DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : August 18 & 19, 2019
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HRD Minister inaugurates two-day international conference on teacher education
- Union Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated an international conference on teacher education in New Delhi.
- For thousands of years, Indian teacher was considered as Vishwa Guru or world’s teacher. There are 85 lakh teachers in the country.
- The two-day event is being organized by the National Council of Teacher Education as part of silver jubilee celebration of its establishment in 1995.
- Secretary of Department of School Education and Literacy Rina Ray expressed that the Union Human Resource Development Ministry will launch the world’s biggest project for teacher training on August 22 to train over 42 lakh school teachers across the country.
Assam gets its first ever CNG fuel station in Dibrugarh
- Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will inaugurate the first ever CNG fuel station of the state in Dibrugarh.
- With the inauguration of this clean and green fuel station, it will reduce environmental pollution.
- Mr. Sonowal has given much emphasis to make the state free from pollution.
- Since the CNG is affordable fuel it will be cost effective for the users.
UP govt to set up Atal Bihari Vajpayee residential schools for children of labourers
- In Uttar Pradesh, state government will set up Atal Bihari Vajpayee residential schools for children of labourers in all 18 divisions of state.
- Chief Minister of state Yogi Adityanath announced many projects in state in remembrance of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee including a memorial in Bateshwar, the former prime minister’s native village in Agra.
- Announcing a number of projects named after the former prime minister, the Chief Minister informed that a 25-foot-tall statue will be stalled at the Secretariat Lok Bhawan on Vajpayee’s birth anniversary on December 25.
- He informed that a ‘Centre of Excellence’ will be established in DAV College in kanpur where Atal ji had his education.
- CM expressed that the work to set up a medical university in Lucknow is underway and a satellite centre of KGMU is being set up in Balrampur, from where Vajpayee had contested elections in 1957.
Prez Kovind to attend golden jubilee celebration of MGIMS in Maharashtra
- President Ram Nath Kovind attended the golden jubilee celebration of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Science at Sevagram in Wardha District of Maharashtra.
- The dignitaries including Governor of Maharashtra Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will grace the occasion.
- Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Science (MGIMS) is known worldwide for its quality healthcare and community based medical education.
- Dr Sushila Nauar founded MGIMS in 1969 as a Gandhi centenary project. In last five decades the hospital has grown from a 15 bedded hospital to one having 934 beds.
- President Kovind will also visit the Bapu Kuti at Sevagram Ashram of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
UN says 2nd attempt to return Rohingya to Myanmar planned
- The United Nation refugee agency has informed Myanmar and Bangladesh are making a second attempt to start repatriating Rohingya muslims after more than seven lakh of them fled a security crackdown in Myanmar almost two years ago.
- Agency spokeswoman Caroline Gluck confirmed that the Bangladesh government has asked for its help in verifying the 3,450 people on a new list of returnees are going back to Myanmar voluntarily.
- She announced the list was whittled from 22,000 names that Bangladesh had sent to Myanmar for verification.
- Two year back, Myanmar’s military launched a counterinsurgency campaign in response to attack by Rohingya insurgent group.
Iceland’s Okjokull glacier commemorated with plaque
- In Iceland, people will gather to commemorate the loss of the glacier Okjokull, which was officially declared dead in 2014 at the age of 700.
- The glacier was officially declared dead by the Icelandic Meteorological Office when it was no longer thick enough to move.
- What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano.
- Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson and former Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day.
- The people attending the ceremony will walk up the volcano northeast of the capital Reykjavik to lay a plaque which carries a letter to the future.
- The plaque is also labelled “415 ppm CO2″, referring to the record level of carbon dioxide measured in the atmosphere last May.
- Iceland loses about 11 billion tonnes of ice per year, and scientists fear that all of the island country’s 400-plus glaciers will be gone by 2200.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India’s foreign exchange reserves at new life-time high of $430.572 bn
- India’s foreign exchange reserves surged by $1.620 billion to $430.572 billion in the week to 9 August on rise in foreign currency assets, according to the latest RBI data released.
- In the previous reporting week ended on 2 August, the reserves had declined by $697.2 million to $428.952 billion.
- Expressed in dollar terms, foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
- The country’s gold reserves surged by $1.591 billion to $26.754 billion, according to data.
- Special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund were up by $6.7 million to $1.441 billion.
- The country’s reserve position with the fund rose by $7 million to $3.636 billion.
COMMITTEES & RECOMMENDATIONS
Rajnath Singh approves setting up of committee to review Defence Procurement Procedure
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the setting up of a Committee under the Chairmanship of Director General (Acquisition) to review the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 and Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2009.
- The Committee will revise and align the procedures with the aim of ensuring seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support.
- Apart from DG (Acquisition) 11 other members, not below the rank of Joint Secretary/Major General equivalent, are part of this high-level committee.
- The Committee has been given six months to submit its recommendations.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Bangladesh Cricket Board name Domingo as new national coach
- The Bangladesh Cricket Board appointed former South African Coach Russel Domingo as the Head Coach for the national cricket team.
- This was announced in Dhaka by BCB President Nazmul Hasan.
- Russel Domingo has served as the Head Coach for South Africa’s T20 side in 2012.
- He later replaced Gary Kirsten as South Africa Coach in the Tests and ODIs in 2013.
- However, he has never played professional cricket in his career. Russel will serve as Bangladesh Coach for two years.
- He succeeds Steve Rhodes whose tenure was cut short after Bangladesh finished at the 8th position in the 10-nation World Cup this year.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Deepa Malik nominated for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award
- Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was nominated for the country’s highest sporting honour the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.
- The name of 48-year-old Deepa, who won a silver in the shot put F53 category in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, was added for the Khel Ratna by a 12-member selection committee on the second day of the two-day meeting by the panel headed by Justice (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma.
- Six-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist boxer M C Mary Kom recused herself from the meeting to avoid conflict of interest as her personal coach Chhotelal Yadav was in contention for the Dronacharya Award.
- The committee also picked 19 sports persons for the Arjuna Award, including the likes of cricketers Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav, track and field stars Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil.
- The panel also nominated three names for the Dronacharya Award, including former badminton star Vimal Kumar and three for the Dronacharya Award in lifetime caregory.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
UK Researchers develop new technique to make cancer treatment more effective, affordable
- Researchers in the University of Sheffield in Britain recently developed a new technique that could make light-based cancer treatment more effective and safer for patients while reducing its cost.
- Light-based or photo-dynamic therapy is already a clinically-approved treatment, which uses drugs that only work when exposed to light to destroy cancer cells.
- However, many of these drugs are frequently toxic even without light, causing many side effects in patients and leading to treatment failure.
- The researchers have sought to improve these drugs by using small carbon dots as a way to get the drug to the tumour.
- Carbon dots are fluorescent nanoparticles with very little toxicity, making them extremely useful for this application.
- Two different versions of the carbon dots were developed as part of the research, one with the drug bound on the surface and the other where the drug was inside the dot.
- The research has the potential to produce cheaper anti-cancer drugs with greater efficiency to kill tumours and less side-effect in patients.
India win gold at Under- 12 Asian Tennis Team championship in Kazakhstan
- India has won gold at the Under 12 Asian Tennis Team championship held in Kazakhstan.
- India defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the summit clash to win the title.
- The final was a tie of three matches – 2 singles and one doubles and India won both the singles matches while lost the doubles encounter.
- The team comprised Manas Dhamme, Arnav Paprakar and Tamil Nadu’s Pranav Rethin. Manas and Rethin won their singles matches. Manas and Arnav.
- However, lost their doubles encounter. 12-year-old Manas remained unbeaten in the entire tournament.
Indian Men beat Malaysia 6-0 in their opening encounter at Olympic Test Event in Tokyo in Hockey
- The men’s hockey team defeated Malaysia 6-0 in their opening encounter of the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo.
- Forwards Mandeep Singh and Gursahibjit Singh scored two goals each for India, while Gurinder Singh and SV Sunil also registered their names on the score-sheet.
- Earlier, Indian women’s team registered a convincing 2-1 win over Japan.
- Penalty corner specialist Gurjit Kaur scored a brace as the Indian women’s hockey team started their campaign at the Olympic test event with a resilient 2-1 victory over hosts Japan.
- Gurjit Kaur gave India a 1-0 lead by scoring a goal in the ninth minute, but the hosts equalised it in the 16th minute as Japanese Aki Mitsuhashi scored a field goal.
- However, in the 35th minute, Gurjit stepped up again to convert yet another penalty corner, which turned out to be the decisive goal in the match.
Liverpool Beat Chelsea on Penalties to Win UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul
- Adrian was the shootout hero as Liverpool lifted the UEFA Super Cup with victory over Chelsea in Istanbul.
- And the 32-year-old saved Tammy Abraham’s spot-kick as Jurgen Klopp’s men won 5-4 on penalties at Vodafone Park after a 2-2 draw.
- Chelsea weren’t finished, though, and had their equaliser when Jorginho converted a controversial penalty 10 minutes into the extra period.
- The young forward tried to go straight down the middle, but the Spanish stopper was equal to the task to make the decisive save.
- It was Liverpool’s fourth UEFA Super Cup triumph and made amends for their Community Shield defeat by Manchester City on penalties.
Former cricketer VB Chandrasekhar passes away
- Former India and Tamil Nadu opener V.B. Chandrasekhar passed away. He was 57.
- Police confirmed the body of the former cricketer was recovered from his residence. They suspect it to be a case of suicide.
- A hard-hitting opener, he represented India in seven ODIs, with an innings of 53 being his highest score.
- In 81 First Class matches, Chandrasekhar notched up 4999 runs at 43.09 with 10 centuries.
- After his eventful cricketing career, where he was a part of the last Tamil Nadu team to triumph in the Ranji Trophy in 1988.
- He later led the State side and then briefly played for Goa. VB focused on coaching and commentary.
- VB coached the Tamil Nadu Ranji team and was continually involved with the game.
- Significantly, he was the cricket manager of Chennai Super Kings in the franchise’s first three years and was instrumental in getting the iconic M.S. Dhoni to CSK.
Five new fish species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh
- In Arunachal Pradesh, researchers of the Rajiv Gandhi University have discovered five new fish species in various districts of the state.
- The scientific names of the newly-discovered fish species are Mystus prabini, found in Sinkin and Dibang rivers in Lower Dibang Valley district and Exostoma kottelati, found in Ranga River in Lower Subansiri district.
- Other discovered species are Creteuchiloglanis tawangensis, found in the Tawangchu River in Tawang district, Garra ranganensis, found in Ranga river and Physoschistura harkishorei, found in Dibang and Lohit rivers in Lower Dibang Valley district.
- Majority of the water bodies in remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh are still not easily accessible to the researchers due to a difficult terrain that includes rain forests, steep hills besides communication problems.
- The researchers, however, are optimistic that meticulous exploration may result in more discoveries of new fish species from the state in the future.
President inaugurates bunker museum at Maharashtra Raj Bhavan
- President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated an underground Bunker Museum at Raj Bhavan Mumbai.
- On the occasion, the president also laid the foundation stone of reconstruction of Governor’s Office-cum-Residence.
- The thematic underground bunker museum spread over an area of 15,000 sq.ft. Will be opened for the general public through prior online booking later during the year.
- The Bunker Museum has Virtual Reality Booths in which visitors can time-travel to the 19th century when the bunker was constructed to fire cannons at approaching enemy ships.
- Jal Bhushan, the office and residence of the Governor of Maharashtra, has a history of nearly 200 years.
- The House has undergone several modifications and renovations.
- Apart from serving as the office and residence of the Governor, ‘Jal Bhushan’ also has a Conference Room, a Meeting Room, a Dining Room and offices of the Secretary to Governor, ADC, Private Secretary and PRO to the Governor.
PM Modi to embark on 3-day visit to UAE, Bahrain
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three-day visit to United Arab Emirates– UAE and Bahrain beginning 23rd of this month.
- Mr Modi will first travel to UAE where he will meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discuss bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest.
- The robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about 60 billion US dollar, the UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner.
- UAE is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India. The visit will further strengthen India’s friendly bilateral ties with the UAE.
- From UAE, the Prime Minister will leave for Bahrain on August 24 on a two-day visit.
- It will be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to that country.
- During his visit, Mr Modi will hold talks with his counterpart Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
- Mr Modi will also launch the renovation of Shreenathji temple in Manama.
- The bilateral trade of both countries has been on the rise for the last few years, reaching about 1.3 billion US dollar in 2018-19.
Happy to receive a book written in Hindi from Lithuania: Vice President
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has expressed happiness at receiving a copy of ‘History of Lithuania” in Hindi during his official visit to Lithuania.
- Mr Naidu appreciated the step taken to publish Comparative Dictionary of 108 Common Lithuanian and Sanskrit words.
- The next endeavour should be to compile and publish a comprehensive dictionary of 10,000 common words in both languages.
5th Meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission to be held in Kathmandu
- The 5th Meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission will be held in Kathmandu on 21- 22 August.
- Minister for External Affairs of Dr S. Jaishankar and Nepal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali will co-chair the meeting and lead their respective delegations.
- According to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Joint Commission Meeting will review the overall state of bilateral relations and various areas of cooperation such as connectivity and economic partnership, trade and transit, power and water resources, culture, education and other matters of mutual interest.
- India-Nepal Joint Commission was established in June 1987. Its meetings are held alternately in Nepal and India.
- The last meeting of the Commission was held in New Delhi on October 2016.
- During the visit, the Minister of External Affairs Dr Jaishankar will pay courtesy calls on President of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Mr K P Sharma Oli.
Sri Lanka: Anura Kumara Dissanayake to contest Presidential election
- In Sri Lanka, leader of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Anura Kumara Dissanayake has announced to contest the upcoming Presidential election.
- The JVP leader was named as a candidate at a rally of National people’s power led by JVP and held at Galle Face in Colombo.
- He is the second major candidate to have announced his candidature for polls to be held by end of the year.
- Former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had announced his candidature last week.
- United National party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe is still undecided on the issue of candidature.
COMMITTEES & RECOMMENDATIONS
NGT forms panel to examine allegations of illegal sand mining in River Yamuna
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a committee to examine allegations of illegal sand mining in the Yamuna River and sought a report within a month.
- The NGT action follows a move by the Delhi Jal Board which alleged illegal sand mining in the Yamuna River.
- A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the panel consisting of Delhi District Magistrate, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and Central Pollution Control Board to look into the matter and take appropriate action.
- The green tribunal declared that the DPCC will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance.
First Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology to be set up in Gujarat
- Union Minister of State for Chemical & Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya has announced that the first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology (CICET) will be set up in Gujarat.
- Mr Mandaviya expressed that looking to the significant presence of Chemical industries in Vapi, Ankleshwar and Vatva, Government is planning to set up Central Institute of Chemical Engineering & Technology -CICET on the line of CIPET to benefit the chemical industry.
- The state will get the country’s first CICET either in Vatva or Surat.
- The Minister announced to set up a CIPET training institute in Valsad which will benefit the tribal students.
- A Skill Development Centre will start functioning from this October in Bhavnagar. CIPET will also start diploma courses in Sanand near Ahmedabad.
AGREEMENTS & MOU
India and Bhutan resolve to expand bilateral cooperation
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned home after a successful two day visit to Bhutan.
- During the visit, Prime Minister Modi and the Bhutanese leadership resolved to take the bilateral cooperation beyond hydroelectric power sector.
- The two countries signed various MoUs to diversify the friendship. The sectors include space, education, science, technology and legal education.
- The Prime Minister expressed, going beyond the traditional sectors of cooperation, both countries are seeking to cooperate extensively in new frontiers, from schools to space, and digital payments to disaster management.
- 1.3 billion Indian people are ready to partner with Bhutanese people in their future endeavours, especially in education.
Hima Das, Mohammad Anas win gold at Athleticky Mitink Reiter event
- Top Indian sprinters Hima Das and Mohammad Anas have won a gold each in 300m races at the Athleticky Mitink Reiter event in Czech Republic.
- While Hima won the gold in women’s event, Mohammad Anas claimed the yellow medal in men’s category.
- This was Hima’s sixth gold in 2019 in European races since last month.
- Mohammad Anas won the gold clocking 32.41 seconds. India’s Nirmal Tom clinched a bronze medal in the same event by clocking a timing of 33.03 seconds.
- National record holder Anas has already qualified for 400m event for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October while Hima is yet to achieve it.
World Skills International Competition: Indian contestants given grand send-off in New Delhi
- A team of 48 Indian contestants who will take part in World Skills International Competition at Kazan in Russia was given a grand send-off in New Delhi.
- The team will participate in 44 skills, including mobile robotics, prototype modelling, hairdressing, baking, welding and car painting at the event from 22nd to 27th of this month.
- Nearly 1,500 contestants from 60 countries will compete in 56 skill competitions. Majority of the contestants, including six women, are from rural areas.
- Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship – Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey.
Indian women’s Hockey team hold Australia to 2-2 draw
- Indian women’s hockey team held Australia to a 2-2 draw in Olympic Test Event in Tokyo.
- India is ranked 10th in world ranking while Australia is world number 2 side.
- Vandana Katariya scored for India in the 36th minute while Gurjit Kaur struck in the 59th minute.
- For Australian eves, Kaitlin Nobbs and Grace Stewart scored one goal each in their second match of the tournament.
- India had beaten hosts Japan 2-1 in their first match.
- The Indian women’s team will now face China next in their third and last round-robin match of the tournament.
- In men’s hockey, New Zealand beat India 2-1 in the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo. An early goal by Harmanpreet Singh gave India lead in the first quarter.
- However, despite spirited performance by the Indian side throughout the four quarters, a late goal by New Zealand pulled India down.
- India had defeated Malaysia 6-0 in their opening encounter.
World Photography Day: August 19th
- World Photography Day is observed on 19 August annually to raise awareness about the importance of photography.
- Founded in 2009 by the Australian photographer Korske Ara, the date of the 19th was chosen to celebrate World Photo Day as it is the date that the patent of the daguerreotype (an early method of photography) was purchased by the French government.
- On this particular day, millions of people capture different ideas and share their world with others, try to dwell in the imaginations of other photographers and moreover try bringing more happiness through the means of photography.
World Humanitarian Day: August 19th
- World Humanitarian Day is observed annually on 19 August around the world to pay tribute to aid workers who risk their lives in humanitarian service.
- This day also honour the work of women in crises throughout the world. The 2019 WHD campaign is #WomenHumanitarians.
- Women make up a large number of those who risk their own lives to save others. They are often the first to respond and the last to leave.
- These women deserve to be celebrated. They are needed today as much as ever to strengthen the global humanitarian response.
- And world leaders as well as non-state actors must ensure that they – and all humanitarians – are guaranteed the protection afforded to them under international law.
Padma Shri awardee Damodar Ganesh Bapat dies at 84: A life dedicated to leprosy patients
- Damodar Ganesh Bapat, noted social worker and Padma Shri awardee, died at the age of 84.
- Damodar Ganesh Bapat, who was an octogenarian, dedicated his life to the treatment and service of leprosy patients.
- Damodar Ganesh Bapat was associated with the Bharatiya Kushta Nivarak Sangh (BKNS) in Jangjir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh for four decades. He had joined BKNS as its secretary in 1972.
- Born in Amaravati district of Maharashtra, Bapat was the youngest of three sons of a railway employee. He completed his graduation in Nagpur.
- He started off as a teacher in backward tribal areas. That’s when he visited BKNS and the plight of leprosy patients there concerned him.
- He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, by President Ram Nath Kovind in 2018 for his service to the society.
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