Current Affairs 19 December, 2019

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1. DRDO successfully test-fired the Upgraded version of Pinaka rocket.

  • An upgraded version of India's indigenously developed Pinaka guided rocket system was successfully test-fired from Odisha coast on 19 December 2019.
  • The rocket aims to boost the Army's artillery power. It was fired from the Proof and Experimental Establishment firing test range at Chandipur.
  • In March 2019, three successful trials of the Pinaka guided rocket system were conducted from the Pokhran test range in Rajasthan.

Foot Notes:
Chairman, DRDO: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy

2. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the first Janta clinic at Valmiki Basti in Malviya Nagar.

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot inaugurated the first Janta clinic at Valmiki Basti in Malviya Nagar, Jaipur. The chief minister had announced Janta clinics during the state budget.
  • Janta clinic will provide free primary health care to poor people living in city slums. In the first phase, 12 Janta clinics are to be opened where people will get free medicines as well as free medical examination in some cases. The move is to make healthcare facilities accessible to everyone in the state.
  • If the Janta Clinics run successfully for a period of three months, the state government will tie-up with the private companies who have funds to spare under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The state government will also launch Nirogi Rajasthan to support the Janta clinic service.

Foot Notes:
About Rajasthan
Capital: Jaipur
Governor: Kalraj Mishra

3. President Trump will be the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

  • The House of Representatives of the US has voted to impeach President Donald Trump. The voting of impeachment was on the grounds of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
  • President Trump will be the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. The other two Presidents who were impeached were President Andrew Johnson in 1868 and President Bill Clinton in 1998.
  • Impeach means charging someone, specifically a high government official, such as the U.S. president, a senator, or a federal judge, with a crime.

Foot Notes:
About US
Capital: Washington, D.C.
President: Donald Trump
Currency: United States dollar

4. Braille Edition of Exam Warriors: Book written by PM Modi released.

  • Centre released the Braille Edition of the book Exam Warriors. It was authored by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The book was released by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot.
  • The Braille Edition was prepared in Hindi and English. It was prepared in the Braille Press of Rajasthan Netraheen Kalyan Sangh. All the pictures of the book have been well described for the benefit of blinds readers.
  • It is expected to benefit millions of blind students of the country by providing motivation and mental strength.

5. India became the world’s 3rd largest publisher of science and engineering articles.

  • The US National Science Foundation (NSF) reported that India has become the world's third-largest publisher of science and engineering articles. It has published over 1.35 lakh scientific papers. China topped the report as the world's largest publisher.  
  •  As per the data provided by NSF, the number of scientific papers published worldwide has increased from 1,755,850 in 2008 to 2,555,959 in 2018.It also said that science and engineering (S&E) journal articles and conference papers, grew about 4% annually over the last 10 years.
  • China has accounted for 20.67% of all the global publications of articles. The number of global scientific publications increased from 2,49,049 in 2008 to 5,28,263 in 2018. It has a growth rate of 7.81% per annum.

6. Centre to set up the first-ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tripura.

  • Centre is to set up the first-ever Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Tripura. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry .
  • The first SEZ for Tripura is being set up at Paschim Jalefa, Sabroom, South Tripura District. It is located 130 km away from Agartala.
  • The Sector-Specific Economic Zone will be for Agro-Based Food Processing. The estimated cost for the project is around Rs. 1550 Crore.

Foot Notes:
About Tripura
Capital: Agartala
Governor: Ramesh Bais

7. GST council fixed 28 percent uniform tax rate for lottery.

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council fixed a uniform tax rate of 28% on both state and private lottery. The 38th GST Council was chaired by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. The new rate for the lottery will be effective from March 2020.
  • The GST Council rationalized the tax rate on woven and non-woven bags to 18%. Exemptions have been given on long-term lease for industrial plots. It aims to facilitate the setting up of industrial parks.
  • The panel reduced the levy of penalty for non-filing of GSTR-1 from July 2017.

8. The Chief of Naval Forces Admiral Karabir Singh is to visit Sri Lanka between December 19 and December 22, 2019.

  • The Chief of Naval Forces Admiral Karabir Singh is to visit Sri Lanka between December 19 and December 22, 2019. The visit is aimed to strengthen bilateral maritime relations between the countries.
  • The admiral will hold bilateral talks with the vice-admiral De Silva and other senior government officials. He will also attend the passing out parade of the 60th intake of midshipmen.
  • The parade is to be held in Trinconmalee port. India is helping Sri Lanka build the port in Triconmalee. Japan also has its role in building the port. This potentially increases India’s outreach in the Indian Ocean. China already has its presence in the region with its 99-year leased Hambantota.

9. Jalsathi: Odisha Govt. launches programme to ensure supply of safe drinking water.

  • Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik launched the ‘Jalsathi’ programme which will ensure supply of safe drinking water to all households in the state.
  • During the programme launch, he distributed water quality testing kits and POS (point of sale) machines to women volunteers being called as- ‘Jalasathis’.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Water Corporation of Odisha (WATCO) and women federations in Bhubaneswar (Odisha Capital) for implementation of ‘Jalsathi’ programme.

Foot Notes:
About Odisha
Capital:
Bhubaneswar
Governor: Prof. Ganeshi Lal

10. Bollywood actress Gita Siddharth Kak passes away.

  • Actress Gita Siddharth Kak passed away. Her most well-known movies include Garm Hava (1973), Parichay (1972), Gaman (1978) among others.
  • Her Garam Hava won the Best Feature Film at the 21st National Film Awards. The film was also critically acclaimed.

Read More:

Current Affairs 18 December, 2019

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