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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Union Cabinet approves the new policy for disinvestment
The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the new policy for a new process of strategic disinvestment with a view to expedite privatisation of selected Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Disinvestment is the action of an organization or government selling or liquidating an asset or subsidiary.
i. DIPAM secretary Mr Anil Khachi will co-chair the inter-ministerial group on disinvestment, along with the secretary of administrative ministries concerned.
ii. The government has set a target of mobilising Rs 1.05 lakh crore from disinvestment proceeds. It will help the government to achieve the target of keeping fiscal deficit at 3.3% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2020…………………….Click here to Read more

Power minister RK Singh approved amendments in E-vehicle charging guidelines and specifications
On October 4, 2019 the Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri RK Singh approved the amendment in Electric Vehicle(EV) charging guidelines and specifications. This amendment will supercede the previous guidelines issued by power ministry in 2018 with the revised guidelines being more consumer friendly. These revised guidelines will also help in faster adoption of EVs. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), a statutory body under Ministry of Power has been nominated as the Central Nodal Agency for providing the guidelines.
Key points
i. Charging infrastructure guideline: Charging infrastructures will be installed in a phase wise manner across the country based on the following guidelines.

  • One charging station would be made available in a grid of 3 Km X 3 Km in the cities.
  • Charging Station will be made available at every 25 Km on both sides of highways/roads.
  • Fast charging stations, one on each side of highways shall be installed at every 100kms for long range and/or heavy duty EVs like buses/trucks etc., concerning the inter-city travel. It will be located with/alongside Public Charging Station (PCS)…………..Click here to Read more

Dr Harsh Vardhan launched FSSAI’s ‘Trans-Fat Free’ logo in New Delhi
On October 4,2019, the union health & family welfare minister shri Harsh Vardhan launched “Trans Fat Free” logo of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) during the 8th International Chefs’ Conference of 2019 (ICC VIII) held in New Delhi. The logo was launched to boost the ‘Eat Right Movement’ of FSSAI.
i. Slogan released: Shri Harsh Vardhan also released a slogan ‘Chefs 4 Trans Fat Free’ at the event, in which more than 1000 chefs pledged to use trans-fat free oils in their recipes and also work together to help achieve govt’s plan to eliminate trans-fat by 2022 having the motto ‘[email protected]; Freedom from Trans Fats’………………Click here to Read more

Government constitutes working group headed by Guruprasad Mohapatra to prepare contours of new industrial policy
The government framed a working group headed by Guruprasad Mohapatra, secretary of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to prepare contours of new industrial policy to make India a manufacturing hub.
i. Background: It will be the third industrial policy after the first in 1956 and the second in 1991. It will replace the Industrial Policy of 1991 which was prepared in the backdrop of the balance of payment crisis. The DPIIT had initiated the process of formulation of a new industrial policy in May 2017. The new policy will subsume the National Manufacturing Policy (NMP). A draft has been prepared by the DPIIT and has been sent for Cabinet approval………………….Click here to Read more

NITI Aayog’s AIM and UNDP India jointly launched Youth Co:Lab for youth entrepreneurship & innovation
On October 4, 2019 the Atal Innovation Mission(AIM) of NITI Aayog (National Institute for Transforming India) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India of United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) launched a youth lab programme, Youth Co:Lab by signing a Letter of Intent(LoI) in-order to  empower innovation and social entrepreneurship to the youths of India in New Delhi.  By this initiative entrepreneurs and innovators will connect with govt, mentors, incubators and other investors to gain entrepreneurial skills.Youth Co-Lab for youth entrepreneurship & innovationKey points
i. Youth Co:Lab benefits : This initiative will bring together, a series of youth dialogues across cities like New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai etc. and will also help to spread awareness on issues pertaining to youth and the future work on Sustainable Development Goals(SDG). Social innovation challenges will be invited from people aged between 18-29 years at national and sub-national level and will also get a chance to pitch their ideas at UNDP’s regional centre in 2020. Initially the selected applicants, will get the opportunity to incubate their ideas at Atal Incubation Centres(AIC).
ii. Focus: the 1st phase of this programme focuses on 6 SDGs. they are SDG(gender equality), SDG6(clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
About Youth Co:Lab :
♦ Creation: Co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation.
♦ Operational areas: 25 countries across the Asia Pacific region.
About AIM:
♦ AIM including Self-Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) is a flagship initiative set up by the NITI Aayog to promote innovation and entrepreneurship across the length and breadth of the country.
♦ Objective: To promote world class innovation hubs, startup businesses, self-employment activities especially in technical areas.
♦ Director: Ramanan Ramanathan.

NHA and Google partners together to strengthen Ayushman Bharat scheme
On October 4, 2019 the National Health Authority(NHA) and the Amercian multinational company, Google partnered together for strengthening the implementation of the national health protection scheme, Ayushman Bharat– Pratan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY). They have signed the Statement of Intent (SoI) in this regard.
Key points
i. Both the organisations will work together in increasing process efficiencies of day to day applications thus improving quality healthcare. Google will help in digital presence of the Ayushman Bharat scheme showcasing relevant content to the 50 crore entitled beneficiaries and also provide training to NHA personnel in enhancing digital skills.
About Ayushman Bharat:
♦ Launched- 2018.
♦ Chief Executive Officer(CEO)-  Indu Bhushan.
♦ It is the world’s largest public funded health insurance scheme.
♦ It provides Rs 5 lakh per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

14th Indo – Mongolian joint military training exercise, the 2019 Nomadic Elephant-XIV begun in Himachal Pradesh
On October 5, 2019 the 14th edition of the Indo – Mongolian joint military training exercise Nomadic Elephant-XIV for the year 2019, has begun at Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh. This 14-day exercise will continue till October 18, 2019. The aim of the exercise is to train both the armies in counter terrorism and counter insurgency (counter revolt) operations thus enhancing defence cooperation.2019 Nomadic Elephant-XIVKey points
i. Army representation: The Indian Army is represented by battalion of Rajputana rifles whilethe Mongolian Army is represented by elite 084 airborne Special task battalion.
ii. Exercise to be conducted: Various drills are to be conducted like convoy protection drill, room intervention drills, ambush /counter ambush drills etc. to create interoperability.
About Indian Army:
♦ Founded- 1 April 1895.
♦ Motto- “Service Before Self”.
♦ Commander-in-Chief- President Ram Nath Kovind.
♦ Chief of Army Staff(COAS)- General Bipin Rawat.
♦ Vice Chief of Army Staff- Manjoj Mukund Naravane.
About Rajputana Rifles:
♦ It is the oldest regiment rifle of the Indian Army.
♦ Founded: 1775.
♦ Commander- Lt. General Abhay Krishna.
About Mongolia:
♦ Capital- Ulaanbaatar.
♦ Currency- Mongolian tögrög.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh hiked monetary assistance for battle casualties from Rs2 to Rs 4 lakhs
On October 5, 2019 the Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh gave approval in increasing the monetary assistance to Next of Kin (NoK) of all categories of Battle Casualty (BC) from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 4 lakhs under Army Battle Casualties Welfare Fund (ABCWF).
Key points
i. Previous provisions: In the previous provision, financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh was given to BC which are fatal, greater than equal to 60% disability, and to the BC invalided due to disability. For people less than 60% disability, Rs 1 lakh was given. This was given in addition to family pension and financial assistance of Army Group Insurance(AGI) ranging from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 75 lakh, ex-gratia amount ranging from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 45 lakh and, Army Welfare Fund (AWF).
About ABCWF:
♦ Implemented-2016.
♦ Instituted- 2017.
♦ It was set up under Ex-Servicemen Welfare (ESW) department under the Defence Ministry after families of BC were offered to provide monetary assistance by people following the 2016 Siachen Glacier avalanche.
♦ Act: the fund was created under the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890.
♦ A Bank Account bearing No. 90552010165915 was opened in the Syndicate Bank, New Delhi for the public to deposit money.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Hyderabad tops Indian cities in 1st citizen-centric IMD Smart City Index 2019, Singapore tops globally
On October 4, 2019 in the first ever conducted International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD’s) Smart City Index 2019, Hyderabad topped among the Indian cities with the rank of 67. It was followed by New Delhi at rank 68. Mumbai and Bengaluru were ranked at the 78th and 79th positions respectively. The list was topped by Singapore. 1st citizen-centric IMD Smart Cities Index 2019Key points
i. A total of 102 cities were estimated for the ranking. The report was presented by IMD World Competitiveness Center’s Smart City Observatory in partnership with Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).
Ranks:

Rank City nameCountry 
1SingaporeSingapore
2ZurichSwitzerland
3OsloNorway
4GenevaSwitzerland
5CopenhagenDenmark
67HyderabadIndia
68New DelhiIndia
78MumbaiIndia
79BengaluruIndia
About IMD:
♦ Established- 1990.
♦ President- Jean-Francois Manzoni.

India ranked 4th in GFP Index 2019; US tops
In the Global Firepower Index (GFP) /Military Strength Ranking 2019 of the Global Firepower which ranks each nation’s potential war-making capability across land, sea and air with conventional weapons, India was ranked 4th with the PowerIndex (PwrIndx) score of 0.1065 and in South Asia, it stood at the No 1 position.India ranked 4th in GFP Index 2019Key Points:
i. Globally, the list was topped by the United States.
ii. The military strength of 137 countries was taken into consideration.
iii. The top power index score is 0.0000, which is “realistically unattainable,” according to Global Firepower.
iv. More than 55 individual factors of each nation were assessed.
Rank List:

RankCountryPwrIndx score
1United States0.0615
2Russia0.0639
3China0.0673
5France0.1584
15Pakistan0.2798
17Israel0.2964
37Myanmar0.6162
45Bangladesh (from 57th rank of 2018)0.7156
About Global Firepower:
Global Firepower has been providing an analytical display of data concerning 137 modern military powers since 2006.

BANKING & ECONOMY

ICICI inks pact with CSC e-Governance services India to expand rural outreach
On October 4, 2019, Indian multinational banking and financial services company, ICICI Bank (Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India) has tied up with Common Service Centre e-Governance Services India Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle(CSC SPV) to expand its reach to villages and remote towns.
Key points:
i. Under this agreement, the bank will associate CSCs working in remote areas as banking correspondents.
ii. People living in rural areas will be able to deposit money in their bank accounts through CSC, withdrawal and transfer of money to another account will also be possible . Apart from this, people will also get facilities like investment in bank’s term deposit schemes and low value loans.
About ICICI Bank:
♦ Founded :5 January 1994
♦ Headquarters :Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ MD & CEO :Sandeep Bakhshi
♦ Tagline: Hum Hai na,Khayal apka
About CSC SPV:
♦ It incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology ( MeitY), Government of India, to monitor the implementation of Common Services Centers Scheme.
♦ CEO: Dinesh Kumar Tyagi

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Greta Thunberg & Divina Maloum to receive the 15th International Children’s Peace Prize for 2019 
The international organisation for the defence of children’s rights KidsRights Foundation will felicitate Sweden’s climate activist Greta Thunberg, aged 16, and peace campaigner Cameroon’s Divina Maloum, aged 14, with the 15th International Children’s Peace Prize for 2019 on November 20, 2019 at a ceremony in The Hague, Netherlands on World Children’s Day.Greta Thunberg & Divina MaloumAbout the prize:
The International Children’s Peace Prize worth 100,000 or $123,000 is awarded annually to a child who fights courageously for children’s rights. The prize was launched by KidsRights during the 2005 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates at the Capitol in Rome, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, the prize has been presented every year by a Nobel Peace Laureate. The International Children’s Peace Prize is an initiative of Marc Dullaert, Chairman and Founder of the KidsRights Foundation.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Sushil chandra mishra got appointed as chairman-cum-managing director of OIL
On October 2, 2019, The second largest hydrocarbon exploration and production Indian public sector company , Oil India Limited (OIL) has appointed Sushil Chandra Mishra as its new Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) and of the company. He succeeds Utpal Bora and will hold his post till June 30, 2022.
Key points:
i. Prior to this appointment, Mishra serving as Executive Director in Oil India Ltd.
ii. He played a major role in making and implementing procurement policies and procedures for inventory management, vendor development, framework agreement and its related strategies.
About OIL:
♦ Founded: 18 February 1959
♦ Headquarters :Duliajan & Baghjan, Assam

Lt-General Iqroop Singh Ghuman took over as GOC-in-C of Central Command of Indian Army
On October 1, 2019, Lieutenant (Lt)- General Iqroop Singh Ghuman, Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), took over as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Central Command of Indian Army succeeding Lieutenant-General Abhay Krishna who retired on September 30, 2019.
Key Points:
i. Wreath-laying ceremony was held at Smritika War Memorial, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh followed by a Guard of Honour.
ii. Earlier, he was the Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Information System and Training) at Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence and he has held different positions in his career of 38 years.
About Central Command of Indian Army:
Headquarters: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

US military successfully test fires Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile 
The United States Air Force (USAF) successfully tested an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) equipped with reentry vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It travelled approximately 4,200 miles (6,750km) across the Pacific Ocean to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
About Minuteman III:
It was the first US missile fitted with Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs), enabling it to carry up to three different warheads that can strike independent targets. It was started in 1966 and the missile is armed with 170 kilotons of TNT (Trinitrotoluene). Airborne Launch Control System is a part of the missile. The US presently has roughly 440 Minuteman IIIs in its arsenal

SPORTS

10th Asian Age Group Championships for 2019 held in Bengaluru, Karnataka
The 10th Asian Age Group Championships (AAGC) for 2019 was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka from September 24-October 2, 2019. It was organised by the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) through the Asia Amateur Swimming Federation (AASF). It was the first time India hosted the international Championship in swimming, diving, water polo and in Artistic swimming events.
Venues:

EventVenue
SwimmingPadukone-Dravid Center for Sports Excellence
Water Polo & DivingSports Authority Of India
Artistic swimmingKensington Swimming Pool
Medal tally:
i. India finished with a total medal tally of 64 medals (20 gold, 24 silver and 20 bronze).
ii. It stood at the 4 spot in Swimming event and second spot in the diving event.
About AASF:
Founded: 1978 in Bangkok, Thailand
Headquarters: Muscat, Oman
About SFI:
Founded: 1948
Headquarters:  Ahmedabad, Gujarat

India won against South Africa in the Women’s T20 series held in Surat
India defeated South Africa in the T20I (Twenty twenty International) series by winning the six-match series for 3-1 with two matches being washed out due to rain. This series was part of the women’s team’s South Africa Cricket tour of India 2019 , where all the 6 T20I  matches were held from September till October 4, 2019 at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium in Surat, Gujarat.

Records created by Indians:

  • Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma bowled three maidens, thereby created recorded by becoming the first Indian to have bowled as many maidens in a T20I match.
  • Harmanpreet Kaur became the first Indian cricketer to appear in 100 T20I in her final match of the series against South Africa in Surat. She surpassed Indian men cricketers Rohit Sharma and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (both have played only 98 T20Is till now) in the T20I appearances. She also became the second woman to score 2000T20I runs after India’s Mithali Raj, in the pre final match against South Africa.
  • Shefali Varma became the youngest woman cricketer to play a T20I at the age of 15. She is also the second youngest Indian player to play an international match after former cricketer Gargi Banerji.

ODI series: The One Day International (ODI) series between Indian and South African Women’s team which is part of the South Africa Cricket tour of India 2019 will be held at the Reliance stadium in Vadodara, Gujarat from October 9, till October 14, 2019.

About Gujarat:
♦ Capital- Gandhinagar.
♦ Chief minister- Vijay Rupani.
♦ Governor- Acharya Devvrat.
♦ Important dams- Dharoi dam, Dantiwada dam, sardarsarovar dam, Ukai dam.

OBITUARY

Ekushey Prize-winning Buddhist pundit Satyapriya Mohathero passed away at the age of 89
On October 4, 2019, Ekushey Prize-winning Buddhist pundit Satyapriya Mohathero, aged 89, passed away at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh due to old age-related complications. He was born as Bidhu Bhushan Barua in Cox’s Bazar’s Ramu,  Bangladesh on June 10, 1930.Satyapriya Mohatheroi. He was the second highest Buddhist leader of Bangladesh and head of Sima Bihar of Ramu.
ii. He was the recipient of Ekushey Padak, the second-highest civilian award of Bangladesh, in 2015 for social work.

Popular nutrition scientist Colathur Gopalan, passes away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Popular nutrition scientist & former Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research Colathur Gopalan has passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu due to age-related ailments. He was 101.
i. Born on November 29, 1918 in Salem, Tamil Nadu, Gopalan earned doctorate from University of London in 1949 and headed the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, from 1961 to 1974.
ii. He was conferred Padmashri in 1970 & Padma Bhushan in 2003.
iii. Some of the prestigious awards he received were World Health Organisation’s(WHO) Health for All medal in 1988, the International Union of Nutrition Sciences’ (IUNS) award for path breaking work on nutritional problems in developing countries in 1989 & it recognised him as a ‘Living legend in nutrition science’ in 2013. Federation of Asian Nutrition Societies (FANS) conferred him the ‘Living Legend Award’ in August 2019.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Animal day 2019 observed on October 4
On October 4, 2019, World Animal Day was celebrated throughout the world to raise awareness among people about taking actions worldwide for the rights of animal as well as welfare.World Animal day 2019Key points:
i. 4 October was chosen as a day as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.
ii. Heinrich Zimmermann organized the first World Animal Day in 1925 & was declared as a universal observation at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy.

World Teachers day observed on October 5,2019
On October 5, 2019, World Teacher’s Day or International Teachers Day was observed across the world with an aim to improve teachers’ situation in the world.The theme of this day for 2019 is Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.World Teachers dayKey points:
i. This day was established in 1994 and commemorates the signing campaign of 1966 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) /ILO recommendations concerning the status of teachers and students.
ii. This day was organized by UNICEF(United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), UNDP(United Nations Development Programme), International Labor Organization(ILO) and Education International together.

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