DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : August 10 & 11, 2019

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Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal bag National Film Award for best actor

  • Bollywood stars Ayushmann Khurrana and Vicky Kaushal have jointly bagged the National Film Award for best actor for their roles in Andhadhun and Uri.
  • Gujarati movie Hellaro has been awarded the best feature film.
  • Aditya Dhar won the Best Director award for his debut Uri: The Surgical Strike while Andhadhun also won awards for best Hindi film and best adapted screenplay.
  • Actor Keerthy Suresh won the best actress award for her portrayal of yesteryear star Savitri in Telugu film Mahanati.
  • Badhaai Ho, about a family dealing with a late pregnancy, was adjudged the best popular film providing wholesome entertainment and veteran actor Surekha Sikri bagged the best supporting actress for her role of a cantankerous matriarch.
  • Akshay Kumar-starrer Padman was named the best film on social issues.
  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavaat bagged best choreography for Ghoomer and the best music director award for Bhansali.
  • Arijit Singh has been awarded the best male playback singer.
  • Singer-lyricist Swanand Kirkire won the best supporting actor award for Marathi film Chumbak. The awards were announced by jury head Rahul Rawail.

President Kovind hosts At-Home reception in honour of freedom fighters at Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • President Ram Nath Kovind hosted At-Home reception in the honour of freedom fighters at Rashtrapati Bhavan this evening.
  • The President also felicitated freedom fighters from across the country on the occasion.
  • The event was held to mark the 77th anniversary of Quit India Movement.
  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were also present on the occasion.
  • The event was also attended by Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and other dignitaries.

President gives assent to J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.
  • A Gazette Notification to this effect was issued by Ministry of Law and Justice. The Parliament had passed the bill in the just concluded session.
  • The Act seeks to make Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory with legislature and Ladakh Union Territory without legislature.
  • A Home Ministry notification informed, the two new Union territories will come into existence on 31st October this year.


DMK wins Vellore Lok Sabha constituency election

  • The DMK has won the closely fought election in the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency by a slender margin of over 8000 votes.
  • The party candidate Kathir Anand has secured 4,85,340 votes as against the 4,77,199 votes polled by his close contestant, AC Shanmugham of the AIADMK.
  • With this win, the DMK has increased its strength in the Lower House of Parliament to 24, further reinforcing its position as the second biggest party in the opposition, next only to the Congress.
  • Election to Vellore on August 5 was necessitated by the rescinding of polls during the General Elections following huge haul of money there in last April.


Nearly two million Muslims to perform Haj in Saudi Arabia

  • Nearly two million Muslims from across the world including India will perform Haj in Saudi Arabia. Marking the beginning of five-day pilgrimage, Haj pilgrims converged at Mina.
  • After offering pre-dawn prayers, they will proceed to plains of Arafat today for the main ritual of Haj -reciting prayers.
  • They will spend the day there praying and asking for God’s forgiveness.
  • The pilgrims will listen the Khutba-e-Haj or Haj Sermon at Nimra mosque and offer midday and afternoon prayers together before leaving for Muzdalifah in the evening, where they will spend the night under the open sky.
  • The pilgrims will return to Mina for ritual of animal sacrifice and symbolic stoning of the devil.
  • For the first time since independence, a record number of 2 lakh pilgrims from India have gone there to perform Haj this year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Bhutan on August 17

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bhutan on 17th of this month. During the two-day visit of Mr. Modi, India and Bhutan will explore ways to further strengthen and diversify bilateral partnership.
  • Besides, the Prime Minister will also inaugurate a hydropower project and will roll out RuPay Cards.During the visit, the Prime Minister will hold talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Lotay Tshering.
  • India will also review defence and security matters with Bhutan during the visit.


ADB Provides $200 Million to Upgrade Rural Roads in Maharashtra State

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $200 million to upgrade rural roads to all-weather standards in 34 districts of India’s Maharashtra State to better connect rural areas with markets and services.
  • The project will build on their experience to upgrade 2100 kilo meters of rural roads to all-weather standards, including contractual maintenance for 5 years following construction.
  • The project will also work with the rural infrastructure agency, the Maharashtra Rural Road Development Association (MRRDA), to develop road safety, road asset management, contract management, and climate resilient design.
  • The total cost of the project is $296 million, of which the government will provide $96 million. It is due for completion at the end of September 2024.


IMF warns increasing US tariffs could cut China’s growth sharply


  • International Monetary Fund, IMF, has warned that increasing United States tariffs could cut China’s growth sharply.
  • China’s economy is slowing already due to the trade conflict with the United States.
  • The IMF trimmed its growth forecast for China to 6.2 per cent this year, assuming no new tariffs are imposed.
  • But in the past week US President Donald Trump announced a new round of punitive tariffs on Chinese goods, despite a truce agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping in May, and Beijing responded by halting all purchases of US agricultural goods.
  • Trump has accused Beijing of trying to keep its currency weaker to gain a trade advantage against the United States.
  • IMF has called for a quick resolution to the trade conflict between these two countries as the impact would have significant negative spill overs globally.


Drive launched to promote water conservation activities among school students

  • Union ministers Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat have launched the Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha drive to promote water conservation activities among school students.
  • They have launched the drive at Kendriya Vidyalaya Number 2 at Delhi Cantonment.
  • The Department of School Education and Literacy under the HRD Ministry has started the drive to promote water conservation activities among school students so that they can become competent, conscientious and committed citizens of the nation.
  • The department has prepared a detailed outline to implement the programme in all the schools of the country.

Centre starts registration for Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare initiated the process of registration for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana (PM-KMY).
  • It is an old-age pension scheme to all Small and Marginal Farmers in the country.
  • Union Agriculture Minister for Narendra Tomar expressed that around 418 farmers have registered their names with Common Service Centres in different states during the first hour of the launch at 11.
  • Under the scheme a monthly pension of 3,000 rupees will be provided to the eligible farmers with up to two acres of land-holding on attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The scheme will be formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Centre aims to cover entire nation under ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme: Ram Vilas Paswan

  • Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has informed that Centre aims to cover almost every part of the country under ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme by 1st June next year.
  • Mr Paswan shared the pace of the scheme will be determined by the computerization of the Public Distribution System.
  • Ration card portability, the pilot project of ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’, has been formally launched by the Minister between Andhra Pradesh – Telangana and Gujarat Maharashtra.
  • Mr Paswan also reviewed the distribution of ration under the scheme through video conferencing.
  • Intra-state portability of ration card is already there in seven states, including Haryana, Rajasthan Punjab, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala and Tripura and by 1st January next year, inter-state portability of card will be implemented in these states.


India’s Naaz Joshi Creates History As She Wins 3rd Consecutive Miss World Diversity Title

  • India’s transsexual woman Naaz Joshi has made the country proud with a third successive victory in the beauty pageant Miss World Diversity.
  • Naaz was crowned Miss World Diversity 2019 on August 3 in Port Louis, Mauritius.
  • Naaz competed against 14 other international contestants in Mauritius.
  • For the finale round, she donned a traditional blue lehenga choli, and portrayed herself as the powerful Indian Goddess, who stands for ‘shakti‘ – the feminine source of power and women empowerment.


BCCI agrees to come under the ambit of NADA

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed to come under the ambit of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).
  • This landmark decision makes Indian Cricket’s governing body a sports federation as per government norms despite being financially autonomous.
  • Sports Secretary Radheshyam Jhulaniya, who along with NADA Director General Navin Agarwal met BCCI CEO Rahul Johri along with the Board’s General Manager (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim in New Delhi infirmed that the Board has given in writing that it would adhere to the anti-doping policy of NADA.
  • The implication of this development is expected to be massive as BCCI now becomes a designated National Sports Federation and will face more pressure to come under the government’s Right to Information Act.
  • The BCCI had been vehemently opposing signing up with NADA, calling itself an autonomous body, and not a National Sports Federation which relies on government funding.


World Biofuel Day: August 10th

  • Every year on August 10th is World Biofuel Day. It is observed to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.
  • The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas will organize World Biofuel Day at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi and the program will be inaugurated by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • The theme of this year’s Biofuel Day is “Production of Bio-diesel from Used Cooking Oil”.
  • The event was aimed at reducing dependency on biofuel and adopting alternative sources of energy and effective management of used cooking oil.
  • Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, in association with the Health Ministry, has started an initiative – Repurpose of Used Cooking Oil in which the used oil will be collected from hotels and restaurants and sent to the bio diesel plants for blending.


Pro wrestling legend ‘Harley Race’ dies at 76

  • Harley Race, the long-time wrestler and promoter best known for playing the arrogant “King of the Ring,” wearing a regal crown and purple cape and insisting that opponents kneel and bow before him, died. He was 76.
  • Race was born on April 11, 1943, in Quitman, Missouri, according to his autobiography, “King of the Ring: The Harley Race Story.”
  • In 1961, his sports entertainment career came to a halt when he was in an auto accident with his wife, Vivian Jones.


Banned insurgency group NLFT-SD agrees to abjure violence, join mainstream

  • National Liberation Front of Tripura led by Sabir Kumar Debbarma, NLFT-SD has agreed to abjure the path of violence and join the mainstream.
  • The MoU was signed in this regard between, Centre, Tripura Government and NLFT-SD. The group has agreed to the surrender its 88 cadres with their weapons.
  • The surrendered cadres will be given surrender benefits as per the Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Scheme, 2018 of the Ministry.
  • The State Government of Tripura will help the surrendered cadres in housing, recruitment and education.
  • Centre will consider the proposals of Tripura Government regarding economic development of tribal areas of Tripura.
  • The NLFT has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act since 1997.

Lok Sabha Secretariat to be soon made paperless

  • Lok Sabha Secretariat will be soon made paperless so that public money worth crores of rupees can be saved by decreasing the use of paper.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla informed the delays involved in delivery of hard copies to the members will also be minimized with the use electronic and digital methods.
  • The members will be given the option of receiving Parliamentary papers either through e-copy or hard copy as a part of this initiative.
  • Regarding the introduction of bills in the house, Mr Birla expressed, experts will brief the members on different aspects of the bills introduced in the house.
  • Mr Birla also informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been urged to include the expansion and modernization of Parliament House in his resolution for the Naya Bharat.

Khelo India to be held in Assam from 10th to 22nd January

  • The Khelo India will be held in Assam from 10th to 22nd of January next year.
  • Member Secretary of Sports and Youth Welfare Committee Lakhya Konwar announced 10 thousand youths will participate in the event.
  • Mr Konwar informed that in a bid to give a boost to sports infrastructure, the Assam government will build 22 thousand play grounds at village level.
  • He expressed that 500 such playgrounds will be inaugurated this year. The Integrated Sports Policy has been put into place in the state to nurture young talents.


EAM S Jaishankar to leave for Beijing on 3-day visit to China

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will leave for Beijing today on a three-day visit to China. During his visit, he will hold bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
  • Dr Jaishankar will co-chair the second meeting of the India-China High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges.
  • During his stay in China, Dr Jaishankar will exchange views with his Chinese counterpart on the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.

North Korea conducts new missile tests; fires two missiles into sea

  • North Korea conducted new missile tests firing two missiles into the sea.
  • It was the fifth round of such launches in two weeks, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un labelling them a warning over the US-South Korean joint military drills that began just days ago.
  • North Korean military in a statement announced, the missiles are thought to be short-range ballistic missiles.
  • These tests came shortly after US President Donald Trump informed, he agreed with Kim’s opposition to the war games albeit for financial rather than military reasons.
  • Mr Trump has repeatedly talked up his close personal relationship with Kim, as US administration seeks to resume stalled denuclearisation talks with the North Korea.


Navy’s state-of-the-art frigate INS Tarkash reaches port in Norway

  • INS Tarkash, a state-of-the-art stealth frigate of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons, arrived in Norway for a three-day visit as part of Western Fleet Overseas Deployment.
  • The ship is part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet and is under the operational command of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command based in Mumbai.
  • The port call by Tarkash at Bergen is a demonstration of India’s warm ties with Norway.
  • INS Tarkash, commanded by Captain Sathish Vasudev, is one of the most potent frontline frigates of the Indian Navy equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors


Industrial production growth drops to 2% in June, on poor show by mining & manufacturing sectors

  • Industrial production growth dropped to two per cent in June this year, mainly on account of poor show by mining and manufacturing sectors.
  • According to official data released, there was a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, which grew at 1.2 per cent in June as compared to 6.9 per cent a year ago.
  • The expansion in power generation sector stood at 8.2 per cent, compared to 8.5 per cent in the same period last year.
  • Mining growth dropped to 1.6 per cent in June from 6.5 per cent in the corresponding month of the last fiscal.


Jharkhand govt launches direct money transfer scheme for small farmers

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu launched the Jharkhand government’s ‘Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana’ under which money will be directly transferred into the bank accounts of farmers in the state.
  • Under the scheme, beneficiaries having farm land of less than one acre to five acres will get 5,000 to 25,000 rupees in their bank accounts.
  • The Centre has taken a pledge to double the income of farmers by 2022 and in that endeavour, the government is continuously increasing minimum support price (MSP) for 23 farm produce.
  • Under the Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana, approximately 35 lakh farmers will benefit and by October 3,000 crore rupees will be sent in the accounts of the beneficiaries.
  • The launching ceremony was also held in other 23 districts, apart from Ranchi.

UP plants more than 22 crore saplings; creates world record

  • In Uttar Pradesh, a series of world records have been made in the massive plantation drive Vriksharopan Mahakumbh on the occasion of 77th anniversary of Quit India Movement.
  • More than 22 crore saplings were planted at 12.2 lakh locations under the drive in state.
  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath informed that the state would plant 25 crore trees next year. State created four records under the massive plantation drive.
  • Free distribution of saplings in Prayagraj district created a world record after it was certified by the Guinness as the largest distribution of saplings in the world.
  • Apart from planting 22 crore 59 lakh, 81 thousand 116 trees in a single day, 5 crore trees were planted at the same time at different locations in the first hour of campaign from 9 to 10 am and 1.1 lakh trees were planted in Kasganj in the presence of governor Anandiben Patel.
  • Chief Minister inaugurated the plantation drive by planting banyan three at Jaitikheda in Sarojininagar, Lucknow.


Sonia Gandhi named interim Congress president

  • Sonia Gandhi has been named as interim Congress President. Congress Working Committee during its meeting in New Delhi last night adopted three resolutions including to make Mrs Gandhi as interim chief.
  • Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala informed, it was decided that she will be interim party chief till AICC elects new President.
  • A number of leaders, including state chiefs and MPs, backed Rahul Gandhi to continue on the post despite his refusal to reconsider his resignation.


BAFTA LA to honour Steve Coogan with Charlie Chaplin Award

  • Actor Steve Coogan will be felicitated with the Charlie Chaplin Award by the British Academy’s Los Angeles branch.
  • The 53-year-old actor, whose vast filmography includes movies such as “Around the World in 80 Days”, “Philomena”, “What Maisie Knew” and “Stan & Ollie”, will receive the honour during the 2019 Britannia Awards.
  • The Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy recognises the talents whose popularity and cultural impact exemplifies the uniquely transcendent quality of excellent comedy.
  • The actor joins previously announced honourees Jane Fonda, who will receive the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film, and Jackie Chan, who will receive the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment.


Home Minister Amit Shah released a book on Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s two years in office

  • Information and Broadcasting Ministry will organized a function in Chennai to release a book, chronicling the two years in office by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.
  • I&B Secretary Amit Khare informed the book titled “Listening, Learning & Leading” will be released by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in presence of Mr Naidu and the Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar.
  • The book captures the glimpses of the Vice President’s 330 public engagements across the country in the last two years.
  • It details his important diplomatic engagements including his visits to 19 countries across 4 continents.
  • The book also showcases the Vice President’s feat as the Rajya Sabha Chairman in enhancing its effectiveness and promoting its efficiency.
  • The Vice President himself preferred Chennai as the choice of releasing the book, as he wanted to have such programmes, not only in the national capital, but also in other cities of the country.
  • Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswamy, Deputy Chief Minister O.Paneerselvam and host of eminent personalities from various walks of life will participate in the function.


Wrestling: Bajrang Punia wins gold at Tbilisi Grand Prix

  • India’s top two wrestlers continued their impressive run this season with Bajrang Punia defending his title at Tbilisi Grand Prix and Vinesh Phogat reaching her fourth final at Medved event.
  • Bajrang, who had won a gold at the same event last year as well, prevailed 2-0 over Iran’s Peiman Bibyani in the 65 Kilogram category final of the men’s free style competition in the capital city of Georgia.
  • It is fourth gold of the season for the Asian Games champion Bajrang after standing atop the podium at Dan Kolov, Asian Championship and Ali Aliev tournament.
  • At the Medved event in Minsk, Belarus, Vinesh outclassed local wrestler Yafremenka 11-0 in the 53 Kilogram semifinals to be in line for her fourth consecutive gold.
  • Vinesh will now face Russia’s N Malisheva, who blanked local girl Pichkouskay 6-0.
  • The top Indian woman wrestler had bagged the top honours at Grand Prix of Spain Yasar Dogu International and Poland Open recently.

Cash prizes will be awarded to players from this year: Sports Minister

  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju has informed that the Ministry will be exploring sporting talent from every nook and corner of the country.
  • The Sports Authority of India Training Centers has been established in different parts of the country for this purpose.
  • The ministry is financially supporting the academies run by various sports persons. Khelo India will provide cash prizes to the players for the first time this year.
  • 33 players named for junior national camp ahead of Sultan of Johor Cup
  • Hockey India named 33 players for the junior men’s national camp, beginning 12th of August at the Sports Authority of India centre in Bengaluru, to prepare for the Sultan of Johor Cup.
  • A total of three goalkeepers, 10 defenders, mid-fielders and forwards each have been called up for the 20-day camp.
  • The Indian junior men’s team is scheduled to take part in the 9th Sultan of Johor Cup in October; therefore, the focus of the camp will be on maintaining the fitness and rhythm of the players.

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