Current affair of 1st September, 2019

China to start 27 new CPEC projects in Pakistan

China is planning to launch 27 new projects in Pakistan below the second phase of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic passageway (CPEC). The bold CPEC links China's Kashgar town in Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gwadar port in Balochistan through a network of roads, railways, and highways. The linguistic communication of understanding between China and Pakistan leads to CPEC.

Key highlights:
  1. The China-Pakistan relations began in 1951 in Taiwan on confirming the special relationship. Both the countries have high-level visits leading to a spread of economic, military, and technical help.
  2. The second new investment trade between China and Pakistan includes Agriculture, education, vocational training, industry, increase in water supply, etc. 
  3. Both countries are eager to invest to know the investments will make sound, they will earn money, also for a fine transport system for the transportation of goods, new airports, etc.
PK Sinha is appointed as OSD in Prime Ministers Office

Former cabinet Secretary PK Sinha has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in Prime Minister's Office (PMO). He will replace Nripendra Misra who is the Principal Secretary of PMO. Sinha's place will be taken by Rajiv Gauba who was appointed as Cabinet Secretary.

Key highlights:
  1. Nripendra Misra 1967-batch retired IAS officer. He has relieved his position as a senior government official. Misra was the first senior-level appointment created by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.
  2. He is an outstanding officer who has an excellent grasp of public policy associate degreed administration. Misra had retired as TRAI chairman.
  3. Pradeep Kumar Sinha is the 1977 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He is the 31st cabinet Secretary of India. Before this appointment, he served as the Power Secretary of India.
Romania set the record for the largest win in Twenty 20 Internationals

Romania set the record for the largest win in Twenty20 Internationals after it defeated Turkey in the Romania Cup 2019. Romania scored 173 runs in the match. In the game, Sivakumar Periyalwar scored 105 off 40 deliveries.

Key highlights:
  1. Periyalwar, 31-year-old, is born in Tamil Nadu. He is an engineer by profession. He moved to Romania where he now works in a software company. 
  2. He played in age-group cricket tournaments before shifting overseas after completing his studies.
  3. At first, he played in age-group cricket tournaments. After that, he participated in Under-15, Under-22, and Under-25 tournaments and back to Romania in 2015. Then, he joined the Cluj Cricket Club.
Rating Agency ICRA terminates CEO Naresh Takkar

ICRA Ltd ousted its Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer Naresh Takkar. ICRA terminated the employment of Takkar with immediate effect over allegations of misconduct at the credit rating agency under Takkar. This is the first time a top official of a rating agency has been fired by the company’s board.

TamilNadu signs three agreements for healthcare collaborations in UK

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami signed three agreements for collaboration in the healthcare sector on the first day of his UK tour. The Chief Minister is on the first leg of his three-nation tour.

Key highlights:
  1. The three agreements, two were Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) and one was Statement of Intent. The one MoU was signed between the government of Tamil Nadu and International Skills Development Corporation.
  2. The main aim is to develop the skills of the healthcare staff in the state. The MoU was between the government of Tamil Nadu and the King’s College London. King’s College London is looking to establish a branch of the college in Tamil Nadu.
  3. Tamil Nadu’s Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and Health Secretary Dr Beela Rajesh signed a Statement of Intent with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to improve the standards to control the spread of communicable diseases like malaria and dengue. 
  4. The delegation visited the Emergency Operations Centre of the London ambulance service NHS and its call centres to study the model of emergency response and dispatch of ambulances in London. The aim is to replicate the model in Tamil Nadu.
Union cabinet approves establishment of 75 new medical colleges

Union Ministers Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal the government approved the establishment of 75 new medical colleges in the country. The main addition would lead to the creation of 15,700 more MBBS seats in India.

Key highlights:
  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) the medical colleges would be established by 2021-22 will be attached with existing district and referral hospitals under Phase-3 of the ongoing Centrally Sponsored scheme.
  2. The government plans to boost the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in the government sector and utilise infrastructure of district hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country with this push.
  3. The minister announced that new medical colleges would be set up in under-served regions with no medical college or ones with at least 200 beds. The preference will be given to district hospitals with 300 beds.
  4. The government earlier approved the establishment of 58 new medical colleges in Phase 1 and 24 colleges in Phase 2, apart from the 75 under the Phase 3. Of these, 39 medical colleges under Phase 1 have already become functional, and the rest will be made functional by 2020-21.
MHA Shah flags off India's first battery-operated bus in Ahmedabad

The main aim is to curb pollution and make India a better place. Union Minister Amit Shah flagged off battery-operated eco-friendly buses in Gujarat's Ahmedabad while inaugurating the country's first automated battery charging and swapping station for e-buses there.

Key highlights:
  1. He participated in the tree plantation drive organised by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to mark the culmination of the civic body's 3 month-long campaign Mission Million Tree to plant 10 lakh trees in Ahmedabad.
  2. The campaign was launched with an aim to make Ahmedabad the greenest city of India and it will continue till this goal is achieved. Later in the day, Shah, who represents Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, will attend a meeting of ‘Disha’, formerly known as District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee.
  3. Disha initiative is meant for the effective implementation of Central schemes at the local level. He probably is slated to conclude his visit after attending the 7th Convocation ceremony of the Gandhinagar based Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University.
West Bengal passed anti lynching Bill

The West Bengal State Assembly passed West Bengal (Prevention of Lynching) Bill, 2019. The Bill aims to prevent and punish mob assaults and lynching. The state government mentioned that the Bill was passed as the Centre has failed to take the initiative. The Bill was passed by a voice vote. The Bill aims to prevent the spreading of hatred or incidents of mob lynching.

Key highlights:
  1. The State describes lynching as social malice. The State also urged the Centre and other State governments to bring similar legislation.
  2. The bill was passed after several cases in which the people were beaten to death over rumors of cattle smuggling and child theft. This offense will carry the punishment of a jail term for three years to life imprisonment.
  3. In case of assault leading to injury, the penalty includes a fine of a minimum of Rs.1 lakh to a maximum of Rs.3 lakh.
  4. The Bill defined terms such as lynching and mob. The Bill said that the West Bengal Lynching Compensation Scheme may be framed under this Act.
Union Cabinet approves 100% FDI in coal mining and contract manufacturing

The Union Cabinet relaxed FDI rule for foreign single-brand retailers and also permitted foreign investment in contract manufacturing and coal mining. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) under automatic route in coal mining and associated infrastructure approved.

Key highlights:
  1. The main aim is to boost domestic manufacturing, 100 percent FDI in contract manufacturing under automatic route has been allowed. The cabinet has expanded the definition of mandatory 30 per cent domestic sourcing norm. 
  2. It also allowed single brand retailers to start online sales, waiving the previous condition of setting up a mandatory brick-and-mortar store.
  3. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved setting up of 75 government medical colleges to be attached with existing district or referral hospitals by 2021-22.  The establishment of new medical colleges will add at least 15,700 MBBS seats in the country.
  4. The new medical colleges would be set up in under-served areas having no medical colleges, with district hospitals having at least 200 beds.
  5. The establishment of new medical colleges, to be attached with existing district and referral hospitals, would lead to an increase in the availability of qualified health professionals, improve tertiary care in government sector, utilise existing infrastructure of district hospitals and promote affordable medical education in the country.
  6. The CCEA also approved a Rs 6,268 crore subsidy for export of 6 million tonnes of sugar during the 2019-20 marketing year starting October in order to liquidate surplus domestic stock and help mills in clearing huge sugarcane arrears to farmers.
  7. A lump sum export subsidy of Rs 10,448 per tonne will be given to sugar mills in the 2019-20 marketing year. This will benefit millions of farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka as well as other states.
Centre to set up 12,500 Ayush centres across India

The Central government has set a target of setting up 12,500 Ayush centres across India. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Yoga Award Ceremony held in New Delhi. He also said that the Centre will open 1.5 lakh health, wellness centres. The prime minister also pitched for linking technology with tradition in the practise of Ayush medicine.

Key highlights:
  1. In its first, 4000 Ayush centres will be set up in 2019. Government is also making efforts to bring in more professionals in the field of Ayush and necessary steps are being taken to that effect.
  2. Centre also plans to create a homogenous system by creating an Ayush grid on the lines of one nation, one tax, and one nation, one mobility card.
Government announced four major bank mergers

The government announced that the four major bank mergers. The merger of 10 public sector banks to be merged into four was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Key highlights:
  1. After the merger, there will now be 12 public sector banks after the latest round of consolidation of PSU banks. In 2017, there were 27 public sector banks. After the amalgamation, the consolidation of public sector banks will be giving the scale.
  2. Indian Bank will be merged with Allahabad Bank. In this merger, anchor bank will be the Indian BankPunjab National Bank (PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank will be merged and PNB will be the anchor bank
  3. Union Bank of India, Andhra Bank, and Corporation Bank are to be merged and the anchor bank will be Union Bank of India
  4. Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank will be merged. Canara Bank will be the anchor bank
  5. The first merger with PNB will create a banking total business of Rs.17.9 lakh crore. After this merging, PNB entity will have 11,437 branches.
Bihar bans 12 brands of pan masala

Bihar state government has banned 12 brands of pan masala containing magnesium carbonate for a period of one year. In the notice issued, it said that the manufacture, storage, distribution, transportation or sale of pan masala containing magnesium carbonate has been banned in Bihar.

Key highlights:
  1. The move comes after the food and safety department of the State expressed its concerns over the pan masalas. The department examined 20 samples of masala brands and found the presence of magnesium carbonate in it.
  2. According to the research of the department, magnesium carbonate causes heart disease in the people. It then directed the state to ban pan masala containing magnesium carbonate.
  3. The brands that were examined by the food and safety department were Bahar Pan Masala, Bahubali Pan Masala, Rajnigandha Pan Masala, Raj Niwas Pan Masala, Supreme Pan Parag Pan Masala, Pan Parag Pan Masala,  Rajshree Pan Masala, Raunak Pan Masala, Signature Pan Masala, Kamala likes include Pan Masala, Madhu Pan Masala.
  4. Bihar government had earlier imposed a ban on the manufacture, sale, distribution, and storage of gutka and all its variants.
DAY NULM bagged SKOCH Governance Gold Award for the year 2019

Deendayan Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), a flagship mission under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs conferred the prestigious SKOCH Governance Gold Award for its Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access (PAiSA)in a function held at the Constitution Club of India.

Key highlights:
  1. Launched in November 2018. PAiSAis a centralized IT platform which simplifies and streamlines release of interest subvention under the Mission.
  2. It offers end to end online solution for processing, payment, monitoring and tracking of interest subvention claims from banks on a monthly basis.
  3. They claim for subvention are uploaded by banks through their CBS (Core Banking Solution) in respect of the beneficiaries of the Self Employment Programme .
  4. It is verified and approved by the ULB and State concerned. The approved claim amount gets credited directly to the beneficiary’s loan account through DBT mode.
Airports to get Full body scanner

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has announced that all airports in the country will be equipped with full-body scanners in the next two years. BCAS has made it mandate to equip all airports with body scanners.

Key highlights:
  1. The introduction of such scanning is to improve the security in all the airport. The current equipment at airports cannot detect non-metallic explosives. Hence such advancement of security is to be implemented.
  2. Using the full-body scanner device an individual's body will be scanned for security screening without making any physical contact.
  3. Unlike metal detectors will not be able to detect non-metals as it became an increasing concern after various airliner bombing attempts in the 2000s in the country. But the full-body scanners can detect non-metal objects. 
  4. The technology in full-body scanners will help in seeing an alternate wavelength image of a person's body to detect any suspicious items.
Samsung India inks with Mastercard RBL Bank for mobile payments through Samsung Pay

American multinational financial services corporation, Mastercard, Indian private sector bank, RBL Bank and Samsung India jointly launched the Samsung Pay for RBL Bank’s Mastercard credit card customers.

Key highlights:
  1. The tie-up will allow the customers of RBL bank to make contactless transactions with enhanced security on their Samsung Pay-compatible smartphones efficiently.
  2. The payments can be done through any PoS (Point of Sale) machine where a card can be dipped, swiped or tapped, both in India as well as abroad without the physical presence of a card.
  3. RBL customers can easily add their Mastercard credit cards on Samsung Pay authenticates them based on their fingerprint, iris scan or PIN (personal identification number).
  4. The successful authentication can complete their purchases by easily tapping their devices on a compatible terminal.
IndiGo appoints GE Healthcare official Aditya Pande as its new CFO

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd operates the country's largest airline IndiGo appointed GE-Healthcare official Aditya Pande as its chief financial officer. He replaces Rohit Philip leaves the company on 16 September.

Key highlights:
  1. Aditya’s decision to join the IndiGo team and welcome him to the Company.IndiGo chief executive officer Ronojoy Dutta said in a statement.
  2. His enormous and varied experience and understanding of the complexities of the various businesses he has worked will be invaluable to our future plans Dutta added.
  3. Aditya Pande, a qualified chartered accountant has over 27 years of finance leadership experience.He is currently the chief financial officer at GE Healthcare.
  4. Pande previously served GE Healthcare as it's group chief financial officer of South Asia division.

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