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Pakyong Airport: Sikkim’s first and nation’s 100th airport inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi
On September 24, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Sikkim and was received by Governor Ganga Prasad, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. He inaugurated Sikkim’s first airport and nation’s 100th operational airport: Pakyong Airport “New Greenfield Airport” at state capital of Gangtok in Sikkim.
i. This was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 605 crore under UDAN scheme.
ii. It will provide regional connectivity and would initially only cater to domestic flights, the first of which would begin from October 4, 2018.
iii. This will also provide international flight services connecting Sikkim with other countries like Paro in Bhutan, Kathmandu in Nepal and Dhaka in Bangladesh.
iv. The Pakyong airport is located around 60 km from the Indo-China border and about 30 km from the state capital of Gangtok.
Physical Overview of Pakyong Airport:
i. The airport has a 3,000 sq metre terminal building and has a capacity to handle 50 in-bound and as many out-bound passengers.
ii. It has a 1.75 km runway with a width of 30 metre.
i. On March 5, IAF’s Dornier-228 aircraft was tested from Pakyong.
ii. Following that, on March 10, SpiceJet conducted test runs of the 78-seater Bombardier Q400 from Kolkata to Pakyong.
♦ Capital: Gangtok.
♦ Chief Minister: Pawan Kumar Chamling.
♦ Governor: Shri Ganga Prasad.
♦ National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries: Khangchendzonga National Park, Barsey Rhododendron Wildlife Sanctuary, Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary, Shingba (Rhododendron) Wildlife Sanctuary.
♦ Sikkim was announced to be the ‘first full organic state of India’ in January 2016.
‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme launched by PM Narendra Modi in Ranchi, Jharkhand
On September 23, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ayushman Bharat in Ranchi, Jharkhand, covering 57 lakh families in the state.
He also launched a toll free no of the Ayushman Bharat scheme: 14555.
i. PMJAY-Ayushman Bharat is considered to be the biggest government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world.
ii. It will be funded with 60 per cent contribution coming from the Centre and remaining from the states.
iii. 31 states and Union territories have signed MOU with Centre to implement this scheme except: Telangana, Odisha, Delhi, Kerala and Punjab.
iv. Under this scheme, more than 1,300 ailments are covered under it, including heart diseases, kidney and liver disorders and diabetes.
v. 2,500 modern hospitals would come up in tier-II and tier-III cities and would generate employment opportunities.
vi. A total of 13,000 hospitals have become a part of the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
i. On his visit to Ranchi for this occasion, he laid the foundation stone for medical colleges at Chaibasa and Koderma.
ii. He also inaugurated 10 health and wellness centres.
As per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data, there are 8.03 crore poor, deprived rural families in rural and 2.33 crore urban workers’ families in urban areas.
About Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM):
i. Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission is a scheme that was announced by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitely while presenting the General Budget 2018-19 will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. It will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes – Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
ii. Under this scheme , Rs 1200 crore has been allotted for establishing 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres . 24 new Government Medical Colleges and Hospitals will be set up, by up-grading existing district hospitals in the country. At least 1 Medical College for every 3 Parliamentary Constituencies and at least 1 Government Medical College in each State of the country.
♦ CEO of Ayushman Bharat Yojana: Indu Bhushan.
Centenary celebrations of Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha inaugurated by President
On September 24, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha in New Delhi.
i. This emphasized India’s diversity and multiculturalism.
About Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha:
♦ It is an organization whose main goal is to improve Hindi literacy among the non-Hindi speaking people of South India.
♦ Headquarters: Chennai.
♦ Founder: M. K. Gandhi and Annie Besant.
♦ Founded: 1918.
Home Minister chaired a meeting of central Zonal Council held in Lucknow, UP
On September 24, 2018, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has chaired a meeting of the central Zonal Council in Lucknow.
i. Chief minister Yogi Adityanath was vice chairman of the council and the host.
ii. The meeting comprised of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.
iii. It addressed the common concerns of the participating states and settled cross-border concerns.
iv. Some of these issues are:
- Issue of distribution of assets between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,
- Issues related to Dams, Flow of Rivers and compensation for certain projects.
v. The previous meeting of the council was held in January 2015.
Under the State Reorganization Act, 1956, 5 Zonal Councils — central, western, northern, southern and eastern — have been established.
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath.
♦ Governor: Ram Naik.
♦ National Parks: Dudhwa National Park, Philibit Tiger Reserve , Sandi Bird Sanctuary.
♦ UNESCO Heritage Site: Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri.
Two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA) inaugurated by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, MoSPA
On September 24, 2018, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal inaugurated the two-day National Orientation workshop on National e-Vidhan Application (NeVA).
This workshop was organized by Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
i. It is a part of the e-Vishan mission on ‘One Nation One Application’ and the project cost is : Rs.739 Crore (approx.) .
ii. The mNeVA (NeVA-mobile app) is a user friendly app that provides information on conduct of business in Legislatures accessible anytime, anywhere to everyone.
iii. It is a member-centric, decentralised digital application that has the day-to-day information available in the digital platform of e-Vidhan.
iv. The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, being the Nodal Ministry for the project of e-Vidhan aims to roll out NeVA in 40 Houses including two Houses of Parliament.
v. Other features of the app are:
- List of Business (LOB), Notices,
- Bills: Introduced/ Consideration & Passing, Synopsis of Proceedings, House Proceedings,
- Committees Reports, Rules & Procedures,
- Rotation of Ministries,Contacts, BudgetPress Releases etc.
vi. This would bring transparency, accountability and responsiveness in the conduct of business of the Legislative Assembly, through the use of technology.
vii. It has been made live for Rajya sabha for the Monsoon Session of 2018 and the following State Assemblies:
Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Puducherry, Manipur .
viii. In 2014, Himachal Pradesh first agreed for a pilot project with central assistance of Rs.8.12 crores which made the Shimla Legislative Assembly the first Assembly in India to go paperless.
ix. It saved Rs.5.08 crores annually on account of expenditure on papers, printing, manpower costs
Part of Digital India programme and nodal agency is the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. It was launched to digitize and make the functioning of State Legislatures paperless.
Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Ananth Kumar.
♦ Minster of State: Shri Vijay Goel , Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal.
♦ Secretary: Shri Surendra Nath Tripathi.
AP, Odisha & Madhya Pradesh Best Performing States in “Ease of Living Index” Under Amrut
On September 24, 2018, the “Ease of Living Index” rankings were launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018 in New Delhi.
i. Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
ii. The first round of Ease of Living covered 111 cities.
iii. Gurugram was subsequently included in the assessment.
iv. Four cities of West Bengal – Howrah, New Town Kolkata, Kolkata and Durgapur did not participate in the competition.
v. Naya Raipur of Chhattisgarh and Amravati of Andhra Pradesh did not fulfill the parameters as they are green-field cities.
About Ease of Doing Business:
i. It is a measurement of the cities in the country to enable them to implement and promote evidence-based planning and action towards sustainable urbanization.
ii. In June 2017 decision to rank 116 cities (all smart cities and million plus cities) based on the liveability parameters was taken and the implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January 2018.
iii. The MoHUA released the first ever ‘Ease of Living Index’ covering 111 Indian cities on 13 August, 2018 and all cities were evaluated out of 100.
iv. The Ease of Living framework comprised four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 78 indicators across 15 categories.
v. Of the 17 SDG goals, 8 goals are directly linked to India’s ease of living assessment framework.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA):
♦ Minister of State (I/C): Shri Hardeep Singh Puri.
♦ Secretary: Shri durga Shanker Mishra.
Nepal to be world’s first country to double its tiger population
Nepal is likely to become the first country in the world to double its tiger population.
i. Nepal has announced that there are an estimated 235 wild tigers in Nepal currently. It has almost doubled from 121 tigers in 2009.
ii. If this trend continues, Nepal could become the first country to double its national tiger population.
IGI Airport 16th busiest in the world: ACI report on Airport Traffic
On September 20, 2018, according to ‘The Annual World Airport Traffic Report 2018’ by Airport Council International (ACI), Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) is the 16th busiest in the world.
i. It jumped 6 places from 22nd position in 2016.
ii. In 2017, IGI has handled 63.4 million passengers accounting for 14 per cent more passengers than in 2016.
Highlights of the report:
i. The first place was held by Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson in the US handling 103.9 million passengers in 2017, followed by Beijing with 95.8 million passengers.
ii. The other 3 consisting of the top 5 are:
Dubai International Airport handling 88.2 million passengers at third position.
Tokyo and Los Angeles dealing with 85.4 million and 84.5 million passengers stood at 4th and 5th place.
iii. Passenger traffic in advanced economies grew 5.2 per cent while in emerging economies it rose 10.3 per cent in 2017.
iv. Traffic was measured on three thematic areas: passengers, cargo (freight and mail) and aircraft movements in 2500 airports of 175 countries.
♦ Headquarters: Montreal, Canada.
♦ Director General: Angela Gittens.
♦ ACI is the trade association of the world’s airports, currently serving 641 members operating 1,953 airports across 176 countries.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI shortlisted 5 IT firms for implementation of Centralised information and Management System (CIMS)
On September 23, 2018, Reserve Bank shortlisted five IT firms for implementation of a centralised information and management system (CIMS) for data collection.
i. The 5 IT firms are: Infosys, TCS, Capgemini, IBM, Larsen & Turbo Infotech.
ii. The CIMS would consist of:
- Seamless data collection,
- System driven data validation and data review,
- Data safekeeping and storage,
- Providing data dissemination platform
- Overhauling the Data Warehouse (DW) of RBI and
Centralised analytics platform to facilitate creation of RBI Data Sciences Lab.
iii. This is in line with RBI’s decision of data science lab where the analysts from different backgrounds such as-data analytics, statistics, economics, econometrics and/or finance would work on data collection from about 130 banks/entities.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ 24th Governor: Dr. Urjit Patel.
Maha, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka account for 40 percent of retail loans: TrancUnion Cibil
On September 24, 2018, according to a new report by TransUnion Cibil, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka make up for nearly 40 per cent of all retail loans in the country.
Key Points as per the report:
i. The increase in retail balances were due to economic development and urbanization.
ii. The 3 states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka represent about 20% of the population of the country and 32 per cent of the credit active population.
iii. Overall, the 10 largest Indian states represented Rs 21.27 lakh crore in balances, which comprised almost 76 per cent of the total balance share.
iv. Out of this, Maharashtra had the highest retail balance of Rs 5.50 lakh crore, comprising of 20 per cent in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu with Rs 2.77 lakh crore and Karnataka with Rs 2.74 lakh crore.
v. The lending rose by nearly 27 per cent between the second quarters of 2017 and 2018.
vi. Loans against property was the only product category which saw increase in rates to 65 bais points.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ MD & CEO: Satish Pillai.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
BSNL signed MOU with Softbank, NTT to roll out 5G, IoT service
On September 24, 2018, BSNL has inked a pact with Japan’s Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and internet of things technology in India.
i. Under this, BSNL and Softbank will work on satellite constellation which will have around 900 satellites to provide high speed internet services.
ii. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore
BSNL has also inked pacts with Nokia and Cisco for developing 5G ecosystem.
i. Recently On September 13, 2018, NITI Aayog and BSNL inked pact under DoT for the test trials of 5G.
ii. On August 25, 2018, a 5G forum lead by Prof. AJ Paulraj submitted its report to DoT for induction of 5G by 2020.
♦ Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited was incorporated on 1st October 2000.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ CMD: Shri Anupam Shrivastava.
Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih elected as the New President of Maldives
On 24th September 2018, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was elected the new President of Maldives.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – President of Maldives:
i. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will be 6th President of Maldives. He replaces Abdulla Yameen.
ii. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is 56 years old. He belongs to the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). He is one of the founding members of MDP.
iii. He has been representing Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldivian Parliament since 1994. In 2011, he became the leader of MDP’s parliamentary group.
♦ Capital – Male
♦ Currency – Maldivian rufiyaa
♦ Official language – Maldivian
S. Mubarak appointed as next Ambassador of India to Republic of Guatemala
On September 20, 2018, B. S. Mubarak was appointed as next Ambassador of India to Republic of Guatemala.
i. Presently he is the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
ii. He would be replacing Mr. Rajeev Babu Kurup who has been the ambassador of India to Guatemala since 2015.
♦ Capital: Guatemala city.
♦ Currency: Guatemalan quetzal.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
US Scientists for first time grew miniature human oesophagus in lab with stem cells
On September 24, 2018, US scientists from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, for the first time have used stem cells to grow human oesophagus — known as the food pipe — in the laboratory.
i. They have used pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) in the process.
ii. The bio-engineered tissues grew to a length of about 300-800 micrometres in about two months.
iii. It can be used to study birth defects like esophageal atresia, the organoids can be used to study diseases like eosinophilic esophagitis and Barrett’s metaplasia.
Prithvi Defence Vehicle successfully test fired off the coast of Odisha
On September 23, 2018, a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system, Prithvi Defence Vehicle was successfully test fired from Abdul Kalam Island of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) off the coast of Odisha.
i. The Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) would engage in targets in the exo-atmosphere region, above 50 kilometres of the earth’s atmosphere.
ii. Both the PDV interceptor and the target missile were successfully engaged with the help of radar-based detection and tracking system.
iii. It was guided by high-accuracy Inertial Navigation System (INS) supported by a Redundant Micro Navigation System.
iv. The test range was earlier known as earlier known as Wheeler Island of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Defence Minister: Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
♦ Minister of State for Defence : Dr.Subhash Bhamre.
♦ Defence Secretary and Chairman of DRDO: Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy.
♦ Lakes : Chilika Lake, Kanjia Lake, Anshupa Lake, Balimela Reservoir.
♦ Dams: Rengali Dam, Kala dam, Pitamahal Dam, Kansbahal Dam, Tikhali Dam, Deras Dam, Salia Dam, Ghodahada Dam, Kuanria Dam.
France Football launches Women’s Ballon d’Or
On 24th September 2018, France Football magazine announced that, a women’s Ballon d’Or will be awarded for the first time in 2018.
i. Ballon d’Or is awarded annually for men since 1956. This is the first time it has been introduced for women. The awards will be presented on 8 December 2018 in Paris, France.
Junior World Wrestling Championship held in Trnava, Slovakia
From 17 to 23 September 2018, Junior World Wrestling Championship was held in Trnava, Slovakia.
i. India won 7 medals: 4 silver and 3 bronze in the Junior World Wrestling Championship.
ii. Indian medal winners:
|1||Silver||Naveen Sihag||Men’s Free Style 57 kg|
|2||Silver||Deepak Punia||Men’s Free Style 86 Kg|
|3||Silver||Vijay||Men’s Greco Roman 60 Kg|
|4||Silver||Sajan||Men’s Greco Roman 77 Kg|
|5||Bronze||Vijay||Men’s Greco Roman 55 Kg|
|6||Bronze||Mansi||Women’s Wrestling 57Kg|
|7||Bronze||Anshu||Women’s Wrestling 59kg|
China Open 2018 (Badminton)
From 18th to 23rd September 2018, China Open 2018 officially named Victor China Open 2018 was held in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China.
|Men’s Singles||Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Indonesia)||Kento Momota (Japan)|
|Women’s Singles||Carolina Marín (Spain)||Chen Yufei (China)|
|Men’s Doubles||Kim Astrup, Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (Denmark)||Han Chengkai, Zhou Haodong (China)|
|Women’s Doubles||Misaki Matsutomo, Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)||Mayu Matsumoto, Wakana Nagahara (Japan)|
|Mixed Doubles||Zheng Siwei, Huang Yaqiong (China)||Zhang Nan, Li Yinhui (China)|
5th Track Asia Cup (cycling) 2018 in New Delhi: India finished on top with 6 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze
On 21-23 September 2018, the 5th Track Asia Cup (cycling) 2018 was held at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome in New Delhi.
i. Track Asia Cup (cycling) 2018 event was organized by Cycling Federation of India (CFI). 12 countries participated in the event.
ii. India topped the medal tally with 6 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals. It was followed by Indonesia in 2nd place with 4 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze and Hong Kong in third spot with 4 gold and 2 bronze medals.
Indian gold medal winners:
|1||Gold||Mayuri Lute||Women’s junior 500 m|
|2||Gold||Esow, Abhishek, Jemsh Singh||Men’s junior team sprint|
|3||Gold||E Chaoba Devi||Women’s elite 3 km individual pursuit|
|4||Gold||Swasti Singh||Women’s junior 2 km individual pursuit|
|5||Gold||Esow Alben||Men’s junior 200 m sprint|
|6||Gold||Mayuri Lute||Women’s junior 200 m sprint|
About Cycling Federation of India (CFI):
♦ President – Parminder Singh Dhindsa
♦ Location – New Delhi
Former Union minister Shantaram Potdukhe passes away
On 23rd September 2018, former Union Minister and Congress leader Shantaram Potdukhe passed away following a short term illness, in Maharashtra.
i. Shantaram Potdukhe was 86 years old. He was a four-time MP (Member of Parliament) from Chandrapur in eastern Maharashtra.
ii. He was a Union minister of state for finance. He had played a major role in development of educational institutes in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts of Maharashtra.
Former BCCI president BN Dutt passes away
On 24th September 2018, former BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) president Biswanath Dutt died following an acute lung infection, at his home in Kolkata.
Death of Biswanath Dutt:
i. Biswanath Dutt was 92 years old. He was the president of BCCI from 1988 to 1990.
ii. He was also president of the Cricket Association of Bengal from 1986 to 1991. He also served as president of the Indian Football Association.
About Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI):
♦ President – C.K. Khanna
♦ CEO – Rahul Johri
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai