DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : September 18, 2019

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Rajnath Singh gives approval to initiate writing of India’s border history

Mr. Rajnath Singh Indian Union Minister of Home Affairs and Indian ruling political party Bharatiya Janata Party senior leader meet the press after her Party Workers Internal Meeting for new plan coming Bengal Panchayat Election on April 14,2017 in Kolkata,India.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given approval for initiating work of writing the history of the country’s borders.
  • The Minister held a meeting yesterday with eminent personalities of Indian Council of Historical Research, officials of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Directorate General of Archives, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Defence.
  • The work will cover various aspects of borders including tracing its making, making and unmaking and shifting of borders, role of security forces, role of border land people encompassing their ethnicity, culture and socio-economic aspects of their lives.
  • The project is expected to be completed within two years.
  • Mr. Singh emphasized the importance of writing history of Indian borders reiterating that it would provide better understanding of the borders to the public in general and officials in particular. 

Central Railway earns Rs 92 cr in fines from 17 lakh irregular travel cases

NEW DELHI, INDIA FEBRUARY 11: Howrah to Delhi train at New Delhi Railway Station on February 11, 2013 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Ramesh Pathania/Mint via Getty Images)

  • Central Railway has earned Rs 92.19 crore in fines from 17.29 lakh cases of irregular travel between April and August this year, up from 15.70 lakh cases in the same period last year.
  • In a statement issued on Tuesday CR said that the amount includes Rs 13.45 crore in fines collected in August.
  • The statement informed that around 2.72 lakh cases of irregular travel, including unbooked luggage, were detected as against 2.53 lakh cases in August 2018, an increase of 7.50 percent.

Govt aims to phase out plastic in packaging: Ram Vilas Paswan

NEW DELHI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 9: Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan addresses a meeting with various stakeholders on Replacing single use plastic bottles for drinking water with suitable alternatives, at Krishi Bhavan on September 9, 2019 in New Delhi, India.

  • Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has asserted that there is a need to spread awareness to curb plastic usage.
  • Talking to the media in New Delhi, the Minister informed that 95 lakh tonnes of plastic waste is generated by single use plastic out of which 6 lakh tonnes go into the sea contaminating the waters.
  • He said the aim of the Ministry is to phase out plastic use in packaging and move towards 100 percent use of jute in packaging foodstuffs. Mr Paswan said that during a meeting attended by industry organisations and stakeholders and various government departments, there were deliberations on issues relevant to packaging of drinking water.

Govt allows SAIL to sell 25% of iron ore output

  • Ministry of Mines has allowed Steel Authority of India Limited, SAIL to offload in a year up to a quantity equivalent to maximum 25 per cent of total iron ore production in the previous year.
  • It will be subject to clearance from the respective State Governments, where the mines are located, after following due procedure.
  • It is valid for a period of 2 years. Around 7 Million tonnes of iron ore, produced at its different mines in the States of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh, can be offloaded by SAIL to the domestic market after getting necessary clearance from the State Governments.
  • This will enable SAIL to not only fulfil its own requirement, but also to partially cater to shortfall in domestic iron ore requirement. 

10 crore beneficiaries received e-cards for cashless treatment under Ayushman Bharat: Govt

NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 25: Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan arrives to attend the first day of the second half of the budget session at the Parliament House, on April 25, 2016 in New Delhi, India. Rajya Sabha adjourned till Tuesday after uproar by the opposition over the Uttarakhand issue. Opposition raised slogans of 'Loktantra ki hatya bandh karo' (Stop the murder of democracy) in the House. The issue of imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand today echoed in Parliament with Congress members in both Houses storming the Well and party leader Mallikarjun Kharge staging a dharna in the Lok Sabha.

  • Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that 22 thousand health and wellness centres have been made functional and 10 crore beneficiaries have received e-cards under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
  • The Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana provides cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.
  • It provides a health assurance cover of 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care for serious and catastrophic illnesses.
  • Addressing media in New Delhi today, Dr Harsh Vardhan said since the launch of the scheme, over 45 lakh patients have been admitted to hospitals to receive treatment under the programme.
  • The Minister said, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana is completing its first year of launch on 23rd of this month and is being celebrated as Ayushman Pakhawada since last Sunday.
  • Giving credit to cooperative federalism approach in implementing the scheme, he informed that 32 States and Union Territories have already implemented it, except Delhi, Odisha, Telangana and West Bengal.

India to achieve 26 bn dollars Defence Industry by 2025: Rajnath Singh

  • Defence minister Rajnath Singh has said, India will achieve 26 Billion dollars Defence Industry by 2025.
  • Speaking at the annual function of Society of Indian Defence Manufactures in New Delhi, Mr Singh said, Defence sector has been identified as one of the most prominent sectors under Make in India initiative to realize 5 Trillion dollar Economy by 2024.
  • He said, performance of Indian defence industry has not been commensurate with its potential in past.

    The Minister said, a country with such size and global prominence cannot rely on imports for arms.
  • He said, investment of 10 billion US dollar and creation of 2.3 million employment opportunities is envisaged.
  • Mr Singh said, simplification of procedures for Defence Exports has resulted in export of 10 thousand 745 Crore rupees in 2018-19, which is nearly seven times the export achieved in 2016-17. He said, a target of 5 Billion dollars for exports has been set till 2024.
  • Referring to the strong IT industry of the country, Mr Singh said that a road map has been prepared to promote Artificial Intelligence in national security to make India a significant power in Defence Artificial Intelligence.
  • It has been planned to develop 25 Defence Specific Artificial Intelligence products by 2024.

Documentary film based on life of Uttarakhand farmer nominated for Oscars

  • A documentary film based on life of a Uttarakhand farmer has been nominated for Oscars.
  • The documentary film named Moti Bagh is based on the life of Vidyadutt, a farmer living in Pauri Garhwal region of the state.
  • The state Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat congratulated the director, Nirmal Chander Dandriyal, and said it will inspire youths to stay in their villages and work for their communities.

Indian successfully flight-tested indigenous air-to-air missile Astra

  • Indian Air Force has successfully flight-tested air-to-air missile Astra off the coast of Odisha.
  • The missile was launched from a Sukhoi Su-30 MKI combat aircraft on Monday as a part of User trials.
  • According to the Defence Ministry, a live aerial target was engaged accurately by the Astra while the mission profile was executed in a text book manner.
  • The missile was tracked using radars, electro-optical tracking sensors and struck its target successfully.
  • The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the premier research and development organisation of the armed forces.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh congratulated DRDO and Air Force teams for the successful test.

Labour & Employment Minister gives away Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar & National Safety Awards 2017

NEW DELHI, INDIA - JUNE 21: Minister of state for labour and employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar and Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat leaves after attending the Budget session of Parliament on June 21, 2019 in New Delhi, India.

  • Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar today gave away the Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar & National Safety Awards for the Year 2017 in New Delhi.
  • 28 awards were given for Vishvakarma Rashtriya Puruskar while 81 winners bagged the National Safety awards.
  • Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said, NDA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actively working for the welfare of the people working in unorganized sectors.
  • Describing PM Modi a new architect of modern India, he said, strong determination of Modi is supporting the government to take bold decisions towards nation-building.
  • The Minister said, with abrogation of article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, his Ministry has planned to set up regional offices of technical wing of the Ministry namely Directorate General Factory Advice Service and Labour Institute which will benefit the workers in the region.
  • AIR Correspondent spoke to some of the awardees who expressed happiness on winning the award.


Sri Lanka unveils South Asia’s tallest tower, funded by China

Fireworks explode around the lit-up Lotus Tower in Colombo on September 16, 2019. - Sri Lanka on September 16 opened a Chinese-backed massive partially built tower plagued by corruption allegations, one of the white elephants started during the former strongman president's regime.

  • Sri Lanka on September 16 unveiled South Asia’s tallest tower, costing over $100 million, 80% of which has been funded by China under the controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The 350-metre-tall 17-storey Lotus Tower, located in the heart of Colombo city, comprises a television tower, a hotel, a telecommunications museum, restaurants, auditorium, an observation deck, a shopping mall and a conference centre.
  • The tower, spread over an area of 30,600 sq. metres, was constructed at a cost of over $100 million, 80% of which was funded by China.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan meets Mr. Igor Sechin, CEO, Rosneft

  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Igor Sechin, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO, Rosneft and Former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation yesterday in New Delhi.
  • This visit is aimed at furthering discussions between Rosneft and Indian oil and gas companies. This visit also follows the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vladivostok as the Chief Guest at the Eastern Economic Forum.
  • India and Russia had issued a Joint Statement on Cooperation in Hydrocarbon Sector for 2019-24 during the visit of Prime Minister to Russia earlier this month.
  • Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Mr. Pradhan said, India is concerned about the volatility in the crude oil prices after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities. 

At 17.5 million, Indian diaspora largest in the world: UN report

  • India is the leading country of origin of international migrants in 2019 with a 17.5 million strong diaspora.
  • The International Migrant Stock 2019, a dataset released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs today, provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for all countries and areas of the world. 
  • The report says that India hosted 5.1 million international migrants in 2019, less than the 5.2 million in 2015.
  • International migrants as a share of total population in India was steady at 0.4 per cent from 2010 to 2019. 
  • Migrants from Mexico constituted the second largest diaspora with 11.8 million people followed by China with 10.7 million people and Russia with 10.5 million people.
  • The report says  that the number of migrants globally reached an estimated 272 million.
  • It added  that the top ten countries of origin account for one-third of all international migrants. 


Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian wrestler to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

  • India’s star wrestler Vinesh Phogat qualified for the 2020 Olympics after beating fancied American Sarah Hildebrandt in the World Championships in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan today.
  • She scored an impressive 8-2 win over the world championship silver medalist to secure her place at the Tokyo Games.
  • Vinesh will wrestle in the bronze-medal bout against Maria Prevolaraki of Germany later today.
  • Earlier, she had stormed to a 5-0 win over Ukraine’s Yuliya Khalvadzhy in the first round of repechage in the 53kg category to remain in contention for an Olympic quota and a bronze medal.

Four Indian boxers enter quarters of AIBA Men’s World Boxing C’ships

  • Four Indian boxers advanced to the quarterfinals with impressive victories in an all-win outing at  the AIBA  Men’s World Boxing Championships  in Ekaterinburg, Russia yesterday.
  • They are Amit Panghal (in 52kg category), debutant duo of Manish Kaushik (in 63kg category) and Sanjeet Singroha (in 91kg category) and Kavinder Bisht (in 57 kg category)
  • Panghal is Asian Games gold-medallist while Kaushik is Commonwealth Games silver-winner. 
  • The International Boxing Association or the AIBA is the sole world wide governing body for the sport of boxing in all its forms.

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