DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : August 27, 2019
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India to host COP14 of UN Convention next month to Combat Desertification
- India will host the Conference Of Parties, COP 14, of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification from 2nd to 13th of next month.
- Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar confirmed, the event will see participation of over 3000 representatives from over 200 countries which will include Ministers from around 100 countries.
- India will take over from China this year as host and President for 2 years. The Conference of Parties will focus on desertification and degradation of land.
- India has resolved to implement provisions of New Delhi Declaration to be adopted at the end of the conference.
- Government has targeted that 50 Lakh hectares of degraded land will be made fertile in 10 years and a Centre of Excellence will be established in Forest Research Institute in Dehradun.
Prakash Javadekar inaugurates National Centre for Avian Ecotoxicology
- Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurate the National Centre for Avian Ecotoxicology at Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
- NCAE would study the movement of environmental contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, poly chlorinated biphenyls and drugs through food chain and their harmful effects on birds.
- SACON is a centre of excellence under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and has been conducting reach on various issues pertaining to conservation of birds in India for over two-and-a-half decades.
Harsh Vardhan inaugurates FSSAI’s National Food Laboratory in Ghaziabad
- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated FSSAI’s National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Ghaziabad on the occasion of 13th anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- This national lab is a result of a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), the first-of-its-kind in the food laboratory sector.
- It houses state-of-the-art collaborative training centres, namely, The Food Safety Solution Centre (FSSC) and the Centre for Microbiological Analysis Training (C-MAT).
- Vardhan also laid the foundation stone of the FSSAI Tower in the presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and stakeholders from the scientific community, food businesses and corporates.
SRK launches heritage postal stamp of Bandra station
- Actor Shah Rukh Khan launched heritage postal stamp of Bandra station on the completion of 150 years of the railway station.
- Ashish Shelar, minister of School Education, Sports and Youth Welfare of Maharashtra was also present at the Bandra station.
- The 53-year-old actor urged the audience present at the spot to use the postal stamps instead of online texting.
16 Textile Giants Join Smriti Irani’s Sustainable Fashion Project SU.RE
- Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani launched Project SU.RE, a move towards sustainable fashion, at Lakmé Fashion Winter/Festive 2019, in Mumbai.
- The project has been launched by the Minister, along with the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI); United Nations in India; and IMG Reliance, the organizers of Lakmé Fashion Week.
- SU.RE stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ – a firm commitment from the industry to move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment.
- The signatories for project SU.RE are Future Group, Shopper’s Stop, Aditya Birla Retail, Arvind Brands, Lifestyle, Max, Raymond, House of Anita Dongre, W, Biba, Westside, 109F, Spykar, Levi’s, Bestsellers and Trends.
- The signatories have pledged to source/utilize a substantial portion of their total consumption using sustainable raw materials and processes, by the year 2025.
- Rahul Mehta, President of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India.
Brazil rejects aid from G-7 countries to fight Amazon forest fires
- The G7 leaders have vowed to help Brazil fight Amazon forest fires and repair damage in the region.
- Brazil has rejected aid from G-7 countries to fight wildfires in the Amazon.
- Chief of Staff to President Jair Bolsonaro, Onyx Lorenzoni, expressed a news website that Brazilian Government appreciates the offer.
- But those resources are probably more relevant to reforest Europe, referring to a pledge of 20 million dollars made at the G-7 Summit in France to fight the rainforest blazes.
Sudan urges UNSC to withdraw all peacekeepers by June 2020
- Sudan urged United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to lift its suspension of troop withdrawals and ensure all peace keepers leave Darfur by June 2020.
- Sudan’s UN Ambassador, Omer Mohamed Siddig announced the council that it’s time to shift from peace keeping to peace building in Darfur and to end restrictions on the government’s movement of arms and troops in and out of the region.
- In June, the Security Council voted unanimously to put the brakes on the withdrawal of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force from Darfur as the country dealt with a political crisis.
- AU commissioner for peace and security, Smail Chergui, expressed the Security Council that Darfur still faces intermittent armed clashes between government forces and rebels.
RANKING & INDEX
‘Avengers’ star Scarlett Johansson tops Forbes highest-paid actresses list
- For the second consecutive year, Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson has topped the Forbes’ list of highest paid female actors in the world.
- Spurred by the success of her summer Marvel film Avengers: Endgame, the 34-year-old actor’s earning reached USD 56 million.
- The outlet reported that Johansson has also secured a fat pay check for her upcoming Black Widow movie from Disney’s Marvel Studios.
- At number two is Modern Family star Sofia Vergara with USD 44.1 million earnings.
- Big Little Lies actors Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman are placed at the third and fourth spot on the list, with the earning of USD 35 million and USD 34 million, respectively.
- All the earnings of the actors were calculated between the period of June 1, 2018, and June 1, 2019.
- Jennifer Aniston, who earned in USD 28 million, rounds out the top five.
- Next in the line are Kaley Cuoco (USD 25 million), Elisabeth Moss (USD 24 million) and Margot Robbie (USD 23.5 million).
- Charlize Theron and Ellen Pompeo were placed at the ninth and tenth positions, respectively.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI to transfer Rs 1.76 lakh cr as dividend, surplus reserve to govt
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to transfer 1.76 lakh crore rupees as dividend and surplus reserve to the government.
- RBI informed that this amount includes over 1,23,000 crore rupees of surplus for the year 2018-19 and 52,637 crore rupees of excess provisions identified as per the revised Economic Capital Framework.
- RBI’s Central Board has accepted the recommendations of a high-level panel headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan on transfer of excess reserves to the government.
- The Central Board has finalized RBI’s accounts for 2018-19 using the revised framework as suggested by the Jalan committee to determine risk provisioning and surplus transfer.
Bandhan Bank partners with Standard Chartered Bank for its foray into credit cards segment
- Bandhan Bank announced its foray into the credit cards segment, in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank.
- The announcement comes on the fourth anniversary of Bandhan Bank.
- Bandhan Bank has launched three variants of co-branded credit cards called One – for the mass market, Plus -for the affluent segment, and Xclusive – for the premium segment.
- Among the benefits offered to customers through these cards are attractive reward points for spends on dining, movie tickets and supermarkets.
- There will also be a fuel surcharge waiver, offers on flights and hotels, airport lounge access and waiver of fee against a minimum annual spend.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Prabhakar Singh, DG, CPWD, chosen for ‘Eminent Engineer Award- 2019’
- Prabhakar Singh, Director General, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), has been chosen for the ‘Eminent Engineer Award’ for the year 2019’ by the Institution of Engineers (India) for his distinguished and exemplary service in the field of Engineering and Technology.
- This award shall be conferred on him on the ‘Engineers Day’ on September 15, 2019, in New Delhi.
- Prabhakar Singh is an IIT Graduate and MBA from one of the Premier Business Institute of the Country.
- His enormous contributions and dedicated service to the Nation as an Eminent Technocrat has been instrumental in transforming the Premier Engineering Organisation of the Central Government, CPWD.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IHS found Indian have average resting heart rate higher than desired rate
- Indian Heart Study (IHS) has found that Indians have an average resting heart rate of 80 beats per minute which is higher than the desired rate of 72 beats per minute.
- The IHS also highlighted that unlike people of other countries, Indians have higher blood pressure in the evenings than in mornings.
- The study was conducted on 18,918 participants, both men and women, across 355 cities in 15 states over a period of nine months from April 2018.
- It was carried out by 19 doctors to get the idea about the timing of prescribing anti-hypertension drug dosage.
- The study has provided us insights on the prevalence of white-coat hypertension, masked hypertension and resting heart rates pertinent to Indian population.
ISRO releases new images of lunar surface captured by Chandrayaan-2
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released more pictures of lunar surface which were captured by India’s lunar craft Chandrayaan-2.
- The Terrain Mapping Camera-2 on-board the orbiter of the lunar craft has captured the set of images from a distance of over 4,300 kilometres above the moon’s surface.
- They show several craters and the coldest region of the moon at her north pole.
- Earlier, on the 22nd of this month, the camera on board the lander of Chandrayaan-2 has sent an image of the moon.
MotoGP: Spain’s Alex Rins wins British Grand Prix at Silverstone
- Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) claimed a sensational victory at the GoPro British Grand Prix as he and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) treated us to a phenomenal MotoGP race.
- The Suzuki man eventually beating the Honda rider to the line in a stunning finish.
- Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) picked up P3 but there was drama at the first turn involving Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).
US Open: Nagal takes a set from Federer before exiting
- In the much-anticipated clash, Indian’s Sumit Nagal took a set off the iconic Roger Federer before fizzling out at the US Open in New York.
- After giving a glimpse of his talent, Nagal lost 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, but the fighting spirit shone through in his dream Grand Slam debut.
- Nagal became only the fourth Indian to win a set in the main draw of a Grand Slam in the last 20 years.
- What made it special was that it came against Federer, a colossal figure with 20 Grand Slams to his credit.
- Only Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni have managed to win a set in a Grand Slam main draw before Nagal, in the last two decades.
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