Latest Current Affairs – September 19 & 20 2018
1. Uttarakhand passes resolution to declare cow ‘Rashtra Mata’
Uttarakhand Assembly passed a resolution to declare cow the ‘Rashtra Mata’ or the mother of the nation. While presenting the resolution, the State Animal Husbandry Minister Rekha Arya claimed that cow is the “only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it”. The resolution will now be forwarded to the Centre for approval.
2. Sajan Bhanwal wins back-to-back Jr Wrestling WC medals
India’s 20-year-old wrestler Sajan Bhanwal became the first Indian to win back-to-back medals at the Junior World Wrestling Championship, after securing a silver medal in the 77kg Greco Roman category in Slovakia. The Haryana wrestler, who had won the gold at Junior Asia Championship in July, had defeated Dmytro Gardubei from Ukraine in the semifinals.
3. Cabinet passes ordinance to make triple talaq punishable offence
The Union Cabinet approved the ordinance making triple talaq a punishable offence, after the bill to criminalise triple talaq got stuck in the Rajya Sabha. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2017, but an agreement could not be reached in the upper house. The Supreme Court had also struck down the “unconstitutional” practice.
4. PM Modi, Bangladesh PM inaugurate Indo-Bangla oil pipeline
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly inaugurated the construction of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline Project through video conferencing. The 130-kilometre-long pipeline will connect Siliguri in West Bengal and Parbatipur in Bangladesh’s Dinajpur district. The two leaders also inaugurated the construction of two new rail projects.
5. Universities to celebrate September 29 as ‘Surgical Strike Day’
UGC has directed varsities and higher educational institutions across the country to observe September 29 as ‘Surgical Strike Day’. NCC units of universities have been asked to organise a special parade, besides holding talk sessions with ex-servicemen to inform students about sacrifices of defence personnel. Students should also be encouraged to write letters to personnel, a circular added.
6. Two teams share top spot for the first time in FIFA rankings
For the first time in the history of FIFA international football team rankings, two teams are sharing the top spot after World Cup 2018 semi-finalists Belgium joined World Cup winners France at the top of the rankings. Belgium is coming on the back of two victories in the UEFA Nations League, while France was held to a draw by Germany.
7. Virat Kohli, Mirabai Chanu to be awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting honour, on September 25. While Kohli is currently the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, Chanu won gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year. Meanwhile, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will be given the Arjuna award.
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli became the third Indian cricketer to be given the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna after former captains Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni.
8. Indian Air Force plans to set up a ‘strategic base’ in Andhra Pradesh
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has proposed to the Andhra government its plans to establish a drone manufacturing facility in Anantapur district, a cyber security centre in Amaravati, and turn Rajahmundry and Vijayawada airports into asset positioning bases.
IAF also plans to set up a major helicopter training facility at Donakonda in Prakasam district. IAF currently has a base at Arakkonam near Chennai, while the Navy has INS Dega in Visakhapatnam.
9. Ola enters New Zealand
Ola, the Indian ride-hailing company, unveiled its plan to extend its territory to New Zealand. The service will first begin in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. Ola offers the service with a commission rate of 9%. The company is to pay drivers daily rather than weekly in order to benefit the drivers.
The company earlier launched its service in Australia in February and the U.K. in August. It said that it enables smart transportation to over 125 million users in India, Australia and the U.K.
10. Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma signed as ambassadors of Skill India Campaign
The two stars of the film ‘Sui Dhaaga – Made in India’, have been signed on to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission (SIM), chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Skill India Mission is led by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and aims to standardise vocational training.
11. Kamlesh Nilakanth Vyas is appointed as the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission
Kamlesh Nilakanth Vyas, Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, has been appointed as the Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and the Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy. His tenure will end on May 2021. He has replaced Shekhar Basu.
Mr.Vyas is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from MS University, Vadodara. He underwent training in BARC training school in 1979, he joined Fuel Design and Development Section of Reactor Engineering Division of BARC. He is an expert in thermal hydraulics and stress analysis of critical reactor core components.
12. ISRO launched its technology incubation centre in Agartala, Tripura
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a space technology incubation centre in Agartala, Tripura. It was inaugurated from Bengaluru. The centre at Agartala is the first of six such centres which are planned to build capacity in new locations. It is aimed to have a good presence in academia and industry.
These space research activities are to tap the talents of the locations and include them in the space footprint. ISRO’s Capacity Building Programme directorate is to invest Rs.2 crore for such centres in Jalandhar, Bhubaneswar, Tiruchi, Nagpur and Indore. These centres will not have activities related to space.
13. Delhi and Seoul Sign MoU To Tackle Air Pollution
The MoU on the ‘Friendship and Cooperation Agreement’ was signed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Seoul mayor Park Won-Soon in Seoul. The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal particularly sought the city’s expertise in dealing with transport and air pollution.
14. Samara Capital acquires Aditya Birla Retail Limited
The Aditya Birla Retail Limited (ABRL) sold its supermarket chain More to Witzig Advisory Services, owned by Samara Alternative Investment Fund. Amazon, in a deal with Samara, will be eventually picking up a 49% stake.
The deal was done at about Rs.4,200 crore. This will give Amazon to access more than 500 physical outposts across the country. The transaction was made between Witzig-Samara in an exchange filing. RKN Retail said that the board had approved the sale of its entire shareholding in ABRL to Witzig.
15. India Post Payments Bank, Bajaj Allianz tie up for insurance products sale
India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) and Bajaj Allianz announced a five-year partnership to sell life insurance products on a revenue share basis.
Under the partnership, IPPB will facilitate customers to pay for Bajaj Allianz life insurance products through their accounts. Launched on September 1, the IPPB has gained around 9 lakh customers.
16. Chennai airport to get facial recognition system
Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that Chennai Airport will be soon getting facial recognition technology under the ‘DigiYatra’ scheme which will soon be implemented by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. This technology will capture the image of a passenger and scan the ticket so that there is no need for the passengers to wait in queues at the entrance.
Also if someone who travels with a fake ticket or with the boarding card of another the system will find out immediately and won’t allow the passenger. It also ensures better security for the airport.
17. India becomes first country in the world to develop Cooling Action Plan
During World Ozone Day celebrations on September 17, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan released a draft India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP) which lists out actions which can help reduce the cooling demand, thus helping in reducing emissions.
The minister also release a booklet on ‘Montreal Protocol – India’s Success Story’. ‘Keep Cool and Carry on’ : The Montreal Protocol is the theme of 24th World Ozone Day celebrations.
18. Indian film won the Toronto International Film Festival’s prestigious Award
Director Vasan Bala’s action thriller ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’ (The Man Who Feels No Pain) has won the top award ie., Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). This is the first ever Indian film to be screened in the Toronto festival’s Midnight Madness programme.
19. Dr. Raghupati Singhania conferred with Civilian Honour of Mexico
Melba Pria, ambassador of Mexico to India presented the award to Dr. Singhania on behalf of the President of Mexico on the eve of 128th National Day of Mexico. The honor is given because of the efforts to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Mexico.
20. India, Sri Lanka inks MoU for construction of 5000-MT Temperature Controlled Warehouse
The warehouse will be constructed with an Indian grant assistance of 30 crore Sri Lankan rupees. The construction of a 5000-metric ton temperature controlled warehouse will used for fruits and vegetables to minimize its post-harvest losses.
21. Tajinder Mukherjee takes over as CMD Of NICL
Ms. Tajinder Mukherjee has been designated as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL). Ms. Mukherjee is scheduled to serve in the position till she reaches the age of 60 or till the arrival of any further order, whichever is earlier. Ms. Mukherjee is currently working as General Manager of New India Assurance Company Limited (NIACL).