Current affair of 20th July 2019

1. Central Govt approves Rs 206.8 crore for Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy Scheme

The government has approved an outlay of Rs 206.8 crore for 2019-19 for a central sector scheme titled ‘Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy’ aimed at doubling farmers’ income by 2022.  “The Central Government has approved a Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Implementation of Agriculture Export Policy’,” the government said in a notification.  Of this, Rs 134.50 crore are allocated to setup dedicated clusters for mangoes, pomegranate, bananas, grapes, tea, coffee, turmeric, a and marine products, among others along with pre and post-harvest management of the production, upgrading the supply chain to attain much higher levels of export from those clusters.

2. HRD Ministry launches new UGC Scheme “Paramarsh” For Higher Education

Higher education institutions that have failed to meet the quality standards of the National Assessment Accreditation Council (NAAC) can now get mentorship from the top universities and colleges. Under the Paramarsh scheme of the University Grants Commission (UGC), launched by HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' on Thursday, initially 71 universities and 391 colleges with NAAC score of 3.26 and above will mentor five colleges each.

3. Australia-India finalize a new veterinary health protocol

Australia and India recently finalised a new veterinary health protocol for the export of Australian breeder sheep to India, the Australian High Commission, New Delhi informed through a media release.  To mark the occasion, Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, hosted an event where she exchanged the protocol with Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Tarun Shridhar . During the event, Sidhu said, “Agriculture, including animal husbandry, is of critical importance to both the Indian and Australian economy.

4. WB govt will sign MoU with British Council to improve the spoken English skills of students studying in polytechnic colleges 

The West Bengal government has decided to sign an MOU with the British Council for brushing up the English Speaking skills of the students studying in Polytechnic Colleges in the state.  The move is aimed to improve English speaking capacity for job seekers students. According to Technical Education Department sources, an enquiry to assess job readiness of students was conducted recently and communication in English was found as a major hurdle. At present, there are 148 Polytechnic Colleges across the state.

5. 8th edition of Hand-in-Hand Military exercise 2019 between India, China to be held in Meghalaya in December 2019

Indian and the Chinese Army (PLA) are working together to build confidence and mutual trust. Both nations are geared up to participate in the eighth edition military drills which will be held in December this year in Meghalaya. The military drill between the two countries according to North East Now, was resumed last year post a freeze over the Doklam stand-off. The joint military exercise “Hand-in-Hand” will be held at Umroi near Shillong in Meghalaya. The last exercise, which was the seventh edition, was held at Chengdu in December 2018. In Umroi, the two forces will focus on counter-terror operations, the establishment of the joint command post and joint combat.

6. 5th International Police Expo for the year 2019 held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

Over 25 countries are showcasing advanced firearms, combat or armoured vehicles and a plethora of disruptive technologies in cyber security, drones, homeland security, and safety and rescue at the International Police Expo. An exhibitor explains the features of a weapon to a visitor at the International Police Expo 2019 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. More than 100 companies from Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan, China, UK, the US, Malaysia, Germany, Australia, Poland and other nations are displaying the best and advanced technologies at the expo organised by Nexgen Exhibitions.

7. Ambikapur of Surguja district, Chhattisgarh gets India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’ for Ragpickers

The municipal officials of Chhattisgarh have launched a unique garbage cafe scheme in Ambikapur of Surguja district which has become India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’ for Ragpickers. The ragpickers and the homeless will collect plastic waste, and in return, the municipal corporation will offer them food. The fund allocated for this scheme is Rs. 5.5 lakh. Ragpickers who collect 1 kg of plastic waste will receive a full meal and those collecting 500g will be served breakfast. There is also a definitive plan to provide shelter to over 100 homeless people in the city.

8. India’s first space tech park to come up in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 

The Kerala government will set up the country’s first space tech park at Thiruvananthapuram's Knowledge City. The move is aimed at making the city a manufacturing hub for space-related technology. A space museum named after former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam will also be a part of the infrastructure. The state government has issued orders to allot the land required for the facility. This will be an added attraction. The entire investment will be made by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), a major space research centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

9. WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network and Telangana government signed a pact  for a pilot project ‘Medicine from the Sky’

The World Economic Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network and the Telangana government Thursday announced they are set to launch an innovative project to deliver emergency medical supplies such as blood and vaccines via drones. The pilot project, called Medicine from the Sky, will run in partnership with the state government and HealthNet Global Limited, according to an official release. It will help facilitate decision-making in healthcare supply chains, focus on last-mile deliveries and address issues that affect the medical distribution system, the statement said.

10. Indian Navy’s frontline warship INS Tarkash reaches Sweden

Indian Navy's frontline warship INS Tarkash reached Sweden on Friday, in first visit by an Indian naval vessel in more than 15 years. The visit is part of Indian Navy's mission of building "bridges of friendship" and strengthening international cooperation with friendly countries, a Navy official said. "The current visit seeks to underscore India's peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries, thereby allowing both India and Sweden to meet the growing challenges of the maritime environment," he said.

11. World Bank decides not to fund for Andhra’s ambitious Amaravati capital city project

The World Bank said on Friday it had withdrawn $300 million of funding for a new capital in Andhra Pradesh after the central government dropped support for the project. The Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), that was due to finance $200 million of the project, then said it was reviewing its involvement. The construction of the city, known as Amaravati, is the brainchild of the state's former chief minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, who lost power in elections in May.

12. GeM, SAIL ink pact to set up project management unit

Public procurement portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) and SAIL Thursday signed a pact to set up a project management unit (PMU) here, in the presence of Steel Secretary Binoy Kumar. The current steel secretary has launched this marketplace when he was additional secretary in the commerce ministry to increase efficiency and transparency in the public procurement, which runs into lakhs of crore.  "GeM and Steel Authority of IndiaNSE -2.09 % (SAIL), signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) to set up GeM Organizational Transformation Team - Project Management Unit (GOTT-PMU)," the commerce ministry said in a statement. 

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