The value of Current Affairs in Civil Service Examinations is enormous. This is the most critical part of both Prelims and Mains Exam. Aspirants should study in depth to understand the significance of current affairs for the Union Public Service Commission. In fact, all the questions in Civil Service Exams are framed around current affairs. Questions are not asked directly for current news and information in the exam. Questions are framed by combining current affairs with practical knowledge. The primary motive behind this type of strategy is to check the ability of correlation a candidate can make to the fact.
Why current affairs is more important in Civil Service Exam?
Success in Prelims and Mains Exam is directly related to an aspirant’s awareness in current affairs. Preparation of current affairs for UPSC is the key to unlock the exam. It requires practice and revision in a well-connected manner...In such a scenario the preparation of current affairs topics related to India and the world is an important part of your preparations. The students have to be aware of the happening in India and around the world as this portion is an integral part of the general studies paper.
In order to make you ready for the challenges of the Current Affairs preparation, we are covering the current affairs topics on a regular basis.
Our current topics are categorised in such a way that it includes; political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, government's scheme and policies and international affairs.
We provide you comprehensive topics of preparation that covers not only India's current scenario but also international events. We also cover Indian news headlines and other important international events under the current affairs segment.
For the very purpose of getting you ready for the challenge that is current news and views in India, we are covering the current affairs 2019 on a regular basis. Our hot topics are categorised such that they include political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, current government affairs and international affairs. Only studying India's current scenario or political affairs is not sufficient as you have to cover international events and affairs along with the Indian news space, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.
Current Events Of National And International Importance
Gujarat anti-terror bill: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, a controversial anti-terror legislation passed by the BJP-ruled state in March 2015. According to this law, any act which is intended to disrupt law and order or public order or endanger the unity, integrity and security of the state or to spread terror in the minds of any certain section of people, will fall into the category of terrorism.
Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill (GCTOC) includes one of the most important features of this law is that intercepted phone calls can now be considered as legitimate evidence. It includes economic offences under GCTOC like Ponzi Schemes, Fake Multi-Level Marketing Schemes and organized betting. The act also includes forced recovery, land grabbing, contract killings, cybercrime and human trafficking. Under this act, there is a provision for 5 years of jail or life imprisonment in cases of involvement or planning any such crime and there is a provision of life imprisonment and capital punishment in the context of the death of a person as a result of such crimes. According to the provisions of the law, assets acquired through organized crimes can be auctioned and the transfer of assets can be cancelled. This Bill also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors in the context of organized crimes.
The Gujarat Terrorism and Organized Crime Control Bill, earlier named Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill was introduced in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly in 2003. It had been rejected by the President of India three times in the years 2004, 2008 and 2015. This was because of its controversial aspects.The aspects were:
*The provision of recording phone calls by the investigating agencies and presenting it to the court as evidence is an infringement of the fundamental right of privacy, Article 21.
*A person accused of any crime cannot be compelled to be a witness against himself under Article 20 (3)
*The provision of presenting the statement taken from the accused in police custody as evidence is a violation of the fundamental rights of the accused in Article 20
Skills Build platform : It is a digital platform which has been launched by the Union Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in collaboration with IBM, an American multinational IT (information technology) company.
As a part of the programme, a two-year advanced diploma in IT, networking and cloud computing will be offered at the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) & National Skill Training Institutes (NSTIs). This has been co-created and designed by IBM. The platform will train ITI & NSTI faculty on building skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI). SkillsBuild also offers digital learning content from IBM and partners like Coorpacademy, CodeDoor and Skillsoft. It will provide the enrolled students with a personal assessment of the cognitive capabilities and personality through MyInnerGenius. The students will learn foundational knowledge about digital technologies, as well as professional skills like communication, problem solving and resume-writing. They will also receive recommendations on role-based education for specific jobs that include technical as well as professional learning.
The main objective of this initiative by the Centre which is also a part of IBM’s global commitment is to create a job-ready workforce and to build Next-Gen of skills needed for new collar careers. It is aimed to help the youth to scale themselves as per the changing market trends. The platform is deployed with support of leading NGOs such as Edunet Foundation and Unnati. Under this programme IBM Volunteers along with NGOS will offer students personalised coaching and experiential learning opportunities.
FSSAI: It refers to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation in India. It was founded in August 2011.
With an aim to ensure safe and wholesome food for School children FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has proposed a draft regulation titled Food Safety and Standards (Safe Food and healthy diets for School Children) Regulations, 2019. The draft is a 10 pointer chart that imposes a ban on the sale of soft drinks, potato wafers and other junk foods within 50 meters of school campus. Even the advertisements of these junk foods are banned. As per the draft, the foods that are referred to HFSS (High in Fat, Salt and Sugar) cannot be sold in school canteens, mess premises or hostel kitchens or locations within a 50-meter radius of the school, school authorities have to adopt a adopt a comprehensive programme ,as per the guidelines issued by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), for promoting safe food and healthy diets among school children, the school campus should be converted into 'Eat Right School' ensuring safe and healthy food, local and seasonal food and no food waste as per the specified benchmarks and help nutritionists and dieticians must be taken by the school administration to assist in the preparation of menu for the children.
A license or registration has to be obtained by the School Authority or Food Business Operators (FBO) contracted by the School Authority selling school meals. They should also obtain a registration license complying with requirements of hygienic and sanitary practices
Environment & Climate
World Tsunami Awareness Day: It is observed on 5 November every year. The United Nations General Assembly in December 2015 designated 5th November as World Tsunami Awareness Day after the 2004 deadliest Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It is dedicated to promoting a global culture of tsunami awareness around the world.
The theme of the world tsunami awareness day 2019 is "Sendai Seven Campaign" which focuses on reducing disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services. Over 700 million people live in low-lying coastal areas and Small Island. The United Nations aims to increase the use of early warning systems, resilient infrastructure, educate people to save and protect their assets against tsunami risk in the future.
The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO raise global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices to reduce exposure to disaster risk through its four Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems for the Pacific, Caribbean, Indian Ocean and North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Sea regions. The IOC also assists Member countries about the regular tsunami communication and evacuation exercises, increase readiness for and understanding of tsunamis among citizens and communities around the world through education programmes.
Tsunami: A tsunami is a natural disaster which is a series of fast-moving waves in the ocean caused by powerful earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, or simply an asteroid or a meteor crash inside the ocean. A tsunami has a very long wavelength. It can be hundreds of kilometres long. Usually, a tsunami starts suddenly. The term ‘Tsunami’ is a Japanese term which means “harbour wave”. Tsunami waves can travel at the speed of 800 km/hour and its height can be 20 feet to 300 feet. The speed of tsunami waves depends on depth of the ocean . The speed of tsunami is fast in deep water while slow down when reaching shallow waters. Around 80% of tsunamis occur in the Pacific Ocean. Tsunamis are among the most devastating natural disasters. They know no coastal borders.
The deadliest Tsunami ever was recorded in the Indian Ocean in December 2004. It caused an estimated 2.27 lac deaths in 14 countries including India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Cyclones : It is caused by a combination of strong winds driving water onshore and the lower atmospheric pressure in a tropical cyclone. The main effects of tropical cyclones include heavy rain, strong wind, large storm surges at landfall, and tornadoes.
Cyclone Maha : IT is an extremely severe cyclonic storm and is a currently active tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea. Cyclone Maha is expected to make landfall in Gujarat in the early hours of Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said in its latest bulletin. Maha will hit Gujarat at a lower intensity than previously predicted -- it will cross between Diu and Porbandar as a cyclonic storm with winds of up to 90 kmph
Cyclone Bulbul : It is an extremely severe cyclonic storm and is currently active in the Bay of Bengal. Bulbul is the name given by Pakistan. Andhra Pradesh and Odisha districts of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are gearing up to tackle Cyclone Bulbul forming in the Bay of Bengal. This will be the seventh tropical cyclone this year to hit India.
Scientists believe that air pollution, caused by human activities, may be strengthening cyclones because air pollution weakens the forces that can otherwise prevent cyclones from forming.
Ganga Utsav: It is an event celebrated annually on the 4th of November because India's most holy river Ganga was declared as the country’s national river on this day in 2008. River Ganga has significant economic, environmental and cultural value in India. It is organised in a bid to create awareness and gather public participation in efforts to clean River Ganga and its tributaries.
Ganga Utsav was organised by The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in coordination with Union Jal Shakti Ministry in Major Dhyanchand stadium in New Delhi to mark the 11th anniversary of Ganga being declared as national river. The Director General of NMCG, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra also graced the occasion along with esteemed dignitaries like Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Indian union minister of Jal Shakti, Rattan Lal Kataria union minister of state in ministry of Jal Shakti, social justice and empowerment.
Wastelands Atlas 2019: It is the fifth edition of Wastelands Atlas. It provides a complete geospatial information on wastelands of India that can help in planning various land development programs and schemes. It includes mapping of about 12.08 Mha (Million-hectare meter) so far, in the unmapped area of Jammu & Kashmir. India with 2.4% of total land area of the World is supporting 18% of the World’s population. The last four Wastelands Atlases of India 2000, 2005, 2010 & 2011 editions ware jointly published by The Department of Land Resources with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Department of Space .
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar recently released the 5th edition of Wastelands Atlas-2019. It was published by the Department of Land Resources and National Remote Sensing Centre. Department of Land Resources in collaboration with the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) prepared the Atlas. The changes in wastelands between 2008-09 and 2015-16 have been presented in the Atlas. The Wastelands Atlas-2019 provides district and state wise distribution of different categories of wastelands area including mapping of about 12.08 Mha hitherto unmapped area of Jammu & Kashmir. The majority of wastelands have been changed into categories of croplands, plantation and industrial areas. A reduction in the wasteland area was observed in the categories of land with dense scrub, marshy land, sandy areas, and degraded pastures.The wastelands have undergone a positive change in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and West Bengal.
Wastelands: These are a barren and uncultivated land lying unproductive or which is not being utilized to its potential. It includes degraded forests, overgrazed pastures, drought-struck pastures, eroded valleys, hilly slopes, waterlogged marshy lands, barren land, etc.
ICEDASH, ATITHI: These are two new IT initiatives launched by Finance Minister Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. These initiatives will not only for improve monitoring and pace of customs clearance of imported goods but also facilitate arriving international passengers with e-filing of baggage and currency declarations.
ICEDASH: It is an Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) monitoring dashboard of the Indian Customs helping the public see the daily Customs clearance times of import cargo at various ports and airports. With ICEDASH, Indian customs can provide an effective tool that helps the businesses compare clearance times across ports and plan their logistics accordingly. This dashboard has been developed by CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs) in collaboration with NIC (National Informatics Centre). ICEDASH can be accessed through the CBIC website.
ATITHI: It is a mobile app for international travellers to file the Customs declaration in advance. It is available on both iOS and Android. This app will facilitate hassle-free and faster clearance by Customs at the airports and enhance the experience of international tourists and other visitors at the airports.
CBIC: It refers to Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. It is India's nodal national agency. It is responsible for administering Service Tax, GST, Customs, Central Excise and Narcotics in the country.
NIC: It refers to National Informatics Centre which is the premier science and technology organisation under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY). It works in informatics services and information and communication technology (ICT) applications.
RBI: It refers to The Reserve Bank of India. It is India's central bank, which controls the issuance and supply of the Indian rupee. RBI is the regulator of entire Banking in India. RBI plays an important part in the Development Strategy of the Government of India.
The Reserve Bank of India has issued new compensation guidelines for whole-time directors and chief executives of foreign, private, small finance, payments banks and local area banks, mandating the cash component of variable pay at 67%. The new compensation norms were isssued on the 4th of November 2019 and will be effective from April 2020.
According to the guidelines, RBI said that if the variable pay is up to 200 per cent of the fixed pay, at least 50 % of it should be in non-cash. If the variable pay is above 200 per cent, 67 per cent of it should be paid via non-cash instruments.
The RBI also instructed the banks to continue to formulate and adopt a comprehensive compensation policy covering all their employees and conduct annual reviews. The main objective of RBI It has revised the compensation rules at a time when several private banks have been dealing with financial stress in asset quality.
The key objective of The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is to link bankers pay more closely with their performance, as authorities look to clean up an industry reeling under a pile of bad loans and a slew of scandals.
The RBI also said that it wants banks to claw-back the non-variable pay components if there is divergence in provisioning for NPAs or asset classification exceeds the prescribed threshold for public disclosure. As per the RBI notifications the policy should cover all aspects of the compensation structure such as fixed pay, perquisites, performance bonuses, guaranteed bonuses, severance package, share-linked instruments like employee stock option plans, pension plans, and gratuity. Foreign banks operating under the branch mode will have to continue to submit a declaration to RBI annually from their head offices confirming that the compensation structures of those working in the country are in conformity with principles and standards set by the Financial Stability Board.
An annual submission of a declaration of confirming that the compensation structure of those working in the country are in conformity with principles and standards set by the Financial Stability Board to RBI has to be made from foreign bank's head offices operating under the branch mode.
Khadi: It is India's signature fabric. Khadi is a term used for fabrics that are spun and woven by hand. It gained its importance since the freedom movement of boycott. Khadi, according to the Indian Flag Code is According to Indian Flag Code, is the only material allowed to be used for the flag. If the Indian flag is made with any other material the offense is punishable by law with imprisonment up to 3 years and fine.
Khadi has been allocated a separate Harmonised System (HS) code by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, a move that is expected to boost its exports in the coming years. HS stands for Harmonized System and it is a six-digit identification code. It was developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO). The code is used by customs officers to clear commodities that enters or crosses any international border.
HS Code: It refers to Harmonized System code. It is a multipurpose International Nomenclature that describes type of goods being shipped. The code follows Kyoto Convention of 1974 and is being used by more than 200 countries. The code aids countries in collection of international trade statistics and forms a basis for customs tariffs. This helps in better reach of the product and increases its global popularity.
WCO: It refers to World Customs Organization. It is an inter-governmental organization. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium. It was founded in 1952. It maintains the international Harmonized System (HS) goods nomenclature. It administers the technical aspects of WTO, Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin. It also works towards the development of international conventions, rules of origin, supply chain security, customs reforms, IPRs, and modernization, etc.
GoI: The Government of India (GoI) on November 7, 2019, approved Rs 25,000 crore Fund for stuck middle and low-income RERA registered housing projects that are net worth positive. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will put in Rs 10,000 crore in the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) while State Bank of India and LIC would provide Rs 15,000 crore, taking the total size to Rs 25,000 crore. The fund is to be set up as Category II Alternate Investment Fund. The “Special Window” will prioritize debt financing in the Affordable and middle-income housing sector for completion of at least 1,600 stalled real estate projects in the country. It will help provide employment to workers and also help restore trust between buyers and developers. The Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) can be utilised even by the projects which have been declared non-performing assets or are facing insolvency proceedings.
Apart from Rs 25,000 crores from Centre, SBI and LIC, the sovereign and pension funds have also agreed to invest in the market.
DIN: It refers to The Documentation Identification Number system. The DIN system in indirect tax administration and has been created as per the direction of Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
CBIC: It refers to Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs. It is the apex policy making body for indirect taxes in the Central government. The existing formations of Central Excise & Service Tax under CBEC have been re-organised to implement and enforce the provisions of the proposed goods and service tax laws.
The Documentation Identification Number (DIN) system of Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) will come into existence from 8th November 2019. The CBIC is implementing a system for electronic (digital) generation of a Documents Identification Number (DIN) for all communications sent by its office to taxpayers and other concerned person.
The step is aimed at bringing transparency and accountability in the indirect tax administration through widespread use of information technology. The Government has already executed the DIN system in the direct tax administration. The DIN would be used for search authorisation, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued in the course of any enquiry. Any communication from GST or Custom or Central Excise department without a computer-generated DIN, would be treated as invalid and shall be non-est. in law or deemed to be as if it has never been issued. It will provide the taxpayer a digital facility to verify any communications.
RCEP: It refers to The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The RCEP negotiations were launched by ASEAN leaders and the six other countries during the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in November 2012.The objective of launching RCEP negotiations was to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership agreement among the ASEAN member States and its FTA partners.
India has decided not to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal at the summit meeting of the 16-nation block as negotiations failed to address India's outstanding issues and concerns. The proposed deal would have adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of all Indians, especially the weaker sections of the society. The decision taken by the Central Government was lauded by all opposition leaders in India, who were against the signing of the deal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during his speech at the 2019 RCEP Summit in Bangkok. Centre said that the present form of the agreement does not fully reflect the basic spirit and the agreed guiding principles of the RCEP. India stands for greater regional integration as well as for more free trade and adherence to a rule-based international order.
India-Uzbekistan: Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh who was on his first visit to Uzbekistan in about 15 years, held bilateral consultations with Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov. Both the countries signed three MoUs to enhance cooperation in Military Medicine and Military Education. Defence Minister was there in Tashkent attending Council of Heads and Governments (CHGs) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as the special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Two Institution-to-Institution MoUs on training and capacity building between institutes of higher military learning of the two countries were also signed. The MoU is a by-product of interactions emanating from the MoU on Military Education signed between the two countries in October 2018.
The Indian Defence Minister and his Uzbek counterpart agreed that both the nations will continue to cooperate and work together to further enhance their engagement level in defence, in line with India’s strategic partnership with Uzbekistan. The also agreed that their enhanced cooperation will be based on a higher level of mutual trust and respect between the two countries, along with their shared views on a host of regional and global issues, including combating terrorism and extremism and regional stability and security.
The two defence ministers witnessed the first-ever exchange over a video-link between College of Defence Management in Secunderabad and Armed Forces Academy of Uzbekistan in Tashkent. Both of them also presided over the Curtain Raiser of the first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise - Dustlik-2019.
6th Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit of G20 countries : An Indian parliamentary delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla took part in the 6th Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit of the G20 countries, being held in Tokyo, Japan. The summit was attended by Presiding Officers of Parliaments of G20 countries. Mr Birla while addressing the 6TH Parliamentary Speakers' Summit OF G20 countries shared his views with Presiding Officers of Parliaments of G20 countries and said that terrorism not only damages the society but also significantly impacts the economy. He also said that today the world is grappling with several challenges which not only obstruct the efforts towards development but also pose a serious threat to humanity.
Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit : The Parliamentary summit is unofficially called P20. It was jointly hosted and organised by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international organisation (headquartered in Geneva) and the House of Councillors of National Diet of Japan. It is the largest and oldest global parliamentary platform
Biennial Commonwealth Law Ministers’ Conference 2019 : The biennial Commonwealth Law Ministers’ Conference is being held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 4-7 November 2019. Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad will be representing India at the conference. The theme of the conference is Equal Access to Justice and the Rule of Law. Law Ministers and Attorney Generals from Commonwealth countries will be participating in the 4-day conference. The conference chaired by Sri Lanka’s Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms, Thalatha Atukorala seeks to address challenges faced by millions of people seeking to resolve legal problems or disputes. The conference emphasizes the significance of the event in the current global context in which obstacles to justice are prevalent in many forms such as poverty, lack of legal aid, distrust of the justice system and corruption. As access to justice is fundamental for democracy and peace to flourish so Commonwealth countries are working actively through mutual support and encouragement to address barriers that may remain, particularly for vulnerable groups.
CARAT- 2019: The Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Exercise CARAT) is a series of annual bilateral military exercises conducted by the United States Pacific Fleet with several member nations of ASEAN in Southeast Asia. Currently, the navies of Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand participated. The objectives of CARAT includes enhancing regional cooperation, building friendships, and strengthening professional skills. In 2010, Cambodia and Bangladesh became the first CARAT participants to join the exercise since 1995
The second phase of naval exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2019 between the US and Bangladesh, began in Chattogram, Bangladesh, on 4 November 2019. The exercise is provided with different subject-based training and exercise. The CARAT is a yearly exercise conducted between the navies of Bangladesh and United States in the Bay of Bengal. The first edition of exercise was held in 2011.
The opening ceremony of CARAT- 2019 was attended by Assistant chief of naval staff (operations) Bangladesh Navy and the Commander logistic group, Western Pacific Command Task Force 73 (CTF-73) of US Navy.
The CARAT- 2019 exercise aims to provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of operational activities of the Navies of two countries (US- Bangladesh) and to also get acquainted with advanced technology through various theoretical and practical training.
ASEAN: It refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organization that comprises ten southeast Asian countries as member nations-Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It was created on August 8, 1947 after ASEAN declaration was signed by the foreign ministers of 5 nations- Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia.
It aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitate educational, economic, political, security, military and socio-cultural integration among its members and other Asian countries. ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner.
India-ASEAN Summit, 2019: The 16th ASEAN-India Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand on November 3, 2019. The summit was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The ASEAN countries appreciated India's contribution towards maintaining peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region as both sides discussed terrorism and the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the Beijing-controlled South China Sea. India and ASEAN have decided to jointly combat terrorism in Indo- Pacific region. The two sides have agreed to undertake a review of the India-ASEAN FTA to make it more balanced.
While speaking at the ASEAN-India Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that integrated, organised and economically developing ASEAN is in India's basic interest. He stated that expanding connectivity and deepening India-ASEAN economic integration is the core of the Act East Policy. He furthur added that India is committed to enhancing the partnership through the strong surface, maritime and air connectivity besides via the digital link and is ready for partnership in capacity building in the fields of agriculture, science, engineering, research, business and tourism. India has allocated 1 billion USD as line of credit to improve physical and digital connectivity.
Dustlik 2019: It is the name given to the first India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise. ‘Dustlik 2019’ took off at Tashkent in Uzbekistan in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbek counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov.
The ten-day drill starting November 4-19 is being conducted at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent where the armies from both countries train alongside each other. The exercise is focused on counter-terrorism. The exercise will enable sharing of best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries and will lead to greater operational effectiveness.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov presided over the Curtain Raiser of the military drill yesterday.
India and Uzbekistan have signed three Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of Military Medicine and Military Education. The MoUs were signed following a meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart in Tashkent on Saturday
ICGS Annie Besant: It is a medium-range vessel with a length of 50 metres, a width of 7.5 metres and displacement of around 308 tonnes, the Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) is capable of operations like patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching and rescue operations in the maritime zones of the country. ICGS Annie Besant is designed for a maximum speed of 34 knots with an endurance of more than 1,500 nautical miles. It is not only equipped with three main engines with advanced control systems, water jet units as well as an Integrated Bridge System (IBS) with all communication and navigation systems but also fitted with 40/60 gun as main armament.
Defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) founded in 1884 with its headquarters in Kolkata, West Bengal delivered the Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) ICGS Annie Besant, the second in the series of five such ships, to Indian Coast Guard(ICGS). It is also the 101st warship to be delivered by GRSE.
New Map of India: The Union Government has released a new political map of India after two new Union Territories- Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh came into existence on October 31, 2019 under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supervision of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.The Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh were created after on recommendation of Parliament. The President effectively dismantled Article 370 of Indian Constitution and gave assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. The maps was prepared by Survey General of India.The newly created Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has a total of 22 districts, while Ladakh has two districts. The new political map of India shows three districts of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) – Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Punch as a part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir while another Pakistan administered territory, Gilgit-Baltistan,as a part of UT of Ladakh.
Samudra Shakti: It is a bilateral meritime naval excercise by the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy. India is jointly exercising its anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kamorta along with Indonesian warship KRI Usman Harun, a multi-role corvette, in the Bay of Bengal as part of an ongoing bilateral exercise 'Samudra Shakti'. This is the 2nd edition of India, Indonesia Bilateral Naval Exercise. The inaugural edition of exercise was held at the port of Surabaya, Indonesia in November 2018.
The main objective of the exercise is to strengthen bilateral relations, expand maritime co-operation, enhance interoperability and exchange best practices between the Navies of India and Indonesia. The joint exercises include manoeuvres, surface warfare exercises, air defence exercises, weapon firing drills, helicopter operations and boarding operations.
The harbour phase, which was conducted on November 4th and 5th 2019, included professional interactions in the form of subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE), cross deck visits, simulator drills, planning conferences, sports fixtures and social interactions.
ReSAREX-2019: It was an exercise comprised of a search and rescue workshop and table top exercise, followed by a search and rescue exercise at sea. It was a 2 day event organised by Coast Guard District Headquarters-11 (Goa). Indian Coast Guard (ICG) tested its efficiency and preparedness during the Regional Level Search and Rescue Workshop and Exercise 2019 (ReSAREX- 19) conducted off Goa coast. Dornier aircraft, two Chetak helicopters and Five ICG ships were used for the workshop. The resources from Captain of Ports, Indian Mission Control Centre (Bengaluru), Goa state administration, Goa Medical College, State Marine Police and Marmugao Port Trust were also added into service.
Maritime search and rescue still remains a challenge with increase in maritime and fishing activities, further complicated by frequent cyclones so there is a need to respond to every situation with utmost clarity, and by exercising full coordination with other support agencies. The workshop also assumes significance in the wake of recent search and rescue operations carried out during cyclones Kyaar and Maha.
People In News
Aditya Mishra: He is a Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. He is a 1989 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre and is presently posted as ADG, CBCID, Uttar Pradesh Police. He has been appointed chairman of Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) on the approval of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) chaired by PM Narendra Modi. He was appointed on the recommendations of a search-cum-selection panel.
LPAI: It refers to Land Ports Authority of India. It is a statutory body set up by Land Ports Authority of India Act, 2010 on 1 March 2012. It works under Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
It is responsible for developing, creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing for cross-border movement of passengers as well as goods at designated points along India’s international borders. It also manages several Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) all across Borders of India.
JCB Prize for Literature: It is an Indian literary award established in 2018. It is awarded annually with 25 lakh INR (38400 USD) prize to a distinguished work of fiction by an Indian writer working in English or translated fiction by an Indian writer. The Literary Director is Rana Dasgupta.
JCB Prize for Literaturefor 2019 has been awarded to Madhuri Vijay for her debut novel, The Far Field. The winner was announced by Sir Mark Tully in a live broadcast on social media. Vijay has been selected from a shortlist featuring novels from five accomplished writers. She is also a recipient of Pushcart Prize and the Henfield Prize.
The novel The Far Field is about the turbulent politics of Kashmir. The protagonist packed her privileges and curiosities, and sets off on a soul-searching journey to the mountains from her hometown, Bengaluru.
Sudarsan Pattnaik : He is an international acclaimed Sand Artist. He belongs to Odisha. He has been selected for the prestigious Italian Golden Sand Art Award 2019. He will be felicitated during the International Scorrana Sand Nativity festival in Italy which will be held from November 13 to 18, 2019. Pattnaik will represent India in international Scorrana sand nativity. He has been honoured by the union government with the fourth highest civilian ‘Padma Shri’ award in 2014. He has participated in more than 60 international sand art festivals and championships around the world and won many prizes for the country. He always tries to send social message through his sand sculpture. He received a letter from the president of "Promuovi Scorrona" Vito Maraschio informing him about his selection for the award.
Neeraj Sharma: He is an Indian origin professor at the University of South Wales (UNSW)’s School of Chemistry. He is considered one of the global leaders in the use of neutron and X-ray scattering methods, is also exploring inherently safe solid-state batteries, energy-dense lithium-sulphur batteries, dual function solar batteries and methods for recycling.
He has been given the ‘Early Career Researcher of the Year award’ by the Australian government. The award was given to him for his work in lithium-ion batteries found in electronic devices, electric vehicles and the grid, as well as next-generation battery systems such as sodium-ion batteries that will leave minimal environmental impact, and transition away from fossil fuels for energy generation and transportation.
Anand : His real name is P. Satchidanandan. He was born at Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, in 1936. He graduated from the Thiruvananthapuram College of Engineering in civil engineering. He also served in the Army for about four years and retired from the Central Water Commission, Delhi, as a planning director. A sculptor as well, Anand’s repertoire includes over 30 books ranging from novels, short stories, dramas and essays. He is also a recipient of Vayalar Award and Yashpal Award.He has been selected for the 27th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram 2019 award which is being given by Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and the Government of Kerala. He was chosen for his overall contributions to Malayalam language and Literature.
The Ezhuthachan Puraskaram: It is the highest literary honour that is given by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Government of Kerala. The award is named after Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, the father of the Malayalam language and consists of a cash prize of ?5,00,000 and a citation. The prize money was enhanced by ?50,000 in 2011.The award was instituted in 1993 and Sooranad Kunjan Pillai was its first recipient.
Greg Clark: He is the director of an hour long film 'Documentary on Real Kashmir FC' which was aired by BBC Scotland. His film has bagged the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) Scotland Awards 2019 in the 'Single Documentary' category at a glittering ceremony in Glasgow, Scotland.
The documentary narrates the journey of former Rangers ace David Robertson as the coach of Real Kashmir FC, which in its first season finished third in the I-League, which is currently India’s second tier football league.
Infosys Prize: It is an annual award given by the Infosys Science Foundation(ISF). It is conferred to scientists, researchers, engineers and social scientists of Indian Origin (not necessarily born in India). The Infosys Science Foundation is a non-profit organization. It was set up in 2009. The prize was awarded in 2008 and is ranked among the highest monetary awards in India to recognize research. The prize for each category includes a gold medal, a citation certificate and prize money of $100,000 (around 70 lakh in Indian Rupees) and the prize purse is tax free in hands of winners in India.
The Infosys prize 2019 was awarded in six categories including Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering and Computer Sciences. The awardees were selected from 196 nominations by a panel of 6 jurors. The objective of the Infosys prize is to honour those researchers and scientists who have recorded exemplary achievements in their respective fields of scientific research. The awards to winning professors will be conferred by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. The awardees for:
1. Engineering & Computer Sciences was conferred to Sunita Sarawagi, for her research in databases, data mining, machine learning (ML) as well as natural language processing, and for important applications of these research techniques.
2. Humanities was conferred to Manu V. Devadevan, for his original and wide-ranging work on pre-modern South India.
3. Life Sciences was conferred to Manjula Reddy, for her groundbreaking discoveries concerning the structure of cell walls in bacteria.
4. Mathematical Sciences was conferred to Siddhartha Mishra, for his outstanding contributions to Applied Mathematics. This included designing numerical tools for solving problems in real world.
5. Physical Sciences was conferred to Mugesh, for his seminal work in chemical synthesis of small molecules and nanomaterials for biomedical applications.
6. Social Science was conferred to Anand Pandian, for his imaginative work on ethics, selfhood and the creative process.
Abhishek Sarkar: He is a West Bengal based writer. He and Bangladeshi poet Rofiquzzaman Rony were given the Gemcon Young Literature Award and Gemcon Young Poetry Award. Abhishek and Rofiquzzaman won the awards for their manuscripts, “Nishiddho” and “Dhoashar Tamate Rong,” respectively at the 9th edition of the Dhaka Literature festival.The special focus of this year’s lit-fest is on Indigenous Languages as the UNESCO has marked 2019 as the year of Indigenous Language Protection.
Places In News
Guyana: Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. George Town is the capital of Guiana. Its currency is Guyanese Dollar. President of Guyana is David A.Granger and the Prime minister of is Moses Nagamootoo.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Guyana a country of nearly 780,000, will experience the world's fastest economic growth in 2020 driven by ExxonMobil's discovery of oil. Its GDP is expected to grow more at 86% in 2020 after expanding 4.4% this year. Guyana is projecting $300 million in petroleum revenue in 2020 as ExxonMobil starts pumping from its first oil well next month. Its economy will grow more than three times within five years as the oil sector will represent about 40% of the economy within five years.
UAE: It stands for United Arab Emirates. It is an Arabian Peninsula nation settled mainly along the Persian (Arabian) Gulf. The country is a federation of 7 emirates. It's capital is Abu Dhabi and is home to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, with crystal chandeliers and room for 40,000 worshipers. Dubai is the site of ultramodern Burj Khalifa tower, enormous shopping centres and extravagant entertainment attractions. Currency of the United Arab Emirates is dirham. United Arab Emirates is the ninth-largest Middle Eastern country by population (9,154,000).
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan re-elected as President of UAE by the Supreme Council of the Union. He has been elected for a fourth five-year term, in accordance with the provisions of the UAE Constitution.
Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, born 7 September 1948 is referred to as Sheikh Khalifa). He is the current President of the United Arab Emirates, the Emir of Abu Dhabi, the Supreme Commander of the Union Defence Forceand the chairman of the Supreme Petroleum Council. Sheikh Khalifa is also chairman of Abu Dhabi Investment. Authority. Sheikh Khalifa succeeded his father, Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as Emir of Abu Dhabi on 2 November 2004 and became the President of the UAE the next day.
Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially inaugurated the India fifth International Science Festival (IISF) 2019 at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in Kolkata. The Prime Minister addressed the gathering present through video-conference. The theme for this 2019 festival is , 'RISEN India - Research, Innovation, and Science Empowering the Nation'. India International Science Festival (IISF) is the largest science festival in the world.
The main objective of the festival is to instil scientific temper among people, showcase India's contribution in the field of Science and Technology and encourage translation of its benefits to people. It aims to build a strategy for inclusive advancement of Science and Technology.
Kolkata students create Guinness World Records for the largest astrophysics lesson (45 minutes) and assembly of spectroscopes was successfully achieved at the Science City, Kolkata on the first day of India International Science Festival (IISF) 2019 on Tuesday with the participation of over 1,598 students.
Kolkata, West Bengal: The third edition of women scientists’ and Entrepreneurs’ conclave will be organized at the India International Science Festival (IISF) at Kolkata on 7-8 November 2019.
The conclave aims to provide a platform for young women scientists and entrepreneurs to interact with the women leaders in science and technology. The move is to acknowledge the contribution of women in catalysing sustainable growth. Its objective is also to inspire young women to take up careers in Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship and help them get exposed to opportunities in the field. It celebrates women in science and also paves a way for more women to be part of a larger scientific community.
Himachal Pradesh: Rising Himachal Global Investors’ Meet 2019 exhibition was held in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Prime Minister Narender Modi inaugurated the two-day Global investors' summit on the 7th of November 2019.Over 200 foreign delegates along with local entrepreneurs attended the investors Meet. Ambassadors from 16 countries too participated in the meet. It is being held to showcase investment opportunities in the state. The state government will also showcase the policy and regulatory environment and investment scope across eight focus sectors to boost manufacturing and employment opportunities in the state.
Tamil Nadu: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) which is an international development finance institution has approved loan of $451 million (about Rs 3,200 crore) to strengthen power connectivity between the southern and northern parts of the Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu. The project will help promote economic development by delivering a more reliable and competitive power supply for industry and services in the state, which will in turn increasing jobs and improving livelihoods. According to ADB, the government will provide $202.5 million out of the total cost of the project which is $653.5 million.
ADB: It stands for the Asian Development Bank. It is an international development finance institution. Its headquarters is in Manila,Philippines.
Chennai-Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC): It is a Power Sector Investment Project. Tamil Nadu Government on January 2019 passed a bill to amend Tamil Nadu Industrial Township Area Development Authority Act, 1997 (TNITADA) to turn CKIC project worth Rs.64.48 billion into reality. The project includes constructing 400- kilovolt kV network to pool power generated at renewable and thermal power plants in Thoothukudi district to Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu. An extra-high voltage 765- kV transmission link for transferring 9,000 MW of extra capacity will be established from Virudhunagar in southern CKIC northwards to major industrial centre of Coimbatore and state capital Chennai. The estimated date of completion of project is by end of 2024.
Science and Technology
SRSS-1 : It refers to Sudan’s remote-sensing satellite (SRSS-1). It is Sudan’s first-ever satellite for conducting research in military, economic and space technology.
It was developed by the Shenzhen Aerospace Oriental Red Sea Satellite Co. The Sudanese satellite has been mainly designed for civil and military remote sensing over Sudan. The satellite aims to generate a comprehensive, cost-effective and reliable database on the topographic, mapping and natural resources of Sudan. It also aims to acquire the required data as well as discover natural resources for the country’s military needs.
The satellite SRSS-1 was launched by China aboard China’s Long March-4B rocket along with other Chinese satellites including Gaofen 7, Xiaoxiang-1 08, Whampoa 1 from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China.
Sudan: Sudan or the Sudan, officially the Republic of the Sudan is a country in Northeast Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea to the east, Ethiopia to the southeast, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the southwest, Chad to the west, and Libya to the northwest. It is the third-largest country in Africa. It’s predominant religion is Islam and its official languages are Arabic and English. Its capital is Khartoum, located at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. Since 2011, Sudan is the scene of on-going military conflict in its regions South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. The President of Sudan is Omar al-Bashir. Its currency is Sudanese pound.
Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ atlas and the ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’ for flood mitigation in Chennai, Tamil Nadu was unveiled by the Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu. Both the atlas and the CFLOWS-Chennai are intended as decision support systems covering aspects, including preparedness and prevention. These initiatives which can effectively tackle urban flooding are likely to be replicated in other Indian cities including Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Red Atlas Action Plan Map: It is a first of its kind ready reckoner map, prepared by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences to aid state government of Tamil Nadu in effective flood mitigation in Chennai which witnessed the worst deluge in 2015.
The over 200-page atlas was prepared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in association with TN State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and Greater Chennai Corporation. The office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Centre government, IIT-Bombay, IIT Madras and Institute of Remote Sensing of Anna University also participated from the academia.
The atlas is aimed at flood mitigation, preparedness, operations and management aspects. The manual besides showcasing the probable scenarios for different rainfall periods also provides information on corporation wards that are likely to be affected due to flooding, and the areas that may need evacuation in Chennai by taking into account all historical datasets.
Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai): It is a complete webGIS-based decision support system. It can be used both for mitigation planning operations before flooding as well as in real time to for aspects like relief work. It also involves coupling models of regional weather forecasts, storm surges and captures about 796 flood scenarios.
SunBot: Scientists have managed to create a tiny artificial sunflower named SunBot which consists of a stem made of a material that reacts to light and an energy harvesting “flower” at the top, which is made from a standard light-absorbing material commonly used in solar cells. Each SunBOT is less than 1 millimetre wide. When part of a SunBOT’s stem is exposed to light, it heats up and shrinks. This causes the stem to bend and point the artificial flower towards the light. The stem stops bending once SunBOT is aligned with the light because the bending creates a shadow that allows the material to cool down and stop shrinking.
Wheelchair Arise: The country’s first indigenously designed standing wheelchair named as ‘Arise’ was launched by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in presence of Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot at the institute.
The device was designed and developed by TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT Madras in collaboration with Phoenix Medical Systems. These customised wheelchairs enable a differently-abled person to shift from sitting to standing position and vice-versa independently and also in a controlled manner. The testing partners for Arise included individual users, NGOs, hospitals, rehabilitation centres and clinicians who provided inputs.
NASA: It refers to The National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
Voyager 2: Voyager 2 is a space probe launched by NASA on August 20, 1977, to study the outer planets.Voyager 2 is now in its extended mission to study the outer reaches of the Solar System and has been operating for 42 years, 2 months and 18 days as of November 8, 2019. It remains in contact through the NASA Deep Space Network. Voyager 1 was launched 16 days after its twin, Voyager 2 on September 5, 1977 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. They were launched to study planets and space beyond Earth, with differences in purpose and path. Both the vehicles have been operating for the last 42 years. The spacecraft communicates with NASA through Deep Space Network (DSN) to receive routine commands and to transmit data to Earth. At present, Voyager-1 is the farthest man-made object from the earth.
According to the researchers at the University of Iowa in the US, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft has crossed the elusive boundary that marks the edge of the Sun's realm and the start of interstellar space. It has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the bubble-shaped boundary produced by wind streaming outward from the Sun. It is a second human-made object to touch solar periphery out of the Sun's influence, following the US space agency's Voyager 1's solar exit in 2012. Voyager 2 spacecraft completed a long journey of over four decades to reach there.
As per the study published in the science journal Nature Astronomy, Voyager-2 entered ISM on November 5, 2019 by noting a definitive jump in plasma density detected by a plasma Wave Instrument (PWA) on the spacecraft. It sent information about the atmosphere that helped the scientists to identify its actual location.
The researchers said that the marked increase in plasma density is evidence of Voyager 2 journeying from the hot, lower-density plasma characteristic of the solar wind to the cool, higher-density plasma of interstellar space. Interstellar space is a place where warm and low-density plasma of solar winds always remains. Similar plasma density data was found from Voyager-1 when crossed into interstellar space medium (ISM). Voyager-1 crossed the solar periphery in 2012.
UWW Under-23 World Championships : World U23 Wrestling Championships is the Amateur Wrestling World Championship organized by the United World Wrestling. The tournament began in 2017.
Pooja Gehlot (53kg) claimed India's second silver medal in wrestling after going down to Japan's Haruna Okuno in the finals of the UWW Under-23 World Championships in Budapest. She lost 0-2 to Okuno in the summit clash.
Sajan Bhanwal (77kg) who is a three-time World Junior Championships medallist, fell short of winning a bronze medal in Greco-Roman category (77kg). He lost to Turkey's Serkan Akkoyun.
Ravinder (61kg), had won India's first silver earlier this week.
Asian Shooting Championship: The Asian Shooting Championships are governed by the Asian Shooting Confederation. Asian Shooting Championships began in 1967. These championships, including almost all ISSF shooting events, are held every four years.
Deepak Kumar won the bronze medal in the men's 10m air rifle in shooting at the 14th Asian Championships and secured 2020 Tokyo Olympics Quota He shot 227.8 in the eight-man final to finish third. He is the second Indian shooter to earn an Olympic quota in the men's 10 metres air rifle event after Divyansh Singh Panwar, who secured it in April. He had won a bronze medal at the 2018 ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara last year.
Haryana sensation Manu Bhaker won gold in women's 10m air pistol event while Vivaan Kapoor and Manisha Keer won in the junior trap mixed event at the Asian Shooting Championships. Manu Bhaker who represented India at the 2018 ISSF World Cup and won two gold medals is also the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup. She won the gold medal in women's 10 m air pistol event at 2018 Commonwealth Games just at the age of 16 in her maiden Commonwealth Games appearance. She has already secured an Olympic quota at the Munich World Cup in May.
India has already secured nine Tokyo quotas in rifle and pistol and lies behind China (25 quotas) and Korea (12) in the Asian region, besides the host-country Japan (12 allotted slots), in terms of quotas won.
Paris Masters title: The Paris Masters (in French commonly referred as Bercy) is an annual tennis tournament for male professional players held in Paris, France. It is played indoors at the Accor Hotels Arena, in the neighbourhood of Bercy. The event is part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour.
Spaniard Rafael Nadal secures No 1 spot for eighth time in his career in the ATP rankings. He goes up one place to overtake Novak Djokovic even though the Serb sealed his fifth Paris Masters title on Sunday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Canadian Denis Shapovalov. Nadal's eight stints at No. 1 equal the mark of Ivan Lendl, trails Americans John McEnroe (14), Pete Sampras (11), Jimmy Connors (9) for most periods at No. 1. He has now been in the top spot at some stage in nine of the past 12 years (2008-11, 2013-14, 2017-19).
SaarLorLux Open badminton tournament : The SaarLorLux Open, previously known as BMW Badminton Cup, BMW Open, Bitburger Masters and Bitburger Open, is an international badminton tournament held in Germany since 1988. It is sponsored by the German pilsner beer brewery Bitburger and German automobile company BMW.
India's 18 year old Lakshya Sen who is World number 51 has won the SaarLorLux Open badminton tournament at Saarbrücken in Germany. He defeated Sen Weng Hong Yang of China in an exciting final. He had entered the final beating Kiran George in an all-Indian semi-finals.
Indian Women's national Cricket Team: The India women's national cricket team, nicknamed the Women in Blue, represents the country of India in international women's cricket. India made its Test debut in 1976, against the West Indies, and its One Day International debut at the 1978 World Cup, which it hosted.
Indian Women's Cricket won the three match series 2-1 beating the West Indies by 6 wickets in the 3rd and final ODI match in North Sound, Antigua. They achieved the victory target of 195 runs comfortably with 47 balls to spare. Smriti Mandhana from the Indian team was the highest scorer with 74 off 63 balls.
T201: Twenty20 cricket, also called T20 is a form of cricket, played between two of the international members of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in which each team faces twenty overs. It was introduced in 2003 with rule changes that put a premium on hitting and scoring, gaining a new audience for cricket. The matches have top-class status and are the highest T20 standard. The game is played under the rules of Twenty20 cricket. The first Twenty20 International match between two men's sides was played on 17 February 2005, involving Australia and New Zealand
India vs Bangladesh 2nd T20I: The Rohit Sharma-led Indian side break Australia’s world record with massive win over Bangladesh in 2nd T20I at Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot. India defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets. Rohit Sharma was declared 'Player of the Match' for his 85 off just 43 balls. He made many records during the match. He became the first Indian cricketer to play 100 T20 International cricket matches. He is currently the only Indian batsman with the most sixes in T20. He has scored more than 75 runs in T20 matches for the 10th time, making him the first player to do so in T20 cricket. He also broke Australian cricketer Don Bradman's record of highest average in Test cricket on home soil during the Day 2 of India’s third test against South Africa at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi on October 20, 2019.
Rohit Sharma is an Indian international cricketer who plays for Mumbai in domestic cricket and captains Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League as a right-handed batsman and an occasional right-arm off break bowler. He is the vice-captain of the Indian national team in limited-overs formats.
Shubam Gill: He is a 20 year old right-hand, top-order batsman from Punjab. He made his first-class debut for Punjab against Bengal in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy, in late 2017. He made his international debut for the India cricket team in January 2019.
He made his way into the record books when he walked out to lead India C in the 47th Deodhar Trophy final against India B on Monday at the JKCA International Complex in Ranchi. He has became the youngest-known captain to lead a side in the Deodhar Trophy final. He broke India captain Virat Kohli’s 10-year-old record. Kohli had led North Zone in the Deodhar Trophy final when he was 21 years and 124 days old in 2009-10. Gill is only 20 years and 57 days old.
Current Affairs October 27 to November 02
National Corporate Social Responsibility Awards : It is an award instituted in 2017 by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India to recognize companies that have made a positive impact on the society through their innovative & sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) initiatives. The awards were instituted subsequent to the recommendations of High Level Committee on CSR.
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the first National Corporate Social Responsibility Awards (NCSRA) to companies for their outstanding contribution in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
President Kovind Presented the first National Corporate Social Responsibility(CSI) Awards to selected companies at an award ceremony in New Delhi.
The main objesives of the awards are to encourage best practices in CSR and to recognise the efforts of companies that have utilised funds marked for CSR innovatively and effectively. Recognise impact, usage of technology, innovation, gender and environment issues, scalability, replicability and sustainability of CSR activities. Chanalise CSR initiatives of corporate so that the benefits of these activities reach in remote areas of country and to marginalised sections of society.
The awards to winning companies are in two categories namely,'Corporate Award for Excellence in CSR' and 'Contribution of CSR in Challenging Circumstances'.
Reliance Industries Ltd : It is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Reliance owns businesses across India engaged in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and telecommunications.
Mukesh Ambani led-Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), overtook British oil major BP Plc in terms of market capitalisation to become the sixth-largest energy entity in the world. RIL is a partner of British major BP in its exploration and production ventures in India. The two companies operate an equal joint venture (JV) called India Gas Solutions. Both the companies are planning to partner to set up fuel retail outlets. The companies also plan to invest Rs.40,000 crore in the Krishna Godavari block. The project is expected to begin its production 2022.
At present, Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest energy entity, that pumps about 10% of the world's crude. It has emerged as the most profitable company in 2018.
DPIIT : It refers to The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). It has launched a new exercise to relax India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) norms. The decision was made in an inter-ministerial meeting held at DPIIT to discuss further opening up in sectors, especially where 100% FDI is not allowed on the automatic route. Earlier, the government had opened FDI in contract manufacturing and eased norms for overseas investors in single-brand retail and coal mining.
Foreign direct investment is prohibited in nine sectors namely betting and gambling icluding casinos,chit funds, lottery business, trading in transferable development rights, construction of farmhouses or real estate business, Nidhi companies, manufacturing of cheroots,cigars, cigarillos and cigarettes, of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes, atomic energy, and certain railway operations. India also prohibits foreign technology collaboration in any form including licensing for franchise, trademark, management contract or brand name for lottery,gambling and betting activities.
Environment & Climate
Nelloptodes gretae : It is a tiny species of beetle from Coleoptera family Ptiliidae. The beetle is pale yellow and gold in colour. It measures 0.79 millimetres long. It has no eyes or wings, and is distinguishable by a small pit found between where the eyes should go. Usually found in the leaf litter and soil, they feed on fungal hyphae and spores. It is an anthropod.
British entomologist William Block discovered this beetle for the first time in Nairobi, Kenya and donated the samples to the British Natural History Museum in 1978. The tiny beetle was named Nelloptodes gretae recently to honour 16-year-old Swedish climate activist’s ‘outstanding contribution’ in raising global awareness of climate change.
COP 25 : The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, is to be the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference. The annual Conference of the Parties (COP) summit is a key event which allows representatives from around 200 nations to monitor and discuss the current situation of the world’s warming climate.
The Spanish capital city of Madrid will host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25) from 2 to 13 December. It was first supposed to be hosted by Chile but due to the ongoing street protests in the South American country it was decided to he hosted in Madrid.
World's most polluted city : According to the Guinness World Records 2020 Analysis of a World Health Organization report, the city Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world. A report by World Health Organization (WHO) analyzed that with an average PM2.5 level of 173 micrograms per m3 for 2016, pollution in the city is over 17 times higher than the WHO recommended maximum of 10 micrograms per m3.
PM2.5s are very small particles such as dust,soot and ash, prolonged exposure to which can cause cancer, lung and heart conditions. Of the world’s 20 most PM2.5-polluted cities, 14 are in India. The PM2.5 particles are emitted directly from a source, like unpaved roads, construction sites, fields, fires or smokestacks while most particles in the atmosphere form due to complex chemical reactions like SO2 and NO2, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.
Central Government : The Central government has formed a panel to suggest measures to mitigate financial stress in the sector. It was formed after Supreme Court ordered telecom companies to pay as much as Rs 1.42 trillion in past statutory dues. The panel will consist of The Committee of Secretaries (CoS) which is comprised fo the ministries of finance, telecommunication and law among others.
The CoS will give suggestions for the ways of tackling the financial stress in the telecom sector and for deferring of payments for spectrum as well as re-look at the obligation to fund a universal service fund for operators.The panel has to submit recommendations in a time-bound manner and it has to also re-look at the obligation to fund a universal service fund for operators.
National Pension System : Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has permitted Overseas Citizen of India(OCI) to enrol in NPS. They will now be eligible to apply for the National Pension System at par with Non Resident Indians (NRIs).
According to a notification by the Department of Economic Affairs on Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019, the OCIs may subscribe to the National Pension System (NPS) which is being governed and administered by PFRDA.
Overseas citizens of India who are willing to subscribe NPS is eligible to invest as per the provisions of the PFRDA Act and the accumulated saving will be repatriable, subject to Foreign Exchange Management Act guidelines.
PFRDA in its endeavor to promote and develop the NPS has taken several initiatives towards increasing the pension coverage in the country. Now, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident and OCIs are eligible to join NPS till the age of 65 years.
PFRDA runs two pension schemes -- NPS and Atal Pension Yojana -- whereas the former caters to the government and organised sector employees, the latter is mainly for the workers in the unorganised sector.
Parliament of India : The Parliament of India is the supreme legislative body of the Republic of India. It is a bicameral legislature composed of the President of India and the two houses that is, the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the Lok Sabha(lower house). It was founded in 26 January 1950.
Vice President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha Shri M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the 15-point reform charter for a new political concept to ensure effective functioning of the Legislatures in the Parliament and in the State, so that the peoples respect for the democratic institution can be sustained. The 15-point charter was unveiled during the delivery of first Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture on Strengthening of Parliamentary Institutions in the Country at Delhi University. The charter was created keeping in view the poor attendence in legislatures and the quality of debate in the Parliament.
Features of the Charter are :-
* Pre and post-legislative impact assessment of the parties should be done.
* It includes a ship system which is an official of a political party whose work is to ensure party discipline in a legislature.
* Establishment of special courts for time-bound adjudication of criminal cases against legislators.
* Addressing problem of rising number of legislators with criminal backgound.
* Reviewing of anti-defection law.
* Representation of women in legislatures should be increased.
* The government in power to be responsive to the opposition and opposition to be responsible and constructive while working in parliament.
* A consensus should be built on holding simultaneous elections
* Rules should be framed against the interruptions and disruptions by misbehaving members.
* The legislatures should abide by the rules of the house.
* Concrete steps to be taken for the effective functioning of the Parliamentary Committees.
* All parties should adopt a roster system to ensure that atleast 50 per cent of their members are present.
* The secretariats of legislatures should publish a regular attendance report of members during the proceedings of the house.
Sharad Arvind Bobde : Bobde comes from a Nagpur-based lawyers’ family. His father Arvind Bobde was advocate-general of Maharashtra and his elder brother late Vinod Arvind Bobde a renowned senior advocate of Supreme Court and a constitutional expert. He completed his graduation at SFS College Nagpur and studied Law at Nagpur University in 1978. He is a former Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. He is also serving as the Chancellor of University of Delhi and Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. He was enrolled as an advocate of the Bar Council of Maharashtra in 1978. He had practised law at Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court with appearances at Bombay before Principal Seat and before Supreme Court for over 21 years. He became a Senior Advocate in 1998. He was appointed as an additional judge of Bombay High Court in March 2000 and sworn in as Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court in October 2012. Sharad Arvind Bobde, born 24 April 1956, was elevated is a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in April 2013.
President Ram Nath Kovind under Article 124 of the Constitution of India appointed Justice SA Bobde, the senior-most judge in the Supreme Court after CJI Ranjan Gogoi, as the next Chief Justice of India. He will take oath as the CJI on November 18th. He will be the 47th CJI and will hold office till April 23, 2021.
Article 124(2) : Article 124(2) of the Indian Constitution provides that the Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President after consultation with such number of the Judges of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts in the States as the President may deem necessary for the purpose.
Postal Ballot : It is a voting system in an election whereby ballot papers are distributed to electors or returned by post, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting system.
The Government has provided the facility to the elderly and disabled voters above 80 years to vote with the postal ballot. On the recommendation of the Election Commission, the Law and justice Ministry amended the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, to give voting and ballot voting to voters with disabilities and those above 80 years of age allowing the senior citizens and person with disabilities in the absentee voter list.
The current system entitled military, paramilitary personnel and government employees working abroad, as well as employees posted in election duty only to vote with the postal ballot.
India and Germany : German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit to India to co-chair the fifth Biennial Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 November 2019. The Chancellor was accompanied by several Ministers and State Secretaries of Federal Government, as well as a high-powered business delegation. India and Germany have signed 17 MoUs in the fields of agriculture, maritime technology, ayurveda and yoga among others. Five joint declarations of intent which included cooperation on strategic projects, partnership for green urban mobility, development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cooperation to prevent marine litter were also exchanged between both the countries.
List of Agreements/ MoUs signed on the sidelines
1. Implementing Arrangement for Exchange of Personnel between ISRO and German Aerospace Centre
2. Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in the Field of Civil Aviation
3. Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) on Cooperation within the International Smart Cities Network
4. Joint Declaration of Intent between on Cooperation in the Field of Skills Development and Vocational Education and Training
5. Declaration of Intent on Strengthening Economic Cooperation in the field of Start-ups
6. Joint Declaration of Intent on the Establishment of Bilateral Cooperation Project regarding Agricultural Market Development
7. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Occupational Diseases, Re-habilitation and vocational training of Insured Persons & workers with disabilities
8. Memorandum of Understanding For Cooperation in Inland, Coastal and Maritime Technology
9. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote, establish and expand scientific and technological research cooperation
10. MoU on Establishment of an Academic Collaboration in Ayurveda, Yoga and Meditation
11. Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Germany on Cooperation in the Field of Higher Education for Extension of the period of Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education
12. MoU between National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management MANAGE and the German Agricultural Academy DEULA in the city of Nienburg on collaboration in agricultural technical and professional training
13. Joint Declaration of Intent between Siemens Limited, India and MSDE and German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on Skills for Sustainable Growth
14. MoU on the Extension of Indo-German Partnership in Higher Education
15. Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation between the National Museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Indian Museum Kolkata, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Stiftung Humboldt Forum in Berliner Schloss
16. Memorandum of Understanding between All India Football Federation (AIFF) and DeutscherFußball-Bund e.V (DFB)
17. Statement of Intent on the key elements of the Indo-German Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement.
India and Saudi Arabia : India and Saudi Arabia have signed MoU to launch RuPay card in the country. It was signed during Prime Minisiter Modi recent visit to the kingdom. The signing of the MoU will benefit not only 2.6 million Indians in Gulf Kingdom but also pilgrims visiting Haj and Umrah.
The launch of the Rupay card has made Suadi Arabia the third nation in West Asia to initiate India’s digital payment system. India has already launched RuPay card in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Bhutan and Singapore.
Rupay Card : It is a card scheme, conceived and launched by the National Payments Corporation of India on 26 March 2012. It was created to fulfil the Reserve Bank of India's vision to have a domestic, open and multilateral system of payments. RuPay facilitates electronic payment at all Indian banks and financial institutions. RuPay is India’s version of Master Card and Visa and is also a highly secure network that protects against cyberhacks. So as to internationally accepted, the RuPay has tied-up with international players such as China Union Pay,Discover and Japan Credit Bureau.
Uzbekistan : Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on his three-day visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan attended the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). He was received by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov at the SCO meeting.
He also paid floral tributes at the statue of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on Shastri Street who had passed away in Tashkent on January 11, 1966.
The leaders participating in the meeting focusssed their discussions on multilateral economic cooperation in the SCO region. This was the third Council of Heads of Government meeting after India became a member of the SCO.
Rashtriya Ekta Diwas: It is also known as National Unity Day. It was introduced by the Government of India in 2014. The official statement for Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was provided by the Home Ministry of India. It cites that the National Unity Day “will provide an opportunity to re-affirm the inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand the actual and potential threats to the unity, integrity and security of our country.” The day is celebrated to mark the 144th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. He was honoured with the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue approximately 182 metres (597 ft) in height dedicated to him. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel : The Iron Man of India, also known as the Loh Purush, Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel was born on October 31, 1875. He is also popularly known as Sardar Patel and was one of the most known Indian politicians after Independence. Sardar Patel served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of India under Prime Minister Shri Jawarharlal Nehru. He is most popularly known as a founding father of the Republic of India because he played a significant role in integrating the independent provinces into a unified India just after the partition. He also acted as Home Minister during the political integration of India and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid floral tribute to Sardar Patel at the 'Statue of Unity' at Kevadiya in Gujarat. Several places in India held Run for Unity event in order to celebrate the National Unity Day on October 31,2019.
Border Personnel Meeting : It is a meeting conducted every year on the 30th of October since the Border Peace and Tranquility agreement was signed between India and China on 7 September 1993.
Border Peace and Tranquility agreement : It is an agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas. This agreement provides the framework for border security between the parties until final determination is made regarding border demarcation.
Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) between the Indian Army and People's Liberation Army was conducted by the People 's Liberation Army on 30 October 2019 on the Chinese side at Bum La. The meeting was organized by People 's Liberation Army (PLA).
It was marked by unfurling of both the National Flags followed by a formal address by the delegation leaders and discussion on various issues to enhance the existing mutual trust and bonhomie between World's two largest armies. The desire to enhance mutual cooperation and cordial relations between the two countries was very evident from the prevailing conducive environment during the proceedings of BPM 2019 .
In the last 26 years, the BPM mechanism has evolved into a vital platform for resolving local issues and fostering mutual confidence amongst the Border Guarding Troops of both the countries.
ROADTECH : It refers to Sustainable Roads and Highways-Smart Use of Available Resources for Green and Sustainable Roads. The 5th International Conference on ROADTEC was held in New Delhi. Union Minister of State for Road Transport V.K. Singh addressed the meeting. The discussions at the meeting included the growth of the economy by propelling the infrastructure, find the unique way to monetize the road projects in an environment-friendly manner, improve the field of infrastructure in the future than the work done in the last five years and ways to achieve this growth as India needs sustainable and environment-friendly roads and highways and finally the decision to focus on the infrastructure sector to fight the economic slow down.
People In News
Leeladhar Jagoori : He is an Indian teacher, journalist and poet of Hindi literature. He is the author of several poetry anthologies including Natak Jari Hai and Shankha Mukhi Shikharon Par and is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, for his 1997 anthology, Anubhav Ke Aakash Mein Chand. His poems often celebrate love and hope.
The prestigious 28th Vyas Samman award for the year 2018 was conferred to him for his poetry collection ‘Jitne Log Utne Prem’, at a function held in New Delhi by renowned author and scholar Govind Mishra. Vyas Samman Award : It is a literary award in India, first awarded in 1991. It is awarded annually by the K.K. Birla Foundation and it carries a prize money of Rs. 4 lakh along with a citation and plaque. To be eligible for the award, the literary work must be in the Hindi language and have been published in the past 10 years.
The KK Birla Foundation also confers Bihari Puraskar and Saraswati Samman for literature in Indian languages.
Ilham Tohti : He was a Professor of economics at Beijing university. He is from the Uighur minority. He has been a fierce critic of China's treatment of the Uighur people. He was jailed for life in 2014 in China for separatism. He was also a leading Uighur intellectual best known for founding the website Uighur Online.
European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for human rights to Uighur intellectual Ilham Tohti. recognised for drawing attention to ethnic tensions in Xinjiang. The award was announced by European Parliament head David Sassoli. A ceremony awarding him the Sakharov Prize in his absence will be held in Strasbourg in December.
He also won another of Europe’s top human rights awards called ‘Vaclav Havel prize’, in September 2019, for “giving the entire Uighur people a voice”. He was also nominated by US lawmakers for ‘Nobel Peace Prize’, amid growing scrutiny of China’s treatment of Uighurs. Sakharov Prize : Officially the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is the prestigious human rights award which was founded in 1988 in honor of the Soviet dissident and scientist Andrei Sakharov. It is awarded by the European Parliament, the European Union’s legislative body. It usually goes to political dissidents and intellectuals, with a wide geographic sweep.
Girish Chandra Murmu : He is a 1985 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Gujarat cadre and was principal secretary to Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was working for the Union Ministry of Finance as the Expenditure Secretary before taking charge as the Lieutenant Governor. He became Jammu and Kashmir's first lieutenant Governor after the formation of the new Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019. He has become the youngest governor the country has ever had. He was administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice Gita Mittal at a function held at Raj Bhawan at the foothills of the Zaberwan range.
RK Mathur: Radha Krishna Mathur is a retired 1977 batch IAS officer of Tripura cadre. He was the Defence Production Secretary of India, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Secretary of India and the Chief Secretary of Tripura. He will become the first lieutenant governor of Ladakh.He was administered Oath of Office and Secrecy by Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Gita Mittal.
Satya Pal Malik : He was the last governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He will now move to Goa for the remainder of his tenure as governor. He is scheduled to take the position on 3 November. Mr Malik was first appointed governor of Bihar in September 2017 and moved to Jammu and Kashmir in August last year.
Umang Narula : Centre has also appointed Umang Narula, a 1989-batch IAS officer, as the advisor to newly-appointed Lt Governor of Ladakh. At present, Umang is posted as principal secretary to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malilk.
SS Khandare : SSKhandare, a 1995-batch IPS officer, has been appointed Head of Police of Union Territory of Ladakh.
The reorganization of erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir into Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh came into existence on the birth anniversary of Iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who is credited with merger of over 560 states into Union of India. This event marked the official reorganisation of the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir, which was split into two union territories after Article 370 and 35A of the Constitution was abrogated by the union government on August 5.
Lieutenant Governors are appointed by President of India for a term of 5years.
Rafael Mariano Grossi : He is a 58 year old nuclear and diplomatic veteran from Buenos Aires in Argentina. He also served as the Argentine Ambassador to Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia and International Organisations based in Vienna. He was formerly the Argentine Ambassador to Belgium.
He is set to take office as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations’ nuclear watchdog. He is appointed for a term of 4 years and will assume office no later than January 1, 2020. He will be the sixth head of the IAEA since it was founded more than six decades ago and will succeed the late Yukiya Amano as the new chief of IAEA. He will preside over the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons at the UN headquarter in New York from April to May 2020.
IAEA : It refers to The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons. It is headquartered in Vienna,Austria. It was formed on the 26th of July 1957.
IFFI : It refers to International Film Festival of India. It was founded in 1952 and is one of the most significant film festivals in Asia. The first ever IFFI was organized by the Films Division, Government of India, with the patronage of the first Prime Minister of India – Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) aims at providing a common platform to the cinemas across the world to project the excellence of the art of film making. This India’s most prestigious festival is also the first International Film Festival held anywhere in Asia.
Indian film superstar Rajinikanth who has been awarded the Padma Bhushan(2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2016) by the Government of India will be honoured with a special Icon of Golden Jubilee awardat the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). It will be held in Goa.
French acter Isabelle Huppert too will recieve the Lifetime Achievement Award at the event.
Greta Thunberg : She is a 16 year old Swedish climate activist. The Scientists at the British Natural History Museum in London, UK have named a tiny beetle of the Coleoptera family Ptiliidae that was discovered more than 50 years ago as ‘Nelloptodes gretae’. She has been honoured for her outstanding contribution’ in raising global awareness of climate change.
P S Sreedharan Pillai : The 65 year old BJP leader P.S. Sreedharan who headed the Kerala unit of BJP has been appointed as the new Governor of Mizoram. The appointment was made by President Ram Nath Kovind. His meeting will take effect from the date he assumes charge of his office.
Places In News
Syria : Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. Syria's eight-year civil war has claimed more than 370,000 lives and created 5.6 million refugees.
The Syrian government and Opposition delegates met for the first time in the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland to draft a new constitution and to chart a political settlement to end nearly nine years of civil war. A total of 150 delegates representing the government, opposition and civil society yesterday met at the United Nations office. The drafting of the new Constitution for the war-torn country would be the first step towards the beginning for a political process that will lead to UN-supervised elections under UN resolution 2254. The meeting of the Syria's arch-enemies after nearly 9 years of war is a historic moment. The meeting in Geneva which is being overseen by UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen. The meeting was a key proposal by russia. Opposition co-chair Hadi Albahra said Syrians seek a nation that respects all people, without discrimination.However,at present no deadline has been set for the end of talks, but all sides have promised to work with speed and efficiency.
Nagaland : Nagaland Minister for Higher and Technical Education and Tribal affairs Temjen Inma Along launched Nagaland Ex-gratia Scheme for Students Studying outside Nagaland (NGESSO), an initiative of Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio. It was launched at the directorate of Higher Education in Kohima. The scheme is targeted for students who die outside the state while pursuing secular, technical, professional, diploma and theology courses. The scheme would also benefit the students of Nagaland belonging to any recognized scheduled tribes and indigenous inhabitants of the state. The nominee can claim ex-gratia amount within a period of 2 (two) months after the death of the students by furnishing the required documents. The payment would be made through Direct Benefit Transfer by the finance department to the bank account of the nominee within a period of one month.
Himachal Pradesh: Himachal Pradesh Government launched a scheme to promote natural farming and to increase the income of the farmers. A total of 2,209 panchayats out of the total 3,226 panchayats were brought under natural farming in the State. It is promoting Organic and Zero Budget Natural Farming under Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan Yojana. A target of training 50,000 farmers under the scheme has been fixed for this 2019-2020. As many as 20,579 farmers were trained out of which 15,391 have started practicing natural farming in their fields. As per the plans of the State Government minimum of 5 training sessions per month till March 2020 are to be held.
Block technology manager and Assistance Technology manger have been recruited under Agricultural Technology management Agency to fulfill the needs of the training. The scheme aims to reduce costs required for farmers, increase farmers income and reduce use of chemicals and fertilizers in the farm.
Odisha : Odisha has inked a Letter of Understanding (LoU) on “drink from tap mission” with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The main objective of the mission is to provide piped quality drinking water supply to every urban household in the state on a 24-hour basis. Technical cooperation will be provided by NNICEF to the Government of Odisha. The community-based water management system will be adopted at ward-level and in the first phase. The availability of safe water in every urban area will involve Women Self help Groups that will ensure the household connection for every household, collection of water tariff, meter reading, billing, complaint management, filed quality testing by using standard tools etc,.
Investment in water in Odisha is very important as, around 10 lakh people in Odisha are facing water contamination related problems. Similarly, 68 lakh people are not getting minimum 40 litres of water for their daily needs. Out of those highest 11 lakh are in Ganjam district alone.
Lebanon : Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri resigned from the post of Prime Minister amid a wave of protests against his government in nearly two weeks. Lebanon has been facing a deep-running fiscal crisis as it staggers under one of the highest debt ratios in the world $86 billion, or more than 150% of the country’s gross domestic product. The country has been paralized due to the unrest caused by the anti-government protesters.
Science and Technology
Self-assembling Robots: Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) engineers have developed M-blocks, a set of robotic cubes that can roll, jump, spin, and self-assemble into different shapes. the robots, called M-blocks 2.0, have a barcode-like system on each face that helps them recognize and communicate with other blocks. The cube robots were developed by MIT’s computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory (CSAIL). They are the second iteration of an original design that MIT showed off back in 2013. the latest version features algorithms designed to help the robots work together more effectively.
The origami robots are made from composite sheets of paper and polystyrene (Shrinky Dinks). The engineers print some conductive channels onto these sheets, and then use a laser machining system to create the necessary origami fold pattern. Each hinge contains an embedded circuit that, when instructed by a microcontroller, produces heat, which causes the hinge to fold. Then, by adding a couple of motors, and a microcontroller that knows the necessary fold pattern, the robot comes to life — first by folding into its predestined shape, and then by walking away.
MIT : It refers to Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT in the US have developed a new technology to capture carbon dioxide from a stream of air, virtually at any concentration level, an advance that may pave the way for new strategies to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.
Earlier, most methods of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of gas required higher concentrations such as those found in the flue emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants but now the new method could take out the gas even when it was present in very low concentrations.
Indian Brain Atlas : Researchers at International Institute of Information Technology-Hyderabad (IIIT-H) have created an Indian Brain Atlas. The India-specific brain atlas is known as IBA 100. According to the new findings the average size of an Indian brain is smaller in height width and volume than Western and Eastern population.
First-ever digital human brain atlas was created by The MNI and International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) in 1993.
Until now, Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI)'s Caucasian brains were used as standard to study brain as the MNI was not ideal for Indian population due to difference in ethnicity. MNI template ran the risk of misdiagnosis due to the difference in size of the brains.
Jayanti Sivaswamy, who works at Centre for Visual Information Technology saod that the creation of IBA 100 would help in better diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and other brain ailments. Her research students are now collecting MRI scans to create brain atlases for different age groups, like 20-30, 30-40, 40-50 and 50-60 and to track the brain and see how it ages.
Korea and China have also constructed their own brain templates. Overall, IBA 100 is more similar to Chinese and Korean atlases than the distant Caucasian one.
Hockey : Eight-time winners India qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after thrashing Russia 7-1 (11-3 on aggregate) in the second game of the two-legged FIH Qualifiers for men, in Bhubaneswar. The Indian men, ranked fifth in the world, had earlier defeated world number 22 Russia 4-2 in the first-leg on Friday.
Indian women's hockey team too has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Skipper Rani Rampal's 48th minute strike sealed Tokyo Olympics berth for the Indian women's hockey team as they pipped USA 6-5 on aggregate despite losing 1-4 in the second leg of the FIH Qualifier, in Bhubaneswar. Indian women have now qualified for back-to-back Olympics having sealed it in Rio de Janeiro after a gap of 36 years. The women's team first participated in the Quadrennial extravaganza in 1980 where the men's team last won their gold medal.
Boxing : India pugilists Shiva Thapa (63kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) bagged gold at the Olympic Test Event for Boxing while Ashish (69kg) settled for silver as India ended with a decent haul of seven medals at the Olympic Test Event for Boxing. Thapa is also the reigning national champion and a bronze-medallist from the 2015 world championships.
Ironman World Championships : The Ironman World Championship has been held annually in Hawaii since 1978, with an additional race in 1982. It is owned and organized by the World Triathlon Corporation. It is the annual culmination of a series of Ironman triathlon qualification races held throughout the world.
Lieutenant Colonel Swaroop Singh Kuntal of the Indian Army and posted in Jhansi, has made the name of the country proud by making a new record in Malaysia. He became the fastest Indian to complete Ironman Malaysia triathlon in a record time of 12 hours and 14 minutes. The triathlon consists of 3.8 km sea swimming, followed by 180 km cycling and finally 42.2 km of running.
Football League Cup :In association football, a League Cup or Secondary Cup generally signifies a cup competition for which entry is restricted only to teams in a particular league. The first national association football tournament to be called "League Cup" was held in Scotland in 1946–47 and was entitled the Scottish League Cup.
Liverpool reached the League Cup quarter-finals in thrilling style as their incredible 5-5 draw against Arsenal was followed by a 5-4 penalty shoot-out triumph, while Manchester United won 2-1 at Chelsea.