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Current Affairs August 23 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

State Visit of Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia to India (August 20-22, 2019)
Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia visited India on a State Visit at the invitation of Hon’ble President Shri Ram Nath Kovind from 20-22 August 2019.
i. President Lungu participated in an India- Zambia Business Forum 2019 which was held in New Delhi.
ii. 6 MoUs were exchanged between India and Zambia…………Click here to Read more

First World Youth Conference on Kindness inaugurated by Indian President
On August 23, 2019, the President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind inaugurated the first World Youth Conference on kindness at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The president addressed the event celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: Gandhi for the Contemporary World’.World Youth Conference on Kindness inaugurated by Indian PresidentKey points:
i. Aim: To impart empathy, compassion, mindfulness and critical enquiry to inspire, empower and enable youth to transform building a long-lasting peace in their communities and finding pathways to achieve Sustainable Development Goals(SDG).
ii. Blue dot: 10th edition of UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) flagship programme ‘the Blue Dot’. It focuses on MGIEP social and emotional learning.
iii. More than 1000 Youth leaders from 27 countries participated in the event.
The conference was organised by UNESCO(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.
About UNESCO MGIEP:
It is a category 1 research institute that focuses on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
It was launched by former UNESCO Director General Ms. Irina Bokova and former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
♦ Launched –  2012.

Indian Railways directs all units to ban single-use plastic from October 2, 2019
In an eco-friendly initiative, the Ministry of Railways has directed all railway units to strictly enforce a ban on single-use plastic, with less than 50-micron thickness, from October 2, 2019, in its premises and trains with the aim to achieve “Plastic Free Railway”.Indian Railways directs all units to ban single-use plasticKey points:
i. The new guideline comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, urged citizens of the country to minimize the use of plastic from October 2, 2019,  on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
ii. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Development Corporation (IRCTC) will implement the return of plastic drinking water bottles as part of extended producer responsibility and 1,853 plastic bottle crushing machines will be installed at 360 major railway stations in the 1st  phase of this initiative.
iii. Ministry of Railways also directed General Managers of Zonal Railways and Production Units to encourage all railway vendors to avoid the use of plastic carry bags. It also urged railway staffs to use reusable bags to reduce plastic footprint.
iv. In order to create awareness among railway users, three measures of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) are to be adapted to make India plastic-free.
About Ministry of Railways:
♦ Headquarters:  New Delhi
♦ Formation: 16 April 1853
♦ Union Minister: Piyush Goyal

Two-day National Conference on Varmam Science inaugurated by Srhipad Yesso Naik in Tamilnadu
The two-day National Conference on Varmam Science which is a part of the Siddha system of medicine was inaugurated by Shripad Yesso Naik, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The conference was organised by the National Institute of Siddha, Chennai on 22nd & 23rd of August 2019.
Key points:
i. ‘Varmam’ is a constituent of the Siddha system of medicine, and has connectivity with martial art. It has been in practice for more than 5000 years.
About Ayush Ministry:
♦ Founded- 9 November 2014.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Constituency of ShripadYessoNaik(also MoS of defence)- North Goa.

Indian Army and Tata Realty signs MoU for quality housing
On August 22, 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army’s Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO) and the Tata Realty housing to provide quality housing to army personnel. By this MoU, the Indian army can now take over dwelling units in 13 ‘Ready to Move in’ projects of Tata Realty pan India.Indian Army and Tata Realty signs MoUKey points
i. The project of Tata Realty is spread across 10 cities including Gurugram, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune among others.  The discount rate is kept between 11-27%.
ii. Through this MoU the AWHO will provide quality housing to army personnel deployed in remote locations of the country where homes will be acquired from private builders at a discounted rate.
About AWHO:
♦ Formed-  1978.
♦ Act- Indian Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.
About Indian Army:
♦ Motto- Service Before Self.
♦ Founded- 1 April 1985.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Commander in chief- President Ram NathKovind.

CSC signs MoU with Panchayati raj ministry to digitalize all gram panchayats
On August 22, 2019, Common Service Centre e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle (CSC SPV),which provides government services to people in rural areas has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR ) to turn all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats into ‘digital panchayats’.
Key points:
i. The MoU will act as a catalyst to provide timely and efficient delivery of all panchayat-level services & and social schemes to people in rural areas and will enhance rural BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) across all panchayats in India.
ii. Gram Panchayat Bhawans will host common service centres (CSCs), which will create the digital panchayats by the form of integrating and updating online platform.
iii. CSCs will digitize regular work at gram panchayats, MoPR applications, maintain records of all gram panchayats in digital format and, update data for all schemes and programmes being run by other departments of central and state government. CSCs will also act as digital literacy centres for all elected representatives of gram panchayats.
iv. CSC also holds the responsibility for overall project management, monitoring, and coordination with the MoPR ministry, the state government, other ministries, and gram panchayats.
About MoPR:
♦ Founded: 27 May 2004
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Union Minister: Narendra Singh Tomar
About CSC SPV:
It incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology ( MeitY), Government of India, to monitor the implementation of Common Services Centers Scheme.
♦ CEO: Dinesh Kumar Tyagi

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visit to Nepal
External Affairs Minister(EAM) of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has made a two-day visit to Nepal(August 21-22, 2019) for participating 5th Joint Commission Meeting 2019 between two countries. This is Jaishankar’s first visit to Nepal since he assumed office on June 2019.
i. A cheque amounting 2.45 billion Nepali Rupees(INR 153 crore) was also handed over to Government of Nepal towards reimbursement for reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Nuwakot and Gorkha districts…………………………Click here to Read more

FATF blacklisted Pakistan against terror financing and money laundering
On August 16,2019, the Asia Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force(FATF) has blacklisted Pakistan for non-compliance and non-enforcement of safeguards against terror financing and money laundering. The action was taken in the FATF APG meeting held in Canberra, Australia.
i. Previously Pakistan was greylisted by FATF for failing to curb anti-terror financing.
ii. By this APG blacklisting which is also known as  ‘Enhanced Expedited Follow Up’ status, Pakistan’s chances at extricating(freeing from constraint or difficulty)  itself from the FATF greylist are expected…………………..Click here to Read more

India and the United States held a bilateral 2+2 Intersessional meeting in Monterey, California
On August 22, 2019, India and the United States (US) held a round of bilateral 2+2 Intersessional meeting in Monterey, California, US. The Indian delegation was led jointly by Shri Gourangalal Das, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and Shri V. Anandarajan, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence while the U.S. delegation was led jointly by Ambassador Alice Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs and Mr. Randall Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs.India and the United States held a bilateral 2+2 Intersessional meeting in Monterey, CaliforniaKey Points:
i. They reviewed the progress and development of bilateral relations in cross-cutting defence, security, and foreign policy areas since the inaugural 2+2 Ministerial meeting of September 2018.
ii. They explored further possibilities of cooperation in these fields based on common interest.
iii. They discussed on regional developments, and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
About USA:
Capital: Washington, DC
Currency: US Dollar
President: Donald Trump

 Saudi Arabia permits women to travel abroad without male guardian’s permission
On August 21, 2019, the Government of Saudi Arabia made a reform for allowing women over the age of 21 to receive passports and travel abroad without permission from a male ‘guardian’.Saudi Arabia permits women to travel abroad Key points
i. The law to get permission from male guardian was removed as many women made high-profile attempts to escape alleged guardianship abuse despite various reforms made by crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
ii. One such reform was overturning the ban on women drivers, allowing them to get a driving license for the first time since 24 June 2018.
About Saudi Arabia:
♦ Capital- Riyadh (also the largest city).
♦ Currency- Saudi Riyal.
♦ Official language- Arabic.

BANKING & FINANCE

Digit Insurance signs Bancassurance agreement with Karur Vysya  Bank
On August 22, 2019, Karur Vysya Bank(KVB), one of the oldest banks in India has signed a bancassurance agreement with General insurance company, Digit Insurance to provide Digit Insurance’s suite of products to its SMEs(Small and medium-sized enterprises) customers.Digit Insurance- Karur Vysya Bank Key points:
i. Digit Insurance’s products will now be available in KVB’s customers spread across 750 plus branches in India.
ii. The product portfolio comprises Digit Insurance’s flagship health, car& Bike, accident, home content, critical illnesses, and particularly SME (Small and medium-sized enterprises) insurances, which is hugely underinsured in India.
iii. Through this partnership, Digit Insurance will deepen the penetration of its product offers and enable more customers to access their risk solutions.
About KVB:
♦ Formation: 1916
♦ Headquarters: Karur, Tamil Nadu
♦ MD & CEO: Mr. P. R. Seshadri
♦ Tagline: Smart way to Bank
About Digit Insurance:
♦ Formation
: 2016
♦ Headquarter: Bengaluru, Karnataka
♦ Chairman: Kamesh Goyal

Bharti AXA Life partners with Akshaya Patra Foundation to support and contribute to the mid-day meal programme
On August 22, 2019, A renowned life Insurance company, Bharti AXA Life Insurance on its 13th Foundation Day, has partnered with a non-profit organization in India, Akshaya Patra Foundation to support and contribute to the mid-day meal drive for government-run school children across India.
Key points:
i. Bharti AXA Life has urged its over 5,500 employees to donate a day’s salary to Akshaya Patra to counter classroom hunger and aid in the education of children from underprivileged sections of the society.
ii. This partnership will help Akshaya Patra to take a few steps towards a target of reaching 5 million children by 2025.
iii. Currently, Akshaya Patra feeds 1.76 million children every day at free of cost in 15,000 schools across 12 states in the country.
About Akshaya Patra:
♦ Formation
: 2000
♦ Headquarter: Bangalore
♦ CEO: Shridhar Venkat
About Bharti AXA Life:
♦ Formation
: 2006
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ MD and CEO: Vikas Seth

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

SEBI eases norms for FPIs
On August 21, 2019, The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) relaxed the compliance requirements for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI). It modified the norms to boost startups and decided on Rs 1 crore reward for informants in insider trading cases.
i. Municipal Bonds: It relaxed the norms for Municipal bonds/ Muni Bonds to help smart cities and other registered entities working in areas of city planning and urban development work, like municipalities, raise funds through issuance and listing of their debt securities. Smart cities and other registered entities working in areas of city planning and urban development work would be permitted to raise funds by issuing municipal bonds.
ii. SEBI had issued its Issue and Listing of Debt Securities by Municipalities (ILDM) Regulations nearly 5 years ago and since then 7 municipalities have raised nearly Rs 1,400 crore by issuing their debt securities, which are commonly known as ‘Muni Bonds’……………………….Click here to Read more

225th meeting of CBT held at Hyderabad, Telangana
On August 21, 2019, the 225th meeting of Central Board of Trustees (CBT) held at Hyderabad, Telangana. It was attended by the Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who is also Chairman of CBT.
i. The minister launched the revamped EPFIGMS 2.0 version which will benefit more than 5 crores subscribers and lakhs of employers by speedy and smooth resolution of grievances.
ii. The Board approved the proposal that the fund allocation between Nifty 50 and Sensex ETFs be divided evenly, i.e. in the ratio of 50% to 50%…………………………..Click here to Read more

Moody’s reduced India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.2% for 2019
On August 23, 2019, Moody’s Investors Service reduced India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for 2019 calendar year to 6.2% from the previous estimation of 6.8% as the weaker global economy has stunted Asian exports and the uncertain operating environment has weighed on investment.Moody's reduced India’s GDP growth forecast to 6.2%i. It reduced the estimate by a similar measure to 6.7% for 2020 calendar year.
About Moody’s Investors Service:
Headquarters: New York, US
Founded: 1909

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Time magazine features Statue of Unity, Mumbai’s Soho House among its 100 greatest places in the world
On August 22, 2019, the Time magazine published its second annual list of the “World’s Greatest Places” with total of 100 places in the list. India’s Statue of Unity in Gujarat and ‘Soho House‘ in Mumbai featured in this year’s list. The list is a compilation of 100 new and “newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now”.
i. The Time magazine listed the places based on categories like museums, parks, restaurants, and hotels under which quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence were considered for evaluation. It is categorized under “to visit”, “to stay” and “to eat and drink”……………………………Click here to Read more

WCD Ministry aims to connect 44 cr people through Poshan Abhiyaan
On August 23, 2019, Smriti Irani, Women, and Child Development (WCD)Minister stated that the government has set a target to connect 44 crore people through Poshan Abhiyaan to tackle malnutrition, at a function in New Delhi.  She also gave away the Poshan Abhiyaan Awards for 2018-19 in different categories to the States, Districts, blocks and Anganwadi Workers for their valuable contributions in promoting the mission and ensuring that it reaches every household in the country.
Key points:
i. A total of 363 awards were given and 22 crore rupees were disbursed to the awardees with the aim to motivate the primary stakeholders and encourage large scale citizen participation in creating widespread awareness to tackle malnutrition in the country.
ii. This will create healthy competition among States to improve service delivery to beneficiaries & make India malnutrition free by 2022.
iii. 22 crore people added through Poshan Abhiyaan in 2018.
About POSHAN Abhiyaan:
i. POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan was launched in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan on March 8, 2018.
ii. It aims to ensure holistic development and adequate nutrition for pregnant women, mothers, and children.
iii. It targets to reduce the level of under-nutrition and other related problems by ensuring convergence of various nutrition-related schemes. It also targets stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia (among young children, women and adolescent girls) and low birth rate.
About WCD Ministry:
♦ Founded
: 30 January 2006
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi

Forbes ranks Akshay Kumar in the 4th spot in 2019  highest paid actors list
Forbes magazine’s Worlds Highest-Paid Actors Of 2019 list was released on August 23, 2019. Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar ranked in the 4th position on the list with worth $65million. The list was topped by American actor, producer and former wrestler Dwayne Johnson (also known as The Rock) with worth $89.4 million followed by Chris Hemsworth and Robert Downey Jr in the second and third spot respectively.Akshay Kumar in the 4th spot in 2019 highest paid actors listKey points:
i. The list was made based on the earnings between June 1, 2018, and June 1, 2019 during which the highest grossing films of all time “Avengers: Endgame was also released”(April 2019).
ii. Actors Adam Sandler and Bradley Cooper were tied with earnings of $57 million.
iii. Awards and honours of Akshaykumar:
Akshaykumar was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor for the movies “Rustom” and “Airlift” both in 2016. The University of Windsor, Canada, conferred him an honorary Doctorate of Law in recognition of his contribution to Indian cinema. In 2009, he was honoured with Padma Shri award by Govt. of India.
2019 Forbes highest paid actors:

Rank Actor Earnings
1 Dwayne Johnson $89.4 million
2 Chris Hemsworth $76.4 million
3 Robert Downey Jr. $66 million
4 Akshay Kumar $65 million
5 Jackie Chan $58 million
6 Bradley Cooper $57 million
7  Adam Sandler

 

$57 million
8 Chris Evans $43.5 million
9 Paul Rudd $41 million
10 Will Smith $35 million


About Forbes:
♦ Country- United States (U.S).
♦ Headquarters- New Jersey, U.S.
♦ Chair and editor-in-chief- Steve Forbes.

Biologist and wildlife conservationist, Vivek Menon wins Clark Bavin Award 2019
Biologist, author and wildlife conservationist, Vivek Menon, head of Delhi-based Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), a leading Indian nature conservation organisation committed to the service of nature, was awarded the prestigious Clark R Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award for the year 2019 at 18th meeting of Conference of Parties to CITES held in Geneva, Switzerland.Vivek Menon wins Clark Bavin Award 2019Key points:
i. He was presented with the award for his efforts towards wildlife enforcement by Ivonne Higuero, the secretary-general of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
ii. Menon co-founded TRAFFIC India, a Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network with his mentor the late Ashok Kumar.
iii. He plays a key role in advising the government on natural heritage conservation as a part of several committees including the Project Elephant Steering Committee, National Wildlife Action Plan Committee, and CITES Advisory Committee.
iv. In the past,  Menon worked as a consultant to the Kenya Wildlife Services and helped establish the 1st elephant reserve of Myanmar.
v. He is also the author of 10 wildlife books including Secret Lives of Indian Mammals.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Abdalla Hamdok becomes the new prime minister of Sudan
On August 20,2019 economist Abdalla Hamdok took charge as the new prime minister(15th) of Sudan embarking three year transition to civilian rule after military authoritarian Omar al-Bashir was forced to step down from president post by rage protests. The chief justice of Sudan Abbas Ali Babiker administered the swearing-in ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum. He succeeded Mohamed Tahir Ayala.AbdallaHamdok becomes the new prime minister of SudanKey points:
i. The Government under Hamdok will be formed on August 28 with 20ministers being selected by the opposition Freedom and Change Alliance. His appointment comes as Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan was sowrn in as the leader of the new Sovereign Council.
ii. Previously Hamdok served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(UNECA).
iii. Under Sudan’s Transitional Military Council(TMC) and Freedom and Change Alliance, a total of 11 members(5 chosen by TMC and 5 chosen by opposition and 1 civilian) will be comprised in the Sovereign Council.
About Sudan:
♦ Capital- Khartoum.
♦ Currency- Sudanese pound.

Ajay Kumar Bhalla appointed as the new home secretary
As per the Appointments Committee of the cabinet, Government of India(GoI), Ajay Kumar Bhalla(1984-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer)has been appointed as the new Union home secretary with fixed two-year tenure till August 2021. He succeeds Rajiv Gauba, who was appointed as the new cabinet secretary.Ajay Kumar Bhalla Key points:
i. Currently, Bhalla serving as an officer on special duty in the home ministry.
ii. Bhalla worked as the Union power secretary, before being appointed as an officer on special duty on July 24, 2019.
The home secretary is an administrative head of the Ministry of Home Affairs and is the principal adviser to home minister on all matters of policy and administration within the Home Ministry.
As a Secretary to Government of India, the Home Secretary ranks 23rd on Indian Order of Precedence.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ocean power classified as renewable energy by the Govt
On August 22, 2019, proposal to declare ocean energy as renewable energy was approved by R K Singh,Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister.
i. According to the proposal, all forms of ocean energy, such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, will now be considered as renewable energy and also be eligible for meeting non-solar renewable purchase obligations (RPO).
ii. The discoms(Distribution Companies) can now buy renewable energy certificates from the developers or renewable power generators…………………Click here to Read more

Amid increasing tensions with US, Iran unveils its new home-grown missile defence system, “ Bavar-373”
The Iranian Defense Ministry has unveiled its new home-grown air defence system called “Bavar-373” at a time of increasing tensions between Iran & United States(US) since US President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal -2015 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Key points:
i. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani attended the unveiling ceremony and ordered to add Bavar-373 to country’s missile defence network.
ii. Bavar-373: It means “believe” in Farsi(Western Iranian language). Iran made this long-range mobile surface-to-air missile system after the purchase of Russia’s S-300 system was suspended in 2010 due to international sanctions, that have barred it from importing many weapons.
iii. With a range of more than 200km (124 miles), Bavar is suited to Iran’s geography. The missile system competes with Russia’s S-300  and America’s Patriot.
iv. Background: On May 8, 2018, the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program reached in July 2015 by Iran, the P5+1 (the 5 Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council-China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States + Germany) and the European Union.
About Iran:
♦ Capital
: Tehran
♦ Currency: Iranian rial

Russia successfully sent its First Humanoid Robot ‘Fedor’ into space 
On August 22, 2019, Russia launched its first unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot named ‘Fedor’ (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) in Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS).Russia successfully sent its First Humanoid Robot into space 'Fedor'Key Points:
i. Fedor is also known as Skybot F850. It stands 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilograms (353 pounds).
ii. Fedor is not the first robot to go into space. In 2011, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) sent up Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot developed with General Motors . In 2013, Japan sent a small robot called Kirobo developed with Toyota.

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SPORTS

Paytm to continue as BCCI title sponsor till 2023 for Rs 326.8 crore
On August 21, 2019, The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rahul Johri announced that Paytm will continue as the title sponsor of the Indian cricket board’s domestic and international matches for the next five years i.e till 2023. The bid from One 97 Communications, holding company of Paytm, was the winning bid for Rs 326.80 crore. At Rs 3.80 crore per match, Paytm’s bid was at 58% incremental value in comparison to the previous per match value of Rs 2.4 crore.Paytm About Paytm
♦ Founded: 2010
♦ Headquarters: Noida, Uttar Pradesh
♦ Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
♦ Parent Organization: One97 Communications Ltd

28-member Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of sports minister Kiren Rijiju for Fit India Movement formed
The 28-member Advisory Committee under the chairmanship of sports minister Kiren Rijiju was formed for Fit India Movement which aims to encourage people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their everyday lives. It will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 29, 2019.Kiren Rijiju for Fit India Movement formedKey Points:
i. It comprises of government officials, members of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), National Sports Federations (NSF), private bodies and fitness promoters.
ii. It has 12 members from the government, including secretaries of Sports, Secondary Education, Ayush, Youth Affairs, among others.
iii. IOA President Narinder Batra and seven NSF heads, including those of boxing, athletics, football and cycling are also the part of the committee.
iv. Representatives of private bodies include Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Reliance Foundation, JSW Cement and JSW Paints, SE TransStadia Pvt. Ltd., Tata Trusts, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) India, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), and actors Shilpa Shetty and Milind Soman.
About Ministry of Sports:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Child Agency: Sports Authority of India (SAI)
Constituency of Sports Minister: Arunachal West, Arunachal Pradesh

Vikram Rathour is India’s new batting coach 
Former opener Vikram Rathour, aged 50, was appointed as India’s new batting coach. He succeeds Sanjay Bangar. Bharath Arun and R Sridhar retained as bowling and fielding coaches respectively.
i. The senior national selection committee headed by MSK Prasad recommended 3 names each for all the support staff positions and the top names in each category will be appointed after the formalities with regards to Conflict of Interest declaration is complete.

IMPORTANT DAYS

August 23 observed as International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is observed every year on August 23.  This day is observed as a remembrance of people involved in the tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade. The theme for the year 2019 is “Remember Slavery: The Power of the Arts for Justice“. This Day also marked the 25th anniversary of “UNESCO’s Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage”International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition.Key points:
Background: The Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade involved transportation by slave traders of enslaved African people, mainly to America. Later after series of protests, slavery was abolished in the United States by the 13th amendment passed by Congress (delegates holding a meeting) on January 31, 1865, and ratified it on December 6, 1865. Similarly, various countries had also passed slavery abolition laws. The proclaimed by UNESCO Executive Board by adopting resolution 29 C/40 by its General Conference at its 29th session.
About UNESCO:
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France.
♦ Director-General- Audrey Azoulay.
♦ Founded- 16 November 1945, London, United Kingdom(UK).

STATE NEWS

Punjab govt. UNDP signs pact to implement SDGs
On August 21, 2019, the government of Punjab signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)with the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) for implementing Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). It was signed by UNDP Resident Representative Shoko Noda and Principal Secretary of Planning Jaspal Singh in presence of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal.
Key points:
i. Agreement: Setting up of a Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC) in the planning department in chandigarh (Punjab) in partnership with UNDP.
ii. The employment generation department was asked to tie up with the UN agency to explore new possibilities for the skill development. Earlier, the Punjab Government implemented flagship programme ‘Ghar Ghar Rozgar’ (employment generation scheme by the Punjab Skill Development Mission) as part of SDG.
SDG:
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. There are a total of 17 SDGs. This framework was adopted by the Punjab government, and started working on the preparation of a 4year Strategic Action Plan(4-SAP) from 2019-23.
About Punjab:
♦ Capital- Chandigarh.
♦ Governor- V.P. Singh Badnore.
♦ Wildlife sanctuary (WLS)-BirMotiBagh WLS, BirBhadson WLS, Harike WLS, Abohar WLS.

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