Current affair of 14th August 2019

1. RPF launched Operation Number Plate

Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways launched Operation “Number Plate”, a Special Drive to curb unidentified vehicles. The operation was launched under the direction of DG/RPF, Sh.Arun Kumar. All Local Police and Commercial Department of Railways showed their active interest in the operation.

Key highlights:
  1. The unidentified vehicles pose a serious threat to the security and safety of passengers and other stake holders of railway.
  2. RPF will identify and verify all vehicles parked in Railway premises, circulating area, parkings and even in the No Parking areas for longer duration.
  3. The drive was conducted from 9th August to 11th August at 466 Railway Stations all over Indian Railways. A penalty of Rs.59000 have been recovered as the charges for unauthorized parking and 549 vehicles were towed away.
  4. All RPF and Zonal Railways were instructed to continue the activity looking into threats related to security of Railways.
2. State of Art Gallery at National Crafts Museum inaugurated

A Textiles Gallery at National Crafts Museum was inaugurated in New Delhi on 13 August by the Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Smriti Zubin Irani.

Key highlights:
  1. The collection aims to help people explore, enjoy, and rediscover the world of Indian textiles through design and technology.
  2. The Gallery consists of more than 230 different types of textiles collections more than 30 traditions. Five zones were displayed in the gallery. Zones has been named as weaving, embroidery, dying (Ikatpatola), pattern (Bandhej, Kalamkari, and Leheria) and TanaBana based on the intricacies of the textiles.
  3. The gallery exhibits the fine Indian Craftsmanship to public. The rich collection displayed the importance of conserving India’s rich heritage of handlooms for the next generations. It will serve as a resource centre for the students of fashion technology, apparel sciences and textiles designing.
  4. Under three categories the handlooms were displayed:
  5. Pre Loom “Ikat”: The design that are already visualized and transferred to the yarn before the yarn is placed on the loom.
  6. On- Loom: The design enters the loom while weaving brocade, muslin, jamdani, weaved shawls, weaved sarees.
  7. Post Loom: Displays the techniques that can be done on cloth after it is woven-block printing, embroidery and kalamkaricomes in this category.
3. Indian Navy signed MoU with CIAL

Naval Air Enclave (NAE), Kochi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) in a formal function held at CIAL. The agreement was signed by Captain Satish Kumar S, Officer-in-Charge, NAE and Shri ACK Nair, Airport Director CIAL.

Key highlights:
  1. The MoU was aimed with the commencement of naval air operations from the NAE, a naval aviation facility at CIAL in Nedumbassery. The MoU sets the standard operating procedures for CIAL and the Indian Navy. It also ensures safe, secure and uninterrupted military air operations.
  2. The facility will comprise of an independent dispersal, aircraft hangar, administrative building and taxy track. The facility will be located on the northwest side of CIAL.
  3. The Naval runway at INS Garuda is not enough for the landing and take-off of long-range maritime reconnaissance anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Hence, the CIAL runway will be used by the Military aircraft for take off and landing and the NAE taxy track for proceeding to and from the hangar.
4. BCI imposed years ban on opening new law colleges

The Bar Council of India (BCI) imposed a temporary ban of 3 years on opening new law colleges. The moratorium will be exceptional to the National Law University that are proposed by a government in a State where there is no such varsity. BCI also said that it can open any model institution of Legal Education, like the National Law School of India University it opened in Bengaluru.

Key highlights:
  1. BCI requested all the State governments and varsities to stop unfair means and ensure that vacancies of law teachers in all the colleges are filled within four months.
  2. The Council also said that it will consider the pending proposals only and no fresh application would be entertained for any new institution. It also plans to improve the standard of teaching by training law teachers in the country.
  3. There are about 1,500 law college in all parts of the country for the law courts. Many institutions lack infrastructure and chronic teaching vacancies.
5. RBI launches regulatory sandbox for Fintech companies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the final framework for regulatory sandbox (RS) for the startups, banks and financial institutions. The Fintech companies can now set up their own RS for live testing of innovative products in areas like retail payments, digital KYC and wealth management.

Key highlights:
  1. The framework aims to enable innovations in the financial technology space. It will also foster responsible innovation in financial services, promote efficiency and bring benefit to consumers.
  2. It will encourage innovations that are intended for use in the Indian market in areas where there is absence of governing regulations.
  3. Fintech companies including startups, banks, financial institutions and any other company partnering with or providing support to financial services businesses.
  4. Mobile technology applications, data analytics, application program interface (APIs) services, applications under block chain technologies, and artificial intelligence and machine learning applications can also be considered for testing under RS.
6. Central Government launches Swachh Nagar app

The Central Government launched a mobile application through which people will be able to get their household waste picked up by urban municipal bodies. The people have to pay to civic bodies to avail the service through Swachh Nagar app. They can track the waste-collection vehicle on the app. The main aim is to ensure the accountability of municipal corporations.

Key highlights:
  1. According to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry. Launching Swachh Survekshan 2020.The theme is Cleanliness is Our Right, the minister Hardeep Singh Puri survey's major focus has always been on citizen engagement through feedback or indicators involving their participation.
  2. The citizen-centric focus enhanced substantially .There are 24 states and more than 3,800 cities have been certified Open Defecation-Free (ODF).
  3. The government has set a target of making the country ODF by October 2, The Swachh Nagar app, the ministry's Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra people will be able to use the app to have solid waste, construction and demolition waste and wet waste picked up by the local civic body after making a payment.
7. Centre introduces scheme for NBFCs and HFCs

Centre has announced a partial guarantee scheme in the budget for non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs). The scheme will allow the Public Sector Banks to purchase their assets.

Key highlights:
  1. The scheme is aimed to provide liquidity support to the NBFCs and HFCs. The key reason for the slowdown in the economy is the stress on NBFCs and HFCs.
  2. The stress has also caused reduced credit flow to small businesses and consumers. Now, by improving the liquidity the scheme aims to avoid the distress sale of assets in a sector facing a shortage of cash due to asset- liability mismatch.
  3. For the implementation of the scheme, the government has planned a mechanism which will elicit information on a real-time basis.
  4. If any assets purchased by a bank from a stressed NBFC or HFC, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) will provide government guarantee of up to 10% of the fair value of assets.
  5. The Department of Financial Services will obtain information on transactions in a prescribed format from PSBs and send a copy to the budget division of the Department of Economic Affairs.
8. CBDT rebuts incorrect reports about Income Tax notices to Durga Puja Committees

Income Tax notices being issued to Durga Puja Committees in Kolkata. Income Tax notices sent to the Durga Puja Committee Forum. The reports are factually incorrect and are strongly denied.
The department getting information that several contractors who were doing work for the Puja committees were not paying due taxes.

Key highlights:
  1. The notices under section 133(6) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 were issued in December, 2018 to about 30 committees. It was part of an exercise carried out by the TDS wing of the Department to ensure that the contractors and event managers pay their due taxes in time. 
  2. The committees complied and furnished evidence of tax deducted at source as well as deposit of the same into the Government account.
  3. It is also pertinent to state that several committees requested the Department to organise educative sessions to explain the provisions of TDS to the committees. 
  4. The outreach programme was organised on the 16th of July, 2019 for the Durga Puja Committees at their own request. Nearly eight (8) members of the Forum attended the outreach program voluntarily and were educated about the provisions of TDS.
9. World Organ Donation day observed on August

Organ donation day is observed on 13 August. This day mainly aims to motivate people to donate their healthy and precious organs after death to save lives. As per the National Health Portal, 500,000 people die due to non-availability of organs. Organ donation day tries to spread information and make people aware of organ donation. The main aim is to eliminate the myths and fears people have in their minds about organ donation. Organ donation can be life-changing.

Key highlights:
  1. A donor can initiate to donate organs like the heart, liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs and pancreas after his or her death.The national guidelines, anyone can be an organ donor irrespective of age, caste, religion, and community. 
  2. The organ donation day urges people to communities to come forth and donate organs to save precious lives. There is no defined age for organ donation is based on strict medical criteria. 
  3. After organ failure, vital organs like the heart, liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, and pancreas can be transplanted into the patient to help the recipient lead a normal life.
10. GRSE launches fifth FPV for Coast Guard

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) launched a fifth Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The name of the coast guard is Kanaklata Barua. The coast is named after a freedom fighter from Assam. The is the last of the five FPVs built by GRSE. The entire design of the ship was developed in-house by GRSE as per the requirement of the ICG.

Key highlights:
  1. The ship was launched by Veena Ajay Kumar, wife of Ajay Kumar, Secretary Defence (Production), in the presence of Rear Admiral VK Saxena (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE and Inspector General Rajan Bargotra, Commander Coast Guard Region (North-East).
  2. The vessel is 50 metres long and 7.5 metres wide with a displacement of around 308 tonnes. It is equipped with three main engines, advanced communication and navigation systems. 
  3. The main aim is to design for a maximum speed of 34 knots, with an endurance of more than 1500 nautical miles at cruising speed of 12-16 knots. The first ship of this class is ICGS Priyadarshini commissioned on March 27.
11. Priyam Chatterjee becomes first Indian chef to receive Chevalier de lOrdre du Merite Agricoleto

Government of France conferred the Indian Chef Priyam Chatterjee with ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mrite Agricoleto’ in New Delhi.

Key highlights:
  1. Chatterjee becomes the first Indian from Kolkata to receive this honor in recognition of his great contribution towards reinventing the gastronomic scene in India. 
  2. French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler conferred Indian chef Chatterjee. He is currently the head chef at Jaan Restaurant Yacht in France, before that he was the head chef of Rooh, and Qla, in Mehrauli(France).
  3. He is popularly known for traditional dishes of West Bengal
  4. The award instituted in the year 1883, is a distinction by the French Republic for outstanding contributions, among others, to agriculture, agro-food industry, and gastronomy.

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