Current affair of 17th September 2019

Manipur to host UN conference on drugs on HIV AIDS

Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla announced that the state is going to host the United Nations International Conference to discuss the issues related to drug menace, HIV/AIDS problems in the region on September 30 and October 1.

Key highlights:
  1. Heptualla made the announcement during the 13th Foundation Day Celebration of the Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) held at Hotel Imphal.
  2. Chief Minister N Biren Singh to invite the home ministers of all the north-eastern states to the Conference so that the region can have a comprehensive policy to deal with such issues.
  3. The main aim is to increase sexual crimes, women also suffer from other debilitating challenges which put them at a serious disadvantage, the Manipur Governor said.
  4. Women living with HIV/AIDS, orphans are soft targets for social stigma and discrimination and various forms of human rights violations, she pointed out.
  5. The women-specific and women-related legislation to protect women against social discrimination, violence and atrocities among others have been enacted.
Union Government launches steel import monitoring system

The union government launched a steel import monitoring system (SIMS) to provide advance information about steel imports to various stakeholders including producers and importers to have effective policy interventions.

Key highlights:
  1. Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and his junior colleague Hardeep Singh Puri launched the system developed in consultation with Ministry of Steel on the pattern of US Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis (SIMA) system.
  2. The Importers of specified steel products will register in advance on the web portal of SIMS providing the necessary information. The registration will be online and automatic with no human intervention.
  3. The importer can apply for registration not earlier than 60th day and not later than 15th day before the expected date of arrival of import consignment. 
  4. The automatic registration number granted will remain valid for 75 days.
  5. The information about the steel imports provided by importers on the SIMS will be monitored by the Steel Ministry.
RBI Allows Payment Of All Recurring Bills Through BBPS

RBI expanded the scope of Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) to cover all repetitive bill payments. They may include school fees, insurance premiums and municipal taxes.

Key highlights:
  1. Currently, the facility of payment of recurring bills through BBPS is available only in five segments namely direct to home (DTH), electricity, gas, telecom and water.
  2. BBPS functions under the aegis of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  3. The facility would be expanded to include other types of repetitive payments like insurance premium, mutual funds, school fees, EMIs, and municipal taxes, among others.
  4. The expansion of biller categories would increase the user base of Bharat Bill Pay along with providing an efficient, cost-effective alternative to the existing systems and enhance consumer confidence and experience.
Allahabad Bank board approves merger with Indian Bank

Allahabad Bank approved the merger proposal with Indian Bank. The main aim is to make the amalgamated entity the seventh-largest public sector lender of the country.

Key highlights:
  1. The consolidation of 10 state-run banks into four large-scale lenders. The board of directors in a meeting held considered and accorded its in-principle approval for amalgamation of Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank. The employees and officers of Allahabad Bank staged a demonstration in front of its headquarters here to protest against the merger.
  2. The amalgamation is being opposed as Allahabad Bank has higher levels of CASA - current account and savings account more staff strength and a bigger volume of business compared to the other lenders.
  3. Allahabad Bank is a nationalised bank.It is the oldest joint stock bank in India.
BEML and Wipro to work together in aerospace AI and 3D printing

Defence PSU BEML Ltd and Wipro Infrastructure Engineering signed an MoU to work together in the areas of aerospace, industrial automation, 3-D printing artificial intelligence and hydraulic system engineering.

Key highlights:
  1. The MoU entails the two firms working together on projects, products, systems, services and projects for DRDO Labs and other government entities in India as well as overseas.
  2. The key focus areas include aerospace components and parts through SEZ, metal additive manufacturing and design optimization for new critical aggregates, legacy components & spares, and process automation.
  3. This partnership will help both companies make a significant contribution to indigenisation and the Make in India’ initiatives of the government.
  4. BEML has a strong lineage of being a heavy engineering company. The main focus on emerging technologies like 3-D printing and industrial automation.
Bharat Electronics Limited to deliver more Akash missiles to Indian Air Force

State-run Bharat Electronics Ltd signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi. The main aim is to deliver its surface-to-air Akash missile systems to seven more squadrons of the Indian Air Force.

Key highlights:
  1. The contract with specialist infrastructure, the systems will be commissioned in three years at seven Air Force bases across the country.
  2. The contract with specialist infrastructure, the systems will be commissioned in three years at seven Air Force bases across the country.
  3. The company supplied the medium-range missile defence system to six Air Force squadrons in 2015-16 against an earlier order by the MoD.
  4. The missiles are designed and developed by the state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Dynamics.
India to generate 175 GW of clean energy by 2022

Union Minister for Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan the country was on course to generate 175 GW of clean energy by 2022.

Key highlights:
  1. The energy 175 GW of clean energy production in the country, out of which 100 GW would be through solar and rest through other sources.
  2. The country has set a target of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases between 33 percent and 35 percent to combat climate change and global warming.
  3. The Ayushman Bharat holds the Health portfolio around 50 lakh people have availed themselves of benefits under it over the past year, and the government has spent Rs 7,500 crore.
  4. This synergy would help achieve the Prime Minister's vision of making the country among top scientific nations by 2030
Journalist Ajay Kumar Singh is new Press Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind

Ajay Kumar Singh appointed as Press Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind. He is currently associated with the Firstpost as a contributor.

Key highlights:
  1. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the appointment of Singh as Press Secretary to the President on contract basis initially for a period of one year
  2. He succeeds Ashok Malik.He worked in Times of India in 1985 , Economic Times and the Telegraph. He later joined the Pioneer in Delhi.
  3. He worked in the Business Standard, Star News, and News X. He was the editor of the Governance Now magazine before joining the Firstpost as Executive Editor.
Sumit Nagal achieves Best ATP Ranking

India's Sumit Nagal jumped 15 places to achieve a career-high ranking of 159 in the latest Association of Tennis Professionals ATP rankings.

Key highlights:
  1. The 22-year-old from Haryana ended runners up in the Banja Luka ATP Challenger following a first-round appearance at the US Open.
  2. He had leapfrogged 16 places after his first-round exit in the US Open. Prajnesh Gunneswaran continued his run in the top-100. 
  3. He rose three places to be world no. 82. Ramkumar Ramanathan slipped three spots to be 179th rounding up the top-three Indians in the men's singles.
  4. In doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan maintained their 43rd and 49th position, while Leander Paes moved one spot to be placed 78. 
  5. The WTA rankings, Ankita Raina continues to be India's top-ranked player at 191 and is followed Pranjala Yadlapalli who is placed at 338.
Union Government Launches Web Portal to Find Your Lost or Stolen Mobile Phone

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) unveiled a portal in Mumbai which will help mobile phone users trace their stolen or lost mobile phones. The name of the project is called the Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR).

Key highlights:
  1. It is undertaken by DoT for this purpose. This project is aimed at blocking of reported lost or stolen mobile phones across mobile networks, discouraging their theft, as well as facilitating in tracing of such phones. 
  2. DoT launched a maritime communications service and revealed VSAT solutions provider Nelco will undertake broadband services in the maritime sector.
  3. The mobile phones have a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number which is used to identify them. Because IMEI is reprogrammable some miscreants do reprogram the IMEI number, which results in the cloning of IMEI causing multiple phone devices with same IMEI number.
  4. If such IMEIs are blocked, several genuine customers might suffer. Therefore, there is a need to get rid of duplicate and fake IMEI phones. 
Microsoft Bill Gates to Honour PM Modi with Annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award

Microsoft Bill Gates honor India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 which gave the state its special status.

Key highlights:
  1. A dozen people, some wearing Free Kashmir T-shirts, with the Justice For All coalition delivered 100,000 petition signatures to the Gates Foundation's Seattle headquarters. It is the world's largest private nonprofit not to honor Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission, a sanitation initiative that improved access to toilets.
  2. The Gates Foundation in a statement said it respects the petitioners' views, but Modi will receive its annual Goalkeepers Global Goals Award for providing 500 million people in India safer sanitation.
  3. The Gates Foundation's annual event focusing on global inequality on September 24 and 25 coincides with the UN General Assembly gathering and has drawn big-name politicians and celebrities, from Barack Obama to Ed Sheeran.
  4. The Gates Foundation confirmed actors Jameela Jamil and Riz Ahmed have dropped out of their event. Jamil, who stars in the US sitcom The Good Place hinted at the geopolitical tensions 
  5. The White House said Trump will use the "Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures" event to "emphasize the strong ties between the people of the United States and India" and reaffirm the two countries' strategic partnership.

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