Current Affairs September 13 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Overview of the PM of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Hon’ble Ralph Everard Gonsalves’s visit to India from September 8-12, 2019
The Prime Minister (PM) of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Hon’ble Ralph Everard Gonsalves visited India on September 8-12, 2019. He became the first-ever Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to make an official visit to India.
i. The PM of St Vincent and Grenadines, Dr Ralph Everard Gonsalves and Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi participated in the high-level United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD) Symposium held in New Delhi.
ii. St. Vincent and the Grenadines became the 79th member of International Solar Alliance (ISA)…………………….Click here to Read more

Ministry of railways & Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) sign MoU on green initiatives
On September 13, 2019, Ministry of Railways has signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding ) with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) for facilitation of green initiatives in Indian Railways at New Delhi. Coffee Table Publications on Energy Efficiency, GreenCo Rating (developed by CII) and Green Buildings (including railway stations) were also released during the signing ceremony.
i. The partnership aimed at Greening of Railway properties , Energy efficiency in manufacturing facilities and railway workshops, Demonstrative pilots of ‘net-zero energy buildings/ railway stations’, Capacity and skill development by continuous sharing of environmentally sustainable practices on energy through training programmes,  and development of green procurement policy, better water management policy, disposal of solid waste, carbon neutrality, phytoremediation………………………..Click here to Read more

India joins as a 16th member of  global AMR research hub
On September 12, 2019 the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science & Technology, in New Delhi, has announced that Indiahas joined as the new and 16th member of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R & D) hub. This partnership would address the challenges and enhance collaboration in the AMR research of the 16 countries, European Commission, 2 philanthropic foundations and 4 International organisations.India joins as a 16th member of global AMR research hubKey points
i. India’s focus: To hold new research to address drug-resistant infections.
ii. Global AMR R&D hub: The hub was launched in May 2018 during the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland following a call from the G20 leaders to set up global AMR R&D using the One Health approach. It had a total of 15 member nations during its formation.
iii. Work of the hub: The hub works on evidence based decision making based on resource allocation through collaborations.
iv. Operation support: The hub is supported by a secretariat based in Berlin, the Capital of Germany and is financed by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).
About AMR:
 Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others.
 Recently in August 2019, Madhya Pradesh became the second state in India after Kerala to implement action plan to manage AMR
 On September 9, 2019 The president of India Shri Ram NathKovindhonoured Prof. AsadUllah Khan with 2019 visitors award for in Biological Sciences for his research and control in AMR.

India is the fourth country in the world to export bulletproof jackets to over 100 countries
According to Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), India is the fourth country in the world to have its own national standard on bulletproof jackets after the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, which provides 360-degree protection.
i. The bulletproof jackets are being exported from India to more than 100 countries,including European nations.
ii. They are manufactured at 2 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) Medani and Ordnance factory at Avadi, Chennai and private firms SNPP (Palwal), Starwire (Faridabad) in Haryana and MKU (originally incorporated as M Kumar Udyog) in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
iii. The national standard for bulletproof jackets were framed by BIS after the directions issued by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Niti Aayog (December 2018).

Rail project connecting Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) to be completed by 2020: Jitendra Singh
On September 12, 2019, The union minister of state (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that
the 15 km railway route between Agartala (Tripura) and Akhaura (Bangladesh) through Nischintapur in Indo-Bangla border will be started in 2020 while meeting the Indian Ambassador to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das in New Delhi.
Key points:
i. The project cost has been estimated at Rs 972.52 crore. For the Indian side, the funding borne by the DoNER Ministry, while for the Bangladesh side, the funding borne by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
ii. Once operational, the journey time between Agartala(Tripura ) and Kolkata(West Bengal), through Bangladesh, would be reduced by a third, from 38 hours and 1,613-km through mountainous terrain to a mere 15 hours and 514 km. It improves trade and eases commuting, while also aiding economic development in the region, benefiting both India’s Northeast and Bangladesh.
iii. The project is also likely to give thrust to the tourism, trade and cultural exchange between the two neighboring countries.
iv. The project was executed by  IRCON International Limited, Government of India(GoI), for the Indian side and also Project Management Consultant for Bangladesh Railways.
About Tripura:
♦ Capital
: Agartala
♦ Governor: Ramesh Bais
♦ Chief minister: Biplab Kumar Deb
About Bangladesh:
♦ Capital
: Dhaka
♦ Currency: Bangladeshi taka
♦ Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
♦ President: Abdul Hamid

1st military conference for SCO member states held in New Delhi from sep12-13 2019
The first conference on military medicine for Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO) member countries was organised in New Delhi from September 12-13, 2019 by the Indian Armed Forces under the aegis of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (HQ IDS). The aim of the conference was to share the best medicinal practice and render medical support in military field and to overcome common challenges involved. Sri Lanka and Nepal are the dialogue partners of this first military cooperation event hosted by India, under “SCO Defence Cooperation Plan 2019-2020”, after India became SCO member state in 2017.1st military conference for SCO memberKey points
i. This conference had participation of senior military medical practitioners of SCO member countries after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s invite to Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) of SCO countries.
ii. Events: Demonstration of the Rapid Action Medical Team was exhibited and also visit to the Army Research and Referral Hospital was organised. The defence people will be trained in handling situations during disaster management and improve patient safety.
About SCO:
♦ Headquarters-Beijing, China.
♦ Members- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
♦ Secretary General- Vladimir Norov.
♦ Formation- 15 June 2001

Indo-Thailand joint military exercise “Maitree – 2019” scheduled to be held at Foreign Training Node, Umroi, Meghalaya
The joint military exercise between India and Thailand “Maitree – 2019” is scheduled to be held at Foreign Training Node, Umroi, Meghalaya from September 16-29, 2019. Nearly 100 Indian and Royal Thailand Army (RTA) soldiers will participate in the exercise.Maitree - 2019Key Points:
i.
Indo-Thailand have already conducted 2 such military exercises in the past one month.
ii. Both sides will share thier experiences gained during a various counter-terrorism operations.
iii. It will improve the level of defence co-operation between the Indian Army (IA) and Royal Thailand Army (RTA).
About Maitree – 2019:
 It is an annual Joint Military Exercise which is being conducted alternatively in Thailand and India since 2006.
 It will be the third consecutive army engagement between India and Thailand’s forces.
About Thailand:
 Capital: Bangkok
 Currency: Thai Baht

MoS for Health & Family Welfare Aswini Kumar Choubey announces plans to set up National Genomic Grid for cancer research
Union Minister of State (MoS) for Health & Family Welfare Aswini Kumar Choubey announced the plan to set up National Genomic Grid for cancer research in line with the National Cancer Tissue Biobank (NCTB) set up at the Indian Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. This was announced by the minister on the sidelines of the launch of the campaign War Against Cancer at Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
Key Points:
i. The Grid, having 4 parts- with India divided into east, west, north and south, will study genomic data of cancer patients from India, collect samples from cancer patients to study genomic factors influencing cancer and identify the right treatment modalities.
ii. NCTB functions in association with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and has the capacity to stock 50,000 genomic samples from cancer patients.
iii. The Grid will be established in the same style with pan-India collection centres by bringing all cancer treatment institutions together.
About the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW):
♦ Formed:1976
 Minister In-charge: Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Constituency: Chandni Chowk, New Delhi)

Skill India gets its first batch of IES officers to the ISDS cadre; Training at ATI, Mysuru
The first batch of Indian Engineering Service (IES) Officers who have joined the Indian Skill Development Services (ISDS) through the Indian Engineering Service Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) have started receiving the training at the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) in Mysuru, Karnataka.
i. The objective is to attract young and talented administrators towards institutionalizing the Skill Development environment.
ii. The officers will be inducted into the Union Ministry of Skill Development And Entrepreneurship (MSDE).

NGT forms committee headed by AK Goel to prevent illegal groundwater extraction
On September 12, 2019 the National Green Tribunal(NGT) formed a committee inorder to look into the issues related to illegal groundwater extraction and prevent them. The committee headed by NGT chairperson Adharsh Kumar Goel directed the panel to frame mechanism to prevent the unauthorized extraction and also to monitor the functioning of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
Key points
i. Nodal agency of the committee: The direct concerned committee of the agency is Joint Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources(MoWR) for coordination and compliance. The committee has to submit its report within two months to the tribunal.
ii. Committee members: The committee has joint secretaries of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, National Remote Sensing Centre and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) New Delhi, and Central Ground Water Board(CGWB).
iii. Tribunal current report: The tribunal reported that the groundwater level has gone down despite Supreme Court’s(SC) order in 1996 to form a committee to prevent groundwater depletion, in which the CGWA resisted to take up ownership of the committee to lack of infrastructure.
About CGWA:
♦ Act- Section 3 (3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 under Ministry of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
About NGT:
 It was formed to dispose cases relating to environment protection.
♦ Established-  18 October 2010.
♦ Act- National Green Tribunal Act 2010.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar’s visit to Indonesia and Singapore from September 4-10, 2019
The External Affairs Minister(EAM) of India, Dr S Jaishankar paid an official visit to Indonesia and Singapore from September 4-10, 2019.
i. EAM presided over the web launch of the Representative office of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
ii. The Next Phase- Business and Innovation Summit 2019 was inaugurated at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore. It was attended by EAM Dr S Jaishankar, his counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan and was moderated by Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Professor Tommy Koh………………….Click here to Read more

Vietnam unveils southeast asia’s largest solar power farm
On September 12, 2019, Vietnam has inaugurated Southeast Asia’s largest solar power farm called ‘Dau Tieng Solar Power Complex’. It occupies 540 hectares in Tay Ninh province, some 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City, having the capacity to generate 688 million kWh (kilowatt-hour) of electricity annually.Vietnam unveils southeast asia’s largest solar power farmKey points:
i. The solar complex, which is constructed on the Dau Tieng Reservoir (the largest artificial lake in Vietnam),  is a joint venture with the Thai industrial group B.Grimm Power Public Company.
ii. The plant has an investment of over $ 391 million and is expected to produce 10 % of the Vietnam’s solar energy to guarantee supply to 320,000 homes. It will also avert the emission of 595,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.
About Vietnam
♦ Capital
: Hanoi
♦ Currency: Vietnamese dong
♦ President: Nguyen PhuTrong

24th Edition of World Energy Congress for 2019 was held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, in Abu Dhabi UAE
The 24th Edition of World Energy Congress (WEC) for 2019 was held from September 9-12, 2019 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) under the theme “Energy for Prosperity”. The triennial event is a global flagship event of World Energy Council. It was held under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. It provided a unique platform for global energy leaders to explore new energy futures, critical innovation areas, and new strategies.Key Points:
i. 24th WEC was aimed to bring together international energy stakeholders which included governments, private and state corporations, academia and media.
ii. It witnessed over 250 star speakers, 50 ministers, 500 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), 500 Media personnel. From Indian side, Mr. Ravi Sehgal, Chairman, EEPC India & Mr. Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India, and Mr. Vivek Kumar Dewangan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power attended the WEC.
iii. The 25th Edition of WEC will be held in Moscow, Russia in the year 2022.
iv. The 23rd Edition was held in Istanbul, Turkey in 2016.
About World Energy Council:
♦ Headquarters: London, UK
♦ Founded: July 11, 1924

Indian Navy ships Sahyadri and Kiltan are on a port call at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Indian Navy ships Sahyadri and Kiltan made a port call to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia for a 3 day visit from September 12 – 15, 2019 as a part of Indian Navy’s Overseas Deployment to South East Asia and Western Pacific.
Key Points:
i. Both ships, representing the ‘coming of age’ of India’s warship building capabilities, are a part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command under the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
ii.T hey operate under the Command of Rear Admiral Suraj Berry, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
Exercise Samudra Laksamana 2019
i. Indian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy will participate in the bilateral exercise named Samudra Laksamana 2019 during the port call.
ii. The exercise includes a harbour phase and a sea phase.

BANKING & FINANCE

CBDT notifies E-assessment Scheme 2019 for faceless scrutiny of income tax return
On September 12, 2019, The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notified the e-assessment scheme 2019 for conducting faceless scrutiny assessment of income tax returns (ITR). It will be established at regional and national level with auto-allocation of different scrutiny matters.
Key Points:
i. The E-assessment Scheme, 2019 was framed in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3A) of section 143 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.
ii. The National e-assessment Centre will facilitate the conduct of e-assessment proceedings in a centralised manner.
iii. Information will be communicated to the taxpayers and assessment centres in an electronic form and it will be digitally authenticated.
iv. The assessee will not make personal appearance at centres and the assessment will be governed by certain predetermined risk assessment criteria and other pre-fixed broad parameters.
v. The scrutiny notice will be issued to the individual under section 143(2) of the Income-tax Act, 1961 if he has under-reported his income or overstated losses and the assessee must file his response to the National e-assessment Centre within 15 days from the date of receipt of notice.
About CBDT:
 Parent Organization: Ministry of Finance
 Chairman: Pramod Chandra Mody

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Gujarat again tops the second edition of perception based 2019 LEADS index
On September 11, 2019 the Commerce and industry minister Shri PiyushGoyal released a report on the 2nd edition of perception-based index of mobility of goods and efficiency, the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index in New Delhi. The list is topped by Gujarat, followed by Punjab and Andhra Pradesh in the second and third places respectively while among Union Territories, Chandigarh topped the list followed by Delhi and Puducherry in the second and third place respectively. The index is developed by commerce and industry ministry along with the company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd (Deloitte).Highlights:
i. LEADS purpose: To establish the performance of the logistics sector based on user and stakeholder perception. The 2019 index widened its focus on domestic and International trade also.
ii. Indicators: The ranking was based on key indicators such as infrastructure, services, timelines, traceability, competitiveness, security, operating environment and efficiency of regulation.
iii. Other states’ 2019 report: Himachal Pradesh ranked last in the index at 22nd spot.
iv. Previous index report: The top three ranking states in 2019 were ranked in the same position in its previous index also.
v. Ranks: 

Top 5 statesBottom five statesTop 3 UTTop 3 hilly states
GujaratHimachal PradeshChandigarhTripura
PunjabGoaDelhiSikkim
Andhra PradeshBiharPuducherryArunachal Pradesh
MaharashtraUttarakhand
TamilnaduJammu & Kashmir
About Gujarat:
♦ Capital- Gandhinagar.
♦ Chief Minister- Vijay Rupani.
♦ Governor- Acharya Dev Vrat.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Hima Das appointed  as brand ambassador for Gatorade by PepsiCo India
On September 12, 2019 sprinter Hima Das(19yrs) from Assam was appointed as the ambassador of sports drink brand Gatorade India which is a subsidiary of PepsiCo India. Hima, nicknamed as Dhing express, joins shuttler P.V Sindhu and javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra as brand ambassadors in the country.Hima Das appointed as brand ambassador for GatoradeKey points
i. Hima das was honoured with Arjuna award in 2018 by the president Shri Ram NathKovind after her performance in the 2018 Asian Games by winning gold in Women’s 4x400m and silver medals in mixed 4x400m and 400m individual event.

SPORTS

Australian cricketer Megan Schutt becomes 1st woman to claim 2 white-ball hat-tricks against WI in Antigua
On September 12, 2019 Australian fast bowler Megan Schutt created record by becoming the first woman to have two hat tricks in white ball cricket in third One Day International (ODI) matches against West Indies at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua, Barbuda. She also became the first Australian woman to claim a hat trick in ODI
Key points
i. Schutt took her first hat trick in a T20(Twenty-twenty) game against India at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai in March 2018.

OBITUARY

Former Indonesian president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie passes away
Former Indonesian President Bacharuddin Jusuf (B.J.) Habibie, who permitted democratic reforms and an independence referendum for East Timor following the ouster of the dictator Suharto, has passed away due to cardiac problem. He was 83.

Former Indonesian president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibiei. Born on 25 June 1936, Parepare, Indonesia, Habibie succeeded Suharto(who had ruled Indonesia for 32 years) as Indonesia’s third president from 1998 to 1999. He held power for just 16 months.
ii. An engineer by training, Habibie spent nearly two decades working for aerospace manufacturer Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm ,Germany.
iii. He promised an early election, repealed some legislation, and ordered the release of political prisoners.
iv. He also eased discriminatory policies against ethnic Chinese, including lifting a three-decade-old ban on the speaking and teaching of Mandarin and use of Chinese names.

IMPORTANT DAYS

United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation was observed on September 12, 2019
The International Day for South-South Cooperation was observed on 12 September 2019 by United Nations (UN) aims to raise awareness of the UN’s efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries. The day also celebrates the political, social and economical developments made by regions and countries in the south in recent years.
i. The theme for the year 2019 is “South-South Cooperation is From Commitment to Action — Follow up to Buenos Aires Plan of Action+40”. The theme focuses on Promoting and implementing the commitments adopted in the Second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 20 to 22, 2019…………………..Click here to Read more

National forest martyrs day observed on September 11, 2019 at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand
To commemorate foresters who had laid their lives to protect nature and wildlife in the remote corners of the country, National Forest Martyrs’ Day was observed on September 11, 2019, at Forester Memorial in the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
Key points:
i. Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education Director Dr. SC Gairola and senior forest officials, scientists and employees of ICFRE (Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education) and FRI were present on the occasion to paid tributes to all men & women who have given the ultimate sacrifice for forests and wildlife in India.
ii. A total of 1,400 forest personnel have been martyred while protecting the country’s forest wealth and wildlife.
iii. On September 11, 1730, more than 360 people of the Bishnoi tribe were killed in Khejarli (now in Rajasthan) because they had disagreed to felling of Khejri trees by the king of Jodhpur.

STATE NEWS

Overview of TN CM Palaniswami’s visit to three-nation tour to the US, UK and UAE
The Chief Minister(CM) of Tamil Nadu (TN) KPalaniswami paid a three nation tour of 14 days to the United States(US), United Kingdom (UK) and United Arab Emirates(UAE) from August 28- September 10 2019 to attract investment in the state. The tour has fetched total investment worth Rs 8,830 crore from 41 Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) signed with the three nations and could provide job opportunities to 37500 people of TN. This is the first trip abroad travel by an active Chief Minister. It was 18 member delegation.
i. 16 MoUs worth Rs 2780 crores were signed in the investors meet that was held in New York. Mr. Palaniswamy launched a website for attracting more investments, where interested investors can offer suggestions based on investment.
ii. The round table conference, Business Leaders Forum(BLF) was hosted by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy, the Indian Embassy to the UAE, Consulate General of India in Dubai and India Trade and Exhibition Centre……………….Click here to Read more

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