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Current Affairs August 26 2019

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Department of Social Justice & Empowerment and National AIDS Control Organization signed an MoU
On August 26, 2019, A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Department of Social Justice (DoSJ&E), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJ&E) and National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW).
i. Inclusion of target groups of NACO and National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) in the programmes of NAPDDR & NACO for awareness generation.
ii. Enhanced linkages and effective coordination between Injecting Drug Users Targeted Intervention (IDUs-TI) supported by NACO and Integrated rehabilitation center for Addicts (IRCAs) supported by DSJE……………………..Click here to Read more

4th edition of Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress 2019  held in Bengaluru
The 4th edition of India’s largest confluence of digital-technology stakeholders, the Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress 2019 held in Bengaluru, Karnataka from August 22 – 23, 2019 with the theme of ‘Mainstreaming the Internet of Things’.Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress 2019Key points:
i. Organizer:
 The 2-day Congress was organized by Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) IoT Panel with a footfall of over1600 participants and about 70 speakers from over 6 countries. It was inaugurated by Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India(GoI).
ii. 10 tracks: The event focussed on 10 segments such as Energy, Healthcare, Defence, Standards and Regulatory, Retail, Digital Communication, Skills and Development, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Smart Cities.
iii. Each of the tracks included business-case led panel discussion, use cases, and a Future Tech Spotlight, where discussions on current industry problems conducted.
iii. Thought Leadership Awards: Smt. Aruna Sundararajan (Secretary of IT and Electronics, Department of Telecom), Arvind Tiwary, (Chair IoT Forum, TiE) and Dr. Dhananjaya Dendukuri, (CEO and Co-founder, Achira Labs) have received the Thought Leadership Awards from Sir Robin Saxby, Technology Entrepreneur for their excellence and leadership in the IoT space.
iv. Over the past 3 editions, the event has gained significant momentum and engagement with key ministries of the Government of India such as Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Electronics & IT, Department of Telecommunications, NITI Ayog(National Institution for Transforming India).
About Karnataka:
♦ Capital
: Bengaluru
♦ Chief minister: B. S. Yediyurappa
♦ Governor: Vajubhai Vala


CVC sets up 4-member panel to examine bank frauds above Rs 50 crore
On August 23, 2019, the Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) which is a 4 member board headed by former Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin (also former Indian Bank Chief Managing Director(MD), is constituted by The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to look into bank fraud cases of over 50 crore rupees and above and to take necessary action.
Other members of the panel

  • Madhusudan Prasad – former Urban Development Secretary.
  • D K Pathak – former Director General(DG) of the Border Security Force(BSF) and
  • Suresh N Patel – former MD and CEO (Chief Executive Officer of Andhra Bank…………………………Click here to Read more


Microsoft and Indian School of Business (ISB) signs MoU to set up AI Digital Lab
IT(Information Technology) company, Microsoft and Indian School of Business (ISB) have signed an MoU(memorandum of understanding) to set up an AI Digital Lab powered by PlatiFi technologies (a Microsoft partner) at B School’s campus Hyderabad, Telangana to study issues that are relevant for business and public policy. The duo will also offer an executive 3-day non technical programme titled “Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI”, which will kick start in October 2019, would equip business leaders with tools and strategies to transform their respective organizations to AI(Artificial Intelligence)-driven organizations.Microsoft and Indian School of Business (ISB) signs MoUKey points:
i. Microsoft will provide infrastructure, access to cloud and AI tools to the ISB.
ii. The tie-up will increase the innovation with AI in businesses& empower business leaders to increase their tech intensity and do more with AI.
iii. The collaboration will also enable ISB to use AI to understand new phenomena that are relevant for business as well as policy.
About Microsoft India:
♦ Headquarters
: Hyderabad, Telangana
♦ President: Anant Maheshwari
About ISB:
♦ Formation
: 2001
♦ Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana
♦ Dean: Rajendra Srivastava

Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Tejas Express and the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express to be run by IRCTC
Indian Railways has decided that Ahmedabad-Mumbai Central Tejas Express and the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express will be run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, for a period of 3 years as a pilot project. The fares of these trains will be flexible and will be decided by the IRCTC. The proposal was mooted by the railways in its 100-day plan.

Tea grown in Arunachal Pradesh record height set by Assam tea 
On August 21, 2019, A variety of tea grown in Arunachal Pradesh touched the record heights set by Assam tea on August 13, 2019 where Dikom Tea Estate of Assam had sold its Golden Butterfly tea at Rs 75,000 per kg at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC). ‘Golden Needle’ tea produced by Donyipolo Tea Estate in Arunachal Pradesh was sold by Contemporary Tea Brokers and was bought by city-based buyer Chattar Singh Narendra Kumar for online tea seller Absolute Tea.
i. The highest price recorded by Donyipolo Tea Estate was Rs 39,000 per kg for the tea sold in 2018.


Shri Prabhakar Singh, Director General of CPWD chosen for 2019 ‘Eminent Engineer Award’
On August 25, 2019, Shri Prabhakar Singh, Director General (DG), Central Public Works Department(CPWD) was chosen for the ‘Eminent Engineer Award’ for the Year 2019. The award is conferred by the Institution of Engineers (India) for his distinguished and exemplary Service in the field of Engineering and Technology.
Key points
The award is to be conferred on ‘Engineers Day’ on September 15, 2019 in New Delhi.


Critical components to India’s Gaganyaan mission to be supplied by Russia
India is in talks with Russia for a wider range of cooperation in the space sector to supply semi-cryogenic engine technology and critical components for India’s first human space mission Gaganyaan for the year 2021.
i. According to Roscosmos (Russian state run space corporation), a top level meeting between Russia and India regarding the mission cooperation is likely to be held during the 5th Eastern Economic Forum(EEF) from September 4-6 in Vladivostok, Russia.
ii. As per a contract signed on June 27 this year between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Russian space agency Glavkosmos(part of Roscosmos),  4 Indians are to be trained at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Centre………………..Click here to Read more

Intel launched its first artificial intelligence chip ‘Spring Hill’
Intel Corp launched its latest processor named ‘Spring Hill’ or Nervana NNP (neural network processor) -I 1000, at the HotChips 2019 symposium for high-performance chips at Stanford University in California, United States. It is Intel’s first artificial intelligence (AI) chip. It was developed at its development facility in Haifa, Israel.Intel launched its first artificial intelligence chip ‘Spring Hill'i. The Spring Hill processor is based on a 10-nanometer Ice Lake architecture. It will allow it to cope with high workloads using minimal amounts of energy.
ii. Facebook has already started using the product.

Satellite surveillance of ships planned between India and France 
On August 24, 2019, India and France have formalized the development and launch of a unique constellation of around 10 low-earth orbit satellites. It will continuously provide maritime surveillance and security.
Key Points:
i. The satellite-based Automatic Identification System (AIS) will detect, identify and track a range of vessels moving in the Indian Ocean region and guard against aggression, terrorism, piracy, smuggling, source of oil slicks and also be useful for rescues.
ii. The constellation carrying telecommunications (AIS) and radar and optical remote-sensing instruments will constitute the first space-based system in the world capable of tracking ships continuously.
iii. Joint Maritime Space Fleet: It was first announced during French President Emmanuel Macron’s first visit to Delhi in March 2018. In July, ISRO Chairman K.Sivan and French space agency CNES (Centre national d’études spatiales or the National Centre for Space Studies) President Jean-Yves Le Gall signed an implementing agreement on it in Bangalore. The pact was formally announced at the summit of Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the visit of PM to France (August 2019).
iv. AIS satellites would be launched by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) at its space port in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

North Korea tests new ‘super-large’ multiple rocket launcher
On August 25, 2019, a newly developed “super-large multiple rocket launcher” as part of North Korea’s expanding weapons arsenal (collection of weapons and military equipment) was test-fired and was supervised by North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-Un. This latest North Korean launch was made two days after South Korea announced the possible termination of its intelligence-sharing deal with Japan amid trade disputes between the US (United States) allies.
Key points:
i. The launcher was developed and tested as means of Korean-style strategic and tactical weapons to face the military threats and pressure from its hostile forces such as the United States and South Korea that conducted a small scale military drill in November 2018.
ii.Recent test fires:

  • North Korea marks its 7th weapon test in about a month after its super-large multiple rocket launcher of which most are of short range.
  • The previous test fire also involved a large-calibre multiple rocket guided system just a day after South Korea accused North Korea of firing two short-range ballistic missiles.
  • Further the super large rocket launcher is ambiguously considered to be at least the 4th new missile system unveiled by North Korea after denuclearisation talks.

About North Korea:
♦ Capital-Pyongyang (also the largest city).
♦ Currency- North Korean won.
♦ Official language- Korean.


7 new species of insects that can walk on water discovered
The journal ‘Zootaxa’ has published about 7 new species of insects that can walk or run on the surface of the water. This was discovered by scientists of the ‘Zoological Survey of India’.
Key points
i. The species belongs to the genus Mesovelia ranging from 1.5 mm to 4.5 mm equipped with hydrophobic setae (bristles) on their legs and are pale green in colour with silver-white wings and black veins.
ii. This combination of hydrophobic setae and water surface tension prevents the insects from sinking.
iii. There are currently 12 species of genus Mesovelia found in the country.
The 7 species:

  • Mesovelia andamana (Andaman Islands)
  • M. bispinosa and M. isiasi (Meghalaya)
  • M. occulta and M. tenuia (Tamil Nadu)
  • M.brevia and M. dilatata (both Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu).

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India wins two gold at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships held in Madrid, Spain
The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships took place from 19-25 August 2019 in Madrid, Spain. India had totally won 2 golds and 1 bronze in this recently concluded championship.
i.Raginee Markoo and Singh Sukhbeer won India’s first gold medal by beating Switzerland’s Janine Hunsperger and Andrea Vallaro, 152-147, to win India’s first compound junior mixed teamgold medal at the Madrid. Switzerland’s silver medal is the first podium finish at a world championship since 2006.
ii.The second gold to india was earned by Komalika Bari, becoming therecurve cadet world champion  at the World Archery Youth Championship by defeating  higher-ranked Sonoda Waka of Japan 7-3 in the  final…………………………….Click here to Read more

Gokulam Kerala FC wins 129th edition of Durand Cup (2019) defeating Mohun Bagan to win the title
On August 24, 2019 the Gokulam Kerala Football club(FC) defeated Mohun Bagan team at the finals of the 2019 Durand cup (129th edition) match held at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. Kerala lifted the title for the second time in the 131 year history of the oldest football tournament in Asia by defeating Mohun bagan team with a 2-1 score.

  • Marcus Joseph (Gokulam Kerala FC)- Golden Boot and Golden Ball award for top goal scoring and best player category respectively.
  • CK Ubaid (Gokulam Kerala FC)- Golden Glove award for outstanding performance………………………Click here to Read more

Overview of Total 2019 BWF World Championships 
Total 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships, an annual tournament was held from August 19-25, 2019 at St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland. It was the 25th Edition.PV Sindhu List of Winners:

Men’s SinglesKento Momota (Japan)Anders Antonsen (Denmark)
Women’s SinglesPV Sindhu (India)Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
Men’s DoublesMohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia)Takuro Hoki & Yugo Kobayash (Japan)
Women’s DoublesMayu Matsumoto & Wakana Nagahara (Japan)Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota  (Japan)
Mixed DoublesZheng Siwei & Huang Yaqiong (China)Dechapol Puavaranukroh & Sapsiree Taerattanachai(Thailand)

Key Points:
i. B. Sai Praneeth became the first Indian male shuttler in 36 years to secure a medal in the BWF World Championships. He lost to Kento Momota in the semifinal and settled for bronze.
ii. PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win gold in the BWF World Championships.
iii. Kento Momota, Wakana Nagahara and Mayu Matsumoto became the first Japanese to repeat as badminton world champions.
About BWF:
Formation: 1934
Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
President: Poul-Erik Høyer

Dream 11, Hyundai and ACC Cement secure BCCI Partners’ Rights for the next 4 years
On August 23, 2019, The National governing body for cricket, BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India, Mumbai) has stated that Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Dream11), LafargeHolcim (ACC Cement and Ambuja Cement) and Hyundai Motor India Ltd. have acquired the official partners’ rights for its international and domestic matches set to take place from 1st September 2019 – 31st March 2023.Dream 11, Hyundai and ACC Cement secure BCCI Partners’ Rights for the next 4 yearsKey points:
i. They will pay ₹2.59 crores per match under the new Partners’ rights cycle, which is 72% higher value in comparison to the previous value of ₹1.5 crore paid by PepsiCo, Jana Bank, and Hyundai Motor per match.
ii. The consolidated winning bids were at a price of Rs 222.74 crore to be paid for the 2019-2023 India’s home season.
iii. Earlier, an e-learning platform, Byju’s signed a big deal with BCCI to get the sponsorship of the Indian jersey for a period of 3 years from 5th September 2019 until 31st March 2022.
About Dream 11:
♦ Founded
: 2008
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO & Co-founder: Harsh Jain
About Hyundai Motor India Ltd:
♦ Formation
:6 May 1996
♦ Headquarters: Chennai, Tamil Nadu
♦ CEO: Mr. Seon Seob Kim
About ACC Limited:
♦ Founded
: August 1, 1936
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ MD & CEO and Non-Independent Director: Mr. Neeraj Akhoury

Lt Gen Anil Puri becomes 1st serving general to complete France’s oldest Marathon cycling event
Lieutenant General Anil Puri (56) has become the first serving Lieutenant General-rank officer of the Indian Army to complete 1200 km of France’s oldest and toughest cycle competition. He achieved this feat by cycling non-stop for 90 hours without sleeping on the 19th Paris Brest-Paris circuit (PBP) 2019 held from 18-22 August 2019. The race started from the Paris suburb of Rambouillet and ended at the Brest Military Port in France.Lt Gen Anil Puri becomes 1st serving generalKey points:
i. The event was organized by the Audax Club Parisien , a cycling club founded in Paris, France in 1904.
ii. About 31,125 riders have managed to complete Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur ever since the long-distance cycling event started in 1931.

AFI ropes in Nestle Milo’s association as NIDJAM- 2019 title sponsor
On August 23, 2019, The Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has unveiled a multi-national food and beverage company, Nestle Milo’s association as title sponsor for the National inter-district junior athletics meet 2019 (NIDJAM) to be held on November 24 -26, 2019 in Andhra Pradesh (AP).
Key points:
i. NIDJAM, which will be organized by AFI (Athletics Federation of India), the world’s largest talent hunt programmes for a single sport, with over 50,000 young athletes participating in it every year.
ii. The initiative is a platform for boys and girls in the under-14 and under-16 age groups to showcase their talent across 10 disciplines.
About Nestle S.A:
♦ Founded: 1866
♦ Headquarters: Vevey, Switzerland
♦ CEO: Mark Schneider
About AFI:
♦ Founded
: 1946
♦ President: Adille J Sumariwalla


PM Modi announces to celebrate September as a month of nutrition
On August 25, 2019 the Prime Minister(PM) of India Shri Narendra Modi announced in his “Mann Ki Baat” programme (PM addressing the nation programme)  to celebrate September month, as a month of nutrition as part of POSHAN Abhiyaan (National Nutrition Mission).
i. To achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers in a time bound manner during the next three years beginning 2017-18.
ii. It is a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the aim to make india free from malnutrition by 2022………………………Click here to Read more

Women’s Equality Day 2019 observed on August 26
Women’s Equality Day is celebrated on August 26, 2019. It commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment in the United States of America (USA) Constitution by US Congress in 1920 that provides equal rights to women, including the right to vote. It is an annual event in the US. The amendment for the same was first introduced in 1878. Women's Equality Day 2019i. The colour for Women’s Equality Day is purple.
ii. In 1920, the then US Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a proclamation at his residence in Washington, ending a struggle for the right to vote and in 1971, the US Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day and was first celebrated in 1973.

National Fortnight On Eye Donation 2019 is observed from August 25- September 8, 2019
The National Eye Donation Fortnight is observed every year from August 25- September 8, 2019. It aims to create mass public awareness about the importance of eye donation and to motivate people to pledge their eyes for donation after death.National Fortnight On Eye Donation 2019i. According to World Health Organization (WHO), corneal diseases (Damage to the tissue covering the front of eye called cornea) are among the major causes of vision loss and blindness, after cataract and glaucoma.
About WHO:
Established: 7th April 1948
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Director General: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus


Allahabad HC imposes ban on playing DJs (Disk Jockey) in Uttar Pradesh
On August 21, 2019, The Allahabad High Court (HC) bench comprising Justice P.K.S. Baghel and Justice Pankaj Bhatia has prohibited the permission to play  DJs (Disk Jockey) all across Uttar Pradesh(UP), considering noise pollution as a threat to human health. Along with this, the court also ordered to impose a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh & will face a 5-year jail term, if he/she disobeyed this instruction.
Key points:
i. The court has also directed the state government to ensure that no noise pollution rules are violated in the state. The decision has been taken after public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by an Allahabad advocate Sushil Chandra Shrivastava.
ii. The HC of Uttar Pradesh has termed the violation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, a violation of the basic right of citizens & directed the DMs (district magistrates) of all districts to provide toll-free numbers to listen to complaints of noise pollution and take action against those who violate the law.
About Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Capital
: Lucknow
♦ Chief minister: Yogi Adityanath
♦ Governor: Anandiben Patel
♦ National Park: Dudhwa National Park

Blue Waves at Beaches of Chennai, Tamil Nadu are bad for fishes: Marine Experts
On August 18, 2019, A beautiful Bioluminescent waves were spotted along the shore of Thiruvanmiyur, Injambakkam, Besant Nagar’s Eliot’s and Palavakkam beaches in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. According to marine experts of National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) of Chennai, the Noctiluca scintillans algae (unicellular organism), popularly known as sea tinkle were behind this phenomenon. The algae exhibits the phenomenon of bioluminescence or blue sea sparkle/biologically produce light when disturbed.Blue Waves At Chennai Beaches bad for fishes

What is Bioluminescence?
Bioluminescence is caused by Noctiluca scintillans, a type of phytoplankton (microscopic marine plants), commonly known as dinoflagellates, that convert their chemical energy into light energy through chemical reactions in proteins in the presence of oxygen, and an enzyme called “luciferase”, when washed ashore.

  • Cause:  It was caused due to Heavy rain and discharge of sewage into the ocean.
  • Indication: It is an indication of climate change, impact on deep-sea fishing, and disruption of the long term health of an ecosystem.

Key points:
i. Bioluminescence has been witnessed in fireflies, a few beetles and in marine creatures such as Anglerfish and copepods.
ii. These algal patches are also associated with coastal pollution and runoff from agricultural areas.
iii. Since the early 2000s, this kind of blooms has been reported annually in the Northern Arabian Sea.
iv. The states of Goa, Mumbai and the backwaters of Kerala have also witnessed these algal blooms.
About Tamil Nadu:
♦ Capital: Chennai
♦ Chief minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
♦ Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
♦ National Park :Guindy National Park , Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) National Park, Mudumalai National Park ,Mukurthi National Park.

Under Digital India, Banjari village of Katni district in MP to become an integral part of the digital map of the country
Under the Prime Minister’s ambitious project of Digital India, the Banjari village of Katni district becomes the 1st village in Madhya Pradesh(MP) to become an integral part of the digital map of the country.
Key points:
i. Plan: The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEiTY) has envisaged the Digital Village Project & It has planned to build 1000 digital villages across India in this phase starting from Banjari Gram Panchayat of MP.
ii. Bridging the Gap: The project will provide connectivity in every village & bridge the digital gap between rural and urban areas of the country. This will also create new jobs and employment.
iii. 1st Digital village: Akodara village of Sabarkantha district of Gujarat is the 1st digital village in India.
iv. Aim: The MEiTY has planned to create one lakh digital villages of this kind in the next 5 years.
About Digital India campaign:
It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 July 2015 in order to ensure the Government’s services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.
About Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital
: Bhopal
♦ Chief minister: Kamal Nath
♦ Governor: Lalji Tandon

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