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Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched ‘Ganga Aamantran’ Abhiyan in New Delhi
On October 7, 2019 the Union minister of Jal Shakthi shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched ‘Ganga Aamantran’ abhiyan, a month long open-water rafting and kayaking expedition in New Delhi. The expedition which begins from October 10- November 11 2019, will cover an area of 25,000kms Devprayag in Uttarakhand to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal.
i. It is the first of its kind effort by National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) to raft across the entire stretch of the river.It is also the longest ever social campaign undertaken through an adventure sporting activity in spreading the message of river rejuvenation and water conservation on a massive scale.
ii. States included: The expedition will encompass 5 Ganga basin states. They are Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal…………………..Click here to Read more
Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey inaugurated National e-Assessment Scheme of Income Tax department & New Delhi
On October 7, 2019, the Revenue Secretary Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey who is also the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) inaugurated National e-Assessment Scheme (NeAS) in New Delhi. This e-Assessment scheme along with the National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC), would benefit the Income Tax(IT) department in imparting efficiency, transparency, accountability in the assessment process and would have no physical interface between taxpayers and tax officers. Section 143(3A) & (3B) of the IT Act empowered notification of E-assessment scheme.
National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) :
- This centre will look after the e-Assessment scheme for the income tax payers.
- Principal Chief Commissioner: Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Krishna Mohan Prasad who is the Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax(Pr.CCIT) will head the NeAC in Delhi.
- Faceless assessment of IT returns through completely electronic communication between tax officials and taxpayers were notified by the government. It is an initiative of the Central Board of Direct Taxes(CBDT)………………..Click here to Read more
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launched eco-friendly crackers
On October 5, 2019 the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhanlaunched eco-friendly green firecrackers, manufactured in India and are also made available in markets for sellers and consumers. These green crackers were developed by the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to combat air pollution.
i. A green logo as well as a Quick Response (QR) coding system has been developed inorder to differentiate the green crackers from other conventional crackers.
ii. Testing facility: Emissions testing facilities for the new firecrackers have been set up at CSIR-NEERI (CSIR- National Environmental Engineering Research Institute). The Approved National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration (NABL) facilities for the firecrackers is also available at CSIR NEERI website.Raw Materials Compositional Analysis (RACE) is launched in Sivakasi (known as “Little Japan”), Tamilnadu, for testing raw materials and chemicals of the manufacturers…………………..Click here to Read more
Centre forms inter-ministerial panel headed by Ajay Bhushan Pandey to check money laundering
The government formed a 19-member Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee (IMCC) chaired by the revenue secretary Mr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey to check money laundering activities. It is set up as per the powers conferred under Section 72A of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
i. Objective: To facilitate policy and operational coordination among the law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies and various regulators in matters relating to countering of terror financing and money laundering.
ii. Members: It has 5 secretaries from the departments of Financial Services, Economic Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs and chiefs from various regulatory authorities and probe agencies.
iii. ToR: The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the panel include ensuring operational cooperation among the government, law enforcement agencies, the Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) and the regulators or supervisors; work on development and implementing policies on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism; work towards policy cooperation and coordination across all relevant or competent authorities.
iv. Secretariat: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Cell in the Department of Revenue will be the secretariat of the IMCC.
About the Department of Revenue (DOR):
♦ Parent organization: Ministry of Financ
♦ Minister In-charge: Nirmala Sitharaman
BANKING & FINANCE
India gets first detail of accounts of Indian citizens in Swiss banks
In the matter of getting information about black money from foreign land, India has got the first tranche of of accounts details of Indian citizens in Swiss banks under the new regular system of automatic exchange of information (AEOI). However, the exchange of information is done with the condition of confidentiality. Key points:
i. The Federal Tax Administration (FTA) of Switzerland has exchanged details of financial accounts under 75 global standards of AEOI to 75 countries. India is also included in them.
ii. Under the AEOI framework, the information was given about the accounts which are currently active. Apart from this, the details of those accounts which have been closed in 2018 also made available.
iii. Financial accounts information would be exchanged with India again in September 2020.
iv. In total, the FTA has shared information (resident’s country, name, address and financial institution with tax identification number, balance in the account and capital income) of 31 lakh financial accounts to partner countries. At the same time, Switzerland has received information about 24 lakh accounts.
In Switzerland, AEOI was first implemented on January 1, 2017 on legal grounds. Under this arrangement, for the first time information exchange was done with 36 countries in September 2018. The Global Forum of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reviews the implementation of AEIO.
About Swiss bank:
♦ Headquarters: Basel, Switzerland
♦ Founded: 1872
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Indonesia lead SE Asia’s $100bn internet economy: 4th e-Conomy SEA report for 2019
The 4th Edition of the report titled “e-Conomy SEA report 2019:Powering Southeast Asia’s $100 billion Internet economy” was jointly released by Google, Singapore investment company Temasek and American consultancy Bain & Company. As per the report, Indonesia and Vietnam led the SE (SouthEast) Asia’s $100bn internet economy becoming the fastest-growing digital economies in the region. Until 2018, this report was jointly published by Google and Temasek.
i. Southeast Asia’s internet economy is on course to reach US$100bn in 2019, a 39% increase from $72bn in 2018.
ii. It is expected to triple in size to $300bn by 2025.
iii. Indonesia’s internet economy is the largest in the region, estimated at $40 billion in 2019, is expected to reach $133 billion mark by 2025. Vietnam’s internet economy is forecast to reach $12 billion in 2019 and up to $43 billion in 2025…………………..Click here to Read more
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz awarded 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos”; with one half of the prize to James Peebles of Princeton University, United States of America (USA) “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology” (after the Big Bang theory) and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor from the University of Geneva, Switzerland and Didier Queloz, University of Geneva, Switzerland, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK) “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star”.i. Peebles was awarded half the 9-million-Swedish krona ($910,000) prize while Mayor and Queloz, shared the other half.
About Nobel Prize:
Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics, and the promotion of peace.
Arjun bansal and Ankiti bose of Indian origin included in Fortune’s 2019 “40 Under 40 list”
Indian-origin Arjun Bansal (35) and Ankiti Bose (27) have made it to Fortune’s 2019 “40 Under 40 List”. Arjun is the Vice President of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software and AI Lab of the US (United States) tech company Intel. Ankiti is the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and co-founder of the fashion platform Zilingo.Key points:
i. There are 100 people in Arjun’s team who deal with Intel’s AI work in US (United States), Israel and Poland. Intel’s major AI projects also include a special computer chip designed by Arjun’s startup Nervana. Intel bought Nervana in 2016 for $ 350 million.
ii. Ankiti started Zilingo four years ago that provides online platforms for small businesses in Southeast Asia to sell their products. Headquartered in Singapore, Zilingo raised $ 226 million in February, 2019.
iii. Amazon’s voice user interface designer Alison Atwell (31) & US Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (37) were also on the list.
It is an American multinational business magazine headquartered in New York City, United States.
Fortune’s ’40 Under 40′ :It is an annual ranking of the most influential young people in the business world under the age of 40 years.
IFS officer Ramesh Pandey to be felicitated with 4th Asia Environmental Enforcement Award for 2019
The 1996-batch Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Ramesh Pandey will be felicitated with the prestigious United Nations Asia Environmental Enforcement Award 2019 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on November 13, 2019 at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok, Thailand for combating trans-boundary environmental crime. It is the 4th Edition of the awards.
i. At present, he serves as a as Chief Conservator Forests in Lucknow and Secretary of Uttar Pradesh (UP) State Bio-diversity Board (SBB).
ii. He has introduced M-Stripes (Monitoring System for Tigers Intensive Protection & Ecological Status), a novel software-based patrolling in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, UP on the recommendation of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to avoid poaching.
About the award:
These are awarded to publicly recognise outstanding achievements by public organisations and individuals in Asia to combat transboundary environmental crime. The 2019 awards are presented by UN Environment in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).
♦ Formation: 5 June 1972
♦ Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya
♦ Executive Director: Inger Andersen
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Remains of 5,000-year-old city unveiled in Israel’s archaeological site En Esur
On October 6, 2019 Archaeologists of Israel have unveiled remains of a 5,000-year-old city believed to be the biggest in the region from the Bronze Age. The site known as “En Esur” included fortifications, a ritual temple, and a cemetery. An even earlier settlement, believed to be 7,000 years old, was discovered beneath the city. It is regarded as the ‘New York City’ of its time period.
Nearly 4 million fragments were found at the site which has been excavated since the past 2.5years,and the site included rare figurines of humans and animals, pieces of pottery and various tools, some of which came from Egypt.
♦ Capital- Jerusalem.
♦ Currency- Israeli new shekel.
♦ Prime minister- Benjamin Netanyahu.
Saturn created a solar system record after the discovery of 20 new moons, surpassing Jupiter
A team of researchers led by Carnegie’s Scott S. Sheppard from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) discovered 20 new moons orbiting Saturn, increasing its tally of moons to 82. It surpassed the number of moons orbiting Jupiter planet which stands at 79. This was announced by the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Minor Planet Center (MPC), France.
i. They were discovered using the Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii (a state in the Pacific United States) and were about five kilometers in diameter.
ii. 17 moons were found orbiting the planet backwards, in a direction opposite to that of Saturn’s rotation around its axis while 3 moons orbited in the same direction as Saturn’s rotation, which is called prograde motion.
ii. 2 prograde moons were closer to Saturn, and took about 2 years to revolve around the planet and 1 prograde moon took more than 3 years to complete its path around Saturn.
iv. 1 of the newly discovered retrograde moons is the farthest known moon around Saturn.
India batsman, Rohit sharma attains career best 17th In ICC Test player rankings 2019
As per the recently released MRF (Madras Rubber Factory)Tyres International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Test Player Rankings” as of October 7, 2019, Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, who became the first cricketer to score a century in both innings of his first test as an opener, reached a career-best 17th position . He jumped from the 54th position to the 17.
i. Rohit, who now has five centuries in 28 Tests, jumped 36 places from 176 and 127 runs innings in the first Test against South Africa at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Other opener Mayank Agarwal gained 38 places after scoring a double century in the first innings to reach a career-best 25th rank.
ii. Captain Virat Kohli has retained his second position, though he has slipped below 900 mark for the first time since January 2018………………..Click here to Read more
India to host 3×3 basketball qualifying tournament for Tokyo Olympics in march 2020
On October 8, 2019, As per the world governing body of the basketball, FIBA (International Basketball Federation), India will host the Tokyo Olympic Games 3×3 basketball qualifying tournament in March 2020 with a total participation of 40 teams (20 male and 20 female teams). The location of the event will be announced later.Key points:
i. The competition will be organized under the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
ii. Six places (3 each in both women and men) will be awarded for the Olympic 2020 in the FIBA 3×3 Olympic qualifying tournament. This competition will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo where eight teams will participate in the women’s and men’s categories.
iii. Apart from the host team, other teams will be selected based on the ranking of the FIBA 3×3 Federation and the result of the FIBA 3×3 World Cup.
♦ Motto: We Are Basketball
♦ Formation: 18 June 1932
♦ Headquarters: Mies, Switzerland
♦ President : Hamane Niang
♦ Headquarters :New Delhi
♦ President :Govindaraj Kempareddy
About 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
♦ Host city: Tokyo, Japan
♦ Schedule: 24 July, 2020 – 9 August, 2020
♦ Stadium: New National Stadium
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Michelle Obama’s book “Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice” set to release
Former First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama‘s second book titled “Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice” is set to release on November 19, 2019. It is published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House. The journal will be published in more than 20 countries.i. It includes more than 150 inspiring questions and quotes that resonate with key themes in Mrs. Obama’s memoir.
i. The Spanish edition of the memoir, entitled BECOMING: Un Diario Guiado, will be published by Plaza & Janes/Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial.
iii.Her first memoir titled “Becoming” (Crown Publishing Group) was released in November 2018.
Indian Air Force celebrated 87th Air Force Day on october 8, 2019 in Uttar Pradesh
On October 8, 2019 the Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrated its 87th anniversary on Air Force Day at Hindon Air Base in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Air Force Chief, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria,Army Chief General BipinRawat and others were present during the event.
i. During the IAF parade, wing commander AbhinandanVarthaman who shot down Pakistan Air Force’s(PAF) F-16 aircraft during a dogfight in February 2019, led the aircraft group of three MiG-21 Bison aircraft flying in ‘avenger’ formation. Balakot heroes Group Captains SaumitraTamaskar and Hemant Kumar flew a Jaguar and a Mirage 2000, respectively.
ii. Different squadrons involved in the Balakot airstrikes were awarded during the event. Abhinandan’s 51 Squadron was awarded unit citation by Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. Squadrons awarded were Squadron Leader Minty Agarwal’s 601 Signal unit and number nine squadron…………………..Click here to Read more
Telangana police becomes the first in country to integrate police patrol systems with passenger cabs
In order to provide a safe & secure environment to passengers, especially women, the Telangana police in its 1st of its kind in the country, has taken up a high tech initiative to integrate their police patrol systems with passenger cabs. This is being done using police’s ‘Hawk-Eye’ app that is connected to every taxi aggregator apps that provides a cab service facility.
i. In case of emergency, the commuter can access the ‘emergency button’ installed in the related cab service app, the message will be transmitted to Hawk-Eye App through a back-end operational workflow. This will send the latitude and longitudinal coordinates of the passenger to the police & other details of the private cab service to the police attending to emergency services such as control room and closest patrol mobile.
ii. The police will be able to respond quickly to reach the commuter by continuously tracing the movement of the vehicle on the geo-tagged map.
♦ Capital: Hyderabad
♦ Chief minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao
♦ Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan
♦ National Parks: Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park , Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park , Mrugavani National Park.
UP CM Yogi Adityanath introduced Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana
Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath introduced the Mukhya Mantri Kanya Sumangala Yojana which aims to empower the girl child. If a girl child is born, that family will receive Rs 15,000.
i. Under the community marriage scheme, the support amount to poor girls for marriage was increased from Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000.
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