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COP 14 of UNCCD held at the India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, Delhi
The 12-day, 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was held at the India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida, Delhi NCR, India from September 2-13, 2019 under the theme “Investing in Land, Unlocking Opportunities”. It was for the first time, India had hosted the conference.
- With the provisions of New Delhi Declaration which was adopted at COP 14 UNCCD, India pledged to convert degraded land of nearly 50 lakh hectares to fertile land in the next 10 years i.e by 2030.
- Researchers at UNCCD COP 14 informed that 3 species of animals – the Indian cheetah, pink-headed duck, and the Great Indian Bustard have become extinct due to desertification in India and many more are on the verge of becoming extinct.
- Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda launched the biggest Tribal movement to promote tribal enterprise through Bamboonomics for combating desertification and climate change at “The Indian Perspective through Bamboonomics” session at ‘COP 14 UNCCD: TRIFED-GIZ’ organized at Greater Noida Expo.
- The outcome of the COP 14 of UNCCD was the ‘New Delhi Declaration’, which lays down measures to combat desertification was released……………….Click here to Read more
Ravi Shankar Prasad launches India’s first Maritime Communication Services and CEIR system in India
On September 13, 2019, Nelco, a security service provider company of the TATA group, announced the launch of maritime communication services. By this launch, Nelco became the first Indian company to provide broadband services in maritime sector.
i. This communication service that provides uninterrupted Broadband internet to any maritime vessel sailing in Indian waters was launched by Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad in Mumbai along with pilot launch of Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) system to track stolen mobile phones.
ii. For this maritime communication service, Nelco has partnered with Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) for transponder capacity(wireless communication device capacity that responds to signals) and other partners globally………………………Click here to Read more
In October 2019, the Indian army will conduct a large war exercise near china border named ‘HimVijay’
The Indian Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) will jointly engage to conduct a large war exercise code-named ‘HimVijay’ in October 2019 along the china border near Arunachal Pradesh. This would be the 1st and biggest ever war game done by the strike corps in the eastern region. For the first time, 17 Mountain Corps will be involved, over 2500 soldiers will participate in it.
i. The Indian Army will deploy state-of-the-art American weapons. These include the M777 ultralight howitzers, including Chinook heavy-lift helicopters. Chinook heavy-lift helicopters were inducted into the Indian Air Force at Chandigarh Airbase on 25 March 2019.
ii. The purpose of the exercise is to test the capabilities of war in the northeast…………………….Click here to Read more
Rs 2,000 crore acquisition proposals approved by DAC, under ‘Make in India’ initiative
On September 13, 2019 the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the ministry of defence chaired by Shri Rajnath Singh (defence minister) has approved proposals for procurement, for the India armed forces Services, worth Rs 2000 crore as part of the “Make in India” initiative.
i. Proposals: Some of the acquisition proposals are
- Indigenous production of 125mm Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) ammunition for 2414 no. of T-72 and 2011 no. of T-90 tanks.
- Procurement of Mechanical Mine Layer (Self Propelled) developed and manufactured by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to improve automated minelaying capability.
ii. Previous proposal: The Indian army is already in the process of buying 464 T-90MS Main Battle Tanks from Russia worth Rs 13,448 crore to arm 10 armoured regiments.
iii. T-90MS tanks: The tanks which are a most lethal variety of the tanks will be assembled Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi, Chennai from semi-knocked-down (SKD) kits from Russian tank manufacturer Uralvagonzavod.
About Make in India:
♦ Launched- 25 September2014.
♦ Objective- Job creation and skill enhancement in 25 sectors of the economy to make India a global manufacturing hub.
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot launched India’s first ‘Jan Soochna Portal’ RAJIV campaign
On September 13, 2019 the Chief Minister(CM) Shri Ashok Gehlot, of the govt. of Rajasthan has launched a portal called ‘Jan Soochna Portal‘ under the Rajasthan Innovation Vision (RAJIV) campaign that was started to commemorate former Prime minister(PM) Rajiv Gandhi’s 75th anniversary. This portal designed by the information and technology(IT) department, is a first of its kind in India to provide access to information about govt. departments in a single platform. This portal will provide people to seek the Right to Information(RTI) with transparency and accountability.Key points
Portal detail: The portal provides information of 13 departments in a single platform under Section 4 (2) of the RTI act 2005. This act provides voluntary disclosure of information from different authorities and government departments.
- Sachin Pilot- Deputy CM of Rajasthan.
- Renata LokDessallien– UN(United Nations) resident coordinator.
- Rajasthan chief secretary- D B Gupta.
- Aruna Roy- Social activist.
- AP Shah- former Chief Justice(CJ) of Delhi High Court and other officials were present.
♦ Capital- Jaipur.
♦ Governor- Kalraj Mishra.
♦ Official languages- Hindi, English.
♦ Rajasthan is the largest state in India. It is called the land of kings and has Aravalli range, the oldest mountain range of India.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI panel chaired by Mahesh Kumar Jain suggests to set up of a federal body like GST council for the agriculture sector
On September 13, 2019, The RBI (Reserve Bank of India) panel has suggested creating an institution like the GST (Goods and Services Tax ) Council to implement reforms in the agricultural sector. It was also recommended to transfer subsidy directly to the account and avoid debt waiver.
i. The panel stated that subsidy on interest subvention or agricultural credit should be converted into direct benefit transfer (DBT) like LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) and fertilizer with an overall limit of Rs 3 lakh per individual farmer through Kisan Credit Card (KCC) mode.
ii. Banks should increase credit supply for agricultural activities and give consumption loans to farmers up to Rs 1 lakh
iii. The Reserve Bank of India has created the Internal Working Group (IWG) to Review Agricultural Credit chaired by Mahesh kumar Jain on February 13, 2019.
other member of the panel include , Ashok gulati, surekha marandi, Amalorpavanathan, Rajiv ranjan, J.P.Sharma, Sonalai sen Gupta……………………Click here to Read more
RBI proposes new rule to set up Rs 200 crore minimum capital for SFB under ‘on tap’ license regime
On September 13, 2019 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has framed new guidelines in licensing Small Finance Banks(SFB) under ‘On-tap’ regime in order to make more participants in the finance banking section. The new guideline is thatthe SFBs should have Rs. 200 crores minimum capital within 5 years of its operation. They (SFB) should initially have at least Rs.100 crores for start of operation however it should make it to Rs. 200 crores capital within 5 years.
i.On- tap licencing: It is a time-efficient feature that will allow eligible parties to obtain license on-demand basis and without the need to wait. RBI allows license to the applicants throughout the year.
ii. Revised guidelines:
- Promoters of payment banks can hold 40% stake in an SFB for a lock-in-period of 5 years. This can be brought down to a maximum of 30% within 10 years and then to a maximum of 15% in the 15 years.
- CAR: The proposed CAR is to be maintained at 15%…………………….Click here to Read more
RBI reduces the risk weight on consumer credit required by banks from 125 % to 100 %
On September 12, 2019, The country’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut the risk weight of consumer credit, including personal loans from 125 % to 100 %.
Now banks will be able to give more loans to customers for purchasing consumer products such as mobile phones, home appliances, two-wheelers, and three-wheelers.
i. This will reduce the cost of banks on personal loans, consumer loans and they can reduce the interest rates for them. However, this exemption has not been given in the case of credit cards.
ii. Risk weight is actually the capital that banks have to keep separately in the provision that if the loan is default then it will not be difficult. For all loans considered unsecured like personal loans, credit cards, till now there was a provision to keep a risk weight of at least 125 %.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935
RBI increases loan exposure limit of banks to a single NBFC (excluding gold loan companies) from 15% to 20%
On September 13, 2019, As announced in the Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies dated August 7, 2019 on ‘Harmonisation of single counterparty exposure limit for banks’ exposures to a single NBFC with general single counterparty exposure limit’, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made amendments in the Large Exposures Framework (LEF). It has increased the bank’s loan exposure limit to a single NBFC (non-banking financial company) to 20% from 15% of its eligible capital base. However, this is not applicable to gold loan companies.
i. Whereas, the general single counterparty exposure limit is 20%, which can be extended to 25 % by banks’ Boards under unusual circumstances.
ii. The decision will help boost credit supply to the crisis-ridden banking sector.
iii. The liquidity crunch in the NBFC sector has hit hard the retail loan segment in India leading to decline in consumer sector lending.
It is a financial institution that does not have a full banking license or is not supervised by a national or international banking regulatory agency. It facilitates bank-related financial services, such as investment, risk pooling, contractual savings, and market brokering. They are not providing the cheque book nor saving account and current account. It only takes fixed deposit or time deposits.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
IMF cuts India’s GDP growth to 7% from 7.3% for FY20
On September 13, 2019 the International Monetary Fund(IMF) has reduced the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth rate of India to 7% from its previous estimate of 7.3% which is much weaker than expected by IMF. This rate cut is attributed to uncertainty in corporate and environmental regulatory in some Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC).Key points
i. This economic growth rate is expected to rise to 7.2 % FY21, which is also a downgraded projected growth rate of 7.5 in the earlier report.
♦ Formed- 27 December 1945, after Brettonwood conference in 1994.
♦ Headquarters- Washington, D.C. (United States(US))
♦ Chief economist- Gita Gopinath.
♦ Director- Christine Lagarde
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
17 Indian peacekeepers deployed with the UNMISS felicitated with UN Service Medals
17 Indian peacekeepers who were deployed in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for over a year were felicitated with UN Service Medals by the United Nations (UN) in recognition of their UN Peacekeeping service to the people of South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, as UN Police officers. Among the 17 peacekeepers, 5 were women police officers.
i. They were awarded the medals at a special ceremony held at a medal parade in the United Nations Mission in Juba, South Sudan on September 10, 2019.
ii. The officers performed the duties like protecting displaced civilians, community policing and administrative and operational duties and capacity building of local authorities.
iii. The women officers who were honoured for upholding the UN mandate of protection of civilians in South Sudan were Reena Yadav, Inspector, Chandigarh Police; Gopika Jahagirdar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Maharashtra Police; Bharati Samantray, DSP in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA); Ragini Kumari, Inspector in the MHA and Kamal Shekhawat, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Rajasthan Police.
iv. Indian Army officer Lieutenant General Shailesh Sadashiv Tinaikar is the Force Commander of UNMISS.
India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping missions:
India is among the largest troop contributing countries in the world to UN peacekeeping missions. It is the second highest troop contributor to the UNMISS, with 2,337 troops deployed with the mission (as on March 2019) and contributes 22 police personnel to the UNMISS.
♦ Formed: July 9, 2011
♦ Headquarters: Juba, South Sudan
♦ Head: David Shearer
UNESCO to translate and publish an anthology of Guru Nanak Dev’s writings in world languages on his 550th birth anniversary
Ministry of Culture of the union government notified that in commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will translate and publish an anthology of Guru Nanak Dev’s writings in different major languages of the world.
i. Construction of Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district in Punjab to the international border, the development of the historic town of Sultanpur Lodhi as a heritage town on the smart city principle, the upgradation of Sultanpur Lodhi railway station and release of commemorative coins and postage stamps are the other events and initiated projects to mark the anniversary.
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France
♦ Director General: Audrey Azoulay
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Indian officer Abhijit Guha to lead UN’s peace mission in Yemen
United Nations(UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed former Indian Army Lieutenant General (retired) Abhijit Guha to lead UN mission in the port city of Hodeida, Yemen. Apart from leading the UN Mission in support of the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), Guha will also hold the post of Chairman of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) that is tasked with redeploying forces of the Yemeni warring parties in accordance with their agreement. Key points:
i. Abhijit will replace Lieutenant General Michael Lollesgaard, who served as RCC president and UNMHA chief from 31 January to 31 July 2019.
ii. Abhijit, who has 39 years of national and international military experience, worked as an ‘Expert Panel on Technology and Innovation in UN Peacekeeping’ in 2014 after retiring from the Indian Army in 2013. He then served in the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations in 2015. Guha also served as the military supervisor for the UN’s Transitional Authority in Cambodia from 1992 to 1993.
iii. He also worked as deputy military adviser and then military adviser in the United Nations Department of Peace Operations from 2009 – 2013.
♦ Founded: 24 October 1945
♦ Headquarters: New York, United States
♦ It is an intergovernmental organization tasked with maintaining international peace and security, promoting friendly relations among nations, achieving international co-operation, and being a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
First-ever arrested landing of LCA Tejas successfully executed by DRDO, ADA
On September 13, 2019 the first-ever arrested landing of the Light Combat Aircraft(LCA) Tejas was successfully executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) and Aeronautical Development agency(ADO) of DRDO at INS Hansa, Goa at a shore based facility centre. This achievement would pave way to take up aircraft carrier landing demonstration on Indian Naval Aircraft Carrier, INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vikramaditya.Key points
i. LCA(navy): It is the naval version of Tejas after it was developed for Indian Air Force(IAF). The arrested landing of the naval version of the LCA would be test on INS vikramaditya. INS vikrant which is also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 1(IAC-1) will be delivered to the Indian Navy(IN) in 2021 and would also feature LCA on its board.
ii. Flight test team: Commander JA Maolankar (Chief Test Pilot), Captain Shivnath Dahiya, Landing Safety Officer(LSO) and Commander J D Raturi (Test Director) successfully executed the arrested landing after years of flight testing and 4 dedicated campaign tests.
iii. Makers involved: ADA, DRDO, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-Air Research and Development Command(HAL-ARDC), CSIR(Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) labs.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Minister responsible- Rajnath Singh (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh).
♦ Chairman- G.Satheesh Reddy.
Ranveer Duggal, aged 15 from Chandigarh, clinched bronze medal in IBSF World U-16 Snooker Championship 2019 in Tyumen, Russia
In the International Billiards Snooker Federation’s (IBSF) World Under-16 Snooker Championship 2019 held in Tyumen, Russia, Ranveer Duggal, aged 15 from Chandigarh, clinched bronze medal. He is a student of IX standard at St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, Chandigarh.i. He was the youngest player at the age of 6 to play in national pool championship in Ludhiana, Punjab in 2011.
ii. He was also trained by his grandfather Rakesh Duggal and he is the son of Late Sandeep Duggal, a former national champion.
25th Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships for 2019 held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The 25th Edition of Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships for 2019 was held at Buyant Ukhaa Sport Complex in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from September 2-7, 2019. It was organized by the Mongolian Table Tennis Association under the authority of Asian Table Tennis Union (ATTU). Indian team clinched 2 silver medals.
i. New Delhi’s Payas Jain lost to top seed and World No. 1 Yuanyu Chen of China by 4-0 in the finals and settled for silver. With this achievement, he made it into the Asian squad which will participate in the World Cadet Challenge at Wladyslawowo, Poland in October 2019.
ii. The Indian boys team settled for a silver medal after losing the final 0-3 to top seed China. With this, they qualified for the World Junior Championships to be held at Korat, Thailand in November 2019.
iii. India’s Raegan Alburquerque lost to Xu Yingbin, Manush Shah lost to Xiang Peng and Anukram Jain lost to Liu Yebo.
♦ Founded: May 7, 1972
♦ Headquarters: Beijing, China
Australian cricketer Steve Smith breaks world record, making 10th straight 50+ score against England at The oval stadium, London
Australian international cricketer and former captain of the Australian national team Steve Smith created a world record by scoring 10 consecutive half-centuries against England. He broke the record of most 50 plus runs in a row against a single nation on the second day of 5th Ashes Test at the Oval Stadium, London, United Kingdom(UK). The previous record was held by Pakistan cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq, who had hit 9 straight 50-plus scores against England from 2001 to 2006.
Former bureaucrat BN Yugandhar, father of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, passes away in Hyderabad, Telangana
Microsoft’s chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadela’s father and former bureaucrat BN Yugandhar has passed away in Hyderabad, Telangana after a brief illness. He was 82.i. Yugandhar, a 1962 batch Indian Administration Service (IAS) officer, worked as Secretary in the Union Rural Development Ministry.
ii. As a member of the Planning Commission (now NITI Aayog(National Institute for Transforming India)) from 2004 – 2009, he played an important role in including the entire chapter on matters related to disability issues included in the Plan.
iii. Yugandhar acted as the director of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. Apart from this, he has also worked in Prime Minister’s Office during the tenure of the late PV Narsimha Rao.
Photographer Charlie Cole, who took a picture of ‘Tank Man’ died at the age of 64
Charlie Cole, one of the photographers who took the picture of the famous Tank Man during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, has died of sepsis in Bali, Indonesia. He was 64.i. Born in 1955 in Bonham, Texas, United States (US), Cole shifted to Japan in 1980, where he worked for magazines and newspapers including Newsweek, Time and The New York Times.
ii. He was one of five photographers who photographed an unknown person wearing a white shirt with bags in both hands standing next to the line of tanks on June 5, 1989, perhaps a day after the death of thousands.
iii. In the year1990, Cole won the World Press Photo Award for his photo, which became an image of the 1989 pro-democracy protest.
Hindi Diwas observed on September 14 2019
Every year on September 14, Hindi Diwas (hindi day) is observed. This day marks the adoption of Hindi language (written in Devanagari script) as official language of the nation, under article 343 of the Indian constitution in 1949. Union home minister Shri Amit Shah presented 2019 Rajbhasha Gaurav Puraskar and Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar awards to the chiefs of various departments, Ministries and other officers for promoting the language.Key points
i .Hindi Divas Samaroh: Shri Shah, announced public program Hindi Divas Samaroh that will be launched in 2020 to promote Hindi outside Delhi and celebrate Hindi Saptah(hindi week) across the country.
ii. App launched: The home minister launched E-Saral Hindi Vakya Kosh and E-Maha Shabda Kosh Mobile App for growth of Hindi language through information and technology.
iii.Other members present: Ministers of State(MoS) for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, G.Kishan Reddy and other officials were also present.
iv. Notable persons: Some of the most notable stalwarts with whose efforts Hindi was adopted as the national language were, Beohar Rajendra Simha along with other pro-Hindi speakers including Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Kaka Kalelkar, Maithili Sharan Gupta and Seth Govind.
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat launches “Mukhya Mantri Dal Poshit Yojana” scheme in the state
On September 12 2019 the Chief Minister(CM) of UttarakhandshriTrivendra Singh Rawat has launched “MukhyaMantri Dal PoshitYojana” scheme in which ration card holders will be provided 2kg of pulses at subsidised price every month in the state.
i. Beneficiaries: This scheme would benefit 23.32 lakh ration card holders in the state.
ii. Subsided price: 2kg of chana dal (chickpeas split) would be available at subsided price of Rs. 44kg per month where its actual price is Rs 65-Rs 70 per kg in the open market.
iii. The scheme was launched as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of healthy India.
Capital- Dehradun( also largest city)
Governor- Baby Rani Maurya.
Nickname- “Devabhumi” (land of gods).
Renowned writer of Kerala Sivaraman Cheriyanad passed away at the age of 78 years
On September 12, 2019 famous Writer and author SivaramanCheriyanad passed away at the age of 78. Born in Chengannur, Kerala,in December 13, 1941, Sivaraman initially worked as a school teacher and then started to write many novels, stories, especially children’s literature. Some of his famous works include Adhyeham, Koda, Tholu, BhagavathitheruvileKattu, Puthiya Padangal, Oru Pavam Kazhutha, Engane Oro Vidditham, Asidhara, Valiyavarude Maranam Valiya Maranam, Neethipeedathile Kurudan, Vietnam Kathakal, Kattinte Niram.
i. Awards: He was honoured with Abu Dhabi Sakthi Award in 1988, A.P.Kalakkad Award(2009), Kerala Sahitya Akademi scholarship in 1990-91 for study on the writings of writer Parappuram and also received National Teachers Award in 1989.
ii. Positions held: He was the State office-bearer of the Purogamana Kala SahithyaSangam and also served as the president of the SahithyaPravarthaka Cooperative Society and vice president of the A.R. Rajaraja Varma Memorial Committee. He was an executive member of the Kerala SahityaAkademi’s Publication wing
Ayushman Bharat Haryana: Income limit raised to Rs 1.8 lakh p.a for PMJAY benefits
The Government of Haryana raised the income limit to Rs 1.8 lakh per annum (p.a) in order to claim the benefits under Ayushman Bharat- Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme. People will get a ‘Ayushman Bharat Card’.
i. The state government of Haryana will bear the cost of free treatment for families with annual income up to Rs 1.8 lakh.
ii. The people will have to get their ‘Parivaar Pahchan Patra (Family Identity Card)’. It can be made at any ‘Atal Seva Kendra’.
About Ayushman Bharat PMJAY scheme:
Under this scheme, eligible beneficiaries can get free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh at empanelled hospitals. It was launched on September 23, 2018. The union government has decided to celebrate September 23, 2019 as ‘Ayushman Bharat Divas’ and September 15-30, 2019 will be celebrated as ‘Ayushman Bharat Pakhwada’. A two-day workshop – ‘Ayushman Gyan Sangam’ will also be organised on September 29 and September 30, 2019 in New Delhi.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Chief Minister:Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Governor: Satyadev Narayan Arya
♦ National Parks: Kalesar National Park, Sultanpur National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Abubshehar WLS, Bhindawas WLS, Bir Shikargarh WLS, Chhilchila WLS, Kalesar WLS, Khaparwas WLS.
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