DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : October 18, 2019

Daily Current Affairs (October 18, 2019) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.

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Karnataka tops first ever India Innovation Index launched by NITI Aayog

  • The first-ever India Innovation Index was launched by NITI Aayog in New Delhi in order to promote competitiveness among the states.
  • Karnataka has emerged the topper among major states. Tamil Nadu is second and Maharashtra is on the third position followed by Telangana, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. Jharkhand finished last in the list of 17 major states.
  • Among the North-Eastern states, Sikkim and among Union Territories Delhi has occupied the top spot.
  • The aim of innovation index is to move states from competitive populism to competitive good governance

NITI Aayog 

Chairman: Narendra Modi

Chief Executive Officer: Amitabh Kant

 Vice Chairman: Dr Rajiv Kumar

Govt probing Flipkart and Amazon for alleged predatory pricing: Commerce Minister

  • Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the government is probing WalMart-owned Flipkart and Amazon over the alleged predatory pricing.
  • Mr. Goyal Stated that e-commerce companies have no right to sell products at discounts that will result in retail sector incurring major loss, Mr Goyal said these platforms are only allowed to connect potential sellers and buyers.
  • The Minister said stringent action will be taken, if there is violation of any law in letter or in spirit.

India on course to be 5 trillion economy by 2024: PM Modi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asserted that his government is on course to make India a five-trillion dollar economy in the next five years despite apprehensions being expressed by experts and the opposition. 
  • It is the government’s resolve to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024. Prime Minister said, Indian economy is full of opportunities for the youth and the recent policy decisions will further boost its growth. 
  • Mr Modi said, the government is also planning to pump in over 100 lakh crore rupees in infrastructure projects. Prime Minister said, the nature of employment is changing and skill upgradation is the key.

Shri G Kishan Reddy inaugurates 20th All India Conference of Directors of Fingerprint Bureaus being organised by NCRB

  • The Minister of State for Home, Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the 20th All India Conference of Directors of Fingerprint Bureaus, being organised by NCRB, (National Crime Records Bureau).
  • The conference was attended among others by Director, NCRB, Shri Ram Phal Pawar, Joint Secretary (Women Safety) MHA Smt. Punya Salila Srivastava and senior police officers from central police organisations/ States/UTs.  
  • Around 80 Fingerprint experts/delegates from across the country attended the inaugural function. The importance of fingerprints in crime investigation in the efforts of NCRB in rolling out the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS).


Next year’s G7 summit to take place in US Prez Trump’s Florida golf club

  • Next year’s G7 summit will take place in one of US President Donald Trump’s Florida golf clubs. This was informed by the President’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney Mr Trump had previously suggested hosting the summit at one of his own golf clubs, drawing immediate criticism that he is profiteering from his presidency.
  • Mr Mulvaney also told that climate change will not be on the agenda of next year’s G7 summit.


Dr. Jitendra Singh hails Ayushman Bharat- PMJAY as unique health scheme

  • Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh has hailed the Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana as a unique and successful health insurance scheme at the Asia Health-2019 conference in New Delhi.
  • Over 50 lakh people have been benefited from this scheme and the government is taking health-care protection to a new aspirational  level. He said, it is the world’s largest government funded health-care programme targeting more than 50 crore beneficiaries.

Mastercard ambassador MS Dhoni launches ‘Team Cashless India’ to push digital payments


  • Payment technology major Mastercard and its brand ambassador MS Dhoni kicked-off ‘Team Cashless India’ campaign to bring more merchants and customers on board with an aim to boost digital payments in India.


  • The campaign – Team Cashless India – brings consumers and merchants to forefront of the digital payments dialogue, Mastercard said.
  • It encourages all Indians to nominate one or more merchants who currently do not accept digital payments.
  • Mastercard will work together with Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), acquirer banks and finance technology companies to support nominated merchants to deploy digital payments acceptance infrastructure.

NIN postal stamp to commemorate its centenary celebrations

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan released a postal stamp to commemorate the centenary celebrations of the city-based ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) at a function held at Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi.
  • ICMR Director Balram Bhragava and NIN Director R. Hemaltha were present on the occasion.
  • The postal stamp has been brought out under the ‘Corporate My Stamp’ scheme of India Posts.
  • A one-time award instituted to commemorate NIN’s centenary called the ‘ICMR-NIN-Centenary Award’ was also conferred on C. Gopalan, the legendary nutrition scientist who passed away at the age of 101 on October 3. 

IIT Kharagpur graduate develops device to curb air pollution

  • An IIT Kharagpur graduate Debayan Saha, invented a device called PM 2.5which he claimed when fitted near the silencer pipe in vehicles will curb air pollution. One car fitted with the device can neutralise the pollution emitted from 10 cars in its vicinity.


  • “The technology developed by us uses a combination of electric energy and wave energy to influence the pollutants like PM 2.5 such that they act like magnet attracting other particulate pollutants from the ambient atmosphere to get attached to it. 


Hailakandi becomes the first district in Assam to introduce a digital system 

  • Hailakandi has become the first district in Assam to introduce a digital system and the state government employees will need to file their leave applications online.
  • The government employees working under the district administration can proceed on leave only after getting a digital approval as henceforth no leave application on paper will be accepted; District Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli inaugurated the new online leave module at her office. Each employee has been allotted a login ID and password to apply for leave in the ‘Manav Sampada’ website.

J&K: BETI BACHAO, BETI PADHAO scheme to empower women launched in Rajouri

  • Rajouri District administration has started an awareness campaign under central government’s flagship scheme BETI BACHAO, BETI PADHAO  to empower women who belong from remote and far-flung areas of the district.
  • Women of Rajouri are rejoicing as 25 Handicraft centers have been set up by the central government. These centers are functioning in different areas of the District. 
  • The centers have been opened up in areas like Manjakote, Dharhal, Thanna, Mandi, Noushera, Sunderbani, Kotranka, Budhal for training women.

Kerala extends maternity leave benefits to teachers, other staff of private educational institutions

  • Kerala is extending maternity leave benefits to teachers and other staff of private educational institutions, including those in the unaided sector.
  • The Central Government has approved the Kerala Government’s decision to bring these teachers and employees under the Maternity Benefit Act.
  • When the amendment to the Act comes into force, Kerala would become the first state in the country to provide maternity benefits in the private educational sector. 
  • Employees covered under the law can avail 26 weeks’ maternity leave with salary. Moreover, an employer has to provide an amount of 1,000 rupees as a medical allowance.

Banking and Business Economy

SBI launches contactless mobile payment facility for credit card holders

  • The SBI Card on Wednesday launched ‘SBI Card Pay’, a payment feature based on Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology for faster, convenient and more secure card payments using mobile phones. 
  • “SBI Card Pay is aimed at redefining the payments experience for our customers. Using cutting-edge technologies such as HCE. 

STPI to invest Rs 40 crore to set up startup facility in Goa


  • The Goa government’s Information Technology Corporation signed an MoU with the Software Technology Park of India to set up a start-up centre in the coastal state at the Vibrant Goa Global Expo and Summit 2019.


  • As per the MoU, 14,000 square metres land is given to the STPI to initiate a start-up centre which will be a boost to the IT industry in Goa. 

Italy to introduce web tax on digital giants from 2020

  • Italy approved a new tax on digital companies, including U.S. tech giants, as part of its 2020 draft budget a move that could draw threats of retaliation from Washington.
  • The levy, due to be introduced from next year, will oblige companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, to pay a 3% levy on internet transactions, according to a text of the draft budget. The Italian scheme is expected to yield about 600 million euros ($662 million) a year. 

India’s livestock population increases to over 535 million

  • India’s livestock population has increased to over 535 million showing an increase of 4.6 per cent over Livestock Census-2012. 
  • The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying released the 20th Livestock Census -2019.As per the livestock census, the share of cattle is around 36 per cent, goat is over 27 per cent, buffaloes is over 20 per cent, sheep around 14 per cent and pigs around two per cent.
  • The cow population is over 145 million, increasing by 18 per cent over the previous census. Among the states, West Bengal reported the highest increase of over in 23 per cent livestock population, followed by Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.


Worldsteel elects Sajjan Jindal as vice chairman; T V Narendran, Lakshmi Mittal as members

  • Global body World Steel Association (worldsteel) on October 16 said it has elected JSW Steel Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Sajjan Jindal as its vice chairman.
  • The association has also appointed Tata Steel CEO and MD T V Narendran and ArcelorMittal Chief L N Mittal as its members.


In Odisha’s first robotic restaurant, two humanoids to serve customers

  • A restaurant in Bhubaneswar opened its doors to customers claiming to be the first eatery in eastern India where two indigenously developed robots will serve customers.
  • ‘Champa’ and ‘Chameli’, the two humanoid robots rolled on the floor of the “Robo Chef” restaurant in Chandrasekharpur area of Bhubaneswar served food to the waiting customers. 
  • After serving them food, the two robots even chimed “Apana mane khushi to” (Are you happy), a phrase popularised by chief minister Naveen Patnaik during his 2019 election campaign.

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