Daily Current Affairs - 13th Sep 2019

17 Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan awarded medals for service

  • Seventeen Indian peacekeepers deployed with the UN mission in South Sudan have been awarded medals in recognition of their service to the people in the world's youngest country. The Indian police officers have served the UN and the people of South Sudan for almost a year.
  • Their duties included protecting displaced civilians, community policing and building local police skills.
  • India is among the largest troop contributing countries in the world to UN peacekeeping missions.
  • As of March this year, India is the second highest troop contributor to the United Nation Missions, with 2,337 troops deployed in various countries.

Bangladesh to import, invest in power from neighbouring countries

  • Bangladesh is holding talks with neighbouring countries including India to import electricity and invest in power plants to make electricity available to every village in the country.
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the government is holding talks with India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to import electricity.
  • So far Bangladesh has imported 600 MW from India and it is planning to invest in Bhutan and Nepal.

British PM faces calls to reverse suspension of Parliament after court rules it illegal

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing calls to reverse his suspension of Parliament after Scotland's highest court ruled it illegal. Meanwhile, government documents warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to civil unrest and shortages of food and medicines.
  • The Boris Johnson government, meanwhile, has appealed the Scottish court ruling, with the case set to be heard in the Supreme Court next Tuesday, and parliament will for now stay shut.
  • The Operation Yellowhammer documents, which the government was forced to release, revealed that preparedness for a no-deal Brexit remained at a low level, with logjams at Channel ports threatening to impact supplies.

China Successfully Launches 3 New Satellites Which Will Help in Disaster Prevention, Global Climate Change

  • China successfully launched three satellites, including a resource satellite into planned orbits which will help in disaster prevention, urban construction and monitor polar regions and global climate change.
  • The resource satellite and two small satellites were launched on a Long March-4B carrier rocket.
  • The resource satellite will provide observation data for natural resources asset management, ecological monitoring, disaster prevention and control, environmental protection, urban construction, transportation and contingency management.

DRDO Hands Over Second Netra AEW&CS System To Indian Air Force

  • In a boost to India’s air borne surveillance capability, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) has handed over the second Netra Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&CS) system to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The new aircraft will help India address its capability asymmetry with China and Pakistan in this crucial area of modern warfare. The Netra system had earlier helped India plan and execute the Balakot airstrikes deep within Pakistani territory.
  • The system will also help complement the three Israeli Falcon AEWACS systems in the IAF fleet.
  • By some estimates, India needs at least 20 of such surveillance systems to develop adequate defensive and offensive capability as the IAF guards the Eastern and Western fronts.

DRI-DGGI carry out biggest-ever joint operation against GST violators

  • In the biggest ever joint operation by Directorate General of GST Intelligence, DGGI and Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence, DRI pan-India searches were carried out at 336 different locations across the country against exporters who were claiming a refund of IGST fraudulently.
  • The operation covered entities in 14 states and national capital Delhi and involved about 1200 officers from both the agencies.

Feroz Shah Kotla stadium renamed after Arun Jaitley

  • The iconic Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi has been renamed as Arun Jaitley Cricket stadium.
  • Arun Jaitley served as the President of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) as well as the vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
  • DDCA also unveiled a new pavilion stand at the Feroz Shah Kotla named after skipper Virat Kohli, who recently became the most successful India captain in Test cricket, surpassing M S Dhoni.

India begins exporting bulletproof jackets to over 100 countries

  • India has begun exporting bulletproof jackets as per its own standards to over 100 countries including European nations. India is the fourth country after the US, UK and Germany to have its own national standard on the bulletproof jacket which provides 360-degree protection.
  • These jackets made under the Make in India campaign of the government.

MHRD introduces study of Artificial Intelligence at school level

  • Ministry of Human Resource and Development has prepared a module to introduce the study of Artificial Intelligence at the school level by joining hands with the technology leaders like Intel.
  • Union Human Resource and Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishak said, it is a big leap in the Indian education system that artificial intelligence which was otherwise taught at the college level, is now been introduced from class 8th.

New Italian govt wins confidence vote in upper house of parliament

  • In Italy, the new government won a confidence vote in the upper house of parliament. The coalition of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and centre-left Democratic Party (PD), led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, won the support of 169 MPs, while 133 voted against and five abstained. The government had easily won the same vote in the lower house.

ONGC to invest Rs 13,000 crore in Assam to drill over 220 wells

  • The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has announced it will invest more than Rs 13,000 crore in exploring oil and gas by drilling over 220 wells across Assam in the next five years. This investment is being made for drilling more than 220 oil and gas wells across the state

PM Modi launches Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana for small, marginal farmers

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana at Ranchi in Jharkhand. This Scheme will secure the lives of Small and Marginal Farmers by providing a pension of 3,000 rupees per month to those who attain 60 years of age.
  • According to an estimate, five crore farmers across the country including 10 lakh in Jharkhand will be benefited from this scheme. In Jharkhand, more than 1.16 lakh farmers registered under this scheme.
  • Prime Minister also launched the National Pension Scheme for the Traders and The Self-Employed. This scheme aims at providing a minimum assured pension of 3,000 rupees to small traders and self-employed after attaining the age of 60 Years. Around three crore small traders would be benefited from the scheme.

Retail inflation inches up marginally to 3.21 pc in August

  • As per the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, retail inflation inched up marginally to 3.21 per cent in August this year from 3.15 per cent in July, mainly due to costlier food items. The rate of price rise in the food basket was 2.99 per cent in August, up from 2.36 per cent in the previous month.
  • However, the inflation number still remains within the Reserve Bank's comfort level.
  • The RBI mainly factors in CPI while arriving at its bi-monthly monetary policy. RBI has targeted to keep inflation below four per cent level.

SC approves Trump administration’s asylum curbs

  • In the United States, the Supreme Court has gave a go-ahead to Trump administration plans that severely limit the ability of migrants to claim asylum. Under the rule, people arriving via a third country must claim asylum there first before arriving at the US border. Legal challenges against it continue but the ruling means for now it can be enforced nationwide.
  • The plan will affect tens of thousands of Central American migrants who travel north, often on foot, through Mexico.
  • Curbing migration levels has been a key goal of Donald Trump's presidency and forms a major part of his bid for re-election in 2020.

Sheikh Khalifa confers Zayed II Order on outgoing Indian envoy Navdeep Singh Suri

  • UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has bestowed the First Class Order of Zayed II on outgoing Indian Ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri, in recognition of his efforts and his contribution to the development and strengthening of friendly relations and cooperation between the two friendly countries.
  • Suri has been heading the Indian mission in the UAE since October 2016. During his tenure, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited the UAE twice.
  • Pavan Kapoor will succeed Suri as the next ambassador.

Shubhankar Sharma, Gaganjeet Bhullar to spearhead India's challenge in KLM Open golf

  • Shubhankar Sharma and Gaganjeet Bhullar will spearhead India's challenge in the KLM Open tournament starting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The tournament, which is a European Tour event, is taking place for the first time at the International golf course in Amsterdam.

Trump: U.S. agrees to delay tariff hike on some Chinese goods by two weeks

  • U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States has agreed to delay increasing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 as a gesture of good will. The delay could enable talks to take place before the tariffs kicked in.
  • The world’s two largest economies imposed fresh tariffs on each other on Sept. 3, ratcheting up a tit-for-tat tariff war that has unsettled financial markets and raised the specter of a global recession.
  • The tariffs were set to increase to 30% from 25% on the goods.

U.S., China tariffs could lower global GDP by 0.8% in 2020, says IMF

  • Tariffs imposed or threatened by the United States and China could shave 0.8% off global economic output in 2020 and trigger more losses in future years, the International Monetary Fund said.
  • Trade tensions were beginning to affect a world economy already facing challenges including a weakening of manufacturing activity not seen since the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.
  • World economic activity remained subdued, with trade and geopolitical tensions causing uncertainty and eroding business confidence, investment and trade.

Vietnam Open: Siril, Sourabh enter 3rd round of men’s singles

  • India’s Siril Verma and Sourabh Verma have entered the men’s singles third round of the Vietnam Open Badminton tournament.
  • Siril battled hard to get past top seed Darren Liew of Malaysia 17-21 21-19 21-12 in a second-round duel. Siril will next face Chinese qualifier Lei Lan Xi for a place in the quarterfinals of the BWF Tour Super 100 tournament.
  • Sourabh had got the better of Japan’s Kodai Naraoka 22-20, 22-20 in a match that lasted 54 minutes. Sourabh will now take on Japan’s Yu Igarashi.

Water found for first time on 'potentially habitable' planet

  • Astronomers have for the first time discovered water in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting within the habitable zone of a distant star. The finding makes the world - which is called K2-18b - a plausible candidate in the search for alien life.
  • Within 10 years, new space telescopes might be able to determine whether K2-18b's atmosphere contains gases that could be produced by living organisms.
  • The habitable zone is the region around a star where temperatures are considered sufficiently benign for water to exist in liquid form on the surface of a planet.
  • K2-18b is 111 light-years - about 650 million million miles - from Earth,. The new planet is just over twice the size of Earth - in a planet category known as a "super Earth" - and has a temperature cool enough to have liquid water, between zero and 40C.