Current Affairs for August 9, 2019

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

BANKING AND ECONOMY

APPOINTMENTS

AWARDS

SPORTS

MISCELLANEOUS

CURRENT AFFAIRS VIDEO

NATIONAL NEWS

  1. Budget 2019: – 10,000 new farmer producer organisations (FPOs) will be created in the next five years to strengthen farmers.
  • A study published by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) emphasized on to encourage these FPOs to directly trade in the commodities futures market to eliminate the need of middlemen.
  • With this, farmers could make their cropping decisions based on next year’s prices rather than last year’s rates and can trade on National Commodity and Derivates Exchange (NCDEX).
  • NCDEX is an online commodity Exchange on the nation-level to provide a commodity Exchange platform to trade in a wide spectrum of commodity derivatives.

 

  1. Andhra Pradesh’s Police Department has launched the “Cyber Mithra” program aimed at ensuring women safety and help the victims of cyber-crime.
  • As part of this, women can register complaints through toll-free helplines and a WhatsApp number.
  • A Facebook page ‘AP Police Women Safety Cyber Space’ has also been launched.

 

  1. National Deworming initiative had been launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2018 to provide quality healthcare to more than 32 crore children.
  • Purpose: – To make high quality healthcare accessible to every child and up to the last mile.
  • National Deworming Day is being observed on February 10 and August 10 each year since 2015 to administer albendazole vaccine to children from 1-19 years of age group in schools and Anganwadi centres.

 

  1. Ministry of Health has released the Report Card on “Breastfeeding & Infant & Child feeding Practices” which mentions that Manipur is the top state in terms of breastfeeding practises in India.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar are at the bottom positions in the report card.
  • Parameters: – 3 indicators are early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for six months and complimentary feeding at 6-8 months of child’s age.

  1. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of Next Generation Maritime Mobile Coastal Batteries (NGMMCB) – which will be fitted into BrahMos missile– and a Software Defined Radio.
  • SDR has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Bharat Electronics and Navy’s Weapons Electronics Systems Engineering Establishment.
  • DAC has also approved amendments to the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP), 2016, to improve the ease of business.

 

  1. New changes proposed under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) provides for treatment of money laundering as a ‘stand-alone crime’ and gives more power to Enforcement Directorate to conduct investigation.

It will also expand the ambit of “proceeds of crime” under Section 2 to assets that may have been derived from any other criminal activity related to scheduled offences.

Sub-sections (1) of Section 17 (Search and Seizure) and Section 18 (Search of Persons) have been deleted to remove the formality of FIR or chargesheet by other agencies that are authorised to probe the offences listed in the PMLA schedule.

A new explanation has been inserted in Section 44 : – “The jurisdiction of the Special Court, while dealing with the offence under this Act, during investigation, enquiry or trial under this Act, shall not be dependent upon any orders passed in respect of the scheduled offence, and the trial of both sets of offences by the same court shall not be construed as joint trial”.

All PMLA offences will be cognisable and non-bailable under Section 45. Now, ED officers can arrest an accused without warrant, subject to certain conditions.

 

  1. MoU signed between Uttar Pradesh government and Netherlands have been for another 5 years till 2024.

5 MoU were signed for cooperation on: –

Spatial planning

Water management

Energy efficiency, sewerage and effluent treatment, agriculture, dairy and horticulture

Development of smart cities in UP, cultural heritage and cycle track infrastructure

solid waste management

 

  1. IIT-Madras and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) have partnered for developing turbines to generate electricity through ocean waves.
  • The project is being funded by Ministry of Earth Sciences.

 

  1. UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) have partnered to develop a skill development program for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector.
  • It is a part of the ongoing MNRE-GEF-UNIDO project jointly implemented by UNIDO.
  • MNRE-GEF-UNIDO stands for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy – Global Environment Friendly – United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

 

  1. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting launched the e-version of Rozgar Samachar (newspaper) to create awareness about new jobs in government sector.
  • Employment News/Rozgar Samachar paper (launched in 1976) is published by Ministry of I&B.

 

  1. India (total 46 countries signed it) has signed the UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA) also known as Singapore Convention on Mediation.
  • The treaty provides a uniform framework for enforcing international settlement agreements which results from mediation and it will boost ease of doing business in India.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  1. CITES- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora- 71st and 72nd meeting of standing committee, 18th Conference of Parties meeting will be held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • CITES ensures that wild animals and plants’ survival is not threaten during their trade.
  • India’s proposal: – Smooth-coated otter, small-clawed otter, Indian star tortoise, Tokay gecko, wedge-fish and Indian rosewood are facing the risk of international trade.
  • India has proposed to re-list the all these species from Appendix II to Appendix I.
  • CITES lists plants and animals in 3 appendices based on the degree of protection needed by them.

  1. Papua New Guinea (island nation) has the maximum number of living languages- 840 presently, according to Ethnologue (total 7,111 are living languages in the world).

Some Other Facts:

Indonesia (with 710) is 2nd and Nigeria is 3rd with 524 living languages. India is ranked at 4th position with 453 living languages.

There are 2,895 endangered languages.

Asia has the highest number of indigenous languages at 2303 followed by Africa at 2140.

According to UNESCO’s ‘Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger’, 228 languages have so far become extinct.

 

  1. According to a UN’s Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report– titled as special report on ‘Climate Change and Land’, global warming can be reduced below 2 degree Celsius level by 2100 only by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.
  • The report suggests that dietary changes can reduce land degradation and GHG gas to 8 billion tonnes by 2050.
  • The land surface air temperature has increased by 1.53º Celsius. Globally, total 37% of the GHG is contributed by food sector.
  • Wheat production has been reduced by 5.2% due to global warming.

 

 

BANKING AND ECONOMY

  1. Asian Development Bank has given $200 million loan to Maharashtra for improving road infrastructure in 34 districts for better connectivity of rural areas.

 

  1. The task force headed by Usha Thorat, was formed by RBI in Feb 2019, to examine the issues relating to the offshore rupee markets and recommend appropriate policy measures.
  • The panel has suggested following recommendation: –

 

Users should be allowed to undertake foreign exchange transactions up to $100 million in OTC currency derivative market without the need to establish underlying exposure.

Extend onshore market hours to improve access of overseas users and enabling rupee derivatives (settled in foreign currency), to be traded in the International Financial Services Centres (IFSC) in India.

Establish a central clearing and settlement mechanism for non-resident transactions in the onshore market to facilitate non-residents to hedge their foreign exchange exposure onshore.

All the Indian banks need to freely offer prices to global clients around the clock task force on offshore rupee markets.

 

  1. Indian Bank and Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company have signed an agreement to provide life insurance products to the bank’s customers.

 

  1. Max Life Insurance Co Ltd has launched the “Speed Dial – your partner for life” to quickly resolve the grievances of customers on one call.

 

  1. Indian Bank and SBI Life Insurance have signed a ‘bancassurance’ agreement to provide insurance products to bank’s customers.
  • Bancassurance means selling of life insurance products by banks.

 

APPOINTMENTS

  1. Manipur government has appointed Elangbam Valentina Devi (aged 9) as the state’s green ambassador.

 

  1. Dinesh Kumar Khara’s tenure as MD of State Bank of India has been increased for 2 years.

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AWARDS

  1. Bharat Ratna Award 2019 has been awarded to Pranab Mukherjee, Late Nanaji Deshmukh, and Late singer Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika.

2. ISRO has announced a new category of award – ‘Vikram Sarabhai Journalism Award in Space Science, Technology and Research’ which will award journalists who contributed towards the space science and technology etc.

  • This year is celebrations of 100 years of Vikram Sarabhai, the father of Indian space programme.

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SPORTS

  1. World Archery Federation has suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI).
  • Reason: – Internal dispute in the AAI.
  • Implication : – The last event in which Indian athletes can participate is the world youth championships in Madrid (in August 2019).

 

  1. World Women’s Boxing Championships 2019 will be held in Russia in October.

 

  1. Dutee Chand (Sprinter) has signed agreement with PUMA for a formal association (to be included in the list of world class PUMA athletes).

 

  1. Colin Ackermann (South African) has set a new world record in T20 cricket format by taking 7 wickets in just 18 runs.
  • The match in this T20 series- Vitality Blast was held in England and Wales– was played between Leicestershire Foxes (Colin’s club) and Birmingham Bears.

 

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MISCELLANEOUS

  1. A book- Oru Manidhan, Oru Iyakkam on the life and work of former CM of Tamil Nadu and DMK president M.Karunanidhi has been released.

 

  1. A sequel to Emerging India (2012) book- ‘Resurgent India’ has been written by Bimal Jalan.

3. Sandra Pascoe Ortiz (Mexican researcher) has invented a new technique to make biodegradable plastic from cactus leaves (juice).

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