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India-Pakistan 3rd round of negotiations on Kartarpur Sahib corridor held in Attari, Amritsar
On September 4, 2019, The 3rd round of meeting between officials of India & Pakistan on the modalities for operationalization of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor held at Attari in Amritsar, Punjab. This is the second meeting between the two countries in the backdrop of tensions arising between India and Pakistan after the withdrawal of special state status from Jammu and Kashmir(J&K).
- Both sides signed agreement on visa-free travel of Indian pilgrims, without any restrictions. Persons of Indian origin holding OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card can also visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using Kartarpur Corridor.
- Pakistan allows 5,000 Sikhpilgrims to visit Holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor every day. While additional pilgrims (above of 5,000) can also visit on special occasions such as Gurpurab and Baisakhi, subject to capacity expansion by the side of Pakistan………………..Click here to Read more
3rd India-Australia Cyber Dialogue for the year 2019 held in New Delhi
On September 4, 2019, 3rd India-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue for the year 2019 was held in New Delhi. Shri Upender Singh Rawat, Joint Secretary in charge of e-Governance, Information Technology and Cyber Diplomacy at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs led the Indian delegation and Australian delegation was led by the Ambassador for Cyber Affairs Dr. Tobias Feakin.
i. Discussions were made on the current and emerging cyber security issues including emerging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) technologies, national approaches to cyber security policy and legislation, international issues including the respective views on the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts and Open Ended Working Group, critical technologies, and cooperation to address cybercrime………………..Click here to Read more
“National Conference on India-Africa Partnership in a Changing Global Order” addressed by vice president
On September 4, 2019 the Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu addressed the valedictory session of the national conference on 2019 ‘India-Africa Partnership in a Changing Global Order–Priorities, Prospects and Challenges’ in New Delhi organised by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
i. During the conference Shri Naidu, released two books on Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) named “Shakti Ki Manyata- Samyukta Rashtra Suraksha Parishad” written by Dilip Sinha and “Bharat Aur European Sangh: Ek Antarangik Drishtikon” by Bhaswati Mukherjee.
ii. In-order to strengthen the Indo-African relationship various initiatives like the 2004 Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement-9 (TEAM-9) initiative were started. The no. 9 denotes India and its relationship with 8 west African countries……………Click here to Read more
Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, declared Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi & Dawood Ibrahim as individual terrorists
On September 4, 2019, The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a gazette notification stating Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and Pulwama terror attack (February 14, 2019) mastermind Maulana Masood Azhar, Jamaat ud Dawa chief and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed, LeT’s chief operational commander and 26/11 attack key accused Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and United Nations (UN) designated global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim as individual terrorists under Clause (a) of Sub-section (1) of Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967. They are the first individuals to be designated as terrorists under the law.Key Points:
i. Pakistan based terrorists will be the first ones to be designated as terrorists on a priority basis. The decisions have been after Parliament approved an amendment to the UAPA Act last month, which states individuals can be declared as terrorists.
ii. They have been designated as terrorists in support with the laws in European Union (EU) countries, the United States of America (USA), China, Israel, Pakistan & Sri Lanka.
iii. MHA mentioned 5 terror cases on Azhar, 4 cases on Hafiz Saeed- Red Fort attack (2000), Rampur attack (2008), 26/11 Mumbai attack (2008) BSF (Border Security Force) convoy attack at Udhampur in Jammu & Kashmir (2015); and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in 4 cases.
iv. Dawood was designated as a global terrorist by the UN under the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1267. In addition, he is listed in al-Qaida sanction list on November 3, 2003. UNSC had also issued a special notice in his name on April 6, 2006.
Union environment ministry to draft a master plan for tigers at high altitude
On September 3, 2019, the Union environment minister Shri Prakash Javadekar (also information & broadcasting minister) decided to draft a master plan for the tigers after releasing a report on the presence of tigers in high altitude ecosystems prepared by the Global Tiger Forum (GTF).
i. The GTF report in collaboration with the government of Bhutan, India and Nepal, along with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and supported by Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), states that life at very high altitude for tigers is compatible.
♦ Formed- 1993.
♦ Member countries- Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam and the United Kingdom.
♦ Chairperson- Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji.
♦ Secretary-General – Dr. Rajesh Gopal.
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
First National Conference on Cyber Crime Investigation and Cyber Forensics held in New Delhi
The Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Rishi Kumar Shukla inaugurated the first National Conference on Cyber Crime Investigation and Cyber Forensics in New Delhi at the CBI headquarters. It was a 2-day conference held on September 4-5, 2019.Key Points:
i. It included one of the mandates of CBI which notifies to investigate crimes with inter-state & international ramifications.
ii. It aimed to create a platform and bring together investigators, lawyers, forensic experts and academia to discuss challenges related to cybercrime and ways to find solutions.
♦ Parent Crime Branch: Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
♦ Motto: Industry, Impartiality, Integrity
Food ministry announces single-use plastic bottles ban from Sep 15
On September 5, 2019 the Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Shri Ram Vilas Paswan announced the ban of single-use plastic bottles in various departments and Public Sector Units(PSU) which also includes the Food Corporation of India (FCI). The ban becomes effective from September 15 onwards.
i. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting in the ministry with all high officials from FCI, consumer affairs and food ministry and Bureau of International Standards(BIS).
Naval Quality Assurance Establishments hosted 2019 Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave in Vizag
The Naval Quality Assurance Establishments with the support of Director General Quality Assurance (DGQA), Ministry of Defence, hosted the 2019 Joint Naval Annual Quality Conclave (JNAQC) at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on September 5, 2019. The theme for 2019 is “Transformation of QA Paradigm: Opportunities and Challenges”. Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command, was the chief guest for the event.
- Dr Tessy Thomas- Distinguished Scientist and Director General (DS & DG -Aero Systems), of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- Shri R Muralidharan- Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Tata Power Strategic Engineering Division (SED).
- Cmde Siddharth Mishra (Retd)- Chief Managing Director(CMD) Bharat Dynamics Ltd(BDL).
- Rear Admiral Shekhar Mital, (Retd)- Managing Director(MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Conference & Exhibition Management Services(CEMS) India Ltd.
- Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, (Retd)- MD of Boeing India.
- Rear Admiral S Chaubey (Retd)- CMD of Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL).
- Kalidoss Srinivas- Project Director Ship Building Centre, Andhra Pradesh.
ii.Second session: The second session of the conclave on Quality Challenges of Emerging Technologies was discussed by Rear Admiral SK Nair, Assistant Chief of Materiel (ACOM-Information Technology & Systems).
QA- Quality Assurance.
About Ministry of Defence:
♦ Headquarters- New Delhi.
♦ Founded- 15 August 1947.
♦ Union Defence minister- Rajnath Singh (constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh).
♦ Minister of State- Shripad Yesso Naik (constituency- North Goa).
Overview of EAM Dr. S Jaishankar’s visit to Maldives for IOC 2019
External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar visited Male, Maldives on September 3-4, 2019 which was his first high-level bilateral visit from India to Maldives after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s State Visit on June 8-9, 2019. He also participated in the 4th edition of Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) 2019.
i. EAM Dr Jaishankar, along with his counterpart Abdulla Shahid laid the foundation stone of the new building of the Indian Embassy in Maldives.
ii. The 4th edition of Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) for 2019 was held on September 3-4, 2019 at Paradise Island Resort in Maldives with the theme “Securing the Indian Ocean Region: Traditional and Non-Traditional Challenges”. It was organised by India Foundation in association with the Government of Maldives and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore………………Click here to Read more
India ranks 34th in 2019 world travel & tourism competitiveness index, Spain tops
According to the recent Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) for the year 2019 released by the World Economic Forum(WEF) on September 4, 2019, India was ranked at the 34th spot, an improvement by 6 places from the 2017 report (40th rank). The index was topped by Spain followed by France and Germany in the second and third places respectively. Index reports
i. Categorising: a total of 140 countries were ranked based on four sub-indexes. They are
- Travel and Tourism policy enabling conditions
- Natural and cultural sources and
- Enabling environment.
ii. Japan ranked 4th overall, topped the list in the Asia-Pacific region for the most competitive travel and tourism economy, whereas Pakistan which ranks 134th place overall, was ranked at 121st place in Asia Pacific Region (South Asia) making it the least tourism competitive country.
iii. Yemen was ranked last in the index at 140th position.
iv. India still needs to improve in the enabling environment, tourist service infrastructure and environmental sustainability as it ranks 98th, 109th and 128th respectively.
|4||Japan (tops in Asia pacific Region)|
|121||Pakistan (least in South Asia region)|
|140||Yemen (overall lowest)|
Category ranking of India:
|69||Travel & Tourism policy and enabling conditions|
|105||Information and Communications Technology (ICT) readiness|
♦ Motto- Committed to improving the state of the world.
♦ Formed- January 1971.
♦ Headquarters- Cologny, Switzerland.
♦ Founder- Klaus Schwab.
India ranks 9th among the top 10 individual nations in gold reserves with US ranking 1st in the list
On September 4, 2019, the World Gold Council (WGC) released the 2019 list of gold reserves in each country. The list was topped by United States(US) with gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes followed by Germany (3,366.8 tonnes) at second place. India entered the top 10 list this year ranking at 10th spot surpassing Netherlands (612.5 tonnes) whereas it is ranked at 9th position in terms of individual countries with 618.2 tonnes, as the International Monetary Fund(IMF) ranks third (2,451.8 tonnes) in the gold reserve list.
i. India’s previous report: In the previous report of 2018 India’s gold reserve stood at 607 tonnes and also it’s gold reserve has grown from 357.8 tonnes in the first quarter of 2000 to 618.2 tonnes at present. India’s neighbouring country Pakistan stood at 45th position (64.6 tonnes) in 2019 list.
|3||International Monetary Fund(IMF)|
|10||India (overall, including IMF)|
|9||India (individual country ranking, excluding IMF)|
♦ Headquarters- United Kingdom(UK).
♦ Founded- 1987.
♦ Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- David Tait.
♦ President- David Harquail.
BANKING & FINANCE
Loans will be cheaper from October 1, 2019 as RBI makes repo-linked interest rates mandatory
The Country’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has asked banks to link all new types of floating-rate loans (home, auto loans & and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME)) to external benchmark like repo rate from October 1, 2019.
The move comes after the borrowers of industry and retail loans have been complaining that despite the reduction in the repo rate by the Reserve Bank, commercial banks are not giving full benefits to the consumers. RBI has cut the repo rate by 110 basis points(bps) in 2019, but only up to 40 bps of this benefit has been given to consumers by banks……………Click here to Read more
Standard Chartered Bank launches new “DigiSmart” credit card
On September 4, 2019, The Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company has launched its “DigiSmart” credit card primarily focused on the ever-growing segment of millennials. Key points:
i. The new credit card is available for a nominal monthly fee of only Rs 49. However, this fee will be waived off if the spends of the customer are Rs 5,000 or above in the previous month.
ii. Instant discounts and other benefits make this card special. Key e-commerce portals, travel, entertainment, fashion, grocery and food delivery can be discounted on various categories of products.
iii. Standard Chartered Bank has partnered with several companies such as Myntra, Grofers, Yatra, Zomato, Ola and INOX in the initial phase to offer customers with discounts and other benefits.
About Standard Chartered Bank:
♦ Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
♦ Chairman: Jose Vinals
♦ Tagline: Your Right Partner
ECL Finance Ltd and State Bank of India entered into an agreement to co-lend to MSMEs
A leading Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) & a subsidiary of Edelweiss Financial Services, ECL Finance Limited and State Bank of India (SBI) have entered into an agreement for priority sector lending (PSL) to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
i. This partnership was made following the announcement of a progressive co-origination policy issued by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India)in September 2018. This is a third such co-origination tie-up for Edelweiss after the Bank of Baroda(BoB) and Central Bank of India(CBI).
ii. The partnership will help provide the timely disbursal of loans to MSMEs for the growth of their business.
iii. This agreement comes close on the SBI setting up a special NBFC alliance department for priority sector lending.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 July 1955
♦ Chairman: Shri Rajnish Kumar
♦ Tagline: The Nation banks on us; Pure Banking Nothing Else; With you all the way
About ECL Finance Ltd:
♦ Founded: 2005
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
CBDT signed 26 advance pricing agreements (APA) during April – August 2019
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed 26 Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) of the taxation issue in the first five months (April – August 2019) of the current financial year 2019-20.
i. The number of such agreements entered by CBDT has reached 297. These include 32 bilateral APAs (BAPAs). Of these, 26 APA so far the year 2019, one agreement has been reached with the UK(United Kingdom) on a bilateral basis while the remaining 25 agreements have been unilateral. These agreements have been with entities in information technology (IT), banking, semiconductor, power, pharmaceutical, hydrocarbon, publishing, and automobiles sectors
ii. The multinational transactions covered under all these agreements include,
- Contract manufacturing
- Provision of software development services
- Back office engineering support service
- Provision of back office (ITeS) support services
- Provision of marketing support services
- Payment of royalty for use of technology and brand
- Trading and distribution
- Payment of charter charges
- Corporate guarantee
- Intra-group services
- Interest on financial instruments
iii. The agreements made with national and international companies to deal with the problem arising out of their value transfer issues so as to avoid future tax disputes in a fair and transparent manner.
♦ Formation: 1944
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi.
♦ Chairperson: Pramod Chander Mody
India’s FDI grew by 28% to $16.33 bn in Q1 FY 2019-20; Singapore emerged as the largest source
According to the official data from the Commerce and Industry Ministry, Government of India, the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India grew by 28% to $16.33 billion in the first quarter (Q1)- April-June 2019-20. FDI inflows in April-June of 2018-19 was $12.75 billion.
i. Maximum foreign inflows: Services Sector ($2.8 billion), computer software and hardware ($2.24 billion), telecommunications ($4.22 billion), and trading ($1.13 billion) received the maximum foreign inflows during April-June 2019-20.
ii. Sources: Singapore emerged as the largest source of FDI in India during April-June 2019-20 with $5.33 billion investment, followed by Mauritius ($4.67 billion), the United States ($1.45 billion), the Netherlands ($1.35 billion), and Japan ($472 million).
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:
♦ Minister In-charge: Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha- Maharashtra)
MoU signed between MCX & ZCE for co-operation and the exchange of information
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) and Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE), a commodity exchanges in China, for co-operation and the exchange of information. It will help in cooperation between the two exchanges in areas like knowledge sharing, education & training, organizing events and exploration of the areas of mutual interests between the exchanges.
i. MCX trades commodity futures contracts in bullion, base metals, energy and agricultural commodities, options on Gold, Silver, Crude Oil, Copper and Zinc futures.
ii. ZCE offers commodity futures with both Agricultural and non-agricultural products like Cotton, Rapeseed Oil, Seed & Meal, Sugar, Flat Glass, Methanol, Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA) and Thermal Coal, option products on White Sugar and Cotton.
♦ Founded: November 10, 2003
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ MD & CEO: P.S. Reddy
♦ President: Jun Xiong
CRISIL revises GDP growth of India to 6.3% FY2020
On September 4, 2019, Indian credit rating agency CRISIL (formerly Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited) has reduced the India’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth to 6.3% for FY20 (Fiscal Year 2020) from its previous estimate of 6.9%. The lower GDP growth forecast states about the India’s deep economic slowdown and is broad-based than suspected.
♦ Founded- 1987.
♦ Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra.
♦ Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (MD & CEO)- Ashu Suyash.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Skill India felicitates 53 Skill Trainers in the annual Kaushalacharya Awards event for 2019
On September 5, 2019, Kaushalacharya Samadar 2019 was organized by the Skill India Mission, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on the occasion of Teachers Day in New Delhi which honoured 53 skill trainers from different sectors for their exceptional contribution. “Kaushalacharya Awards” will be an annual event.
i. Awardees: 53 trainers were the experts from different backgrounds which included WorldSkills Competition winners, trainers from National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs), Industrial Training Centres, Jan Sikshan Sansthans (JSS) and trainers from reputed Corporate houses.
ii. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between DGT and Dhanbad (Jharkhand) based Kaushalya Kameshwar Techno Solution Pvt Limited under which training will be provided in Industrial environment in mining sector courses……………..Click here to Read more
OSDMA wins 2019 IT Excellence Award for SATARK app
On September 3, 2019, the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) has won the 2019 “IT Excellence Award” by Express India, for designing the app SATARK. The award for the app, which tracks and alerts during disasters based on dynamic risk knowledge in real time, is to be received on September 18, 2019 by OSDMA director B P Sethi, at Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai. SATARK is an acronym for System for Assessing, Tracking and Alerting Disaster Risk Information based on Dynamic Risk Knowledge.Key points
i. Available in English and Odia, both in mobile and web, the app gives warning information in case of heat waves, lightning, drought, tsunami risk etc. including flood monitoring, road accident and snakebite monitoring.
IT- Information Technology.
Anupama Swain clinched bronze in World Martial Arts Mastership Jiu-Jitsu 2019
Odisha’s woman athlete Anupama Swain clinched a bronze medal (52kg) in World Martial Arts Mastership Jiu-Jitsu 2019 which was held at the Konkuk University Glocal Campus in Chungju, South Korea. With this, she qualified for the 2022 Asian Games. She was trained by Hariprasad Patnayak.i. Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial art and combat sport and it puts the entire focus on grappling with particular emphasis on ground fighting.
About 2022 Asian Games/IX Asiad:
♦ Host City: Hangzhou, China
♦ Main venue: Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center
♦ 2026 Asian Games: Nagoya, Japan
LaShawn Daniels- songwriter of ‘Destiny’s Child’ passed away
On September 4, 2019, United States(US) born songwriter LaShawn Daniels familiarly known as Big Shiz, passed away at the age of 41 due to a car crash in South Carolina, US. The singer was honoured with grammy award in 2001 for best R&B song (Rhythm & Blues song) for his part, in writing the song ‘Say My Name’ of the group ‘Destiny’s Child’ which was further nominated 7 times.
National teachers’ day celebrated on September 5, 2019
On September 5, 2019, National teachers’ day is celebrated across the country. The aim of this day is to honour the efforts of teachers all over India. It is celebrated since 1962 in honor and deference of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was born on 5th September 1888.
i. On September 5, 2019, The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind conferred National Award 2018 to 46 teachers from across the country in New Delhi for their distinguished services. The award comprises a silver medal, certificate, and Rs. 50,000/- as award money……………………Click here to Read more
UN observes International Day of Charity on 5th September
The United Nations(UN) officially declared to observe September 5 annually as the International Day of Charity in its 2012 UN General Assembly. The first International Day of Charity under the resolution/A/RES/67/105 was observed in the year 2013. The day aims to create awareness about the role of charity to alleviate poverty and hunger. Key points
i. The day was chosen to commemorate the death anniversary of “Mother Teresa” who received the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.
For the 1st time, Gujarat govt signs sister state MoU with American state Delaware
On September 4, 2019, For the 1st time, the State Government of Gujarat signed sister-state MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Delaware State of America in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.Key points:
i. An 8-member American delegation led by Jeffery Bullock, Secretary of the State of Delaware called on Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the state capital to sign the MoU.
ii. Both the leaders discussed to boost bilateral relations between the two states by way of tie-ups in the field of services and investment opportunities for investors from Delaware in GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) IFSC(International Financial Services Centre).
iii. The American delegation also showed interest in future cooperation in sectors of the biosciences, animal husbandry, and financial services.
iv. Information about biotechnology universities and Gujarat State Biotechnology Mission (GSBT) were also provided by Vijay Rupani. The American delegation which included Secretary of State, Secretary of Agriculture, Deputy Secretary of State and senior officials has also invited Gujarat Chief Minister to visit Delaware State.
♦ Capital: Gandhinagar
♦ Governor: Acharya Devvrat
♦ National Parks: Vansda National Park, Blackbuck National Park, Gir Forest National Park, Marine National Park.
♦ Dams: Ukai Dam ,Sardar Sarovar Dam ,Kadana Dam , Dantiwada Dam
♦ Capital: Dover
♦ Governor: John Carney (D)