Current Affairs September 29 2018
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Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence in New Delhi inaugurated by PM Modi
On September 29, 2018, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the Conference on Academic Leadership on Education for Resurgence in Vigyan Bhawan with the participation of Directors of 350 universities.
i. This conference was chaired by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Human Resource Development.
ii. The first of this kind of conference was held in Delhi during Vice-Chancellors’ Conference from 26-28 July, 2018.
i. This conference was jointly organized by UGC, AICTE, ICSSR, IGNCA, IGNOU, JNU and SGT University.
ii. The theme of the Conference is to work on the challenges faced by the Indian education system.
iii. The focus areas of the conference are:
- Use of artificial intelligence for customized learning,
- Improving innovation and entrepreneurship,
- Improving quality of research – focus on requirements of India,
- Pooling of academic resources like sharing of libraries and exchange of knowledge,
- Building inclusive and integrated campuses,
- Facilitating participation of students in governance processes,
- Building robust financial models,
- Promoting value education by building in universal values and life skills into education.
Ministry of Human Resource Development:
♦ Union Minister: Shri Prakash Javadekar.
♦ Minister of State: Shri Upendra Kushwaha, Dr. Satya Pal Singh.
President of India Inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi
On September 29, 2018, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention in New Delhi.
To mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi and Swachh Bharat Mission.
i. It was organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
ii. It aimed to focus on India’s target towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 by 2030, especially targets 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3. Target 6.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, to end open defecation.
iii. 5 themes were suggested by the President in the conference. They were:
- Ensuring people lead the planning, implementation and management of sanitation programmes,
- Use smart and affordable technologies for effective and efficient service delivery,
- Eliminate all forms of inequalities in service delivery,
- Create innovative financing instruments to fund and sustain the sanitation movement and
- Develop capacities within the government to plan, implement and monitor sanitation programmes.
About Swachh Bharat Mission:
i. Launched in 2014, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) (or Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or Clean India Mission in English) is a campaign in India that aims to eliminated open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets.
ii. Run by the Government of India, the mission aims to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 90 million toilets in rural India at a projected cost of Rs.1.96 lakh crore (US$30 billion).
iii.Till now 8.64 crore toilets have been built.
iv. The other name of the campaign is ‘Satyagrah se Swachhagrah’.
v. Slogan is ‘One step towards cleanliness’.
Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation:
♦ Union Minister: Uma Bharti.
♦ Minister of State: Ramesh C Jigajinagi.
♦ Secretary (DWS): Shri. Parameswaran Iyer.
Centre enhances contribution in State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to 90 per cent
On 27th September 2018, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that, the Centre has increased its contribution in the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) from 75 % to 90 % with effect from April 1, 2018.
i. The Centre will contribute 90 % and states will contribute 10 % to the relief fund.
ii.The additional contribution by the central government in SDRF regarding this will be Rs 1,690.35 crore for 2018-19 and Rs 1,774.67 crore for 2019-20.
Two MoU’s signed between India and Uzbekistan on infrastructure and capacity building in ICT sector
On September 28, 2018, Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Minister for Development of Information Technologies and Communications, Uzbekistan Mr Shuhrat Sadikov signed 2 MOUs in ICT sector.
i. The areas of interest were:
IT-ITeS trade promotion, e-Governance, HRD and Capacity building, Telemedicine etc.
ii. These MOUs include:
- Agreement between National Informatics Centre (NIC), India and e-Government System development centre of the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of Uzbekistanfor strengthening e-Governance cooperation.
- CDAC, Indiaand Tashkent University of Information Technologies, Uzbekistan for cooperation of capacity building in ICT Sector.
iii. Further, the Uzbek side showed keen interest in techno-park cooperation.
♦ Capital: Tashkent.
♦ Currency: Uzbekistani som.
India and Japan sign Loan Agreement for Construction of 2 Railway Project with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
On September 29, 2018, India and Japan sign Loan Agreement for Construction of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (I) and Kolkata East West Metro Project (III) with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in New Delhi.
i. The MOU was signed between:
- Dr. C.S. Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and
- Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Representative, JICA.
ii. The disbursement of the loan amount among the projects are as follows:
- Yen 89.457 billion (Rs.5591 crore approx.)for Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (I) ,
- Yen 25.903 billion (Rs.1619 crore approx.)for Kolkata East-West Metro Project (III).
iii. Objective of the individual projects:
Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project (I) will construct high speed rail between Mumbai and Ahmedabad with Japanese technology for mass transportation.
Kolkata East West Metro Project (III) will reduce traffic demand in Kolkata metropolitan area.
♦ Capital: Tokyo.
♦ Currency: Japanese yen.
India and the United Nations signed a Five-Year Sustainable Development Framework (2018-2022)
On September 29, 2018, NITI Aayog on behalf of government of India signed the ‘Government of India-United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (UNSDF) for 2018-2022’.
i. It was signed between:
CEO NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant and United Nations Resident Coordinator in India, Yuri Afanasiev.
ii. The signing was presided over by Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Kumar.
About Government of India-United Nations Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) 2018-2022 :
i. It comprises of seven priority areas that outline the work that UN agencies will undertake jointly or individually, fully aligned with the priorities of the GoI.
ii. NITI Aayog is the national counterpart for the UN in India for the operationalization of the UNSDF.
iii. Other than that Nineteen (19) UN agencies have signed on the UNSDF 2018-2022.
iv. Focus areas of work for development are:
- Poverty and Urbanization;
- Health, Water, and Sanitation;
- Education and Employability;
- Nutrition and Food Security;
- Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Disaster Resilience;
- Skilling, Entrepreneurship, and Job Creation; and
- Gender Equality and Youth Development.
♦ Chairman: PM Narendra Modi.
♦ Vice Chairperson: Dr. Rajiv Kumar.
♦ CEO: Amitabh Kant
NITI Aayog teams up with Oracle, Apollo Hospitals, Strides Pharma Sciences for real drug supply chain
On 28th September 2018, NITI Aayog partnered with Oracle, Apollo Hospitals and Strides Pharma Sciences to pilot a real drug supply chain, through Blockchain decentralised ledger and Internet of Things (IoT) software.
i. This collaboration will improve transparency, accountability and efficiency in tracing and tracking drugs manufactured in India.
ii. Agreement regarding this was signed by: Anna Roy, Advisor (Industry), NITI Aayog and Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India.
Secretary of Corporate Affairs to chair committee on Corporate Social Responsibility
On September 29, 2018, the government under the chairmanship of Injeti Srinivas, Secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), constituted a Govt forms committee on Corporate Social Responsibility 2018.
i. Other members of the committee are: DG, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs; Chairman, SEBI or his representative; N. Chandrasekharan, Chairman Tata Sons; Amit Chandra, MD, Bain Capital Private Equity; P. S. Narasimha, Additional Solicitor General; Anil K Gupta, Founder Honey Bee Network and Prof. IIM-A; Prakash Padukone, Former World Badminton Champion; S Santhanakrishnan, Chartered Accountant; Mathew Cherian, CEO Helpage India; and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
ii. The functions of the committee are:
- Reviewing the existing CSR framework as per Act,
- Recommending guidelines for better enforcement of CSR provisions. It will also analyse outcomes of CSR activities/programmes/projects,
- Suggestion of measures for effective monitoring and evaluation of CSR by companies.
iii. The committee would submit its report within three months from the date of holding its first meeting.
Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA):
♦ Union Minister: Arun Jaitley.
♦ Minister of State: P.P. Chaudhary.
♦ Secretary: Injeti Srinivas.
India’s first corn festival began in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh
On 29th September 2018, India’s first corn festival began in Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh.
i. This festival is a one-of-its-kind international event. Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest corn producing states in India. Chhindwara is the highest corn producing district.
10-day long B2B Grameena Habba hosted by NABARD in Bengaluru
On September 29, 2018, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) Karnataka Regional Office has invited wholesalers and online marketing vendors to its Grameena Habba in Bengaluru from September 28- Oct 7, 2018.
i. This would expand the market for weavers, rural artisans and craftsmen, SHGs, rural entrepreneurs, and farmers’ producer organisations.
ii. The business-to-business interaction and feedback would help the rural artisans modify their product designs and creations according to market trends.
iii.The products for the habba include: Mulaklmuru saris, Kausti embroidery saris, Channapatna toys, banana fibre products, organic millets and pulses, and spices and dry-fruits.
Nabard supports the rural artisans via its special fund ‘Gramya Vikas Nidhi’.
It promotes rural innovation, sustainable rural livelihood options, promotion of clusters, off-farm producers, and so on.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai.
♦ Chairman: Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
SAFER initiative launched by WHO to reduce harmful use of alcohol
On September 28, 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) today released SAFER, a new initiative to support governments in taking practical steps to accelerate progress on health, beat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) .
To address the harmful use of alcohol, and achieve development targets.
SAFER provides five high-impact strategic actions that are prioritized for implementation to promote health and development by:
- Strengthening restrictions on alcohol availability.
- Advance and enforcing drink driving countermeasures.
- Facilitating access to screening, brief interventions, and treatment.
- Enforcing bans or comprehensive restrictions on alcohol advertising, sponsorship, and promotion.
- Raising prices on alcohol through excise taxes and pricing policies.
i. It will be used to reduce the burden of alcohol-related harm in low-, middle- and high-income countries.
ii. Alcohol control essential for development as it is a part of the 17 SDGoals with 169 targets.
iii. Target 3.5 is “Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol”.
iv. Also, the WHO Global Monitoring Framework for NCDs includes a target to reduce harmful use of alcohol by at least 10% by 2025.
Alcohol consumption contributes to more than 3 million deaths globally every year and over 5% of the global burden of disease and injury, according to the recently issued WHO Global Status Report (GSR) on Alcohol and Health 2018
♦ Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
♦ Members: 194.
BANKING & FINANCE
$57.1 Billion loan disbursed to Argentina as the Biggest Loan in IMF’s History
On September 29, 2018, the International Monetary Fund staff and Argentina authorities have reached an agreement on a 36-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) totaling to US$57.1 billion through 2021 approved on June 20, 2018.
It is the biggest loan disbursed in history of IMF.
i. Argentina originally secured a $50 billion loan back in June 2018, when an initial $15 billion tranche was handed over.
ii. Later, an accelerated disbursement of the remaining $35 billion, with another $3 billion not due until November and the remainder over the next three years has been proposed.
iii. It has increased available resources by US$19 billion through the end of 2019 totaling it to US$ 57.1 billion.
iv. This IMF financing would help in the 2019 budget support for the country.
♦ Capital: Buenos Aires.
♦ Currency: Argentine peso.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C., USA.
♦ MD: Christine Lagarde.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ launched by India in collaboration with Google to promote 165-year old heritage
On September 29, 2018, Minister of Railways and Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal has launched the first of its kind “Rail Heritage Digitisation Project” of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture to promote 165 year old heritage
To showcase country’s Rail Heritage to National and International audience in an online story-telling platform
i. It is considered to be the largest cultural heritage digitization project in the Asia Pacific Region.The project can be accessed through link: “https://artsandculture.google.com/project/indian-railways”.
ii. The project would digitize National Rail Museum, Rewari Steam Centre, three World Heritage Railways, CSMT Mumbai building among others.
iii.22 digital screens across different locations in India will be set up for showcasing this historic project.
iv.Also the project will consist of:
- 75 online exhibition, 3500+ images and 200 videos and
- 360-degree panoramic view of iconic railway stations, including Kalka-Shimla, Nilgiri Mountain Railway Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and Kangra Valley Railway.
Chairman of Indian Railways Board: Shri Ashwani Lohani.
♦ Headquarters: California, USA.
♦ CEO: Sundar Pichai.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Vikram Misri appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China
On 28th September 2018, Vikram Misri was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China.
i. Vikram Misri is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (lFS) of the 1989 batch. He is currently, the Ambassador of India to Myanmar.
ii. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the People’s Republic of China. He will take up the assignment soon. He will replace Gautam Bambawale.
About People’s Republic of China:
♦ Capital – Beijing
♦ Currency – Renminbi
♦ Official language – Standard Chinese
♦ President – Xi Jinping
N.Ravi and Vijay Kumar Chopra:Elected as Chairman and Vice Chairman of Press Trust of India
On 29th September 2018,The Publisher of The Hindu Group of Newspapers,N.Ravi had appointed as the chairman of Press Trust of India and simultaneously the Chief Editor of Punjab Kesari Group of Newspapers Vijay Kumar Chopra had been appointed as the Vice Chairman of Press Trust of India.
i. Ravi Succeeds the Viveck Goenka, Chairman and Managing Director of the Express Group.
ii. Ravi won G.K.Reddy Memorial Award,Honorary Doctorate by the Sri Venkateswara University,Tirupati,BREAD Role Model Award and also won Several Professional Award.
iii. Vijay Kumar Chopra Succeeds the N.Ravi who is currently elected as the Chairman of PTI.
iv. Chopra won Padma Shri in 1990 for literature and education and also was Chairman of PTI twice before in 2001 and 2009.
About Press Trust of India(PTI):
♦ PTI was registered in 1947 and starts its Operation in 1949.
♦ CEO: Mr Venky Venkatesh
♦ Head Quarter:New Delhi.
Asia Cup 2018: India lifts Asia Cup for 7th time
On 28th September 2018, India won the Asia Cup for a record-extending 7th time, at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai.
i. India defeated Bangladesh by 3 wickets in the final and won the Asia Cup 2018 title. Bangladesh’s Liton Das was named man of the match.
ii. Bangladesh was the first to bat and had set a target of 223 runs for India to win. The Indian team was captained by Rohit Sharma.
Former Gujarat finance minister Manoharsinh Jadeja dead
On 27th September 2018, former Gujarat Minister Manoharsinh Jadeja passed away in Rajkot, Gujarat.
i. He was 83 years old. He was popularly known as ‘Dada’. He was the descendant of the royal family of Rajkot.
ii.Dada entered into politics in 1962 when he contested assembly elections as an independent and then joined the Congress.
iii. He had served as finance minister of Gujarat.He was a five-time MLA.
World Heart Day – September 29
On 29th September 2018, World Heart Day was observed all over the world.
World Heart Day:
i. When: World Heart Day was created by the World Heart Federation. It is observed on 29 September every year.
ii. Why: this day creates awareness on Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) including heart disease and stroke, which is the world’s leading cause of death. It highlights the preventive and control measures for CVD.
iii. Theme: for World Heart Day 2018 is “My Heart, Your Heart”
About World Heart Federation:
♦ President – Prof David Allan Wood
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
World Maritime Day – 27 September
On 27th September 2018, World Maritime Day was celebrated throughout the world.
World Maritime Day:
i. When: World Maritime Day is observed on the last week of September. Its date varies year to year.
ii. Why: it highlights the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and highlights a particular aspect of International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s work.
iii. IMO is a United Nations specialized agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.
iv. Theme: for World Maritime Day 2018 is – “IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future”. In 2018, IMO celebrates 70 years since the Convention establishing the Organization was adopted.
About IMO (International Maritime Organization):
♦ Secretary-General – Mr. Kitack Lim
♦ Headquarters – London, United Kingdom
World Tourism Day – 27 September
On 27th September 2018, World Tourism Day was celebrated throughout the world.
World Tourism Day:
i. When: In 1979, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly declared September 27 as World Tourism Day. It was first observed in 1980.
ii. Why: to create awareness on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
iii.Theme: for World Tourism Day 2018 is – “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”.
iv. UNWTO invites interested parties to participate in the World Tourism Day celebrations on 27 September every year in the respective countries.
About United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO):
♦ Secretary-General – Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili
♦ Headquarters – Madrid, Spain
International Day for Universal Access to Information – September 28
On 28th September 2018, International Day for Universal Access to Information was observed all over the world.
International Day for Universal Access to Information:
i. When: Since 2016, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) marks 28 September as the International Day for Universal Access to Information.
ii. Why: this day aims to make sure public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.
iii. It aims at more countries adopting Freedom of information (FOI) legislation, developing policies for multilingualism and cultural diversity in the cyberspace, and ensuring that women and men with disabilities are integrated.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
♦ Director-General – Audrey Azoulay
♦ Headquarters – Paris, France