Daily Current Affairs - 06th Sep 2019

Bajrang seeded No. 1 for Worlds

  • Bajrang Punia has been seeded No. 1 in men’s freestyle 65kg for the World championships to be held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, from Sept. 14 to 22.
  • The UWW Wrestling World Championships is all set to kick off in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from September 14.

Culture Ministry rolls out 25 new mobile science museums

  • Aiming to take science education to students in areas without access to such services, the Union Culture Ministry has rolled out 25 new mobile science museums, including one for Ladakh.
  • Union Culture and Tourism Minister of State (independent charge) Prahlad Singh Patel flagged off the science museum bus in Leh as a part of the mobile science exhibition programme of the Ministry.
  • These museums-on-wheels will travel to schools in the 115 “aspirational districts”, as named by the Centre.
  • The buses will travel to schools in aspirational districts throughout the year except during the vacations and will aim to create a scientific awareness among the rural children. Each specially designed bus contains 20 interactive exhibits and other demonstrations related to children and rural life.
  • The exhibitions cover topics like measurement, machines in everyday life, food and health, chemistry and life with focus on water, energy, hygeine and sanitation and space science for human welfare,

Global anti-terror agency FATF taking strong steps against Pakistan

  • Global anti-terror agency, FATF is tightening the noose around Pakistan. The Asia Pacific Group of the FATF will evaluate Pakistan's compliance on its 27 point action plan in Bangkok, early next week. This move is significant since it will be one of the major points while assessing the final review of Pakistan by the international group on money laundering and terror financing.
  • The final decision as to whether Pakistan will be down graded to the blacklist is to be made by the plenary and working group meetings of the task force scheduled for October 13-18 in Paris.
  • The World body has already put Pakistan in its watch list for its failure to meet the global standards to control terror financing and money laundering.

Govt. launches campaign to promote ‘eat right movement’

  • The Union health ministry under Dr Harsh Vardhan launched an aligned ‘Poshan Maah’ (nutrition campaign) to promote healthy eating.
  • The objective is to promote healthy and balanced eating, an attempt to fight malnutrition in far-flung villages by training the front line health workers.
  • This movement is aligned with the government’s flagship public health programmes such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Health and Eat Sustainably for the programme.
  • FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil.

India ranked 34th on world travel, tourism competitiveness index: Report

  • In the latest World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report (TTCR), India has moved up six places to rank 34th on world travel and tourism competitiveness index, driven by rich natural and cultural resources and strong price competitiveness.
  • India's ranking improved from 40th to 34th, the greatest improvement over 2017 among the top 25 per cent of all countries ranked in the report.
  • Japan remains Asia's most competitive travel and tourism economy, ranking 4th globally, while China is by far the largest travel and tourism economy in Asia-Pacific and 13th most competitive globally (up two spots).
  • Spain held on to the top spot followed by France, Germany and Japan, with the United States replacing the UK in the top five. Others in the top 10 list include the United Kingdom at the 6th place, Australia (7th), Italy (8th), Canada (9th) and Switzerland (10th).
  • Pakistan (121st) remains the least competitive country in South Asia when it comes to T&T, including the region's least favourable safety and security (134th) conditions.

Indo-Lanka maritime fleet exercise - SLINEX 2019 to be held from 7th September

  • The annual Joint Indo-Lanka maritime fleet exercise - SLINEX 2019 is scheduled to be held from tomorrow. The Sri Lankan Navy is sending two ships to India to participate in the SLINEX 2019. The offshore patrol vessels, SLNS Sindurala and Suranimala left Trincomalee and are scheduled to arrive at the port of Visakhapatnam tomorrow.
  • The week-long exercise will be attended by 323 Sri Lankan navy personnel including the commanding flag officer of the naval fleet. The exercise features wide-ranging naval exercises including helicopter operations.

Institute of Eminence tag for five institutes

  • The Human Resource Development Ministry has awarded the status of Institute of Eminence to the IIT-Madras, the IIT-Kharagpur, Delhi University, Benares Hindu University and the University of Hyderabad.
  • Four private universities — the Vellore Institute of Technology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Jamia Hamdard University and the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology — were issued Letters of Intent to grant them the status.
  • The new greenfield Bharti Institute, a project of Airtel’s Satya Bharti Foundation, has also been issued the letter.
  • Each university will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry, laying out its plan to achieve the objective of becoming a world-class institution. The public institutions on the list will then be eligible for a government grant of ?1,000 crore.

Jio starts fibre-to-home service

  • Reliance Jio has announced the commencement of JioFiber, its fibre-to- home service, across 1,600 cities in India with the basic pre-paid ‘Bronze’ plan starting at Rs.699 per month and going up to Rs.8,499 a month for its ‘Titanium’ pre-paid plan.
  • Under the Jio Welcome offer, the basic plan offers 100 GB of data (with 50GB extra), free voice calls to anywhere in India, TV video calling, conferencing, gaming, home networking (content sharing at home and outside) and device security for up to five devices.

Modi launches Act Far East Policy for Russia; announces $1 bn support

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched 'Act Far East' policy and asserted that India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of the Far East as he announced a $ one billion line of credit for the development of the resource-rich region.
  • Addressing the plenary session of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) , prime minister Modi said it was a "unique case" of India providing such special credit line to another country.

Modi raises Zakir Naik’s extradition with Mahathir

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sought the extradition of controversial Indian televangelist Zakir Naik, who is wanted in India for fuelling terrorism, when he met Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the sidelines of the fifth meeting of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in the Russian Far East Region.
  • Mr. Zakir Naik, a 53-year-old radical Islamic preacher, reportedly left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Malaysia, a Muslim-majority nation, where he was granted permanent residency.
  • He has been banned from from any public activities in the multi-ethnic country after his remarks against Malaysian Hindus and Chinese on August 8.

New CBI unit to help investigators share info

  • Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh has said a Centralised Technology Vertical (CTV) would be set up under the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at a cost of Rs. 99 crore to facilitate real-time information sharing with investigators across the country. The CTV would be functional by next year.

One-third of traffickers are women and neighbours, says new study

  • A recent study conducted on the profile of persons accused in trafficking in almost 200 cases in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh has revealed that one-third of them are women.
  • One-third, or 162 out of 429 traffickers (accused in cases of trafficking) are female. Fifty per cent, or 216 accused in these cases are from the age group of 25 to 45 years.
  • The largest group of the traffickers (34%, or 148) were neighbours, while 31% were completely unknown to the survivors.
  • The last published report of the National Crime Record Bureau for 2016 recorded 8,132 cases of human trafficking in the country, of which 3,579 cases (around 44%) were from West Bengal alone.

PNB board approves amalgamation with OBC, UBI

  • The Board of Punjab National Bank has approved the amalgamation of Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India into Punjab National Bank, the company informed stock exchanges in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
  • It has also approved the government’s capital infusion of Rs.18,000 crore, pending shareholder approval.

Prajnesh in quarterfinals

  • Top seed Prajnesh Gunneswaran set up a quarterfinal against the seventh seed go Soeda of Japan, with a 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over Tung-Lin Wu of Chinese Taipei in the $162,480 Challenger tennis tournament.
  • In doubles, Divij Sharan seeded No. 1 in partnership with Matthew Ebden, set up a semifinal against fourth seeds Saketh Myneni and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan.

PSB mergers credit positive, says Moody’s

  • The consolidation of 10 public sector banks into four will be credit positive due to increased operational scale and capital, and improved corporate governance in the long run, rating agency Moody’s said.
  • It stated that the consolidated banks will have larger operating scale, which will result in improved competitiveness in corporate banking and retail lending, where their market share is low.
  • Last week, the government announced the consolidation of 10 banks into four. The process is expected to be completed by the end of the financial year.

Russia for joint submarine development

  • Russia has offered joint design and development of conventional submarines through an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) at the delegation-level dialogue between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok.
  • This proposal includes joint design and development of a conventional submarine with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) through an IGA as per the Indian Navy requirements with full access to technology and Intellectual Property Rights [IPR].
  • The Navy has issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for six advanced conventional diesel-electric submarines under Project 75I and the bids are expected to be submitted later month.

Sudan new premier unveils first post-Bashir cabinet

  • In Sudan, country's new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has unveiled the first cabinet since veteran leader Omar al-Bashir's overthrow, a major step in the country's hard-won transition to civilian rule after decades of authoritarianism.
  • The 18-member cabinet includes four women, including foreign affairs minister Asma Mohamed Abdalla.

U.S., China set to resume trade talks in Washington

  • China and the United States have agreed to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington, allaying fears that new punitive tariffs would lead to a breakdown in the protracted negotiations.
  • The world's two biggest economies have been embroiled in a tense year-long tariffs row, which escalated on September 1 when both sides swapped fresh levies on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
  • The new talks were arranged during a phone call between Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

WHO SE Asia Region plans to banish measles, rubella by 2023

  • Member-countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) South-East Asia Region have resolved to eliminate highly infectious childhood killer diseases measles and rubella by 2023.
  • A resolution to eliminate the diseases was adopted at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia in Delhi.
  • Measles elimination and rubella control has been a regional flagship priority since 2014. Bhutan, DPR Korea, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have eliminated measles and Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Timor-Leste have controlled rubella.