Daily Current Affairs - 13th Oct 2019

ADB, India sign $190 million loan for improving road connectivity in Rajasthan

  • The Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a $190 million loan to upgrade 754 kilometres of state highways and major district roads (MDRs) to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards that will benefit about 26 million people in 14 districts of Rajasthan.
  • The Tranche 1 loan of $220 million under the Programme, signed in July 2017, upgraded about 1,000 km of state roads.

Chinese President Xi in Nepal

  • After Chennai Connect, the second informal summit at Mahabalipuram, India, the Chinese President visited Nepal. This is the first visit by a Chinese President in 22 years. The trade of the land locked Himalayan nation is dominated by the Indian sub-continent. Increasing its connectivity with Beijing it now seeks to end Indian dominance in its trade.
  • Nepal and China signed around 20 deals covering water supply, trade, traditional medicines. The Chinese President pledged Rs 56 billion assistance to Kathmandu.

Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, Who Was First to Walk in Space, Dies

  • Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space passed away. He was the legendary Soviet cosmonaut who became the first human to walk in space 54 years ago. During this mission, on 18 March 1965, Leonov exited the spacecraft and walked for 12 minutes and 9 seconds.

Dubai to host 2019 First Global DXB Challenge

  • Dubai will be hosting the 2019 First Global DXB Challenge, a large gathering for creative young minds in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. It will be held for the first time in the region from 24 to 27 October 2019 at the Festival Arena in Dubai, UAE.
  • Theme of the event: ‘Ocean Opportunities’.

Eliud Kipchoge breaks two-hour marathon mark by 20 seconds

  • Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has become the 1st athlete to run sub 2-hour marathon. He busted the mythical 2-hour barrier for the marathon on a specially prepared course in a huge Vienna park. He finished the marathon with an unofficial time of 1 hr 59 min 40.2 sec and became the first ever to run a marathon in under 2 hours.
  • Eliud Kipchoge already holds the men’s world record for the distance with a time of 2 hr 01 min 39 sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on September 16, 2018.

Gates book on climate change in 2020

  • Bill Gates is writing a book about energy and climate change that will be published by Allen Lane in the UK in June 2020. With this new book, 'HOW TO AVOID A CLIMATE DISASTER: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need', Gates seeks to share what he has learned in over a decade of studying climate change and investing in innovations to address the problems. He will set out a vision for how the world can work to build the tools it needs to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

ICON Space Weather Satellite: launched by NASA to Study Earth’s Ionosphere

  • NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has launched a satellite called ICON or Ionospheric Connection Explorer to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space.
  • It will study the link between space weather and Earth weather. The satellite has been built by Northrop Grumman, an American global aerospace and defense technology company.

India joins WEF’s G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance

  • India has joined the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance, a league of 15 of world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations that will work towards advancing responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies.
  • The G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance was established in June 2019, in conjunction with G20 Summit held in Osaka, Japan. It is an Alliance that comprises of 15 of the world’s leading city networks and technology governance organisations.

India relaxes e-visa rules for Chinese nationals

  • India has announced significant relaxations in its e-visa policy or rules for Chinese nationals. The announcement comes at a time when the leaders of the two nations Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping had met for the second informal summit, in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. The decision to offer multiple-entry 5-year visas is offered for a much longer duration than offered till now and meets a long-standing demand from China.
  • October 2019 onwards, the Chinese nationals can apply for an e-Tourist visa (e-TV) of 5-year validity with multiple entries.

India, Sierra Leone sign six agreements including $30 mn line of credit

  • To expand the bilateral relations in various fields, India and Sierra Leone signed six agreements including extending a credit line of $30 million for rice cultivation. The agreement was signed during the second leg of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu’s five-day visit to the West African countries, as part of which he reached Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone.

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction: 13 October

  • The International Day for Disaster Reduction is observed on 13 October annually to raise awareness about disaster reduction. International Day for Disaster Reduction focuses on how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and the importance of reining in the risks that they face.
  • The theme for International Day for Disaster reduction 2019 is “Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services”.

Life Insurance companies join hands to launch MF-like awareness campaign

  • Life Insurance Council, which is the face of life insurance industry in India, plans to launch life insurance industry’s first joint mass media campaign with the slogan ‘Sabse Pehle Life Insurance’.
  • The proposed initiative of Life Insurance Council is almost on the lines of the successful ‘Mutual Fund Sahi Hai’ campaign that the Association of Mutual Funds Industry (AMFI) had rolled out in March 2017 to promote awareness around mutual funds.
  • The life insurance council’s campaign represents joint efforts of all 24 Indian life insurance companies who are working towards creating a common narrative aimed at increasing life insurance awareness in the country.

MC Mary Kom crashes out but bags historic bronze in World Boxing Championships

  • M C Mary Kom has won the bronze medal in the 51kg event of World Women’s Boxing Championships held in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Mary Kom lost 1-4 in the semis against Busenaz Cakiroglu of Turkey.
  • This was Mary's 8th medal at the World Boxing Championships, making her the most successful boxer of all time - male or female - in the competition's history. Mary has won 6 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze so far in her career.

PM Modi Chairs Meeting on 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' Programme

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on programme 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' under which the government plans to hold people-to-people exchange between states to enhance knowledge about each others culture.
  • ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ highlights India’s diversity and furthers national unity. The goal of the initiative is to develop a holistic national perspective on important issues and encourage the celebration of India’s vibrant regional cultures.

PM Modi to inaugurate Kartarpur corridor on November 8

  • PM Modi will inaugurate the Kartarpur corridor to Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The opening is being done on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
  • Kartarpur Sahib is located in the Narowal district of Pakistan across the Ravi river. It is about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak Shrine in India. As a major initiative India and Pakistan agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor that will connect the holy shrines.

Sara Danius, the first female head of Nobel's literature award body, passes away

  • First female head of Nobel’s Literature Award Body, Sara Danius passed away. She was a literature critic, professor and writer, served as the first female permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy between 2015 and 2018.

Second Indo-Japan Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN 2019 to be Held from 19 Oct to 02 Nov in Mizoram

  • The Joint Military Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN-2019 between India and Japan will begin at counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram from 19 October 2019 to 02 November 2019.
  • It is the second edition of the annual training Exercise DHARMA GUARDIAN, being conducted in India since 2018.
  • The Indian Army and Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces (JGSDF), comprising 25 soldiers each, will participate in the exercise for joint training on counter terrorism operations in jungle and urban scenario.

World Youth Chess Championship 2019

  • The World Youth Chess Championship concluded in Mumbai, Maharashtra on 12 October 2019. India ended the World Youth Chess Championship by bagging 7 medals including 1 gold and 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. Only the Under-16 Girls category proved to be elusive for India in the chess championship.
  • The 14 year old R Praggnanandhaa of India emerged as unconquered king in World Youth Chess Championship by claiming the coveted gold in Under-18 Open category.