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Important Current Affairs 29th September 2019

NATIONAL:

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh commissions indigenously built submarine INS Khanderi

• Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh made concerted efforts to modernize the Navy and equip it with the best platforms, weapons, and sensors to deal with any conventional and unconventional threats to India’s maritime interests.  The launch of INS Nilgiri the first of the Navy's seven new stealth frigates, at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai.

• Around 70% of India’s trade by value and 95% by volume is taking place through the sea route and even a slight disruption of seaborne trade due to piracy, terrorism or conflict could have serious repercussions on the economic growth and well-being of the nation.

Pilot Project for ushering in Industry 4.0 in the country is launched

• A Pilot Project for ushering in the Industry 4.0 in the country, is launched for implementation at the Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli.

• The Ministry of Railways and Department of Science & Technology have joined hands in partnership with IIT Kanpur for taking up a unique project on Industry 4.0 launching a Pilot Project for implementation at Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.

• The launch ceremony exchange of Ideas between Railway Board (Member Rolling Stock), Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Secretary Department of Science & Technology Shri Ashutosh Sharma, Professor N.S.Vyas of IIT Kanpur, DG RDSO Shri Virendra Kumar, General Manager MCF Shri V.M. Srivatsava some other senior Officials of the Railway Board and the Ministry of HRD.

• The department recently launched a new programme “Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (ICPS)” to foster and promote R&D in this emerging field of research.

AP government cancels Bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam

• Andhra Pradesh government collecting a ‘green tax’ besides imposing a ban on single-use plastic. The bauxite mining lease in about 1,520 hectares in Jarella of Chintapalli agency area in Visakhapatnam district, given to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) for a period of 30 years.

• The growing pollution levels and its impact, chief minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Around one lakh tonnes of waste is being generated from pharma companies.

• The department officials to prepare a proposal within one month to promote the protection of the environment and prevention of pollution, and also asked them to study and observe various steps taken by other countries in preserving the environment. The pollution levels in Visakhapatnam are very high. It should be prevented immediately if not there will be severe consequences.

• The AP stands in first position in the country in exporting huge amount of sea products. The current pollution control board should be purified. At the same time industries should not be affected

INTERNATIONAL:

Astronomers 13-Billion-Year-Old Protocluster Galaxy Discovered

• Astronomers have discovered a 13-billion-year-old galaxy cluster that is the earliest ever observed.The early-stage cluster called a protocluster is not easy to find Yuichi Harikane, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan who led the international team.

• A protocluster is a rare and special system with an extremely high density.The researchers used the wide viewing field of the Subaru telescope in Hawaii to map a large area of the sky in their search.

The discovery of the protocluster, a collection of 12 galaxies, suggests that large cosmic structures were present in the very early stages of the universe which scientists believe was born 13.8 billion years ago.

• The 12 galaxies is known as Himiko, a giant gas cloud found in 2009 by using the same telescope.It is reasonable to find a protocluster near a massive object such as Himiko.

Nepal Central Bank releases 3 coins to mark Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary

• The Central Bank of Nepal released three coins to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sikh Guru Nanak Dev. The coins with denomination of NPR (Nepali Rupees) 100, 1000 and 2500 were jointly launched by Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Chiranjibi Nepal and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri at Hotel Aloft in Kathmandu .

• The coins possess monetary value and its sale will start from September 30, the NRB said. "Proud to be a Sikh today. Proud to be a follower of Guru Nanak Dev. Sikhs residing in every part of the world that too in large numbers.

• On the occasion, both dignitaries launched a book showcasing the Sikh heritage in Nepal. It has been published by BP Koirala India-Nepal Foundation in co-ordination with Embassy of India in Nepal.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

FM Reviews Capital Expenditure and Payments of Maharatnas and Navratnas CPSE's

• Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to review their capital expenditure till date and plans for the next two quarters of this financial year.

• This meeting was held as part of the series of meetings that the Finance Minister has been having with various stakeholders and the measures that have been taken to accelerate the economic growth rate.

• The Meeting was attended by Finance Secretary  Shri Rajeev Kumar , Secretary DEA Shri Atanu Chakraborty & Secretary Expenditure Shri GC Murmu & Heads /Representatives  of 32 CPSEs .

• The combined capital expenditure by the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and Departmental Undertakings (DUs) such as the NHAI and the Indian Railways contribute in substantial measure to fixed assets creation in the economy.

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Important Current Affairs 28th September 2019

AGREEMENTS AND MOU'S:

India and Thailand sign trade agreements for Rs 2,400 crore.

• Thailand and India have signed agreements for Rs 2,400 crores

Aim: To boost trade ties between the two countries

The pacts were across segments including rubber, construction material, food and beverages, logistics. The breakup of the agreements, Laksana Visit on his first visit to India said the agreements signed in Mumbai total 4.45 billion Thai baht (about Rs 900 crore) while in Chennai, it was 7.623 billion Thai baht (about Rs 1,500 crore).

The total trade generated by this trip is 12.075 billion Thai baht.

The main objective of the visit was to strengthen strategic partnership with India, expand new business opportunities. The Indian domestic industry can meet about 40 per cent of rubber but India requires 60 per cent of the demand to import rubber.

The Indian market was growing steadily as it was not affected by the trade war which was currently on with many other countries.The officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand Rubber Authority and many private sectors for their business opportunities. Thailand inviting Indian businesses to sign another memorandum of understanding in November and they would launch an initiative to launch Thai products to be available in the Indian market.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

India’s biggest brands HDFC Bank retains top rank for sixth time in a row.

• HDFC Bank topped the WPP-Kantar BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands ranking for the sixth time in a row. BFSI brands have dominated the top 10 ranking list this year. According to the report, banking brands made up the largest share of the BrandZ Top 75 and owned 23% of the total brand value of $53.3 billion.

Life Insurance Corporation of India and State Bank of India retained their positions in the ranking at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively.

Kotak Mahindra Bank and ICICI Bank and got 5, 6th positions recently.

In 2018, HDFC Bank’s brand value grew by 5% and was evaluated to be around $22.7 billion. While the growth of the bank’s brand value has declined from 21% in 2018 to 5% in 2019, the report states that the bank seems to buck the global trend.

Brand Z Top 100 Most Valuale

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study reported an 8% decline in value of the top 20 global banks.  B2B technology services, including brands like Tata Consultancy Services secured 3rd position and Infosys secured 11th position the second largest category, commanding a combined $27.8 billion in brand value. Asian Paints and Maruti Suzuki were the other brands on the top 10 list.

Jio established its larger ambitions beyond telecom, was the fastest riser in the 2019 ranking. The brand managed to solidify its place in the top 10 list at No. 9 with a 34% increase in brand value to $5.5 billion. Jio came in at No. 10 with an estimated brand value of $4.1 billion. Telecom brand Airtel retained its rank at No. 4 with a decline in brand value of 10% from $11.5 billion to $10.3 billion.

Indian unicorn brands Oyo ($2 billion), Swiggy ($1.6 billion) and Zomato ($1 billion) were newcomers to the ranking at No. 30, No. 39 and No. 61, respectively.India’s biggest brands: HDFC Bank retains top rank for sixth time in a row

The BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands ranking is based on market data from Bloomberg, consumer insights from around 3.7 million consumers globally, and includes opinions from around one lakh Indian consumers on 1,000 brands in 80 categories.BFSI brands have dominated the top 10 ranking list this year. According to the report, banking brands made up the largest share of the BrandZ Top 75 and owned 23% of the total brand value of $53.3 billion.Life Insurance Corporation of India and State Bank of India retained their positions in the ranking at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively. Kotak Mahindra Bank moved up a notch, from No. 7 last year to No. 6 this year, while ICICI Bank dropped one rank and was ranked No. 10 in 2019. Together, banking and insurance brands commanded 34% of the top 75 ranking.

In 2018, HDFC Bank’s brand value grew by 5% and was evaluated to be around $22.7 billion. While the growth of the bank’s brand value has declined from 21% in 2018 to 5% in 2019, the report states that the bank seems to buck the global trend.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study reported an 8% decline in value of the top 20 global banks.  B2B technology services, including brands like Tata Consultancy Services (No. 3) and Infosys (No. 11), was the second largest category, commanding a combined $27.8 billion in brand value. Asian Paints and Maruti Suzuki were the other brands on the top 10 list.

Jio, which has established its larger ambitions beyond telecom, was the fastest riser in the 2019 ranking. The brand managed to solidify its place in the top 10 list at No. 9 with a 34% increase in brand value to $5.5 billion. Last year, Jio came in at No. 10 with an estimated brand value of $4.1 billion. Telecom brand Airtel retained its rank at No. 4 with a decline in brand value of 10% from $11.5 billion to $10.3 billion

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

England woman wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor retires from International Cricket.

• England wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor called time on her international career, a statement from the England Cricket Board.

Sarah Taylor

She made her England debut in 2006. She scored 6,553 international runs is second on England Women's all-time list of run-scorers. Taylor was also a magnetic keeper behind the stumps creating waves with her innovative methods that led her to 232 dismissals, the most in women's cricket. She previously goes on an indefinite break from cricket after the 2016 World T20 in India before returning for the 2017 World Cup.

Air Marshal B Suresh appointed Western Air Commander of Indian Air Force.

• The Indian Air Force (IAF) appointed Air Marshal B Suresh as Western Air Commander of the Force in New Delhi.

He will succeed Kargil war hero Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar on October 31.

Suresh (PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC) was the Air Officer Commanding in Chief (AOC-in-C) of the Indian Air Force’s Southern Air Command.

He assumed this charge from RKS Bhadauria on August 1, 2018.

Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria appointed as its new chief.

The first IAF officer to fly the Rafale fighter jet, Bhadauria was also involved in finalising the deal with France for the fighter jet.

He is also a post-graduate from Cranfield University in Shrivenham, United Kingdom.

The youngest officers to be awarded the presidential award of AVSM as a Group Captain, Suresh was awarded Vayu Sena Medal in 2001 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2019.

He was appointed as the honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the President of India on 1 March 2019.

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Important Current Affairs 27th September 2019

NATIONAL:

India ranks 44 in the World digital competitiveness rankings

• According to a global report, India has ranked 44th in World digital competitiveness rankings in 2019. India stood 48th rank in the year 2019. India has made various improvement in terms of knowledge and future readiness to adopt and explore digital technologies.

Also, according to the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019 (WDCR), with great advancement in the technology sub-factor level, India holds the first position in telecommunications investment.

• Parameter:

The ranking list is produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Center. The rankings are based on various measures including the capacity and  preparedness to adopt and explore digital technologies as a key driver for economic transformation in business, government and wider society.

WDCR examines three factors for the evaluation of an economy. The factors namely:

♦ knowledge, the capacity to understand and learn the new technologies and

♦ technology, the competence to develop new digital innovations

♦ future-readiness, the preparedness for the coming developments.

Vikram had hard landing, NASA releases high-resolution images of Chandrayaan 2

• The United States premier space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander had a hard landing on the Moon's surface. While releasing high-resolution images captured by its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) during a lunar flyby.

• The Vikram lander attempted a soft landing on a small patch of lunar highland smooth plains between Simpelius N and Manzinus C craters on September 7 contact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).The agency verify the exact location of the spacecraft. The images captured by LROC also do not pinpoint Chandrayaan 2 Vikram lander's location but it is possible that it is hiding in shadow.

• India's first attempt at a soft landing on the Moon. The site was located about 600 kilometers from the south pole in a relatively ancient terrain.The LRO passed over the landing site on September 17 and acquired a set of high-resolution images of the area; so far the LROC team has not been able to locate or image the lander.

INTERNATIONAL:

CIAL won an international award for passenger satisfaction by ACI

• Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has been selected as the best airport in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of services it offered to passengers. The airport was recognized by Airport Council International (ACI).

• The award was presented to the authorities of Cochin International Airport at the second Annual ACI Customer Experience Global Summit held at Bali, Indonesia.

• Airport Council International (ACI) conducted an annual survey in the 5-15 million passenger category in Airport Service Quality's (ASQ) and CIAL topped among them. One airport from Indonesia has also won recognition in the same category.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Amazon India to train individuals with autism

• Amazon India announced its partnership with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) - Sol's ARC .They planned to launch an industry first pilot programme to train young adults with autism and intellectual disabilities.

• This programme will enable their successful integration into the workforce and help them gain financial independence. Amazon.in will work closely with Sol's ARC to create internship opportunities for them across different parts of its fulfilment network.

• The NGO would also help create awareness among Amazon employees about autism and intellectual disabilities. More than 350 associates who are deaf with speech disabilities are part of the Amazon network across the country's fulfilment centres, sortation centres and delivery stations.

Amazon

Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

CEO: Jeff Bezos

Founder: Jeff Bezos

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:

Infosys won the United Nations Global Climate Action Award

• Infosys won the prestigious United Nations Global Climate Action Award in the Climate Neutral Now category. Infosys, a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting, is the only corporate from India to earn the award. The award recognized the company's efforts to combat climate change. The award will be presented to Infosys at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) which has been scheduled to be held on December 2019 in Santiago, Chile.

Organized by:

The UN Global Climate Action Award is organized by the Momentum for Change initiative of the UN Climate Change Secretariat.

The winners were selected based on innovative solutions that address climate change and help drive progress on many other sustainable development goals, such as poverty alleviation, gender equality, and economic opportunity.

DAYS:

World Maritime Day was observed on 27 September

• World Maritime Day was observed on 27 September every year. The day aims to raise awareness about the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment.

Theme:

The theme for the 2019 World Maritime Day is Empowering women in the maritime community. The theme aims to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality. The theme is in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The theme also highlights the important contribution of women within the maritime sector.

World Tourism Day is observed on 27 September

• World Tourism Day is observed on 27 September every year. For the first time, India is hosting the World Tourism Day. The Day aims to raise awareness about the role of tourism around the world. It also ensures to promote social, cultural, political and economic values.

Theme:

The theme for the 2019 World Tourism Day is Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all.

The theme focuses on:

♦ The need for fresh policies to maximize the potential of tourism. It is expected that new policies can create more and better jobs, especially for youth and women.

♦ To create jobs in tourism as it is required to reflect and incorporate ongoing advances in technology. Tourism is generating 10% of world jobs.

SPORTS:

Deepak Punia reached first rank in Wrestling Ranking

• World Championship silver medallist wrestler Deepak Punia jumped to world number one position in 6kg. He lost the top rank in the 65kg category in the latest rankings issued by the international federation (UWW).

• He settled for a silver after an ankle injury forced him to pull out of the final against Iranian great Hasan Yazdani. The 20-year-old now has 82 points, four more than World Champion Yazdani.

• Deepak won a silver Yasar Dogu and bronze medals at Asian Championship and at Sassari tournaments. He has been rewarded for his consistent show.

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Important Current Affairs 26th September 2019

NATIONAL:

Mukesh Ambani tops the 2019 IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List

• The eighth IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List 2019 was released on 25 September 2019. Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped the IIFL Wealth Hurun India Rich List. He has topped for the eighth consecutive year, with a net worth of Rs 3,80,700 crore.

• The list reported that 953 individuals crossed the Rs.1,000 crore threshold to make the list. According to IIFL, the combined wealth of top 25 in the list equates to 10% of India's GDP and that of 953 accounts for 27%.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

HDFC Bank, IOC launch co-branded fuel credit card for users from non-metro cities

• HDFC Bank in partnership with Indian Oil launched a co-branded fuel card for users from non-metro cities and towns which will be available on both RuPay and Visa platforms.

• The card was launched at an event here by IOCL's Executive Director (Retail Sales) Vigyan Kumar and HDFC Bank's Country Head, Payments Business and Marketing, Parag Rao.The card offers customers highest rewards and benefits on fuel consumption and will be available on both RuPay and Visa platforms.

• Customers earn reward points known as 'fuel points' at over 27,000 IOCL outlets. They also earn fuel points on all other spends such as groceries, bill payments, utilities and other shopping. These points can be redeemed for up to 50 litres of fuel annually.

• The card was also simultaneously launched across 135 Indian oil outlets in Bhopal, Lucknow, Indore, Ranchi, Kochi, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Nagpur, Shillong, Varanasi, Jalandhar and Panjim, among others.

PNB launched Preventive Vigilance portal

Punjab National Bank (PNB) launched a Preventive Vigilance (PV) portal on 25 September. The bank conducted a meeting at the PNB Corporate Office to promote vigilance awareness. The meeting was chaired by Central Vigilance Commissioner Sharad Kumar.

Aim:

The Preventive Vigilance portal aims to facilitate the bank's staff members to check procedural lapses and promote good practices.

PV Portal:

♦ The PV portal will facilitate all staff members to contribute towards arresting procedural lapses and unhealthy practices

♦ It will usher in a coherent climate conducive to banking for the modern age.

♦ The first of its kind portal includes other activities, such as the inauguration of the e-pledge mission, social outreach through technological platforms.

♦ The bank promoted the portal under the central theme Integrity-A way of Life.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Bharti Airtel appoints Gopal Vittal as HR head for India, South Asia

• Bharti Airtel has appointed Gopal Vittal as an interim chief people officer for India. The current chief people officer for India, South Asia, Gautam Anand, has resigned his position with immediate effect. Gopal Vittal is currently the CEO of the company.

Gautam Anand:

Gautam Anand has been working with Airtel since 2009. He was elevated to the ranks while working in different capacities. He has worked as the head of human resources for India and South Asia operations. In May 2012, he was elevated to the position of vice-president, chief of staff for CEO, India & South Asia. In this role, he was closely associated with the CEO in all aspects of business management, including performance reviews, strategic updates for the board of directors, and internal and external stakeholder management.

Rajiva Sinha to be Appointed as New Chief Secretary of West Bengal

• Rajiva Sinha will be the new chief secretary of West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

• Sinha is currently the additional chief secretary to the health and family welfare department.

• He is a 1985 batch IAS officer, was appointed the chief secretary in 2017 after the retirement of Basudeb Banerjee.

West Bengal

Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar

Capital: Kolkata

Chief minister: Mamata Banerjee

SPORTS:

Visa appoints PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador

• Visa, the payment technology company, has signed up the world badminton champion Pusarla Venkata Sindhu as its brand ambassador for two years. She will be promoting the brand through advertising campaigns.

Apart from this, Sindhu has become an athlete member of Team Visa for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

• Team Visa:

Since 1986, Visa has been supporting the Olympic Games as a worldwide sponsor. Visa has also signed a contract as the exclusive payment technology partner through 2032. Team Visa is the company's global athlete support program to assist athletes who aspire to the Olympic and Paralympic podiums. The athletes under the program are selected based on their expected demonstration of strong competitive performance at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The program has supported over 400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

Vedaant won silver at International Swimming Championship

• Actor R Madhavan , 14-year-old son Vedaant clinched a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay for Group II boys at the Asian Age Group Swimming Championship. Vedaant, along with other participants Utkarsh Patil, Sahil Laskar and Shoan Ganguly, won a silver medal in the category.

• Thailand scored the gold medal and Japan won bronze in the third spot.India won gold in the 4x100m men's freestyle relay at the Asian Age Group Swimming Championship.

• Madhavan shared an appreciation post for the young swimmers including his son. India gets her silver medal at the Asian Games.

Vedaant along with other participants Utkarsh Patil, Sahil Laskar, and Shoan Ganguly, won a silver medal in the category.

N Srinivasan's Daughter Rupa Gurunath Becomes First Woman To Head A BCCI State Unit

• Rupa Gurunath, daughter of former BCCI chief N. Srinivasan elected unopposed as president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), She is the first woman to head a state unit of the Indian Board. Rupa is the wife of Gurunath Meiyappan, who is serving a life ban for his involvement in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal.

• She is elected at the TNCA's 87th Annual General Meeting in Chennai.The TNCA's Executive meeting decided to hold the elections.TNCA recently hit the headlines after unnamed officials, coaches and players in its franchise-based Tamil Nadu Premier League were accused of being involved in match-fixing.

The Supreme Court allowed the TNCA to hold elections for its office-bearers.

• The results of elections will be subject to the order of the top court and legal remedies will be available to parties involved.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) governing Indian cricket in its submissions before the apex court complained that the TNCA comply with the new BCCI constitution.

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Important Current Affairs 25th September 2019

NATIONAL:

Ministry of WCD organized Poshan Maah event

• The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) as part of the POSHAN Maah organized a one day camp in Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi. Rabindra Panwar, Secretary, Ministry of WCD inaugurated the Test, Treat and Talk (T 3) Anaemia and Defeat Diarrhoea (D 2) camp in New Delhi. The Ministry aims to create awareness regarding simple solutions to Anaemia and Diarrhoea.

• POSHAN Abhiyaan:

POSHAN (Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition) Abhiyaan or National Nutrition Mission is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. It was launched by Prime Minister Modi on the International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018. The scheme has directed the attention of the country towards the problem of malnutrition and addresses it in a mission-mode.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

SBI Life Insurance signs corporate agency pact with Repco Home Finance

• SBI Life Insurance signed a corporate agency agreement with city-based Repco Home Finance Ltd to offer the company’s range of products to RHFL customers.The partnership would see over 148 branches and 27 satellite centers of RHFL spread across the country to offer SBI Life Insurance products to its customers.

• The longevity associated with life insurance demands a very high level of consumer trust, which is built with tie-ups with highly credible distribution partners. This tie-up with Repco Home Finance is step in this direction which will help boost SBI Life’s reach to new customers across geographies.

• The tie-up will enable every RHFL customer to meet their diverse insurance needs.Consumers will have a direct access to SBI Life’s wide range of products in protection, retirement, health thereby empowering consumer to address their complete financial needs

The agreement was signed by RHFL CFO T Karunakaran, General Manager K Prabhu and SBI Life, Regional Director, E Thirumudi Pandian in the presence of Repco Home Finance Ltd MD and CEO, Yashpal Gupta and others.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

Government of India has instituted Sardar Patel National Unity Award

• Government of India has instituted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. It will be the highest civilian award in the field of contribution to the unity and integrity of India. The Ministry of Home Affairs notified the institution of the Sardar Patel National Unity Award on 20th September 2019.

Aim:

The Award recognizes the contributions to promote the cause of national unity and integrity and to reinforce the value of a strong and united India. The award will be announced on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st October. The day is observed as the National Unity Day.

Award committee:

Centre has also instituted an Award Committee for the selection of the award recipient. The panel constitutes of the Prime Minister including the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the President, Home Secretary as Members and three-four eminent persons selected by the Prime Minister.

About the Award:

The Award shall be conferred by the President. Not more than three Awards will be given in a year. The Award comprises of a medal and a citation. No cash award prize would be attached to the Award.

Binny Bansal gets IIT Delhi distinguished alumni award

• Flipkart Co-founder Binny Bansal has become the youngest alumnus this year to be recognized as a distinguished alumnus by IIT Delhi. He was recognized for the outstanding contribution made in entrepreneurship.

Binny Bansal:

Binny is the co-founder of e-commerce platform Flipkart. He co-founded Flipkart along with Sachin Bansal in 2007. He had quit as Flipkart's Group CEO in November 2018. He has been recognized as distinguished alumni by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

• He was graduated from the prestigious institution in 2005. He is the youngest alumni to be awarded this year for his outstanding contribution made in entrepreneurship.

Greta Thunberg, 16 year old, won alternative Nobel Prize

• Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg was named as one of four winners of the 2019 Right Livelihood Award. The award is also known as Sweden's alternative Nobel Prize. She was awarded for inspiring and amplifying political demands for urgent climate action reflecting scientific facts. The award was announced by the Right Livelihood Foundation. The awardees triggered a thirst to strive for a liveable future for all on planet Earth.

Awardees:

Along with Thunberg, 3 other visionaries were awarded. The award recipients are:

♦ Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg

♦ Chinese women's rights lawyer Guo Jianmei

♦ Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people, the Brazilian indigenous leader

♦ Western Sahara human rights defender Aminatou Haidar.

The 4 laureates received a cash award of 1 million Swedish crowns ($103,000) each.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Godavarthi Venkata Srinivas appointed as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Guinea Bissau

• Shri Godavarthi Venkata Srinivas has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Guinea Bissau. India and Guinea Bissau have maintained warm and friendly relations so far.

• Godavarthi Venkata Srinivas:

Godavarthi Venkata Srinivas is a 1993 batch-IFS officer. He is presently the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Senegal.

• Guinea Bissau:

President: José Mário Vaz

Prime Minister: Aristides Gomes

Capital: Bissau

Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF)

India and Guinea Bissau have maintained warm and friendly relations so far. The Guinea Bissau government has always been supportive of India. A regular cooperation between the countries has been happening at international fora such as the UN and NAM. In May 2010, an Honorary Consulate of India in Bissau was inaugurated.

SPORTS:

Koneru Humpy wins 2019 Skolkovo FIDE Womens Grand Prix

• Koneru Humpy wins Skolkovo FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019 for women title at Skolkovo, Russia. The Indian grandmaster Koneru scored eight points in 11 games with six draws and five wins.

• Skolkovo FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019:

The Skolkovo FIDE Women's Grand Prix 2019 is a 12-player round-robin taking place in Skolkovo. It was held in Moscow from 11-22 September 2019. The game forms the 1st of four stages of the 2019-20 FIDE Women's Grand Prix.

• It will determine two places in the 2021 Candidates Tournament. In the event, 16 players competed in the series. Each will be playing in three of the four events. The prize includes 80,000 euros, with 15,000 euros and 160 Grand Prix points for the winner.

Shafali Verma became the youngest women player to play T20I for India

• Shafali Verma, 15, became the youngest women player to play Twenty20 International (T20I) for India. She achieved the feat at the age of 15 years and 239 days. She played the T20I for the first time against South Africa at Lalabhai Contractor Stadium, Surat. Shafali is also the second youngest to play an international match for the Indian team after Gargi Banerji.

• Previous record:

The previous record was held by Sneha Deepthi. Ms. Deepthi had made her debut at the age of 16 years and 204 days against Bangladesh in 2013.

Shafali Verma:

Shafali Verma was born on January 28, 2004, in Rohtak, Haryana. The Right-hand batswoman played for major teams including Haryana Women, Velocity. In September 2019 she was selected in India's Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) team. On 24 September 2019, She made her WT20I debut for India, against South Africa.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2019

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Actor Govinda appointed as the brand ambassador of Madhya Pradesh.

• Madhya Pradesh government appoint filmstar Govinda as brand ambassador to promote the state’s traditions and tourist places. It is Kamal Nath government’s intention that the message about the state’s traditions and tourist destinations should reach the masses. The government plans to set up a film city in the state and plans to promote Madhya Pradesh as a destination for film making. Madhya Pradesh Governor: Lalji Tandon Capital: Bhopal Chief minister: Kamal Nath.

AWARDS:

Journalist Ravish Kumar awarded first Gauri Lankesh Memorial Award.

• NDTV's Ravish Kumar was awarded the first Gauri Lankesh Memorial Award for Journalism by the Gauri Lankesh Memorial Trust.

• He was awarded the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award last month.

Gehlot distributed prizes to the winners of 2nd Sign Language Competition.

• Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot distributed prizes to the students of 2nd Sign Language Competition on the occasion of Sign Language Day which was observed on 23 September. The day was observed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous body under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

ISLRTC events:

Children with a hearing disability who is studying in Delhi-NCR presented jokes, stories, and essays in Indian Sign Language. The students have showcased their creativity and knowledge in their submissions.

 The programme included cultural performances like drama and songs in ISL by the students and faculty members of ISLRTC and presentation of awards to children with hearing disability.

India's effort:

Government of India is committed to bringing all Divyangjans into the mainstream. ISLRTC has introduced a Dictionary of 6000 Sign Language words. It is expected that 4000 more new Sign Words will be added into it by 2020. Other efforts are being taken at the national and international level.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2019

AGREEMENTS AND MOU'S:

India's Petronet signs MoU with US firm Tellurian to buy LNG.

State-run Petronet has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US-based Tellurian to import up to five million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas (LNG). As per the deal, Petronet will make an equity investment, of reportedly $2.5 billion, in Tellurian's Driftwood project in Louisiana. The companies said they'll endeavour to finalise the transaction agreement by March 31, 2020.

N Srinivasan’s daughter Rupa set to become new TNCA president.

• Former BCCI president N Srinivasan's daughter Rupa Gurunath is set to become the first woman president of a BCCI affiliated unit as she will take over the position of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) head. Notably, Rupa's husband Gurunath Meiyappan, former Team Principal of the Chennai Super Kings, has been banned for life by the BCCI.

AWARDS:

Julie Andrews to receive AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.

• The American Film Institute (AFI) board of trustees on Friday announced that actress Julie Andrews will be honoured with the 48th Lifetime Achievement Award. "Julie Andrews is...perfect in every way," said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the AFI board of trustees. She earlier won an Oscar for 'Mary Poppins' and is also known for her role in 'The Sound of Music'.

SPORTS:

Panghal 1st Indian male boxer to win silver at World Championships.

• Amit Panghal has become the first Indian male boxer to win silver medal at the World Championships after suffering a defeat in the final. Panghal lost with a scoreline of 0-5 to Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the 52-kg category final. The 23-year-old boxer defeated Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov 3-2 in the semi-final.

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Important Current Affairs 21st September 2019

INTERNATIONAL:

US sanctions Iran's central bank in highest ever sanctions on a nation.

• US President Donald Trump announced a new round of sanctions against Iran's central bank, calling the new penalties the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country. His remarks came days after he ordered to substantially increase sanctions on Iran. The sanctions come after the US blamed Iran for the drone attacks on two Saudi oil facilities last week.

The latest sanctions action against Tehran affected the last source of funds for Iran.The action comes after Washington accused Iran for the weekend attacks on Saudi oil refineries.

He ordered the Treasury Department to substantially increase sanctions on the country.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the new round of sanctions.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi that the sanctions against Iran's Central Bank are nothing new, but same old bans in a different form. The US to accept that the policy of sanctions is a failed one.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India and Mongolia signed MoUs on space cooperation.

•  India and Mongolia signed MoUs on space cooperation and disaster management during the visit of the Mongolian President in India. The aim of the MoU is to provide a new dimension to the India-Mongolia strategic partnership.

Highlights of various MoU:

The agreements will allow India to lend its support to Mongolia in resource management and satellite communication. The space cooperation between the countries will lead to the peaceful exploration of outer space and include remote sensing, weather forecasting, and disaster management. The MoU would provide a framework to expand mutual cooperation among the countries.

Other agreements:

♦ Another MoU was signed between the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of Mongolia and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of India for disaster risk reduction.

♦ The two countries took stock of the project to build a Cyber Security Training Centre to be established in Mongolia with Indian support.

♦ The military exercises between India and Mongolia named Nomadic Elephant and Khaan Quest are expected to be broadened.

♦ India will continue to help Mongolia with capacity building and training programmes for its citizens across diverse professions. India and Mongolia signed MoUs on space cooperation.

DAYS:

International Day of Peace is observed on 21 September.

• United Nations International Day of Peace is observed on September 21.

International Day of Peace 2019: Theme

The theme of International Day of Peace 2019 is Climate Action for Peace.

The theme focuses on the need of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world. The climate change causes clear threats to international peace and security. Due to natural disasters millions of people are forced to leave their homes and seek safety. The food security is hampering by the salinization of water and crops.

International Day of Peace: History

The International Day of Peace established by the UN resolution on 1981. First time it was celebrated in 1982. It was celebrated on the third Tuesday of September each year. The main focus of declaring 21 September day as International Day of Peace is to encourage people to work in cooperation and to maintain worldwide peace.

In 2015, the United Nations member States adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals because it was understood that to obtain worldwide peace it is necessary to focus on the economic and social development for all people everywhere and to ensure that their rights were protected. The various issues are covered in the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, environment and social justice.

The Sustainable Development Goal 13 focuses on Climate Action, need for immediate call to all to lower greenhouse gas emissions, to build resilience and improve education on climate change. There is a need to encourage people about the use of renewable energy, clean technologies.

Every year UN International Day of Peace is celebrated to encourage people about worldwide peace which can be achieved by focusing on and understanding the factors of climate change.

SPORTS:

Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal at the World Wrestling Championships.

• Bajrang Punia bagged the bronze medal in the World Wrestling Championships.

He defeated Mongolia's Tulga Tumur Ochir 8-7 to clinch the medal in the 65 kg weight category.

The wrestler was trailing to win in the match.

The 25-year-old had secured a spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after an impressive 8-1 win over North Korea's Jong Son in the tournament.

 Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian wrestler to qualify for the upcoming global games.

He booked her place in the 53kg category. She bagged back-to-back gold medals in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In the 2018 Asian Games, she clinched a gold medal in the 50kg category.

World Wrestling Championships

World Wrestling Championships are the Amateur Wrestling World Championships organized by the United World Wrestling.

The Men's Greco-Roman Wrestling tournament began in 1904, and the Men's Freestyle Wrestling tournament began in 1951.

The Women's Freestyle championships were first staged in 1987.

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Important Current Affairs 18th September 2019

NATIONAL:

Union Minister Gehlot launches MIS portal under Accessible India Campaign.

• Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot launched the Management Information System (MIS) portal for stakeholders of the Accessible India Campaign (AIC).

The Fully accessible for divyangjans.

The MIS has been developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

The MIS portal will bring all the nodal ministries, and states and Union Territories on a single platform for monitoring the progress being made against each target of AIC

He stated that the portal will be useful in maintaining all the function on the digital platform and capture data on a real-time basis.

The monitoring of the places being made accessible will become more effective as there is a provision of uploading images of such features.

The portal is made fully accessible for the divyangjans

The Secretaries of various nodal ministries including Housing and Urban Affairs, Road Transport and Highways, Civil Aviation, Railways and Information and Broadcasting were present on the occasion.

Management Information System (MIS) portal

A management information system is an information system used for decision-making, and for the coordination, control, analysis, and visualization of information in an organization.

Telangana to celebrate 2020 as Year of Artificial Intelligence.

• The Telangana government decided to celebrate the year of 2020 as the Year of Artificial Intelligence. The backdrop of the emerging talent pool and renewed focus by industry and other ecosystem players on this space in the last four to five years. The Nasscom announced the setting up of a Centre of Excellence in AI and Data Sciences in Hyderabad. In addition, IIT-Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) selected Hyderabad as the place to set up their regional centre to train students in AI in partnership with the State government.

The AI and allied technologies like Cyber Security, Drones, Big Data and Blockchain. This can be gauged from the fact that we have policies dedicated to each of these sectors. The programmes into action and have decided to celebrate the year 2020 as the Year of AI. Under this initiative, we will be running hackathons, master classes and other activities throughout the year. The government agencies will give challenges and available data threats to run algorithms for the AI enthusiasts.

Telangana was the first State to sign up with NITI Aayog when they prepared the AI for All document and they will be running multiple pilot programmes in the State.

The principal secretary mentioned that a very focused, strategic and systematic effort has gone into developing the infrastructure in the last four to five years. The proposed 38 km-long Bus Rapid Transit System from KPHB to Financial District and said that they will help in last-mile connectivity. The company officials that institutions like TASK and T-Hub are helping and nurturing talent and workforce in the niche technology space.

Rajnath Singh becomes first Defence Minister to fly in Tejas fighter aircraft.

• Union minister Rajnath Singh became the first defence minister to fly in the indigenously-built light combat aircraft Tejas from the HAL airport in Bengaluru. He was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal N Tiwari, who is also the Project Director, National Flight Test Centre, ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency) in Bengaluru. The minister flew a sortie in the twin-seater version of Tejas. Rajnath Singh was wearing a G-suite, a white helmet and an oxygen mask.

The Indian Aircraft Flying on Tejas an Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft from Bengaluru HAL Airport was an amazing and exhilarating experience.

Tejas successfully carried out an arrested landing a key performance, demonstrating its ability to land on board an aircraft carrier, making it a major milestone in the development of the naval variant of the fighter jet.

The IAF placed an order with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 40 Tejas aircraft.

The IAF issued the request for proposal (RFP) to HAL for the procurement of another batch of 83 Tejas at a cost of over Rs. 50,000 crores.

Tejas is a multi-role fighter with several critical capabilities.

It is meant to strengthen India’s air defence capabilities. The IAF already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft. The Tejas is designed to carry a veritable plethora of air-to-air, air-to- surface, precision guided and standoff weaponry.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Four new Supreme Court judges appointed.

• Four new judges were appointed to the Supreme Court. The judge's strength in the top court is 34.

The new judges are Haryana High Court Chief Justice Krishna Murari, Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice V. Ramasubramanian, Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Kerala High Court Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy.

The Supreme Court Collegium recommended names of chief justices and high court judges for the appointment to the top court in order to fill the vacant posts.

The Collegium led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had considered the names the four chief justices as apex court's judges.

DAYS:

World Bamboo Day was observed on 18 September.

• World Bamboo Day was observed on 18 September every year. It was observed by the World Bamboo Organisation (WBO). The Day aims to raise awareness to conserve and promote the bamboo industry. The days also aims to bring the potential of bamboo to protect the natural resources and the environment and to ensure sustainable utilization of bamboo. It promotes new cultivation of bamboo for new industries in regions around the world for community economic development.

Centre's action towards bamboo:

Bamboo is known as a poor man’s timber and green gold. Bamboo grows fast, low on maintenance and has versatile potential. After China, India is the world’s second-largest cultivator of bamboo. The State of Environment report 2018 said that there are 136 species and 23 genera of bamboo spread over 13.96 million hectares in India.

In 2017, the Indian Parliament declassified bamboo as a tree on non-forest lands. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare launched the National Bamboo Mission with an aim to provide a boost to livelihood and environmental acreage. Also, the Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched a scheme named SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) with an aim to boost traditional industries and bamboo artisans.

World Bamboo Organisation (WBO):

WBO was initially founded as the International Bamboo Association (IBA) in the year 1991 at the International Bamboo Workshop in Chiangmai, Thailand. In 1998, IBA was re-established as the World Bamboo Organisation (WBO). WBO is a non-profit organization that aims to improve and promote the use of bamboo and the products of bamboo for the sake of the environment and economy.

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Important Current Affairs 17th September 2019

NATIONAL:

Anjali Singh becomes India's first female military diplomat

• Anjali Singh became India's first female military diplomat to be posted in any of the Indian missions abroad.

Singh joined the Indian Embassy in Russia as the Deputy Air Attache. Singh is trained on MiG-29 fighter aircraft, joined her new assignment on September 10.

She is the first female Indian Armed Forces Officer to be posted as a military diplomat in any of the Indian missions abroad.

Singh is an AE(L) officer with 17 years of service. She is trained on MiG-29 aircraft,

Air Force officer who is part of a diplomatic mission; this post is normally filled by a high-ranking officer. The air attache typically represents the chief of his home air force in the foreign country.

He typically represents the chief of his home air force.

Manipur to host UN conference on drugs on HIV AIDS

• Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla announced that the state is going to host the United Nations International Conference to discuss the issues related to drug menace, HIV/AIDS problems in the region on September 30 and October 1.

Heptualla made the announcement during the 13th Foundation Day Celebration of the Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) held at Hotel Imphal.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh to invite the home ministers of all the north-eastern states to the Conference so that the region can have a comprehensive policy to deal with such issues.

The main aim is to increase sexual crimes, women also suffer from other debilitating challenges which put them at a serious disadvantage, the Manipur Governor said. Women living with HIV/AIDS, orphans are soft targets for social stigma and discrimination and various forms of human rights violations, she pointed out.

The women-specific and women-related legislation to protect women against social discrimination, violence and atrocities among others have been enacted. However, the full implementation of such laws are hindered or delayed due to lack of awareness of the existence of such legislations.

MSCW to explore ways and means on how to eliminate all man-made social aberrations and means to prevent all crimes against women with the help of Law Enforcing Agencies of the State.

The women of the state are at the forefront in various fields including sports.

United Nations International Conference

The organization are represented in the General Assembly - one of the six main organs of the UN - to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations, such as development, peace and security, international law.

The members meet in this unique forum at Headquarters in New York for the General Assembly session.

The sitting arrangements in the General Assembly Hall change for each session. During the 74th Session (2019-2020), Ghana will occupy the first seat in the Hall, including in the Main Committees (followed by all the other countries, in English alphabetical order).

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Cognizant India appoints Ramkumar Ramamoorthy as new CMD.

• Cognizant Technology Solutions has appointed Ramkumar Ramamoorthy as Chairman and Managing Director of Cognizant India and named him head of India operations, Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries announced on Tuesday. Ramamoorthy will directly report to the company's executive committee. He has been with Cognizant for over two decades and was appointed as Executive Director of India operations in 2017.

Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao resigns

• Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao announced his resignation which will be effective from January 16.

He became the President of ADB on April 28, 2013.

The new president will be elected in accordance with an open, transparent and merit-based procedure.

The resignation with a deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude. With support from staff, Board members, and member governments.

The expanded operations of the funding agency from USD 14 billion in 2013 to USD 22 billion in 2018 to more technologies into projects.

Asian Development Bank

Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines

President: Takehiko Nakao

Founded: 19 December 1966

Membership: 68 countries

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