Current Affairs for July 22, 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BANKING AND ECONOMY

APPOINTMENTS

AWARDS

SPORTS

CURRENT AFFAIRS VIDEO

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been introduced in the Parliament.

Amendments: –

  • It seeks to empower Centre to regulate the service conditions of central information commissioners (CIC) and information commissioners (IC).

Present Provisions

Proposed Amendments

RTI Act 2005 provides that the salaries of CICs and IC are equivalent to Election Commissioner at central and state levels respectively.

 

Under the amendment, central govt. will decide service conditions (including salary prospects) of CIC and ICs at central and state levels respectively.

Present tenure of CIC and IC is five years or until the age of 65 years

It proposes to change the tenure of the CIC and IC to “for such term as may be prescribed by the Central Government”.

 

  1. Maharashtra has launched an initiative to vaccinate 20 lakh children against rotavirus diseases which kills nearly 1 lakh children in India out of a total 34 lakh children suffering from diarrhoeal diseases.
  • Every infant will be given vaccine in sixth, 10th, 14th week.

 

  1. Chandrayaan 2 mission has flown into the sky and will land Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyan) on moon’s south pole on September 7.
  • Chandrayaan 2 has a life span of 14 Earth days.

 

  1. Electoral bonds worth ₹5,851.41 crore were bought by donors between March 2018 and May 2019 to fund political parties, and out of it 80.6% bonds were redeemed in New Delhi (the hub of major parties).
  • Bonds worth ₹874.50 crore were sold in 10 phases in New Delhi, but the value of bonds redeemed was more than five times at ₹4,715.58 crore.
  • Bonds worth ₹1,782.36 crore were also sold in Mumbai, but only 7% of them worth ₹121.13 crore were encashed.

 

  1. Ministry of Railways has sought the approval of the Union cabinet to build three new dedicated freight corridor (DFC) networks at a cost of about ₹3 trillion.
  • Indian Railways’ DFC project involves constructing five freight corridors across the country.

Five Freight Corridors of India Railways (Proposed)

Source and Destinations

East-West Corridor (2,328km)

Kolkata and Mumbai

North-South Corridor (2,327km)

Delhi and Chennai

East Coast Corridor (1,114km)

Kharagpur and Vijaywada

Eastern Freight Corridor (1,856km) – being built by Dedicated Freight Corridor Corp. of India Ltd (DFCCIL)

Ludhiana to Dankuni

Western Freight Corridor (1,504km)- being built by DFCCIL

Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port

 

  1. According to Election Commission, the Lok Sabha 2019 elections witnessed 60.14% turnout of service voters’ because of the electronically transmitted e-ballots, against the 4% turnout of 2014.
  • It was the first time that EC used e-ballot to make service voters’ cast their votes.
  • Service voters’ are the voters belonging to Armed Forces (or forces which are allowed to do so) who have an option of either voting through postal ballot or through a proxy voter.

 

  1. International Energy Agency praises ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana’ (launched in 2016) under which nearly 7.4 crore connections have been given against the target of 8 crore connections by 2020. [detailed yojana is covered in government scheme doc.]

 

  1. Government has reconstituted the ‘Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism’ (AISAM) to facilitate disinvestment procedure of Air India.
  • The group is now headed by Amit Shah and includes of 3 other ministers as well namely Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and Hardeep Singh Puri.
  • AISAM was set up in 2017 and then finance minister Arun Jaitley was its head.

  1. Karnataka has topped the list of 2nd edition of ‘The Era of Rising Fintech’ report released by Razorpay (a Bengaluru-based payment solutions company) for the April-June 2019 quarter.
  • Maharashtra is 2nd and Delhi is 3rd, and Tamil Nadu ranked 4th, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 5th.
  • Bengaluru is the most digitised city, followed by Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi.
  • It assesses the online spending pattern of consumers and businesses across multiple payment modes available on the Razorpay platform.

 

  1. Archaeological Survey of India has illuminated the Safdarjung Tomb in New Delhi to enrich tourist experience.
  • It was built in 1754 in the late Mughal Empire style for Nawab Safdarjung.

 

  1. “Indu Sarkar” (directed by Madhur Bhandarkar) has been included in the National Film Archives of India (NFAI).

 

  1. 11th biennial edition of DefExpo India2020 will take place at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Theme: – ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ and focus will be on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.
  • Defence Exhibition Organisation (DefExpo), set up in 1981, is an independent organisation that aims to promote export potential of the Indian defence industry.

 

  1. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prohibited the manufacture, sale and distribution of Colistin and its use on food-producing animals, poultry, aqua farming and animal feed supplements under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • Colistin, also known as polymyxin E, is an antibiotic which used for therapeutic purpose in veterinary.
  • Reason: – The drug is highly misused in poultry industry as a growth promoter for prophylactic purpose and the resistance to this drug got increased among animals.

 

  1. Rajya Sabha has also passed the Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which amends the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.
  • It also seeks to increase the number of members from 2 to 3, out of which one shall be a woman.

Changes (New)

Previously

Now, a person who has been Chief Justice or a Judge of the Supreme Court will be the chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

At state level, a former high court judge or HC chief can become the chairperson of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC)

The chairperson of the NHRC is a person who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

At state level, a HC chief can become the chairperson of state human rights commission

Tenure of chairpersons of NHRC and SHRC has been proposed as 3 years.

Earlier it was 5 years or 70 age, whichever is earlier.

 

  1. 2nd edition of Nishagandhi Monsoon Ragas music festival was organised in Kerala.
  • Purpose: – To increase state’s tourism.
  • Other projects of Kerala to increase tourism are: – Travancore Heritage Project (to start in 2019), Vellar Craft Village, Chala Heritage Street project etc.

 

  1. India’s 1st lightest and cheapest bullet proof jacket ‘Bhabha Kavach’ (weighs 9.2 kg) has been developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
  • The bullet-proof jacket can protect against bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle (7.62 mm hard steel core bullets), and the 5.56 mm INSAS rifle.
  • It was displayed at the 5th International Police Expo 2019 held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
  • Theme of the Expo: – “Challenges to Strengthen Peace and Security”.

  1. Centre For Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has got the ‘Next Generation Sequencing Facility’ which can sequence up to 30 human genomes in a day and also individually tag genomes of up to 80,000 cells in eight minutes.

 

  1. Government has decided to declare all lanes at toll plazas on National Highways as ‘FASTag lanes’ by December 2019.
  • FASTag (launched in 2014) is a tag which enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets a vehicle pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.

 

  1. Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Products Pipeline between India and Nepal is now ready for commercial operation.
  • It is the first transnational petroleum pipeline from India and first South Asian oil pipeline corridor. It is also the first oil pipeline in Nepal.
  • It was first proposed in 1996 but work began since 2014.

 

  1. Two bridges- 1 Km long Ujh bridge in Kathua district and 617.40 Metre long Basantar bridge in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir– have been inaugurated.
  • They have been developed by Border Road Organization (BRO) under the Project Sampark of BRO. Ujh is the longest bridge that BRO has constructed till now.
  1. According to Ministry of Civil Aviation, 12 routes under UDAN scheme have become functional recently, and now the total number of operational routes is 186.

UDAN (Ude Des Ka Aam Naagrik)

Launched

2016

Ministry

Ministry of Civil Aviation

Purpose

This Regional Connectivity Scheme aims to increase regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable to the masses.

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. For the first time, elections were held in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region, where Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and Independent candidates have won five seats each.
  • FATA was a semi-autonomous tribal region in north-western Pakistan since 1947 and in 2018 it was merged with neighbouring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

 

  1. WHO has declared Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo as a public health emergency of international concern.
  • It has infected more than 2,500 people so far and two-thirds of them have died in Congo.
  • Ebola outbreak devastated parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, and killed more than 11,000 people.

Ebola virus disease, also known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever is a viral fever of humans caused by ebolaviruses which has high risk of death, killing between 25% and 90% of those infected, with an average of about 50 percent.

 

  1. Benjamin Netanyahu, popularly known as King Bibi, has become longest-serving prime minister of Israel by spending more than 13 years (4,876 days) in office.
  • He has surpassed the tenure of Israel’s founding father and first leader, David Ben-Gurion.

 

  1. G7 group countries have agreed to tax the big technology companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook w.e.f. 2020 (similar to GAFA tax imposed by France).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank (ABIPBL)- joint venture between Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (51% stake) and Idea Cellular (49%)- will shut down its business.
  • Reason: – “unanticipated developments in the business landscape that have made the economic model unviable”.
  • It was launched in February 2018. And till now, four payments banks have shut down operations– Tech Mahindra, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company and a consortium of Dilip Shanghvi, IDFC Bank Ltd and Telenor Financial Services.

 

  1. Suzlon Energy Ltd’s has been termed as NPA by Union Bank of India after it missed a deadline to pay $172 million due to foreign currency convertible bondholders.

3. Public Sector Banks (PSBs) had a 2.68% of non-performing assets from MUDRA loans beneficiaries in 2018-19, up 16 basis points from 2.52% in the previous year.

Total NPAs of banks were ₹9.49 trillion as of March 2019 and overall banking NPAs were at 9.3%.

The bulk of MUDRA loans are up to ₹50,000 and are referred to as ‘Shishu loans’. The NPAs under this category have declined from 4.14% in 2016-17 to 1.93% in 2017-18 and 1.29% in 2018-19.

Out of 189.1 million MUDRA loans, more than 131.8 million or 69.7% of the MUDRA loans were given to women as of June, 2019.

PSBs NPAs on loans given to industry was 23.6% (overall NPAs of bank loans to industry were at 17.5%).

 

  1. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship is planning to spend Rs 5,000 crore for skill development of unorganized sector.

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Amita Prasad has been appointed as the Chairperson of Inland Waterways Authority of India.

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. International Shark Awareness Day is observed on July 14.
  • Theme for 2019: – “The sharks in crisis: a call to action for the Mediterranean.”

AWARDS

  1. Vocalist S. Sowmya has been chosen for the Sangita Kalanidhi award 2019 given by the Madras Music Academy to carnatic musicians.
  • Priyadarshini Govind will be conferred with Nritya Kalanidhi award 2019 for dance.
  • Sangita Kalaacharya award has been given to S Narayan and M S Sheela.

SPORTS

  1. Shane Lowry has won the 148th edition of Royal Portrush Open (golf) held at Portrush, Ireland.

 

  1. G.Sathiyan and Archana Kamath won the Gold medal in the mixed double in 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship 2019, in Cuttack, Odisha.
  • India won seven gold, five silver and three bronze

Men’s Singles Gold: Harmeet Desai

Women’s Singles Gold: Ayhika Mukherjee

Men Doubles Gold: Anthony Amalraj and Manav Thakkar

Women Doubles Gold: Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Krtittwika Sinha Roy

 

  1. Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) won the (Badminton) Indonesia Open BWF Tour Super 1000 tournament 2019 in women’s singles.  (Chou Tien-chen won Men’s Singles).
  1. Ariarne Titmus won the women’s 400m freestyle Gold at the World Swimming Titles in Gwangju, South Korea.
  • Sun Yang won the men’s 400m freestyle Gold for a record fourth time and also won the 200m Gold.
  • It is the 18th edition of FINA World Swimming Championship.

 

  1. Caleb Plant (USA) won the IBF super middleweight (boxing) title held at Las Vegas, USA.

 

  1. Manny Pacquiao has won WBA welterweight super championship (boxing), held at Las Vegas, USA.

 

  1. China has won the 3rd edition of Asian women’s u-23 volleyball championships held in Hanoi, Vietnam. India finished at 10th.

 

  1. Laura Muir won the Müller Anniversary Games (Athletics) held in London.
  • Müller Anniversary Games is a part of the 10th edition of IAAF Diamond League 2019.

 

  1. Chinese tennis great Li Na, France’s Mary Pierce and Russia’s Yevgeny Kafelnikov have been inducted into International Tennis Hall of Fame (located in USA).
  • Li Na has become the first Asian to be included into the Hall of Fame. She also became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam tournament by winning the French Open 2011.

  1. Prithu Gupta (chess, aged 15) has become 64th Grandmaster of India, with 2500 Elo points at the Portuguese League 2019.

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