DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : August 12, 13 & 14, 2019

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August 14, 2019


Jal Shakti Minister launches Swaccha Survakshan Grameen

  • Centre launched the country’s largest sanitation survey Swachh Survekshan Grameen-2019
  • The aim of this survey is to engage rural communities in improvement of the sanitation status of their districts and states through intensive campaign. 
  • The 45-day long survey will take place in 18 thousand villages of 698 districts. People can also directly give their feedback through the mobile app.
  • Swachhata activities have also been planned at around 87 thousand public places where community meetings will be organized. 
  • Under the Swachh Survekshan Grameen, districts and states will be ranked on data collected from citizen feedback, direct observation and service-level progress.
  • The second edition of survey was launched by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in New Delhi.

PM Modi inaugurates new lighting system in Parliament House

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Dynamic Facade Lighting of the Parliament House Estate. 
  • As many as 875 energy-efficient LED lights have been installed in the Parliament Complex. 
  • These are power efficient and uses only one-fifth of the electricity compared to other types of lights. 
  • The long-lasting, excellent intensity LED bulbs are capable of creating 16 million colour combinations and the LED lighting is programmable and electronically controlled through computers. 
  • The dynamic lighting system through intermittent multi-colour lights creates an aura and enhances the grandeur of Parliament House. 
  • These beautiful lights will illuminate the beautiful Parliament building all-round the year. 
  • Earlier, such lightings were installed in North Block and South Block.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, and Union Ministers including Hardeep Puri and Jitendra Singh were present on the occasion.

J&K govt to host Global Investors Summit in Srinagar from October 12

  • Jammu and Kashmir government will host a three-day Global Investors Summit from 12th October this year in Srinagar. 
  • It was announced by J&K Principal Secretary of Industries Naveen Choudhary while addressing a press conference in Jammu. 
  • The first ever summit in the state will provide J&K an opportunity to showcase its strengths, strategies and potential.
  • Choudhary further informed that the summit will also provide an opportunity to allay fears and apprehensions in the minds of outside trade and business community. 

Former PM Manmohan Singh files Rajya Sabha nomination from Rajasthan

  • Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh filed nomination papers as a Congress candidate for the by-poll to Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. 
  • Dr. Singh filed four sets of nomination papers in the chamber of Returning Officer in the Rajasthan Assembly. 
  • This seat fell vacant in June this year after demise of BJP Member Madan Lal Saini. 
  • Rajasthan Assembly has 200 seats but currently there are 198 MLAs and two seats are vacant. 
  • Congress has 100 MLAs and also enjoys the outside support of 12 out of 13 independents and the legislators of BSP.


India contributes 1 million to UN Special Purpose Trust Fund

  • India has contributed one million US Dollars to the United Nations Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator System. 
  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin informed that India is happy to tangibly contribute to reform of the UN Development system. 
  • According to the UN information, Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) is a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat, established to receive, consolidate and manage all contributions and financial transactions of the new Resident Coordinator system in a transparent and effective way.
  • SPTF web portal, displays in real time all commitments, contributions and expenditures recorded for the fund. 
  • Funding sources include voluntary contributions from the Member States, the doubling of cost-sharing amounts from the UN entities who are members of the United Nations development system and a one per cent levy applied to contributions for UN development related activities earmarked to a single agency, single programme or project.

US delays imposing tariffs on some imports from China until Dec 15

  • The US is delaying imposing tariffs on some imports from China until 15 December.
  • US President Donald Trump informed, the delay was in part to avoid hitting US shoppers this Christmas. 
  • The products include mobile phones, laptops, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, and certain footwear and clothing. 
  • The surprise news from the United States Trade Representative office sparked a rally in share prices. 
  • Other items facing a 10% tariff, however, will go ahead as planned on 1 September.


Retail inflation eases marginally to 3.15% in July

  • Consumer price index-based retail inflation eased marginally to 3.15 per cent in July on the back of softening fuel prices. 
  • Retail inflation was 3.18 per cent in June 2019, while it stood at 4.17 per cent in year-ago period. 
  • According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the overall food inflation, measured on Consumer Food Price Index moved up to 2.36 per cent during July this year which was 2.25 per cent in June 2019. 
  • The rate of price rise in vegetables softened to 2.82 per cent during the latest month as against a rise of 4.66 per cent in June, while prices of pulses and products went up to 6.82 per cent from 5.68 per cent. 
  • In fuel and light category, deflation was witnessed and it remained at 0.36 per cent as against a rise of 2.32 per cent a month ago.
  • Currently, the retail inflation is well below the RBI’s comfort level. The government has asked the central bank to keep inflation in the range of 4 per cent.


Target to provide skill development to 10 lakh youth under SAMARTH scheme: Smriti Irani

  • Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani informed under SAMARTH scheme (scheme for capacity building in textile sector), target is to provide skill development to 10 lakh youth in the textile sector. 
  • The signing MoUs with different state governments in New Delhi, Mrs Irani expressed in textile industry, 75 per cent of those who work are women.
  • With an objective to develop skills in the youths to help them get gainful and sustainable employment in textile sector, the ministry of textiles launched Samarth scheme for them in the organized and traditional textile clusters.


Reliance Jio Partners with Microsoft for Blockchain and Cloud Services

  • Reliance Jio has announced a long-term strategic partnership with Microsoft
  • Announced at the Reliance India Limited’s 42nd Annual General Meeting, the aim of the partnership is to accelerate the various aspects required for the digital transformation of the Indian economy and society.
  • The 10-year partnership will see the two companies working together on a number of solutions comprising connectivity, computing, storage solutions, and other technology services and applications essential for Indian businesses. 
  • Microsoft will be working with Jio to give a push to data analytics, AI (Artificial Intelligence), cognitive services, blockchain, Internet of Things, and edge computing among small and medium enterprises to make them ready to compete and grow, at the same time help in the GDP growth in India.


Naresh Kumar to be new Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh

  • Naresh Kumar has taken over the charge as the new Chief Secretary of Arunachal Pradesh. Mr. Kumar has succeeded Mr. Satya Gopal. 
  • Prior to this, he was the Chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
  • After taking charge of the office, the new Chief Secretary called on Governor Dr. B. D. Mishra at Raj Bhawan in Itanagar.
  • Mr. Kumar is an officer belonging to the 1987 batch of Indian Administrative Service (AGMUT Cadre).


IWF provisionally suspends five Russian athletes

  • The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) announced Five Russian weightlifters, including a 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, have been provisionally suspended after doping tests on samples recovered from the Moscow lab.
  • Ruslan Albegov who took a London Games bronze in the plus 105 kilo category and won back-to-back world titles in the next two years, was suspended along with women’s minus 63 kilo 2013 world champion Tima Turieva.
  • Also provisionally banned were David Bedzhanyan, Oleg Chen and Egor Klimanov. 
  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced in April it had retrieved 2,262 samples from Moscow’s former drug-testing laboratory. 
  • Last month, WADA expressed that some 300 Russian athletes suspected of doping had been identified and added that the data of 43 had been sent to the relevant federations.

Women’s cricket to be part of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

  • In a piece of big news for cricketing fans around the world, the Commonwealth Games Federation today announced that women’s T20 Cricket has been confirmed for inclusion at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022
  • Eight teams will compete across eight match days, as cricket returns to the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 1998 when South Africa won the gold medal in a men’s 50-over format competition in Kuala Lumpur. 
  • Edgbaston, the venue of England’s semi-final victory over Australia in the men’s 50-over World Cup, will play host to all the matches. 
  • The 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place in England from 27th July to 7th August.

Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu wins Rogers Cup after Serena Williams withdraws

  • A tearful Serena Williams saw her US Open preparation thrown into disarray as back spasms forced her out of the WTA Toronto final after just four games, handing Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu the title.
  • Andreescu, 19, was up 3-1 with a break of serve when 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams decided she couldn’t continue.
  • She called for a medical timeout, but within a minute, the umpire announced she was retiring.


Independence Day of Pakistan: August 14th

  • Pakistan Independence Day is observed annually on 14 August.
  • On this day Pakistan achieved Independence and was declared a sovereign nation following the end of British rule in 1947.
  • In Urdu, this national holiday is known as Yom-e-Istiqlal or Youm-e-Azadi. 
  • The whole nation begins celebrating at the stroke of midnight, with the main festivities taking place in the capital city of Islamabad. 
  • Independence Day is also marked by solemn ceremonies at the tombs of leaders like Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Muhammad Iqbal, the poet and politician whose 1930 speech inspired Pakistan’s independence movement.


Former ASG, Senior Advocate Amarendra Sharan passes away

  • Former Additional Solicitor General of India, Senior Advocate Amarendra Sharan passed away after suffering a massive heart attack. 
  • He was 70 years old. He passed away this morning in his sleep at Ananda resorts near Rishikesh.
  • Amarendra Sharan had served as the Additional Solicitor General of India for a five year term between August 2004 and June 2009.
  • Among the other roles, he has also served as the special counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigationto appear before the Supreme Court in the Coalgate case
  • In 2017, he was appointed as amicus curiae to assist the top court in a petition seeking to re-investigate the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • His more recent appearances in high profile cases include the CBI v CBI row, the Bhima Koregaon case, the case concerning potential misuse of the SC/ST Act, the 2G Spectrum case, the 18 MLA Disqualification case and related cases concerning Tamil Nadu politics.


NGT directs govt to submit a report on standards for lead in PVC pipes

  • The National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to submit a report on standards of lead and to phase out lead as a stabiliser in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes that are commonly used in most buildings.
  • A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel expressed concern that the notification has not been finalised despite its direction. 
  • It directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to submit a report before October 21.
  • The green panel in March had directed the Centre to finalise within two months the standards for using lead in PVC pipes.
  • The NGT was earlier informed that water passing through PVC pipes commonly used in most buildings may contain toxic materials like lead, which has a hazardous effect on human health.
  • The green panel was hearing a plea filed by an environment activist seeking the issuance of notification to lay down standards for lead to be used in PVC pipes and to phase out lead as a stabiliser in PVC pipes.

UP govt swings in action to stop use of banned plastic in Lucknow

  • In Uttar Pradesh, the government has swung in action to stop the use of banned plastic in capital city Lucknow. 
  • ‘Additional Chief Secretary- Home, Awanish Awasthi has expressed that concerned Police SHO, regional officer of Municipal corporation, trade tax and concerned magistrates and circle officers will be held directly responsible if restricted plastic is found selling in their area after August 31st.
  • The ACS has sought report along with names of traders selling banned plastic, from DM, SSP, Municipal Commissioner and pollution control board within three days.

Prakash Javadekar releases patriotic song Watan in run up to Independence Day

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar released a patriotic song Watan in New Delhi in the run up to the Independence Day. 
  • The special song has been produced by Doordarshan. The song pays tribute to New India.
  • It highlights several path-breaking initiatives of the government including the determination and vision behind the recent successful launch of Chandrayaan 2. 
  • The song also pays tribute to the bravery and valour of the armed forces and the martyrs of the country.
  • The song has been sung by famous Bollywood singer Javed Ali. It has been penned by lyricist Alok Shrivastav and music composed by Dushyant. 

SC orders that list of those excluded from final Assam NRC be published only online on Aug 31

  • The Supreme Court ordered that the list of those excluded from the final Assam NRC be published only online on 31st of August. 
  • A bench comprises Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman informed that like Aadhaar data, an appropriate regime be enacted for securing the Assam NRC data. 
  • The apex court also said, the ongoing NRC exercise cannot be ordered to be reopened on the basis of certain legal challenges raised before it. 
  • The top court had earlier announced, the final Assam NRC would be published on or by 31st August.


India, China agree to further strengthen people-to-people ties

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a bilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing. 
  • They discussed the full gamut of issues relating to the international situation, regional aspects and the bilateral relations including the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India for the 2nd Informal Summit later this year. 
  • The two countries agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas was essential for smooth development of relations. 
  • For this, the two armed forces had enhanced communication and were implementing various confidence building measures. 
  • It was emphasised in the meeting that the Chinese side should take steps to address this issue including by enabling greater access for India’s pharmaceutical and IT products and services in the domestic Chinese market.
  • Four MoUs were signed on the occasion in various fields including traditional medicine, and sports.
  • The External Affairs Minister met Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan. They discussed the evolving global situation and the larger rebalancing that reflects the rise of India and China as two large developing countries.


Djokovic remains at top of ATP rankings

  • Rafael Nadal’s Rogers Cup win in Montreal at the weekend marked a significant step for the Spaniard but it wasn’t enough to topple Novak Djokovic at the top of the ATP rankings.
  • Nadal, who will be vying for a fourth title at Flushing Meadows, was too strong for Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final, seeing off the Russian 6-3 6-0 to claim his 35th Master’s title.
  • Roger Federer stays third and Dominic Thiem fourth.
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas, who entered the top five for the first time last week, drops two places and is leapfrogged by Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev.
  • Medvedev’s reward for his appearance in Sunday’s final was a one-place climb to eight.


Practo ties up with RBL Bank to launch India’s first health-focussed credit card

  • RBL Bank and digital healthcare platform Practo have partnered to launch a co-branded credit card, powered by Mastercard. 
  • This Industry-first credit card is available starting from Thursday, on both Practo and RBL mobile apps and websites. 
  • The card is designed to cater to customers in both metros and non-metro cities, through Practo and RBL Bank’s extensive customer base that spans across the country. 
  • With benefits like unlimited online consultations with doctors 24*7, users are guaranteed that there is an experienced qualified doctor available to them whenever there is a need – instead of relying on self-diagnosis or advice from friends and relatives. 
  • The digital healthcare market is on a tremendous uptake in India and is expected to reach Rs 372 billion by 2022.


In a First in 85-Year Existence, National Science Academy Set to Be Led by a Woman

  • Biologist Chandrima Shaha will become the first woman to head the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). 
  • Shaha, 66, was previously the vice-president of INSA and the director of the National Institute of Immunology in Delhi.
  • She and the elected council of 30 members will take charge on January 1, 2020.
  • Before her turn as a biologist, Shaha was cricketer and also worked as a commentator for All India Radio.


20 persons, three organisations conferred with National Youth Awards for 2016-17

  • Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju conferred the National Youth Awards for 2016-17 on twenty individuals and three organisations at a function in New Delhi.
  • The awards are presented to young persons and voluntary organization every year in recognition of their outstanding work in the field of national development and social service.
  • The awards aim towards encouraging them to develop a sense of responsibility to the community and also to improve their own potential as a good citizen.  
  • An individual award comprises a medal, a certificate and cash prize of 50 thousand rupees while a cash prize of two lakh rupees is given to the youth organisation.  
  • Besides, three awards were also given to individuals for the photo exhibition on China through Eyes of Indian Youth-2019.


Chandrayaan-2 to begin its journey towards moon early tomorrow

  • India’s second lunar probe Chandrayaan-2 will begin its journey straight towards the moon from early morning tomorrow. 
  • Known in the scientific parlance as the trans-lunar ion, the lunar craft will be navigated out of its present earth-centric orbit and made to travel straight towards the moon by firing the fuel in its engine by around 3.30 am. 
  • It is considered one of the very significant steps in its 48-day journey to the moon since its launch. 
  • “Chandrayaan-2 will finally free itself away from the gravitational pull of the earth and will start moving towards its final destination, the moon. 
  • When it was launched by the rocket GSLV-Mark-Three on the 22nd of last month, it was parked in a Geo-Stationery Transfer orbit as is the usual practice.
  • On the 7th September, its lander is expected to soft-land on the south pole of the moon and unleash the rover to explore the surface, a first by India. 


Rafael Nadal wins Montreal Masters, secures record 35th ATP Masters 1000 title

  • Rafael Nadal completed a 6-3, 6-0 demolition of Russian Daniil Medvedev to win in Montreal on Sunday and extend his record haul of Masters 1000 titles. 
  • The world number two secured his 35th Masters crown, pulling clear by two in that category from Novak Djokovic, who has won 33 of the elite tournaments. 
  • Claycourt king Nadal successfully defended a hard court title for the first time in his career. 
  • For Nadal it was a third title of 2019, after clay court success at Rome and the French Open.

Davis Cup: AITA seeks another security check in Islamabad from world body

  • India’s national tennis federation decided that it will not seek a change of venue for the Davis Cup tie versus Pakistan in Islamabad but requested the world body ITF to conduct another security check there in view of the fresh diplomatic tension.
  • India’s participation in the Asia-Oceania Zone Group 1 Davis Cup tie, scheduled on September 14 and 15 is uncertain owing to high political tension with Pakistan.
  • Meanwhile, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju made it clear that the government will not have a say in the matter as Davis Cup is not a bilateral engagement. Davis Cup is not bilateral and is organised by a world sporting body. 
  • No Indian Davis Cup team has travelled to Pakistan since 1964 and bilateral cricket ties between the two countries have been dormant since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Aishwarya Pissay becomes first Indian to claim a world title in motorsports

  • Aishwarya Pissay became the first Indian to claim a world title in motorsports, annexing the FIM World Cup (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) in the women’s category after the final round of the championship at Varpalota in Hungary.
  • The 23-year old from Bengaluru also finished second in the FIM Junior category yesterday.
  • Aishwarya, who won the first round in Dubai and was placed third (Portugal), fifth (Spain) and fourth (Hungary) in the subsequent outings, finished with a tally of 65 points, just four ahead of Portugal’s Rita Vieira in the final overall standings for women.
  • She was placed second in the junior category with 46 points, behind championship winner Tomas de Gavardo (60) of Chile.
  • Going into the Hungarian Baja, Aishwarya (52) and Vieira (45) were the top contenders for the World Cup. 
  • The fourth-place finish earned the Indian 13 points while Vieira, who was placed third, garnered 16.


World Elephant Day: August 12

  • World Elephant Day is observed on 12 August annually to make people understand to preserve and protect the giant animal elephant. 
  • World Elephant Day was created in 2011 by two Canadian filmmakers Patricia Sims and Thailand’s Elephant Reintroduction Foundation and was first celebrated on August 12, 2012. 
  • The initiative was greatly supported by film star William Shatner who narrated the documentary Return to the Forest, a fascinating 30-minute film about the reintroduction of captive Asian elephants to the wild.

International Lefthanders Day: August 13th


  • Every year on 13 August Lefthanders Day is observed. It raises awareness about the problems and difficulty that left handed persons faced.


  • The date has been observed on August 13 each year since 1976, when it was founded by Dean R. Campbell, founder of the Lefthanders International, Inc. The Left-Handers Day Club “declared” it official in 1997.
  • The day itself is used for left-handers to be loud and proud about their uniqueness, as opposed to the past when some lefties were viewed with suspicion.


India celebrates Vikram Sarabhai’s 100th birth anniversary

  • Country celebrated the 100th birth anniversary of scientist and innovator Vikram Sarabhai, with a people. 
  • Dr. Sarabhai is considered as the father of India’s space program, and his centenary comes just weeks after India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission to the moon.
  • Born in Ahmedabad in 1919, Dr. Sarabhai earned his doctorate at Cambridge. He founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in November 1947. 
  • After Russia’s Sputnik launch, he managed to convince the Indian government on the need for India, a developing country, to have its own space program.
  • Dr. Sarabhai had worked on India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, but he never lived to see its launch in 1975, which happened four years after his death.
  • He received the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and was conferred the Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 1972. In 1973, a crater on the moon was named after him.

Eid-ul-Azha being celebrated with religious fervour & gaiety

  • The festival of sacrifice – Eid-ul-Azha is being celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety across the country today. 
  • The faithful will offer Eid prayers in Eidgahs and mosques. In Delhi, main Eid congregations will be held at Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri mosque and Shahi Eidgah. 
  • President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu have greeted the people on the occasion.
  • The festival is an ode to the virtues of devotion, faith and sacrifice and inspires feelings of brotherhood, compassion and unity. 
  • The festivities will strengthen the spirit of generosity and bring people closer to one another. The festival will further the spirit of peace and happiness in the society. 

CBSE hikes exam fees for SC/ST by 24 times, general to pay double

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has increased the fees of Class 10 and 12 board examinations for SC and ST students from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200, while the amount has been doubled for those from the general category, who will now have to pay Rs 1,500.
  • The students appearing for the Class 10 board exams are registered for it when in Class 9 and those appearing for Class 12 are registered when in Class 11. 
  • According to the revised norms, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students will have to pay Rs 1,200 for five subjects, while earlier they were supposed to pay Rs 50 for the same, a hike of 24 times. 
  • The general category students, who were paying Rs 750 earlier, will now pay Rs 1,500 for five subjects.
  • The students enrolled in CBSE schools abroad will have to pay Rs 10,000 for five subjects for both Class 10 and 12. Earlier it was Rs 5000. 
  • For them, the fees for an additional subject in Class 12 have been fixed at Rs 2,000, as against Rs 1,000 earlier. 

Chhattisgarh: 15-km long national flag unfurled in Raipur

  • In Chhattisgarh, thousands of students and members of several social organisations unfurled a 15-km long national flag by forming a human chain in Raipur, ahead of the Independence Day.
  • The event, organised by Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam Foundation, entered the Champions Book of World Records (for the longest tricolour), a statement issued by government public relations department.
  • It said thousands of people, including those belonging to 35 social organisations across the state, and students from various schools created a human chain while holding the 15-km long tricolour from Amapara Chowk to Pt Ravishankar Shukla University. 
  • On the occasion, former chief ministers Raman Singh and Ajit Jogi, state cabinet ministers, MLAs and other public representatives were present.


SLPP officially names Gotabaya as their presidential candidate

  • In Sri Lanka, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been named as the Presidential candidate of main opposition Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at its first national convention in Colombo. 
  • Opposition leader and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa took over as SLPP leader at the convention.
  • Sri Lanka won the war against LTTE in 2009 during Presidency of Mahinda while Gotabaya served as defence secretary. 
  • Mahinda lost power in 2015 elections but SLPP, a breakaway group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) made a comeback with victory at local body elections in February 2018. 
  • United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is the other main party which is divided over the issue of Presidential candidate.  


  • Mr. Wickremsinghe plans to contest the elections but is facing stiff contest from UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa. 

India cancels Samjhauta Express train after Pakistan suspends operations on its side

  • Indian Railways has cancelled Samjhauta Express train after Pakistan suspended operations on its side. 
  • According to Northern Railway, Pakistan has cancelled the Samjhauta Express running between Lahore and Attari. 
  • The railways run the train on Sundays from Delhi to Attari and back, while Pakistan used to run the train between Lahore and Attari. 
  • An official of Railways informed, only two passengers had booked tickets for the Sunday’s service.


Indian Bank inks pact with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance

  • Public sector Indian Bank  signed a corporate agency agreement with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company for distribution of its insurance products to bank customers.
  • According to the agreement, Cholamandalam MS, a Murugappa Group company, would sell its range of insurance policies to customers of Indian Bank.
  • The partnership will greatly benefit our customers and through this alliance, our customers will get a wide range of innovative products. 
  • Indian Bank has 2,872 branches, across the country.
  • Both Indian Bank and Chola MS seek to fulfill the non-life insurance needs of bank’s customers. Two great institutions headquartered in Chennai are coming together for a longstanding partnership
  • Indian Bank Managing Director and CEO – Padmaja Chunduru.
  • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company, Managing Director – SS Gopalarathnam


Punjab govt to provide 28000 agro-machines to farmers to prevent stubble burning

  • With a view to making Punjab a ‘zero stubble burning state’, the Punjab Agriculture Department has initiated a massive drive to provide more than 28000 agro-machines /farm equipment to farmers. 
  • Subsidy component of 278 crore rupees will be provided for the scheme during the current fiscal year under the first phase for in-situ management of paddy residue. 
  • Subsidy ranging from 50 per cent to 80 per cent is being provided to the farmers under the scheme with 80 percent subsidy to cooperative societies and farmers groups while 50 percent for individuals. 
  • The State government has focused to deliver state-of-the-art machines to farmers including Super SMS, Happy Seeder, Paddy Straw Chopper/Shredder/Mulcher, Hydraulic Reversible Mould Board Plough and Zero Till Drill.
  • The Secretary Agriculture KS Pannu informed that department has received around 12000 applications from individual farmers and farmers groups and Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies till date for subsidized machinery.
  • In order to supply the requisite machinery to the farmers, the Agriculture Department has fully geared up to complete the task of distribution of this equipment before September 15.


ISRO announces Vikram Sarabhai Journalism Award in Space Science, Technology and Research

  • As part of centenary year celebrations of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, father of Indian space programme, ISRO institutes two categories of awards in journalism.
  • ISRO has announced its “Vikram Sarabhai Journalism Award in Space Science, Technology and Research” to recognize and reward journalists who have actively contributed towards the field of space science, applications, and research. 
  • The nominations are open to all Indians who have a good experience in journalism. The articles published from 2019 to 2020 will be considered.
  • There are two categories of awards, wherein the first category holds a cash price of Rs 5,00,000, a medal and  citation and two journalists or freelancers of print media will be awarded. 
  • The second category of the award holds 3 cash prizes of Rs 3,00,000, 2,00,000 and 1,00,000 and citation each for journalists or freelancers of print media. 
  • The names of the selected candidates will be announced on August 1st, 2020.

MSDE announces fourth edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards, 2019

  • Fourth edition of the National Entrepreneurship Awards (NEA), instituted in a bid to recognize and encourage outstanding Indian Entrepreneurs and catalyse a cultural shift in youth for entrepreneurship by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), has been opened for nominations.
  • The NEA 2019 aims to honour outstanding young first generation entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders for their exceptional contribution in entrepreneurship development.
  • The ceremony will take place in November 2019.
  • With NEA, the Government of India will reward the most innovative, inspiring and accomplished micro entrepreneurs to scale up their business.


SpaceX launches Falcon 9 loaded with Israel’s AMOS-17

  • Falcon 9 launches AMOS-17 off Pad 40 in Florida, marking this booster’s third flight and SpaceX’s 25th reflight of an orbit class rocket.
  • The rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 23:24 GMT.  
  • Amos-17 is set to replace Amos-5 satellite launched in 2011. Communication with Amos-5 was lost in 2015. 
  • Amos-17, built by Boeing, will provide Ka, Ku and C-band signal transmission and expand Israeli communications satellite operator Space com’s coverage in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.


India beat West Indies by 59 runs via D/L method in 2nd ODI

  • India beat West Indies by 59 runs via Duckworth-Lewis method in the second ODI at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad last night. 
  • By virtue of the win, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The first ODI between the two sides was washed out. 
  • India rode on Kohli’s 120 off 125 balls and Shreyas Iyer’s 71 to post a challenging 279 for seven after opting to bat. 
  • West Indies were then set a revised target of 270 runs to chase off 46 overs under Duckworth-Lewis method. In pursuit, the West Indies were bundled out for 210 in 42 overs.

Indian junior shuttlers win 6 medals at Bulgarian Open

  • In Badminton, Indian junior shuttlers won six medals at the Bulgarian Junior International Championships which concluded in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria. 
  • The medals comprised of three gold, a silver and two bronze.  
  • The gold medals were won by Samiya Imad Faruqui in women’s singles, the duo of Edvin Joy and Shruti Mishra in Mixed Doubles and pair of Tanisha Crasto and Aditi Bhatt in women’s doubles. 
  • Men’s doubles combination of Ishan Bhatnagar and Vishnuvardhan settled for the silver medal.
  • Malvika Bansod and Meiraba Luwang won a bronze each in other singles events. 

Sourabh Verma wins Hyderabad Open title

  • In Badminton, reigning national champion, Sourabh Verma clinched the Men’s Singles title in the Hyderabad Open. 
  • He beat Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew 21-13, 14-21, 21-16 in a 52-minute final clash. The 26-year-old Sourabh from Madhya Pradesh had won the Slovenian International in May this year. 
  • He had also won two Super 100 titles at the Dutch Open and Russian Open last year. 
  • Top seeds Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, however, finished runners up in women’s doubles. 
  • They lost 17-21, 17-21 to Korean combination of Baek Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun in the summit clash.

Former Uruguay Captain Diego Forlan Announces Retirement from Football

  • Former Uruguay striker Diego Forlan has announced his retirement, bringing to an end a 21-year career in which he played club soccer on three different continents.
  • Forlan, who started his career in South America with Argentine club Independiente, played for major European teams such as Manchester United, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan before ending his career in Asia.
  • Forlan, 40, was also instrumental in Uruguay’s run to the 2010 World Cup semi-finals, where he was awarded the Golden Ball for best player at the tournament and finished as one of the tournament’s top scorers with five goals.
  • Forlan won the Premier League and FA Cup with United before moving to Spain where he helped Atletico wins the Europa League in 2010 with a double in the final against Fulham.
  • He also led Uruguay to the Copa America title in 2011, grabbing another two goals in a final, when they beat Paraguay 3-0.
  • After a short stint in the Indian Super League with Mumbai City in 2016, he last played for Hong Kong Premier League side Kitchee Sports Club last year, wrapping up a career where he scored over 250 goals for club and country.


International Youth Day: August 12th

  • There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever. 
  • However, more than half of all children and adolescents aged 6-14 lack basic reading and maths skills, despite the fact that the majority of them are attending school. 
  • This global learning crisis threatens to severely hamper progress towards the SDGs.
  • 12 August was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth.
  • 2019 Theme: “Transforming education”
  • This year’s theme highlights efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. 
  • For rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
  • International Youth Day 2019 will examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Current Affairs Quiz – August 12, 13 & 14, 2019

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