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Current Affairs August 19 2019

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President Ram Nath Govind inaugurates Bunker Museum at Raj Bhavan
On August 18,2019 the president of India, Shri Ram Nath Govind inaugurated the 15,000 square feet underground bunker museum at Raj Bhavan(Governor’s government house) in Mumbai.
i. The president also unveiled the foundation stone for the reconstruction of Jal Bhushan. It is the Governor’s office-cum-residential building with a history of nearly 200years. The present building has undergone renovation……………………….Click here to Read more

Panel to examine illegal sand mining in river Yamuna formed by NGT
The National Green Tribunal(NGT) has formed a committee to look into the issues of illegal sand mining in the Yamuna river and sought a report within a month. This is done following a move by the Delhi Jal Board(DJB) chief executive officer (CEO) Anil Kumar Singh alleging blockade in the main river course and illegal sand mining in the Yamuna river.
Key points
i. The bench is headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and the panel consists of Delhi district magistrate, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) which is the nodal agency for coordination and compliance and the Central Pollution Control Board.
About NGT
It is a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of cases pertaining to environmental issues. It is the thirdcountry following Australia and New Zealand to have such a system.
Act- National Green Tribunal Act,2010
First chairman- justice Lokeshwar Singh Panta(2010).

Gujarat to get country’s first Institute for chemical engineering and technology
As a boost to the chemical industry in the country, Gujarat is to get the country’s first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (CICET). The CICET would be built either at Vatva, Ahmedabad or Surat.
Key points
i. Apart from CICET, a plastic Waste Management Centre in Ahmedabad is to be set up to find out solutions to systematic segregation and recycling of plastic waste.
ii. A skill development centre will also start functioning at Bhavnagar, Gujarat from October 2019.
CIPET: Another campus, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology(CIPET) is to be set up at a cost of Rs 54 crore in Valsad, Gujarat for the benefit of tribal students and the plastic industry. The Minister of State for chemical and fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya, inaugurated the hostel of CIPET built at a cost or Rs 31 crore.
About Ministry of chemical fertilizers
The ministry administers three departments. They are Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals; Department of Fertilisers and Department of Pharmaceuticals
Union minister of chemical and fertilizers- D v Sadananda Gowda (constituency- Bangalore North, Karnataka).

SERB’s new scheme called “Supra” will fund cutting-edge research
In a bid to promote research in cutting edge areas of science, the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) plans to launch a new scheme called “Supra” (Scientific and Useful Profound Research Advancement) to fund scientists.
Key points:
i. The scheme has designed as a part of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 100-day transformative ideas.
ii.Aim: The aim of this scheme is to fund new scientific and engineering breakthroughs with global impact.
iii.Benefits: This will promote new areas of study, novel scientific concepts, new products, and technologies. It will also attract high-quality research proposals consisting of new hypotheses or challenge present ones and provide innovative solutions.
iv. HRHR: High Risk-High Reward (HRHR) Research is a scheme similar to Supra launched in 2017 which was meant for conceptually new and risky research projects that are expected to have paradigm-shifting influence.
v. SERB: It is a statutory body under the Department of Science and Technology. It was set up to promote and fund research in different scientific disciplines.
vi. Assistance: SERB will support 15 to 30 research proposals in the 1st  year under supra, which will be further increased to get funding for 3 years once it will be approved. It can be extended for another 2 more years.
About SERB:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Secretary: Prof Sandeep Verma


Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to Bhutan
The Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi made a State Visit to Bhutan on August 17-18, 2019, at the invitation of Prime Minister of Bhutan Dr. Lotay Tshering.

  • PM inaugurated the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant, one of the major projects under Bhutan’s initiative to generate 10,000 MW (Megawatt) hydropower by 2020 with the Indian government’s support. It is estimated to generate 2,923 GWh (Gigawatt Hour) of electricity.
  • Both leaders jointly inaugurated the Ground Earth Station and SATCOM network, developed with assistance from Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for utilization of South Asia Satellite in Bhutan.
  • PM launched RuPay Card in Bhutan by making a purchase at Simtokha Dzong which functions as a monastic and administrative centre and is one of the oldest dzongs in Bhutan………………….Click here to Read more


Mumbai Man Chinmay Prabhu creates 2nd world record for solving pyraminx puzzles
A 20-year-old Chinmay Prabhu from Mumbai has created a world record for the 2nd time under his name of solving 176 pyraminx (pyramid-shaped Rubik’s cube) puzzles while riding a bicycle in 1 hour and 7 minutes. He broke the record of solving 111 pyraminx puzzles.Chinmay Prabhu Key points:
i. On December 2018, He had set the Guinness Book of World Records of solving 9 rubik’s cubes underwater in 1 minute and 48 seconds.
ii. Prabhu also made an entry into the Limca Book of Records for solving mirror cube blindfolded.
iii. He has been solving Rubik’s cube puzzles since the year 2015.

Biopic- Chrysostom, enters Guinness book of records
The biographical documentary  “100 years of Chrysostom” on Metropolitan Emeritus of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar, Kerala, Philipose Mar Chrysostom, enters Guinness world book of records as the longest documentary.100 years of Chrysostom Key points
i. The documentary was scripted and directed by filmmaker Blessy.  Malayalam actor Mohanlal did the voice-over for the documentary and will also be the guest of honour.
ii. The benedictory speech will be delivered by Joseph Mar Thoma, (head or Mar Thoma Church) along with the documentary crew at SC Seminary school grounds, Kerala.
iii. Some of the members attending the event are M.Jayachandran(Music); Benyamin(Novelist), K.R.Meera(writer); K.S. Chitra(playback singer), V.Muraleedharan(Minister of State for external affairs), Prof.P.J. Kurien(former deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha).
iv. This documentary of length 48hour and 8minutes has broken the documentary length of Saudi Arabian documentary ‘World of Snakes’ of 21-hour length.

Chief scientist K Thangaraj of CCMB wins JC Bose Fellowship for the year 2019
K Thangaraj, chief scientist at the CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, Telangana, bagged this year’s J C Bose Fellowship for his outstanding contribution in the field of population and medical genomics on August 17, 2019.K Thangaraj Key points
i. His research work includes the genetic basis of male infertility, cardiovascular disease, sex determination, mitochondrial disorders, ayur genomics, and forensic genetics.
ii. He and his fellow researchers established the association of mitochondrial DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) variations with several disorders which is the first in India.
About the JC Bose fellowship
i. It is awarded to active scientists and engineers in recognition of their outstanding performance and contributions by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.
ii. The award is named after Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose who was the inventor of crescograph (a device used to measure the growth of plants) and also known as the father of Bengali science fiction.
iii. The duration of the fellowship is 5 years. Each fellow will receive a contingency of Rs 10 Lakh per annum for conferences and other expenses.


Paytm promoted CFO Madhur Deora as its President
On August 19, 2019, Indian largest digital wallet company, Paytm has promoted its CFO (chief financial officer) Madhu Deora as President of the company.
Key points:Madhur Deora
i. He joined the paytm in October 2016 and prior to this, he has served as Managing Director (MD)in Citigroup’s investment banking business in New York, London, and Mumbai.
ii. He will now be tasked with several businesses in the consumer services segment to oversee their growth and financials.
iii. On May 3, 2019, Bhushan Patil quits as a president of Paytm.
About Paytm:
♦ Founded
: 2010
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
♦ CEO: Vijay Shekhar Sharma


Scientists discovered a new pain-sensing organ in the skin
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered a new mesh-like organ in the skin that senses pain and able to detect painful mechanical damage such as pricks and pressure. This could pave the way for painkilling medication effectively.
Key points:
i. The new two-cell receptor sensory organ is made up of glial ‘Schwann’ cells with multiple long protrusions present below the outer layer of skin (the epidermis).
ii. The sensitivity to pain occurs in the skin’s nerve fibers as well as in the new pain-sensitive organ.
iii. The activation of the organ creates electrical impulses in the nervous system that result in reflex reactions (such as pulling our hand away when we feel a jab from a sharp object) and experience of pain.
iv. Almost one in five people suffered from constant pain and spent a considerable amount of money and put effort into finding painkilling drugs.
v. The study has been published in the journal, ‘Science’.


India is the top emitter of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the world: Greenpeace
According to a data released by a non-governmental environmental organization, GreenpeaceIndia is the world’s top emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide(SO2)  in the world with more than 15% of all the SO2 hotspots, tracked by NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.
i. SO2 hotspots in India: The reports finds that Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Neyveli, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in Maharashtra are the major SO2 hotspots in India.
ii. SO2 Hotspots in the World:  Norilsk smelter complex in Russia is the largest SO2 emission hotspot in the world, followed by China, Mexico, Zagroz (Iran) and  Kriel in Mpumalanga province (South Africa)…………………..Click here to Read more

Researchers of RGU in Arunachal Pradesh discovered 5 new fish species
On August 18, 2019 researchers from the Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), Arunachal Pradesh have discovered 5 new fish species in various districts of the state.
The discovered fish species are:

Fish speciesPlace
Mystus prabiniSinkin and Dibang rivers in Lower Dibang valley district.
Exostoma kottelatiRanga river in Lower subansiri district.
Creteuchiloglanis tawangensisTawangchu river in Tawang district.
Garra ranganensisRanga river
Physoschistura harkishoreiDibang and Lohit rivers in lower Dibang valley district.

Key points
i. The team was led by Prof. D N Das of the fisheries and aquatic ecology research wing of the Zoology department of the university.
Two new freshwater fish species: Similarly, two new species of freshwater fish species are discovered by the zoological Survey of India(ZSI) in the northeastern part of India. They are Glyptothorax gopii in Mizoram’s Kaladan river and Garra simbalbaraensis in Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara river. The details of the two discoveries were published in Zootaxa.
About Arunachal Pradesh.
Capital- Itanagar.
Chief Minister- Pema Khandu.
National parks (NP)- Namdapha NP, Mouling NP.
Wildlife sanctuary(WLS)- Dibang WLS, Kamlang WLS, Talley valley WLS.
Other names- Land of dawn-lit-mountains; Orchid state of India; Paradise of botanists.
Recently in May 2019, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) discovered that 35% of India’s total graphite deposits are found in Arunachal Pradesh.

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Mumbai to host 2019 World Youth chess meet
The 2019 World Youth chess championship is to be held in Mumbai from October 1-13, at the Renaissance Hotel in Powai, Mumbai under the aegis of All-India Chess Federation and organized by the All-Marathi chess Association.Mumbai to host 2019 World Youth chess meet World’s second youngest GrandMaster(GM) R.Pragganandhaa(14) from Chennai and Nagpur’s Divya Deshmukh will take part in the event.
Key points
i. India’s challenge in the girls’ category will be led by Divya Deshmukh.
ii. Players from 62 countries including Russia, America, France, Italy, and Azerbaijan have confirmed their participation.
iii. Players will be seen in three age group for boys and girls: under(U)-14, U-16 and U-18.
iv. Pragganandhaa is the sibling of Vaishali.R, the youngest International Master(IM) and the fourth-youngest GrandMaster in history.

Australian cricketer Marnus Labuschagne becomes first concussion substitute
Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne born in South Africa became the first person to replace as a concussion substitute in Test cricket. He replaced Steve Smith who suffered a delayed concussion caused by a blow on the back of the neck by England’s Jofra Archer’s bowling during the second match of 2019 Ashes Series in Lord’s, London.First concussion substitute Key points
i. Smith passed a series of concussion tests after the incident and was cleared to resume his innings but was dismissed for 92 runs.
ii. The concussion tests taken are SCAT5 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool) which involves answering a series of questions and fill out forms and the CogSport test before being cleared to train and play.
About concussion tests and concussion substitutes
Concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. The concussion tests are used to assess brain function after a head injury.
i. The International Cricket Council (ICC) approved the use of concussion substitutes across all formats in the international and first-class cricket during the ICC Annual Conference held in London following a 2 year trial period in the domestic test (Big Bash League 2016-17).
ii. Concussion substitutes came into effect from the Ashes series between England and Australia scheduled in England from August 1, 2019.
iii. The decision on replacement should be approved by the match referee and the player should be a like-for-like replacement.

Hima Das and Mohammad Anas clinched gold in 300m races at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter Event 2019 in Czech Republic
In the 300m races held at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter Event 2019 in the Czech Republic, Indian sprinters Hima Das and Mohammad Anas won gold in the women’s and men’s category respectively.
i. It was the sixth gold in European races by Hima Das since July 2, 2019.

Former Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole retires from football
On August 18, 2019, Former Chelsea, Arsenal, and England football player Ashley Cole aged 38, announced his retirement from football, ending his 20-year playing career. It is expected that he would be pursuing a career in coaching.Ashley Cole Key points
i. Born on 20 December 1980 in London, Cole began his youth career at Arsenal making his debut in 1999. He won two Premier League(PL) titles, three FA cups(The football association challenge cup).
ii. He made a transfer to the Chelsea team in 2006 winning 2009-10PL, four FA cups, one Football League cup, one UEFA(Union of European Football Associations) Champions League and one UEFA Europa league.
iii. He had won 107 caps making him England’s most capped player by England.
iv. In 687 games throughout his career, he scored 20 goals and made 69 assists and won UEFA team of the year twice for Arsenal and Chelsea.


Former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra passes away at 82
Jagannath Mishra, former Bihar chief minister and JD(U) i.e., Janata Dal (United) leader passed away after battling cancer on August 19, 2019. He was undergoing treatment in New Delhi and breathed his last there. He hailed from Balua Bazar in Supaul district, Bihar.
Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra Key points
i. Born on 24 June 1937, Mishra served as the chief minister of the state thrice. He was the last Congress chief minister of the state. He also served as a Union minister in the P V Narasimha Rao cabinet. In 1980, he declared Urdu as the second official language of the state.
ii. Mishra served as an economics professor at Bihar University before joining politics and also authored some books.
iii. A three-day state mourning was announced condoling the former chief minister’s demise.

Veteran Odisha based journalist and columnist Ranjit Guru passed away
Senior journalist & editor of Odia daily Sambad, Ranjit Guru passed away following a brief illness in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He was 61.
i. After completing post-graduation and M Phil degree, Ranjit started his career in journalism as correspondent of Sambalpur for the language daily Sambad & with over 30 years long career, he promoted to the rank of the senior editor.
ii. He got his credit by highlighting important issues through his writings and columns.
iii. He was also associated with popular newspapers of Anandabazar Patrika and The Asian Age.

NS Tasneem- Sahitya Akademi winner passed away at 91
Eminent Punjabi writer and Sahitya Akademi (1999) award winner Professor Niranjan Singh Tasneem passed away at his residence in Ludhiana, Punjab due to old age ailments on August 17, 2019. He is survived by wife, two daughters and a son.NS Tasneem Key points
i. Born in Amritsar on May 1, 1929, Tasneem served as a professor in Satish Chander Dhawan(SCD) government college in Ludhiana and was also a research fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh in 1998-1999.
ii. He has written 12 books in English and two Urdu novels, 10 novels and literary books in Punjabi each. Some of his famous novels are the widely acclaimed ‘Ikk Hor Nawan Saal (Another New Year) which was part of the class 10 syllabus of Punjab School Education Board(PSEB) for almost 15 years, ‘Jado Sawer Hoyi’(When Dawn Happened) about Indo-Pak partition, and ‘Red Chall’.
iii. His first Punjabi novel was ‘Parchawein’. He wrote in Urdu initially before switching to English and Punjabi.
iv. His last Punjabi novel was ‘Talaash Hoyi Sadeevi’ (year 2000) and his last published work was ‘Sahitkaari Atey Sahitik Paripekh’(2014).
Awards: He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award for his book “Gawache Arth” (The Lost Meaning) in 1999. The book was based on the life of Punjabis in 1984 Anti Sikh riots. He was also awarded Punjab’s highest literary honor- Punjabi Sahit Rattan in 2015.


World photography day celebrated on August 19, 2019
On August 19, 2019, World photography day was celebrated across the world. The aim of this day is to encourage people to express their feelings, emotions and social thinking through their photography skills.World photography dayKey points:
i. The date of August 19 was chosen to commemorate the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837. On January 9, 1839, the French Academy of Sciences announced the Daguerreotype process & then the French government purchased the patent and announced the invention as a gift free to the world without copyright.
ii. The first selfie was clicked by US (United States) photo enthusiast Robert Cornelius in the early months of 1839.

World Humanitarian Day observed on 19, August 2019
The world humanitarian day (WHD) 2019 was observed on August 19, 2019. The day was observed to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives for humanitarian services.World Humanitarian Dayi. The Campaign for the 2019 World Humanitarian Day is ‘Women Humanitarians’. It aims to draw attention towards the work of women in crises throughout the world.
ii. This day marks the death of the then Special Representative of Secretary-General to Iraq, Sérgio Vieira de Mello and 21 of his colleagues who were killed in the bombing of the UN (United Nations) Headquarters in Baghdad on August 19, 2003.
iii. This day was instituted by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing a resolution A/63/L.49 in 2008. The resolution was sponsored by Sweden and was passed by UNGA on Strengthening of Coordination of Emergency Assistance of the UN.
iv. Since 2008, this day is observed annually by the humanitarian community to ensure safety and security of humanitarian aid workers and for the survival, well-being and dignity of people affected by the crisis.

The Parsi New Year ‘Navroz or Jamshedi Navroz’ celebrated on August 17, 2019
On August 17, 2019, Parsis residing in India celebrated their new year ‘Navroz or Jamshedi Navroz’. It marks the Iranian and Persian New year. The day is dedicated to the beginning of spring. Navroz means a “new day” and the Parsi New Year is popularly referred as Pateti. Zoroastrians across the globe celebrated the New Year on March 21, 2019, by following Fasli/Bastnai calendar.
Key Points:
i. In India, it is celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Shahenshahi Calendar for health, wealth, prosperity and productivity.
ii. The day is known as “Jamshedi Navroz” after the legendary King of Persia Jamshed who started the Parsi calendar.
iii. The sizeable Parsi population of India is lived in Maharashtra and Gujarat.


Noted Odisha tribal leader and Senior Congress candidate Sahura Mallick  passed away
Sahura Mallick, a noted Odisha tribal leader and former Baliguda MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) passed away following a brief illness in Kandhamal district of Odisha. He was 84.
i. Sahura, worked as a teacher before joining politics.
ii. He was elected from Baliguda constituency, a reserved assembly segment for the Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates on Congress ticket in 1974, 1980 and 1985.

Former MLA, Umesh Bhat Bhavikeri passed away in Bengaluru
On August 13, 2019, Former Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Ankola (Karnataka) from 1989 to 1994 and a Congress leader, Umesh Bhat Bhavikeri, aged 72, passed away due to a heart attack in Bengaluru, Karnataka. He was a native of Bhavikeri, Ankola taluk, Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka.Umesh Bhat Bhavikerii. He was the Chairman of the Loka Shikshana Trust and served as a trustee until his death. The trust publishes Samyukta Karnataka, a Kannada daily.

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