Current affair of 5th August 2019

1. Projects worth Rs 20,000 cr underway in 7 cities under Smart Cities Mission in MP:

In Madhya Pradesh, projects worth about 20,000 crore rupees are underway in seven cities under the Smart Cities Mission. The mission, an urban renewal programme launched by the Centre in 2015, aims to develop 100 cities across the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable.

Key highlights:
  1. 60 projects worth rupees one thousand six hundred crore under the smart cities Mission in 7 cities of the Madhya Pradesh Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain, Sagar and Satna have been completed. 
  2. At present 139 projects worth Rs two thousand five hundred crore are in progress. An Ayurvedic medicine businessman Rakesh Jain said that by becoming a smart city, facilities will be expanded in his city Sagar.
  3. Recently, Madhya Pradesh was awarded by the Prime Minister for Integrated Command Control Centre constructed under Smart City Project Bhopal. Apart from that, Madhya Pradesh was also awarded for various other initiatives like Public Bike Sharing, Smart Class Room and Waste to Energy Plant under the Smart cities mission.
2. 122 New Research Project selected at a cost of Rs 112 Crore under IMPRINT-2 : HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar

The government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved 122 new research projects at a cost of Rs 112 crore under IMPRINT-2.

Key highlights:
  1. It would cover the fields of Energy, Security, Healthcare, Advanced Materials, ICT and Security/Defence.
  2. Of the 122 new IMPRINT projects sanctioned, 81 are sponsored by industry.
  3. These include: 35 (ICT); 18 (Advanced Materials), 17 (Healthcare Technology), 12 (Energy Security); 11 (Security &Defence); 9 (Sustainable Habitat); 7 Water Resource & River Systems; 5 (Environment & Climate); 4 (Manufacturing); and 4 (Nano Technology).
  4. Private institutions have been invited to participate in the IMPRINT programme.
  5. 142 projects under IMPRINT-1 have been implemented.
  6. Full Form of IMPRINT: IMPacting Research INnovation and Technology.
3. FICCI FLO launches mobile app for women’s wellness

FICCI Ladies Organisation, the women's wing of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a mobile application aimed at creating awareness on preventive healthcare.

Key highlights:
  1. The mobile application "WOW" (Wellness of Women) is backed by city-based Apollo Hospitals Group that offers access to renowned doctors and provides health tips, a press release said.
  2. This easy to use platform allows users to talk to doctors through video conferencing or connect with them via voice or email.
  3. Users can also upload clinical information such as reports, images and scans so that experts can provide an opinion within a stipulated time, FICCI Ladies Organisation, National President, Pinky Reddy said after unveiling the app at an event here, recently.
4. Shaur nahin’ mobile app launched in Shimla, Manali

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched 'horn not ok' awareness campaign and 'shaur nahin' (no noise) mobile application, here today.

Key highlights:
  1. The chief minister said the ‘shaur nahin’ mobile application can be used by the general public to report cases of noise pollution.
  2. The mobile application is an initiative of the department of environment science and technology in association with National Informatics Centre, Himachal Pradesh.
  3. This application has settings for two types of users -- general public and officers, both of whom would be authenticated with an one-time password (OTP), Thakur said.
  4. All complaints will be immediately made available through the application to the concerned deputy commissioner, superintendent of police, sub-divisional magistrate and sub-divisional police officer who can later respond with the action taken report on the application itself.
5. Karnataka government launches cleanliness campaign ‘Swachhameva Jayate’:

The government of Karnataka launched the ‘Swachhameva Jayate’ campaign on Thursday in a bid to step up the cleanliness and hygiene efforts of the state. It programme, implemented by the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department of the state, will first focus on rural areas.

Key highlights:
  1. The campaign comes at the same time as the Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 survey, being undertaken by the Central Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation which aims to target over 600 villages throughout India and rank them based on whether toilets are available and on general cleanliness.  
  2. Though not present at the event, Chief Minister of the state HD Kumaraswamy stated in a press release, “It is our duty as citizens of the state to ensure our land and our environment is protected and conserved. A huge part of that is ensuring we all keep our surroundings clean, and follow hygienic practices. We hope this campaign will help take that message far and wide.”
  3. “To truly take the message far and wide, the government has decided to focus on children as drivers of this message. While adult behavior towards hygiene will take time and effort to change, children are a lot more amenable to change. Children are spontaneous, honest and full of infectious energy. They have the power to create the India of tomorrow,” said Krishna Byre Gowda about the campaign. 
6. Sindhu won silver at World Championships

Prior to this in 2018, P.V. Sindhu has won silver at the World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Thailand Open and India Open.  A relieved P.V. Sindhu let out a joyous scream when she finally laid her hands on a gold medal by claiming the World Tour Finals with a win over 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara.

Key highlights:
  1. With the straight-game victory, coming after seven straight finals losses, Sindhu became the first Indian to achieve the feat. 
  2. She lost 19-21, 10-21 to Carolina Marin in the final.
  3. Carolina Marin is a Spanish professional badminton player. She is the reigning Olympic Champion, three-time World Champion, four-time European Champion and the World’s No. 1 in BWF rankings for the women’s singles.
7. US plans $113 million 'down payment on a new era' in Indo-Pacific: Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike pompeo stated an investment to the tune of USD 113 million in the Indo-Pacific region to boost energy projects, infrastructure, and maritime security.

Key highlights:
  1. At the ASEAN Regional Forum, Secretary Pompeo announced the intent to provide nearly USD 300 million in security assistance to improve security relationships across the Indo-Pacific region.
  2. The investment plan by the US will cover projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and others.
  3. "Indo-Pacific" has become known in diplomatic circles as shorthand for a broader and democratic-led region in place of "Asia-Pacific," which from some perspectives had authoritarian China too firmly at its center. 
8. Japan overtakes China to become world’s second-largest stock market: Bloomberg

According to the reports of Bloomberg’s data Japan is now the world’s second-largest stock market.

Key highlights:
  1. Japan has overthrown China when it was compared with total equity of japan is $6.17 trillion and China’s is $6.09 trillion.
  2. The United States is the world’s biggest market for stocks, with total worth just over $31 trillion.
  3. Earlier, China overtook Japan in 2014, then soared to an all-time high of more than $10 trillion in June 2015. 
  4. Chinese equities and the nation’s currency have taken a beating this year amid a trade spat with the U.S., a government-led campaign to cut debt and a slowing economy.
8. India-Israel collaborate to strengthen sectors of agriculture, health & environment

The growing India-Israel relationship took a step further as six Israeli startups with innovative technologies in the fields of healthcare, agriculture and water management interacted with various Indian businesses.

Key highlights:
  1. The 6 startups that have been selected include: Amaizz, Biofeed, Zebra Medical, MobileODT, etc.
  2. The 6 selected startups possess innovative technologies in healthcare, agriculture and water management sectors.
  3. These startups had participated in the innovation week from 23-27 July 2018.
  4. The innovation week was started by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and Invest India in 2017.
  5. India-Israel Innovation Bridge was developed to help Israeli companies use their technologies, develop, adapt and commercialize their innovation in India.
  6. India-Israel Innovation Bridge is managed by the Israel Innovation Authority, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry of India and Invest India. Chairperson of the Israel-India Chamber of Commerce is Anat Bernstein-Reich.
  7. An agreement had been signed earlier to start an innovation fund under which India and Israel will contribute USD 4 million each on an annual basis for 5 years.
9. Narendra Modi to launch India Post Payments Bank:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch long-awaited India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) that will have at least one branch in every district and focus on financial services in rural areas on aug 21.

Key highlights:
  1. The Prime Minister has given time on August 21 to launch IPPB. Two branches of the bank are already operational. Rest of the 648 branches will be launched across country in every distric.
  2. IPPB will leverage reach of 1.55 lakh post office branches to provide banking and financial service to people in rural area.
  3. However, with the launch, the IPPB will become one of the largest banking networks in India. India Post has 154,000 post offices, of which 139,000 are in rural areas. The government is planning to utilise the 650 branches to serve as controlling offices to service and monitor all the post offices in the country. All the post office branches will be linked to the IPPB by end of this year.
  4. The Department of Posts was one of the 11 entities to get an in-principle nod from the Reserve Bank of India in 2015 for setting up a payments bank. Although many other entities, including Airtel, Fino, Paytm, etc, have launched services, the postal bank was yet to commercially roll out its services across the country. 
10. Banks collect ₹ 5,000 crore in FY18 as minimum balance penalty:

Banks collect ₹ 5,000 crore in FY18 as minimum balance penalty. Twenty-one public sector banks and three major private sector lenders collected ₹ 5,000 crore from customers as minimum balance penalty in 2017-18, according to banking data.

Key highlights:
  1. State Bank of India, which suffered a staggering net loss of ₹ 6,547 crore during 2017-18, led the pack in penalising its customers for not maintaining minimum balance.It accounted for nearly half the amount collected as minimum balance penalty.
  2. After SBI, the largest amount of minimum balance penalty during 2017-18 was collected by HDFC Bank Ltd. It charged its customers ₹ 590.84 crore, which is lower than ₹ 619.39 crore in 2016-17, the data revealed.
  3. According to norms set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banks are permitted to levy service/miscellaneous charges. Customers opening accounts under Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) scheme as well as Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna are not required to maintain any minimum balance.
  4. SBI was charging the penalty on failure to maintain monthly average balance requirement till 2012 and re-introduced it on 1 April 2017 and reduced the charges with effect from 1 October 2017.
  5. After SBI, the largest amount of minimum balance penalty during 2017-18 was collected by HDFC Bank Ltd. It charged its customers ₹ 590.84 crore, which is lower than ₹ 619.39 crore in 2016-17, the data revealed.
  6. Axis Bank collected ₹ 530.12 crore in the last fiscal while ICICI Bank charged ₹ 317.6 crore.
11. Vaibhav Suri wins Biel Masters:

Grandmaster Vaibhav Suri won the Biel Masters chess title with an unbeaten display and teenager Prtihu Gupta made his second Grandmaster norm in the premier nine-round competition here.

Key highlights:
  1. Seeded 19th in a field that attracted 26 GMs and participants from 31 countries, Suri won five games and drew the rest to tally seven points.
  2. Germany’s Dennis Wagner topped an eight-way tie for the second spot at 6.5 points. Top seed Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine) took the third spot.
12. NASA names Sunita Williams, 8 others, for first space flights on commercial spacecraft

Indian-origin U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams is among the nine astronauts named by NASA who will fly the first missions into space on commercially provided rockets and capsules, starting next year.

Key highlights:
  1. The astronauts will launch on Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Dragon capsules to the International Space Station starting in 2019.
  2. These missions will be the first crewed launches from United States soil after the end of the space shuttle programme in 2011.
  3. These nine astronauts will launch on the first crewed test flights and missions of new commercial spacecraft built and operated by the Boeing Company and SpaceX.

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