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Parliament passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Parliament passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which amends the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The new bill seeks to enhance punishment for sexual offences against children with a provision of death penalty………………………….Click here to Read more
Punishment for offences for using children for pornographic purposes
|Offence||Punishment as per 2019 Bill|
|Use of child for pornographic purposes||Minimum: 5 years|
|Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in penetrative sexual assault||Minimum: 10 years (in case of child below 16 years: 20 years)|
Maximum: life imprisonment
|Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated penetrative sexual assault||Minimum: 20 years|
Maximum: life imprisonment or death.
|Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in sexual assault||Minimum: 3 years|
Maximum: 5 years
|Use of child for pornographic purposes resulting in aggravated sexual assault||Minimum: 5 years|
Maximum: 7 years
Lok Sabha to become paperless from next session
On July 31, 2019, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Om Birla announced that the Lower House (Lok Sabha) will become paperless from the next session. It will save crores of rupees to the exchequer/ national treasury.
MoSPI constitutes 8-member committee to recommend operational level modifications for restructuring NSO
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) constituted an 8-member committee to recommend operational level modifications for restructuring the National Statistical Office (NSO). NSO will be chaired by Pravin Srivastava, the chief statistician, and MoSPI secretary.
i. Background: In May 2019, MoSPI had approved the merger of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) into NSO to streamline and strengthen the present nodal functions and to bring in more synergy by integrating its administrative functions within the ministry.
ii. Terms of Reference: it will give recommendations on the reorganization of technical and administrative divisions, rationalization of coordination activities, delegation of financial powers, reduction in the number of levels in the channel of submission and enhancement of the ministry’s efficiency.
iii. Time frame: It will give its report within one month.
♦ Minister In-charge: Rao Inderjit Singh (MoS)
NTCA releases Phase II study entitled “Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India: A Value+ Approach”
On August 3, 2019, A statutory body of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has released a phase II(2016-19) study titled “Economic Valuation of Tiger Reserves in India: A Value+ Approach” with the aim to promote tiger conservation.
It was published by the Centre for Ecological Services Management (CESM) at the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh in collaboration with NTCA.Key points:
i. Ten tiger reserves were surveyed in Phase II which include, Anamalai (Tamil Nadu), Bandipur (Karnataka), Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh), Melghat (Maharashtra), Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Pakke (Arunachal Pradesh), Palamau (Jharkhand), Panna (Madhya Pradesh), Similipal (Odisha), and Valmiki (Bihar).
ii. The Study values country’s 10 tiger reserves at Rs 5.96 lakh crore & highlights the health benefits derived from these reserves range between Rs 11,014 crore and Rs 34,592 crore.
iii. The phase I study (2013-15) was conducted valuation in 6 tiger reserves in India includes Corbett, Kanha, Kaziranga, Periyar, Ranthambore, and Sundarbans.
♦ Established: 1982
♦ Director: Dr. Pankaj Srivastav
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: December 2005
Jaipur to hold Regional Conference on Good Governance in the month of November
Regional Conference on Good Governance will be held in Jaipur, Rajasthan by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in association with the Department of Administrative Reforms, Government of Rajasthan and the Harish Chandra Mathur Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration (HCMRIPA). It is a part of the DARPG’s vision 2024 initiatives in the new Government.
i. The theme of the conference for 2019 is “Strengthening State Institute of Public Administration”.
ii. The conference will be held between 14th and 15th November 2019 and will be inaugurated by Ashok Gehlot, chief minister of Rajasthan and Union Minister Jitendra Singh. This conference aims to develop and provide opportunities in improving the Public Service Delivery by enhanced quality of Administration.
♦ Chief minister- Ashok Gehlot
♦ Largest city-Jaipur
♦ National parks-Sariska national park, Ranthambore national park, Keoladeo national park.
8th RCEP Inter-Sessional Ministerial Meeting 2019 held in Beijing, China
A two-day 8th Interregional Ministerial Meeting of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) 2019 was held in Beijing, China on August 2-3, 2019 before the 7th RCEP ministerial meet which will be convened in Bangkok, Thailand on September 2019. In this meeting, all partner countries agreed to finalize trading deal negotiations.
i. The Commerce Secretary Dr. Anup Wadhawan represented India to the meeting.
ii. During the meeting with ASEAN Economic Ministers, he highlighted the importance of services trade which supports both goods trade and investment………………………….Click here to Read more
Netherlands imposed ban on burqa and niqab in public places
On August 1, 2019, The cabinet of Netherlands imposed a ban on Burqa or niqab in public places, including public transport, government buildings and at health and education institutions. It is not applied to public streets. Anyone found guilty will have to pay a fine of Rs 28,000.
i. Along with burqa, niqab or veil, it also banned motor helmets and ski masks. It does not include headscarves, as they cover only the head and not the face. A fine of 150 euros will be imposed on breaking the law.
♦ Capital: Amsterdam
♦ Currency: Euro, US Dollar
♦ Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
BANKING & FINANCE
Reserve Bank bars NBFCs From Charging Loan pre-payment Penalties
On August 2, 2019, The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has barred the both deposit-taking and non- deposit taking NBFCs(Non-Banking Finance Companies) from charging pre-payment /foreclosure charges on any floating rate term loans sanctioned for purposes other than business to individual loan borrowers. Key points:
i. Impact: The move will affect income line of NBFCs which are now troubling with the stock of issues including liquidity crisis.
ii. For Banks: RBI barred commercial banks from charging such penalties from individual borrowers with mortgage loans in May 2014. But it allows banks to charge on unsecured loans like credit cards, personal loans.
iii. Foreclosure: The foreclosure of personal loan is the full repayment of the remaining loan amount in one single payment instead of paying monthly installments.
i. It is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 of India, engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares, stock, bonds, hire-purchase insurance business but does not include any institution whose principal business includes agriculture, industrial activity, purchase or construction of the immovable property.
ii. The working and operations of NBFCs are regulated by the RBI.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
Karnataka Bank inks pact with Finwizard Tech to offer MFs via ‘KBL Mobile Plus’ app
On August 2, 2019, An ‘A’ Class Scheduled Commercial Bank, Karnataka Bank has tied up with fintech company Finwizard Technology Pvt Ltd (widely known as “fisdom”) to offer wealth management products and services, beginning with mutual funds (MFs), through its ‘KBL Mobile Plus’ application.Key points:
i. The app enables customers to invest in any mutual fund & also help them navigate and select the best-suited funds besides having additional services like redemption assistance and live tracking.
ii. With this, the bank will deepen the penetration of its product offers and enable more customers experience through a digital proposition.
iii. Since 2006, The Karnataka bank offering mutual funds to its customers.
About mutual fund
It is a professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities.
About Karnataka Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Mangaluru
♦ CEO: Mahabaleshwara M S
♦ Tagline: Your Family Bank Across India
About Finwizard Tech:
♦ Founded: 05 June 2015
♦ Headquarter: Bangalore, Karnataka
♦ CEO: Subramanya SV
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Microsoft joins hands with Apollo Hospitals to use AI for Cardiovascular Disease
Targetting cardiac diseases, Microsoft India, a Software company headquartered in Hyderabad has partnered with Apollo Hospitals Group to set up a National Clinical Coordination Committee (NCCC), which will guide the two entities on all cardiovascular-related Artificial Intelligence(AI) projects. It will work for the AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease(CVD) Risk Score API (application program interface) built on Microsoft Azure (cloud computing service), to predict the risk of disease. Key points:
i. Members: The committee comprises the members from Apollo Hospitals, All India Institute of Medical Sciences(New Delhi) and King George’s Medical University(Lucknow).
ii.Goal: It will help Apollo & Microsoft to fight against the rising tsunami of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) & help attain World Health Organization’s (WHO) goal of reducing the risk of premature mortality by 25% (30 to 69 years of age) from NCDs, including CVDs, by 2025.
iii. CVD: This is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels are the biggest cause of mortality in India with nearly 25% of mortalities in the age group of 25 to 69.
About Microsoft India:
♦ Founded: 1988
♦ President: Anant Maheshwari
♦ Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud + AI Platform: Anil Bhansali
About Apollo Hospitals Group:
♦ Formation: 1983
♦ Headquarters: Chennai
♦ Chairman: Prathap C Reddy
♦ Managing Director: Suneeta Reddy
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
English Actor and film Director, Andy Serkis will be awarded IBC’s Highest Honor in Amsterdam
The England-born English actor and film director, Andy Serkis will receive the International Broadcasting Convention’s(IBC) highest award “International Honor for Excellence” for bringing extraordinary humanity to computer-generated characters, at the IBC’s awards ceremony scheduled to be held on September 15, 2019, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Key points:
i. Serkis is best known for his performance-capture roles of Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” film series & and as Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy.
ii. Filmmakers, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, and Jeffrey Katzenberg were the past recipients of this prestigious award.
Former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev conferred with Bharat Gaurav Award 2019
On August 1, 2019, Former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev was conferred with Bharat Gaurav Award 2019 on the 99th foundation day of East Bengal Club, the Kolkata soccer giants, at the award ceremony held at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata, West Bengal.i. Footballer Bhaichung Bhutia was honoured with the ‘Identifying and Nurturing the Icon’ award.
ii. Former India captains Manoranjan Bhattacharya and Bhaskar Ganguly were conferred with a lifetime achievement award.
iii. Iconic footballer P.K. Banerjee was conferred with the ‘Coach of Coaches’ award. Laldanmawia Ralte conferred with ‘Best Footballer of the Year’ award.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Madhumita Hazarika Bhagat appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Cyprus
On August 2, 2019, Ministry of External Affairs Ms. Madhumita Hazarika Bhagat was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Cyprus. She is a 1999 batch Indian Foreign Service(IFS) Officer presently working as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. She succeeds RK Raghavan.About Republic of Cyprus:
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ Capital: Nicosia
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
India test-fires 2 QRSAM from a test range in Odisha
On August 4, 2019, India test-fired a sophisticated all-weather and all-terrain two Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM) from a mobile truck-based launch unit at complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha, which was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the India Army.
i. QRSAM, the state-of-the-art missile, uses solid-fuel propellant and has a range of 25-30 km.
ii. It is equipped with electronic countermeasures against jamming by aircraft radars. It can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister.
iii. The first trial of the QSRAM was conducted on June 4, 2017.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1958
♦ Motto: “Strength’s Origin is in Science”
♦ Chairman: Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy
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Overview of Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament 2019 held in Kaspiysk, Russia
The Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament 2019 was held in Kaspiysk, Russia. It was the 21st Edition organized by European Boxing Confederation (EUBC). Indian boxers claimed 6 medals at the tournament- 2 golds, 1 silver, and 3 bronze.i. Boxer Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) defeated Italy’s Assunta Canfora and Neeraj (57kg) defeated Russia’s Malika Shakhidova. They both clinched gold medals.
ii. Gaurav Solanki had to settle for a silver against Uzbekistan’s Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov.
iii. Pooja Rani (75kg), Govind Sahani (49Kg) and Jony (60Kg) settled for bronze.
♦ President: Franco Falcinelli
Oscar-winning documentary maker D.A. Pennebaker passed away at Long Island, New York, US
On August 1, 2019, D.A. Pennebaker, the Oscar-winning documentary maker of America, passed away at Long Island, New York, the US due to natural causes. He was 94.i. Born on July 15, 1925 in Evanston, Illinois, United States, he was the recipient of honorary Academy Award/ Lifetime Oscar in 2013 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Free electricity up to 200 units in Delhi: CM Arvind Kejriwal
The Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced free electricity to those consuming up to 200 units a month with effect from August 1, 2019.
i. Consumption of electricity between 201-400 units will get a 50% subsidy.
ii. For consuming 250 units of electricity, people will have to pay Rs 252, for 300 units- Rs 526 and for 400 units- Rs 1075.
iii. The allocation to subsidy will approximately remain the same from Rs 1800 crore to Rs 2000 crore.
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