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Current Affairs August 29 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet Approvals on August 28,2019

  • Approval was given to make changes in the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019
  • Approval was given for the proposal to review the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy on various sectors like Coal Mining, Contract Manufacturing, Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT) and Digital Media.
  • Approval was given to sugar export policy for evacuation of surplus stocks during sugar season 2019-20 for providing a lump sum export subsidy at Rs. 10,448 per Metric Tonne (MT) to sugar mills for the sugar season 2019-20.  The total estimated expenditure of about Rs.6,268 crore will be incurred for this purpose.
  • Approval was given for establishment of 75 additional Government Medical Colleges by 2021-22 attached with existing district/referral hospitals under Phase-III of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored scheme.
  • Approval was given for the establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure(CDRI) along with its supporting Secretariat Office in New Delhi…………………………Click here to Read more 

Cabinet Approval with Foreign Countries on August 28, 2019
i. India and the Republic of Guinea on cooperation in the field of Traditional systems of medicine and Homeopathy was approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi.
ii. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved MoU on Cooperation in the field of Medicinal Plants between the National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of AYUSH of India and the National Institute of Health, under the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Peru.
iii. An MoU was signed in Gambia on July 31, 2019 in the Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine between India and Gambia during president Ram Nath Kovind’s visit. The MoU was approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi…………………..Click here to Read more

Prahlad Singh Patel launches integrated NOAPS for National Monuments Authority in New Delhi
On August 27, 2019, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, the Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (Independent Charge)has launched an integrated NOC -No Objection Certificate online Application Processing System (NOAPS )for National Monuments Authority (NMA) in New Delhi.
i. 6 new States will be part of this Integrated Online Application Portal with 517 urban Local Bodies Count. The list of States and Urban Local Bodies are as follows,
Madhya Pradesh (378) , Andhra Pradesh (110) , Haryana (15) , Punjab (10), Jharkhand (3) , Telangana (1)
ii. This will help to automate the process of grant of NO Objection Certificate(NOC) for construction-related work in the prohibited and regulated area of ASI(Archaeological Survey of India) protected monuments………………..Click here to Read more

Kerala, TN, Himachal & Py tops the 2019 India child well-being index
On August 27, 2019 “Child well-being index” was launched to assess and track children’s well-being. Prepared by NGOs(Non-Governmental Organisation) World Vision India andInstitute for Financial Management and Research-Leveraging Evidence for Access and Development (IFMR LEAD), the index was topped by Kerala (0.76), followed by Tamil Nadu (0.67) and Himachal Pradesh (0.67) bagging the top three slots in the index. Among Union Territories(UT), Puducherry topped the spot.
i.  Meghalaya (0.53), Jharkhand (0.50) and Madhya Pradesh (0.44) were the poor performers and were ranked at the bottom. Among UTs Dadra and Nagar Haveli was ranked at the bottom……………………Click here to Read more

12th India Security Summit held in New Delhi
The 12th edition of India security summit organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) was held in New Delhi. The theme for the year 2019 is “Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy”.12th “Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy” India Security SummitKey points
i. The Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Shri G. Kishan Reddy,
Jitendra Singh, MoS for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office; Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions; Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space, Ms Neeta Verma Director General of National Informatics Centre(NIC), were present in the event.
ii. To tackle cybercrimes in India which ranks third largest in the world, the Union Home Ministry had also launched scheme ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C)’.
iii. “Cyber Swachhta Kendra” which is a part of the Government of India’s Digital India initiative under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) were mentioned in the event.

IMD signs MoU to handover unused radar building to the Indian Navy
On August 28, 2019 the India Meteorological Department(IMD) and the Indian Navy (IN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to hand over Cyclone Detection Radar(CDR) building by the IMD to the Indian Navy(IN) for meteorological purposes. The MoU was signed at Kochi(Kerala) Naval Base.
Key points
i. The MoU was signed in presence of Rear Admiral RJ Nadkarni, Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command (SNC) and Dr. D.Pradhan, Scientist ‘G’, Additional Director General(DG) of Meteorology (Instruments), IMD, Delhi.
ii. Dr. Pradhan handed over the keys to Commodore Deepak Kumar, Chief Staff Officer (Operations), SNC in presence of Commodore Manoj Kumar Singh, Commodore (Naval Oceanology and Meteorology), Naval Headquarters, New Delhi.
iii. This building would be utilized by Indian Naval Meteorological Analysis Centre (INMAC), that was set up in 2013 to provide meteorological information/ forecasts
CDR building features:
It was constructed between 1983and 1986 and became operational from 1987-2017. It has S-band Cyclone Detection Radar installed by M/s Bharat Electronics Limited. This CDR system provided weather support to aviation at Kochi airport which now is the INS Garuda naval air station. This building was left out since 2017, after IMD commenced it operations of Doppler Weather Radar(DWR) at Mundamveli, kochi.
About IMD:
♦ Founded- 1875.
♦ Headquarters-  New Delhi
♦ Director General of Meteorology- Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.

Citizens of Indore (Madhya Pradesh) take big steps to become No. 1 in Jal Shakti Abhiyan
The citizens of Indore (Madhya Pradesh) have taken a rapid step to become number one in Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA), a campaign for water conservation and water security after they got the top spot in Swachhata Abhiyan continuously since the last 3 years.
In Indore Municipal Corporation area, a record has also been created by installing 1500 water harvesting systems in a day.
Key points:
i. The Indore Municipal Corporation has implemented the Jal Shakti Abhiyan on a priority basis & for this, an App has also been launched, in which citizens can apply for water harvesting system.
ii. The installation of water harvesting system capsules is being given free of cost under CSR(Corporate social responsibility) for homes to discharge roof rainwater into the ground during the rainy season. The homeowners are required to pay the amount of wages and material.
iii. It has also been decided to put geo-tagging barcode at the place, where water harvesting system is being installed. With this, the live location of a particular place could be seen.
About Jal Shakti Abhiyan:
i.
It is a time-bound, mission-mode water conservation campaign, launched in two phases, the first phase is from July 1, 2019 -September 15, 2019, for all participating States and the 2nd  phase, will be from October 1 – November 30, 2019, for States with a retreating monsoon.
ii. The five key areas under the campaign include water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse, bore well recharge structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar Visit to Russia and Hungary
External Affairs Minister(EAM) of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has paid a visit to two nations Russia and Hungary from August 25-28, 2019 to review bilateral relations.
i. EAM Jaishankar held talks with Foreign Minister of Hungary Peter Szijjarto followed by delegation-level talks, where bilateral and multilateral issues were discussed in Budapest, Hungary.
ii. External Affairs Minister Jaishankar participated in Valdai Discussion Club,  a Moscow-based think tank and discussion forum with the theme of India’s perspective of the Indo-Pacific………….Click here to Read more

2019 Indo pacific chiefs of defence conference held in Thailand
Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa who is also Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee(COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff(CAS), paid a 3-day visit to Thailand from August 26-29, 2019 to attend the 2019 Indo Pacific Chiefs of Defence (CHOD) Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. The theme for 2019 was “Collaboration in a free and Open Indo – Pacific”.
Key points
i. Defence chiefs of more than 33 countries attended the conference.
ii. Military cooperation was initially notified in May 2003 by the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Security Cooperation to strengthen the defence sector.
India-Thailand relation:
India and Thailand strengthened their relationship after the ’Look/ Act East Policy’ along with improvements in political, economic and cultural levels. The two nations also commemorated “70th anniversary” of their diplomatic relations back in 2017.
About Thailand:
♦ Capital- Bangkok.
♦ Currency- Thai baht.
♦ King- Maha Vajiralongkorn.
♦ Former name of Thailand- Siam.

Restored commemorative plaque of Mahatma Gandhi road inaugurated in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Indian High Commissioner to Madagascar Abhay Kumar and Antananariv’s Mayor Lalao Ravalomanana jointly inaugurated a restored commemorative plaque of the Mahatma Gandhi road in Antananarivo, Madagascar to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It was named after the father of the nation in 1969.
i. An exhibition of photographs is hosted by the embassy in front of the building capturing the important events from Gandhi’s life and his messages.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India Ratings downs GDP forecast to 6.7% for FY’20
On August 28, 2019, the rating agency India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra)downgraded India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth to a six year low of 6.7% FY20  (Fiscal year 2020) compared to its previous estimate of 7.3%. This downgrade is due to weak consumption demand, monsoon and slowdown in manufacturing growth.
i. This rating comes days after rating agency Moody’s revised the GDP growth rate to 6.2% from previous 6.8% estimation for the year 2019……………….Click here to Read more

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Journalists from Reuters, BBC got top prizes for Excellence in Journalism for 2019 at the Kalinga-FCC Awards held in New Delhi
On August 28, 2019 The teams of journalists from London based media organisations such as Reuters, BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Germany- based European Press Photo Agency (EPA) and PBS News Hour of USA (United States of America) have bagged top prizes at the Kalinga-FCC Awards for Excellence in Journalism for 2019 held in New Delhi. Each awardee received a cheque amount of Rs 1,00,000, a trophy, a medal and a certificate of merit.
i. The annual awards, the first of their kind in India, was presented by former president Pranab Mukherjee. These awards were instituted jointly by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia (FCC) of New Delhi with the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), a Bhubaneswar (Odisha)-based deemed university.
ii. Out of the top 5 awards, journalists team from international news agency Reuters bagged two & the BBC, EPA, and PBS News Hour shared the other 3 awards………………..Click here to Read more

Tamil Nadu’s 150-year-old Dindigul locks and Kandangi sarees secure GI tag
On August 27, 2019, The Geographical Indication Registry of India has granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the state of Tamil Nadu for Dindigul lock and Karaikudi Kandangi sarees.12th “Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy” India Security SummitKey points:
i. Dindigul lock:
The handmade Dindigul locks were famous for their traditional design, superior quality, and durability.

  • Manufacture: They are manufactured in more than 3,125 units in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu and they are concentrated in the villages of Nagelnagar, Nallampatti, Kodaiparailpatti, Kamalapatti, and Yagappanpatti. The manufacturing unit is said to be over 150 years old & was introduced by the Sankaranalingacharya brothers.
  • Types: There are currently 50 types of locks manufactured by the industry & each lock has its special unique name such as Mango Lock, Almira Lock, Export Lock, and Trick Lock.
  • Petition: In 2013, an application was filed by the Dindigul Lock, Hardware and Steel Furniture Workers’ Co-operative Society Ltd.

ii. Kandangi Sare: These Sarees are the symbol of entire Karaikudi taluk of Sivaganga district. The hand-woven Kandangi sarees are characterized by brilliant colour large contrast borders. These sarees have a tradition of 150 years.
Amarar Rajeev Gandhi Handloom Weavers Co-operative Production and Sales Society Limited had applied for a tag for these sarees in 2013.
iii. Benefits: The GI tagging will help rural artisans & highly skilled weavers, who possess unique knowledge of traditional practices and methods. They can make & market their products domestically and internationally.
About Geographical Indication

It is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
About Tamil Nadu:
Capital: Chennai
♦ Chief minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
♦ Governor: Banwarilal Purohit

Indian documentary ‘I’m Jeeja’ wins top award at 14th ‘We Care Film Fest’ for 2019
On August 26, 2019 at the 14th edition of 2019 ‘We Care Film Festival on Disability Issues’, an Indian documentary film named “I’m Jeeja” directed by Swati Chakraborty bagged the top award in the 30-minute category short film documentary.
Key points
i. Award category: The awards were given under three categories-5minute category, 30minute category and 90-minute category and were shortlisted from a selection of 980 films and documentaries from 31 countries that participated in the festival.
ii. “I’m Jeeja”: It is a documentary about disabled activist Jeeja Gosh (46) suffering from cerebral palsy, who in real life made headlines back in 2012 for being asked to deboard a plane owing to her condition. The film describes the lives and battles of people living with the disability.
iii. Another Indian film” Post Dark” by Vicky Khandpur received a jury mention in ‘Under 5 minutes’ category.
iv. Other winners:  Films from Netherlands, Myanmar, Panama and France were winners where 2 Russian films “They Went Dancing” and “Dance to live” won 3rd prize respectively in ‘Under 30 minutes’ and ‘Under 90 minutes’ categories. Totally 10 films from nine countries were awarded.
Top winners are as follows

Prize Category  Name  Director
1st Under five minutes “Connection” (United Arab Emirates) Mark Stanely
1st Under 30  minutes I’m Jeeja ( India) Swati Chakraborty
1st Under 90 minutes “The Eye of the Minotaur” (Bulgaria) Borislav Kolev


About we care film festival:
♦ The festival is organised by United Nations Information Centre(UNIC) for India and Bhutan, and a New Delhi-based NGO named Brotherhood in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
♦ The fest is done to create awareness to dispel stereotypes about disabilities.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

‘Shagun’-Integrated Online junction for School Education launched by Union HRD Minister
On August 28, 2019, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development(MHRD) Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched “Shagun” which is one of the world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for school education to improve the school education system. It was launched in New Delhi where a booklet about Shagun was also released in the presence of Minister of State for HRD, Shri Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre. The portal for shagun is htpp://shagun.govt.in
Key points
i. The portal of shagun creates junction for all online portals and websites relating to Department of School Education and Literacy in all states and Union Territories(UT).
ii. Shagun meaning: It is coined from two different words “Shala” (schools) and “Gunvatta” (Quality).
iii. Other members present:Secretary of Department of School Education and Literacy, MHRD, Smt. Rina Ray, and other officials of the Ministry were also present on the occasion.
iv. Focus areas:Integrated Online Junction through feedback from Stakeholders cleaning and reinforcement., To generate feedback system from stakeholders, Interoperability among websites, to Conduct quizzes and puzzles and using artificial intelligence(AI) and deep machine learning.
v. INSET: Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET) is to be set up. This INSET functions as a fully integrated, instantly accessible and seamless information network for all parameters relating education sector.
About MHRD:
♦ Founded- 26 September 1985.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Constituency of Ramesh Pokhriyal- Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
♦ Constituency of Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre- Akola, Maharashtra.

ENVIRONMENT

Rare Peacock Parachute Spider spotted in Pakkamalai Reserve in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu
A team of researchers at the Puducherry-based Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF) have discovered Peacock Parachute Spider, a deeply endangered species of tarantula for the 1st time beyond its natural habitat in the Eastern Ghats. It was found resting in a cave in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu(TN).Rare Peacock Parachute SpiderKey points:
i.  About Peacock Parachute Spider:

  • It belongs to the genus Poecilotheria & is commonly known as Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica).
  • The species of Indian origin was found at various places in reserve forests.
  • In the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN)red list, it is classified as Critically Endangered species.
  • Tarantula is a biological insect controller & and there is a huge demand for them by collectors in the pet trade.

ii. This species of spider spotted 1899 by Reginald Innes Pocock on the basis of a single female specimen in Gooty. After 102 years, it was seen at a degraded forest between Nandyal and Giddalur in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh.
iii. IUCN believes that it can also be occur naturally in Gooty, but it may come from the Eastern Ghats at least 100 km away. Its known habitat is Andhra Pradesh & is not seen anywhere in India or Sri Lanka.

NGT panel headed by S P Garg suggests unique ID numbers for water bodies in Delhi
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) committee headed by former high court judge Justice S P Garg suggested that all water bodies in Delhi must be provided with Unique Identification Numbers (UID) after properly demarcating them and mapping them on GPS (Global Positioning System) platforms in order to conserve them.
Key Points:
i. Recommendations: The authorities have been directed to install CCTV cameras at prominent places to spot polluters. Signboards or banners which display that throwing waste is not allowed shall be put up near lakes, warning of legal action in case of violation.
ii. Measures: The panel informed a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that the water bodies should be secured by constructing boundary walls and relevant entries in the revenue records.
iii. Eutrophication: It is when a water body becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients which induce excessive of algae. According to the panel, lakes and ponds are victims of eutrophication. It results in the prolific growth of aquatic weeds in lakes and ponds which must be cleaned on time.
iv. Statistics: In 2018, the Delhi government had announced that there were around 1,000 – 1,200 water bodies in the city, out of which around 600 could be revived. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is reviving around 200 such water bodies. The irrigation and flood control department would revive another 100.
v. Monitoring committee: The agencies shall have exclusive dedicated staff to take care of the water bodies. DJB has designated Rakesh Sahni as SE (Water Bodies).
About NGT:
Established: 2010
First Chairperson: Lokeshwar Singh Panta

SPORTS

45th World Skills International Competition for 2019 held at Kazan, Russia
The 45th Edition of the World Skills International Competition for the year 2019, a biennial event, was held at Kazan Expo International Exhibition Centre, Kazan, Russia from August 22- 27, 2019. It was inaugurated by the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. This global-level skills competition was held for the first time in Russia. It was a grand event in the arena of vocational skills.
i. China topped the list with 16 Gold, 14 Silver, 5 Bronze & 17 Medallions of Excellence, followed by Russia and Korea. India finished 13th out of 63 countries that participated at the global competition.
ii. The Indian team won 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals along with 15 Medallions of Excellence at the competition. It is India’s best performance since it first participated at the event in 2007. 48-member Indian team had participated in the event…………………….Click here to Read more

Ashish Kasodekar became the 1st Indian by winning 555 Kms long 10th edition of ‘La Ultra’ marathon 2019 event in Ladakh, J-K
Ashish Kasodekar from Pune flashed the flag by becomeing the 1st Indian to complete the 555 kms long 10th edition of ‘La Ultra The High’ marathon 2019 held in Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir(J&K). Ashish came in 3rd at 126 hrs 18 min to finish the distance.
Key points:
i. The tournament started from Karakoram Range in Nubra Valley and moves towards the mighty Indus river after crossing Khardung La, which is the highest motor-able road in the world at 18,380 feet. The distance was extended to 555 km from 333 km for 2019 edition, had to be completed in five and a half days.
ii. 5 people participated in the marathon including 2 Indians.
iii. The contestants had to pass 5 mountains ranges with 1700 feet height.
iv. The 5 challenges given by the ultrahigh marathon are,  lack of oxygen, temperature variations(from 40 °C to -15 °C), 14 cut-offs, the climbs, and the distance.
v. Jason Reardon (Australia) became the first man to cross the finish line with the time of 120 hours 19 minutes followed by Matthew Maday (US) coming in at 123 hrs 35 min.
vi. In 2018, Ashish completed the 333km La Ultramarathon in Ladakh in 72 hours, becoming the 3rd Indian and 1st Maharashtrian to do so.

SL cricketer Ajantha mendis retires from all forms of cricket
Srilankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis (34), who made his debut in 2008, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on August 28, 2019.SL cricketer Ajantha mendis retiresKey points
i. He was famous for his “carrom ball”. He snapped 70 wickets in 19 Tests, 152 in 87 ODIs and 66 in 39 T20Is. Currently, he is the only bowler to take 6-wicket-hauls in T20s twice.

V K Vismaya wins gold in women’s 400m held at MJS athletics, Czech Republic
Indian sprinter VK Vismaya, aged 22, clinched gold in women’s 400m race which was held at the International Athletic Meeting – Josef Seckar Memorial (MJS) in Brno, Czech Republic. She finished the race in 52.12s which was her personal best.V K Vismaya wins gold in women’s 400mi. Poovamma Machettira and Subha Venkatesan finished second and third with timings of 53.47s and 53.67s respectively.

OBITUARY

Architect of Volkswagen’s global expansion- Ferdinand Piech, passed away
On August 27, 2019 Austria born Ferdinand Karl Piëch, the engineer known for creating a revolution in German automaker Volkswagen in the 1990s passed away at the age of 82.
Key points
i. Piëch who was the great grandson of Ferdinand Porsche,founder of German automobile Porsche, was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Volkswagen Group in 1993 during which he turned it into a large conglomerate (large corporation) now.

Veteran Bengali actor Nimu Bhowmik passed away in Kolkata
On August 27, 2019, Veteran Bengali actor Nimu Bhowmik, aged 84, passed away at his home in Kolkata due to cardiac arrest. He was born on November 14, 1935, in Dinajpur district of undivided Bengal.
i. He played major roles in Bengali classics such as ‘Ganadevata’ (1979), ‘Baghini’ (1968), ‘Dadar Kirti’ (1980), ‘Guru Dakshina’ (1987) and ‘Dash Mash Das Diner Galpo’ (2019) which was his last film.Veteran Bengali actor Nimu Bhowmikii. He has acted in over 60 films.
iii. He had also contested the Lok Sabha election from Raiganj constituency in 2014 as a candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

BOOKS & AUTHORS

“Obama: The Call of History” written by Peter Baker reveals Barack Obama’s years in office
A book on Barack Obama, former United States (US) President, titled “Obama: The Call of History” has been written by Peter Baker, the Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times. It gives an in-depth account of Obama’s years in office. It has been published by Penguin India.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Sports Day observed on 29th August, 2019
On August 29,2019, National Sports Day was observed across the country to
to create awareness about sports in public. August 29 marks the birth anniversary of India’s hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand.

  • On August 29, 2019, Prime Minister (PM) Shri Narendra Modi has launched a nation-wide ‘Fit India’ Movement on the occasion of National Sports Day in New Delhi.
  • The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards, the highest national awards for adventure sports was announced by the Government on August 27, 2019.
  • On August 29,2019, President of India Ramnath Kovind gave away the national sports awards in New Delhi……………………….Click here to Read more

International Day against Nuclear Tests 2019 observed on August 29
The International Day against Nuclear Tests (IDANT) was observed on August 29, 2019. The day raises awareness about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions.
Key Points:
i. It was established on December 2, 2009 at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously adopting resolution 64/35 and it was first observed in 2010.
ii. The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan together with several sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991.
iii. Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (The Polygon) was the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons.
iv. The day also calls to bring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force, which was adopted by UNGA in 1996. It has been signed by 182 countries but its entry into force depends on 44 specific States that must have signed and ratified the Treaty. Out of these 44 states, 9 States still need to do so are China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and the United States.
About UNGA:
Headquarters: New York, US
President: María Fernanda Espinosa (73rd session), Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande (designated for the 74th session, September 2019

STATE NEWS

Odisha’s Mamata scheme for PVTG women given an extension for 5 years
The Department of Women and Child Development of the government of Odisha extended the benefits of the Direct Cash Benefit “Mamata” scheme to the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) meant for women for another 5 years till 2024. This provision for PVTG women was in place since 2014.
Key Points:
i. The conditional cash transfer maternity benefit scheme is only up to two live births for the pregnant women of other communities. But, the PVTG women are barred from the limit.
ii. The scheme was extended to all pregnant PVTG women irrespective of whether they were residing in micro-project areas or not in the year 2018.
iii. Except government employees, all adult pregnant women receive Rs 5,000 in two installments, upon fulfilling certain conditions.
Mamata scheme
Mamata was launched by the state government in September, 2011 with an aim to reduce maternal and infant mortality by improving the health and nutrition of pregnant and lactating women.
About Odisha:
Capital: Bhubaneshwar
Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal
Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik
National Parks: Bhitarkanika National Park, Simlipal National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Badrama WLS, Chandaka Dampara WLS, Chilika (Nalaban)  WLS, Debrigarh WLS, Karlapat WLS, Kotagarh WLS, Nandankanan WLS, Sunabeda WLS etc

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