Current affair of 22nd August, 2019.

World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21 August

World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21 August across the world. The day is observed every year. The day aims to increase awareness about the issues that affect older adults. It also provides an opportunity to appreciate the elders for their dedication, accomplishments, and the services they give throughout their lives.

Key highlights:
  1. United Nations report says that by 2050, 2 billion people, over 20% of the world's population, will be 60 or older with Asia having the largest number of older persons.
  2. Former president of United States Ronald Reagan officially announced the day as the 'World Senior Citizens Day' after he had signed Proclamation on August 19, 1988.
  3. On 14th of December 1990, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed to observe 21 August as World Senior Citizens Day.
  4. He declared August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day in US. The day aims to pay respect to the elderly community.
MHRD launched NISHTHA

The Ministry of Human Resource Development launched the National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancements (NISHTHA). It aimed at training over 42 lakh teachers to boost education and employment focusing on reskilling the teaching workforce.

Key highlights:
  1. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched the initiative’s website, training modules, primer booklet and mobile app built for the purpose. 
  2. The programme was launched in the presence of Smt Rina Ray, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy and other senior officers from MHRD, all States and UTs, Senior Policy Makers and Heads of Institutions.
  3. National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancements (NISHTHA) programme is a 100 days programme of the Government.
  4. The training modules are developed at the national level for all States and UTs with their own material. The integrated programme will train all teachers as first-level counselors and responsive needs of the students in promoting joyful learning.
  5. The integrated programme will train all teachers as first-level counselors and responsive needs of the students in promoting joyful learning.
Rajiv Gauba is appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary

The Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba is appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary for a tenure of two years. His appointment as Cabinet secretary was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Gauba is a 1982-batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre. He initially joined as the Officer on Special Duty in the Cabinet Secretariat. He will now replace the incumbent P K Sinha, who is a 1977 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mr.Sinha is the 31st Cabinet Secretary of India.

Key highlights:
  1. Gauba was born in Punjab. He is a graduate in physics from Patna University. 
  2. He had served in Jharkhand as the chief secretary before returning to serve in the central government in 2016.
  3. Gauba took charge as the home secretary on August 31 in 2017. While serving as the Union home secretary, he has handled issues such as militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, internal security, and the Northeast Maoist problems in the central and east India besides other issues.
Dr.Ajay Kumar is appointed as Defence Secretary in the Ministry of Defence

Dr.Ajay Kumar has been appointed as Defence Secretary in the Ministry of Defence. The appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). Dr. Kumar will replace Shri Sanjay Mitra as his tenure ends on 23 August.

Key highlights:
  1. The ACC has cleared the appointment of Shri Subhash Chandra as Secretary of Defence Production. He is currently the Special Secretary Defence. 
  2. He will replace Dr. Kumar. Subhash Chandra is a 1986-batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre.
  3. Mr. Mitra is a 1982-batch IAS officer of West Bengal cadre. He is currently serving as the Secretary, Department of Defence Production.
JNU Professor Meeta Narain conferred the Pushkin Medal 2019

JNU Professor Meeta Narain conferred the ‘Pushkin Medal – 2019’. It is the highest honour given to an Indian scholar by the Russian government. Pushkin Medal is given to a scholar of Russian language and literature. It is given for outstanding contribution to Russian studies.

Key highlights:
  1. Medal of Pushkin is a state decoration of the Russian Federation. It is awarded to its citizens for achievements in the arts and culture, education, humanities, and literature. 
  2. It is named in honor of Russian author and poet Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.
National sports awards 2019 were announced

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has announced the awardees of the National sports awards 2019. The award recognizes the successive persons in the field of games and sports. The President of India will award the awardees at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The awards will be given on the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand which is celebrated as the National Sports Day on August 29.

Key highlights:
  1. National Sports Awards are given for athletes and coaches every year. The award recognizes and rewards excellence in sports. 
  2. It is given by the Ministry of youth affairs and sports to the successive persons in the field of games and sports.
  3. A 12 member National sports committee headed by the former Supreme Court judge (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma has selected the awardees for 2019. 
  4. The committee constitutes of members including the  Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Jhulaniya, the Sports Authority of India Director Sandeep Pradhan, TOPS CEO Commander Rajesh Rajagopalan, Mary Kom, Bhutia, etc.
NASA scientists fly over Greenland to track melting ice

NASA scientists are crossing Greenland on a mission to track melting ice.Greenland melting faster in the last decade and this summer it has seen two of the biggest melts on record since 2012.

Key highlights:
  1. Global warming is the chief culprit of the melting ice issue .Both warmer air and warmer water are eating away at Greenland it causes to lose billions of tons of ice daily in the summer.
  2. A team of scientists and engineers aboard a research plane are dropping probes into the ice to help figure out which is the bigger cause.
  3. If water is playing a bigger role than scientists had thought, that could mean seas will be rising faster than expected.
Iceland commemorates first glacier lost due to climate change

Iceland marked its first-ever loss of a glacier to climate change. Iceland’s Okjokull glacier. The people commemorated with a plaque - An ornamental tablet, typically of metal, porcelain, or wood, fixed to a wall or other surface in commemoration of a person or event.

Key highlights:
  1. The plaque ceremony attended by scientists and locals at the Okjokull glacier in west-central Iceland to fulfill the criteria to be classified as a glacier after melting throughout the 20th century.
  2. The plaque bears the inscription “A letter to the future”.
  3. Glaciologists stripped Okjokull of its glacier status in 2014, a first for Iceland, as the glacier ice covered that 16 square kilometres but by 2012, measured just 0.7 square kilometres in 2017.
SEBI announces reward of Rs 1 crore to insider trading informants

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) announced a new mechanism to reward informants with up to Rs 1 crore cash through a specially created hotline SEBI’s board approved a detailed set of rules for the new ‘Informant Mechanism’ under its Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) Regulations. The benefits available to individuals and corporates, and professionals like auditors will not be able to use this route as they are duty-bound to report any wrongdoing.

Key highlights:
  1. SEBI regulation to trade to protect the interest of investors at large and defines ‘insider trading’ as trading of securities while in possession of unpublished price-sensitive information.
  2. SEBI to detect insider trading and initiate action at the earliest to instill confidence among investors and ensure the integrity of the market.SEBI faces several challenges in establishing links and procuring proof while probing insider trading cases, due to which investigation into such cases takes much longer time than in other cases of market manipulation.
  3. The new mechanism prepared after taking into account the feedback .Under the proposed SEBI’s PIT Regulations, an informant need to submit a Voluntary Information Disclosure Form (VIDF)
  4. The source of information not be sourced from a person employed with SEBI.The informant would need to disclose his or her identity to OIL. 
National Conference of Tourism Ministers was held in New Delhi

Union Ministry of Tourism organized a one-day National Conference of Tourism Ministers in New Delhi. The meet was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture Shri Prahlad Singh Patel.
Participants: The conference was attended by State Tourism Ministers of 19 States.

Key highlights:
  1. The meeting focused on various issues related to the development and promotion of Tourism in New Delhi. It suggested better coordination between the Centre and State to increase the number of tourists in India and work towards removing negative impressions. The Ministry aims to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of doubling the tourists, both foreign and domestic over the next five years.
  2. The Tourism Minister Shri Prahlad Singh Patel launched the Hindi version of the New Incredible India portal at the conference. He announced that the Ministry is planning to launch the new Incredible India website in Arabic, Chinese and Spanish.
  3. Mr. Patel also launched the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC). IITFC is a digital initiative online programme where one can learn about tourism at their own time, space, path, and pace.
  4. The Ministry has also decided to open 10 historical monuments till 9 PM for common visitors across the country. This move aims to promote night tourism across the country.
Wipro partners with IISc on robotics and 5G

Wipro, a global information technology, consulting and business process service company, announced a strategic partnership with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), India’s premier public establishment for research and higher education in science and engineering, to conduct advanced applied research in autonomous systems, robotics and 5G space. The two organizations have jointly set up the Wipro IISc Research and Innovation Network (WIRIN), a hybrid industry academia collaboration unit drive idea discovery, research and innovation in technology and product design.

Key highlights:
  1. A group of senior professors and research staff from IISc and engineers, developers, architects and researchers from the autonomous systems, robotics and 5G domains at Wipro will constitute the team at WIRIN.
  2. They will focus on the research and development of cutting-edge technologies in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Visual Computing, Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Vehicle-to-everything communication (V2X).The insights from the research will be leveraged by Wipro for its customers and the industry ecosystem.
  3. The Institute will benefit from advancing its research goal and capacity building besides commercialization of research outcomes.
  4. Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Wipro Limited . 
  5. The strong technology capabilities and capable talent from both organizations will come together to make notable strides in these domains. IISc Bangalore.
Power Minister Shri RK Singh launches SARAL State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index

Shri RK Singh, Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, launched the State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index–SARAL. The State of Karnataka placed at the first rank in the Index. The Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development. Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have got 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rank respectively.

Key highlights:
  1. Shri RK Singh would incentivise rooftop solar by creating healthy competition among the States.  
  2. The states to channelize investments eventually help the sector grow. 
  3. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, of which 100 GW solar power is to be operational by March 2022. It has 40 GW is expected to come from grid connected solar rooftops. 
  4. The Indian Grid Connected Rooftop PV (GRPV) segment is slowly gaining momentum with substantial interest from entrepreneurs, developers, financial institutions, development banks, end users and government entities.
  5. The MNRE has developed the State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index–SARAL that evaluates Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development. 

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