Current Affairs September 15 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

15th  Indo-US Economic Summit 2019 under the aegis of Indo-American Chamber of Commerce- North India Council (IACC-NIC) held in New Delhi
On September 13, 2019, 15th Indo-US (United States) Economic Summit 2019 organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce- North India Council (IACC- NIC) held in Hotel Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. Defence minister Shri Rajnath Singh was the chief guest of the summit.15th Indo-US Economic Summit 2019World Bank to provide Rs 3,000 crore aid for food parks
Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Rameswar Teli stated that the World Bank has approved to sanction Rs 3,000 crore to grant mini and mega food parks across India, particularly in Northeast so that processing of grains produced by farmers is done optimally, and help promote farmers’ income.
i. He also suggested India Inc to set up food processing units in India in which the element of subsidies go to an extent of 75 %.
ii. In a bid to boost the food processing sector, the budget outlay will be increased to Rs 3,000 crore a year from  Rs 1,400 crore.
iii. Nitin Puri, Yes Bank Senior President (Global Head Food and Agri Strategic Advisory and Research), Jagmohan Singh, Frick India Managing Director and Mark Wallace , US(United States) Embassy official were present at the summit.

BANKING & FINANCE

NPCI reduced merchant discount rate on RuPay Debit Card to 0.60 % on transactions above Rs 2,000
An umbrella organization for operating retail payments and settlement systems, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has rationalized merchant discount rate (MDR) on transactions with RuPay debit cards. The new rate will be effective from 20 October 2019.
key points:
i. MDR has been revised to 0.60 percent on transactions above Rs 2,000. There will be a maximum of Rs 150 per transaction. Currently, MDR of 0.90 percent is charged on transactions above Rs 2,000. The maximum limit was fixed at Rs 1,000 per transaction.
ii. Bharat QR (Quick Response) i.e. card-based QR transactions has been reduced MDR to 0. 50 percent  and the maximum MDR will be Rs 150 per transaction.
iii. This rebate given on debit card transactions will be applicable to all types of Point of Sale (POS). Apart from this, the new rate will also be applicable on Ecom and BharatQR code based merchant transactions.
iv. The lowering the MDR rate and lowering the cap would now encourage businesses to deal with debit cards.
v. MDR: It is the is the rate charged to a merchant for payment processing services on debit and credit card transactions.
About NPCI:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 2008
♦ MD and CEO: Dilip Asbe

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Overview of union minister of finance & corporate affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman’s presentation on measures to boost economic growth
On September 14, 2019, Union minister of finance & corporate affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman made another presentation on the measures to boost economic growth. Earlier the announcements were made on August 23 and 30, 2019 regarding the series of measures to enhance economic growth of India.

  • A mega shopping festival similar to the world-famous Dubai Shopping Festival, will be conducted at 4 places in India in March 2020 on themes of gems and jewellery, handicraft/yoga/tourism, textiles and leather.
  • FTA Utilisation Mission, headed by a Senior officer in the Department of Commerce, will be set up to work exclusively with Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and export houses and to utilise concessional tariffs in each FTA.
  • An Online “Origin Management System” for exporters to enable them to obtain Certificates of Origin – CoO (under Rules of Origin) will be launched in the next few weeks by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in collaboration with Exports Inspection Council (EIC)…………………….Click here to Read more

The US becomes the world’s top oil exporter surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia
The International Energy Agency (IEA) notified that the United States (US) became the top oil exporter in the world by overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia. In June 2019, crude exports grew above 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in the US.US becomes the world’s top oil exporterKey Points:
i. IEA has estimated the growth in global oil demand in 2019 at 1.1 million bpd and 1.3 million bpd for 2020.
ii. Non- Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production growth will grow to 2.3 million bpd in 2020, up 400,000 from 2019.
iii. The demand for OPEC crude is set to reach 28.3 million bpd in the first half of 2020.
About IEA:
 Established: November 1974
 Headquarters: Paris, France

Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan to head expert panel to examine non-personal data regulation
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) has framed an 8-membered high-level panel headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan to study issues related to non-personal data and suggest the ways to regulate non-personal data.Kris Gopalakrishnan to head expert panel to examine non-personal data regulationKey points:
i. The taskforce of the panel is to have a separate and independent consultation on non-personal data, and decide the contours regulation of personal data, whether as guidelines, rules, or a separate policy.
ii.  IT (Information Technology )Ministry asked a group seeking clarifications on some points on the regulation on community, anonymous or e-commerce data and case for mandating free access to such data. The draft Data Protection Bill 2019, submitted by the Justice Srikrishna Committee on 18 July 2018, is yet to be tabled in Parliament.
iii. Additional / joint secretary of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, National Association of Software and Services Companies President Debjani Ghosh, National Informatics Centre Director General Neeta Verma, Avanti Finance Chief Technology Officer(CTO) Lalitesh Katragadda, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi Professor Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, IT for Change member Parminder Singh and Joint Secretary MeitY Gopalakrishnan S are the other members of the high level committee.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

23rd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly for 2019 held in Saint Petersburg, Russia
The 23rd session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) General Assembly for 2019 was held in Saint PetersburgRussia from September 9-13, 2019. UNWTO is the leading international organization in the field of tourism.
i. The 15th edition of the UNWTO Awards marked the launch of the Accessible Tourism Destinations (ATD) initiative, organized by UNWTO in partnership with the Spanish NGO ONCE.
ii. India’s ‘Yogi of the Racetrack’, a short promotional film on Yoga produced by the Union Ministry of Tourism, was conferred ‘Best Video’ award 2019 for the Asia & Pacific Region………………………..Click here to Read more

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Overview of Key Parliamentary Panels and their heads
The Central government has announced the constitution of various parliamentary panels and standing committees for the newly constituted 17th Lok Sabha.
The complete list is as follows:

S.NoPanel NameHeadKey members
1Home AffairsAmit Shah.Anand Sharma, Sarmistha Sethi, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal
2Financial AffairsJayant SinhaPinaki Mishra, Amar Patnaik, Digvijaya Singh
3Defence 

Jual Oram

Rahul Gandhi, Nitish Ganga Deb, Rajashree Mallick, Sanjay raut,Abhishek manu singhvi,Prem chand gupta
4External affairsP P ChoudharyAchyuta Samanta, P Chidambaram, Jaya Bachchan
5Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.Bhupender YadavSuresh Pujari
6Coal and SteelRakesh SinghBasanta Panda, Prashanta Nanda
7Petroleum &Natural GasRamesh BidhuriChandra Sekhar Sahu , Ahmed patel
8 Social Justice and EmpowermentRama DeviMenaka Gandhi, Hans raj,Supriya sule
9Human Resource DevelopmentSatynarayan JatiyaChandrani Murmu, Sasmit Patra
10IndustryK Keshava Rao
11Urban DevelopmentJagadambika PalAparajita Sarangi,Gautam gambir, Hema malini,MJ akbar
12Water ResourcesSanjay Jaiswal
13CommerceV Vijayasai ReddyManjulata Mandal
14LabourBhartruhari MehtabVarun Gandhi
15EnergyRajiv Ranjan
16Rural DevelopmentPrataprao Jadhav
17Chemicals and FertiliserM KanimozhiBishweswar Tudu, Ranjib Biswal
18RailwaysRadha Mohan SinghSangeeta Kumari Singh Deo, Anubhav Mohanty,Farooqabdullah, Pragya Sigh Takur
18AgricultureP C GaddigoudarRam kirpal yadav,Afzal ansari,Mulayam singh yadav
19Transport, Tourism and CultureT G VenkateshRamesh Majhi and Prasanna Acharya, Sumalatha Ambareesh
20Food Consumer Affairs and PDS.Sudhip BandhyopadhyayPramila Bisoyi, Saptagiri Ulaka, MC mary kom, Bhagawant mann
21Science and Technology and Environment and ForestsJairam RameshN Bhaskar Rao and Ashwini Vaishnav

SPORTS

India won ACC U-19 Asia Cup 2019 by beating Bangladesh 
On September 14, 2019, India won ACC (Asian Cricket Council) Under-19 Asia Cup 2019 by beating Bangladesh for 5 runs. The final was held at R. Premadasa International Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka.This was India’s seventh triumph in the continental tournament for junior cricketers.India won ACC U-19 Asia Cup 2019Key Points:
i. India had scored 106 runs in 32.4 overs while Bangladesh was all out at 33 overs scoring only 101 runs

  • Player of the match award – India’s left-arm spinner Atharva Ankolekar, aged 18, took 5 wickets for 28 runs from 8 overs.
  • Player of the series honour – Arjun Azad of India, for scoring 202 runs in four games this tournament.

India to host 2020 FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup from Nov 2-21, 2020
The biennial international women’s youth football championship, 2020 FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup, will be held in India from November 2-21, 2020. It will be the 7th edition and India will host the FIFA women’s football tournament for the first time. In the football tournament,  16 national teams of the member associations of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) are expected to participate.India to host 2020 FIFA Women’s U-17 World CupKey Points:
i. The age group showpiece event of the FIFA will be held in 4 cities of India.
ii. The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha is provisionally confirmed as a venue. But it is awaiting for the approval from FIFA. Kolkata, Navi Mumbai, Panaji and Ahmedabad are competing for the other three host cities.
iii. Spain is the defending champion (2018).
iv. India had hosted the men’s U-17 World Cup in 2017.
v. FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was first held in 2008 in New Zealand.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

Venkaiah Naidu releases the book ‘Rethinking Good Governance’ authored by the former CAG Vinod Rai in New Delhi
On September 13, 2019, The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has released the book entitled ‘Rethinking Good Governance’ penned by former Comptroller Auditor General (CAG), Vinod Rai in New Delhi. The book has been published by Rupa Publications.'Rethinking Good Governance' authored by the former CAG Vinod RaiKey points:
i. While addressing the launching event, the vice president expressed worrisome over the high pendency of cases for over 25 years in various courts in India & also called for the extension of Supreme Court (SC), increasing the retirement age of High Court judges, the establishment of more benches in different parts in India. There is also a need to improve the management of court and infrastructure facilities.
ii. As suggested by the Law Commission, he stated the need for expansion of the Supreme Court (SC) into a Constitution Bench at Delhi and Cassation benches in 4 regions ( Delhi, Chennai or Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai).
iii. He also pointed out 3 main functions of legislatures (legislative, deliberative accountability) & asked political leaders to adopt a code of conduct for their legislators and contribute to policymaking through informed decisions and choose candidates carefully based upon their capacity, calibre, and good conduct.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Engineers Day 2019 observed on September 15
52nd Engineers Day was celebrated in India on September 15, 2019 under the theme “Engineering for change”. It was also celebrated in SriLanka and Tanzania while others countries celebrate this day on other dates. The day was first observed in 1967. On this ocassion, The Union Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, awarded Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman, Railway Board with Eminent Engineers Award.Engineers Day 2019Key Points:
i. The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of the greatest Indian engineer Bharat Ratna (1955) Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (Sir MV)who was born on 15 September 1861 in Muddenahalli village in the erstwhile Mysore State. (Now Karnataka)
ii. He was the chief engineer for the construction of the Krishna Raja Sagar dam on Kaveri river in Mysuru, Karnataka and chief engineer of flood protection system for the city of Hyderabad, Telangana.
iii. He was a great Indian engineer, scholar, statesman, and the 19th Diwan of Mysore from 1912 to 1918 and was famously known as the Father of Modern Mysore & Father of Engineers in India.

International Day of Democracy 2019 observed on September 15
The International Day of Democracy was observed on September 15, 2019 under the theme ‘Participation’. The day emphasizes to provide an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world and raises awareness about democracy.International Day of Democracy 2019Key Points:
i. The day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in November 2007 and it was first celebrated in 2008by marking the 20th anniversary of the First International Conference of New or Restored Democracies.
ii. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development addresses democracy in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
About UNGA:
 Headquarters: New York, US
 President: María Fernanda Espinosa (73rd session), Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande (designated for the 74th session-Sept 2019)

STATE NEWS

Meenakshi Madan Rai takes charge as acting CJ of the Sikkim HC
On September 14, 2019, The central government has appointed Justice Meenakshi Madan Rai, senior-most Judge of the Sikkim High Court, as the acting Chief Justice of the high court by replacing Justice Vijai Kumar Bist, who set to retire on September 16, 2019. The appointment has been made by exercising the powers conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India.

Key points:
i. After earning her LLB (Bachelor of Laws) degree from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University in 1989, Rai enrolled as an advocate in Delhi in the year 1990.
ii. In December 1990, Rai was chosen as a Judicial Magistrate 1st Class in Gangtok, Sikkim(the 1st woman to hold the post of Sikkim) & in 2000 she was promoted to the position of Chief Judicial Magistrate cum Civil Judge.
iii. In 2004, she promoted to become a District & Sessions Judge, and then later appointed as Registrar of the High Court that same year.
iv. Chief justice: The chief justice is the presiding member of a supreme court in any of many countries with a justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, the Supreme Court of Canada, and provincial or state supreme courts/high courts. As primary duties, the chief justice presides over oral arguments before the Supreme Court and sets the agenda for the court’s meetings.

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