Current Affairs August 27 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

MHRD launched National Digital Library of India 
Under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) launched the National Digital Library of India project. It will develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. Key Points:
i. National Digital Library has been integrated with Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) App and users can register through www.ndl.gov.in or through the mobile app.
ii. There are more than 3 crore digital resources available through the National Digital Library.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit to France, UAE and Bahrain and G7 Summit
Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi was on a 3 nation visit to France, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain from 22-26 August 2019. He also attended the 45th G7 Summit for the year 2019 in Biarritz, France.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the RuPay card in Abu Dhabi, making it the first country in the Middle East to initiate the Indian indigenous system of electronic payment. He made a special purchase which he offered as ‘prasad’ at the Shreenathji Temple in Bahrain during his visit.
  • PM launched the $4.2 million redevelopment project of the 200-year-old Lord Sri Krishna temple in Manama.
  • The 45th G7 Summit for the year 2019 was held in Biarritz, France from 24 to 26 August, 2019. The next G7 Summit (46th) for the year 2020 will be held in the United States.
  • World leaders at the G7 summit in France pledged to spend a total amount of $22 million to fight the raging wildfires in the Amazon in South America that are threatening the world’s biggest rainforest……………..Click here to Read more

The air forces of China and Pakistan began joint exercise ‘Shaheen-VIII’ near Ladakh
The air forces of China and Pakistan began joint exercise Labelled  ‘Shaheen-VIII’ in the Chinese city of Holton, close to the Indian border of around 300 km north of  Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir(J&K). This is the 8th such exercise undertaken by two countries with the participation of Chinese J10 & J-11 and Pakistani JF-17s planes.Key points:
i.
Pakistani JF-17 planes (a single-engined light jet aircraft)passed through the Skardu airbase in Gilgit Baltistan area occupied by Pakistan, which India claims is a part of the former princely state of J&K.
ii. The single-engine, single-seat J-10 is a product of the Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group. JF-17, a lightweight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation of China.
iii. The exercise will help India’s two neighbours of China &Pakistan to improve bilateral relation.
iv. In 2018, ‘Shaheen-VII’ was held in Pakistan.
About China:
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
♦ President: Xi Jinping
About Pakistan:
♦ Capital
: Islamabad
♦ Currency: Pakistani rupee
♦ Prime minister: Imran Khan
♦ President: Arif Alvi

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI issues guidelines on Interest Subvention Scheme for Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to Fisheries and Animal Husbandry farmers during 2018-19 and 2019-20
On August 26, 2019, The country’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has issued guidelines on Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS)for Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to Fisheries and Animal Husbandry farmers during the year 2018-19 and 2019-20.
i. Apart from existing KCC holders for crop loans, the farmers involved in activities related to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, through a separate KCC will get at a concessional interest rate of 7% per annum during the years only 2018-19 and 2019-20 for the short loan up to Rs. 2 lakh. The Interest subvention is available for animal husbandry and fisheries farmers at the rate of 2% per annum at the time of disbursal of loan.
ii. The additional interest subvention of 3% per annum given to farmers, who repaying in time i.e up to the due date fixed by the banks for repayment of the loan, whichever is earlier. This subvention will also provided to the farmers repaying promptly would get short-term loans at the rate of 4 % per annum during 2018-19 and 2019-20………………………Click here to Read more

RBI Board Approves Surplus Transfer of Rs 1.76 Lakh Crore to Govt as it Accepts Bimal Jalan Panel Recommendation
On August 26, 2019, The Reserve Bank of India(RBI)’s Governor Shaktikanta Das-led RBI central board in its 578th meeting (held in Mumbai, Maharashtra) has accepted the recommendation of high-level 6-member panel headed by its former Governor Bimal Jalan on transfer of Rs 1,76,051 crore to the government comprising of Rs 1,23,414 crore of surplus for the year 2018-19 and Rs 52,637 crore of excess provisions as per the revised Economic Capital Framework (ECF).
i. The additional cash will help the government meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) for the current fiscal year(FY2019-20)………………………..Click here to Read more

An MoU signed between Indian Bank and Tata AIG General Insurance 
Indian Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tata AIG General Insurance to offer Tata AIG General Insurance’s diverse range of general insurance policies to the bank’s customers.
Key Points:
i. The MoU was signed in the presence of Ms Padmaja Chunduru, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Bank and Mr Saurabh Maini, Senior Vice President and Business Head–Key partnership Group, Tata AIG General Insurance.
ii. Tata AIG General Insurance will work with the Indian bank for sales training, product support and ensuring smooth operational processes.
About Indian Bank:
Headquarters: Chennai
Tag Line: Your Own Bank
Formed: August 15, 1907
About Tata AIG General Insurance:
Headquarters: Mumbai
CEO: Neelesh Garg

Canara Bank launches India’s first OTP facility for ATM cash withdrawals above Rs.10,000  
Canara Bank, one of the largest public sector banks in India has launched India’s first one-time password (OTP) facility for ATM withdrawals over Rs.10,000 in a day. This extra security armor will protect the card users from illegally withdrawing money from ATMs (Automated Teller Machine).Key points:
i. Many banks have started taking steps to protect their customers from ATM fraud. On March 15, 2019, The State Bank of India( SBI) has also launched YONO (You Only Need One) Cash Services for customers to withdraw money from ATMs without a card.
About Canara Bank:
♦ Founded
: 1906
♦ Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka
♦ Chairman: T.N. Manoharan
♦ MD& CEO:  Shri. R A Sankara Narayanan
♦ Tagline: Together we can

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s GDP growth estimated at 6.0% for Q1 of 2019-20: FICCI Survey
As per the recently released FICCI’s (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry)Economic Outlook Survey 2019’, India’s GDP (Gross domestic product) growth estimated at 6.0% for Q1 (April 2019 to June 2019) of Fiscal year FY 2019-20. The growth numbers will be released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO). While the annual median GDP Growth for 2019-20 projected at 6.9% and the minimum and maximum growth estimate stood at 6.7% and 7.2% respectively for 2019-20.
Key points:
i. The survey was conducted by economists belonging to the industry, banking, and financial services sectors during the months of June-July 2019.
ii. Views on India’s potential growth rate: The surveyed economists suggested 4 key areas that needed immediate attention which include,

  • Boosting Agriculture Sector,
  • Strengthening MSMEs
  • Undertaking Factor Market Reforms
  • Enhancing Avenues for Infrastructure Financing.

iii. Views on enhancing employment creation: The survey also identified 4 key segments of improvement that would help create more job opportunities, particularly in manufacturing & services sector. The 4 sectors include,

  • Cost of Doing Business
  • Regulatory Reforms
  • Labour Reforms
  • Sector Specific Special Packages

About FICCI:
♦ Founded
: 1927
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ President: Sandip Somany
♦ It is an association of business organizations in India, draws its membership from the corporate sector, both private and public, including SMEs(Small and medium-sized enterprises) and MNCs(multinational corporation).

India failed to comply with the multiple requirements prescribed in SDDS: IMF Report for 2018
According to the report titled “Annual Observance Report of the Special Data Dissemination Standard for 2018” released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India failed to comply with the multiple requirements prescribed in Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) which are mandatory for all IMF members. The report lists the compliances & deviations from the SDDS under each data category for a particular year. There are 20 data categories.
Key Points:
i. In 2018, India deviated from the SDDS in at least 1 instance in all the data categories listed. The delay had exceeded 100 days in multiple instances.
ii. Brazil did not delay dissemination in any category. China, South Africa and Russia lagged in some categories but the delay didn’t exceed 31 days for any category.
iii. The report lists 3 types of deviations from SDDS:

  • The first deals with the delays in data dissemination from the periodicity prescribed in the SDDS.
  • The second occurs when member countries do not list a data category in their Advance Release Calendars (ARC) despite the category being mandated by the SDDS.
  • The third deviation occurs when data is not disseminated at all for a particular period.

About SDDS:
IMF launched the SDDS initiative in 1996 to guide the members to enhance data transparency and help financial market participants with adequate information to assess the economic situations of individual countries. India subscribed to the SDDS on December 27, 1996.

Amazon launches Military Veterans Employment programme in partnership with DGR and AWPO
On August 26, 2019, e-commerce giant Amazon India launched Military Veterans Employment programme in order to create opportunities for military veterans and their spouses in partnership with Director General of Resettlement (DGR) and the Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPO).Key points 
i. It is to be noted that globally, Amazon has employed over 17,500 employees in the programme.
ii. Recently Amazon India was rated as the country’s most ‘attractive employer brand,’ as per the Randstad Employer Brand Research in june 2019.
About Amazon:
♦ Founder- Jeff Bezos.
♦ Founded- 5 July 1994.
♦ Headquarters- Seattle, Washington, and Arlington, Virginia, United States.
♦ Vice President Asia Operations-  Akhil Saxena.
♦ Amazon India Head- Amit Agarwal (also Global Senior Vice President of Amazon).
Previously Amazon was incorporated as Cadabra, Inc from 1994–95.

Atos and C-DAC to work in the field of quantum computing, AI and exascale computing
On August 26, 2019, French information technology(IT) firm Atos and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing(C-DAC) which is a Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)run research organization, have signed an agreement to work on the technical advancement in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), exascale computing (billions of billion calculations per second) and quantum computing (computer technology based on quantum theory).
Key points
i. Atos’s ‘Quantum Learning Machine’ claimed to be one of the world-leading quantum simulators, will be used at the C-DAC facility, which is working with Atos on the National Supercomputing Mission.
ii. The C-DAC Mission Mode Programs on Exascale Computing, Microprocessor and Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Computing is led by its Director General (DG) Hemant Darbari.
About CDAC:
♦ Headquarters- Pune.
♦ Founded- 1984.
♦ C-DAC was formed after the amalgamation of The National Centre for Software Technology (NCST), Electronic Research & Development Centre (ER&DCI)and Centre for Electronics Design and Technology of India(CEDTI) in 2003.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Akademik Lomonosov: World’s first floating nuclear reactor of Russia launched in Arctic
The world’s first floating nuclear reactor Akademik Lomonosov was launched by Russia on August 23, 2019, and had set up on a 5000 km journey to northeastern Siberia from Arctic port of Murmansk (north Arctic region), and the trip is expected to last between 4-6 weeks depending on the ice amounts and weather. Despite warnings by environmentalists the journey was started as the reactor is vulnerable to storms and could also produce radioactive wastes.Akademik Lomonosov:
i. Features: Owned by Rosatom(Russian state nuclear energy corporation), the work for the nuclear reactor began in 2006.  It is of length144 metres (472 ft.) and width of 30 metres (98 ft.) weighing 21,000 tons. The reactor is expected to start its operation by the end of 2019, mainly serving in the region’s oil platforms.
ii. Reactors & crew: The floating reactor that can accommodate a crew of 69 members began the work of construction in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 2006. It has 2 KLT-40 naval propulsion reactors with a capacity of 35 megawatts each and can travel at a speed of 3.5 to 4.5 knots.
The reactor on arriving Pevek, a town in the Siberian region of Chukotka(Russia), will replace a local nuclear plant and a closed coal plant.
iii. Criticism:Greenpeace which is a Non-Governmental Organization in the Netherlands, criticized the project calling it “nuclear Titanic” and a “Chernobyl on Ice” due to the probable harmful effects it may produce in the future and also created concerns of the Russian nuclear negligence after the recent explosion in Arkhangelsk, Russia, a military testing site.

A new mobile app called “IndTokyo” launched to help Paralympians to look up accessible places in Tokyo during 2020 Paralympics Games
On August 25, 2019, Arhan Bagati, Awareness and Impact Ambassador of Paralympic Committee of India has launched a mobile application called “IndTokyo” to help para-athletes to look up accessible places in Tokyo, Japan during their visit to the city for the 2020 Paralympics Games.
Key points:
i
. The app has features like information on para-athletes and accessible places in Tokyo among others. About 4,000 athletes from across the world are expected to participate in the event.
2020 summer Paralympics:
♦ Dates: 25 August, 2020 – 6 September, 2020
♦ Host city: Tokyo, Japan
♦ Stadium: New National Stadium
2024 Summer Paralympics:
♦ Dates
: 28 August, 2024 – 8 September, 2024
♦ Host city: Paris, France
♦ Stadium: Stade de France

IIT-Guwahati Researchers developed lab grown meat
Researchers from the IIT-Guwahati (Assam), have developed a fully grown meat in their Biomaterial and Tissue Engineering laboratory. Claimed to be natural, the meat is formulated and is applied for patent rights for production. Also, it has improvised nutritional values as per customer needs.
Key points
i. The lab-grown meat will be an alternative to real meat as UN population prospects that the current meat industry will not be able to meet the global needs by 2050.
ii. Patented part: Muscle progenitor cells isolated from animals via small biopsies are patented by the research team where the cells are grown on edible material base.

11th C-17 Globemaster III Transport Aircraft of Boeing, delivered to IAF
American aerospace company Boeing has delivered its 11th C-17 Globemaster III Transport Aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) in order to boost the airlift requirements. It can carry large combat equipment, troops and humanitarian aid across long distances in all weather conditions.
Key points
i. With this delivery, the number of Boeing-built operable C-17s around the globe reached 275.
ii. Boeing had previously launched C-17 simulator training centre in 2016 which provides training services to the IAF.
About IAF:
♦ Founded-  8 October 1932.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Air Chief Marshal-Birender Singh Dhanoa.

SPORTS

Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Ground in Delhi is set to be renamed as Arun Jaitley Stadium
The governing body of Cricket activities in the Delhi state, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has decided to rename the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi as Arun Jaitley Stadium in the memory of the cricket body’s former president who passed away on August 24, 2019. He served as the president of the DDCA from 1999 to 2013. Key points:
i. The rechristening will take place on September12, 2019, at a function, which will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and will be graced by the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
ii. Jaitley, the former Minister of Finance is credited with renovating the Kotla ground into a modern facility with increased capacity to accommodate more fans and also world-class dressing rooms.

Alex Rins wins 2019 British MotoGP race
On August 25, 2019, Spain born motorcycle racer Alex Rins of Suzuki motors won the 2019 GoPro British Grand Prix MotoGP race at Silverstone circuit, United Kingdom(UK) overthrowing Honda’s Marc Marquez to second place by 0.013 seconds.
Key points
i. The third place was sealed by Maverick Viñales Ruiz(Yamaha) of Spain.
ii. Recently Alex Rins had also won the 2019 Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas held in Austin, Texas in April.

OBITUARY

India’s first woman DGP Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya passed away in Mumbai
On August 26, 2019, India’s first woman Director General of Police (DGP), Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya, passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra after an illness. She was born in Himachal Pradesh and lived in Amritsar, Punjab and Delhi. She was the second woman IPS (Indian Police Service) officer of India after Kiran Bedi.i. She is a 1973 batch IPS officer.
ii. She was appointed the DGP of Uttarakhand in the year 2004 and retired as the DGP on October 31, 2007.
iii. She also contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on an Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) ticket from Haridwar constituency. But failed to win.
iv. She was awarded President’s Medal for long and meritorious services in 1989, President’s Medal for distinguished services in 1997 and Rajiv Gandhi Award in 2004 for excellent all-round performance and as an outstanding woman achiever.

Former Indian Navy Commander Noel Kelman, passed away
On August 23, 2019, Goa born Kirti Chakra(peacetime gallantry award) awardee, Commander Noel Kelman, passed away at the age of 92 in Porvorim, Goa due to old age ailments.Key points:
i. Kelman who was a founder member of the Goa Branch of the All India Anglo Indian Association was awarded Kirti Chakra in 1962 for his valour in 1961 Goa liberation to oust Portuguese from the Anjadip island.
ii. He was also awarded the king’s commendation (for brave conduct) in the Second World War (WW II), for sinking a Japanese submarine.

STATE NEWS

Karnataka CM appoints 3 Deputy CMs and allocates cabinets
On August 26, 2019, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri B.S Yedayurappa had appointed 3 deputy chief ministers and had also allocated portfolios to 14 ministers, a week after the cabinet ministry was expanded. The deputy CMs are Mudhol Govind Karjol (68), Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan (51) and Lakshman Savadi (59).
Key points:
i. The appointment of 3 Deputy CMs which is a first in Karnataka, were assigned several portfolios. They are

  • Mudhol Govind Karajol-  Minister of Public Works Department (PWD), Additional charge Social Welfare Department.
  • Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan- Minister of Higher Education, Information Technology and Biotechnology, Science and Technology.
  • Lakshman Savadi –  Minister of Transport.

About Karnataka:
♦ Capital – Bengaluru.
♦ Governor – VajubhaiVala.
♦ Dances forms –  Yakshagana, Kunitha dance, Veeragase dance, Bayalata dance.

TN education Dept launches 24-hour Tv channel for school students
The Chief Minister(CM) of Tamilnadushri Edappadi K Palaniswamy launched the 24 hour TV(television) channel for the school students by the state education department at a function in Chennai. The programmes in the channel would cover syllabi from pre-KG (KinderGarten) to 12th standard.
Key points
i. Hi-fi laboratories are being established in all Government High Schools and Higher Secondary Schools costing about Rs. 520 crores.
ii. First electric bus in the state:  CM also launched the state’s first electric bus equipped with air-conditioning, automatic doors and GPS (Global Positioning System). Manufacture by Ashok Leyland, the bus is operated by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC).
iii. Amma patrol vehicles: Mr. Palaniswami flagged off 40 ‘Amma Patrol vehicles’ at a total cost of Rs.7.50 crore for women and children within the Greater Chennai Police limits and will be handled by police personnel.

Odisha’s former chief secretary Lalat Indu Parija passed away
On August 26, 2019, the former chief secretary of Odisha Lalat Indu Parija passed away in a hospital in Cuttack, at the age of 89 following a cardiac arrest. Key points:
i. Hailing from Odisha, Lalat, the son of eminent scientist Pranakrushna Parija, served twice as the Chief Secretary of Odisha in 1983 and in 1986.
ii. Previous roles: He was the captain of Odisha Ranji cricket team and later served as the Chairman of the Orissa Public Service Commission(OPSC). He also served as Deputy General Manager of the Rourkela Steel Plant.
iii. Recent book: He recently released the book named “Fate takes a Hand” in March 2019.

Former Karnataka BJP president and senior advocate A K Subbaiah passed away
Ajjikuttira Kariappa (AK) Subbaiah, the former Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president and senior advocate has passed away in Bengaluru, Karnataka after a brief illness. He was 85.
i. Born in Virajpet town of Karnataka in 1936, Subbaiah was an advocate by profession before entering politics.
ii. A K Subbaiah served as the Congress Member of the Legislative Council between 1988 and 1994. Prior to this, he was the first Karnataka state President of the BJP.
iii. He has also written books including a book on the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) titled “RSS Antharanga” in Kannada.

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