Current Affairs September 27 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

DRDO ink pact with Central University of Jammu to set up Kalam centre for science and technology
On September 26, 2019, The premier R&D (Research & Development) organization of India, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) to set up a processing center called “ Kalam Center for Science and Technology (KCST)” at the university for research purposes.New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the signing ceremony of an MoU between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Central University of Jammu (CUJ) for the establishment of Kalam Centre for Science and Technology (KCST) in Jammu and Kashmir; in New Delhi on Sep 26, 2019. (Photo: IANS/DPRO)Key points:
i.
The main aim of the MoU is to develop multidisciplinary basic and applied research and technology development in ‘Computational System Security and Sensor’.
ii. The ‘Kalam centre will have modern day facilities & equipment will create a pool of research scholars in these areas.
iii. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh  & Vice Chancellor of CUJ Prof Ashok Aima and Director General (Technology Management) DRDO Shri Sudhir Gupta were also present on this signing event.
About DRDO:
♦ Formed
: 1958
♦ Headquarters : New Delhi
♦ Motto: “Strength’s Origin is in Science”
♦ Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy
About CUJ:
♦ Motto
: Knowledge is Power
♦ It is a Central Government funded University, established under Central Universities Act 2009, with the vision to contribute knowledge and technology innovation to the country and the world.

21st session of FAO-WHO Coordinating Committee of Asia for 2019 held in Panaji, Goa
The 21st session of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinating Committee of Asia for 2019 was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Goa- Panaji, Goa from September 23-27, 2019. It was the second session of the Coordinating Committee in Asia, organized by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in collaboration with the WHO and FAO of the United Nations (UN).21st session of FAO-WHO Coordinating Committee of Asia for 2019Key Points:
i. The aim of the session was to identify issues and explore best practices in food safety at primary production in the region and delegates from 18 member countries participated in the session.
ii. The committee was initially elected in July 2015 and was re-elected in July 2017 by the Codex Alimentations Commission (CAC).

Dr Jitendra Singh launched CPGRAMS reforms in Department of Posts
On September 25, 2019, Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh unveiled the Centralised Public Grievances Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) reforms in Department of Posts. The event was organised by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions in New Delhi.Dr Jitendra Singh launched CPGRAMS reforms in Department of PostsKey Points:
i. The new CPGRAMS 7.0 version by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) is the platform which receives, redresses and monitors grievances from the public which can be accessed through www.pgportal.nic.in. It will cut processing time by 50% in the Department of Posts.
ii. The minister also inaugurated CPGRAMS 7.0 exhibition.
iii. Other members present: Shri K. V. Eapen, Secretary (DARPG & Pensions), Smt Meera Handa, Director General Posts, Shri V. Srinivas, Additional Secretary, DARPG and senior officers were present on the occasion.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

For the first time, Saudi Arabia to offer tourist visas
Saudi Arabia will offer tourist visas for the first time as a measure to expand its economy away from oil. As a part, it will open applications for online tourist visas to citizens of 49 countries. Enhancing tourism is a one among the targets in Vision 2030 reform programme of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. It also launched e-tourist visa during the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) in Riyadh.
About Saudi Arabia:
Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi riyal

India ranks 44th in IMDs World Digital Competitiveness Rankings 2019
On September 26, 2019 according to the latest report of the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Digital Competitiveness Rankings (WDCR) 2019, India has moved up by 4 places from 48th rank in 2018 to rank at 44th position in 2019. The list was topped by United State (US) followed by Singapore and Sweden in the second and third places respectively.IMDs World Digital Competitiveness Rankings 2019Key points
i. According to the report, India’s biggest improvement was in the technology sub-factor level, where it holds first position in telecommunications investment.
ii. Other reports: The largest leap in the overall ranking was marked by China, moving from 30th to 22nd, and Indonesia, from 62nd to 56th position.
iii. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) (8th) and the Republic of Korea (10th) were the two South Asian nations that entered the top-10 list for the first time.
iv. About the ranking: The Ranking is done based on the measure in capacity and readiness of 63 nations in adopting digital technology for economic transformation in terms of business, government etc.
v. Factors:  The evaluation was done based on 3 factors they are knowledge, technology and future readiness.
Ranks: 

Rank Country
1United States
2Singapore
3Sweden
4Denmark
5Switzerland
44India
About IMD:
♦ Established- 1990.
♦ Location-  Switzerland.

BANKING & FINANCE

PNB MetLife & Religare Health Insurance join hands to offer insurance products covering health, death and illness
On September 26, 2019, PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd, one of the leading life insurance companies in India has joined hands with Religare Health Insurance to bundle and sell the live covers of Religare comprising health, death and illness.The policy package will be offered from mid December 2019.PNB MetLife & Religare Health InsuranceKey points:
i.
With this integration, the customer of PNB MetLife will get this in a single policy.
ii. Target : PNB MetLife is targeting about 18-20% growth in 2019 (FY –fiscal year 20) & increase the number of branches to 200 from 107 within 2 years time.
It has the largest life insurance market Maharashtra, New Delhi and Karnataka & Tamil Nadu. It has the blended total premium policy of about ₹4,000 crore in its last fiscal (2018- FY 19) & in 2019 it logged ₹1,200 crore with around 18-20 % business growth.
About PNB MetLife India Insurance:
♦ Founded
: 2001
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Managing Director & CEO: Ashish Kumar Srivastava
♦ It an associate of Punjab National Bank (PNB), wherein MetLife International Holdings Inc and PNB are the shareholders to the extent of 26% and 30% respectively.
About Religare Health Insurance:
♦ Establishment
: July 2015
♦ Headquarters: Gurgaon, Haryana

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Infosys receives UN global climate action award 2019 in ‘climate neutral now’ category
On September 26, 2019, The Indian multinational corporation, Infosys Limited has won the United Nations (UN) Global Climate Action Award  2019 in the ‘Climate Neutral Now’ category for its efforts to combat climate change. It will be given this award during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile in December 2019.Infosys receives UN global climate action award 2019Key points:
i.
Infosys is the only company from India in whose name for award has been announced by UN Secretary General Antnio Guterres after the UN Climate Summit in New York convened.
ii. Through its carbon offset drive, Infosys has implemented energy efficiency proceedings and transitioned to renewable energy for all its electricity needs. Since 2008, It has decreased its per capita energy consumption by over 51 %. It has made a voluntary commitment to the United Nations to become carbon neutral in 2011.
iii. Recently, Infosys has been ranked 3rd in the list of world’s most prestigious companies for 2019 by the famous American magazine Forbes.
About Infosys:
♦ Founded
:7 July 1981
Headquarters :Bangalore, Karnataka
Chief Executive Officer(CEO) & Managing Director (MD) : Salil S. Parekh
About UN:
♦ Founded
: 24 October 1945
Headquarters :New York City

CIAL ranked as the best airport in terms of customer satisfaction for the year 2018: ACI Survey
In a survey conducted by Airport Council International (ACI), Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) at Kochi, Kerala was named as the best airport in terms of services it offered to passengers for the year 2018. It stood at the top spot in 5-15 million passenger category among the airports in the Asia-Pacific region.
Key Points:
i. The award was conferred at the 2nd annual ACI Customer Experience Global Summit held at Bali, Indonesia.
ii. The annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards by ACI ranks and awards the best airports in the world based on ASQ departure survey.
iii. ASQ is the only global airport survey based on measuring passengers’ satisfaction taken while they are at the airport.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat appointed as new Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee
The army chief general Bipin Rawat took over as the new Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) by succeeding Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa who retires on September 30, 2019.Army Chief Gen BipinRawat appointed as new ChairmanKey points
i. Rawat, could possibly be the last in the post as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will replace the present tri-service committee (COCS).
ii. The COSC comprises chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force with the senior most member as its chairperson.
About Indian Army:
♦ Motto- “Service Before Self”
♦ Founded- 1 April 1895.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.

President & CEO of eBay Devin Wenig resigns 
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of eBay Mr. Devin Wenig, aged 52, resigned from his post. The company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr. Scott Schenkel, will serve as an interim CEO of the firm.
i. Mr. Wenig had joined the firm in 2011 and appointed as CEO in 2015.President & CEO of EBay Devin Wenig resignsAbout Ebay:
Founded: September 3, 1995
Headquarters: San Jose, California, United States

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

President Ram NathKovind launched First Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System by CSIR under NMITLI in Delhi
On September 26, 2019 the President of India, Shri RamNathKovind, launched first Indigenous High Temperature Fuel Cell System developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under flagship programme named “New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI)”. This system was launched in partnership with Indian industries on the 78th foundation day of CSIR in New Delhi. A book titled “Bhatnagar Laureates 1958-2018” was also released during the function…………..Click here to Read more

Second interstellar object 2I/Borisov discovered in the solar system
According to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a second interstellar object named 2I/Borisov has been discovered in the solar system. It was discovered by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov from MARGO observatory, Crimea on August 30, 2019, which looked like a comet from a 0.65-metre telescope built on his own. The first interstellar object was 1I/Oumuamua.
Key Points:
i. It has an orbit as hyperbolic. It was formerly known as C/2019 Q4.
ii. 2I/Borisov will make its closest approach to the sun on 7 December 2019.
iii. The conclusions of the discovery has been supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Solar System Dynamics (SSD) Group.
About an interstellar object:
An interstellar object is an astronomical object- an asteroid, comet or possibly planet, but not a star or substar, that is located in interstellar space and is not gravitationally bound to a star. Interstellar space is the physical space within a galaxy beyond the influence each star has upon the encompassed plasma.

ENVIRONMENT

New species of Cat snakes found in sahyadri tiger reserve of Maharashtra, named after Tejas Thackeray
A new species of snake called Thackeray’s Cat Snake (scientific name Boiga thackeray) named after Tejas Thackeray, younger son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, has been found in Sahyadri tiger reserve in Koyna area of Satara district in Maharashtra after 125 years.
Key points:
i. Genus:  This species usually falls in the category of cat snake or cat-eyed snakes and belongs to the genus Boiga.
ii. Reason for the name:  Tejas Thackeray first observed this species in 2015 and studied its behavior in detail. He handed over the details to the Pune-based Biodiversity Conservation Foundation and helped in further research.
iii. Habitat: These snakes belonging to this genus are found all over India, but some species are found only in the Western Ghats.
iv. Description:  The new Snake is non-venomous and arboreal species (living in trees and active mostly during the night). It has tiger-like stripes on its body & a light yellow texture, dotted with black marks from its head to the mid-section & it turns pink colour towards the other half of its body. The species have unique feature of feeding eggs of Humayun’s Night Frog (Nyctibatrachushumayuni), apart from tree frogs.
v. Journal : The findings were published in the Journal of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) & the lead author of the study was Varad Giri.
About Maharashtra :
♦ Capital: Mumbai
♦ Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
♦ Chief minister: Devendra Fadnavis

SPORTS

Deepak Punia clinched top spot in UWW’s rankings- 86 kg category
Indian wrestler Deepak Punia, aged 20, clinched the top spot in the rankings released by United World Wrestling (UWW), an international federation for wrestling, in the 86 kg category with 82 points. He had recently won silver in the World Wrestling Championships 2019 held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Iran’s Hassan Aliazam Yazdanicharati was ranked second.Deepak Punia clinched top spot Key Points:
i. In the 65-kg category, Bajrang Punia lost the first spot to Russia’s Gadzhimurad Rashidov. Latter has a 9-point lead over the former.
ii. In the 57-kg category, Ravi Kumar Dahiya was ranked 5th with 39 points. In the 61-kg category, Rahul Aware was ranked 2nd.
iii.  In women’s rankings, Vinesh Phogat jumped to number two in 53kg category. Seema Bisla ranked 3rd in 50 kg category while Pooja Dhanda is ranked 5th in 59kg, two places behind compatriot Manju Kumari.
About UWW:
Motto: Welcome to the New World of Wrestling
Formation: 1912
Headquarters: Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland

OBITUARY

Owner of the Britannia & Co restaurant, Boman Rashid Kohinoor passes away in Mumbai, Maharashtra
Mr Boman Rashid Kohinoor, senior partner at the iconic Britannia & Co restaurant (Mumbai) has passed away at the Parsee General Hospital in Mumbai, Maharashtra due to cardiac arrest. He was 97.Boman Rashid Kohinoori. Boman Kohinoor’s father Rashid Kohinoor, a Zoroastrian immigrant from Iran started this restaurant in the south Mumbai, in the year 1923.
ii. Boman, who called himself “the Royal family’s fan number 1”, had taken over the responsibility of the hotel (most famous for its berry pulao, sali boti, and dhansak) after his father died in an accident.
iii. Kohinoor had met Prince William and Catherine at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in the British dynasty in 2016. This was the meeting that crossed the outline of the scheduled program.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Tourism Day observed on September 27 2019
The World Tourism Day(WTD) is celebrated annually on September 27. The theme for the year 2019 is “Tourism and jobs: a better future for all”. The host nation for this 2019 WTD is India, selected by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation(UNWTO) where the main event will be held at New Delhi. The day aims to promote social, cultural, political and economic values through tourism.
I. The vice president of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, presented National Tourism Awards for the year 2017-18 in New Delhi. A total of 76 awards under various categories were conferred. During the event tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel announced that good Samaritans awards for people who help tourists, would be conferred from 2020 onwards.
ii. Some of the most important awards won by several states are given below…………………….Click here to Read more

Award name State 
Best state awardAndhra Pradesh
Adventure tourism awardGoa and Madhya Pradesh
Best film production friendly stateUttarakhand
Best state in innovative use of Information Technology(IT)Telangana

STATE NEWS

MoS for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy launched street crime patrol van ‘prakhar’ and emergency response number ‘112’
On September 25, 2019, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri G Kishan Reddy, flagged off “Prakhar” street crime patrol vans in New Delhi in order to control crimes in the city and also launched single emergency helpline number 112 for immediate assistance. The main call centre has been set up at Shalimar Bagh in New Delhi for this purpose.
Key points
i. About helpline no: Emergency Response Support System no 112 (ERSS-112) will be a common helpline no. for all emergency services to approach police, ambulance, fire brigade, and others. A person can avail help either through a dial or through the mobile app. In a smartphone device, a panic call can be created by pressing the power button thrice to activate a panic call to Emergency Response Centre (ERC) whereby the person’s location will be identified by the police in the Police Control Room(PCR). Distress calls could also be made through social media, email, Short Message Service(SMS), etc.
ii. Prakhar vans: For now, a total of 15 Prakhar vans (Scorpio Sport Utility Vehicle(SUV)) will conduct patrolling at vulnerable spots to control crime in Delhi. This Prakhar crime control patrol was made under the ‘Safe City Project’ to curb street crime.
iii. Over the years the crime rate in Delhi has reduced by 20%. By this, Delhi has become the 19th state to have adopted ERSS-112.
About Delhi:
♦ Chief Minister- Arvind Kejriwal.
♦ Governor- Anil Baijal.
♦ Recently in August 2019, the first female Chief Minister of Delhi and former External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj passed away.

Bhopal metro of Madhya Pradesh will be named after Raja Bhoj : Kamal Nath
On September 26, 2019, Chief Minister (CM ) Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government has announced that the name of the metro of its capital Bhopal will be ‘Bhoja Metro’ after the late king Raja Bhoj. CM Kamal Nath laid the foundation stone of the Bhopal Metro Rail Project to be built at a cost of about Rs 6,941.4 crore rupees.
Key points:
i. The first phase of the metro project will be completed by the end of 2022 or early 2023. Two corridors will be built in 27.87 km (from Karond Circle to AIIMS (14.99 km) and Bhadbhada Square to Ratnagiri Tiraha (12.88 km) at an outlay of Rs 7,000 crore) in Bhopal Metro Rail Project .
ii. The Indore and Bhopal Metro Rail Project will be implemented by Madhya Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation, a joint venture company with 50:50 share of the Government of India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh. The company will act as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to complete the project.
Raja Bhoj
He was an Indian king from the Paramara dynasty. His kingdom was centered around the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh in central India, where his capital Dhara-nagara (modern Dhar) was located.
About Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Capital
: Bhopal
♦ Governor: Lalji Tandon
♦ National Parks: Kanha National Park ,Madhav National Park ,Panna National Park, Pench (Priyadarshini) National Park ,Sanjay National Park ,Satpura National Park , Van Vihar National Park.
♦ Wildlife Sanctuaries: Bagdara Wildlife Sanctuary , Bori Wildlife Sanctuary , Gandhi Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary , Ghatigaon Wildlife Sanctuary

Senior HC judge, Justice C.K. Abdul Rehim, appointed as  Acting CJ of the Kerala High Court
On September 21, 2019 according to law and justice ministry’s notification the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind has appointed senior High Court (HC) judge Justice C.K. Abdul Rehim as the acting Chief Justice(CJ) of the Kerala High Court after incumbent Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy was elevated as the Supreme Court (SC) Judge.
Key points
Abdul served as a lawyer and worked as Government Pleader and Senior government pleader during 1991-96 and 2001-2006 respectively. He was appointed as the permanent High Court judge of Kerala in 2010.
About Kerala: 
♦ Capital- Thiruvananthapuram.
♦ Chief Minister- Pinarayi Vijayan.
♦ Governor- Arif Mohammad Khan.

Justice Vineet Kothari of Rajasthan appointed  as the Acting CJ of Madras
On September 22, 2019 according to law and justice ministry’s notification the President of India, Shri Ram NathKovind has appointed Justice Vineet Kothari of Rajasthan, the senior-most judge of Madras High Court (HC), as its Acting Chief Justice (ACJ). He replaces Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani who recently resigned her post.
Key points
Vineeth was appointed as judge of Rajasthan HC in 2005 and was transferred to Karnataka in 2016 and then to Madras HC in 2018.
About HC
The ACJ is appointed by the president under article 223 of the Indian constitution.
The Calcutta High Court is the oldest high court in the country, established on 2 July 1862 in West Bengal.

Odisha unveils mascot “Tikki Mausi” to combat malnutrition among women and children
On September 26, 2019 the Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti Department of Odisha unveiled a mascot named “Tikki Mausi” in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for nutrition awareness purpose. A state-level communication strategy in partnership with UNICEF was also launched to make the public aware of nutrition in child and women for development.Odisha unveils mascot “TikkiMausiKey points
i. The mascot and the state level communication strategy was unveiled by Odisha’s Women and Child Development Minister TukuniSahu and UNICEF’s state chief Monika O Nielsen.
ii. The mascot was named as “TikkiMausi” with reference to second mother of a child.

Rupa Gurunath appointed as first woman president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association
On September 26, 2019 Rupa Gurunath was appointed as the first woman president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) at the 87th Annual General Meeting of TNCA held at Chepauk MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, TamilNadu. With this appointment she also became the first woman to head a state level cricket body in the country.Rupa Gurunath appointed as first woman presidentKey points
i. Whole-time director of India Cements, Rupa is the daughter of former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N Srinivasan and wife of Gurunath Meiyappan, who is currently serving life ban for involvement in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal.
ii. Justice K. Kannan, retired judge of Punjab and Haryana Courts, was appointed as the ombudsman and Justice M. Jeyapaul, retired judge Madras High Court, was appointed as the ethics officer during the meeting.

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