Current affair of 10th September 2019

Rajiv Kumar appointed as the new MD of Microsoft India

Rajiv Kumar as the new managing director of Microsoft India (R&D) Pvt Ltd (MIRPL). Rajiv, who is currently the Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft's Experiences and Devices) Group.

Key highlights:
  1. He will replace Anil Bhansali.
  2. He will continue as the Corporate Vice President of Cloud & Enterprise. The 27-year long career at Microsoft. 
  3. The recent key contributions to Microsoft are Kaizala (an enterprise productivity chat app) and bootstrapping the campus hiring program in India resulting in Microsoft hiring the best talent from premier engineering colleges in India.
  4. He is developer in the Visual Basic team to Development Manager in BizTalk and then the Product Unit Manager for the Content Management Server team which became a part of the SharePoint server.
IPPB launched AePS services

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) rolled out Aadhaar enabled payment system (AePS) services. IPPB become the single largest platform in the country for providing interoperable banking services to the customers of any bank.

Key highlights:
  1. The AePS services linked to Aadhaar can perform basic banking services such as cash withdrawals and balance inquiry irrespective of the bank 
  2. Aadhaar enabled payment services, a customer can simply authenticate his/her identity with fingerprint scan and Aadhaar authentication to complete a transaction.
  3. The banking services to customers of any bank including the 34 crore Jan Dhan account holders, by leveraging the unprecedented last mile reach of IPPB. This fulfills PM Narendra Modi’s vision set forth at the time of launch of IPPB last year of ushering in economic transformation by bringing banks to the doorsteps of the villagers and poor.
  4. The launch of AePS by India Post Payments Bank enhances the last mile interoperable banking infrastructure by 2.5 times. The network brings doorstep banking access to millions of underbanked customers and gives a fresh impetus to inclusion of customers facing accessibility challenges in the traditional banking ecosystem.
About IPPB  
  1. IPPB become the single largest interoperable platform in the country. By leveraging AePS customers can now access their accounts with any bank by simply using their fingerprint for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry right at their doorstep through the Postmen and GDS.IPPB’s integration with AePS could be a new dawn in the realm of financial inclusion. AePS is moving forward in empowering all sections of the society by making financial services available to people from the farthest possible places.IPPB’s services are now available across more than 136,000 Post Offices and delivered by over 195,000 Postmen and GDSs. The ability of the Postmen and GDS to reach every village on an almost daily basis has brought down the distance to access banking services to ‘0 kms'.
  2. IPPB has been set up with the vision to build the most accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man in India.
  3. IPPB delivers simple and affordable banking solutions through intuitive interfaces available in 13 languages.
  4. IPPB is committed to provide a fillip to a less-cash economy and contribute to the vision of Digital India.
Two UTs J&K, Ladakh will have a common high court

State Judicial Academy of Jammu & Kashmir said that J&K and Ladakh will become two separate Union territories (UTs) from 31 October but it will have a common high court. This order was issued by the State Judicial Academy's Director Rajeev Gupta.

Key highlights:
  1. It also declared that the 108 Central Laws would be applicable for the two UTs whereas 164 state laws would be repealed and 166 state laws can still be applicable.
  2. Legislative Assembly will be formed in J&K as UT.
  3. There will be no legislative Assembly in the Union Territory of Ladakh and hence it will be directly controlled by the Central government. Also, the existing law and procedure for practice in high court will be the same.
  4. On 5 August 2019, Centre nullified Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which revoked the special status of the state Jammu & Kashmir. Parliament approved the resolution. It also passed the bill on the bifurcation of the state into two UTs.
Mumbai ranks 5th and New Delhi 11th in the 2019 Knight Frank Co-Living Index

Knight Frank India, the leading international property consultancy launched a report titled Insights on Co-living An Asia-Pacific Perspective. As per the report, China’s co-living sector is one of the most developed having started since the early 2010’s, Beijing is ranked 1st in the Co-living Index followed by Tokyo and Shanghai.

Key highlights:
  1. Mumbai is ranked 5th in Knight Frank India's co-living Index.
  2. Asia-Pacific cities classified into six key attributes likely to contribute in fostering the growth of Co-living within each Asia-Pacific city like- Tech & Financial Hub, Venture Capital Deals & Growth, Housing Affordability, University Population, The capital deal flow in Mumbai spiked by 288% in the period between 2015-17. The rise in deal flow is a key indicator of the quality of job opportunities which are being created in the financial hub.
  3. The changing lifestyles and stratospheric housing prices across major economic centres, co-living provides an alternate flexible accommodation option for the temporary and transient workforce.
  4. These six attributes allocated different weights based on their relevance and importance which in summation provides a metric to quantify the magnitude of co-living’s likelihood of success across the various Asia-Pacific cities.
SLINEX 2019 is being held at Visakhapatnam

The annual Joint Indo-Lanka maritime fleet exercise named SLINEX 2019 is being held from 7-12 September at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The seventh edition of the joint drills exercise is being held.

Key highlights:
  1. SLINEX 2019, the bilateral maritime exercise, aims to help the two Navies to understand each other's procedures and to contribute towards maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. 
  2. It ensures to enhance co-operation and strengthen mutual trust and interoperability between the two navies.
  3. 323 Sri Lankan navy personnel including the commanding flag officer of the naval fleet will be participating in the exercise. 2 Sri Lankan naval ships, SLNS Sindurala and Suranimala, is also participating in the bilateral maritime exercise between India and Sri Lanka.
  4. The maritime exercise features wide-ranging naval exercises including helicopter operations.
  5. SLINEX is a bilateral maritime fleet exercise between the Indian Navy and Sri Lankan Navy. The first edition of the SLINEX series took place in 2005. 
DPIIT to Launch Plastic Waste Management Campaign for Swachhta Hi Sewa 2019

The theme of this year’s Swachhta hi Sewa is Plastic Waste Management. Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry is playing a critical two-fold role for the success of the campaign as mandated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Key highlights:
  1. DPIIT will ensure recycling of plastic waste collected on 2nd October 2019 in cement kilns and second, collect plastic waste through nationwide shramdaan on 2nd October 2019.
  2. DPIIT requested all the State Governments and Union Territories to mobilise the Industrial Parks in States and Union Territories for collection of plastic waste across all Industrial Estates, Parks, Corridors, Nodes and Industrial Areas for the Swachata hi Sewa 2019 campaign beginning from 11th September, 2019.
  3. The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti requested DPIIT to mandate the use of plastic waste by cement kilns and DPIIT will ensure that all collected plastic waste may be recycled in cement kilns by Diwali this year.
  4. DPIIT personnel will undertake Shramdaan and ensure the collection of plastic waste on and around industrial areas all across the country. DPIIT requested State Governments to sensitize Industrial Parks by focusing on Plastic Waste Management on a sustained and continuous basis. 
Prime Minister to Launch Kisan Man Dhan Yojana on the 12th of September

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana on the 12th of September at Ranchi, Jharkhand.The Scheme shall secure the lives of 5 Crore Small and Marginal Farmers by providing a minimum pension of Rs 3000 per month to attain 60 years of age.

Key highlights:
  1. The scheme has an outlay of Rs 10,774 Crores for the next three years.The small and marginal farmers who are currently between the ages of 18 to 40 years can apply for the scheme.
  2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi shall inaugurate 400 Eklavya Model Residential Schools to provide quality upper primary, secondary, and senior secondary level education to ST Students in Tribal dominated areas.
  3. The New Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha Building and lay the foundation stone for the New Secretariat Building at Ranchi.
  4. He inaugurate the Multi-Modal Terminal at Sahebganj.
Union Minister of State for Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurates the exhibition PRA-KASHI on finest trends of contemporary weaving

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), Shri Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the exhibition PRA-KASHI in New Delhi. The National Museum, New Delhi in collaboration with Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi organized this exhibition. The exhibition will remain open for general public till 8th October 2019 between 10 am to 6 pm

Key highlights:
  1. The talent of the weavers in the exhibition is really impressive. The exhibition, efforts have been made to highlight the talent of the artists to the public.
  2. The exhibition is curated by Pramod Kumar KG of Eka Archiving Services. It is in the memory of Padma Bhushan Shri Suresh Neotia and Padma Bhushan Shri Martand Singh, Patron and Savant of Indian textiles, crafts and the Arts.
  3. India’s oldest city, Kashi (Varanasi) a spiritual destination for Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina pilgrims since the first millennium BCE. 
  4. The exhibition will showcase the greatest range and diverse products of Asha through varied technical aspects, discernible shift in pattern and materials across their full range. 
  5. The exhibition depict the story of the finest Indian textiles produced at Varanasi. The textiles showcased in the exhibition are created under the guidance of Padma Shri Rahul Jain, a leading expert on the traditional textile arts of India. 
SBI cuts lending rates 10 bps

SBI announced its fifth-rate cut on its marginal cost of funds based lending rate by 10 basis points (bps) across all tenors. The interest rate is now 8.15%. It will be effective from 10 September 2019. The reduction in the lending rate is expected to profit all the current SBI clients who have a home, auto and other category loans of MCLR.

Key highlights:
  1. SBI has also reduced term deposit (TD) rates by up to 25 basis points. 
  2. The aim of the rate cut is for boosting credit requests in the festival season. 
  3. The Non-banking organization Bajaj Housing Finance Limited (BHFL) has decreased its home credit rates to 8.60% from 8.80% up to 30 lakh.
  4. SBI was founded in as Bank of Calcutta on 2 June 1806, as Bank of Bombay on 15 April 1840, as Bank of Madras on 1 July 1843, as Imperial Bank of India 27 January 1921, and as State Bank of India 1 July 1955. It is headquartered Mumbai, Maharashtra. The Chairman of SBI is Rajnish Kumar.  It is the largest bank in India. 
Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held at Geneva

The UN Committee on Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in its 22nd Session took up India’s initial Country Report for consideration at UNHRC in Geneva.

Key highlights:
  1. India is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). In Novermber 2015, India submitted its First Country Report on Status of Disability in India which was ratified in pursuance of Article 35 of the Convention.
  2. The launch of the National Institute of psychological state Rehabilitation (NIMHR) was held Under the excellence of the RPwD Act, 2016.
  3. To implement the Act, various measures to improve data, prohibit discrimination, especially amongst ethnic/religious minority groups, rehabilitation of internal displaced groups, protection from exploitation, protection of reproductive rights, etc. were taken/being taken by the Government.
  4. The need for NIMHR is that the govt will enhance information data, prohibited discrimination, particularly amongst ethnic/religious minority groups, rehabilitation of internally displaced teams, protection from exploitation, protection of reproductive rights, etc will gain quickly.
Nissan CEO Saikawa resigns

Nissan Motor CEO Hiroto Saikawa has resigned his position. His resignation after an internal investigation that revealed falsified documents that boosted his compensation in 2013.

Key highlights:
  1. The change increased his compensation by about 96.5 million yen (roughly $900,000 at that time), based on current foreign exchange rates.
  2. Saikawa was appointed as CEO of Nissan after a 40-year career in April 2017. Previously he served as co-CEO with Ghosn from November 2016.
  3. He will be temporarily replaced by chief operating officer (COO) Yasuhiro Yamauchi. A new candidate will be announced by the company in the month of October. The company has formed a committee in June to select the CEO of the company. 
  4. The committee made up of six company outsiders has now shortlisted 10 possible candidates for the post.
TN to punish people who defaces roadside trees

Tamil Nadu State government has announced penalty and imprisonment on defacing trees on the roadside. The state mentioned it as anti-nature to hit nails on trees.

Key highlights:
  1. Defacing the tree including putting up many metal rods and electric wires on trees for decoration. This reduces the lifetime of a tree. To avoid this the State has introduced this move.
  2. The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) said that people who deface roadside trees by putting up advertisements, cables and lights will face a penalty of Rs.25,000 and a jail term of up to 3 years. The State has given 10 days to private organizations and individuals to remove such advertisements.
  3. The prohibitor will be punished under the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919. Section 326 of the Act explains the regulations and procedures on how hoarding can be put up in a public place in the corporation limits. 
  4. It also requires a license from the District Collector. GCC has now extended this Act to include roadside trees.
Centre to invest USD 130 bn for fleet modernization

The government has planned to introduce a mega plan to spend $130 billion for fleet modernization in the next 5-7 years across all armed forces. The Centre focuses to develop the domestic defence industry. The key policy initiatives regarding the mega plan are expected to be rolled out in the next couple of months.

Key highlights:
  1. The government aims to speed up the modernization of the Army, Navy and the Air Force. Under this plan, Centre has planned to procure a range of critical weapons, missiles, fighter jets, submarines, and warships will be procured in the next few years.
  2. Modernization of infantry, including procuring 2,600 infantry combat vehicles and 1,700 future-ready combat vehicles for the Indian Army, is also under the high priority of fleet modernization.
  3. Indian Navy has already finalized and proposed a plan to have 200 ships, 500 aircraft and 24 attack submarines in the next 3-4 years. Currently, there around 132 ships, 220 aircraft, and 15 submarines in the Indian Navy.
  4. The mega plan also includes procuring of 110 multirole fighter aircraft for the IAF. A detailed plan is yet to be finalized. The government is also planning to cover the airspace over all major cities, including Delhi and Mumbai.
Worlds highest marathon was held in Ladakh

The eighth edition of Ladakh Marathon was held in Leh town, Jammu Kashmir. More than 6,000 runners from different parts of India and 25 foreign countries participated in the marathon. It was sponsored by Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC).

Key highlights:
  1. All four categories marathon are held at over 11, 000 feet above the mean sea level. This marathon is known as the highest marathon in the world.
  2. The 4 categories of Ladakh Marathon are 72-km Ultra Khardungla Challenge, 42-km full and 21-km half marathon and 7-km long Run for Fun.
  3. Ladakh Marathon is held in Leh, J&K. It was first held in 2012. The 7th edition of the Ladakh Marathon was held in 2018. The 9th edition is to be held in 2020. It will be a qualifying race for the Abbot World Marathon Majors. The marathon has got international recognization.
  4. The marathon was held with an aim to foster the national spirit and to encourage sport in Ladakh.
UK Sinha committee recommends Telangana startup policy for startups in other states

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) backed UK Sinha committee has recommended that Telangana's innovative model for start-ups should be assessed for possible replication in other states. UK Sinha, the former Chairman of SEBI, led committee submitted its report in June. The state's various incentives for startups and incubators are the reasons for its mention in the report.

Key highlights:
  1. Also, the state had introduced various incentives for startups and various initiates for the startup ecosystem in the state. 
  2. Some incentives include making the startup incubators’ eligible for 100% stamp duty reimbursement and registration fee paid on sale deeds on first transaction and 50% thereof on the second transaction.
  3. Apart from financial benefits, Telangana startup policy also allows startups and incubators to carry out self-certifications in prescribed formats. 
  4. In June 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a committee under former SEBI Chairman UK Sinha to address issues regarding the sustainability of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
India Will Restore 26 Million Hectares of Degraded Land by 2030

India will restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 target of 21 million hectares, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a UN conference to combat desertification. India’s resolve to tackle the problem of plastic waste at the 14th Conference of Parties to the United Nations

Key highlights:
  1. The agenda of the UN conference is to reverse degradation of land and fix critical gaps in its management.
  2. India will be happy to help other friendly countries develop land restoration strategies through cost-effective satellite and space technology," Modi added.
  3. The UNCCD hosted by India this time. As many as 196 countries are participating in the 12-day conference that began on 22 September. India will be happy to propose initiatives for greater South-South cooperation in addressing issues of climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.My government has announced that India will put an end to single-use plastic in the coming years. We are committed to the development of environmentally-friendly substitutes.Modi called for phasing out single-use plastic. The government has planned a mass movement from 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, to phase out single-use plastic.
  4. The policymakers from across the world have been deliberating on viable solutions to prevent increasing land degradation, desertification and drought.
Vikram Lander is tilted and not broken

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that the Lander is tilted and not broken. ISRO is trying to reestablish contact with the Vikram lander. The lunar probe made a hard landing during its final descent to the moon on 7 September.

Key highlights:
  1. Chandrayaan-2 orbiter has photographed Vikram lander in a tilted position close to the intended landing spot. It is feared that hard landing may have damaged Vikram's communications equipment.
  2. Status of Vikram's solar panels also not known. ISRO is yet to establish contact with lander. 
  3. ISRO is currently checking for any gaps in understanding of lunar atmosphere closer to its surface. This data is not available in the public domain and the space agencies of Russia, the US, and China who have landed probes on the moon did not share this information.
  4. ISRO also said that the Chandrayaan-2 mission has achieved 90-95% of its objectives. Also, the data thus generated would be useful for the global scientific community.
SIWI organised 2019 World water week observed in Stockholm

Week-long conference on global water issues the 2019 World Water Week organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute(SIWI) observed in Stockholm, Sweden from 25 to 30 August

Key highlights:
  1. Dr Jackie King was awarded 2019 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate during the conference for her contribution to global river management.
  2. The theme is Water for society – Including all.
  3. The form partnerships, discuss water stress issues, review implementation thus by overall improving the health, livelihood and poverty reduction.
  4. The conference was attended by 4,000 participants from 138 countries globally. The Indian representatives were Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, the Director-General(DG) of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG)
  5. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat addressed the event during the session titled High-level dialogue: Building a Resilient Future through Water
  6. A pavilion on the ‘Namami Gange’ mission was set up during the conference.
World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 is observed on 10 September

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 is observed on 10 September every year. The day aims to raise awareness of the risks of suicide and to fund suicide prevention activities. It also aims to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

Key highlights:
  1. The theme for the World Suicide Prevention Day 2019 is Working Together to Prevent Suicide. A survey said that every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages.
  2. The theme aims to encourage and engage with each other and to spread awareness of suicide prevention. Over 800,000 people, which is a death every 40 seconds or about 3,000 every day, die by suicide. 
  3. The Day was initiated by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). The day is being observed since 2003.

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