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Current Affairs August 16 2019

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The Indian Navy is to host naval exercise MILAN in March 2020 in Vizag
The Indian Navy is to host the multilateral naval exercise named ‘MILAN‘ at Visakhapatnam for the year 2020 in the month of March. The announcement for this exercise was made by Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) at the INS(Indian Navy Ship) Circars Parade Ground in the ENC on the occasion of 73rd Independence day.
Key points
i. MILAN is a biennial exercise which was first started in 1995. Until last year the exercise was held at Andaman and Nicobar Command(ANC).
ii. For the first time, this exercise is to be conducted in the mainland of ENC, Vishakapatnam.
iii. Flag hoist: After hoisting the flag, the vice-admiral Mr.Jain, inspected ceremonial parade that comprised of naval platoons.
iv. Officials present:  Flag officers, Commanding officers of various ships and establishments in Visakhapatnam, several armed forces, civilian personnel and their families were present in the occasion.
v. Tributes:  Vice admiral Narayan Prasad, Director General Naval Projects, Visakhapatnam paid tribute to the Martyrs who sacrificed their lives. The tribute was paid at ‘Victory at Sea’ war memorial on the Beach road, Visakhapatnam.

World’s 1st museum dedicated to the life of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu opened in Kolkata
On August 13, 2019, West Bengal Chief Minister(CM), Mamata Banerjee has opened the World’s 1st museum dedicated to the life of a 16th-century saint and social reformer, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, designed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is named as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu museum.Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu museum opened in Kolkata Key points:
i. The museum is a 3-storeyed structure with an approximately 1,350 sq m of covered area, of which 1,000 sq m has been used to for the galleries, public utility and as a library.
ii. The floors of the museum dedicated to different phases of the saint’s life from his birth, marriage with Vishupria, journey in every part of the country to the period after he attained ”Sanyasa” (sainthood).
iii. It was also equipped with Life-size models, 3D(3-Dimensional) films, audio tracks, and animatronics.
iv. The project to build the museum was initiated by the Gaudiya Mission, a spiritual and philanthropic organization established in 1935 to spread the philosophy enunciated in the Vaishnava cult and the message of peace, love, and harmony, as propounded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
About West Bengal:
♦ Capital
: Kolkata
♦ Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar
♦ National Parks: Buxa National Park ,Gorumara National Park ,Neora Valley National Park ,Singalila National Park ,Sunderban National Park ,Jaldapara National Park.


5th Meeting of BRICS Minister of Environment held in Sao Paulo, Brazil
On August 16, 2019, 5th BRICS Minister of Environment Meeting held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which was preceded by the 2-day meeting of BRICS Joint Working Group on Environment. The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar.
i. Key Initiatives:  The Ministers of BRICS countries underlined the” Partnership on Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative (PUESI)” for sharing knowledge & experience on major issues such as waste management, cogeneration, reverse logistics, sanitation, urban air quality, urban green areas.
ii. Cooperation Platform: BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) Cooperation Platform was highlighted for innovations, knowledge sharing and capacity building…………………..Click here to Read more

Air India is the first Indian Airline to fly over Zero Degree North Pole
On August 15, 2019, Air India hoisted its Boeing 777 aircraft (Delhi-San Francisco flight AI-173 ) over the zero degrees the North Pole and became the first Indian airline to operate commercial flights overflying polar region. It usually overflies the Atlantic or the Pacific ocean. Flying over the North Pole saved fuel and time.Air India


ANZ lowers India’s GDP growth in FY20 to 6.2%
On August 16,2019 , According to a recent report of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), India’s GDP (gross domestic product) growth expected to grow by 6.2 % in 2019 (FY-Fiscal Year 2020) It revised downwards its outlook for FY20 from 6.5% due to sluggish domestic demand, and slowing down of Industry figures.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Key points:
i. It also downgraded its forecast for the year to March 2021 to 6.5% from 7.1%.
ii. This will badly affect the government’s target of getting the economy at rates above 8%.
iii. The declining trends of Industry figures showed Auto mobiles sales volume plunged 30.9 % on July 2019 from July 2018, the 9th straight month of declines and the biggest drop since December 2000, along with investment indicators, such as the production of steel & cement.
iv. The policy rate cut by RBI (Reserve Bank of India) will help revive economic growth but it may take a much longer period to boost growth because of the time lag between the policy measures and response.
v. Fitch rating: It projected a growth forecast of 6.8% for the2019 (FY-Fiscal Year 2020).It also stated that RBI’s rate cuts were not sufficient for “uplifting India’s economy”.
About ANZ:
♦ Founded: 2 March 1835
♦ Headquarters: Melbourne, Australia
♦ CEO: Shayne Elliott


Gallantry awards and other decorations- 2019
President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind approved 132 Awards to Armed Forces Personnel and members of Paramilitary Forces. President is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. There were 2 Kirti Chakras, 1 Vir Chakra, 14 Shaurya Chakras, 8 Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 90 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 5 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), 7 Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry) and 5 Yudh Seva Medals.

  • Sapper Prakash Jadhav of the Rashtriya Rifles (posthumously) and Harshpal Singh, Dy Commandant of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were awarded Kirti Chakras 2019.
  • Wing Commander of Indian Air Force (IAF) Abhinandan Varthaman, who downed an enemy jet during an aerial combat with Pakistan in February 2019 and was held captive for 3 days, was conferred the Vir Chakra 2019, India’s third-highest war time gallantry medal……………………Click here to Read more


Harshad Pandurang Thakur designated as the Director of NIHFW
On August 14, 2019, The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Government of India(GoI) has made Harshad Pandurang Thakur as the Director of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare(NIHFW)  for a period of 5 years. He replaces Shri. Sudhansh Pant.
Key points:
i. Prior to this appointment, Thakur was a professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.
ii. He was also worked as a chairperson for the Centre for Health Policy, Planning & Management (CHPPM) from July 2008 to June 2010, and the chairperson for the Centre for Public Health (CPH) from June 2010 to March 2015.
About NIHFW:
♦ Headquarter
: New Delhi
♦ Formation: 9th March 1977
It is an autonomous organization formed by the merger of two national level institutions, i.e. the National Institute of Health Administration and Education (NIHAE) and the National Institute of Family Planning (NIFP).
It works under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India(GoI) which acts as an apex technical institute for the promotion of health and family welfare programmes in India.


Axis Capital Ex-chief Dharmesh Mehta and investors bought 100% stake in IDFC Securities Ltd
Former Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Axis Capital,  Dharmesh Mehta and other investors bought 100% stake in IDFC Securities Ltd from IDFC Financial Holding Company (IDFC FHCL) for an undisclosed amount. Both the entities entered into an agreement to sell/acquire the stake.
About IDFC Securities Ltd:
IDFC stands for Infrastructure Development Finance Company.
Headquarters: Mumbai


Earth has lost 53% of its wildlife since 1970: WWF report
According to the first-ever global assessment of forest biodiversity, “Below the Canopy: Plotting Global Trends in Forest Wildlife Populations” by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the number of forest wildlife populations have declined on average by 53% since 1970 due to Habitat loss and degradation, over exploitation and Climate change.
i. LPI: The report was based on Forest Specialist Index, which was developed based on the method for the Living Planet Index (LPI), an indicator of global biodiversity.
ii. Reduction:  455 populations of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians were monitored & out of that 268 species were available because of decline at an annual rate of 1.7 %, on average between 1970 and 2014…………………..Click here to Read more

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Indian Army emerged as the winner in 5th ‘International Army Scout Masters Competition’2019
On August 16, 2019, The Indian Army team participated for the 1st time& has emerged as the winner among 8 teams in five stages of the 5th  edition of ‘International Army Scout Masters Competition 2019’ held in Jaisalmer Military Station, Rajasthan from August 6-14,2019.
i. Organizer: Indian Army’s ‘Konark Corps’ was organized this event.
ii. Teams: Besides India, the teams from Armenia, Belarus, China, Kazakhstan,  Russia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan participated in this prestigious event…………….Click here to Read more

India’s Men’s team clinched first cycling gold at UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships 2019
Cyclists Esow Alben, Ronaldo Singh and Rojit Singh of India won the first cycling gold by defeating Australia in men’s team sprint event at UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Junior Track Cycling World Championships 2019 held in Frankfurt, Germany. Bronze was won by Great Britain. The event was held from August 14-18, 2019.UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships 2019i. The women’s team of Triyasha and Nikita finished 5th in the women’s team sprint event.
ii. 2020 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships will be held in Cairo, Egypt.

Liverpool crunches Chelsea to win UEFA Super Cup 2019
On August 15, 2019, Football club, Liverpool produced their best to win the 44th UEFA Super Cup 2019 by beating Chelsea with 5–4 on penalties at the Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey.UEFA Super Cup 2019i. The match was the first all-English UEFA (Union of European Football Associations ) Super Cup & it was Liverpool’s 4th  Super Cup victory with the previous victories in the year of 2005, 2001& 1977.
About UEFA Super Cup:
It is an annual super cup football match organized by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.


Dutch Princess Christina, sister of former queen of Netherlands Beatrix, passed away at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague
On August 16, 2019, The youngest sister of former Queen of the Netherlands- Beatrix, Dutch Princess Christina, aged 72, passed away after a battle with bone cancer at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.Dutch Princess Christinai. She was born on February 18, 1947 at Soestdijk Palace, Netherlands.
ii. Former Queen Beatrix had reigned as the Queen of the Netherlands from 30 April 1980 until her abdication on 30 April 2013.

Former Indian cricketer VB Chandrasekhar died at the age of 57
The former opening batsman of India, VB Chandrasekhar, popularly known as VB, died at the age of 57 at his house in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The death is suspected to be suicide as he was found hanging at his home. He is survived by a wife and two daughters.VB Chandrasekhar Key points
i. The former cricketer owned “V B Kanchi Veerans” team in the TamilNadu Premier League. He invested Rs.3 crores in the Kanchi Veerans. it is expected that financial burdens and liabilities were the reasons for his death.
ii. Born on 21 August 1961, the Chennai born cricketer represented India in seven ODIs(One Day Internationals) between 1988 and 1990 and also played a key role in the Ranji trophy making it as the last TamilNadu team to triumph in the 1987-88 season with 551 runs.
iii. He scored 4999 runs at domestic level in 81 games with the highest score of 237 not out.
iv. He hit a  56-ball century – the then fastest hundred in India’s first-class competition in the 1988-1989 Irani Cup in Chennai.
v. He served as a national selector from 2004-2006 after retirement and coached the Tamil Nadu team during the 2012-13 season.
vi. He was appointed as manager of Chennai Super Kings(CSK) at the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008 and was instrumental in getting the iconic M.S. Dhoni to the team.


Book on the History of Jammu & Kashmir from 1889 to 2019 titled ‘Kashmir’s untold story: Declassified’ to be released
Book titled ‘Kashmir’s untold story: Declassification’ by Bloomsbury publishers was announced on August 14, 2019. The book portrays the time of political and geographical consolidations of Jammu & Kashmir(J&K), beginning from the era of Maharaja Gulab Singh till the present day.Kashmir’s untold story-Declassified Key points
i. The book is authored by Delhi- based filmmaker Iqbal Chand Malhotra and defence analyst Maroof Raza.
ii. The book will be released on September 18, 2019.
iii. It shares the history of J&K when it first imposed central rule and dispossessed the rule of the then Maharaja Gulab Singh.
i. Some of the contents in the book deals with the scrapping of Article 370 and 35A of J&K, the formation of two new Territories J&k and Ladakh.
ii. Other pressing issues like China’s interest in J&K, Islamic Jihad and Indus water treaty (IWS) – water distribution between India and Pakistan will be dealt with.


‘Village Volunteers System’ launched by AP CM Jaganmohan Reddy on independence day
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) and YSR(Yuvajana Sramika Rythu) Congress party leader, Jaganmohan Reddy on his maiden Independence Day speech on August 15,2019 at IGMS (Indira Gandhi (municipal) Stadium) ground in Vijayawada, announced a new flagship programme ‘Village VolunteerSystem’ to provide doorstep governance to people involving 2.8Lakh volunteers. The scheme would be launched on the Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2.
ii. Launch of Village secretariats on October 2,2019 was announced to make the volunteers act as a bridge between the Government and the people. The secretariats will deliver doorstep services within 72 hours…………………………Click here to Read more

Online revenue payment system launched by CM of Odisha
The chief minister of Odisha Shri Naveen Patnaik, launched online revenue payment system providing people, an easier way to make their land revenue payments-online, on 73rd Independence Day on August 15,2019 at Bhubaneswar.
i. This online payment system was developed at National Informatics Centre- Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
ii. This is the first of its kind initiative of State revenue department of  Odisha under the “5-T mantra”. The 5T mantras are Technology, Transparency, Team work, Time and Transformation which the CM urged all to follow,especially to the newly recruited civil service officers for better governance of the state………………….Click here to Read more

The Chhattisgarh state government increases reservation for sc and obc categories in state jobs and education
The Chhattisgarh government announced an increase in reservation for Scheduled caste (SC) from 12% to 13% and for Other Backward Classes (OBC)  from 14% to 27%. This announcement was made by Chief Minister (CM) Shri Bhupesh Baghel on August 15,2019 independence day celebration at the Police parade ground in Raipur, Chattisgarh.
i. With the increase in quota, the state’s reservation becomes a total of 72 percent, which is the highest in the country and far above the reservation limit of 50 percent mandated by the Supreme court.
ii. New district: CM made an announcement of the formation of a new district “Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi” which will be carved out of Bilaspur. This is done for better administration of the state. The state will now have total districts to 28………………..Click here to Read more

TamilNadu awards people on various categories on the 73rd Independence Day
The chief minister of TamilNadu Shri Edappadi K Palaniswami conferred awards to people and organisations at Fort St. George among various categories on the 73rd Independence day celebration.
Key points
Chief minister’s best practice Award:
i. It was conferred to Greater Chennai Police Commissionerate for the installation of ‘Third Eye’ CCTV (closed-circuit Television). This award was also conferred to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj for the Naganathi River Rejuvenation Project (Vellore) under MGNREGS(Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme).
ii. The Department of Commercial Taxes got this award for development of mobile app and providing 24*7 assistance to migrate to GST(Goods and Service Tax) system and also.
iii. Greater Chennai Corporation received certificate of appreciation for creating sensory parks for differently abled children under smart city project.
Award for exemplary service for the welfare of Differently abled- best doctor awards:

  • Dr.S Vetrivel chezian, Government Coimbatore Medical College Hospital.
  • Dr.V Ramadevi, Government Kilpauk Medical College.

Best private employer award: Everest Stabilizers private Ltd.
Best social worker award: Mrs. Chandra Prasad of Pathway.
Best co-operative bank award: Salem District Central Cooperative Bank.
Chief minister’s state youth award: P.Naveen Kumar(Namakkal district), M.Anandakumar(Dindigul district), R.Kalaivani(Madurai district).
Award rendered for service to women: M.Soosai Marian.
Best institution for serving of women: Bothimaram in Salem District.
Best municipalities

  1. Dharmapuri
  2. Vedaranyam
  3. Aranthangi.

Best Corporation: Salem.

Tamil Nadu trifurcates Vellore district to form new districts
After taking a consensus from the ministers, MLAs (Member of the Legislative Assembly) and the general public, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu Shri Edappadi K Palaniswami made an announcement on trifurcation of Vellore district. Ranipet and Tirupattur are the new districts carved out of Vellore. After the trifurcation, Tamil Nadu now has 37 districts.
Key points
i. The announcement was made on August 15, 2019, independence day celebration at Fort St George in Chennai, TamilNadu. Now, Tirupathur and Ranipet need not travel long distances to reach the Collector’s office in Vellore, one of the largest districts in Tamil Nadu by area.
ii. He also announced that K V Kuppam of Vellore district would be upgraded to a new taluka.
iii. The year 2019 has saw the creation of 5 additional districts by the Edappadi K Palaniswami govt in TamilNadu.
Previous formation of new districts:

  • In July 2019, Chengalpet and Tenkasi were made new districts carved out from Kancheepuram and Tirunelveli districts respectively.
  • In January 2019, district of Kalakurichi was carved out from Villupuram district.

About TamilNadu
♦ Capital- Chennai.
♦ Governor- Banwarilal Purohit.(21st governor)
♦ Rivers- Kaveri, Thamirabarani, Palar, Vaigai, Bhavani, Noyyal, Cheyyar, Cellar, Then Pennai.
♦ State butterfly- Tamil Yeoman(Cirrochroa Thais); also known as Tamil maravan which means warrior.

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