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A task force headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Mr Atanu Chakraborty set up to draw up National Infrastructure Pipeline of Rs 100 lakh crore
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman constituted a task force headed by Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) Mr Atanu Chakraborty for drawing up National Infrastructure Pipeline of Rs 100 lakh crore ($1.4 trillion) from the fiscal year 2019-20 to 2024-25.
i. Members: It includes the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog Mr Amitabh Kant or his nominee; Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance or his nominee; Secretary of the Administrative Ministry; Additional Secretary (Investment), Department of Economic Affairs & Joint Secretary, Infrastructure Policy & Finance Division, DEA………………………..Click here to Read more
First ‘Make in India’ Metro Coach In Mumbai inaugurated by PM Modi in Mumbai
On September 7, 2019, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Metro Coach in Mumbai under the ‘Make in India’ initiative at Jio World Centre, Maharashtra, Mumbai. He also launched Rs.19,000 crore worth metro projects with previous investment of Rs 1.5Lakh crore and laid foundation stone of 3 Metro lines to the metro network of the city expected to be operational from 2031.
i. In Aurangabad shri Modi addressed ‘MahilaSakshamMelava’ (Empowered Women’s Meet) of the Self Help Groups(SHG) organised by the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (MSRLM).
ii. Under the JalJeevan mission the government is to spend Rs. 3.5 lakh crore in the next 5 years to provide piped water connection (HarGharJal) to all rural households by 2024. This move is dedicated to legendary socialist late Ram ManoharLohia for his dream of providing water to lessen the water issues faced by women…………………Click here to Read more
Centre clears over Rs 5,000 crore worth Akash missile project for Air Force
In a bid to strengthen the Indian Air Force (IAF), the central government has approved the procurement of 6 squadrons of indigenous Akash Air Defense missile for the Air Force at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore. They will be deployed along the borders with Pakistan and China. Key points:
i. With this approval, the number of Akash missile systems approved for the Air Force will be increased to 15. The air force had initially ordered only 2 Akash systems.
ii. The approval of this 3-year-old proposal for the acquisition of Akash missiles is being seen as a wholehearted acceptance of the indigenous missile system in the military forces.
iii. The Akash system was officially inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in July 2015. In the exercise held at Surya Lanka, Andhra Pradesh in 2018, all other air defense missiles, including the Israeli ones, were tested with the Akash missile system and Akash had the best performance. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense chose Akash instead of foreign systems.
iv. The Akash missile has also been selected by the Ministry of Defense over foreign systems as the government took out military tenders worth more than Rs 17,000 crore to favor the Akash.
v. The missile proposal for the Air Force has been approved in wake of the February 27, 2019, post-Balakot strike when Pakistanis have launched a counter-attack.
It is a medium-range Surface-to-air missile with multi-target engagement capability. The missile is developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The missile has a strike range of 25 km. It can reach an altitude of 18 km and can be fired from both tracked and wheeled platforms.
9th SLINEX 2019- Indo-Lanka maritime fleet exercise commenced in Vizag
On September 7, 2019 the 9th edition of weeklong joint maritime naval exercise between India and Srilanka(SL) named SLINEX for the year 2019 has commenced in the port of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Two Sri Lanka Navy Ships(SLNS) namely Sindurala and Suranimala that are offshore patrol vehicles left the Trincomalee port of Srilanka to participate in the exercise.Key points
i. Exercise features: Wide ranging naval exercise to enhance cooperation in the Indian Ocean region and helicopter operations.
ii. SL participants: At about 323 SL navy personnel are participating in the exercise including the SriLankan Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Upul De Silva.
iii. Conclusion: The exercise will conclude on September 14, 2019.
iv. Previous editions: The first SLINEX was held in the year 2005 and the the previous/8th edition took place in Trincomalee, Srilanka.
About Sri Lanka:
Capitals- Colombo, Sri JayawardenepuraKotte.
Currency- Sri Lankan rupee.
Overview of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Japan and South Korea
The Defence Minister of India, Shri Rajnath Singh visited Japan and South Korea. He held a 5-day visit to the countries with an aim to strengthen military and defence from September 2-6, 2019.
i. Mr Rajnath Singh invited the participation of Japanese companies and other stakeholders at biennial DefExpo 2020 to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from February 5 -8, 2020.
ii. Japan-India-U.S trilateral maritime exercise “MALABAR 2019” will be held from late September to early October, 2019.
iii. The 8th Edition of Seoul Defence Dialogue 2019 was held with the theme “Building Peace Together: Challenges and Visions” in Seoul, South Korea. It is an annual international security forum hosted by the Ministry of National Defense of South Korea………………..Click here to Read more
2019 South Asian Parliamentarian conference for Children of UNICEF held in Colombo
On September 2, 2019, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) along with the parliament of Srilanka at the Colombo city conducted the two-day-long 2019 UNICEF South Asian Parliamentarian Conference on Children Rights Convention to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the convention of the rights of the child. This is the 3rd convention conducted by UNICEF with parliamentarians for children where the meeting aims to discuss the issues faced by children and on the challenges to improve the child rights. Key points
i. Convention adoption: The UN General Assembly adopted the convention under the resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 and came into force entry force on 2 September 1990.
ii. Child rights convention: It is the most ratified human rights treaty that has so far changed the lives of t 627 million South Asian children.
iii. Commemorative event: A commemorative event to celebrate the adoption of child rights convention is to be held in New York in September 25, 2019
India Pakistan participation:
i. Delegations:The Indian delegation was led by Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Gaurav Gogoi and BJP(Bharatiya Janata Party) MP Sanjay Jaiswal whereas the Pakistani side was led by MehnazAkber Aziz, Member of the National Assembly.
ii. Interruption in Pakistan’s declaration: Mehnaz raised the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh into a Union Territory and so the declaration was rejected citing that it was against the agenda of the conference. This is the second time Pakistan’s declaration was interrupted for the same reason after the 4th South Asian Speakers’ Summit organised in Maldives of 2019.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI barred ESFB from opening new branches
The apex bank of the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred the Equitas Small Finance Bank (ESFB) from opening new branches. The decision comes after ESFB missed the deadline to list its shares on stock exchanges.
i. It also froze the salary of ESFB’s Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vasudevan PN.
ii. As per the RBI’s licensing conditions issued in November 2014, a small finance bank’s shares have to be mandatorily listed on the stock exchanges within 3 years of touching a net worth of Rs 500 crore & 3-year period of ESFB lapsed on September 4, 2019. It had received the license in July 2016.
iii. RBI has warned ESFB that it may impose more restrictions if it fails to make “satisfactory progress” towards listing its shares.
♦ Headquarters: Chennai
♦ Founded: 2007
UPI transactions reaches 918 million, crossed all time high of 900 million mark for August,2019
On September 5, 2019 the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has released a data on the new record created by Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions that reached an overall high of 918 million transactions worth Rs 1.54 lakh crore by the end of August, 2019 crossing the 900 million transaction mark.
i. Reason: The new milestone in transaction was due to increase in adoption to payment channel and improved smartphone usage in certain states. The payment adoption increased by 11.6% and by 5.5% in value in the month of July with 822 million transactions leading to value Rs 1.46 lakh crore in the month.
ii. 1 billion transaction: A milestone of 1 billion transaction mark is expected between September and December months of 2019.
State analysis: Government data Digidhan dashboard shows that Andhra Pradesh tops in the UPI transactions with 17 transactions per person followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha, whereas the least transaction is made by Chattisgarh with 0.08 transactions per person.
It is a real time payment system connecting multiple bank accounts in a single mobile application. Owned by NPCI, it caters to the Peer to Peer system (transactions done without an intermediary like a bank)
Pilot Launch: 11th April 2016 (by Dr. Raghuram G Rajan, former Governor, Reserve Bank of India at Mumbai).
Official launch: 25th August 2016.
Banks begin in-principle approval of retail loan in 59 minutes
All 19 public sector banks (PSB) including State Bank of India(SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BOB) have initiated in-principle retail loan approval for customers availing housing and personal loans under the online lending platform ‘PSB Loans in 59 Minutes’.
i. Currently, this platform is providing loan approval to the MSME(Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector. Through this platform, in-principle approval will also be started soon for vehicle loans.
ii. Applicants can choose the bank and the product they like, and will fastly avail home and personal loans, irrespective of whether they have an account with any of the available banks.
iii. The government launched the platform in 2018 for small businessmen and MSMEs, in which they were provided loans up to Rs 1 crore in less than an hour.
iv. More than 50,706 proposals had received in-principle approvals and 27,893 proposals been sanctioned as of 31 March 2019, as per the latest figures.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
New GDP series to align with global method unveiled by the Union Government
On September 6, 2019, Union government unveiled a linked back-series of India’s growth numbers from 1950-51 to 2003-04, with 2011-12 as the base year with an aim to arrange the GDP (Gross Domestic Products) figures from past years with the new internationally accepted methodology that facilitates comparisons.
i. When a new series of National Accounts Statistics is introduced with an updated base period, it is customary to link the old series to the series on the new base period.
ii. Prior 2004-05, the GDP estimates were compiled by adopting the splicing method, retaining the same growth rates of aggregates as in the old series.
iii. The current series uses the MCA-21 database that was stabilized after 2010-11. MCA-21, an e-Governance initiative of Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA), is a portal that allows electronic filings of various documents under the Companies Act and that data is used in GDP estimates.
Under IBC, government plans to waive off the debts of small distressed borrowers
Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas notified that there are plans to waive off the debts of small distressed borrowers using the ‘fresh start’ provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). It would be for the most distressed individuals within the economically weaker section (EWS). The waiver will cost Rs 10,000 crore per annum.
i. Discussions are held by the government with the microfinance industry to select the criteria for the proposed waiver for small distressed borrowers from the EWS.
ii. Criteria: There are various thresholds for ‘fresh start’ which includes the gross annual income of the debtor does not exceed Rs 60,000. The aggregate value of the debtor’s assets should not be more than Rs 20,000 and that the aggregate value of the qualifying debts does not exceed Rs 35,000. He should not own a dwelling unit, irrespective of whether it is encumbered or not.
CBSE ties up with Microsoft for capacity building of teachers
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has joined hands with American multinational technology company, Microsoft to incorporate cloud-based technology in high school teachers’ capacity building programs and teaching. This program, designed for teachers of 8th to 10th grade, will be run in 10 cities across India from September 11, 2019.
i. Under the program, at least 1,000 teachers nominated by CBSE will be given 3 days of project-based training. During this period, they will be given practical and practical knowledge of Microsoft 365 programs like OneNote, FlipGrid, Teams, and Outlook, etc.
ii. This initiative will help teachers and students to gain early education and skills in new technologies like Artificial intelligence(AI) and cloud so that they can become the pioneers of growth in a rapidly changing world.
Headquarters: New Delhi
Chairperson: Anita Karwal
Founded: April 4, 1975
Founders: Bill Gates Paul Allen
Headquarters: Washington, U.S
Chairman: John W. Thompson
CEO: Satya Nadella
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
ICC appoints Jonathan Hall as its General Counsel and Company Secretary
The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed Jonathan Hall as its General Counsel and Company Secretary who will take up the responsibility in mid-September 2019. He has legal experience of 27 years. Key Points:
i. Priorly, he worked for The Football Association (The FA) for 11 years, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) (as General Counsel and Company Secretary) & Senior International Vice President, Legal Affairs for IMG on commercial legal matters across cricket, football, rugby, tennis, and golf.
♦ Motto: Cricket for good
♦ Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
♦ Chairman: Shashank Manohar
♦ CEO: Manu Sawhney
Vinai Kumar Saxena, chief of KVIC gets 3 year extension
With effect from September 5, 2019, the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena was given an extension of another 3 years. Key points
i. He was first appointed as the chairman of KVIC in October 2015 and introduced many innovative schemes like the ‘Honey Mission'(2017 in New Delhi) after the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sweet Revolution’ in 2016, ‘Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Scheme’ and also the artisan development centre.
ii. Achievements made: 33,000 New Model Charkhas, 6000 modern looms and 400 new Khadi institutions were created that generated 15,000 direct jobs with 1.15 lakh Bee-Boxes distribution.
Act-Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act of 1956.
Cricketer Rohit Sharma’s new innings, “Rohit4Rhinos campaign” for conservation Rhinos in India
Indian cricket team’s star batsman Rohit Sharma is launching “Rohit4Rhinos campaign” in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet (wildlife channel) to spread awareness about the need for conservation of one-horned rhinos. Key points:
i. This rhino conservation campaign will be launched on September 22 on World Rhino Day.
ii. The one-horned rhinoceros, the state animal of Assam, faces several threats, including poaching, habitat loss and mortality from in-breeding and disease. There are around 3,500 Indian rhinos present in the world. India is home to 82 % of the rhinos.
iii. Rohit is the brand ambassador for rhino protection in WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) India and for this, he joined in 2018.
About Animal Planet:
Formation: October 1, 1996
Owned by: Discovery
Headquarters: Silver Spring, United States
It is primarily devoted to series and documentaries about wild animals and domestic pets.
About WWF India:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Formation: 27 November 1969
President: Mr. Jamshyd N. Godrej
It is a science-based organization which addresses issues such as the conservation of species and its habitats, climate change, water, and environmental education, among many others.
Cameroonian professional footballer Samuel Eto’o announces retirement
Cameroon football legend Samuel Eto’o(38) has announced retirement from all forms of football. Key points:
i. Born on 10 March 1981 at Douala in Cameroon, he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time. In 1998, he was the youngest participant in the 1998 FIFA World Cup after making Cameroon’s team at the age of 17years and 3 months.
ii. He went on to join Football club Barcelona in 2004, where he was able to win 2 Champions League titles, 4 La Liga titles, 2 Supercopa de Espana and 1 Copa del Rey. In 2010, he signed with Inter Milan, where he was able to win his 3rd Champions League title.
iii. He was also voted African Player of the Year award four times (2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010), an honour for winning it for the most number of times that he shares with Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure.
iv. He was also the part of the Cameroon squad that won the Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympics& also won the Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002.
Former Pakistan cricketer Abdul Qadir passed away
On September 7, 2019, Pakistan’s former cricketer Abdul Qadir passed away at the age of 63 due to cardiac arrest. Born in Lahore, Pakistan on 15 September 1955, Qadir had played 67 Tests and 104 One Day Internationals (ODI) taking a total of 368 wickets representing his country. Key points
He also worked as a chief selector of Pakistan cricket squad in 2009 that won the International Cricket Council(ICC) World T20 (Twenty twenty) match in England the same year.
Kathakali maestro Kottakkal Chandrasekharan passed away
On September 4, 2019, famous Kathakali maestro Kottakkal Chandrasekhara Warrier who was also the Principal of P.S.V. Natyasangham, Kottakkal, Kerala passed away at the age of 74.
i. Awards: Born in Kerala , Warrier was honoured with various awards during his reign including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2006), Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award, Kalamandalam Award, Tulaseevanam Award etc.
National Nutrition Week 2019 observed from September 1 to 7
National Nutrition Week (NNW) was observed from September 1 to 7, 2019 to educate people about the importance of their health and well-being. It is an annual nutrition event organized by the Food and Nutrition Board within the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.
i. It was launched by the Food and Nutrition Board in 1982.
ii. In order to make India a healthy nation, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had launched POSHAN Abhiyan from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan on March 8, 2018. Its vision is to make India malnutrition free by 2022.
iii. 5 pillars of POSHAN Abhiyaan are the importance of First 1000 days, detection and right treatment of Anemia & Diarrhea, Personal Hygiene, Sanitation, and Paushtik Aahaar.
National Nutrition Month
Union Government is conducting a month-long campaign called Rashtriya Poshan Maah or the National Nutrition Month (NNM) from September 1 to September 30, 2019 to mark the fight against malnutrition with the focus on adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers and to create a Jan Andolan to imbibe behavioural changes into the daily lives of the masses, with the slogan “Poshan Tyohar Se Vyavahar”.
It is a condition that results from eating a diet in which one or more nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. It may involve calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals. Not enough nutrients is called undernutrition or undernourishment while too much is called overnutrition.
Mini conclave of first J&K investor summit -2019 is held at Leh
On September 5, 2019, The Mini Conclave of First Jammu and Kashmir Investor Summit-2019 is held in Leh in Ladakh after the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution that gives special status to J&K.
i. The conclave was attended by the Leh Hill council CEC Gyal P Wangyal, LAHDC officials, CII representatives and the investors from across the state.
ii. Navin Kumar Choudhary (Principal Secretary, Jammu, and Kashmir Industries & Commerce), was the Guest of Honour for the conclave, stated that the new political developments are taken for rapid development in the state despite the bifurcation the state into 2 Union territories(UT) as Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh from November 1, 2019. He also informed to reduce the premium of SIDCO (Small Industries Development Corporation. Small Industries Development Corporations) Land in Ladakh.
J&K Global Investors Summit 2019 will be held at Ladakh
J&K Global Investors Summit 2019 will be held in Ladakh which will provide the state an opportunity to showcase the immense potential for promoting local produce, especially White Seed Apricot.
i. Partner: The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) will be the national partner for the investor’s summit, which has signed an MoU(Memorandum of understanding) with Jammu and Kashmir Trade Promotion Organisation (JKTPO).
Capitals: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
Governor: Satya Pal Malik
National Parks: City Forest (Salim Ali) National Park ,Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park ,Kishtwar National Park.
Lakes: Dal Lake , Wular lake, Gangabal Lake, Nigeen Lake
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurates food park of Telangana
On September 6, 2019, the Union Minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, inaugurated the first Mega Food Park of Telangana that is promoted by Smart Agro Food Park at Lakkampally village, Nizamabad, Telangana.Key points
i. Profit: A total of Rs 14,000 crore turnover is expected through this food park with 50,000 job generation and would also benefit 1 lakh farmers. During the inauguration, the farmers were informed about the Pradhan Mantri KisanSammanNidhi (PMKSN) Yojana that provides Rs 6000 per annum to the farmers.
ii. Food park aim: The aim of the food park is to double farmers income by 2022 and to reduce harvest loss thus by overall contributing to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government.
iii. Financial assistance: The food park is financially assisted by the government of up to Rs 50 crore per Mega Food Park project. The Smart Agro Mega Food Park set up at a cost of Rs 108.95 crores in 78acre land.
iv. Park facilities: 5000 tonne warehouse for each raw material, and other laboratories.
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