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IIP sets up plant that turns plastic waste into diesel
On August 27,2019, The Union Minister of Science and Technology Shri Harsh Vardhan, inaugurated a waste plastics to diesel plant in presence of uttarakhand Chief Minister(CM) Trivendra Singh Rawat, at the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, that converts plastic waste into diesel.
The plant will produce 800 litres of diesel from 1 tonne of plastic waste which will be collected with the help of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations).
Director- Dr. Anjan Ray.
India unveiled world’s first ever facial BSID
On August 28, 2019, India launched the world’s first-ever Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID) which captures the facial biometric data of seafarers. It was launched by Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/C) Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers in New Delhi. He handed over the new BSID cards to 5 Indian seafarers. Key Points:
i. India had made a presentation on this technology at the International Labour Organization (ILO).
ii. The new card is in confirmation of the Convention No. 185 of the ILO on BSID. India ratified the Convention in October 2015.
iii. BSID project was formed in collaboration with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Mumbai.
iv. 9 data collection centers to issue BSID have been setup at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla.
v. BSID will be issued to Indian seafarer who possess a valid Continuous Discharge Certificate issued by the Government of India.
About Ministry of Shipping:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
18th meeting of Conference of the Parties(CoP) of CITES held in Geneva, Switzerland
The 18th meeting of Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from August 17 -August 28, 2019.
i. The meet aimed at the discussion over the future of the ivory trade, illegal killings of rhinos and the rhino horn trade, management of African elephant populations, and the booming exotic pet business.
ii. The world’s most trafficked wild product called ‘rosewood’(a dense, tropical hardwood) is now moved to Appendix II of CITES. The wood is used to make musical instruments and handicrafts……………………..Click here to Read more
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI released the report on the Economic Capital Framework submitted by the panel headed by Bimal Jalan
On August 27, 2019, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the report submitted by the panel headed by Bimal Jalan, former RBI governor, which was formed to review the Economic Capital Framework (ECF) of the RBI.
i. The committee recommended to maintain RBI’s Contingency Risk Buffer (CRB). It is India’s fund to handle a financial stability. It was recommended to be maintained at a range of 5.5% to 6.5% of the RBI’s balance sheet, which is above the available level of 2.4% of balance sheet as on June 30, 2018.
ii. RBI accounting year (July-June) may be brought in sync with the fiscal year (April to March) from the financial year 2020-21 as it could reduce the need for interim dividend being paid by the RBI…………………..Click here to Read more
Fintech startup based in Bangalore ‘MoneyTap’ provides lifetime credit of up to Rs.5 lakh Instantly
MoneyTap, India’s first company to provide an app-based personal credit line to customers has announced to provide its customers with a lifetime credit limit of up to Rs. 5 lakh instantly starting from Rs. 3,000. Unlike personal loans and credit cards, customers pay interest only on the amount borrowed and at lower rates.Key points:
i. Borrow: With MoneyTap app, consumers can borrow any amount from their limit anytime, anywhere. Collateral securities & guarantor are not needed to get the Personal Credit Line.
ii. Repay: The borrower repays it as flexible EMIs (Equated Monthly Installment) within 2-months to 3- years.
iii. Reuse: Once the borrowed amount repaid, customers can use the credit limit again.
Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka,
Co-founder & CEO: Bala Parthasarathy
Insurance regulator IRDAI has set up a single point contact for RS
An autonomous body tasked with regulating insurance and re-insurance industries, IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) has set up a single point contact for its regulatory sandbox (RS) initiative. The Fintech entities can seek permission to experiment with innovative products for the growth of the sector.
i. IRDAI has invited applications already for the RS from 15, September 2019 – 14, October 2019.
It nominated Sanjay Verma as the “Single Point of Contact on regulatory sandbox matters”, will communicate & guide the applicants.
ii. It will not grant any relaxation in respect of compliance with the Insurance Act, 1938, the IRDA Act, 1999 or any other applicable statutory provisions. But it may consider granting limited regulatory relaxation to the proposal that develops innovation in insurance in India.
iii. The IRDAI (Regulatory Sandbox-RS) Regulations, 2019 was notified in July 2019 aims to create a balance between orderly development of insurance sector on one hand and protection of interests of policyholders on the other hand.
iv. Regulatory Sandbox (RS): It refers to live testing of new products/services in a secure &controlled regulatory environment, where the regulators can allow certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.
It also permits the innovators, regulators, financial providers, and the customers to carry out field tests so that they can verify the benefits and risks of new emerging financial innovations and their implications.
Chairman: Dr. Subhash C. Khuntia
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Microsoft launches first of its kind “Digital Governance Tech Tour” programme to skill government IT officials in new-age technologies
On August 27, 2019, IT(Information Technology) company, Microsoft India has launched a program called ‘Digital Governance Tech Tour’ in line with the Digital initiative of the Indian government to train 5000 government employees over a period of 12 months on AI (artificial intelligence) and cloud computing skills. Key points:
i. The first-of-its-kind initiative includes a series of physical and virtual workshops, was inaugurated at the Digital Governance Tech Summit 2019 in New Delhi by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of government’s policy think-tank ,NITI Aayog(National Institution for Transforming India) & Ajay Prakash Sawhney, secretary, MeITY (The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology)..
ii. The new-age programme will help build the foundation towards an AI-enabled future & participants will learn a wide range of skills, including being able to move, transform and analyze data, design and deployment skills for end-to-end solutions.
iii. The program provides users a 10-module program under 2 different segments, one meant for Technical Directors, Technical Architects and Project Managers and the other one meant for Developers, IT Architect and Application Architects.
About Microsoft India:
Headquarters: Hyderabad, Telangana
President: Anant Maheshwari
SIDBI partners with Incuspaze for coworking space for MSMEs
On August 27, 2019, the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has partnered with Incuspaze Solutions Private Limited (Incuspaze) to open a coworking space, designed for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) and startups. This coworking space called @Workspaze is located in Connaught Place, New Delhi.About SIDBI:
Headquarters- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Founded- 2 April 1990
Chairman and Managing Director (MD)- Mohammad Mustafa, IAS (Indian Administrative Service).
Act- Act of Indian Parliament.
Incorporated- 16 September 2016.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Sanjay Choudhary.
Directors- Om Prakash Choudhary and Sanjay Choudhary.
7 oil and natural gas blocks for bidding offered by the government under OALP-IV
On August 26, 2019, Government offered 7 oil and natural gas blocks for bidding under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP)-IV. Five blocks offered are in little-explored Vindhyan sedimentary basin, 1 block is in Bengal Purnea basin and 1 block is the proven basin of Rajasthan.
i. 18,509.69 square kilometre of area for exploration of oil and gas has been offered in OALP-IV which is the first round being held on revamped terms approved in February 2019.
ii. Under the previous 3 OALP, government has awarded 87 blocks covering an area of 1.18 lakh sq km.
iii. Vindhyan is Category-II basin block and Bengal Purnea is Category-III area where no exploration has happened so far. The Vindhyan basin covers areas under the Son valley, Bundelkhand and Rajasthan, and Bengal Purnea basin is in West Bengal and extends into the offshore region of the Bay of Bengal.
iv. The 5th cycle of submitting expression of interest (EoI) is currently going on till November 30, 2019, and would be followed by the 6th cycle from December 1, 2019, till March 31, 2020.
v. The seven category-I explored basins in India are Cambay, Mumbai Offshore, Rajasthan, Krishna Godavari, Cauvery, Assam Shelf, and Assam-Arakan Fold Belt.
STPI sets up India’s 1st FinTech centre of excellence-“Fin Blue” in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in association with Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu(ELCOT) has officially set up a ‘Centre of Excellence in FinTech’ with a cost of over ₹23 crore in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is first of its kind in India and is named ‘FinBlue’.
i. The money pooled in from the Tamil Nadu government(Rs 5.7 crore), STPI(Rs 4 crore), Government of India(Rs 1.8 crore,) and UK(United Kingdom)-based fintech fund Pontaq (Rs 11 crore).
ii. The objective of the centre is to provide resources in terms of mentoring, technical support and funding for FinTech startups.
iii. The centre aims to incubate over 58 startups (not have an annual turnover exceeding Rs 100 crore) fall under trading, banking, insurance, wealth advisory and financial inclusion portfolios in the next 5 years.
iv. Currently, Pitch Fest is being conducted to identify eligible and innovative start-ups for the FinBlue programme.
Headquarters: New Delhi
Director-General: Omkar Rai
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Forbes ranks singer Taylor Swift as the highest-paid woman in music for the year 2019
American singer and songwriter Taylor Swift has topped Forbes magazine’s ‘highest-paid woman in music’ category for the year 2019 with earnings of $185 million (Rs1,300 crore). Taylor is followed by pop singer Beyonce with earnings $81 million (Rs579 crore) and singer Rihanna with $62 million at second and third place respectively. Key points:
i. The ranking is based on pre-tax income from June 2018 to June 2019.
ii. Recently Taylor Swift was also ranked 1st in 2019’s overall ‘highest-paid celebrities’ list released by the American magazine Forbes in July.
Shalija Dhami of IAF becomes first female flight commander
Wing Commander Shalija Dhami of the Indian Air Force (IAF), became the first-ever female officer to be appointed as flight commander(second in command) of a flying unit. She took over as flight commander of a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindon airbase, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Key points
i. Hailing from Ludhiana, Punjab, Wing Commander Dhami, became the first woman flying instructor of the IAF and also the first permanent commission woman officer of the flying branch with 2300 hours of flying and 15-year service of flying ‘Chetak’ and ‘Cheetah’ choppers.
Noida girls clinched bronze medal for “maitri” app at 2019 Technovation Challenge
On August 27, 2019, five girls from Noida, Uttar Pradesh of team “Tech Witches” were awarded Bronze medal at the 2019 ‘Technovation challenge’, the world’s largest technology and entrepreneurship programme for girls held in San Francisco, United States(US). They were awarded for developing a mobile app named ‘Maitri’ which connects children at orphanages with senior citizens in old-age homes.
i. The developers include Ananya Grover, Vanshika Yadav, Vasudha Sudhinder, Anushka Sharma and Arefa, all Class 12 students of Amity International School in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
ii. The maitri app is available on Google play store and allows users the facility to volunteer and donate to old-age homes and orphanages. The initial coverage area under this app will be New Delhi.
Shashi Shanker, ONGC CMD honoured with Distinguished Fellowship of IOD, 2019
On August 26, 2019, Indian multinational oil and gas company, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Shashi Shanker was honoured with the Distinguished Fellowship of the Institute of Directors (IOD) 2019 during 29th Institute of Directors (IOD) Annual Day Ceremony held in New Delhi with the theme of ‘Future Boards: Leading Strategy to Embrace Sustainability’.Key points:
i. The prestigious honor was bestowed to Mr. Shanker by the Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs, Civil Aviation and Trade & Commerce Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri for his distinguished contribution to business and society.
ii. Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs & M. Sumanta Chaudhuri, Secretary, Ministry of Coal were also honoured with the Distinguished Fellowship.
iii. The Fellowships for the year 2019 were decided by a jury led by Justice M N Venkatachaliah, former Chief Justice of India (CJI).
iv. Niti Ayog (National Institution for Transforming India )CEO Mr Amitabh Kant, Lead Market Director, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), UK Ms Lucia Real-Martin, CMD Ravin Group of Companies Mr Vijay Karia and President, IOD, PVSM (Retd) Lt Gen J S Ahluwalia were also present during felicitation programme.
Founded: 14 August 1956
Headquarters: Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Former human rights lawyer Lionel Aingimea becomes the new President of Nauru
On August 27, 2019, former human rights lawyer Lionel Aingimea won the presidential election of the pacific nation Nauru by defeating his rival David Adeang by 12-6 votes. Aingimea is now the 15th President of Nauru succeeding the outgoing President Baron Waqa.Key points
i. Nauru became the site of Australia’s first offshore processing centre in 2001 under the “Pacific solution”(Government of Australia policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention centres on island nations in the Pacific Ocean).
Nauru is a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia.
Capital – Yaren.
Currency – Australian dollar.
Official languages- English, Nauruan.
Amit Nayyar- ex-Goldman Sachs executive appointed as new Paytm president
Indian e-commerce payment system Paytm has appointed Amit Nayyar as its new president. His appointment comes a week after Madhur Deora, the Chief Financial Officer(CFO) was also elected as the President of Paytm. Key points
i. Nayyar previously worked as the executive of American multinational investment bank and financial services company ‘Goldman Sachs’, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Securities, and in Bank of America. Before joining Paytm, he worked as Managing Director(MD) at Mumbai-based investment bank Arpwood Capital.
Founder- Vijay Shekhar Sharma.
Headquarters- Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
Parent company- One97 Communications Ltd.
Pramod Agrawal to succeed A K Jha as CMD of Coal India Ltd
Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has selected Pramod Agrawal, a 1991 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer for the post of Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Coal India Limited (CIL). He will succeed incumbent Anil Kumar Jha retiring in January 2020.Key points:
i. Agrawal, a post-graduate (M Tech) in Engineering, is currently Principal Secretary for Urban Development and Housing Department of Madhya Pradesh.
About Coal India Ltd:
Headquarters: Kolkata, West Bengal
It is the largest coal-producing company in the world. It is a holding company for seven wholly-owned coal producing subsidiaries and one mine planning and consultancy company spread across over 8 States.
Pavan Kapoor got appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the United Arab Emirates(UAE)
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India(GoI), Shri Pavan Kapoor, the 1990 cadre Indian Foreign Service(IFS) officer has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the United Arab Emirates(UAE).
i. He replaces Navdeep Singh Puri, who has been heading the Indian mission in UAE since October 2016.
ii. Pavan Kapoor was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) of India from 2010 – 2013 & also worked in Prime Minister’s Office(PMO) in New Delhi.
iii. He also worked in different capacities in the Indian Missions in Moscow, Kyiv, London, and Geneva.
Capital: Abu Dhabi
Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Prime Minister: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Chemicals and Fertilizers ministry launched “Janaushadhi Sugam” mobile app
On August 27, 2019, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda, in New Delhi launched the mobile application “Janaushadhi Sugam” which would help in searching for outlets and generic medicines. Reduction in the cost of “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin” was also announced. The napkins will now be available at Rs 1 per pad from its previous amount of Rs 2.50.Key points
i. “Jan Aushadhi Suvidha Oxo-Biodegradable Sanitary Napkin” at Rs 2.50 per pad was launched on the eve of World Environment Day on 4th June 2018. Till 31st July 2019, over 1.30 crore pads were sold at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Kendras(PMBJ).
ii. The Janaushadhi sugam app is made available in android and ios(Internetwork Operating System) platforms and could be downloaded from google play store and apple store respectively.
About Chemicals and fertilizers ministry:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Minister of State(MoS)- Shri Mansukh Mandaviya. (Also Mos independent charge of Shipping ministry; constituency- Gujarat)
Secretary- Shri Chhabilendra Roul.
Constituency of D.V. Sadananda Gowda- Bangalore north.
Overview of 2019 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships
The 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Para-Badminton World Championships was held from August 20-25, 2019 at St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland. It was the 12th edition of the tournament. It was the first time that Para-Badminton World Championships is held together with World Badminton Championships in the same venue, as 2019 BWF World Championships was held from 19 to 25 August at St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland.
i. China topped the list of the medal with a total of 13 medals (7 Gold, 3 Silver & 3 Bronze), followed by Indonesia with 10 medals (4 Gold, 2 Silver & 4 Bronze) and India with 12 medals (3 Gold, 4 Silver & 5 Bronze).
ii. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju handed over 1.82 crore rupees to the medallists of the Para-Badminton World Championships 2019. Gold medal winners have given Rs 20 lakh, the silver medallists were given Rs 14 lakhs and bronze winners Rs 8 lakhs each, Winners in the doubles events were given Rs 15 lakh each for gold, Rs 10.5 lakh each for silver and Rs 6 lakhs for bronze.
Winners- Gold medal
i. In the Men’s Singles Standing Sport Classes – SL 3, Pramod Bhagat won gold.
ii. In the Men’s Doubles Standing Sport Classes – SL 3, SL 4 Pramod Bhagat & Manoj Sarkar clinched gold.
iii. In the Women’s Singles Standing Sport Classes – SL 3, Manasi Girishchandra Joshi won the gold.
Silver & Bronze medals
|Men’s Singles SL4||Tarun||Silver|
|Men’s Doubles SL3-SL4||Kumar Nitesh & Tarun||Silver|
|Men’s Doubles SS6||Nagar Krishna & Raja Magotra||Silver|
|Women’s Singles SL3||Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar||Silver|
|Men’s Singles SL3||Manoj Sarkar||Bronze|
|Men’s Singles SL4||Sukant Kadam||Bronze|
|Men’s Singles SS6||Nagar Krishna||Bronze|
|Men’s Doubles SL3-SL4||Umesh Vikram Kumar with Chawarat Kitichokwattana||Bronze|
|Men’s Doubles SU5||Raj Kumar & Rakesh Pandey||Bronze|
♦ Formation: 1934
♦ Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
♦ President: Poul-Erik Høyer
Virat Kohli tops & Jasprit Bumrah enters top 10 in latest ICC test rankings
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli ranks 1st in the latest ICC (International Cricket Council) Test rankings released on August 27, 2019, with 910 points whereas Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah made his maiden entry into the top 10 rankings placed at 7th spot with 774 points. Key points
i. Indian Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja Ranks 4th in the Test All-Rounder Rankings with 395 points.
ii. The Test Bowling Rankings is topped by Australian cricketer Pat Cummins with 908 points.
iii. It is also to be noted that Bumrah is currently the world no.1 One Day International(ODI) bowler.
|Rank||ICC test batsmen||ICC test bowler||ICC test all-rounder|
|1||Virat Kohli (India)||Pat Cummins (Australia)||Jason Holder (West Indies)|
|2||Steve Smith (Australia)||Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)||Ben Stokes (England)|
|3||Kane Williamson (New Zealand)||James Anderson (England)||Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)|
|4||Cheteshwar Pujara (India)||Vernon Philander (South Africa||Ravindra Jadeja (India)|
Headquarters- Dubai, United Arab Emirates(UAE)
Chairperson- Shashank Manohar.
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Manu Sawhney.
Motto-Cricket for good.
Odisha’s Kalinga Stadium gets provisional clearance to be the 1st venue for 2020 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup
On August 27, 2019, Kalinga Stadium of Bhubaneswar, Odisha was named as the first venue for the upcoming Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 after getting provisional clearance. The U-17(under 17) World Cup will be held in India in 2020.Key points
i. The stadium will be ratified by FIFA at the final inspection by the end of this year and then the city will be confirmed as a Host City for the World Cup.
ii. The U-17 Women’s World Cup will be the first FIFA competition for women in India as well as the second overall to be held in India.
iii. The other venues after getting the infrastructure clearance would be Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Goa.
English abbreviation– International Federation of Association Football.
Motto-For the Game. For the World.
Headquarters- Zürich, Switzerland.
President- Gianni Infantino.
Founded- 21 May 1904.
West Indies bowler Cecil Wright announces retirement at the age of 85
On August 27, 2019, West Indies cricket player Cecil Wright with a career spanning 60 years, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 85. He will play his last match representing Uppermill cricket club (England), against Pennine League Side Springhead cricket club of England on September 7, 2019. Key points
i. Familiarly known as ‘Cec’, Wright made his first-class debut for Jamaica against Barbados in 1998.
Also he is claimed to have played over two million games taking over 7,000 wickets in professional cricket.
ii. He moved to England in 1959 and launched a career in professional cricket in the Central Lancashire League for Crompton(England).
Punjab Congress MLA from Mukerian Rajnish Kumar Babbi passed away in Chandigarh
On August 27, 2019, Congress Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the Mukerian assembly seat in Punjab, Rajnish Kumar Babbi, aged 59, passed away after a prolonged illness at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh.i. He was first elected to the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in the 2012 assembly polls as an Independent from Mukerian.
ii. In the 2017 assembly elections, as a Congress candidate, he had defeated Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee Arunesh Kumar.
Former Palghar MLA of Maharashtra Navnitbhai Shah passed away at 96
On August 26, 2019, Socialist leader and former MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) of Palghar town in Maharashtra, Navnitbhai Shah passed away at the age of 96 at a hospital in Mumbai due to old age-related ailments.
i. Born in Maharashtra, Shah served as Palghar MLA in 1957 and 1962 before which he served as the first Sarpanch (village head) of Palghar in 1952. He had tabled the resolution for Sanyukta Maharashtra that called for separate Marathi-speaking state out of the (then-bilingual) State of Bombay in western India.
ii. He also took part in the freedom struggle in 1942 at the Gowalia Tank maidan in Mumbai and was an active member of Rashtra Seva Dal between 1943-1949.
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