Current Affairs Daily Digest – October 23 2019
1. Cabinet approved the revival of BSNL and MTNL
Centre has decided to merge the PSUs Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in order to revive loss-making telecom firms.
Under the merger, the emerging MTNL will act as a subsidiary of BSNL. MTNL is listed but has its net worth already eroded. BSNL is unlisted.
2. India ranked ahead of Bangladesh, Pak on fixed broadband speed
A report by Ookle that India ranked ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan with mean fixed broadband speed rising by 16.5% and 4G availability is rising to 87.9% during Q2-Q3 2019.
Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT) Fibernet has topped the chart on download speeds. It is then followed by Jio in the second to the third quarter for the financial year 2019.
3. Scientists discovered a new and stable form of plutonium
A team of scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) has accidentally discovered a new and stable form of plutonium. The famously unstable element is difficult to transport, store, and dispose of. The scientist is finding new ways to tackle the problems.
4. Indian Railways to provide WiFi service inside trains
The central government is planning to provide WiFi service inside trains in the next four to four-and-a-half years. The announcement was made by the Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal. The WiFi service is available at around 5150 railway stations in India. It plans to provide WiFi services at all 6,500 stations by the end of next year.
5. IAF to sign with HAL for 83 Tejas LCA
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to sign a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for acquiring 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). The negotiations over the price of the fighter jets are almost done.
In December 2017, the IAF issued a single-vendor tender to the HAL for procuring 83 LCA. The deal is yet to be signed. The delay is because negotiations that were held between IAF and HAL over the price of the aircraft.
6. Sindhu Sudarshan: Indian Army’s exercise in deserts of Rajasthan
Indian Army to conduct exercise codenamed as ‘Sindhu Sudarshan’ in the deserts of Rajasthan from 29 November to 4 December 2019. More than 40,000 troops will be participating in an all-arms battle array of Divisions and Brigades carrying out offensive operations in deserts. The exercise will showcase a high degree of synergy between the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
7. Stable form of Plutonium discovered accidentally
Scientists led by Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf have found new compound of Plutonium unexpectedly in France. The team was actually trying to create plutonium dioxide nano particles using different precursors.
In the process, the plutonium at its pentavalent state showed a peculiar behavior. The scientists then learnt that the strange behavior of Plutonium at its pentavalent state was because it was stable! The team confirmed its stability using Pu M4 edge technology.
8. Deepika Padukone, P. V. Sindhu named ambassadors for ‘Bharat Ki Laxmi’
Actor Deepika Padukone and shuttler PV Sindhu has been named as the ambassadors for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new initiative called ‘Bharat Ki Laxmi’ movement.
What is Bharat Ki Laxmi?
- This initiative by PM Modi aims to bring commendable work done by women across the country to light ahead of the Diwali festival.
- The Bharat Ki Laxmi campaign underscores the cause of women empowerment as well as celebrates extraordinary achievements of extraordinary women of India. PM Modi also shared a video in this regard.
9. IAF test fires 300 km range BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles
Indian Air Force (IAF) has carried out successful firing of two BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles from a mobile platform at Trak Island in Andaman Nicobar group of islands.
The drill was conducted to check IAF’s capability to hit targets with ‘pin-point’ accuracy at designated mock targets close to 300 km and a direct hit on the target was achieved in both the cases.
10. Sanjeev Nandan Sahai appointed new Power Secretary
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of senior IAS officer Sanjeev Nandan Sahai as the new power secretary. The order in this regard was issued by Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions.
11.India trains Nepali officers in AML and CFT
Government of India is training officers of Government of Nepal on ‘Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT)’ in India at the Regional Centre of National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN) in Bengaluru.
The course is divided into three batches. This is the second group of 18 Nepali officers that are undergoing training. Initially, the 1st group of 20 Nepali officers had successfully completed their 6-days training module on 24 August 2019 and the third batch of 21 officers will undergo training in December 2019.
12. IIT-Bombay again tops this year’s QS India University Rankings, IISc-Bengaluru second
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, has emerged as the best higher education institute in India for the second consecutive year, according to the QS India University Rankings 2020 released. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, is at number two and IIT-Delhi at number three.
IIT-Bombay also emerged as the topmost institute in another QS ranking, released last month, in terms of employability of its students.
13. India and Switzerland decide to carry forward working together in the area of Rail Transport
The two sides at meetings that concluded last evening have followed upon the 1st meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) held between two sides after the MoU for cooperation in rail sector was signed in 2017.
The Indian side was led by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal at thesehigh-level delegation levelmeetings.
14. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party wins Canada’s general election
Election results show Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party will return to power, but as a minority government after Monday’s general election, according to CBC News and CTV News.
The victory ensures that Trudeau will serve as Prime Minister for a second term. Trudeau spoke to a cheering crowd in Montreal about his victory.
15. Marg ERP promoter gets Udyog Rattan Award
The promoters of Marg ERP, which provides inventory and accounting software to over one million active users including to 2,50,000 MSMEs, has bagged Udyog Rattan Award from the Government.
Thakur Anup Singh Chairman and Managing Director of Marg ERP, the company which has presence in over 25 countries worldwide, won the award for his exceptional work in transforming how MSMEs can accelerate their business by using technology.
16. Panchayati Raj Minister to confer National Panchayat Awards 2019
Minister of Panchayati Raj Narendra Singh Tomar will confer the national Panchayat Awards 2019 at a function in New Delhi.
As many as 246 Awards will be given to awardee Panchayats and States in various categories. 195 awards will be conferred under Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar category, 20 Gram Panchayats will be given in Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar category, 3 Gram Panchayats will be awarded in Gram Panchayat Development Plan Award category, 22 Gram Panchayats will be awarded in Child Friendly Gram Panchayats Award and six states will be awarded under e-Panchayat Puraskar category.
17. Regional labour conference held in Bhubaneswar
Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar said both the Central and state governments are making coordinated efforts for the welfare of labourers. He was addressing the Regional Labour Conference in Bhubaneswar.
Labour Ministers and senior officials of six states Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Andaman & Nikobar along with senior officials of the Labour Ministry participated in the conference.
18. International Day of Mole Day to foster interest in chemistry – October 23
Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry.
Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles.
2019 theme: DespicaMOLE Me!
19. Toyota plans to launch compact EV in India in partnership with Suzuki
Japanese auto major Toyota Motor Corporation said it plans to introduce a compact battery electric vehicle (BEV) in India in association with compatriot Suzuki Motor Corporation. The two firms are looking to introduce the BEV at an early stage, Toyota said without disclosing a timeframe.