Daily Current Affairs - 14th Sep 2019

'Champion of democracy': Tongan PM Pohiva dies

  • Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva, a pro-democracy and climate change campaigner in the South Pacific passed away.
  • He was long-time pro-democracy campaigner and leader in the fight against climate change. He was awarded the Defender of Democracy Award in 2013 by the Parliamentarians for Global Action, the first Pacific Islander to receive the prize.

14thSeptember - Hindi Divas

  • Hindi Divas is celebrated on 14 September as on this day the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagri script in 1949 as the official language of the Republic of India.
  • On the occasion, International Hindi Conference was also organized by World Hindi Council in New Delhi. Hindi lovers from 6 countries including Mauritius, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka attended the International Hindi Conference.

Adobe says it nearly closed pay parity gap globally

  • In line with its commitment to maintain an inclusive workforce, software giant Adobe said it has nearly closed the gap in terms of opportunity pay parity globally.
  • The findings from its opportunity parity initiative that examined fairness in promotions across demographic groups show that its fiscal year-to-date promotion rates were 13.6% for women and 13.9% for men, Adobe said in a statement.
  • The company disclosed that in the U.S., the promotion rate was 13.5% for white employees and 13.2% for non-white employees, it added.

Australian Megan Schutt becomes 1st woman to claim 2 white-ball hat-tricks

  • Australian fast bowler Megan Schutt scripted history by becoming the first woman to claim two hattricks in white-ball cricket.
  • The right-arm medium-pacer claimed an ODI hat-trick against West Indies to become the first Australian woman to achieve the feat. She became the first Australian women to claim a hattrick in ODIs. Schutt had claimed her first hattrick in a T20 game against India.

Centre removes 312 Sikh foreign nationals from Adverse List

  • Government has reviewed the Adverse List containing 314 foreign nationals belonging to Sikh community and brought it down to just two.
  • Such a review will afford an opportunity to such Sikh foreign nationals to visit India, meet their family members and reconnect to their roots.
  • During 1980s, many Sikh Indian nationals and foreign nationals belonging to Sikh community fell to anti-India propaganda. Some Sikh Indian nationals fled India to escape Indian authorities, became foreign nationals and took asylum outside India. They were placed in the adverse list till 2016, making them ineligible to avail visa services to visit India.

EU to donate 30 million euros to help Colombia with migrant crisis

  • The European Union to endorse an aid of 30 million euros to Colombia in order to help grapple with an influx of Venezuelan migrants.
  • More than 4 million Venezuelans have fled in recent years amid widespread shortages of food and medicine. Colombia thus has borne the brunt of the exodus as it is now home to more than 1.4 million Venezuelans.
  • Unlike its neighbors, Colombia has not imposed stringent immigration requirements on Venezuelans instead they encouraged migrants to register with authorities in order to access social services.

Five Indian women police honoured by UN for role in South Sudan

  • Five Indian women police officers were honoured by the United Nations for their commendable services in the world body’s mission in South Sudan.
  • The women officers who were conferred the UN medal were Reena Yadav, inspector, Chandigarh Police; Gopika Jahagirdar, DSP, Maharashtra Police; Bharati Samantray, DSP in the MHA; Ragini Kumari, inspector in the MHA; and Kamal Shekhawat, ASP, Rajasthan Police.

Food parks to get 3000 crore World Bank support

  • The World Bank will provide Rs 3,000 crore assistance to finance mini and mega food parks across India. The announcement was made by Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries during the 15th Indo-US Economic Summit.
  • The 15th Indo-US Economic Summit was organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce-North India Council (IACC-NIC) in New Delhi.

India joins global antimicrobial resistance research hub

  • India has joined the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R & D) hub as a new member.
  • AMR is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe.
  • India will be a member of the board of members of the hub from this year. The hub supports global priority setting and evidence-based decision-making on the allocation of resources for AMR research and development through identification of gaps, overlaps and potential for cross-sectoral collaboration and leveraging.

India, Thailand joint military exercise from September 16

  • India and Thailand are all set to organize Joint Military Exercise MAITREE-2019 at Foreign Training Node, Umroi (Meghalaya) from 16-29 Sep 2019.
  • About 100 Indian and Royal Thailand Army (RTA) soldiers will participate in the joint military exercise with an aim to share experience gained during a various counter-terrorism operation in their respective countries. The exercise ‘MAITREE’ is an annual training event which is being conducted alternatively in India and Thailand since 2006.

India’s economic growth is ‘much weaker’ than expected: IMF

  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that India’s economic growth is “much weaker” than expected due to corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty and “lingering weakness” in some non-Bank financial companies.
  • The economic growth slowed to a seven-year low to 5 per cent in April to June quarter from 8 per cent a year ago, as per the government data.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its projection for India’s economic growth by 0.3 percentage points to 7 per cent for the fiscal year 2019-20 owing to the “weaker-than-expected outlook” for the domestic demand.
  • The previous low was recorded at 4.9 per cent in April to June 2012-13.

Inspired by Chamelons, Scientists Create First Ever Color-Changing 'Skin'

  • Researchers have created a chameleon-inspired smart skin that changes color when exposed to heat and sunlight, hoping that the new flexible material could find applications in camouflage, signaling, and anti-counterfeiting.
  • Researchers at the American Chemical Society embedded photonic crystals in flexible materials like hydrogels and managed to change their colors by contracting or expanding the material like an accordion.

NGT forms committee to stop illegal groundwater extraction

  • Expressing concern over depleting groundwater levels, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set up a committee to formulate steps required to prevent its unauthorized extraction.
  • The committee comprises joint secretaries of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Water Resources, Central Ground Water Board, National Institute of Hydrology (Roorkee), National Remote Sensing Centre and Central Pollution Control Board.
  • The committee aims to ensure that groundwater is not illegally extracted and to monitor manning and functioning of the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).

OPEC members Iraq, Nigeria agree to cut oil output

  • OPEC has agreed to trim oil output by asking over-producing members Iraq and Nigeria to bring production in line with their targets.
  • OPEC strives to prevent excess supply amid soaring U.S. production and a slowing global economy.
  • Oil prices have dropped below $60 per barrel in recent weeks from their 2019 peaks of $75 as fears of a global recession outweigh concerns about falling supply from sanctions-hit Iran and Venezuela.

Railway ministry signs MoU with CII to foster green initiatives

  • The Railway Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for evaluating the green initiatives and rate the performance of its industrial units pursuing environmentally sustainable practices.
  • The MoU was signed for Green Business Centre (GBC) of CII to extend technical co-operation for various green initiatives. It has developed a GreenCo Rating system to evaluate the various steps and rate them. GBC will also assess and certify 3 industrial units of the Railways and organize studies on energy efficiency.

Rani Rampal to lead Indian eves in England

  • Hockey India named the 18-member Indian women's team for their upcoming Tour of England which is scheduled to take place from September 27 to October 4 in Marlow, England.
  • Rani Rampal will lead the side while Savita will play as her deputy during the five matches against Great Britain.

RBI reduces risk weight for consumer credit

  • The RBI cut the risk weight to 100 per cent from 125 per cent.
  • This reduction in risk weight comes at a time when the consumers’ perception of the general economic situation and the employment scenario has softened, according to the RBI’s Consumer Confidence Survey in July.
  • Now, banks will be able to lend more to customers for buying consumer products such as mobile phones, home appliances, two-wheelers and three-wheelers, with the Reserve Bank of India cutting the risk weight for consumer credit, including personal loans.
  • While credit card receivables have been excluded, what this cut means is that banks can offer consumer loans by setting aside relatively lesser capital.

Vietnam opens Southeast Asia's largest solar power farm

  • Vietnam has inaugurated Southeast Asia's largest solar power farm which has the capacity to produce 688 million kWh of electricity annually.
  • The Dau Tieng Solar Power Complex, a joint venture with the Thai industrial group B.Grimm Power Public Company, occupies 540 hectares in Tay Ninh province, Vietnam.
  • The complex was constructed on the Dau Tieng Reservoir the largest artificial lake in Vietnam and is expected to generate 10 per cent of the country’s solar energy to guarantee supply to 320,000 homes. It will also prevent the emission of 595,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

World First Aid Day—14th September

  • World First Aid Day is observed on 14 September to raise awareness among public about how first aid can save lives in case of crises. According to the International Federation, first aid should be accessible to all people and should be an important part of the developmental societies.
  • World First Aid Day theme is---- "First Aid and excluded people".