Current Affairs 20 -21 July, 2019


1. 3-time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit passes away

  • Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Shiela Dikshit passed away at a hospital in the national capital. She was 81 years old.
  • She was suffering from a heart ailment for a long time. Dikshit was admitted to Escorts Fortis hospital in Delhi on Saturday morning.
  • Dikshit served at the Chief Minister of Delhi for a period of 15 years from 1998 to 2013. Presently, she was holding the office of Delhi Congress president. She even contested in the 2019 Lok Sabha election against BJP's Manoj Tiwari from the North-East Delhi parliamentary seat.

Foot Notes:
About Delhi

  1. Chief Minister of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal.

2. India, China to carry out major military exercise ‘Hand in Hand’

  • Continuing to expand military to military engagements, India and China will be carrying out a major military exercise called ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in Meghalaya this year.
  • The planning conference for the exercise will be held next month. The exercise will take place at Umroi, Meghalaya. It is at the company level, meaning around 100-120 infantry troops from both sides will be participating.
  •  It will be based on counter-terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

About Meghalaya

  1. Capital: Shillong
  2. Governor: Tathagata Roy
  3. Chief minister: Conrad Sangma

About China

  1. Capital of China: Beijing
  2. Currency: Renminbi.

3. Sports Minister launches AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook

  • Sports Minister has launched the All India Football Federation’s Golden Baby Leagues handbook 2019-20.
  • The launch marked the renaming of the ‘AIFF Baby Leagues’ to ‘AIFF Golden Baby Leagues’, with emphasis being laid for ages under 6 to under 12 both for girls and boys.
  • The handbook is a guide to help the stakeholder to organise the Golden Baby League.

Foot Notes
Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Youth Affairs And Sports: Kiren Rijiju.

4. HRD Ministry launches new UGC Scheme “Paramarsh” For Higher Education

  • Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) launched a Scheme called “Paramarsh” of University Grants Commission (UGC) in New Delhi.
  • Aim: This scheme aims at mentoring National Accreditation and Assessment Council (NAAC) accreditation aspirant institutions to develop quality assurance in Higher Education.
  • Mentorship: Under the scheme, the prime Mentoring institutions will provide regular mentoring to colleges to help achieve high-quality standards. For mentoring they will get the financial assistance & also the option of appointing an expert, who can be paid a fellowship amount of Rs 31,000 per month.
  • Hub & Spoke model: The Scheme will be implemented through a “Hub & Spoke” model where mentor institution -called ‘Hub’ has the responsibility of guiding mentee institution (through secondary branches ‘Spoke’) for self-improvement.Target: For mentoring, the scheme targets 1000 Higher Education Institutions.
  • Benefits:

 i. The scheme enhances the overall quality of the mentee institutions and enhances its profile as a result of improved quality of research, teaching and learning methodologies.
 ii. It will help in providing quality education to the 3.6 crore students who enrolled in Indian Higher Education system.
 iii. The mentor institution will also get NAAC accreditation.

  • Feature: It will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge, information, and opportunities for research collaboration and faculty development in Mentee Institutions.

Foot Notes
About NAAC:

  1. Headquarters: Bengaluru
  2. Founded: 1994
  3. Chairman: Dr. Virander S. Chauhan

About UGC:

  1. Headquarters: New Delhi
  2. Chairman: D.P. Singh

5. Ambikapur of Surguja district, Chhattisgarh gets India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’ for Ragpickers

  • The municipal officials of Chhattisgarh have launched a unique garbage cafe scheme in Ambikapur of Surguja district which has become India’s first ‘Garbage Cafe’ for Ragpickers. The ragpickers and the homeless will collect plastic waste, and in return, the municipal corporation will offer them food. The fund allocated for this scheme is Rs. 5.5 lakh.
  •  Ragpickers who collect 1 kg of plastic waste will receive a full meal and those collecting 500g will be served breakfast. There is also a definitive plan to provide shelter to over 100 homeless people in the city.
  • The plastic collected by the municipal corporation will be used to construct roads.
  • Ambikapur city had received 5 star rating of ‘Garbage Free Cities’ and under Central government’s Swachh Survekshan 2019 rankings, it was declared India’s second cleanest city after Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Foot Notes:
About Chhattisgarh:

  1. Governor: Anusuiya Uikey
  2. Chief Minister: Bhupesh Bagel
  3. National Parks: Indravati (Kutru) National Park, Kanger Valley National Park, Guru Ghasi Das (Sanjay) National Park
  4. Festivals: Rajim Kumbh Mela, Bhagoriya Festival, Bhoramdeo Mahotsav Festival, ChakradharFestival, Goncha Festival, Kajari Festival, Madai Festival
  5. Wildlife Sanctuaries: Achanakmar WLS, Badalkhol WLS, Bhoramdev WLS, Sarangarh-Gomardha  WLS, Semarsot WLS, Sitanadi WLS, Tamor Pingla WLS, Udanti Wild Buffalo WLS, Pamed Wild Buffalo WLS, Bhairamgarh WLS, Barnawapara WLS

6. Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru tops “most digitised cities” list: Razorpay report 2019

  • According to the 2nd edition of payments solution company Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd’s digital transactions quarterly report, ‘The Era of Rising Fintech’, Bengaluru got the top position in the list of “most digitised cities” in the April-June 2019 quarter accounting for highest card payments.
  • Cities list: Bengaluru is followed by Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi.
  • States list: The top five digitised states are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and New Delhi.
  • Development:  The report noticed Tamil Nadu is among one of the most developed states in India ranked 4th in contribution in digital transactions with its capital, Chennai’s share was highest at 57%.
  • P2M category: At the national level, Payments made through credit and debit cards was at 50% in the pay to merchants (P2M) category in the April-June quarter against 56 percent in the January-March quarter.
  • Growth: Usage of credit and debit cards also grew by 22% during the two quarters.
  • Contribution: The top three sectors contributing to the growth were food and beverage (29%) followed by the gaming industry (15%), financial services (14%).The report predicts that 40 % of digital payment transaction would be driven by consumers and businesses in Tier-II regions(manufacturing industry) by 2020.

Foot Notes:
About Razorpay

  1. Founded: 2014
  2. Headquarters: Bengaluru
  3. Founders: Harshil Mathur, Shashank Kumar

7. ABIPBL to shut down within 18 months of launch

  • Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank (ABIPBL) which had started its operation on February 22, 2018, will shut down its operations within 18 months of launch due to “unanticipated developments in the business landscape that have made the economic model unviable”.ABIPBL is a joint venture by Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (51% stake) and Idea Cellular (49%).
  • The bank has made full and complete arrangements for the return of deposits to the customers. It will restrict further credit to the accounts from July 26, 2019.
  • It will be the first payments bank to close down after this set of niche banks were started by former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan in 2015.

Foot Notes:
About Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank

  1. Headquarters:Mumbai
  2. MD & CEO: Sudhakar Ramasubramanian

8. Prithu Gupta of Delhi is India’s 64th Grandmaster

  • Prithu Gupta of Delhi, aged 15 years, became India’s 64th Grandmaster (GM). He achieved the rating stipulation of 2500 points by beating Germany’s Lev Yankelevich in the fifth round of the Portuguese League 2019.
  • He is a Class X student of Modern School (Vasant Vihar), Delhi. His achievement came 31 years after Viswanathan Anand had become India’s first Grandmaster.
  • D Gukesh is the youngest GM of India at 12 years, 7 months and 17 days.

9. Rajasthan government has launched Student Police Cadet (SPC) scheme

  • The Rajasthan government has launched Student Police Cadet (SPC) scheme, a Police training program, for class 8 and 9 students on July 18. The training aims to curb rising adolescent delinquency and strengthen teenagers mentally and physically. Also, it aims to make the students aware of basic laws and legal procedures.
  • All aspects of public and personal life have been developed for the SPC training.
  • It would be imparted at three levels which includes:
  1. indoor classes
  2. outdoor activities
  3. visits to relevant places and offices

Aim:The training programme was jointly initiated by the state education and police departments. The program will be made available in the selected government schools in the current academic session.

Implementation of the Programme:The SPC training programme has been launched successfully in 930 state government schools and 70 Kendriya Vidyalayas. The schools that were selected for the SPC training programme would be granted Rs.1 lakh for the two-year course.
Under the program, the students would be trained as Student Police Cadets (SPC). They would also render voluntary services in public functions such as the Republic Day and Independence Day in their respective areas. So far, the project has been implemented in 39 schools of the Rajasthan State.

Foot Notes:
About Rajasthan

  1. Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot
  2. Capital: Jaipur

10. Li Na, Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame

  • Chinese tennis great Li Na, France’s Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia were inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame. They all are two-time Grand Slam singles champions.
  •  Li Na reached the world No. 2 ranking and was a champion at the French Open and the Australian Open. She is the first Asian to be inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame.
  • Pierce is a former world No. 3 in singles and doubles, and a four-time major champion. She has won the singles title at the Australian Open, singles and doubles titles at Roland-Garros, and a mixed doubles title at Wimbledon.
  • Kafelnikov is a former world No. 1, Olympic Gold Medalist, and the winner of four major doubles titles.
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