Current Affairs April 19 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet approved the funds for implementing 10% EWS Quota
Recently, Rs. 4315.15 crores budget has been approved by Union Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi, to create over 2 lakhs additional seats in 158 central education institutions. The additional seats were created over next two years to implement 10 per cent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) reservation.
Key highlights
i. According to senior officials of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), a total of 2,14,766 additional seats will be created out of which 1,19,983 seats will be created in 2019-20 and the remaining 95,783 seats in 2020-21.
ii. This step is taken in the backdrop of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which provides 10 percent reservations to Economic Weaker Sections (EWS) in government jobs and educational institutions.
iii. To implement this 10 percent EWS quota, the government has asked all educational institutions to increase their intake by 25 percent so that it would not result in the reduction of seats available to SC, ST, OBC and general category.

LOC Trade between J&K and POJK has been suspended after MHA orders
On April 18, 2019, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order to suspend the LOC (Line of Control) trade between Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Jammu & Kashmir (POJK). The reason for the suspension is due to an increase in terror funding, drug trade and fake currencies among other illegal activities by misusing trade routes.
Key Highlights
i. The trade between J&K and POJK is allowed through two Trade Facilitation centers. First, one located at Salamabad, Uri, district Baramulla and the second one located at Chakkan-da-Bagh, district Poonch.
ii. The trade across LOC is meant to facilitate the exchange of goods, 4 days in a week between local populations across the LOC in J&K. The medium of exchange of goods is the barter system with zero duty on trade.
iii. Recent reports revealed that LOC trade is misused by unscrupulous and anti-national as a channel for hawala money, drugs and weapons.
About J&K
♦ Governor :  Satya Pal Malik

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

WHO Has Released New Guidelines On 10 Ways To Use Digital Health Technology To Boost People’s Health

  • The guidelines were based on a 2-year-long research study by WHO on digital technologies which was inclusive of consultations with global experts.
  • The guidelines state ways for employing digital tools for birth notifications, deploying health worker decision support tools and using telemedicine (the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients with the help of telecommunications technology).
  • At the World Health Assembly in 2020, the global strategy on digital health to achieve universal health coverage that WHO is called upon to develop, is scheduled to be considered……………………….Click here to read more

Indian Navy Warships to take part in PLA Navy anniversary celebrations in China
As part of the 70th Anniversary of People’s Liberation Army Navy celebrations in China, two Indian Navy warships, namely INS Kolkata and INS Shakti will participate in the Chinese International Fleet Review (IFR) maritime parade in Qingdao,on April 23.
i. The main objective of the IFR is to promote goodwill, co-operation strengthening and exhibit their organizational capabilities.
ii. INS Kolkata is a warship of Kolkata class stealth guided missile destroyers.
iii. INS Shaktj is a deepak class fleet tanker.
About Indian Navy:
♦ Founded : 1612
♦ Anniversaries: Navy Day (4 December )
♦ Chief of the Naval staff : Admiral Sunil Lanba

BANKING & FINANCE

Exim Bank gives loans worth 267$ million for projects in Rwanda
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified that Exim Bank has proffered soft loans worth 266.6$ million to Rwanda for various projects.

Exim Banki. The funding for the projects has been done in 3 distinct tranches. The names of the projects are as follows:

  • for supporting agricultural projects
  • for the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
  • for financing road projects in Rwanda.

ii. Amount of funds for the separate tranches are listed as under:

  • Exim Bank, according to the agreement will provide $100 million to finance the development of 2 SEZs, as well as for the expansion of the Kigali SEZ in Rwanda.
  • $100 million to finance 3 agricultural project schemes, namely, Warufu Multipurpose Project, Mugesera Irrigation Project and Nyamukana Irrigation Project.
  • $66.60 million for the Base-Butaro-Kidaho Road Project.

iii. RBI notified that the aforementioned 3 funding project agreements between Exim Bank and the Government of Rawanda have put to effect from April 2, 2019.
About Rwanda
♦ Capital: Kigali
♦ Currency: Rwandan franc

Fintech Start-Ups Allowed to Test Regulatory Sandbox: RBI
Recently, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released a 14 page draft document named “Enabling Framework for Regulatory Sandbox” in which RBI proposes that Fintech start-ups can set up regulatory sandbox or live-testing of innovative products and services in segments such as digital KYC, retail payments and data analytics among others in the financial sector. The concept of Regulatory Sandbox (RS) was proposed by a committee headed by RBI Executive Director Sudarshan Sen.
RBI issues guidelines to prevent market abuseKey Highlights
i. According to bank regulator RBI, a Regulatory Sandbox (RS) refers to live-testing of new products or services in a secure and test regulatory environment for which regulators may or may not allow certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.
ii. The Regulatory Sandbox (RS) permits the innovators, regulators, financial providers and the customers to carry out field tests so that they can verify the benefits and risks of new financial innovations.
iii. The objective of RS is to provide a formal regulatory programme for testing new products and services with a customers in a live environment.
iv. After 10-12 entities were selected through a comprehensive selection process, the RS will begin the testing process. The entities were selected under ‘Fit and Proper criteria’ for participants in RS.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
♦ Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Deputy Governor: Viral Acharya

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance receives ISO 31000:2018 Certification
An insurance giant Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited has received ISO 31000:2018 certification by TUV India. Chola MS has received certification for applying risk management system which conforms to the prescribed standards.

Cholamandalam MS General InsuranceKey highlights
i. ISO 31000:2018 is an international risk management standard developed by International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). This standard issues guidelines, framework, principles and a process for risk management.
ii. Any organisation or firm can use this standard in managing risk irrespective of its size, activity or sector. This ISO certification is valid only for 3 years from April 07, 2019 to April 06, 2022.
About ISO
♦ It is an international standard setting body which consists of representatives from various national standards organizations. It was founded on 23 February 1947 in London, United Kingdom.
♦ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ President: John Walter

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Yusuf Hamie, the chairman of Cipla, received UK Royal Society honour
On 18th April 2019, Padma Bhushan awardee Yusuf Hamied (82) who is the chairman of Cipla pharmaceutical company was honoured in the 2019 list of new fellows of the UK’s Royal Society.
Yusuf HamiedKey Points:
i. It is an independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, for promoting excellence in science.
ii. He was born on 25th July 1936 in Vilnius, Lithuania, raised in Mumbai and known for his effort to produce low-cost drugs to treat diabetes, cancer and other diseases.
iii. The UK Royal Society elected 51 eminent scientists as Fellows of the Royal Society.
iv.Other Indian scientists elected fellows were Gurdyal Besra, Manjul Bhargava, Anant Parekh, Akshay Venkatesh, Gagandeep Kang who has become the first Indian woman scientist to be selected as a fellow of the UK’s Royal Society.

150 Indian peacekeepers honoured with UN Medal for their service in UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
On 15th April 2019, in Malakal, South Sudan, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) awarded 150 Indian peacekeepers with Medals of Honour for serving the mission with extreme dedication and sacrifice.
i. Colonel Amit Gupta who commands a battalion of 850 soldiers in the Upper Nile region, South Sudan was 1 among the recipients of the Medal of Honour.
ii. Under Colonel Amit Gupta’s command, Indian peacekeepers conducted veterinary camps and run a veterinary hospital in Malakal, South Sudan.
About UN peacekeepers:
i. UN peacekeepers’ prime objective of work is to reduce violence against civilians by offering a secure atmosphere for the South Sudanese people who have fled violence and sought refuge at Protection of Civilian sites.
ii. UNMISS also helps to enhance the safe and secure delivery of humanitarian aid, namely,  food, water, shelter and healthcare to the refugees and also investigates and reports cases on human rights violence with a major focus on women and children who are prone to gender-based violence.
iii. Under this mission, the Indian Horizontal Mobility Engineering Company had completed renovation of 145 km of roadway. This pathway connects Bentiu and Leer in South Sudan thus paves easier way for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and other needs.
Contributions of India towards peacekeeping missions of the UN:
i. India is at present, the 2nd largest contributor of peacekeepers to UNMISS with more than 2,400 military and police personnel deployed as peacekeepers under the UNMISS.
ii. Since India’s independence, more than 2 lakh Indian military and police personnel have served under UN flag and 168 soldiers have sacrificed their lives while at the UN service.
iii. India also contributes to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
About  Sudan
♦ Capital: Khartoum
♦ Currency: Sudanese pound

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Dr Suhel Ajaz khan appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic  of Lebanon
Deputy chief of mission in the embassy of India in Riyadh,Dr.Suhel Ajaz khan has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Lebanon.He hails from Indore,Madhya Pradesh. He will succeed Sanjiv Arora.
i. He completed MBBS from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical college, Indore.
ii. From American University in Cairo,Dr Khan completed a high intermediate level course in Arabic Language.
iii. In 1997,he joined the Indian foreign service.
About Lebanon:
♦ Capital: Beirut
♦ Currency: Lebanese pound
♦ President : Michel Aoun
♦ Prime Minister: Saad Hariri

MEA appointed Jaideep Sarkar as India’s next High Commissioner to South Africa
A 1987-batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Jaideep Sarkar, currently serving as India’s ambassador in Bhutan, appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of South Africa. He will succeed Ruchi Ghanashyam.

Jaideep SarkarKey Highlights
i. After joining IFS service, Sarkar served in many different Indian missions in Tokyo, Seoul and Bangladesh.
ii. He also served in the Finance Ministry from 1992-1996. His responsibility is to deal with economic relations with European Union member countries.
iii. In 2004, Sarkar appointed as a director in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). As a director, he dealt with a number of ministries including MEA, Finance and Planning.
iv. Before joining India’s ambassador to Bhutan, he served as India’s ambassador to Israel from October 2012 to January 2016.
Static GK

CountryCapitalCurrency
Republic of South AfricaCape Town, Pretoria, BloemfonteinSouth Africa rand
BhutanThimphuBhutanese Ngultrum
JapanTokyoJapanese Yen
South KoreaSeoulSouth Korean Won
BangladeshDhakaBangladeshi Taka
IsraelJerusalemIsraeli New Shekel

Gagandeep Kang is first Indian women in 359 years To join Royal Society
On 16th April 2019, Gagandeep Kang, 56 year old, executive director of Translational Health Science and technology Institute at Faridabad, has become the first Indian female scientist to be elected as a Fellow of the royal Society (FRS) in the UK in the 359 year history of the prestigious scientific academy.
Gagandeep Kangi. Dr. Kang, called India’s vaccine “God Mother”,developed a vaccine against Rota Virus and was first identified by AIIMS, New Delhi in 1985.
ii. Total 51 scientists were elected as FRS.
iii. Dr. Yusuf Hamied was elected as Honorary Fellow.
About UK:
♦ Capital : London
♦ Currency : Pound sterling
♦ Prime Minister : Theresa May

Shri N. Kashinath designated as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board
Shri N. Kashinath took over as Member (Signal & Telecom) of Railway Board on 16th April, 2019. He was associated with Train Describer Project, Survey for the Mobile Train Radio Communication in Northeast Frontier Railway, etc.
Key points
i. Shri N. Kashinath belongs to the 1980 Batch of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE).
ii. Previously, he was working as DG (Signal & Telecom), Railway Board since August, 2018.

V.P. Pathak took over as Member (Materials Management) of Railway Board
V.P. Pathak took over as Member (Materials Management) Railway Board on 16th April,  2019. Previously, he had been working as Director General (RS), Railway Board since June 2018, and General Manager of Chittaranjan Locomotive Works since December 2016.
Key points
i. Shri Pathak was Indian Railway Stores Service Officer of 1980 batch.
ii. He has worked in different capacities in ER, NR, NCR, CORE, NER, NWR, RCF, DLW & CLW.

Mali’s Prime Minister,Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga resigned along with his entire government after Ogossagou massacre,insecurity
On 18th April 2019, The Mali government resigned after criticism over the handling of the rising violence in the country and Ogossagou massacre that resulted in the deaths of 160 people on March 2019. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga‘s Goverment came to power in December 31, 2017.
Mali’s Prime Minister,Soumeylou Boubeye Maigai. Maiga, the leader of “Alliance for Solidarity in Mali” ,From 2011-12, served as Foreign Minister of Mali under the President Amadou Toumani Toure and was the Secretary General of the Presidency from 2016 to 2017 and was Defence Minister from 2013 to 14.
About Ogossagou massacre :
i. On 2019 March 23, Dogon community had killed 160 Fulani Herders in Ogossagou and Welingara villages in central Mali. This offensive was a result of the destruction of the Islamic Terror Cells in the country.
ii. MINUSMA, The UN mission in Mali has conducted a special investigation into the attack.
About Republic of Mali :
♦ President  :  Ibrahim BoubacarKeita
♦ Continent: Africa
♦ Currency  : West African CFA Franc
♦ Official  Language :  French

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

The researchers of IIT Roorkee identify a new method to detect breast, ovarian cancer
On 17th April 2019, the Research team led by Kiran Ambatipudi from the Biotechnology Department at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee has identified a new method to detect breast and ovarian cancer. The research published in the journal, ‘FASEB Bioadvances’.
Key Points:
i. They identified certain proteins present in the saliva that could act as salivary biomarkers in the diagnosis of breast and ovarian cancers.
ii. Total of 646 proteins was identified, of which 409 proteins were confidently identified across all four groups. In addition to 409 identified proteins, 352 proteins were common in all blood groups, while 57 were either present/absent exclusively in one group or common in any two/three blood groups.

Helium hydride ion (HeH+) : Universe’s first molecule, formed 14 billion years ago, detected in space
Scientists have discovered the most ancient type of molecule in our universe, Helium Hydride ion (HeH+)in space, which supports the theories assumed to have formulated the universe after the Big Bang Theory. This molecule is believed to occur when a helium atom shares its electron with a hydrogen nucleus or a proton.This positive ion is considered the first molecule in the universe formed 380,000 years after the big bang (Era : Recombination Epoch) and is regarded as the first Molecular Bond.The latest news was published by Journal Nature.
i. This was invented by scrutinizing the NGC 7027plantary nebulae. Dr Rolf Güsten, from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, is the first author of research.
ii. The information collected using a tool called a Sofia, a joint venture between NASA and German Aerospace Center, which has specially modified Boeing 747SP aircraft with a 2.7 m telescope and other equipment.

ENVIRONMENT

Scientists unearth 220 million year old dinosaurs fossils in San Juan province
In San Juan province, western Argentina, scientists from University of San Juan have discovered a site containing fossils of nearly a dozen dinosaurs.It is 220 million year old and belonging to an unknown era.
i. They were found at the Ischigualasto National Park.
ii. The fossils was laid as “bed of bones”  and discovered in September 2018.

OBITUARY

Jerrie Cobb, NASA’s 1st female astronaut passed away aged 88
On 19th April 2019, pilot Jerrie Cobb, who was NASA’s first female astronaut candidate passed away at the age of 88 in Florida due to illness.
Jerrie CobbKey Points:
i. She was born on 5th March 1931, in Norman, Oklahoma.
ii. She became the first woman to pass astronaut testing in 1961. Total 13 women passed the physical testing and became known as the Mercury 13.
iii. None of the Mercury 13 astronauts ever reached space, despite Cobb’s testimony in 1962 before a Congressional panel.
iv. She served as a humanitarian aid pilot in the Amazon jungle, also emerged in 1998 to make another pitch for space, as NASA prepared to launch John Glenn on shuttle Discovery at age 77.
v. Her autobiography is “Jerrie Cobb, Solo Pilot”.
About The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
♦ Formed: July 29, 1958
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
♦ Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
♦ Administered by: Jim Bridenstine

Scotland all-rounder Con de Lange passed away
Scotland all-rounder Con de Lange, who had been diagnosed with brain tumor, passed away on 18th April, 2019 at the age of 38. He was a slow left-armer and middle-order batsman.
Key points
i. Lange had played 21 internationals for Scotland, making his debut in a Twenty20 International against Ireland in June 2015.
ii. He also played domestic cricket for Cape Cobras and Knights in South Africa, and Northamptonshire in England.

Former WICB president Patrick Rousseau dies aged 85
On 17th April 2019, Patrick Rousseau, aged 85, former president of West Indies cricket Board (WICB), from 1996 to 2001,and Jamaican Attorney at law has died in Jamaica.He hailed from Jamaica.

Patrick Rousseaui. He started first professional cricket academy in Granada.
ii. He has worked in the Law Department for more than 50 years.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

A Book of poem ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ on Jallianwala Bagh massacre, released in UAE
A Book of poem Khooni VaisakhiOn 19th April 2019, a book containing English translation of the 100 year old classic Punjabi poem about Jallianwala Bagh massacre, ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ has been released in Abu Dhabi and was commended by India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri.
Key Points:
i.It was translated by Mr. Suri whose grandfather, revolutionary poet and novelist Nanak Singh, who was a Jallianwala Bagh survivor, wrote it after witnessing the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on 13th April 1919.
ii.The book was also released in New Delhi on 13 April this year to mark the 100 years of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place in Amritsar.
iii.Nanak Singh had published a long poem in 1920 to commemorate that tragic event and the memory of those who sacrificed their lives but it was banned by the British government.
About United Arab Emirates (UAE)
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi
♦ Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
♦ President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
♦ Prime Minister: Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Liver day observed on 19th April
April 19 was observed as World Liver Day. This day is meant to raise awareness about liver and following a lifestyle which supports liver health.
i.This day is observed to understand importance of liver in human body and how liver ailments can be treated.
ii. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), liver diseases are 10th most common cause of death in India.

Good Friday Observed on 19th April
On 19th April 2019, Christians all around the world celebrated Good Friday also known as Holy Friday or Black Friday.
Key Points:
i. The day is observed every year in honor and remembrance of Jesus’s Crucifixion and Christians believe Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose again three days later which is marked as Easter.
ii. Many countries observe Good Friday as a national holiday on the Friday before Easter

STATE NEWS

ECI appointed  Bihar Ex CEO AjayV Nayak as Special Observer for West Bengal
On 16th April 2019, Ajay V Nayak, The Election Commission has appointed Ajay V Nayak, ex-Bihar chief electoral officer, as the Special Observer for West Bengal.The first phase polls held in April 11 in Cooch Behar and Alipurpur constituencies. Polls in the remaining 40 constituencies will be held in six phases.
i. Earlier, The Election Commission of India has named  Vivek Dubey, 1981 batch IPS officer, as the Special Police Observer of West Bengal.
About 2019 Indian general election :
Total constituency: 545 (543 elected members + 2 Anglo Indian members nominated by President of India )
Election Period: 11 April to 19 May 2019
Vote counting Day : 23 May
Term Limits  : 5 years
About Election Commission of India:
Formed :  25 January 1950 (celebrated as National Voters Day)
Chief election commissioner of india :  Sunil Arora
Headquarters  :    NirvachanSadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi
About West Bengal :
Capital: Kolkata
Chief minister:  Mamata Banerjee
Main Festivals:  Kalpataru Utsab,Mangal Shobhajatra,Gaura Purnima,Bhai Phonta,Nandotsav
Major Rivers:   Ajay, Bharakar, Bhagirathi, Bhairab, Damodar, Ganga, Hooghly, Jalangi, Jaldhaka, Mahanadha, Subarnarekha, Teesta,  Torsa

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