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Ghaziabad’s Loni town is India’s most polluted city; CPCB’s AQI figures at 358
On October 16, 2019, According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of India, Loni rural (Dehat) of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh emerged as the most polluted city in India with the Air Quality Index (AQI) figures at 358. Strict measures under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) were implemented in the city to tackle air pollution. It topped the list of 108 most polluted cities.
i. It was classified into the “very poor” category.
ii. The AQI figures for Ghaziabad city stood at 339 under the “very poor” category; for Noida and Greater Noida, it stood at 326 and 314, respectively.
iii. Officials of Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) recommended a fine of Rs 50 lakh against a mall and a school in Indirapuram for allegedly flouting the ban on diesel generator sets and for playing loud music at the mall.
iv. It has also recommended a penalty of Rs 50,000 against Ghaziabad municipal corporation for alleged instances of road dust in Kaushambi locality of the state.
Telangana tops in capex on irrigation during 2015-19: Study by CARE Ratings
According to a study by CARE Ratings, Telangana was ranked first in terms of expenditure incurred on capital outlay/asset creation (capex) by State governments during 2015-2019 on irrigation in India.
i. Other largest spenders: Tamil Nadu spent highest on urban development; Bihar on rural development; Uttar Pradesh in the areas of transport, energy, public health, education and housing and Maharashtra on agriculture.
ii. Overall capex: Top 10 states on overall capex are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Odisha. These accounted for 73% of the combined capex undertaken by all States.
iii. At the consolidated level, the expenditure was more towards transport, irrigation, flood control, energy, water supply, sanitation and rural development accounting over 65% to total expenditure undertaken by States in FY19 (Revised Estimates).
iv. In terms of annual increase, capital expenditure of States in absolute terms at the consolidated level increased in case in four of the last five years (2% decline over 2018).
About CARE Ratings:
♦ Founded: April 1993
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ MD & CEO: Rajesh Mokashi
2nd ‘India Myanmar Naval Exercise’ IMNEX-2019 commences in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
The 2nd edition of India- Myanmar Naval Exercise IMNEX-2019 has begun in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It will be held from October 19-22, 2019. The opening ceremony was conducted onboard INS (Indian Naval Ship) Ranvijay. The exercise is conducted in 2 phases: Harbour phase (till October 20) and Sea Phase (from October 20- 22).Key Points:
i. Myanmar’s naval ships UMS Sin Phyu Shin (F-14) and UMS Tabinshweti (773) will engage in professional interaction with Indian Navy personnel.
ii. The harbour phase consists of visits to Indian Naval units, training and maintenance facility at Visakhapatnam.
iii. In Sea Phase, INS Ranvijay, a guided-missile destroyer and INS Kuthar, a missile corvette will conduct a joint exercise with Myanmar ships UMS Sin Phyu Shin, a frigate and UMS Tabinshweti, a corvette in the Bay of Bengal.
♦ Capital: Nay Pyi Taw (Naypyidaw)
♦ Currency: Burmese kyat
BANKING & FINANCE
Bajaj Allianz Life launches first of its kind video calling service in the insurance industry called ‘i-SERV’
Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance launched a first-of-its-kind video calling service within the life insurance industry called i-SERV to enhance the customer experience and provide resolutions to the queries of its customers. Key Points:
i. This service is available to customers across 125 Bajaj Allianz Life branches in 112 cities.
ii. i-SERV solutions is available in English and five Indian languages- Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Tamil and Gujarati.
About Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance:
♦ It is a joint venture between Bajaj Finserv Limited (formerly part of Bajaj Auto Limited) owned by the Bajaj Group of India and Allianz SE, a European financial services company.
♦ Founded: 2001
♦ Headquarters: Pune, Maharashtra
♦ MD & CEO: Tarun Chugh
PayPal & Synchrony tied up to launch co-branded Venmo’s first credit card
On October 17, 2019, PayPal Holdings Inc and Synchrony partnered to launch co-branded Venmo’s first credit card. Synchrony will become the exclusive issuer of a Venmo co-branded consumer credit card in the United States (US). It is expected to be launched in the second half of 2020.Key Points:
i. PayPal and Synchrony also announced an extension of 15-year overall consumer credit program relationship.
ii. Synchrony’s open banking APIs (Application Programming Interface) will offer a seamless payment and credit experience for users.
♦ Headquarters: San Jose, California, US
♦ CEO: Dan Schulman
♦ Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut, United States
♦ CEO: Margaret Keane
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Debayan Saha, IIT Kharagpur graduate invents “PM 2.5” device to curb air pollution
Debayan Saha, a mechanical engineering graduate from IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Kharagpur has invented a device called “PM 2.5” when fitted near the silencer pipe in vehicles will curb air pollution. 1 car fitted with the device can neutralise the pollution emitted from 10 cars in its vicinity.
Great Britain wins 9th Edition of Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament 2019 by defeating India
The 9th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup 2019, an international men’s under–21 field hockey tournament, was held at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium, Johor Bahru, Malaysia from October 12–19, 2019. Great Britain defeated India in the finals by 2-1. It was their 3rd title.Key Points:
i. 6 teams had participated in the tournament.
ii. Malaysia secured third place.
iii. India’s Shilanand Lakra with 5 goals emerged as a top scorer; Japan’s Kosei Kawabe was named as the Best player and Oliver Payne of Great Britain was named as the Goalkeeper of the tournament.
Former Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd passed away at the age of 62
On October 18, 2019, Former Co-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oracle Mark Hurd, aged 62, passed away. He was born in Manhattan, New York City, United States on January 1, 1957.i. He had previously served as Chairman, CEO, and president of Hewlett-Packard (HP), was in the Board of Directors of Globality and a member of the Technology CEO Council and board of directors of News Corporation.
World Statistics Day observed on October 20
World Statistics Day (WSD) is observed on October 20, once every 5 years, first celebrated in 2010 and next on 20 October 2020. The day acknowledges the fundamental importance of sustainable national statistical capacity.Key Points:
i. The day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) through the resolution 69/282 and was declared by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNDS/StatCom).
ii. India celebrates its statistics day on 29 June every year commemorating the birthday of the legendary statistician Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis.
♦ Parent organization: UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
♦ Founded: 1947
♦ Headquarters: New York, US
♦ Director: Stefan Schweinfest
World Osteoporosis Day 2019 observed on October 20
World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) was observed on October 20, 2019 to create awareness on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Osteoporosis which is a disease of bone in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. The day is organised by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) annually.Key Points:
i. It was initially started in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1996 with the support of the European Commission (EC).
ii. This year’s campaign features “THAT’S OSTEOPOROSIS” as a headline. For the first time, it will highlight emotionally impactful visuals and stories of real people living with osteoporosis in all regions of the world.
iii. Osteoporosis is also called a silent disease.
♦ Headquarters: Nyon, Switzerland
♦ President: Prof. Cyrus Cooper
National Solidarity Day 2019 observed on October 20
National Solidarity Day was observed on October 20, 2019 which commemorates the national integrity shown by Indians at Sino- Indo war against China. China had attacked India on this day in 1962.Key Points:
i. In 1966 a committee constituting the then Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi and other dignitaries decided to dedicate 20th October as National Solidarity Day annually.
ii. This day honours our Armed Forces who guard our borders.