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Current Affairs August 22 2019

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Union HRD Minister launches world’s largest teachers’ training programme NISHTHA
On August 21, 2019, Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the National Mission to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA) at Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi in the presence of Smt Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and other senior officers from MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development), all States and Union Territories (UTs), Senior Policy Makers and Heads of Institutions.
i.About NISHTHA: It is the  largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world with an aim to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. Teachers will get awareness and develop their skills on various aspects related to Learning Outcomes, Competency Based Learning and Testing, Learner-centered Pedagogy, School Safety and Security, Personal-social qualities, Inclusive Education. It is the first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs…………………………..Click here to Read more

Tourism ministry announces new 5 year visa and other e-visa relaxations in the works
A reduction in the e-visa(electronic visa) fee was proposed by the tourism ministry with the aim of attracting more foreign travellers to the country. As of the proposed plan, a new 5-year visa plan was announced, and also the e-visa fee will be offered with the option of short-term as well as long-term tourist e-visa plan.
i. The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel (Minister of State- independent charge), at the State Tourism Ministers’ conference held on august 20, 2019 in New Delhi.
ii. Last year, the government made plans to increase foreign tourist arrivals to 20 million by 2020. As of 2017, the number stood at 10 million………………………………Click here to Read more

Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh approves decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters
On August 21, 2019, Union Minister for Defence Shri Rajnath Singh approved certain decisions regarding re-organisation of Army Headquarters, based on a detailed internal study conducted by the Army Headquarters (AHQ).
An independent vigilance cell will be made functional under COAS (Chief of Army Staff) with Tri-Services representation. Accordingly, ADG- Additional Directorate General (Vigilance) will be placed directly under the COAS for this purpose It will have three Colonel-level officers (one each from Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy). This will be done within the existing posts at AHQ. At present, the vigilance function for the COAS is through multiple agencies and there is no single point interface…………………..Click here to Read more

Karnataka tops in State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index(SARAL) 2019
On 21 August 2019, RK Singh, the Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has launched the State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index 2019 (SARAL) at the Review Planning and Monitoring (RPM) Meeting with States and State Power Utilities in New Delhi.
i. SARAL Index: As per the Index, Karnataka got the top spot with SARAL score of 78.8 as the best state for setting up a rooftop solar project followed by Telangana(72.2), Gujarat(67.9) and Andra Pradesh(66.1). Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) has been ranked last with a score of 14.4. All the first 4 got A++ grade………………………..Click here to Read more

FASTags will be mandatory for all vehicles from December 2019: Nitin Gadkari
Shri Nitin Gadkari
, Minister of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) stated that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December 2019, during the launch of the new website that gives data about highways construction, land acquisition, FASTags, etc.
Key points:
i. A total of  52.59 lakh FASTags have been issued till now. These are being issued through various channels such as Point-of-Sale (PoS) by 22 certified banks at NH toll plazas, bank branches, etc.
ii. The Ministry has also initiated steps to enact the Motor Vehicles Act 2019 to help tackle road accidents and bring down fatalities. 63 clauses deal with penalties, licenses, registration and National Transport Policy which do not require framing of new rules, have been sent clearance to Law Ministry for evaluation.
iii. FASTag: It is an electronic toll connection device attached to the windscreen of the vehicle to enable drivers to pass through toll plazas without having to stop for a cash transaction.
It uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to enable direct toll payments while the vehicle is moving. The toll fee is deducted from the bank account linked to FASTag.
About MoRTH:
Founded: July 1942
Headquarters:  New Delhi


Overview of Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu’s three nation tour to Lithuania, Latvia & Estonia
Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu went on a visit to 3 Baltic nations Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from August 17-21, 2019 to enhance India’s bilateral ties with each of the three countries

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu received a copy of the book ‘History of Lithuania’ in Hindi. He expressed his appreciation for the publication- Comparative Dictionary of 108 Common Lithuanian and Sanskrit words.
  • Vice president paid tributes to the heroes of Latvia’s struggle for independence by laying a wreath on the Freedom Monument in Riga. He was accompanied by the President of Latvia, Mr. Egils Levits. He unveiled the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Latvia’s prestigious National Library.
  • Both countries(Estonia and India) exchanged MoUs on cooperation in the field of e-governance and emerging digital technologies and cooperation in the area of CyberSecurity…………………………..Click here to Read more

Overview of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visit to Bangladesh
External Affairs Minister(EAM) of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has made a two-day visit to Bangladesh (August 19-20, 2019) to review bilateral relations. This is Jaishankar’s first visit to Bangladesh since he assumed office in June 2019.
i. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar paid respects to Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi area of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
ii. EAM S Jaishankar held talks with Bangladeshi counterpart Dr. A K Abdul Menon and discussed steps to further expand the bilateral partnership across several sectors……………………………Click here to Read more

SAARC Foreign Ministers’ informal meeting to be hosted by Nepal
On August 19, 2019, Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali announced for the SAARC(South Asian Association for Regional Corporation) foreign ministers informal meeting which is to be held in Nepal in September 2019. This meet is based on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.
Key points
i. Key reason: Revival of the SAARC will be the key topic to be discussed in the summit as the 19th SAARC summit was boycotted.
Previous SAARC summit and boycott background:
i. The18th SAARC summit was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2014.
ii. After this, the 19th SAARC summit was to be hosted by Pakistan in 2016. But India(largest member in the SAARC forum) boycotted the summit alleging Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack at a military base in Uri in Jammu & Kashmir that killed 19 Indian soldiers.
iii. Other member countries of SAARC namely Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, also walked off from the summit following India’s decision resulting in diplomatic pressure on Pakistan.
20th SAARC meet: To be hosted by Srilanka, the 20th meet was planned and is expected to take place in the city of Colombo, Srilanka.
Headquarters- Kathmandu, Nepal.
Member nations- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka.
Establishment- 8 December 1985.


RBI permits processing of e-mandate on credit and debit cards for recurring merchant payments
India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has permitted processing of e-mandate on credit and debit cards along with Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), including wallets for recurring merchant payments with AFA (Additional Factor Authentication, a security measure put in place for card payments that requires OTP – one-time password verification) during registration and 1st  transaction. It will come into effect from 1 September 2019.
i. Applicability: Cards shall be only for recurring payment transactions and not for a ‘once-only’ payment.
ii. Transaction limit:  The maximum permissible limit under this payment system shall be Rs 2,000 per transaction…………………Click here to Read more

RBI Extends Timings of RTGS Transactions by an hour from 7 am instead of 8 am from August 26, 2019
India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the timings of Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions by an hour from 7 AM instead of 8 AM with effect from August 26, 2019, with the aim to increase the availability of the RTGS system.
Key points:
i. At present, the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System is available for customer transactions from 8 AM to 6 PM and for inter-bank transactions from 8 AM to 7.45 PM.
ii. In order to promote digital transactions, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) had decided to allow the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) services to be active 24×7 from December 2019 from the current timings of 8.00 am to 7.00 pm on all working days(excluding  2nd and 4th  Saturdays of a month). NEFT is used for fund transfers up to Rs. 2 lakh maintained by the Reserve Bank of India. There is no maximum and minimum limit of money transferred through NEFT.
iii. RTGS: It is for large-value instantaneous fund transfers with the minimum limit of Rs 2 lakh &there is no maximum limit.
About RBI:
Headquarters: Mumbai
Founded: 1 April 1935
Governor: Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors: 4 (BP Kanungo, N S Vishwanathan, and Mahesh Kumar Jain, the 4th is yet to be appointed)

Acko announces partnership with fintech ZestMoney to offer credit insurance
Insurtech company Acko General Insurance, has partnered with ZestMoney to offer credit card insurance to its (ZestMoney) customers.
Key points:
i. Acko which offers personalized underwriting, micro insurance products, and automated micro claims process, will offer credit insurance to ZestMoney customers who are provided with instant financing and the option of paying through EMIs(Equated Monthly Installments) even if they don’t own a credit card.
ii. These consumers will be covered by Acko during eventualities like hospitalization or critical illness when they are unable to pay their instalments.
Claims: Claims can be created within 3 minutes and can be filed through the ZestMoney app.
About Insurtech:
Insurtech refers to the use of technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model. Insurtech is a combination of the words “insurance” and “technology,” inspired by the term fintech(financial technology)
About ZestMoney:
Founders- Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman
CFO(Chief Financial Officer)-Priya Sharma.
Founded-  2015.

BookMyForex join hands with YES Bank for foreign exchange travel card
On August 21, 2019, An online forex marketplace, BookMyForex has partnered with YES Bank and card payment company Visa to launch a co-branded multi-currency forex travel card that will provide a smooth payments solution to Indians traveling abroad. They can load up to 10 currencies on the card.BookMyForex join hands with YES Bank Key points:
i. The forex travel card will be available to Customers on the BookMyForex platform and get doorstep delivery at free of cost across major cities in India.
ii. In order to promote the sale over currency notes, the platform will offer zero margin or exact inter-bank rates 24*7 on purchases made through the forex travel card.
iii. BookMyForex will also offer modern contactless cards that allow a user to simply tap their card on a POS machine, a must-have feature in countries like UK(United Kingdom) where some merchants only allow contactless payments.
iv. Customers will be able to manage the travel cards through the mobile app by getting real-time notification alerts and view the INR (Indian rupee) equivalent of all amounts they spent.
v. They will also get value-added services like tracking currency-wise balances, locating surcharge-free ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) nearby and reload their travel cards while traveling abroad.
About BookMyForex:
: 2011
Headquarters: Gurgaon, Haryana
Founder and CEO: Sudarshan Motwani
About YES Bank:
Formation: 2004
Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
CEO & MD: Ravneet Gill
Tagline: Experience our Expertise


Amazon inaugurates its world’s largest campus in Hyderabad
On August 21, 2019, e-commerce company Amazon, inaugurated its single-largest campus in the world in terms of area (9 acres) in Hyderabad, Telangana. The campus was inaugurated by Mohammed Mahmood Ali, MLC(Member of Legislative Council), Minister of Home, Prisons, Fire Services, government of’s largest campusKey points:
i. This Hyderabad campus of Amazon, is the only one, placed outside US (United States).
ii. Having over 62,000 employees in India, this campus alone can accommodate more than 15,000 employees.
Other members present:
Amit Agarwal, SVP(Senior Vice President) and Country Head, Amazon India.
John Schoettler, VP(Vice President), Global Real Estate and Facilities.
About Telangana:
Formed- 2 June 2014.
Capital- Hyderabad.
Chief minister- K. Chandrashekar Rao.
Governor- ESL Narashiman.
Official song- Jaya Jaya He Telangana.

India’s GDP growth set to slow further to 5.7% in April-June quarter: Nomura Report
According to the report by Nomura, a global financial services major, India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth is set to slow further in the April-June quarter of 2019 to 5.7% year on year (YoY) from 5.8%, before improving to 6.4% YoY in Q3 and 6.7% in Q4. The economy is expected to see some recovery in the July-September quarter.
Key Points:
i. Improvement: Data so far for July 2019 shows that 53% of indicators have improved compared with 31% in June 2019. Nomura’s Composite Leading Index (CLI) for July-September quarter has ticked marginally higher to 99.9 from 99.8 in Q2, led by higher industrial production growth, an improvement in visitor arrivals growth, equity markets and lower policy rates.
ii. Sector wise analysis: The automobile sector is facing its worst crisis in two decades and reports suggest thousands of job losses in the auto and ancillary industry. In the real estate sector, the number of unsold homes has increased. The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have reported a decline in volume growth in Q1.
iii. Decline in GDP: India’s economic growth slowed to 6.8% in 2018-19 – the slowest pace since 2014-15, reason being the slowdown in the economy. Consumer confidence is waning, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has plateaued and international trade and currency war is further aggravating the problem.
About Nomura:
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
President: Koji Nagai

Knight Frank ranks Delhi as the 10th fastest growing market globally
Prime Global Cities Index Q1 2019 of London based consultancy Knight Frank has ranked Delhi as the 10th fastest growing prime market globally. The index is topped by Berlin(Germany) whereas Istanbul(Turkey) and Vancouver(Canada) were the weakest markets with rates minus 9.9% and minus 13.6% respectively.
Key points
Bengaluru (2.8%) and Mumbai (0.8%) were ranked 15th and 30th on the list, respectively.
Prime Global Index:
i. 46 cities’ movement globally were tracked based on its luxury residential prices but only 35 out of those 46 cities have projected price growth.
ii. Despite Berlin ranking first in the index, its annual growth rate has decreased from 14.1 per cent in March to 12.7% in June and Frankfurt, by comparison, has seen its annual price growth increase from 9.6% to 12% over the same period.
iii. However as of June 2019, Luxury residential prices have overall registered an average increase of 1.4 per cent.
iv. The index is expected to moderate further in the second half of 2019 before strengthening in 2020.
About Delhi
Chief minister (CM)- Arvind Kejriwal.
Deputy chief minister- Manish Sisodia.
Governor- Anil Baijal.
Commissioner of Police- AmulyaPatnaik,IPS(Indian Police Service).
Recently the first woman CM of Delhi and former External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj passed away on aug 6,2019.
About Knight Frank
Founded- 1896.
Founder-  John Knight,Howard Frank and William Rutley.
CMD (Chief Managing Director) Knight Frank India-ShishirBaijal.


Rajeev Gauba-Home Secretary, appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary
On august 21,2019 the Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, was appointed as the new cabinet secretary (the most powerful position in the country’s civil service), replacing PK Sinha. He is appointed for a period of two years from august 30,2019, approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).Rajeev GaubaKey points:
i. Gauba, a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre will initially join as the Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet Secretariat after which he will take over from Sinha.
ii. He was a key architect of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act under which Jammu and Kashmir were divided into two union territories under Article 370 of the Constitution.
iii. Rajiv Gauba had also served as secretary in the Union Urban Development Ministry, Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry and as chief secretary of Jharkhand previously.
iv. Power secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla who had joined as the officer on special duty in the home ministry will take over as the home secretary for a tenure of two years.

Ajay Kumar will be the new Defence Secretary
On August 21, 2019, The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), Government of India(GoI) has made Ajay Kumar, a 1985 batch IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer of Kerala cadre as the new Defence Secretary but without 2 years’ tenure.  He will replace Sanjay Mitra (a 1982 batch West Bengal-cadre IAS officer) whose term ends on August 23, 2019.Ajay Kumar will be the new Defence SecretaryAjay Kumar is currently serving as the Secretary, Department of Defence Production.
Other appointments:
Defence Production Secretary:
Subash Chandra, a 1986 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer appointed as the new Defence Production Secretary by replacing Ajay Kumar. He is currently serving as Special Secretary, Union Ministry of Defence.
Secretary, Lokpal:
Brij Kumar Agarwal, a 1985 batch Himachal Pradesh cadre IAS officer has been appointed as new Secretary, Lokpal in rank and pay of Secretary to Government of India.
Department of Defence Production:
Formation: November 1962
It is headed by a Secretary and deals with matters pertaining to defence production, indigenization of imported stores, equipment and spares, planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

Giuseppe Conte Italian PM steps down from post
The Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, an independent, announced his resignation on August 20 to the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella. The resignation was done after the Deputy PM (Prime Minister) Luigi Di Maioand the leader of the far-right League and Matteo Salvini (also Deputy PM), announced a motion of no confidence against Conte.Giuseppe Conte Italian PMKey points
i. This resignation marks the end of Western Europe’s first fully populist government.
ii. Conte will, however, remain as the caretaker prime minister until a new candidate is announced.
iii. Earlier on 8 August, Salvini leader of populist League party withdrew from the coalition of “5 Star Movement” in order to collapse the government and bring about snap elections(election called earlier than scheduled). After this, he announced a no-confidence move against Conte whose cabinet included Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio and the League party leader Matteo Salvini.


NASA confirms Europa Clipper Mission
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States (US) space agency, has confirmed the next phase of development of the Europa Clipper Mission, an interplanetary mission to Jupiter’s smallest moon Europa, with the target to launch by 2023. It will be conducting an in-depth exploration of Jupiter’s moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon can have suitable conditions for sustaining life and increase our insights into astrobiology.NASA confirms Europa Clipper Mission Key Points:
i. The space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California leads the development of the Europa Clipper mission in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for the Science Mission Directorate.
ii. The mission is managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
iii. Reason: Jupiter’s Galilean moon Europa consists of a huge ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell. The water is in contact with the rocky core of the moon, which according to space scientists, make a range of interesting chemical reactions possible. Hence astrobiologists consider 1,940-miles-wide (3,120 kilometres) Europa moon to be one of the best bets to host alien life in the solar system.


World bank reports economic growth to be affected by water pollution
On august 20, 2019 According to the World Bank report- “Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis”,one-third of the potential economic growth will be affected in heavily water polluted areas leading to invisible crisis of water quality.
i.The report explains with new data and methods of how a bacteria combination, sewage, chemicals, and plastics suck oxygen from water supplies and transform water into poison for people and ecosystems.
ii.It is funded in part by the Global Water Security & Sanitation Partnership, a Multi-Donor Trust Fund based at the World Bank’s Water Global Practice………………………….Click here to Read more

WWF and Discovery tie up with forest directorate to preserve Sundarbans
Discovery India and World Wide Fund for Nature or World Wide Fund (WWF) India have tied up with the Forest Directorate, the government of West Bengal and local communities in the Sundarbans. It is done as a move to protect the Sundarbans– the mangrove forest, habitat of Bengal tigers, to reduce the tiger-human conflict and also as part of a global movement “Project CAT -Conserving Acres for Tigers”.WWF and Discovery tie upKey points:
Vision: To create climate-smart villages in the Sundarbans.
WWF India and Discovery India are working with government agencies and other partners to help the local communities and village panchayats in having a climate-resilient livelihood and also focuses on farmland productivity through low-cost measures and adjusting crop calendars to deal with climate change.
Observatory: Two Sundarbans Ecological Observatories will be set up, each featuring data loggers, monitoring buoys and an onsite laboratory. This is to be done in partnership with West Bengal Forest Directorate and Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata. Datasets will be built on impacts of climate change on estuarine ecosystem.
Further, beyond Sundarbans, a detailed intervention is also being implemented at Manas Tiger Reserve.
About WWF

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.Carter Roberts is President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund in the United States.
Headquarters- Gland, Switzerland.
Founded- 29 April 1961, Morges, Switzerland.
President- PavanSukhdev.
President Emeritus- Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Scotland.
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India’s Hockey team wins Olympic test event 2020 in Tokyo, Japan
Indian Hockey teams (Men & Women) has won the Olympic test event for hockey held from 17-21 Aug 2019 held at Oi Hockey Stadium, Tokyo, Japan, during Tokyo 2020 Games test events. “READY STEADY TOKYO” is the official brand name and logo for the test events Tokyo 2020. The name of the hockey test event was “READY STEADY TOKYO – Hockey”. It was organized by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic & Paralympic Games. A test event is a dress rehearsal to confirm and improve the competition and Games operation capabilities in order to ensure a successful operation during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Men’s Team
Indian men’s hockey team registered a win over New Zealand by 5-0 to win the Olympic Test Event 2019. The goals for India were scored by Harmanpreet Singh, Shamsher Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Gursahibjit Singh, and Mandeep Singh.
Women’s Team
Indian Women’s Hockey team won the Olympic Test Event 2019 by beating Japan by 2-1 in the final at Oi Hockey Stadium, Tokyo, Japan. Navjot Kaur and Lalremsiami scored the goals for India whereas Minami Shimizu scored the only goal for Japan.
About Coaches:
Men’s team coach: Graham Reid (Australia)
Women’s team coach: Sjoerd Marijne (Netherlands)

CISF sports personnel felicitated with 10 medals in 18th World Police & Fire Games 2019 held at Chengdu, China
CISF (Central Industrial Security Force ) have won 10 medals (5 Gold, 3 Silver & 2 Bronze medals) for India at the recently-concluded 18th edition of World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) 2019, held at Chengdu in China from August 8-18, 2019.
CISF DG Rajesh Ranjan felicitated the sports personnel for their excellent performance at the games.
The list of winners in WPFG 2019:

S.NoWinnersEventMedal won
1Kuheli GanguleeRifle (Shooting)Gold(1) Bronze(1)
2Jina Devi ChongthamJudo (78 kg)Silver(1)
3HarmeetJudo (60 kg)Gold(1)
4Meena Kumari DeviBoxing (54 kg)Gold(1)
5HimaniDiscuss ThrowSilver(1)
6SangeetaPole VaultGold(1)
High JumpSilver(1)
7Ankit RathiJavelin ThrowGold(1)

About WPFG:
It is a biennial sporting event, in which officers or officials from police and Fire Departments from all over the world compete in the different events.
WPFG 2019 was an Olympic-style competition with 10,000 athletes representing law enforcement, fire-fighters, and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs from over 70 countries participated in more than 60 sports.

  • WPFG-2021: World Police and Fire Games 2021 will be held in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • WPFG-2023: Winnipeg, Canada.

“Op-Blue Freedom” flagged off by KirenRijiju and BaichungBhutia
Op-Blue Freedom’ a first of its kind in Asia, a nation-wide adaptive scuba diving programme for people with disabilities as well as for able-bodied persons. It was launched by sports minister (independent charge) Kiren Rijiju and former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia at Talkatora garden, New Delhi.Op-Blue FreedomKey points
Aim: To train adventure enthusiasts in special forces skills like survival techniques, emergency first response skills, unarmed combat, endurance, and fitness by a group of armed forces veterans.
About sports ministry:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Constituency of Kiren Rijiju- West Arunachal Pradesh.
The Ministry was set up as the Department of Sports at the time of organization of 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.


Culture Minister Shri Prahlad Singh Patel launched the book called ‘the Diary of Manu Gandhi’ in New Delhi
On August 22, 2019, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism has launched the book called ‘the Diary of Manu Gandhi ’(1943-44) at a function in the auditorium of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.
Key points:
i. Manu Gandhi (Mridula) was a grand niece of Mahatma Gandhi, daughter of his Nephew Jaisukhlal Amritlal Gandhi, and stayed with Gandhiji till his assassination. The 1st volume of the diary is a record of her life and times with M.K. Gandhi between 1943 and 1944.
ii. It  has been brought out by National Archives of India, an Attached Office under the Ministry of Culture on the occasion of 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in collaboration with Oxford University Press.
iii. The diary was in Gujarati language & it has been edited and translated by Dr. Tridip Suhrud, a popular scholar engaged in understanding the Gandhian Intellectual tradition.
iv. The author also shares a moment of Kasturba Gandhi’s illness and death and also unravels the deep emotional bond she develops with Gandhi, whom she calls her ‘mother’.


World observes first International Day for Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief on 22 August 2019
On August 22, 2019, The world observed ‘International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief’ for the 1st  time.International Day for Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief on 22 August 2019 It aims to honor the victims and survivors of disgraceful acts who often remain forgotten.
Key points:
i. On 28 May 2019 United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in a meeting , adopted resolution A/RES/73/296 & designated 22 August as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief,recognising the importance of providing victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief and members of their families with appropriate support and assistance in accordance with applicable law..
ii. By proclaiming the day, the General Assembly recalled that States have the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights, including the human rights of persons belonging to religious minorities, including their right to exercise their religion or belief freely.
iii. Atrocities continue to be stemmed in the regions Myanmar, occupied Kashmir, Syria, and Palestine among other parts of the world, as per the recent report.
iv. This Day comes right after the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, which was observed on 21 August 2019.


Haryana CM increases family income limit for BPL beneficiary
On August 21, 2019, the Chief Minister of Haryana Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, increased the family income limit of households from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month to qualify as Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiary. It was announced at a BPL ration card distribution function in Panchkula, Haryana.
Key points
i. Ration cards were distributed to 37 BPL beneficiaries of Panchkula and Kalka in Haryana.
ii. A total of 56,315 beneficiaries received ration cards at the special functions organised simultaneously in all 22 districts of the state after a gap of 8 years.
iii. The beneficiary will receive food grains and other food items at subsidised rate.
About haryana:
Capital- Chandigarh.
Governor- Satyadev Narayan Arya.
National park-Sultanpur National park, Kalesar National Park.

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