• Current Affairs , 5th OCTOBER 2019

    NATIONAL NEWS

     

    1. Telangana Peddapalli district  tops in 2019 rural Swachhta survey

     

    • Peddapalli district of Telangana became first in the 2019 rural Swachhta survey(sanitation survey) to become the cleanest district in India. The most improved district in the list was Haryana’s Faridabad, which moved to second place in 2019 from its previous rank of 71 in 2018. Haryana’s Rewari district ranks 3rd in the list.
    • Survey reports: 83% of the citizens were able to manage liquid wastes, 84% were able to manage solid wastes, 72% districts claimed to have maintained ODF(Open Defecation Free) sustainability cell.
    • The survey was carried out in 17,000 villages of 690 districts and were ranked based on the quantitative and qualitative parameters along with people’s feedback, and third party assessors’ direct observation.
    • 3 crore citizens gave feedback for the survey through mobile app and 12 lakh responses were received via calls.

     

    1. Haryana had the highest number of dry districts: IMD data

     

    • As per the recently released report , “2019 Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall and IMD’s Long Range Forecasts” by IMD (India Meteorological Department)Haryana had the highest number of dry districts, 19 out of 21, including three where rainfall was scanty.
    • State wise:Haryana was the 2ndmost rain deficit state in India after Manipur(the most rain deficit with a recording of 56%). Haryana recorded rainfall of 255.2 mm against a normal of 438.6 mm, results to a deficit of 42 percent.
    • Out of 36 meteorological subdivisions in the country, five sub divisions, however, received deficient rainfall, but deficiency was approximately 20% except for Haryana, Delhi (which has 5 dry districts out of 6)and Chandigarh where the deficiency was accounted around 42%.
    • Over third of the dry districts (52), are in the high-yield agriculture belt of Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh, including Delhi.
    • Around 30% of the districts in India received deficient or scanty rainfall during a normal monsoon year. But in 2019,due to higher rain, that figure is closer to 20% (968.3 mm).There were 254 dry districts across the country in 2018 ,when the monsoon was more than 9% below normal level.
    • The “deficient” rainfall in a district defined as rainfall that is 20% – 59% below normal. If the Deficiency of 60% or more, it falls in the category of “scanty” or “large deficient”.

     

    1. Drone Innovators Network Summit-2019

     

    • Drone Innovators Network Summit-2019focusing on the governance of drones was held in New Delhi. The summit was organised by the World Economic Forum(WEF) under the aegis of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Minister of State(MoS-Independent charge) for Civil Aviation, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri addressed the event.
    • NPNT: Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) for drones were issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in December 2018. These regulations were needed to comply with the No Permission, No Take-off (NPNT) software programme to comply with the requirements on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) inorder to get  DigiSky platform’s permission to operate drones in India.

     

    1. Second Vande Bharat Express Train between Delhi and Katra

     

    • Union Home Minister Mr Amit Shahflagged off second Vande Bharat Express train from New Delhi railway station. It runs between Delhi and Katra (Shri Mata Vaishno Devi), Jammu and Kashmir at a maximum speed of 130 km/hour and will cover the distance in 8hours, reducing the travel time by 4 hours. It will halt at Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana and Jammu Tawi for 2 minutes each.
    • The engine-less self-propelled Vande Bharat Express is a 16-coach all air-conditioned chair car service offering more onboard passenger comforts and is India’s fastest train.
    • It will run all days of the week, except Tuesday and commercial run will begin from October 5, 2019.
    • Railway Minister Piyush Goyal notified that the railways will connect country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari before August 2022.
    • The first Vande Bharat Express train runs between Delhi and Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

     

     

     

     

     

    5. India Progressing in the Direction of Affordable Housing in Conformity with Basic Standards of Environmental Protection

    ·        Shri Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State(I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs has urged the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to effectively manage solid waste by creating a dedicated group of officers and skilled municipal staff, through adequate training, hands on experience and new technologies.

    ·        Stating that the Government of India’s efforts towards transforming waste to wealth is also reflected in the Waste to Wealth Mission project which has been approved under the recently constituted Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council(PM-STIAC), Shri Puri stated that the objective of the Mission is to identify, develop and deploy existing and new technologies to treat waste to generate energy, recycle materials and extract resources of value so as to create a clean and green environment. He was speaking at World Habitat Day 2019 celebration here today.  Shri DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA, Shri Shiv Das Meena, Additional Secretary, MoHUA, Shri Ravi Kant, CMD, HUDCO, senior Ministry officials, School Children and Teachers were also present at the function.

    ·        The Mission will assist and augment the Swachh Bharat Mission and Smart City projects by leveraging science, technology and innovation to create circular economic models that are financially viable for waste management to streamline waste management in the country, he added. The minister also said that his ministry was already progressing in the direction of affordable housing in conformity with basic standards of environmental protection.

    ·        The event also saw release of publications like the Journal ‘Shelter’ of HUDCO and special issue of NCHF on World Habitat Day. Winners of Painting competition organized in Schools by HUDCO, BMTPC and NHB were felicitated.

    ·        Earlier the Minister complimented the UN-Habitat for choosing ‘Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool for transforming Waste to Wealth’ as the theme of this year’s World Habitat Day, thereby calling attention to the issue of waste, wishing to change the discourse into a positive one, where waste is presented as an opportunity to bring about wealth and change in the communities and cities where we live.

    ·        This year’s theme also assumes much more significance in the light of focus of every nation to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Habitat III ‘New Urban Agenda’ (NUA) which put special emphasis on sustainable waste management.

    ·        Goal 11  of SDGs which talks about ‘making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’, targets that “by 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management”.

    ·         He reaffirmed that India was committed to achieving the SDGs before time. Frontier technologies—from DNA sequencing to 3D-printing, from renewable energy technologies to biodegradable plastics, from biofuel technologies to digital & nanotechnologies, from machine learning to artificial intelligence—present immense potential for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in general and transforming waste to wealth in particular.

    ·        Speaking at the event, Shri DurgaShanker Mishra, Secretary, MoH&UA said the people’s movement against Single Use Plastic has picked up, as people are now more conscious towards protecting the Environment and securing the habitat for the future generations.

    6. Indian Muslims will go for Haj from 22 Embarkation Points Across the Country

    ·        Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi chaired a review meeting organised in New Delhi today on the completion of Haj 2019 and to take stock of preparations for next Haj. Announcing Haj 2020 here today,Union Minister for Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that applicants can applyonline for Haj 2020 from 10th October to 10th November, 2019.

    ·        Shri Naqvi said that the Haj 2020 will be 100 per cent online/digital. System has been developed to provide E-Visa to all Haj pilgrims. Applications for Haj can also be done through mobile app.

    ·        Shri Naqvi said that early announcement of Haj process will ensure better management regarding Haj in India and Saudi Arabia.Shri Naqvi said that Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) can apply on portal from 01st November to 01st December, 2019.Shri Naqvi said that while there were 21 Haj embarkation points across the country during Haj 2019; one new embarkation point will be opened for next Haj- Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh).  So, in Haj 2020, Indian Muslims will go for Haj from 22 embarkation points across the country.

    ·        Shri Naqvi said that Haj 2019 was historic and most successful in comparison to the last several years. For the first time in the history of the country, a record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims performed Haj this year, that too without any subsidy.

    ·        Shri Naqvi said that there was a significant decrease in airfares from maximum embarkation points. Besides, GST on Haj pilgrimage was reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent this year, which ensured that more than Rs 113 crore were saved by Haj pilgrims during 2019 Haj. Accommodation in Madina had also been taken on 100 Saudi Riyal less in comparison to the last year which resulted into Indian Haj pilgrims saving about Rs 3000 per pilgrim.

    ·        Shri Naqvi said that a record number of 2 lakh Indian Muslims went to Haj this year through more than 500 flights from 21 embarkation points across the country. These pilgrims included about 48 per cent Muslim women. A total of 2,340 Muslim women from India also performed Haj this year without ‘Mehram’ or a male companion this year. Smt Attar Bibi (age 100 years) from Punjab was the oldest female Haj pilgrim this year while Shri Sadre Alam (age 98 years) from Bihar was the oldest male Haj pilgrim. For Haj 2020 also, all women who will apply without “Mehram” will be exempted from the lottery system.

    • Shri Naqvi said that while 1 lakh 40 thousand Haj pilgrims went through Haj Committee of India, 60 thousand Haj pilgrims performed Haj through Haj Group Organisers (HGOs). For the first time, all the HGOs took 10 thousand Haj pilgrims on the rates decided by Haj Committee of India only.
    • Shri Naqvi said that Saudi Arabia’s decision to increase India’s Haj quota to 2 lakh ensured that for the first time since Independence, all the Haj applicants from all big states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar performed Haj 2019 as their waiting lists had been cleared due to increase in Haj quota.
    • Due to the significant increase in India’s Haj quota, all the applicants from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Goa, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Odisha, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Tripura performed Haj 2019.
    • Shri Naqvi said that for Haj 2020, a 100-line information centre has been established at Haj House, Mumbai for providing information regarding entire Haj process.

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS

     

    7. India – Bangladesh Business forum

     

    • India and Bangladesh are not competitors but collaborators in making both countries prosperous and ensuring a better future for their people said the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal at the India – Bangladesh Business Forum held in New Delhi The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, was also present in the India – Bangladesh Business Forum meeting.
    • Piyush Goyal urged Indian industry to be part of Bangladesh’s growth story with greater investment in infrastructure, technology and energy where Bangladesh has huge potential. This will help to create more balanced trade between the two countries added Piyush Goyal.
    • Commerce & Industry and Railways Minister assured the visiting Prime Minister that India stands committed to every request that Bangladesh has in railways sector because the connectivity that the expansion in railways will bring to both countries will boost trade and also give greater and smoother access to the North East region of India.
    • Bangladesh Prime Minister thanked the Government of India and the three Chambers of Commerce and Industry for giving this opportunity to the Bangladesh Government and Industry to interact with Indian business heads. Bangladesh Prime Minister informed that three Special Economic Zones have been set up in Bangladesh for Indian investors and hoped that this will broaden the export base of Bangladesh.
    • On this occasion two Government to Business (G2B) MoUs were signed between Start up Bangladesh and Tech Mahindra and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority and Adani Ports and SEZs.
    • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia. Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh has grown steadily over the last decade. India’s exports to Bangladesh for the financial year 2018-19 (April-March) stood at USD 9.21 billion and imports from Bangladesh for the same period stood at USD 1.22 billion.
    • India and Bangladesh have trade agreement which is facilitative in nature. India and Bangladesh are members of various regional trade agreements including the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), SAARC Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) and the Agreement on South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) which govern the tariff regimes for trade. Under SAFTA, India has granted duty free quota free access to Bangladesh on all items except alcohol and tobacco. Various bilateral institutional mechanisms including Commerce Secretary Level Meeting, Shipping Secretary Level Talks, Joint Working Groups on Trade, Customs and Fisheries and Sub-groups on Banking and LCS/ICP Infrastructure meet regularly.
    • Four Border Haats, two each in Tripura (Srinagar and Kamalasagar) and Meghalaya (Kalaichar and Balat), have been established for the benefit of communities living along the border areas of both countries. Ten additional Border Haats on the India-Bangladesh border are under implementation.
    • Cumulative Foreign Direct Investment from India to Bangladesh has more than doubled from USD 243.91 million in 2014 to USD 570.11 million in December 2018. Indian companies have invested in various sectors including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and automobiles sectors in Bangladesh. During Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina’s visit in April 2017, 13 agreements worth around USD 10 billion of Indian investment mainly in power and energy sectors in Bangladesh were signed.
    • Bangladesh is the biggest development partner of India today. India has extended 3 Lines of Credits (LOCs) to Bangladesh in the last 8 years amounting to USD 8 billion.
    • In addition to LOCs, the Government of India has also been providing grant assistance to Bangladesh for various infrastructure projects such as the Agartala- Akhaura rail link, dredging of inland waterways, India Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, and High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) in the areas of education, health, water, culture, urban development, disaster management and community welfare.

     

    8.Talks between US and Taliban are not peace negotiations: Afghan NSA

    ·     Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib has said that the talks between the US and the Taliban are not peace negotiations.

    ·     Speaking at a panel discussion in the US  Council on Foreign Relations, he said the reason Afghan government is willing to accommodate the Taliban into governance is because Kabul wants them to end the violence against the people. Mr Mohib said that any peace talks in Afghanistan must be represented by their elected leaders.

    ·     Meanwhile, the US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is holding talks with Pakistani officials in Islamabad.

     

    1. Syria-India Center for Excellence in IT 

     

    • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Indiaand Syria to upgrade the existing India-Syria Center for Excellence in Information and Technology (IT) to the Next Generation Center for Excellence in Information and Technology (NexGen-ISCEIT) situated in Damascus.
    • The MoU was signed in New Delhi by Mr T. S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Dr. Riad K Abbas, Ambassador of Syrian Arab Republic to India.
    • NexGen-ISCEIT will work on the concept of “Train the Trainers” and will help in rapid expansion of the IT Sector in Syria.
    • The Syrian-Indian Center of Excellence for Information Technology was inaugurated at the end of 2010 with the aim of providing the latest software and tools for ( IT) training. Later, it had to stop its activities due to the terrorist war on Syria.

     

    1. Hong Kong bans face masks after months of protests

     

    • Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam has used a colonial-era emergency law to ban face masks after months of angry protests.
    • Protesters have often worn face masks to hide their identity. The measure was announced today, after the city saw widespread violence on 1 October, the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China.
    • Ms Lam said the violence was “destroying the city” and authorities could not “just leave the situation to get worse and worse.” The ban comes into effect on Saturday.
    • The legislation invoked by Ms Lam, called the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, dates to 1922 and has not been used since there were riots in Hong Kong in 1967.
    • Hong Kong’s protests started in June, sparked by proposals to extradite suspected criminals to mainland China.

     

     

     

     

    SPORTS NEWS

     

     

    11.       World Women’s Boxing Championship begins in Russia

    ·     The World Women’s Boxing Championship will begin at Ulan Ude in Russia.

    ·     The best female boxers in the world will compete in the 11th edition of the championships, the most prestigious boxing titles in the word.

    ·      India will play with a ten-member squad comprising experienced and young boxers. Six-time champion M C Mary Kom will start as a strong medal contender for India yet again in 51 kilogram category. Spotlight will also be on former champion and Mary Kom’s contemporary L Sarita Devi in 60 kilogram category.

    12.       Jyotiraditya Scindia’s faction sweeps Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association polls

     

     

    • In Madhya Pradesh, the panel supported by Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia’s faction swept the election to the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) here in Indore yesterday. Panel member Abhilash Khandekar was elected president of the MPCA unopposed.
    • In the election for the secretary’s post, Sanjeev Rao defeated Amitabh Vijayvargiya by 17 votes. For the post of treasurer, Pawan Jain emerged victorious, defeating his rival Prem Patel by 78 votes. Ramnik Singh Saluja was elected unopposed as vice- president of the MPCA.
    • Siddhiyani Patni was elected unopposed to the post of joint secretary of the association.Congratulating the winners, Scindia, a former MPCA president, said, “I am confident the tradition of goodwill and cooperation will be carried forward by the new office- bearers.

     

    13.       World Championships: Avinash Sable qualifies for 3000m steeplechase final

     

    • In athletics, India’s Avinash Sable qualified for the finals of the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase under dramatic circumstances after bettering his own national record at the World Championships in Doha yesterday.
    • Avinash also became the first Indian man to qualify for a track event final. He clocked 8 minutes 25.23 seconds, bettering his earlier national record of 8:28.94, to finish seventh in the first round. However, later Athletics Federation of India filed an appeal, saying that Avinash was blocked twice during the race, and he got a favourable decision.
    • There was no change in his position but he has been added as a competitor for the final race to be run on Friday.
    • Another Indian Annu Rani failed to repeat her impressive qualifying round form as she finished eighth in the women’s javelin throw. Annu, who created history when she became the first Indian woman to qualify for the javelin throw final, could only produce a best of 61.12 meter in the final round competition yesterday.

     

    14.       Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju flags off ‘Fit India Plog run to mark Gandhi Jayanti

     

     

     

    • Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju today flagged off ‘Fit India Plog run at Indira Gandhi stadium in New Delhi to mark Gandhi Jayanti.
    • Member of Parliament and Singer Manoj Tiwari, Wrestler Bajrang Punia, Poet Ashok Chakradhar among others were present on the occasion.
    • Plogging is a concept brings together fitness and cleanliness as participants pick up plastic and other waste from the road while jogging. The run is being organised at over two thousand places all over the country including 225 places in the national capital.

     

    15.        Wilson Singh-Satish Kumar pair wins gold at Asian Age Group C’ships

    • In Swimming, India’s N Wilson Singh and Satish Kumar Prajapati produced impressive performances to win a gold medal in 10 metres platform synchronised event at the ongoing 10th Asian Age Group Championships in Bengaluru.
    • The duo scored 290.19 score to beat Uzbekistan’s Zaynetdinov Marsel and Khasanov Botir, who scored 280.53 points.
    • India, thus, extended their total tally to 60 medals (17 gold, 23 silver and 20 bronze) in the prestigious championships, which is the largest aquatic event in Asia.
    • The bronze medal went to Mojtaba Valipour and Masood Vakili of Iran with a score of 266.16.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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