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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Deadline to generate 175 GW renewable energy by 31st Dec, 2022 in the country: MNRE
As per the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the target date for achieving the cumulative 175 GW (gigawatt) renewable power installed capacity is December 31, 2022, with 100 GW of solar, 60 GW of wind, 10 GW of bio-power and 5 GW of small hydropower.
Key points:
i. This clarification given by the government comes after Crisil (formerly Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited) report , which highlighted that the country is likely to miss the renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 by a wide margin of 42% due to many a regulatory challenge, policy flip-flops and also a steep fall in tariffs.
ii. The country has an installed capacity of 81.3 GW of power generation.
iii. Renewable energy is an important component of India’s energy planning & it is one of the major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) earners with the sector attracting $4.8 billion foreign capital since 2014.
iv. During the recently held United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Climate Action Summit in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India aims to have 450 GW renewable energy capacity.
About MNRE:
♦ Formed
:1992
♦ Headquarters :New Delhi, India
♦ Minister responsible:Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge)

2nd edition of Indo-Japan joint military exercise “Dharma Guardian 2019” to be held in Vairengte, Mizoram
The 2nd joint military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian-2019’ to promote military cooperation between India and Japan will be held in Mizoram. The event is being held from 19, October- 2, November 2019 at Counter Insurgency Warfare School located in Vairengte, Mizoram.Dharma Guardian 2019key points:
i. Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF) comprising 25 soldiers each will participate in the exercise  with the aim to share their views on various aspects related to the work of the army.
ii. This joint military exercise will improve mutual relations between the two countries and will help in fighting against terrorism.
iii. ‘Dharma Guardian exercise is an annual training event, which is being held in India since 2018.
About Indian Army:
♦ Motto: “Service Before Self”
♦ Founded: 1 April 1895
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
About Japan:
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese yen
♦ Prime Minister :Shinzō Abe

SARAS Aajeevika Mela 2019 begins in New Delhi
The Sale of Articles of Rural Artisan Society (SARAS) Aajeevika Mela 2019 is underway at India Gate Lawns in New Delhi. It had begun on October 10 and will conclude on October 23, 2019. The mela is an initiative by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and was inaugurated by Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.SARAS Aajeevika Mela 2019Key Points:
i. Aim: To bring the rural women Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed with the support of DAY-NRLM, under one platform which will help to show-case their skills, sell products and help them build linkages with bulk buyers.
ii. Organisers: It is organized by the marketing arm of MoRD, and Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).
iii. Participants: In over 200 stalls, 500 rural SHG craftswomen from 29 States and Union Territories (UTs) will display a different range of products.
iv. The attraction of the Mela is the tamarind value chain from Jharkhand.
v. The concept of Aajeevika India Food court at the mela was pioneered by Kudumbashree, the state poverty eradication Mission of Kerala.
About DAY-NRLM:
DAY-NRLM aims to create efficient and effective institutional platforms for the rural poor to increase household income. Originally called as Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission which was launched by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in June 2011, the programme was renamed as Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) in 2015.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

10th edition of Indo-US joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar 2019 ‘ begins in Seattle, US
On October 13, 2019, The joint military exercise ‘Vajra Prahar’  between India and the US (United States) begins at Seattle’s (in Washington, US) Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). This is the 10th edition of the joint exercise, which will run until 28 October 2019. It is held alternately in India and America. In 2018, the practice took place in Jaipur, Rajasthan.Vajra Prahar 2019Key points:
i. A 45-member Special Forces contingent of the Indian Army has reached the US to participate in this military exercise on behalf of India.
ii. The military of the two countries will share their best practices and experiences during the exercise. Bilateral military exercises and defense exchanges will further enhance defense cooperation between India and the US.
iii. Earlier on September 19, 2019, soldiers from both countries underwent joint military training exercise  ‘Yudh Abhyas 2019 ‘ at the Lewis-McCord base. During the exercise, the US Army played the tune of ‘Jana Gana Mana’.
About Indian Army:
♦ Founded
:1 April 1895
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Motto: “Service Before Self”
About US army:
♦ Founded :14 June 1775
♦ Headquarters : Virginia, U.S.
♦ Motto: “This We’ll Defend”

BANKING & FINANCE

ADB signs $190 million worth loan agreement for improving road connectivity in Rajasthan
On October 12, 2019, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India (GoI) have signed the Tranche 2 loan agreement worth $190 million to upgrade 754 kilometers of Rajasthan state highways and major district roads (MDRs) to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards.ADB Key points:
i. The project consists of constructing over 200 bus stops, 70 km of the hard shoulder, and 2 km of raised sidewalk on project roads that will benefit commuters and pedestrians, especially women and children.
ii. The construction of roads will be based on public-private partnership (PPP) with the participation of Hybrid Annuity Mode and engineering procurement construction (EPC).
iii. Earlier in July 2017, The tranche 1 loan of $220 million under the Programme, signed to upgrade about 1,000 km of Rajasthan roads.
iv. The loan agreement has been signed in the presence of Shri Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB.
About ADB:
♦ Formation
: 19 December 1966
♦ Headquarters :Mandaluyong, Philippines
♦ Membership: 68 countries
♦ Earlier On September 17, 2019, The president of Asian Development Bank (ADB),  Takehiko Nakao has announced his resignation.
About Rajasthan:
♦ Capital
: Jaipur
♦ Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot
♦ Governor: Kalraj Mishra

Life Insurance Council’s first Rs 100 cr ‘Sabse Pehle Life Insurance’ joint mass media campaign to begin
On October 10, 2019, Life Insurance Council has decided to launch the Indian life insurance industry’s first joint mass media campaign with the slogan ‘Sabse Pehle Life Insurance’ (first thing is life insurance) within a month whose total cost will be around Rs 100 crore. For this purpose, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India will provide Rs 40 crore. It will be a joint effort of 24 Indian life insurance companies.
Key Points:
i. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of life insurance.
ii. The tagline will also be presented in the major Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bangla among others.
iii. The insurance industry is taking lessons from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) which had launched a campaign titled ‘mutual funds sahi hai’ (mutual funds are right) in March 2017. It had led to an addition of 3.2 million investors between March 2017 and April 2018.
About Life Insurance Council:
♦ It was constituted under Sec.64C of Insurance Act 1938.
Tagline: Together in service
Secretary: V Manickam

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

WB slashes India’s growth projection to 6% for 2019 from 7.5% in its “South Asia Economic Focus, Fall 2019″ report
On October 13, 2019, World Bank in its report, “South Asia Economic Focus, Fall 2019 : Making (De)centralization Work”, has lowered India’s growth forecast to 6% for 2019 (down from 7.5 %) for the second consecutive year ,after a wide decline in the initial quarters. In 2018, India’s GDP (Gross domestic product) growth stood at 6.8 %, down from 7.2 % in 2017. World BankKey points:
i. Expectation:  As per the report, if monetary policy is moderate then it is expected to grow gradually to 6.9 percent in 2021 and 7.2 percent in 2022.
ii. Reason for sluggishness:  Growth in construction  & manufacturing activities led to the growth of industrial production to 6.9 percent, while growth in the agriculture and services sector was limited to 2.9 and 7.5 percent respectively.
iii. CAD: The current account deficit (CAD) had increased to 2.1 percent of GDP in 2018-19 from 1.8 percent a year earlier(i.e 2017), reflecting a mostly deteriorating trade balance.
iv. Background:  On June 5, 2019, World Bank in its report “Global Economic Prospects report” retained  India’s growth forecast at 7.5% for the two Fiscal years, FY2019 and FY20 (April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020).

Other forecasts: As per the report, Bangladesh has become the second-fastest growing economy in South Asia after Bhutan. Also, Growth in South Asia is estimated to reduce to 5.9 % in 2019, down 1.1 percentage points against April 2019 due to uncertainty about a rebound in the short term.

About CAD:
It is a measurement of a country’s trade where the value of the goods and services it imports exceeds the value of the products it exports.The current account includes net income, such as interest and dividends, and transfers, such as foreign aid.
About World Bank:
♦ Founders: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
♦ President: David Malpass

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Short film ‘Spirit of Kerala’ wins the People’s Choice Award 2019
‘Spirit of Kerala’, a short film based on a boat race from Kerala directed by Arun Joseph, won the People’s Choice Award 2019 at My Rode Reel Film Competition 2019 which is the world’s largest short film competition worth over $1,000,000.

SPORTS

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge becomes first person to run a marathon in under 2 hours
An Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya Eliud Kipchoge, aged 34, became the first person to run a marathon in under 2 hours by finishing the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40.2 seconds in Vienna’s Prater Park, Austria. He covered the distance of 26.2miles.Kenya's Eliud KipchogeKey Points:
i. The marathon was organised and funded by the British chemical company INEOS.
ii. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will not recognise the run as an official record because it was not in open competition.

Overview of World Youth Chess Championship 2019 held in Mumbai, India
World Youth Chess Championship 2019 was held in Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel in Mumbai, India from 1st to 13th October 2019. The Championship was organized by the Fédération Internationale des Échecs(FIDE) or International Chess Federation. India bagged seven medals (highest medals than any other country) in the Championship including 1 gold, 3 silver, and 3 bronze medal. Russia won 5 medals in the Championship and followed by India.Youth Chess Championship 2019 Medals won by Indian Players in the World Youth Chess Championship 2019:

Indian PlayerEventMedal
Praggnanandhaa ROpen U18Gold
Agrawal VantikaGirls U18Silver
Srihari L ROpen U14Silver
Deshmukh DivyaGirls U14Silver
Ghosh AronyakOpen U16Bronze
Sreeshwan MaralakshikariOpen U14Bronze
Ravi RakshittaGirls U14Bronze
Key Players to be noticed in this event:
i. R Praggnanandhaa coveted gold in the U-18 Open category in the World Youth Chess Championships.
ii. Polina Shuvalova defended her title in the Girls Under 18 category and became the two-fold champion. 
About the World Youth Chess Championship 2019:
The Championship was held in Girls U14, Open U14, Girls U16, Open U16, Girls U18, and Open U18 categories.
Youngsters from 66 countries were competing in the Championship.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Book titled, “The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas: India and China’s Quest for Strategic Dominance”penned by Phunchok Stobdan released
A distinguished academician, diplomat, author and foreign policy expert, Phunchok Stobdan’s new book “The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas: India and China’s Quest for Strategic Dominance”,published by Penguin Random House India, describes the several unknown insights into the India-China, India-Tibet and China-Tibet relationships.The Great Game in the Buddhist Himalayas India and China's Quest for Strategic DominanceKey points:
i. The author describes the Dalai Lama factor which caused the Buddhist Himalayas to be in a state of flux, especially in the current India-China relationship.
ii. Stobdan, who worked as India’s ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, describes the long-term presence of Tibetan refugees in India, the future of the institution of the Dalai Lama & China’s ‘Buddhist diplomacy have created a sense of uncertainty in Himalayan regions of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, which have sizeable Buddhist populations.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International day for disaster risk reduction observed on October 13, 2019
On October 13, 2019, the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDRR) was observed to promote global culture towards risk awareness and disaster reduction.The theme for the year 2019 is “Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services”.International day for disaster reductionKey points:
i. In 1989, the day was started by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) as International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, then in 2009, its name changed to International Day for Disaster Reduction. As of 17 January 2019, UNGA again renamed it as International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.
ii. According to the UN ,the primary objective is to focus on the target of the Sendai Framework, which highlights “Substantially to reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and education facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030.
iii. The 2019 edition continues as part of the “Sendai Seven” campaign, which was launched in 2016 by UNDRR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) which is centered on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework (2015 – 2030). It has 38 indicators for measuring progress on reducing disaster losses.
iv.  Sendai Framework was adopted by the UN at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that was held at Sendai, Japan.

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