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INDIAN AFFAIRS

A 2-day national workshop ‘Arogya Manthan’ held in New Delhi
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a 2-day national workshop ‘Arogya Manthan’ in New Delhi which was held on September 30- October 1, 2019. It was organised by the National Health Authority (NHA) to mark the first anniversary of Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), which was launched on September 23, 2018 at Ranchi, Jharkhand by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • The names of 111 hospitals found involved in corruption and fraud were put up on NHA’s website as part of the government’s “Name and Shame” initiative to create deterrence among healthcare establishments.
  • Award: Jammu and Kashmir was awarded the Best Learning and Sharing Space Award 2019 as it had covered 60% of the beneficiary families, with regard to golden card generation, in less than the first six months of its implementation…………………………….Click here to Read more

India achieves one-crore LED street light mark installed under the Street Light National Programme 
On October 1, 2019 India has achieved one-crore LED (Light Emitting Diode) street light mark with the 1 croreth LED street light switched on by Union Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh by a remote switch. The lightings are installed under Street Light National Programme (SLNP) implemented by state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and are to achieve 1.34 crore LED street lights installation by March 2020. Earlier the target was set for March 2019.
Key points
i. The EESL plans to bring Rs 8,000 crore investment by 2024 to cover entire rural India in next 4-5 years. Currently 1,502 urban local bodies (ULBs) across India have enrolled in the programme where work of 900 ULBs have already been completed.
ii. To bring large scale transformation, EESL adopted the Pay-As-You Save model where EESL makes the entire investment in the LED light installation and the municipalities pay EESL from their savings in energy and maintenance costs over a 7-year contract period.
About SLNP:
♦ Launched- 2015.
The SNLP is the World’s largest street light replacement programme.
In LED street light installation, Andhra Pradesh leads other states, with an installation of 28.9 lakh LED street lights followed by Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh with 10.3 lakhs and 9.3 lakhs, respectively.

International conference on drug situation held in Imphal, Manipur
A 2- day “Regional Conference on Developing a Comprehensive Approach: Combating Illicit Trafficking of Afghan Opiates and Drug Situation in the Northeast (NE)” held in Imphal , Manipur from September 30-October 1, 2019. Manipur Chief Minister (CM) N Biren Singh was the chief guest for the event. The event is the continuation of the earlier conference held at Chandigarh in Punjab in 2018.
Key points:
i. Organizers:
 The conference has been organized by the Manipur State Government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office, South Asia (UNODC-ROSA).
ii.  Discussion: The conference discussed the increasing cases of illicit drug trafficking in the NE region and recommended 8 key measures, which will be shared and finalized.
iii. The conference also recommends strengthening the South Asia Regional Intelligence and Coordination Centre (SARICC) in addition to an integrated border management mechanism with support from member states to counter illicit trafficking.
iv. Partakers: Representatives from Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka attended the event.
About Manipur:
♦ Capital: Imphal
♦ Governor: Najma Heptulla
♦ Chief minister: N. Biren Singh
♦ National Park: Keibul Lamjao National Park
About United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
♦ Headquarters
: Vienna, Austria
♦ Founded: 1997

3 railway stations in Rajasthan emerged as top clean stations: Railway cleanliness  survey 2019
Three railway stations of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Durgapura have topped the Railway Cleanliness Survey 2019, conducted at 720 railway stations by the Ministry of Railways.
Key points:
i.
Mumbai’s Andheri, Virar and Naigaon stations have topped the total 109 stations in the category of suburban stations. Among the railway divisions, North Western Railway stood at the top, South Eastern Railway at the second position and East Central Railway at the third position.
ii. Bottom ranking – Four stations of Southern Railway Perungalathur, Guduvanchari, Singaperumalkoil, Ottapallam were at the bottom of the rankings.
iii. Most improved stations: Non-suburban stations Faizabad and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh have shown the most improvement from last year.
iv. Since the year 2016, the Quality Council of India (CCI) team formed by the Ministry of Railways has been conducting third party audit and cleanliness ranking of 407 major stations. This year, the survey was expanded to include 720 stations and suburban stations for the first time. Green measures were also included in the criteria for the evaluation of stations.
About Ministry of Railways:
♦ Headquarters
: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 16 April 1853
♦ Union Minister: Piyush Goyal

CBDT launches unique DIN for taxpayers
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) launched a computer-generated Unique Document Identification Number (DIN) to ensure greater transparency and accountability in tax administration for taxpayers. It was created as per the direction of Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance and was made operative from October 1, 2019.
Key Points:
i. It is applicable to all kinds of communications from the income tax department related to assessment, appeals, investigation, penalty, and rectification among other things.
ii. 17,500 numbers were generated on the first day.
iii. Any communication from the Income Tax Department without a computer-generated DIN is treated as invalid.
About CBDT:
Parent Organization: Ministry of Finance
Chairman: Pramod Chandra Mody

Rajasthan becomes the third state to ban certain categories of pan masala
Rajasthan became the third state in India to ban certain categories of pan masala containing magnesium carbonate, nicotine, tobacco, mineral oil and flavoured ‘supari’ under the Food Safety Act after Maharashtra and Bihar. Even the production, storage, distribution and sale of these products is banned.

BANKING & FINANCE

Indian Army entered into the MoU with BoB for a new, customized banking experience 
On October 1, 2019, Bank of Baroda (BoB), Indian multinational, public sector bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Army with the aim to provide new and better banking experience for both serving & retired personnel of Indian Army.
Key points:
i.Features of the MoU:

  • Free personal accident insurance cover of Rs 30 lakhs (death and permanent total disability).
  • Free Air Accident Insurance (AAI) cover of Rs 15 lakhs – Rs 50 lakhs.
  • Overdraft facility (OD) up to three times of monthly net salary.

ii. Pensioners of the Indian Army up to the age of 70 years also avail of these features.
iii. The MoU was signed by Lt Gen Harsha Gupta, Director General (Manpower and Personnel Services) and Shri VS Khichi, Executive Director, Bank of Baroda in presence of Shri PS Jayakumar, Managing Director, Bank of Baroda.
About BOB:
♦ Founded :20 July 1908
♦ Headquarters: Vadodara , Gujarat
♦ MD& CEO: P. S. Jayakumar
♦ Tagline: India’s International Bank
About Indian Army:
♦ Founded :
1 April 1895
♦ Headquarters :New Delhi
♦ Motto(s): “Service Before Self

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

PK Gupta appointed as Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of NBCC
As per the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), Government of India (GoI), PK Gupta has been appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of NBCC (National Buildings Construction Corporation) Limited till September 30, 2023. He succeeds in Shri Shiv Das Meena.
Key points:
i.
Prior to this appointment, Gupta serving as Executive Director of engineering services company RITES(Rail India Technical and Economic Service) Limited.
About NBCC:
♦ Founded
: 1960
♦ Headquarters: Delhi
It holds the status of Navratna CPSE (Central Public Sector Enterprises) and has emerged as the leader in the Construction Sector.
The present areas of operations  of the company include,

  • Project Management Consultancy (PMC), including the redevelopment of government properties,
  • Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) and
  • Real Estate Development.

S. Mallikarjuna Rao is appointed as the new MD and CEO of Punjab National Bank
On October 1, 2019, S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao was appointed as the Managing Director(MD)and Chief Executive of the Punjab National Bank(PNB).  Currently serving as chief executive of the Allahabad Bank, Rao will replace Sunil Mehta of PNB and will head the Delhi based bank till September 18, 2021.S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao is appointed as the new MD and CEO of Punjab National BankKey points
i. Appointment: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Department of Financial Services’ proposal for Rao’s appointment as PNB’s CEO. Rao had also previously worked as Executive Director(ED) in Syndicate Bank.
ii. PNB is currently under a three-way amalgamation process with the Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and the United Bank of India.
About PNB:
♦ Founded- 19 May 1894.
♦ Founder- Dyal Singh Majithia and Lala Lajpat Rai.
After the amalgamation of OBC and Union Bank of India, PNB will be the second largest bank in India.

Economist Surjit Bhalla appointed as the Executive Director for India at IMF
On October 1, 2019, the government has appointed economist Surjit S Bhalla as the Executive Director (ED) for India on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Surjit succeeds former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Subir Gokarn, who passed away recently in July 2019 due to illness.Surjit Bhalla appointed as the Executive Director for India at IMFKey points
i. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the appointment of Bhalla as the ED for a three-year tenure.
ii. Surjit resigned as a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) in December 2018.
iii. He will join the IMF’s Executive Board that comprises 24 directors and is responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the multilateral institution.
About IMF:
♦ Headquarters- Washington, D.C.,United States(US).
♦ Managing Director(MD) and Chairman- Kristalina Georgieva.
♦ Chief economist- Gita Gopinath.

IAS officer Abhishek Singh was appointed as the chief executive officer of MyGov India
On October 1, 2019, Senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Abhishek Singh was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the government’s citizen-centric online platform MyGov India. He replaces tech entrepreneur Arvind Gupta, whose tenure ended recently in July 2019. He currently serves as the Secretary (Joint Secretary level), in Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB).
Vivek Aggarwal is assigned of the additional charge of the post of Secretary, ASRB
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi assigned additional charge of the post of Secretary, ASRB to Vivek Aggarwal, a 1994-batch IAS officer, who is the current Joint Secretary in the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.
Key points
i. Abishek’s appointment was approved by the ACC headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s (MeitY) proposal.
About MyGov:
♦ Launched- July 2014.
The website is hosted and managed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
Google became the first multinational firm to collaborate with MyGov.

Former Indian cricketer, Kapil Dev resigned as chairman of CAC
On October 2, 2019, Following a conflict of interest complaint, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning cricket team captain, Kapil Dev has resigned as the chairman of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) days after Shanta Rangaswamy stepped down from the 3-member committee.Kapil Dev resigned as chairman of CAC Key points:
i.
CAC also stars Anshuman Gaekwad in addition to Kapil and Shanta. The trio was named in the CAC after Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman refused to be part of the process for selecting India’s women’s coach in 2018.
ii. The CAC made Ravi Shastri the head coach of Team India. Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) member Sanjeev Gupta filed a complaint against the CAC, where the coach-elect committee members are playing multiple roles simultaneously. Kapil Dev, along with being the head of CAC, is a commentator, owner of a Floodlight company and a member of the Indian Cricketers Association. Gaikwad, on the other hand, is a BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India)-accredited committee member besides owning an academy.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Mahindra & Mahindra formed Joint venture with Ford through 51% stake in its Indian unit
On October 1, 2019, Indian multinational car manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) formed a Joint Venture (JV) with Ford Motor Company (FMC) worth Rs 1925 crore after it bought a 51% stake in the Indian unit of the United States’ Ford, thus will be managing Ford’s Indian Operations. Now, Mahindra has the access to Ford’s India production facilities at its Chennai and the Sanand, Gujarat plants.
Mahindra & Mahindra formed Joint venture with Ford Key points
i. M&M acquired 51% equity share capital of Ardour Automotive, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford in India, thus leading to a JV with Ford. The transaction will be completed by the mid of 2020 and the equity value is likely to be Rs 657 crore.
About M&M:
♦ Established- 1945.
♦ Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra.
♦ Parent organization- Mahindra Group.
♦ Chief Executive Officer- Anand Mahindra

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Consumer Affairs Minister, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan launched ‘Consumer App’ in New Delhi for redressing consumer grievances
On October 1, 2019, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Shri Ram Vilas Paswan launched a ‘Consumer App’ in New Delhi in order to redress public grievances and provide valuable solutions on consumer-related issues. The app, which strengthens ‘digital India’ objectives, provides a one-stop solution to the consumer grievances via mobile devices.Shri Ram Vilas Paswan launched ‘Consumer App’ Key points
i. Resolution: The grievances will be resolved in a time-bound manner within 20 days. It takes 2months/60days to resolve a grievance in case of eliciting feedback from companies or further enquiries. The consumer can proceed to consumer fora, in case a grievance isn’t resolved for more than 60 days. Before closing the complaint, the consumer will be informed about it, and if he/she is dissatisfied, the complaint will be referred further to the concerned department.
ii. Status monitoring: The status of the complaint will be monitored by the ministry on a daily basis whereas it will also be monitored on a weekly basis by the minister himself. A registered consumer will be informed via SMS(Short Message Service) or e-mail regarding the complaint and could also be tracked by him/her.
iii. App features: A consumer can sign up with an OTP (one-time password) and create a user ID and password for its usage. The app has a built-in feature of tracking the lodged grievances. Other various important links to get information pertaining to 42 sectors are also made available in the app which can be used in Hindi and English. The app is available in android and IoS platforms and could be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple Store respectively.
About Consumer Affairs Ministry:
♦ Founded: 2 September 1946.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Minister of State(MoS)- Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Constituency- Jalna, Maharashtra)

SPORTS

PV Sindhu slips to number 6th, Kashyap rises to 25th position: BWF Rankings 2019
As per the recently released BWF (Badminton World Federation) Rankings 2019, World Champion women’s shuttler PV Sindhu  (24) has slipped a rank to 6th  due to poor performance in the last two weeks but Parupalli Kashyap (33) has benefited from a good performance and reached 25th position.PV Sindhu slips to number 6th Key points:
i.
Sindhu, who was earlier in the fifth position, had eliminated in the first round of the 2019 China Open (held in Changzhou, China) and 2019 Korea Open (held in Incheon, South Korea). While Kashyap has the advantage of reaching the semi-finals of Korea Open.
ii. Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag remain 12th in men’s doubles while Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy moved up one place to 19th in women’s doubles.
Women’s single: Top 3 & Indian player in the top 25 ranking

RankPlayer Name
1Tai Tzu-ying (Taiwan)
2Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)
3Chen Yufei (China)
6thP. V. Sindhu
8thSaina Nehwal

Men’s single: Top 3 & Indian player in the top 25 ranking

RankPlayer name
1Kento Momota (Japan)
2Chou Tien-chen (Taiwan)
3Shi Yuqi (China)
9thKidambi Srikanth
12thB. Sai Praneeth
17thSameer Verma
25thParupalli Kashyap

About BWF:
♦ Formation
: 1934
♦ Headquarters : Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
♦ President: Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen

OBITUARY

Hollywood tycoon Eric Pleskow passed away at the age of  95
On October 1, 2019, American-Austrian film producer Eric Pleskow, the Hollywood tycoon, passed away at the age of 95 in the United States(US) due to old age ailments. He was the president of the film company United Artists from 1973 to 1978 and then as co-founder of Orion Pictures where many films under these film companies won Oscar awards.Eric Pleskow passed away Key points
i. Born in April 24, 1924, in Vienna, the capital of Austria, Eric’s famous films include ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, ‘Rocky’, ‘Amadeus’, ‘Platoon’, ‘Dances with Wolves’ and ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.
ii. He had been the president of the Vienna International Film Festival(VIFF), or Viennale, since 1998.

Mexican singer Jose Jose passes away in Florida, US
Mexican singer and musician, Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz, known by his stage name Jose Jose has passed away at a hospital in Homestead, Florida, United States(US)  after a battle with Pancreatic cancer.He was 71.Mexican singer Jose Jose passes awayi. Born on 17 February 1948 at Mexico City in Mexico, he popularly called as “El Príncipe de la Canción” or “The Prince of Song”.
ii. He got his recognition in the music world after the singing ‘El Triste’ at a Latin music festival held in Mexico City in 1970. Over the course of his decades-long career, he sold more than 95 million records Globally.
iii. He has sung many super hit songs like De Pueblo en Pueblo,’ ‘Hasta Que Vuelvas,’ ‘Sentimientos,’ ‘Paloma’ and ‘Gavilan o Paloma.’. He was also awarded several awards in his 4-decade music career. He was nominated for the Grammy Award 6 times.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

A new book titled “The Tech Whisperer” penned by digital transformation expert Jaspreet Bindra launched
A new book entitled “The Tech Whisperer”, written by digital transformation expert Jaspreet Bindra, features a chapter on AI (artificial intelligence).The book has been published by Penguin India. The key feature of this book is the chapter AI which is written by AI. In partnership with Findability Sciences, Jaspreet Bindra rigged up an AI to write. However, that chapter was not as comprehensive and better written as authored by humans.Jaspreet Bindra Key points:
i.
The Tech Whisperer, as the name suggests, describes and simplifies the most revolutionary technologies like AI(Artificial Intelligence), blockchain, Internet of things, virtual reality, etc. and narrates how companies can employ these to drive their digital transformation.
ii. The author refers to James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention” which speculates that “AI will be the final invention by humankind.

Book titled ‘The RSS: Roadmaps for the 21st Century’, written by Sunil Ambekar released
The book titled ‘The RSS: Roadmaps for 21st Century’, written by Sunil Ambekar, the organising national secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), was released in New Delhi by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. It is published by Rupa Books. It describes the challenges of 21st century social, cultural life and lists the RSS’ response to the same.The RSS Roadmaps for the 21st Century

IMPORTANT DAYS

150th Gandhi Jayanti/ International Day of Non-Violence 2019 observed on October 2
150th Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and International Day of Non-Violence was observed on October 2, 2019. The birthday of Late Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Prime Minister of India was also observed on this day.
i. President of India, Mr. Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated Gandhi Katha by Pujya Morari Bapu at Gandhi Ashram, Kingsway Camp, New Delhi. The event was organized by Harijan Sevak Sangh.
ii. Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textile Mrs. Smriti Irani inaugurated a 1,650-kgcharkha’ (spinning wheel) made of plastic waste, the world’s largest, near the Mahamaya flyover in Sector 94, Noida, Uttar Pradesh……………………….Click here  to Read more

STATE NEWS

Chhattisgarh Government launched 5 new schemes
On October 2, 2019, Chhattisgarh government, under the leadership of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel launched 5 new schemes namely Mukhyamantri Suposhan Abhiyaan, Mukhyamantri Haat Bazaar Clinic Yojana, Mukhyamantri Shahariya Slum Swasthya Yojana, Universal PDS Scheme and Mukhyamantri Ward Karyalaya .
i. Under Mukhyamantri Suposhan Abhiyaan (Chief Minister Nutrition Scheme), which was started as a pilot project in June 2019, fresh and nutritious food is provided to malnourished children and anaemic women with the help of panchayats and self-help groups.
ii. Under the Mukhyamantri Haat Bazaar Clinic Yojana (Chief Minister Market Clinic Scheme), mobile teams of health department along with doctors and necessary equipment will visit local haat-bazaars to provide health facilities in remote tribal and forest areas of the state……………………..Click here to Read more

Telangana becomes fully electrified state in India
Telangana became one the fully electrified states in India after providing 100% electricity coverage to over 5 lakh 15 thousand households, especially those in the remote areas under the Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Soubhagya). Rural Electrification Corporation Limited (REC) is the nodal agency for the scheme.
About Soubhagya scheme:
It is an Indian government project to provide electricity to all households. The project was announced in September 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik gives assent to National Law University Bill 2019
On October 2, 2019, The Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Satya Pal Malik has given assent to the Jammu and Kashmir National Law University Bill 2019 for establishing a National Law University in the J&K, which will help disseminate knowledge about law and legal processes and promote legal awareness to achieve political, social and economic justice.
Key points:
i. Jammu and Kashmir National Law University Act enactment will bring the state at par with other states where such universities have been established.
ii. A conference of law ministers in India in the year 1995 had adopted a resolution to set up a law school in each state modelled on the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, Karnataka with the objective of improving the quality of professional legal education. Various states have enacted laws to establish such universities since then.
About J&K:
♦ Capitals: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
♦ Governor: Satya Pal Malik
It is a proposed union territory (UT) of India, located in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent (Proposed from 31 October 2019).
♦ National Parks: City Forest (Salim Ali) National Park ,Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park ,Kishtwar National Park.
J&K reorganisation bill proposes to create a Union Territory for Jammu and Kashmir region and a separate one for the Ladakh region.
 About UT:
Union Territory (UT) is a small administrative unit that is ruled by the Union. The Union territories are controlled and administered directly by the Central Government. Till date, India had seven UTs – Delhi, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep. Delhi and Puducherry have legislatures, whereas the rest do not.

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