The US’ military spending increased for the 1st time since 2010, by hiking by 4.6% to reach 649 $ billion in 2018. The report also notified that the US’ expenditure comprises 36% of global military spending and is almost equal to the combined expenditure of the next 8 largest spending countries together.
iii. China’s expenditure has risen for the 24th consecutive year to hike by 5% more to reach $250 billion, thus representing 14% of the world’s military expenditure. This amount is 10 times higher than the amount spent by Beijing in 1994.
BANKING & FINANCE
Paytm Launches Recurring Payment Options for startups
On 29th April 2019, Noida-based e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company, Paytm launched a new option of recurring payments for its merchants.
i. Recently it also started its own subscription business at an annual fee of Rs 750 where consumers pay at regular intervals.
ii. Consumers can opt for recurring payments from Paytm wallet, also from their bank accounts, debit cards, credit cards, net banking and more.
iii. So, if the Paytm customer doesn’t have money in their wallet, the recurring payment can be deducted directly from the bank account or credit card.
Bharti AXA General Insurance, the 1st company to sell 2-wheeler policies via WhatsApp, by partnering with Wishfin
Bharti AXA General Insurance, the first company in the domestic non-life insurance industry has collaborated with web aggregator, Wishfin Insurance to sell 2-wheeler policies via social media messaging platform, WhatsApp.
i. Bharti AXA General Insurance is a joint partnership between Bharti Enterprises and AXA, global insurance firm. It will sell the policies on Wishfin’s insurance arm, Wishpolicy’s website.
ii. Wishfin has launched ‘Buy Two-Wheeler Insurance on WhatsApp’ (that is available on Wishpolicy’s website) through Wishfin Insurance. This policy is an instant, effortless and additional customer service option avaiable for the policyholders.
iii. No manual intervention is required to buy the 2-wheeler insurance. Customers and policyholders can buy the 2-wheeler insurance on WhatsApp by giving a missed call to 8527844822.
iv. The customer then has to provide his/her registration number and certain details before making the payment after which he/she gets instant policy through WhatsApp.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s GDP growth projection lowered to 7.3 percent by India Ratings
India’s GDP growth projection for 2019-20 lowered to 7.3 percent by India Ratings and Research, a Fitch Group company, due to below normal monsoon prediction, continued agrarian distress and loss of momentum in industrial output. The earlier projected GDP growth was 7.5 percent.
i. Other reason for lowered growth projection is slow progress on cases referred to the National Company Law Tribunal under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
ii. Investment Expenditure Growth which is measured by gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) has also been downgraded to 9.2 percent from the earlier forecast of 10.3 percent for the year 2019-20, is another reason cited for lowering the growth forecast.
About National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)
♦ NCLT is a quasi judicial body established under the Companies Act, 2013. This body was established by the recommendations of Eradi Committee. NCLT adjudicates issues related to Indian companies.
♦ Headquarter: New Delhi
Indian cyber insurance market grows 40% with 350 cyber insurance policies bought in 2018 against 250 in 2017
A report titled ‘Cyber Insurance in India- Mitigating Risks amid Changing Regulations and Uncertainties‘ by Data Security Council of India (DSCI) stated that cyber insurance market is gradually gaining momentum in India as cyber-theft has increased substantially to become one of the most prominent threats to the corporates’ operations.
The report broadly offers market insights on the stances in cyber insurance with its prime objective to increase awareness and help evaluate a cyber insurance policy effectively.
i. Data from the report showed that between 2016 and 2018, India ranked as the 2nd most affected country from cyber-threats. 350 cyber insurance policies were bought by Indian corporates in 2018 as compared to 250 in 2017, which marks a 40% hike in the sale of these policies.
ii. During the period of 2017-2018, the average cost of a data breach in India hiked by 7.9% amounting to Rs.12 crore.
iii. The report notified that companies, namely, ICICI, HDFC Ergo, Bajaj Allianz were the major sellers of cyber insurance policies.
iv. As per a report, the insured amounts lies between 1$ million and 200$ million.
v. Cyber insurance is basically designed to cover all expenses including the fees, legal costs associated with cyber breaches that generally occurs after an organisation has been hacked or from theft or loss of client/employee information.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
MetLife recognized in Forbes’ Inaugural Blockchain 50 list
Life insurance company, MetLife has been named in Forbes’ inaugural Blockchain 50 List for its Vitana experiment, world’s first, automated insurance solution using blockchain technology was launched in August 2019 by LumenLab, MetLife’s Asia innovation center in Singapore.
i .Forbe’sblockchain list the first-ever ranking of the top 50 organizations that are leading the pack in regard to adapting decentralized ledgers to their business.
ii. Vitana Solution offers pregnant women financial protection in case of gestational diabetes– a condition affecting up to one in five expectant mothers in Singapore.
iii. Vitana securely connects to customers’ electronic medical records via their mobile device to dispense a policy within minutes.If the customer’s consultant reports a positive diagnosis in her medical records, Vitana will trigger an automatic payout, without the customer needing to make a claim.
iv. Vitana was developed within the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) regulatory sandbox, together with SwissRe,Cognizant and Vault Dragon.
v. SwissRe helped drive product design and reinsure the risk.
Cognizant provided technology and blockchain expertise.
Vault Dragon an electronic medical records provider supported on-the-ground implementation with forward-thinking doctors and clinics.
♦ Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
♦ CEO: Steven A. Kandarian (1 May 2011–)
Manchester City Forward Raheem Sterling awarded with Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year 2019
England national team player and Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling has been named as the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year 2019. He topped the poll of the 400-strong FWA membership with 62 percent of the votes and defeated Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk.
i. England and Manchester City’s player Nikita Parris won the FWA’s Women’s footballer of the year 2019 award.
ii. With this win, Sterling became the first Manchester City player to win the football’s oldest individual award.
iii. Sterling earned praise for his courageous stance against racism in the game.
iv. Argentine footballer and Manchester City player Sergio Aguero got the third highest number of votes.
About FWA Footballer of the Year:
♦ First winner: Stanley Matthews
♦ Most wins: Thierry Henry; (3 awards)
♦ Sport: Association football
♦ Presented by: Football Writers’ Association
About Football Writers’ Association:
♦ Founder: Charlie Buchan
♦ Founded: 1947
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Vice chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Anil Khosla retires ; Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria to take over
On 30th April 2019, Air Marshal Anil Khosla PVSM AVSM VM ADC, Vice Chief of the Air Staff retired after four-decade of career span.WhileAir Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria will take over as the Vice Chief of Indian Air Force on May 1.
About Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria:
i. Bhadauria is at present heading IAF’s Bengaluru-based Training Command and he had served as the Deputy Chief. He was also the chairman of the Indian negotiating team for the 36 Rafale combat aircraft deal with France.
ii. In 15 June 1980, Bhadauria was commissioned into the fighter stream of the Air Force with the Sword of Honour.
iii. He had decorated important positions such as Commandant of the National Defence Academy, Senior Air Staff Officer at the Central Air Command and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff from January 2016 to February 28, 2017, and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C), Southern Air Command from March 1, 2017.
iv. On August 1, 2018, he took over as the chief of the Bengaluru-based Training Command.
About Anil Khosla:
i. He was born on 09 April 1959.
ii. He was commissioned in Fighter stream of Indian Air Force in the year 1979 and had more than 4000 hours of accident-free flying mainly on Jaguar, Mig-21 and Kiran aircraft.
iii. He had acquired post graduate from Defence Services Staff College and holds two M Phil degrees in military studies.
iv. Khosla was awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vayu Sena Medal and was commended by the Chief of the Air Staff and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief.
About Indian Air Force :
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 8 October 1932, India
♦ Role: Aerial warfare
♦ Attack: Jaguar, MiG-27, Harpy
♦ Fighters: Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000, Mikoyan MiG-29, Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21, HAL Tejas
♦ Attack aircraft : SEPECAT Jaguar, Mikoyan MiG-27, IAI Harpy
Senior IAS officer Dilip Kumar appointed as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in office of Lokpal
According to an order issued by the Personnel Ministry, Dilip Kumar, senior IAS (Indian Administrative Office) officer has been appointed in the office of Lokpal as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for a period of six months on additional charge basis or till a new incumbent joins the post.
i. Dilip Kumar presently the joint secretary of the National Human Rights Commission was a 1995-batch IAS officer of Punjab cadre.
ii. On 23rd March 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to the chairperson of Lokpal, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose.
iii. Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose retired from Supreme Court in May 2017, after which he served as a member of the NHRC before taking over as the Lokpal chief.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Two satellites named Tianhui II-01 launched by China
China launched two Tianhui II-01 satellites from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, also known as Base 25. The purpose of the satellite is to perform scientific experiments, land resource and geographic survey, and mapping. The satellites were launched by a Long March 4B carrier rocket also known as Chang Zheng 4B. This was the 303rd successful mission of the Long March series carrier rocket.
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
Flipkart-owned PhonePe launched new keyboard for secure and easy transaction
Flipkart-owned PhonePe, digital payments platform having over 150 million users in India is the first company to launch a special keyboard that will allow users to do transactions easily and securely while using their Android phone. The transactions include sending and requesting money, checking account balance and inviting friends and family to explore the PhonePe platform and use cases on any phone where a keyboard is required.
i. PhonePe’s keyboard aids in money transfer as well as offers the full functionality of a keyboard.
ii. The PhonePe’s keyboard can be set up in 3 steps:
- Open the profile section on the PhonePe app and navigate to the User profile menu.
- User Profile menu lies in the top left corner of the PhonePe app. The user needs to scroll down to find a new option named ‘Setup PhonePe Keyboard’.
- click on ‘Setup PhonePe Keyboard’, then select and enable the PhonePe keyboard.
- the user then needs to click on the PhonePe logo displayed on the keyboard to begin the transactions.
According to a UN report, drug-resistant diseases could kill 10 million annually by 2050 causing an economic and social disaster
According to a report, by UN Ad hoc Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, if no action is taken, by 2050, drug-resistant diseases could cause 10 million deaths every year which would in turn cause damage to the economy much like the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The title of the report is “No Time to Wait: Securing the future from drug-resistant infections”.
It also stated that by 2030, antimicrobial resistance could lead 24 million people to live in extreme poverty.
i. Antimicrobial resistance is an already rising issue in India and an estimated 7,00,000 deaths occur annually from antibiotic-resistant infections in low- and middle-income nations which is inclusive of 2,30,000 deaths from multidrug-resistant TB (tuberculosis).
ii. Common diseases, namely, respiratory tract infections, sexually transmitted infections and urinary tract infections, are becoming untreatable and lifesaving medical procedures are becoming much riskier.
iii. The report exhibits focus on multisectoral ‘One Health‘ approach and recommend nations to:
- give importance to national action plans to bring a hike in financing and capacity-building efforts
- set up stronger regulatory systems and support awareness programs for effective and responsible use of antimicrobials by professionals in societal health
- invest in R & D (research and development) for new technologies to curb antimicrobial resistance
- rule out the use of critically important antimicrobials as growth boosters in agriculture
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ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup 2019
The 2019 ISSF Rifle/Pistol World Cup was held in Beijing, China from 21 to 29 April. This event was the annual edition of the ISSF World Cup in the Olympic Shooting events and governed by International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF). This World Cup series was also the qualification tournaments for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic. India won 4 medals which include 3 gold and 1 silver, finished first in the tournament………………………….Click here to Read more
Medals won by Indian Shooters
|1.||10m Air Rifle Mixed||Anjum Moudgil|
Divyansh Singh Panwar
|2.||10m Air Pistol Mixed||Manu Bhaker|
|3.||10m Air Pistol||Abhishek Verma||Gold|
|4.||10m Air Rifle||Divyansh Singh Panwar||Silver|
Asian Weightlifting Championships 2019
The Asian Weightlifting Championships 2019 was held in Ningbo, China from April 20 to April 28, 2019. It was the 48th edition of men’s and 29th edition of women’s championship. There were 214 athletes from 27 nations participated in the tournament. India won 5 medals which include 3 silver and 2 bronze medals and finished at tenth place in the tournament.
Top 5 Countries in Medal tally
i. Youth Olympic Gold medallist Jeremy Lalrinnunga competing in group B of the 67-kg men’s event claimed three world marks and smashed the Youth World and Asian Records in the snatch, clean and jerk. He lifted a total weight of 297 kg. He broke six international records and nine national records.
ii. A junior World Championship bronze medallist, Jhili Dalabehera won a silver medal in 45-kg category in snatch, clean and jerk and also in total (Snatch + Clean and Jerk). She lifted 162 kg weight in total including 71kg in snatch and 91kg in clean and jerk.
iii. Mirabai Chanu won a bronze medal in clean and jerk in the 49-kg category. She lifted her personal best of 113 kg in clean and jerk.
iv. Pardeep Singh won bronze medal in clean and jerk in the 102 kg category as he lifted 201 kg in clean and jerk and lifted 150 kg in snatch.
Medals won by Indian Athletes
|1.||Women 49-kg||Snatch||Jhili Dalabehera||Silver|
|2.||Women 49-kg||Clean and Jerk||Jhili Dalabehera||Silver|
|3.||Women 49-kg||Total (Snatch + Clean and Jerk)||Jhili Dalabehera||Silver|
|4.||Men 102-kg||Clean and Jerk||Pardeep Singh||Bronze|
|5.||Women 49-kg||Clean and Jerk||Mirabai Chanu||Bronze|
About Asian Weightlifting Championship
The Asian Weightlifting Championship was organised by the Asian Weightlifting Federation. First edition of men’s Asian Weightlifting Championship had held in 1969 and first edition of women’s Asian Weightlifting Championship had held in 1988.
About Asian Weightlifting Federation
♦ Headquarter: Doha, Qatar
♦ President: Mohamed Yousef Al Mana
Indians win 1 silver, 2 bronze at Asian Road Para-Cycling Championships 2019
Asian Road Para-Cycling Championships 2019 was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from April 23 to April 28, 2019, and a total of twenty-eight countries took part. Indian para cyclists won a silver and two bronze medals.
i. Divij Shah has clinched his third consecutive silver medal in the C5 category.
ii. GurlalSingh, Asian Para Games bronze medallist, became the only Indian cyclist (able-bodied or otherwise) to win a medal at the Asian Games level grabbed a bronze in the C4 section.
iii. Sudhakar Marathe, a Hand cyclist from Maharashtra has claimed bronze for India in H5 category.
iv. The entire team went under rigorous training at the Aditya Mehta Foundation Academy(AMF) academy in Hyderabad under the guidance of coach K. Dattatreya and physiotherapist AshaShaikh.
♦ Capital: Tashkent
♦ Currency: Uzbekistani som
♦ President: Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Fast-rising G Sathiyan became first Indian to break into top-25 of ITTF rankings
On 29th April 2019, 26 years old India’s Table Tennis player Sathiyan Gnanasekaran became the first Indian to break into the world’s top 25 of the latest International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Rankings.
i. Earlier he ranked 28th and now moved four places up to occupy the 24th position.
ii. He was the only Indian to reach the round of 32 in the World Championships in Hungary.
iii. Sharath Kamal Achanta is the only other Indian beside him in the top 50 position who is now 46th place in the list.
Youngest best director Oscar nominee John Singleton passed away aged 51
On 29th April 2019, Boyz n the Hood director John Singleton, who was the first African American and the youngest-ever film-maker to be nominated for the best director Oscar, passed away at the age of 51 after suffering from hypertension.
i. He was born on 6th January 1968 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.
ii. In 1991, he released the Boyz n the Hood film which reflected his own background growing up in South Central Los Angeles.
iii. He was nominated for best director and best original screenplay Oscars at the age of 24.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Jairam Ramesh pens biography of diplomat-politician V K Krishna Menon titled “Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V K Krishna Menon”
A biography of Indian nationalist, diplomat, and politician V K Krishna Menon, titled “Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of V K Krishna Menon” has been written by Former union minister and writer Jairam Ramesh. This book will be released in the first quarter of 2020.
i. This book will be published by Penguin Random House India.
ii. The book will narrate Menon’s early life, moving through his agitational career in the UK for a quarter of a century.
iii. This book also contains his political and diplomatic innings from 1947 to 1974, culminating in his resignation as the country’s defence minister in November 1962.
International Jazz Day observed on April 30
International Jazz Day was observed on 30th April 2019, globally, to recognize jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people. The day was designated in 2011 by UNESCO. Jazz Day is chaired by Audrey Azoulay, Director general of the UNESCO along with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbert Jeffrey Hancock.
i. Hancock is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer, and actor.
ii. 2019 edition of International Jazz Day was launched in Australia. As a part of the celebrations, on 29 and 30 April, community service initiatives, education programmes and a wide range of jazz performances were presented in partnership with the Melbourne Conservatorium, University of Melbourne, featuring more than a dozen celebrated jazz masters.
iii. The events ended in an All-Star Global Concert at the Melbourne Arts Centre’s renowned Hamer Hall.
Meghalaya Cabinet approved for the creation of Directorate of Dairy Development
On 29th April 2019, The Meghalaya Cabinet approved the proposal for the creation of a new Directorate of Dairy Development to boost the milk production.
i. The state government had launched the Meghalaya Milk Mission and sanctioned Rs 215 crore through the National Cooperative Development Corporation
ii. For creating the post of director, the government would spend additionally Rs 12 lakh a year.
iii. The Cabinet has also approved a proposal for enhancing the grant-in-aid to 15 secondary schools in the state.
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