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Current Affairs: August 2019

  1. East Bengal club has officially started the centenary celebrations on its foundation day with a glittering ceremony at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
  2. Australian woman all-rounder Ellyse Perry has become the first cricketer of either gender to reach the rare milestone of scoring 1000 runs and taking 100 wickets in T20 international cricket.
  3. The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), flagship initiative of NITI Aayog, launched the Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC) program in NITI Aayog, New Delhi.
  4. NDTV India’s senior executive editor, Ravish Kumar has been honoured with the prestigious 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award for his ‘ethical journalism’. Kumar has won the honour for his news show, Prime Time, which deals with real-life & under-reported problems of ordinary people. Four other personalities also won the award this year.
  5. The joint venture company namely Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) has been set up with the participation of three Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to Indian domestic market. The 3 CPSEs are National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Ltd. (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd. (MECL).
  6. The Government of India (GoI) has launched the One Nation- One Ration Card scheme on a pilot basis in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat from 1st August 2019.
  7. The West Bengal Government has launched an awareness campaign – Save Green, Stay Clean for preserving the greenery and keeping the environment clean.
  8. The book ‘Tools and Weapons: The Promise and The Peril of the Digital Age’ has been co-authored by Microsoft President Brad Smith & Carol Ann Browne, and will release on September 11.
  9. The Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance is conducting India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) between 1st – 7th August to enable faster movement of cargo across borders to benefit traders. The exercise will be institutionalized on an annual basis, during the same period every year hereafter.
  10. President Ram Nath Kovind has been awarded the National order of Merit by the President of Guinea.
  11. The United States has officially withdrawn from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. The INF Treaty is a Cold War-era missile treaty that was signed by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.
  12. Gujarat launched the ‘Vhali Dikri Yojna’ for the welfare of girl child.
  13. The State Bank of India’s (SBI) Shanghai branch has become the first Indian bank to link up with China’s National Advance Payment System (CNAPS).
  14. A 23-year-old Indian-origin doctor, Bhasha Mukherjee has been crowned Miss England 2019.
  15. The 16th edition of Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages. 2011 census was conducted in 16 languages.
  16. In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has recently held that a judicial magistrate can order an accused to give his voice samples even against his consent in the course of a criminal investigation.
  17. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended the grant of the Institute of Eminence (IoE) status to 20 institutions (10 Public 10 Private) as per recommendations of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) under the chairmanship of N Gopalaswami. 10 Public Institutions: BHU, IISc, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, Delhi University, Hyderabad University, Anna University, Jadavpur University. 10 Private Institutions: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, BITS Pilani, Jamia Hamdard, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, O. P. Jindal Global University, Bharti University, Jio Institute, Shiv Nadar University, Vellore Institute of Technology.
  18. ISRO has laid the foundation stone for Space Situational Awareness Control Centre (SSACC) at Peenya, Bengaluru.
  19. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has launched India’s first large-scale trial for two new TB vaccinesVPM1002 and Immuvac.
  20. Maharashtra has become the India’s first state to adopt a digital fingerprint and iris scanning system –Automated Multi-modal Biometric Identification System (AMBIS) – to aid police investigations.
  21. The Union Government has approved Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi (tributary of Mahananda) rivers of Bihar. This is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh.
  22. India’s transsexual woman Naaz Joshi has been crowned Miss World Diversity 2019.
  23. The NASA scientists have characterized the first potentially habitable world outside our own solar system that may be suitable for life. The super-earth planet — named GJ 357 d.
  24. The 5th edition of National Handloom Day (NHD) has celebrated on 7th August 2019 at Bhubaneswar to honour the handloom weavers in the country and also highlight India’s handloom industry.
  25. India has recently signed the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA) or the Singapore Convention on Mediation to boost the confidence of foreign investors.
  26. For Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has launched a draft titled ‘Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF)”, which is a part of a World Bank-funded project.
  27. Pakistan suspended the Lahore-Attari Samjhauta Express train service following the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The train service was started on 22nd July 1976, under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations
  28. Hellaro (Gujarati) has won the Best Feature Film award at the 66th National Film awards for year 2018. While, Ayushmann Khurrana and Vicky Kaushal share the Best Actor Award for Andhadhun and Uri: The Surgical Strikes, respectively. Keerthi Suresh bagged Best Actress award for Mahanati.
  29. Dr. Chandrima Shaha is set to be the first woman president of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
  30. Aishwarya Pissay from Bengaluru has created history by becoming the first Indian to claim a world title in motorsports. She annexed the FIM World Cup (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme) in the women’s category after the final round of the championship at Varpalota in Hungary.
  31. To mark the 77th anniversary of Quit India movement, the Uttar Pradesh has created a world record by planting more than 22-cr saplings in a day at 12.2 lakh locations in the state.
  32. The book titled ‘Sridevi: Girl Woman Superstar’ has been written by author-screenwriter Satyarth Nayak.
  33. To mark the occasion of 73rd Independence Day 2019, the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar launched a patriotic song ‘Watan’ in New Delhi. The song has been sung by famous Bollywood singer Javed Ali.
  34. Priyam Chatterjee has become the first Indian chef to be awarded the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricoleto’ by the Government of France.
  35. The Union Government has recently started registration for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY) with an aim to improve the life of Small and Marginal Farmers of the country.
  36. The book ‘Kashmir’s Untold Story: Declassified’ has been authored by filmmaker Iqbal Chand Malhotra and defence analyst Maroof Raza.
  37. Denmark’s third largest, Jyske Bank has launched the world’s first negative interest rate mortgage and started to offer a10-year mortgage deals at a negative interest rate of 0.5% a year.
  38. India’s first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (CICET) will be set up in Gujarat to give boost to the chemical industry.
  39. The famous ‘Hazratganj Chauraha’ of Lucknow has been renamed as ‘Atal Chowk’ in memory of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  40. PM Modi received the UAE’s highest civil honour ‘Order of Zayed’.
  41. The task force, headed by CBDT member Akhilesh Ranjan, constituted by the Union government for drafting the new Direct Tax Code (DTC) has recently submitted its report.
  42. World’s biggest teacher training programme –, NISHTHA – in New Delhi under which more than 42 lakh teachers will be trained across the country. The acronym ‘NISHTHA’ stands for ‘National Initiative for School Head’s and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement’.
  43. Indian Para swimmer Satendra Singh Lohia from Madhya Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the first Asian swimmer to cross the Catalina Channel of America.
  44. Rajiv Gauba, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, has been appointed as the new Cabinet Secretary for two years.
  45. Ajay Kumar, a 1985 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre, has been appointed as the new Defence Secretary.
  46. Chennai Beach noticed a blue shimmer on the waves i.e. popularly known as ‘Sea Tinkle’. According to marine experts, the Noctiluca algae were behind this blue glow phenomenon. The algae exhibit the phenomenon of bioluminescence (or biologically produce light when disturbed). The light is produced by a chemical reaction in the presence of oxygen involving an enzyme called “luciferase”.
  47. The book titled ‘Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story’ has been authored by Mihir Dalal.
  48. Prof. Meeta Narain of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has been conferred the prestigious ‘Pushkin Medal – 2019’ for her contribution to Russian studies abroad.
  49. The book ‘the Diary of Manu Gandhi (1943-44)’ has been brought out by National Archives of India (NAI) in collaboration with Oxford University Press on the occasion of 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The book originally written in Gujarati language and has been edited & translated by a well-known scholar Dr. Tridip Suhrud.
  50. The Asia-Pacific Group (APG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global watchdog for terror financing and money laundering. It has recently put Pakistan in the Enhanced Expedited Follow up List (Blacklist) for its failure to meet its standards.
  51. NITI Aayog has recently released report on the Composite Water Management Index 2.0 (CWMI 2.0) for reference year 2017-18. Gujarat has been ranked first in the CWMI 2.0, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  52. Gokulam Kerala FC won the 129th Durand Cup tournament by defeating heavyweights Mohun Bagan 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
  53. 45th G7 summit was held in Biarritz, France on 24-26 August 2019 with theme ‘Fighting Inequality’.
  54. PV Sindhu has become the first Indian to book a gold medal at the World Championships at Basel in Switzerland.
  55. Dokdo islands is the bone of contention between South Korea & Japan.
  56. India will host the Conference of Parties (COP 14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from 2nd to 13th of September 2019 at the India Mart and Expo in the Greater Noida area of New Delhi.
  57. National Centre for Avian Ecotoxicology has come up at Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural Sciences (SACON) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
  58. Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya who was the India’s first woman Director General of Police (DGP) passed away recently.
  59. Despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region, Russia has launched the world’s first floating nuclear reactor – Akademik Lomonosov – across the Arctic.
  60. The 8th edition of joint military exercise titled Shaheen VIII has started between the air forces of China and Pakistan.
  61. Wing Commander Shalija Dhami has scripted history by becoming India’s first female officer of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to become the Flight Commander of a flying unit.
  62. The Bimal Jalan Committee has suggested that the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) economic capital framework must be periodically reviewed after every five years and its accounting year (July-June) be aligned with the fiscal year that ends on 31 March. The Committee has recommended that the central bank pay interim dividend to the government (a practice that started in 2016-17) only under exceptional circumstances.
  63. GoI has given approval to establish an International Standard Zoo and Bio park on the forest land at Gorewada, Nagpur.
  64. In its annual report for 2018-19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has stated that the lack of domestic demand is holding back the animal spirits in the economy and emphasized the need to revive consumption demand and private investment during 2019-20. The term ‘Animal spirits’ in Economics was coined by British economist John Maynard Keynes in his 1936 book ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money’ to explain the persistence of economic fluctuations under capitalism. The term refers to the emotions and instincts that guide the behaviour of investors and consumers in a market economy.
  65. Bajrang Punia and Deepa Malik have been conferred with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for the year 2019 in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the sport of wrestling and para-athletics, respectively at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  66. Delhi Cabinet has approved free travel for women in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and cluster buses from October 29, 2019.
  67. The first space museum of India opening new attraction to space enthusiasts, was set up at Hyderabad in association with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  68. E-commerce Company Amazon, inaugurated its single-largest campus in the world in terms of area (9 acres) in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  69. World’s 1st museum dedicated to the life of a 16th-century saint and social reformer, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, designed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) has been inaugurated in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  70. President Ram Nath Kovind approved the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Reorganisation Act, 2019. The Ministry of Law and Justice issued the Gazette Notification. The Act seeks to make J&K a Union Territory (UT) with legislature and Ladakh, a UT without legislature.
  71. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) stated that FASTags will become mandatory for all vehicles from December 2019.
  72. Ministry of Railways has directed all railway units to strictly enforce a ban on single-use plastic, with less than 50-micron thickness, from October 2, 2019, in its premises and trains with the aim to achieve ‘Plastic Free Railway’.
  73. The cabinet of Netherlands imposed a ban on Burqa or niqab in public places, including public transport, government buildings and at health and education institutions. It is not applied to public streets. Anyone found guilty will have to pay a fine of 150 euros.
  74. For the first time in 25 years, the United States (US) has labelled China as a currency manipulator.
  75. To mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Sikhism founder, a Nagar Kirtan , a Sikh religious procession was taken out for 1st time after Independence from Nankana Sahib district(birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev) of Pakistan’s Punjab province to Attari village in Amritsar,Punjab Indian side through the Attari-Wagah land route .
  76. Government of Saudi Arabia made a reform for allowing women over the age of 21 to receive passports and travel abroad without permission from a male ‘guardian’.
  77. Indonesia chooses East Borneo Island for its new capital. The current capital of Jakarta, overcrowded (home to more than 10 million people), sits on watery land. Parts of the city are sinking by as much as 25cm a year and almost half now sits below sea level.
  78. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with ‘The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance’ By Bahrain.
  79. The next G7 Summit (46th) for the year 2020 will be held in the United States.
  80. Penalty of Rs.1.5 crore was fined on Bank of India over “non-compliance with RBI’s (Reserve Bank of India) direction on frauds” in Rotomac group companies.
  81. Reserve Bank of India Money Museum, which was opened on March 11, 2019, aims at improving people’s knowledge of the banking system with the help of interactive displays at Council House Street in Central Kolkata.
  82. RBI Board Approves Surplus Transfer of Rs 1.76 Lakh Crore to Central Govt.
  83. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gave the status to Jana Small Finance Bank to operate as a Scheduled Bank.
  84. Shah Rukh Khan felicitated with an honorary doctorate degree by Melbourne’s La Trobe University.
  85. Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Ground in Delhi is set to be renamed as Arun Jaitley Stadium.
  86. Neelam Sharma (50), Doordarshan Anchor passed away.
  87. Bengali actor Nimu Bhowmik (84) passed away.

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January 5, 2020

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