Current affair of 29th August 2019

Shri Amit Shah presides over 49th Foundation Day of BPRD as Chief Guest

Union Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah presided over the 49th Foundation Day of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) as Chief Guest in New Delhi. Minister of State Shri G. Kishan Reddy.

Key highlights:
  1. The organization contributing in research and development and modernization of police forces. The main aim is to maintain the relevance of an institution for 50 years.
  2. The maintenance of internal peace and a stable law and order system are essential requirements for achieving Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy. 
  3. He emphasized on institutionalizing efficient systems and best policing practices so that they become a part of nature to all law enforcement officials.This can only be achieved through meticulous training, here the role of BPRD becomes essential.
President conferred the Tenzing Norgay National Journey Awards

Government has declared the Tenzing Norgay National Journey Awards 2018. The awards are conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi on 29 August. The award recognizes the achievements of persons in the fields of adventure.

Key highlights:
  1. The National Selection Committee headed by Smt. Upma Chawdhry, IAS, Secretary, Department of Youth Affairs selected the awardees. The committee was constituted with expert members from the field of adventure.
  2. The Tenzing Norgay National Journey Awards is the highest national recognition for outstanding achievements within the field of the journey toward the land, ocean, and air.
  3. The award is given each year to the achievements of persons within the fields of the journey. The award also aims to encourage children and develop the spirit of endurance, risk-taking, cooperative cooperation and fast, prepared and effective reflexes in difficult things. 
  4. The awardee will receive statuettes, certificates and award cash of Rs.5 lakh.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan meets Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator Matthew Canavan

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan held a meeting with Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan.

Key highlights:
  1. Both Ministers stressed on the importance of energy and resources in the bilateral relationship, and agreed to expand the scope of cooperation given that India offers a large energy market and Australia is rich in natural resources, particularly coal and LNG, apart from Uranium. 
  2. India is already an importer of LNG from Australia. Given India’s major initiatives to move into a gas-based economy, there is significant scope for expanding LNG imports from Australia.
  3. He also mentioned that Indian consumer is price sensitive, and therefore affordability of LNG imports from Australia will be an important factor in enhancing cooperation in this area.
  4. Minister Canavan underlined Australia’s commitment to expand its ties with India, and highlighted its position as a reliable partner in meeting India’s energy security needs.
Centre to prepare guidelines for the distribution of fortified rice

Centre has prepared an in-depth roadmap for the nationwide distribution of fortified rice through ration outlets. Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan reviewed the progress of rice distribution with NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar and officers to implement the distribution of fortified rice.

Key highlights:
  1. In February 2019, Centre had approved a center-sponsored pilot scheme on the Fortification of Rice and its Distribution beneath Public Distribution System. Under the initial phase of the scheme, rice is fortified with Iron, folacin and Vitamin B-12. 
  2. The scheme has been implemented in 15 districts, ideally one district per State, starting on 2019-20. The operational responsibilities for the implementation of distribution are done through the Public Distribution System (PDS).
Rajnath Singh inaugurated 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela in Leh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated 26th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela in Leh on 29 August. The Mela was organized by Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR).

Key highlights:
  1. The Ministry of Defence has asked DIHAR to work on the challenges in High Altitude Region (HAR- failure) in the coming 3 years. It is expected that DIHAR should turn the failure into JEET (Victory).
  2. The Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) is a constituent laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). DIHAR was set up in 1962 in Leh. 
  3. It is located at an altitude of 3,500 m above the Mean Sea Level (MSL). The institute has core competence in cold arid agro-animal technology.
  4. The institute aims to meet fresh food requirement of the soldiers at high altitude cold desert condition.
  5. The research stations of the institute are located at Ranbirpura, Ladakh; Partapur, Siachen Sector; Base Laboratory in Chandigarh and the world’s highest terrestrial R&D Centre at Changla, Ladakh.
The twelfth India Security Summit was held in New Delhi

The 12th India Security Summit was held in New Delhi on 29 August. The theme of the summit is the New National Cyber Security Strategy. The summit focused on several problems including the protection of important national infrastructure, rising cyber threats like incidents, challenges, and responsibilities.

Key highlights:
  1. The summit was organized by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). It is officially supported by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
  2. Cybersecurity is the technique of computer protecting knowledge from unauthorized access or attacks. Cybersecurity activities are to safeguard the usability, responsibility, integrity, and safety of the network. 
  3. India is the third-largest user of the web and also the cybercrime has augmented in manifold within recent years.
  4. The Ministry of Home Affairs launched a new scheme named Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to combat cybercrime in the country. 
Union Government mulling Rs 5,400 crores funding to Northeast gas grid

The second instance of providing funds for a gas pipeline the government considering shelling out about ₹5,400 crore in viability gap funding for a proposed Northeast gas grid.

Key highlights:
  1. The 1,656-km North-East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid connect Guwahati in Assam to major cities in the region such as Itanagar, Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizawl, Agartala, Shillong, Silchar, Gangtok, and Numaligarh.
  2. The absence of anchor customers, the ₹9,000 crore pipeline is not economically viable.
  3. The oil ministry is supporting the proposal and it is likely to be considered by the Cabinet soon, he said.
Maitri: A mobile app to connect kids at orphanages with old age homes

Five Indian women have developed a mobile app named Maitri. The app connects kids at orphanages with old-age homes. The app was developed for the people affected by loneliness, depression. The app permits users to volunteer and present to old-age homes and orphanages.

Key highlights:
  1. The developers of the mobile app Maitri are Ananya Grover, Vanshika Yadav, Vasudha Sudhinder, Anushka Sharma and Arefa like twelve students of Amity International college in Noida.
  2. The app is available on Google play. 
  3. The girls participated in the Technovation Challenge, the world's largest technology and entrepreneurship program for ladies in the USA and won the trophy for the innovative app. 
  4. The Maitri app has seen over 1000 downloads and has thirteen old-age homes and seven orphanages connected through it. Maitri permits facilities to register and provides contact details and map locations for help to contact them.
Forbes ranks singer Taylor Swift as the highest paid woman in music for the year 2019

Taylor Swift won Forbes magazine’s highest-paid woman in the music category for the year 2019 with earnings of $185 million (₹1,300 crore).

Key highlights:
  1. Taylor is followed by pop singer Beyonce with earnings $81 million (₹579 crore) and singer Rihanna with $62 million at second and third place respectively.
  2. The ranking is based on pre-tax income from June 2018 to June 2019. Taylor Swift ranked 1st in 2019’s overall ‘highest-paid celebrities list. It is released by the American magazine Forbes in July.
SIDBI partners with Incuspaze for coworking space for MSMEs

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) partnered with Incuspaze Solutions Private Limited (Incuspaze) to open a coworking space, designed for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) and startups. This coworking space called @Workspaze is located in Connaught Place, New Delhi.

Key highlights:
  1. The initiative that intends to be a market-maker for its segment is only 50 meters away from Barakhamba Metro Station. 
  2. The entrepreneurs who are at the initial stage of their entrepreneurship journey. During the first 18 months of entrepreneurship journey, an enterprise may face several challenges.
  3. At SIDBI we want to handhold entrepreneurs during this period so that they have a smooth ride in their venture. Our aim is to expand the scope of @Workspaze even in other key cities of the country. 
  4. We have already started work on a similar arrangement in Mumbai,” said Mohammad Mustafa, IAS, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI, in a statement. 
  5. The fully furnished office space is equipped with training and conference room, fast-speed internet, reception, refreshment, recreational area, housekeeping facilities
Fintech startup based in Bangalore MoneyTap provides lifetime credit of up to Rs.5 lakh Instantly

MoneyTap, India’s first company to provide an app-based personal credit line to customers has announced to provide its customers with a lifetime credit limit of up to ₹5 lakh instantly starting from ₹3,000. The personal loans and credit cards, customers pay interest only on the amount borrowed and at lower rates.

Key highlights:
  1. With MoneyTap app, consumers can borrow any amount from their limit anytime, anywhere. Collateral securities & guarantor are not needed to get the Personal .
  2. The borrower repays it as flexible EMIs (Equated Monthly Installment) within 2-months to 3- years.
  3. Once the borrowed amount repaid, customers can use the credit limit again.
IIT Guwahati signs MoU with RD Grow Green India for safer drinking water

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RD Grow Green India Pvt. Ltd. The Technology Transfer Signing Ceremony held at the IIT Guwahati campus between T G Sitharam, Director IIT Guwahati and Rajeev Saikia, MD, RD Grow Green India Pvt. Ltd.

Key highlights:
  1. The drinking water contamination is a major problem in most of the states including Assam. This "chemical-free" treatment technique might be useful to the citizens in rural and urban areas.
  2. The initiative made by the team from IIT Guwahati resulted in one of the successful incubation of a company within IIT Guwahati (RD Grow Green India Pvt Ltd) taken the challenge to supply contaminant-free drinking water in the Assam state presently using the technology.
  3. The technology is based on the 'Apparatus and Method for Removal of Fluoride, Iron, Arsenic and Microorganisms from Contaminated Drinking Water' by Prof. Mihir Kumar Purkait, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati.
Union HRD Minister launches Integrated Online junction for School Education Shagun

Union Human Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ It is one of the world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for School Education ‘Shagun’ in New Delhi.

Key highlights:
  1. School Education Shagun (URL: htpp:// is an overarching initiative to improve school education system creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities in the Government of India and all States and Union Territories.
  2. The two different words- ‘Shala’ meaning Schools and ‘Gunvatta’ meaning Quality and this online junction of different websites and portals into a single platform will enhance the accessibility of information relating to schools and will ensure a holistic approach to transform the education sector.
  3. holistic approach to transform the education sector.
  4. The websites 1200 KendriyaVidyalayas, 600 NavodayaVidyalayas, 18000 other CBSE affiliated schools, 30 SCERTs, 19000 organisations affiliated with NTCE among others are integrated with Shagun.
India Israel to develop new crop varieties

India and Israel plan to develop new crop varieties and share post-harvest technology in the success of the 10 years Indo-Israeli Agriculture Project (IIAP). The project has accomplished growing cherry tomatoes in Haryana and rejuvenating mango orchards demonstrating to Indian farmers progressive irrigation technologies.

Key highlights:
  1. The Indo-Israel agriculture cooperation project was launched in 2008. The implementing partners are Israel’s agency for international development cooperation and Indian state governments that facilitate discovered centers of excellence as per their native desires.
  2. Every year about 10,000 and 20,000 farmers visit these centers. Around 8.6 million hectares area is below the micro-irrigation projects compared to a possible 69.5 million hectares. 
  3. In India, the unit water-stressed areas like Karnataka, Telangana, and Gujarat are currently using these techniques for simple water handiness. The 2018 budget for this technique claimed an Rs.5,000 crore for micro-irrigation fund.
RDSO organizes Mega trafficker Meet in Lucknow

The Research arm of Indian Railways analysis styles and Standards Organization (RDSO) is organizing a special Mega trafficker Meet in Lucknow on 30th August. Industries across the country invited for this trafficker meet to encourage their participation in Indian Railways to offer chain development. No participation fee for attending the meet.

Key highlights:
  1. The aim of the meet is to show-case larger business opportunities in the Railway sector in Lucknow. 
  2. It also aims to create a platform for direct matched interaction and discussions of business with RDSO. RDSO will unveil its special offers at the meeting venue.
  3. RDSO has already initiated some measures to encourage vendors to register RDSO controlled things with 3 sources registration. The charges have been reduced from Rs.1,50,000/- to Rs.10,000/- for micro/small enterprises and from Rs.2,50,000/- to Rs.50,000/- for others.
India Launches Worlds First Ever Facial Biometric Data Based Seafarer Identity Document

India became the first country in the world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing the facial biometric data of seafarers. Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, MoS (I/C) Shipping and Chemical & Fertilizers launched the project in New Delhi.

Key highlights:
  1. The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over the two finger or iris based biometric data, with modern security features.
  2. It will make the identification of the SID holder more reliable and efficient, while protecting their dignity and privacy.  India made a presentation on this technology at ILO .
  3. The country is moving ahead rapidly under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 
  4. The shipping sector is seeing major developments  in the areas of coastal shipping, inland waterways and other maritime activities.The generation of employment in the sector, which  is evident in the growing number of Indian seafarers in the international shipping industry. 
International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on 29 August

The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed across the world on 29 August. The day aims to provoke the world organization, youth networks, and the media against nuclear testing. The day highlights the importance to ban nuclear tests as a valuable step towards achieving a safer world.

Key highlights:
  1. UN General Assembly (UNGA) after the 64 sessions of the world organization meeting declared 29 August as International Day against Nuclear Tests. It unanimously adopted resolution 64/35 on Dec 2, 2009. 
  2. The inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests was marked in 2010.
  3. Kazakhstan initiated the resolution with the support of a large number of sponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991. 
  4. Nuclear weapons testing began on 16 July 1945. So far, nearly 2,000 test has taken place. The countries that have tested the nuclear weapons so far are USA, USR, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, and North Korea.
Indo Pacific 2019 Chiefs of Defence Conference was held in Thailand

Indo Pacific  2019 Chiefs of Defence Conference was held in Thailand on 26 August. The conference was held during the 3 day-visit of Air Chief Marshal and Chairman Chiefs of employees Committee, Birender Singh Dhanoa to Thailand.

Key highlights:
  1. The conference was aimed to strengthen the bilateral defence relations between the two countries. 
  2. The theme for the conference was Collaboration during a free and Open Indo - Pacific. The conference shed its light on the common challenges faced by the nations. 
  3. The bilateral defence relationship with Thailand has gained a momentum that resulted in India's Look/ Act East Policy together at political, economic and cultural levels.
  4. The participation of the Indian Chairman COSC would increasing defence cooperation with an Asian country for bigger interaction and cooperation in the future.
  5. The India-Thailand defence Cooperation has been initiated in 2003. It started with seven primary areas of focus to strengthen cooperation between countries. 

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