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India declares free from H5N1 avian influenza
On September 3, 2019, India has been declared free from H5N1 avian influenza (commonly known as bird flu) by OIE (Office International des Epizooties)-World Organisation for Animal Health. The flu was last reported in 2017 with disease outbreaks in Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand.
i. H5N1 is non contagious but has a mortality rate of 60%, when infected. The influenza virus, which causes the illness, is of four types: A, B, C, and D. Only nly the influenza A and B viruses are known to cause epidemics.
PM of India & Nepal jointly inaugurate South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum products pipeline from Motihari in India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal
On September 10, 2019, Prime Minister (PM) of India Shri Narendra Modi and PM of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli jointly inaugurated South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum products pipeline of 69-km from Motihari in Bihar, India to Amlekhgunj in Nepal through video conference.Key Points:
i. It has a capacity of 2 million metric ton per annum.
ii. The price of petroleum products will be reduced by Rs. 2 per litre in Nepal.
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese Rupee
♦ President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
2019 National conference on crop residue management held in New Delhi
On September 8, 2019, the National Conference on crop residue management organised by govt. of India n collaboration with ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) was held in New Delhi with nearly 1000 farmers participating in the conference. Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar addressed the event. Key points
i. States participated: Farmers from 4 states such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & Delhi participated in the event.
ii. Honours: 20 farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were felicitated for their contribution in crop management and also for promoting the in-situ crop residue management.
iii. “CHC Farm Machinery” app: The Minister of State(MoS) for agriculture and farmer’s welfare, Shri Parshottam Rupala launched the “CHC Farm Machinery” app for the farmers to connect them with Custom Hiring Service Centres located within 50km radius. The Custom Hiring Centres(CHC) app is available for android devices and could be downloaded from the Google Play store.
About agriculture ministry:
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Parshottam Rupala constituency- Gujarat.
MoS- Kailash Choudhary(constituency- Barmer, Rajasthan)
NarendhrasinghTomar constituency- Morena, Madhya Pradesh.
Secretary-Kahan Singh Pannu.
Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra to head 3 member panel to look into assets, liabilities of J&K
On September 9, 2019, the centre has appointed defence Secretary Shri Sanjay Mitra to head a 3-member panel to look into assets, liabilities of Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) between two successor Union territories(UT) J&K and Ladakh, that comes into effect on October 31, 2019.
Background: The centre, announced the withdrawal of the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of the state into two UTs on August 5, 2019.
i. Other members of the panel: With Sanjay Mitra being the chairperson, the other members on the panel include,
- ArunGoyal- retired Indian Administrative Service(IAS) officer.
- Giriraj Prasad Gupta- Retired Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer.
ii. Committee: The committee is constituted by the powers conferred by Section 84 and Section 85 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
- Section 84: J&K assets and liabilities should be apportioned (divided up) between UT of J&K.
- Section 85: Establishment of one or more Advisory Committees within a period of 90 days of announcement regarding apportion, power supply, financial corporation, companies and institution.
Governor- Satya Pal Malik.
Capitals- Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer).
National Parks(NP)-Dachigam NP, Hemis NP, Kishtwar NP, Salim Ali NP,
Kerala to set up India’s first iWTC in Kozhikode
In consonance with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), Kerala will set up India’s first International Women’s Trade Centre (iWTC) in Kozhikode to boost women entrepreneurship and secure gender parity. It is an important Gender Park under the Department of Social Justice of Kerala Government.Key Points:
i. It will have women’s start-up and incubation centre, retail fashion and technology outlets, health and wellness centres, business centres and offices, conference-convention-exhibition spaces, performing arts centre, residential suites and day-care for seniors and children.
ii. The first phase of iWTC will be completed by 2021. It is executed under the Gender Park’s “Vision 2020”.
iii. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Gender Park is P T Mohammed Sunish.
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Governor: Arif Mohammed Khan
♦ Festivals: Onam, Vishu, Thrissur Pooram, Nehru Trophy Boat Race
♦ National Parks: Anamudi Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Periyar National Park,Silent Valley National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Aralam WLS, Chimmony WLS, Idukki WLS, Periyar WLS, Wayanad WLS, Peppara WLS, Neyyar WLS, Kurinjimala WLS, Malabar WLS etc
India participates in 84th Edition of TIF 2019 in Greece
India participates in the 84th Edition of Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) for the year 2019 in Greece from 7-15 September 2019. Indian delegation was led by Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri and it was attended by officials of Indian Government from the Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Electronics & Information Technology, and Tourism, and officers of Embassy of India in Greece, International Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) & other prominent Indian entrepreneurs. Key Points:
i. New India Pavilion: It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Hardeep Singh Puri.
ii. India welcomed investments in different sectors.
iii. Exhibitors from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Agricultural Produce Export Development Authority (APEDA), companies from the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector and tiles and ceramics industry and handicrafts from Rajasthan, Moradabad and Jammu & Kashmir had also participated in the fair.
iv. The rank of India in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2019 is 52 amongst 129 countries in the list.
♦ Capital: Athens
♦ Currency: Euro
BANKING & FINANCE
Overview of the report submitted to RBI by a panel headed by Harsh Vardhan for the development of housing finance securitisation market
The panel headed by Harsh Vardhan, senior advisor, Bain and Co., for the development of housing finance securitisation market has submitted its report to the governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Shaktikanta Das.
i. The panel suggested that the National Housing Bank (NHB) should create an intermediary for standard-setting and market-making for the instruments. Intermediary could operate either directly through the NHB, the Indian Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC), or the RBI could set up a new organisation.
ii. The new entity would have 51% ownership by the government through the NHB initially. The government ownership in the entity would then be gradually reduced to 26% over a period of 5 years. The remaining capital of 49% may be initially raised from multilateral agencies. It will start with Rs 500 crore of initial capital and it would be allowed to invest in each pool it securitizes to the extent of 5% of the pool, or 5% of its own capital base, whichever is lower…………………………….Click here to Read more
Finance ministry notifies code of conduct for non-official directors of PSBs
The Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance of the Government of India has issued a code of conduct for non-official directors (NOD) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs). The boards of the banks will have to send an annual performance report which rates a director based on professional and ethical conduct, and contribution to the board.
i. This was brought out to establish certain measures to improve corporate governance. The ‘Code for NODs’ will be in addition to the existing ‘Guidelines on Role and Responsibilities’ and ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ for NODs issued by the Finance Ministry in September 2002.
ii. The director’s performance will be measured on various parameters like avoidance of direct or indirect conflict of interest, acting according to rules and in the best interest of the bank, avoiding any gain to self or associates and maintaining confidentiality.
iii. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) already has the code for independent directors under the Companies Act.
India Ratings cuts FY20 growth forecast for NBFCs to 10-12%
On September 9, 2019 credit rating agency India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) downgraded growth forecast for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) to 10-12% from the previous estimate of 15% due to slowdown in economic activity. It also revised NBFC’s outlook from stable to ‘negative’ while large ticket Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) are maintained at negative outlook. Key points
i. Other factors for rate cut: Fall in auto industries’ sales, slowed rural infra activity, challenges faced in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sectors, the slowdown in real estate and moderation in refinancing opportunities.
ii. End of repayment exemption: The NBFCs providing loans to real estate companies may further come under pressure in the first half of 2020 when 70,000 crore advances would no longer be preferred as mandatory repayment exemption.
iii. Recovery measures: The finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India(RBI) have also announced recovery measures in August 2019, to provide additional liquidity support of Rs 20,000 crores by the National Housing Bank to NBFCs and HFC’s resulting in Rs 30,000 crore liquidity.
iv. India’s GDP forecast: Recently Ind-Ra had also reduced the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) forecast to 6.7% for FY20 from its previous estimate of 7.3% in August, 2019.
Ind-Ra is a 100% owned subsidiary of the Fitch Group.
Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)-RohitkaranSawhney(Since 2017).
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
UNCTAD released a report titled ‘Digital Economy Report 2019’
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report titled ‘Digital Economy Report (DER) 2019’. DER was formerly known as the Information Economy Report. It examines the scope for value creation and capture in the digital economy by developing countries.
- Global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic has grown from about 100 gigabytes (GB) per day in 1992 to more than 45,000 GB per second in 2017. By 2022, global IP traffic is projected to reach 150,700 GB per second.
- Regarding value added in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the United States and China together account for almost 40% of the world’s total.
- India has the largest share among developing countries in computer services industry………………………...Click here to Read more
Niti Aayog selected McKinsey & Company to set up India’s first Digital Capability Centre in New Delhi
National Institution for Transforming India (Niti Aayog) has selected McKinsey & Company to set up India’s first Digital Capability Centre (DCC) in New Delhi. McKinsey & Company supports 5 such centres globally- in Aachen, Chicago, Singapore, Venice and Beijing.
i. The government will act as a facilitator to bring together industry, academia, and research on one platform by forming DCC.
ii. DCC is a unique digital manufacturing learning centre offering company leaders and their workforces hands-on experience and workshops in next-generation technology.
About McKinsey & Company:
♦ Founded: 1926
♦ Headquarters: New York City, US
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
President’s secretariat announces recipients of Visitor’s Awards 2019
On september 9, 2019 the President’s secretariat announced the recipients of Visitor’s award 2019. The award will be presented by the president Shri Ram NathKovind at RashtrapatiBhavan in New Delhi…………………………Click here to Read more
|Award title||awardee||Awarded for|
|Research in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences||Prof. Sibnath Deb (Department of Applied Psychology, Pondicherry University)||Child protection research, especially, focus on child abuse and neglect, student’s mental health and on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome(AIDS).|
|Research in Physical Sciences||Prof. Sanjay (School of Physical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi)||Research in non-equilibrium statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics.|
|Research in Biological Sciences||Prof. AsadUllah Khan (Inter-disciplinary Biotechnology Unit, Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh)||Identifying Antimicrobial resistance(AMR) of spread and control of AMR|
Research in Biological Sciences
|DrPartima (Special Centre for Nanoscience, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi)||Research on nanobiosensors and nanobiointeractions during early stage cancer diagnosis by nanomaterials bases biosensing platform.|
|Technology Development||DrShaon Ray Chaudhuri (Department of Microbiology, Tripura University, Tripura)||Development of microbial biofilm reactor for of dairy wastewater conversion into biofertilizer.|
76th Venice International Film Festival Awards for 2019 held at Venice Lido, Italy
The 76th Edition of the annual Venice International Film Festival Awards for 2019 was held at Venice Lido in Italy from August 28- September 7, 2019. It was organized by La Biennale di Venezia and was officially recognized by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association).Key Points:
i. Film director from Argentina, Lucrecia Martel was appointed as the President of the Jury.
ii.It was hosted by an Italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi.
iii.Film The Truth, directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, was selected to open the festival and the film The Burnt Orange Heresy, directed by Giuseppe Capotondi was selected for the closing ceremony.
List of Winners:
|Award||Name of the film||Director|
|Golden Lion for Best Film||Joker||Todd Phillips (USA)|
|Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize||J’accuse (An Officer and a Spy)||Roman Polanski (France, Italy)|
|Special Jury Prize||La Mafia Non È Piu Quella Di Una Volta (The Mafia is no longer what it used to be)||Franco Maresco (Italy)|
|Volpi Cup for Best Actress||Ariane Ascaride||Loria Mundi by Robert Guédiguian (France, Italy)|
|Volpi Cup for Best Actor||Luca Marinelli||Martin Eden by Pietro Marcello (Italy, France)|
|Award for Best Screenplay||Yonfan||Ji Yuan Tai Qi Hao (No.7 CHERRY LANE) by Yonfan (Hong Kong SAR, China)|
|MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD for Best Young Actor or Actress||Toby Wallace||Babyteeth by Shannon Murphy (Australia)|
|Silver Lion – Award for Best Director||Roy Andersson||Om Det Oandliga (About Endlessness) (Sweden, Germany, Norway)|
About Venice International Film Festival Awards:
♦ It is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the “Big Three” film festivals, alongside the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.
♦ Founded: August 1932
India’s DAIS, Mumbai ranks 10th in 2019 “Global Top 50 IB Schools 2019″ list, Anglo Chinese of Singapore tops
In the “Global Top 50 IB Schools 2019″ list released on September 7, 2019, by United Kingdom(UK) based education consultancy ‘Education Advisers ltd’, India’s Dhirubhai Ambani International School (DAIS), Mumbai, Maharashtra was ranked at 10th position in the list. It is also the only Indian International Baccalaureate (IB) school featured in the list.
i. Since its inception in 2013, the DAIS has been ranked 1st position in International School in India by ‘Education World’ for 7 consecutive years.
ii. The list is topped by Anglo Chinese of Singapore followed by Godolphin & Latymer of UK and St Josephs Institution of Singapore at 2nd and 3rd position.
16-year-old Priyavrata becomes youngest person to clear 2019 “Mahapariksha” examination
On September 8, 2019, Priyavrata became the youngest person to pass the“Mahapariksha” at the age of 16. The Mahapariksha contains 14 levels and is conducted twice in a year at Tenali (Andhra Pradesh) for the students studying ‘Shastras’ (ancient scriptures).
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Chinese firm Alibaba Group’s chairman Jack Ma steps down
On September 10, 2019, Jack Ma, Founder & Chairman of Chinese firm Alibaba Groups has stepped down from his post at his 55th birthday and will remain on board till 2020. Jack will be replaced by Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Daniel Zhang as its new chairman. Key points
i. Jack Ma, a former English teacher who founded the firm in 1999 which is now worth $460 billion , was named as China’s richest person in 2018 by Forbes magazine.
Typhoon Faxai hits Tokyo, Japan
On September 9, 2019, Typhoon Faxai has hit Tokyo, Japan. There were winds of up to 216 kilometres (134 miles) per hour. Authorities have issued non-compulsory evacuation warnings to more than 390,000 people.i. About 100 bullet trains connecting Tokyo with central and western Japanese cities were cancelled.
ii. The Rugby World Cup 2019 (9th Edition) is scheduled to be held in Japan from September 20 and the typhoon has affected the preparations.
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese Yen
About Rugby World Cup 2023:
♦ Edition: 10th
♦ Host country: France
IMD released report titled ‘Mid-Monsoon 2019 Lightning’
On September 8, 2019, the India Meteorological Department(IMD) has released a report titled ‘Mid-Monsoon 2019 Lightning’ prepared by IMD’s research body Climate Resilient Observing Systems Promotion Council (CROSPC). It is a first of its kind report in India about lighting incidents and lighting hotspots.
i. Data used: The data used for preparing the report are IMD’s lightning forecasts, Indian Institute of Tropical Management(IITM)-Pune’s lightning network data, Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) inputs and other satellite data based on the reports from lightning resilient India campaign.
- Lightning strikes: Odisha was reported to have more lightning strikes than any other states in India followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka in the second and third place respectively in the last 4 months.
- Lightning deaths: Uttar Pradesh witnessed more lightning deaths during the same period of time followed by Bihar and Odisha in the second and third place respectively.
iii. Lightning prone area: Chota Nagpur plateau covering most parts of Jharkhand and adjacent parts of Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh is the most lightning prone area with East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand having highest no. of lightning strikes compared to any other districts in India.
iv. Climate change: It was observed that climate change was closely linked with lightning. Heatwave prone areas were also prone to lightning with increase in pollution being the additional factor.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Director General (DG)- Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.
South Africa appoints Former Indian Batsman Amol Muzumpar as interim batting coach in test match against India
On September 9, 2019, Former Indian Cricketer Amol Muzumpar has been appointed as South Africa’s Interim batting coach for three test matches against India, starting from October 2. He replaces Dale Benkenstein, who resigned after the team’s depressing performance in the World Cup 2019. Previously, Muzumpur acted as a batting coach of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and domestically played for Mumbai and Assam.
Brazilian tennis player Diego Matos banned life time for match-fixing
On September 9, 2019, the 31-year old Brazilian tennis player Diego Matos has been banned for lifetime because of match-fixing and was fined $125,000 by an independent anti-corruption hearing. Matos was ordered to repay $12,000, received in the tournament of Ecuador. He was suspended from tennis since December 6 2018.Key Points:
Currently Matos ranked 373rd in doubles, with 580th as his highest single ranking in April 2012.
8th edition of Ladakh Marathon, world’s highest marathon, for 2019 held in Leh, Ladakh
The 8th edition of Ladakh Marathon for 2019 was held from September 6-8, 2019 in Leh, Ladakh. It is the highest marathon in the world as it is held at over 11,000 feet above the mean sea level. There were more than 5500 participants from 26 countries. The event was organised by Rimo Expeditions.i. World highest Marathon Khardongla Challenge (72Km) was held on September 06, 2019.
ii. It was followed by events held in 3 categories of Full Marathon (42Km), Half Marathon (21Km) and Run of fun (7KM).
iii. The 9th Edition which will be held in 2020 will be a qualifying race for the Abbot World Marathon Majors (AWMM). The races for AWMM will be held in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
“Savarkar: Echoes from a forgotten past, 1883-1924” by Vikram Sampath released
Renowned Bengaluru-based historian and author Vikram Sampath’s recent book”Savarkar: Echoes from a forgotten past, 1883-1924″ describing the life of freedom fighter and Philosopher Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Veer Savarkar, was released on August 8, 2019, by Viking Penguin publishers. Key points
i. It is a two-volume series of which the first volume alone is released currently.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 observed on 10th of September
On September 10, 2019, the annual World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was observed with a theme “Working Together to Prevent Suicide”. In order to raise awareness and to prevent people from committing suicide, International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) host this day in collaboration with global partners World Health Organisation(WHO) and World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) every year. Key points:
i. This year they had launched 40 seconds of action Campaign, which will conclude on World Mental Health Day, 10 October.
ii.World Health Organisation(WHO) publication releases ”Preventing Suicide:a resource for pesticide registrars and regulators”.
iii. ISAP launched Cycling Around the Globe to raise awareness of the risks of suicide and to fund suicide prevention activities.
iii.The day was first observed in 2003.
Telangana CM Chandrashekar Rao presents Rs 1.46 lakh crore annual budget for FY 20
On September 9, 2019, the Chief Minister(CM) of Telangana, Shri K Chandrashekar Rao presented the annual budget for 2019-20 of Rs 1.46 lakh crore. The total expenditure in 2019-20 pegged at Rs 1,82,017 crore (Revenue expenditure: Rs 1,31,629 crore and Capital expenditure: Rs 32,815 crore) .
Budget presentation: Despite the state finance minister T Harish Rao, the CM himself presented the Budget but it is to be presented in the Legislative Council by Harish Rao.
GSDP: The Gross State Domestic Product(GSDP) of the state has increased to Rs 8.65 lakh crore in 2018-19 from Rs 4.51 lakh crore in 2013-14.
Revenue receipts: The growth rate is expected to be slowed in terms of revenue receipt, due to which budget is to be pared(reduced) and pegged at about Rs.1.70 lakh crore based on vote-on-account (interim permission to spend money as against a full Budget). The expected revenue surplus is ₹6,564 crores and the fiscal deficit is ₹27,749 crore.
Budget allocation: Some of the important budget allocated sectors are as follows,
|Farmers’ welfare||Rs. 12,000 crore.|
|Farmers’ insurance||Rs. 1,137 crore.|
|Crop loan debt||Rs. 6,000 crore.|
|Electricity subsidies||Rs. 8,000 crore.|
|Pensions||Rs. 9,402 crore.|
|Gram panchayats||Rs. 2,714 crore.|
|Municipalities||Rs. 1,764 crore.|
State government’s welfare programmes will continue like Rythu Bandhu which was allocated Rs 12,000 crore and Aasara Pensions which was provided Rs 9,402 crore.
Formed- 2 June 2014.
Governor- Dr. TamilisaiSoundararajan.
Actor, cinematographer and director Raja sekar passes away at the age of 61 years in Tamil Nadu
On September 8, 2019, Tamil Film Director, Actor and Cinematographer Raja Sekar passed away due to cardiac arrest in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, at the age of 61 years. He worked in television Shows. He also populated for Robert Rajasekar Director Duo. His famous films include “Palaivanacholai”, “Chinnapoove Mella Pesu”, “Dhooram Adhigamillai”, “Manasukkula Mathappu”.