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Latest Current Affairs - August 2019

Month Type

  1. Rural NBFC Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services signed a joint venture (JV) with Ideal Finance Ltd (IFL), a subsidiary of Sri Lankan conglomerate Ideal Group, for acquisition of up to 58.2 % stake in Ideal Finance for LKR (Sri Lankan Rupees) 2 billion (nearly INR 80 crores). It will create a market-leading financial services business in Sri Lanka for Mahindra.
  2. US artificial intelligence (AI) firm Cerebras Systems unveiled world’s largest single silicon-based processor, Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine (WSE) with 1.2 trillion transistors (basic on-off electronic switches that are building blocks of silicon chips). It measures 8 by 9 inches and comes with 400,000 AI cores and 18 gigabytes of on-chip memory.
  3. Russell Domingo (South Africa) has been head coach of Bangladesh Cricket Team (Men), replacing Steve Rhodes(England).
  4. Aug 21 is observed as International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism.
    1. It is also observed as World Senior Citizens' Day. Note that International Day for Older Persons is observed on October 1.
  5. To help save world’s only mangrove tiger habitat, Discovery India and WWF India partnered with government of West Bengal.
  6. Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad in collaboration with several other research institutions have developed a device to detect heart diseases with high speed, sensitivity and reliability.
  7. IT Firm Wipro partnered with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to conduct advanced applied research in autonomous systems, robotics and 5G.
    1. A joint unit called Wipro IISc Research and Innovation Network (WIRIN) will be set up, which will drive idea discovery, research and innovation in technology and product design.
  8. Indian Para Swimmer Satendra Singh Lohia became first Asian swimmer to cross Catalina Channel of America. Satendra holds the Asian record of crossing both the English and Catalina channels. Satendra led Indian Para Relay team along with 5 teammates and crossed the Catalina Channel and covered 42 km in 11 hours 34 minutes.
  9. A World Bank report on relation between water pollution and economic growth stated that poor water quality is affecting economic growth and worsening health conditions. According to report, nitrogen is a key contributor to poor water quality, wichh is generally applied as fertilizer.
    1. Every additional kilogram of nitrogen fertilizer per hectare can increase level of childhood stunting by as much as 19% and reduce future adult earnings by as much as 2%, compared to those who are not exposed.
  10. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved re-organisation of Army Headquarters.
    1. FOR CORRUPTION, A separate Vigilance Cell under COAS with Tri-Services representation.
    2. FOR HUMAN RIGHT VIOLATIONS - An umbrella organisation under VCOAS for enhanced focus on human rights issues.
    3. Re-location of 206 Army Officers from AHQ to Formations/Units of Field Army.
  11. Punjab government launched a mega health insurance scheme title ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana’ (MGSSBY) for poor by clubbing Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) plan with its own. Punjab is now 1st state to offer medical insurance for such a large proportion of population.
    1. Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana incorporates PMJAY, Centre’s health insurance scheme for poor. By clubbing Centre’s Ayushman Bharat plan with its MGSSBY, it is expected to benefit 46 lakh families covering 76% of state’s population.
    2. Punjab Government announced to bring around 4500 journalists into ambit of its recently launched flagship universal health insurance scheme “Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana” (SSBY), with around 400 private hospitals included in list.
  12. India will introduce a flexible e-tourist visa regime for more than 160 countries based on tourist footfall. Fee would be higher for peak season of July to March and a considerably lower fee during lean period of April to June.
    1. Fee for e-visa with a validity of 30 days to 5 years ranges between $10 and $80.
    2. There will be no visa fee for tourists from belonging to Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC), which consists of 14 Pacific Island nations - Cook Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Niue Island, Samoa, Fiji, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tonga.
    3. Visa fee will also be exempted for tourist from Mauritius, Uruguay, Myanamar, Indonesia, Jamaica, Seychelles and South Africa and Argentina.
  13. Govt. made several key Appointments -
    1. Rajiv Gauba as Cabinet Secretary, for 2 years term.
    2. Ajay Kumar as Secretary in Department of Defence (Ministry of Defence) (called defence secretary).
    3. Brij Kumar Agarwal as Secretary to the Lokpal.
    4. Subash Chandra as as Secretary in Department of Defence Production (Ministry of Defence).
  14. Minister of State (IC) for Culture and Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel launched book the Diary of Manu Gandhi (1943-44).
    1. Originally in Gujarati, the book has been edited and translated by Tridip Suhrud.
    2. Manu Gandhi (Mridula) was a grand niece of M K Gandhi , daughter of his Nephew Jaisukhlal Amritlal Gandhi, and stayed with M K Gandhi till his assassination.
  15. RK Singh, Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, launched State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index–SARAL.  
    1. Karnataka has been placed at the first rank in Index that evaluates Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development. Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have got 2nd, 3rd and 4th rank respectively.
    2. SARAL has been designed collaboratively by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ernst & Young (EY).
    3. SARAL captures five aspects –
      1. Robustness of policy framework
      2. Implementation environment
      3. Investment climate
      4. Consumer experience
      5. Business ecosystem
  16. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched National Mission to improve Learning Outcomes at the Elementary level- NISHTHA (National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement) in New Delhi.
    1. NISHTHA is largest teachers’ training programme of its kind in the world. It aims to motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students. This initiative is first of its kind wherein standardized training modules are developed at national level for all States and UTs.
    2. This integrated programme aims to build capacities of around 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of Schools at elementary level.
    3. Training will be conducted by 33120 Key Resource Persons (KRPs) and State Resource Persons (SRP) identified by State / UTs, who will in turn be trained by 120 National Resource Persons identified from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT).
  17. Recent excavation carried out by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) between December 2018 and March 2019 at Maharashtra’s Phupgaon has revealed evidence of an Iron Age settlement in Vidarbha region. Site is situated in the vast meander of the river Purna, a major tributary of Tapi, which used to be a perennial river, but at present is completely dried-up due to the dam construction in upper stream.
  18. Haryana Government launched ‘Mukhya Mantri Parivar Samridhi Yojna’ which will provide social security to families. Under this, INR 6000 per year will be given to each eligible family.
  19. Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) administration constituted  3 committees for devising modalities for functioning of proposed UT of J&K and Ladakh, dealing with financial matters and staff-related issues.
    1. K K Sharma Panel - To take necessary steps for transition from a state to proposed UT of J&K by various departments and conduct of government business in proposed UT.
    2. Arun Kumar Mehta Panel - To deal with financial matters related to proposed UTs of J&K and Ladakh.
    3. Shaleen Kabra Panel - To suggest measures to be taken for providing staff to the proposed UT of Ladakh and any other issue related to staff of proposed UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
  20. RBI extended timings of Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions by an hour from 7 AM instead of 8 AM with effect from August 26, 2019. RTGS was earlier available for customer transactions from 8 AM to 6 PM and for inter-bank transactions from 8 AM to 7.45 PM.
    1. RBI had decided to allow National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) services to be active 24×7 from December 2019 from the current timings of 8.00 am to 7.00 pm on all working days.
  21. Japanese Financial Firm Nomura predicted India’s GDP growth to slow further in April-June quarter of 2019 to 5.7%, amid contraction in consumption, weak investments and an under-performing service sector. It will improve to 6.4% in July - Sep Quarter and 6.7% in Oct - Dec 2019 Quarter.
  22. Prime Global Cities Index Q1 2019 of London based consultancy Knight Frank ranked Delhi as the 10th fastest growing prime market globally. Index is topped by Berlin(Germany), whereas Istanbul (Turkey) and Vancouver(Canada) were weakest markets with rates minus 9.9% and minus 13.6% respectively. Bengaluru and Mumbai were ranked 15th and 30th respectively.
  23. NASA confirmed Europa Clipper Mission, an interplanetary mission to Jupiter’s smallest moon Europa, to be launched by 2023. It will explore Jupiter’s moon Europa and investigate whether icy moon can have suitable conditions for sustaining life.
    1. Jupiter’s Galilean moon Europa consists of a huge ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell. The water is in contact with the rocky core of the moon, which according to space scientists, make a range of interesting chemical reactions possible.
  24. India won 2019 Women's Ready Steady Tokyo Hockey Tournament in Tokyo (Japan), Defeating Japan. It was a test event for field hockey tournament at 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Tournament featured four of top nations in women's field hockey - India, China, Japan and Australia.
  25. Aug 22, 2019 is observed as First ever UN International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. A day before, on Aug 21, International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism was observed.
    1. Aug 22 is also observed Madras Day, as founding day of city of Madras (now Chennai) in Tamil Nadu. 22 August 1639 is agreed date for purchase of village of Madraspatnam or Chennapatnam by East India Company factors Andrew Cogan and Francis Day from Damarla Venkatadri Nayaka, viceroy of Vijayanagar Empire.
  26. Haryana Govt. increased family income limit of households from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month to qualify as Below Poverty Line (BPL) beneficiary.
  27. Vivek Menon, head of Delhi-based conservation non-profit, Wildlife Trust of India has been awarded Clark R Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award 2019 in Geneva (Switzerland), during 18th meeting of Conference of Parties to CITES.
  28. Foreign exchange and remittances marketplace BookMyForex.com launched a co-branded Multi-Currency Forex Travel-card in partnership with YES Bank and Visa to offer a seamless experience to Indian overseas travellers.
  29. E-Commerce Firm Amazon opened its largest campus in world in Hyderabad (Telangana), covering 1.8 million square feet and can accommodate 15,000 workers.
  30. Maharashtra’s Tribal Development Department and Pace Educational Trust launched an academic programme "Super 50", for young tribal students aspiring to be doctors and engineers. It will mentor 50 meritorious tribal students from State and prepare them for exams.
  31. RBI permitted processing of e-mandate on credit and debit cards for recurring transactions (merchant payments), with maximum limit of INR 2000. While processing first transaction in e-mandate-based recurring transaction series, additional factor authentication (AFA) validation should be performed.
    1. It is applicable for transactions performed using all types of cards - debit, credit and Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), including wallets.
  32. JNU Professor Meeta Narain has been conferred ‘Pushkin Medal - 2019, as highest honour given to an Indian scholar by Russian government. Pushkin Medal is given to a scholar of Russian language and literature for outstanding contribution to Russian studies abroad.
  33. Kerala government approved framing a new law for appointment of women as drivers in State Public Sector Undertakings and various departments of Kerala Government, as first such decision by a state government.
  34. Government granted Minister of State (MoS) status to mayors of Srinagar and Jammu civic bodies. BJP leader Chander Mohan Gupta and People's Conference leader Junaid Maattu are mayors of JMC and SMC respectively.
  35. Forbes' list of highest-paid actors 2019 -
    1. Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar secured fourth position on the list, with earnings of USD 65 million (about Rs 450 crores). Akshay Kumar is only Bollywood actor who has featured on the list.
    2. Top 5 -
      1. Dwayne Johnson (USD 89.4 million)
      2. Chris Hemsworth (USD 76.4 million)
      3. Robert Downey Jr. (USD 66 million)
      4. Akshay Kumar (USD 65 million)
      5. Jackie Chan (USD 58 million)
  36. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) extended Paytm’s association as title sponsor for Indian cricket team for all matches - domestic and international, played in India for 5 more years. Paytm bagged sponsorship rights by signing deal for INR 326.80 crores, between 2019 and 2023.
  37. To promote adventure tourism, Government allowed access to 137 mountain peaks to foreigners desirous of obtaining Mountaineering Visa (‘MX’) for mountaineering and trekking. This was announced in recently concluded National Tourism Conference in New Delhi. Highest number of 51 peaks have been opened to foreigners in Uttarakhand.
  38. As a mesaure for businesses to solve pre-GST disputes with tax authorities, Govt. notified Sabka Vishwas-Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme 2019. It will be operationalized from September 2019 and will continue till 31st December 2019. .
    1. 2 main components of Scheme are dispute resolution and amnesty. Dispute resolution is aimed at liquidating legacy cases of Central Excise and Service Tax that are subsumed in GST and are pending in litigation at various forums. Amnesty Scheme offers an opportunity to taxpayers to pay the outstanding tax and be free of any other consequence under the law.
    2. Scheme provides substantial relief in tax dues for all categories of cases as well as full waiver of interest, fine, penalty.
  39. Govt. appointed Ajay Kumar Bhalla as Union Home Secretary. Previous Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba was recently appointed as cabinet secrtetary.
  40. Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, RK Singh approved a proposal to declare ocean energy as Renewable Energy, To boost ocean energy in India.
    1. Ocean energy is currently under-utilized and total identified potential of tidal energy is about 12,455 mega watt (NW), with potential locations identified at Khambat and Kutch regions of Gujarat and large backwaters where barrage technology could be used.
  41. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) relaxed compliance requirements for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPI).
    1. Relaxed norms for Municipal bonds to help smart cities and other registered entities working in areas of city planning and urban development work.
    2. SEBI decided to simplify KYC requirements for FPIs as well as broad based criteria for them. Also, FPIs would be classified into 2 categories instead of 3.
    3. SEBI will amend its regulations for credit rating agencies to ensure that any listed or unlisted entity, before getting rated, gives an explicit consent to agencies for obtaining full details about borrowings from their lenders.
    4. SEBI would permit startups move from Innovators Growth Platform of stock exchanges to main board, provided that such entities have a shareholder base of at least 200.
    5. SEBI will reward informants with up to Rs 1 crore cash for any credible information about Insider Trading. These benefits would only be available to individuals and corporates. Professionals like auditors would not be able to use this route.
    6. To safeguard interests of investors, mutual fund houses would be asked to shift all their investments to listed or to-be-listed equity and debt securities in a phased manner as well as reduce their exposure to unrated debt instruments from 25% to 5%.
    7. SEBI eased its norms for buyback of shares by listed companies, especially those having subsidiaries in housing finance and NBFC sectors. Buyback offer cannot exceed 25% of aggregate paid-up capital and free reserves of company, also shareholders’ approval is required for size over 10%.
    8. SEBI will allow route for other structures where a group of municipalities pool their resources together to jointly raise funds through issuance of bonds. These are generally called Pooled Finance Development Funds.
    9. In case of private placements, minimum subscription amount per investor is currently Rs 25 lakh, which is being proposed to be reduced to Rs 10 lakh to align it with regulations for corporate bonds.
  42. Abdalla Hamdok is appointed as prime minister of Republic of Sudan (Northeast Africa).
  43. Punjab government signed Memorandum of Agreement with United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) for implementing Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). Under this. a Sustainable Development Goals Coordination Centre (SDGCC) will be set up in planning department in chandigarh (Punjab) in partnership with UNDP.
  44. Russia launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot named Fedor (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research). Fedor will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on International Space Station.
  45. Former Indian Cricketer Vikram Rathour has beee appointed as India's new batting coach, replacing Sanjay Bangar. Bharath Arun and R. Sridhar were retained as bowling and fielding coaches. Ravi Shastri was earlier retained as head coach.
  46. Aug 23 is observed as UN International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, the day designated by UNESCO to memorialize transatlantic slave trade.
  47. Financial Action Task Force (FATF)  Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering placed cash-strapped Pakistan on its Blacklist (Enhanced Expedited Follow Up List) for its failure in meeting required global standards and combating terrorism and money laundering.
    1. Pakistan was non-compliant in 32 of the 40 Compliance Parameters on Money Laundering & Terror Financing, and it ranked low in 10 of 11 Effectiveness Parameters. 
    2. Pakistan now has to focus on avoiding its entry into the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Black List, during FATF Plenary meeting in Paris October 2019 to decide on Pakistan’s Grey list status.
    3. FATF added Pakistan on its Grey List in June 2018. Inclusion in Grey List means being involved in providing terror funding and related issues. Pakistan had earlier been in the grey list of FATF during 2012 - 2015.
    4. Once inluded in Blacklist of FATF, Pakistan wont get any international monetary aid. Countries that support terror funding and money laundering activities are placed in Blacklist of FATF, known as Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories (NCCTs).
    5. FATF was established in 1989 during G7 Summit in Paris (France) as an international anti-money laundering regulator that establishes international standards for combating money laundering and terrorism.
  48. Google named new version of Mobile OS as Android 10, breaking its 10-year old tradition of naming Android version after desserts and sweets. New Android Logo design is drawn from ‘Android Robot’, the non-human member that belongs to every community. The logo colour has been changed from Green to Black in order to make it more clear and visible.
  49. India’s 182 Metres (597-ft) tall Statue of Unity (Gujarat) and Soho House (Mumbai) have been featured in Time’s list of 100 greatest places in world.
    1. Statue of Unity, known as world's tallest statue, was constructed as a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Independent India's first deputy prime minister who played a leading role in integration of the self-governing princely states into the single union of India. He is called Iron man of India. It was opened on 31 October 2018.
    2. Mumbai’s Soho House was founded in 1995 as a home from home for people working in creative industries, located in an 11 storey building in Mumbai, overlooking Arabian Sea. The house includes a library, a cinema with 34 seats and a rooftop bar and pool. Since its founding, house has grown into a community of like-minded individuals with houses all over world.
  50. Major Jungle Fire has broken out in Amazon rainforest, world's largest  rain forest that produces 20 % of Oxygen on the planet. The fire has been spreading for 16 days, resulting in a major loss of trees and biodiversity. If not contained, it will wipe out Amazon rainforest completely, triggering an unrepairable loss to the planet and mankind.
  51. Saudi Arabia allowed women above 21 years of age to receive passports and travel abroad without permission from a male guardian, bringing in a long sought reform.
  52. Railways will ensure complete removal of single-use plastics from all railways stations effective from 2 October 2019, to curb use of plastics. Railways directed all units to enforce ban on single use plastic material, with less than 50 micron thickness, except where thickness of such plastic sheets impair functionality of product.
  53. Iran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system called Bavar-373, amid tensions with US. Word Bavar means ‘believe’ in Farsi. being touted as Islamic republic’s 1st domestically produced long-range missile defence system with Rangeover 200 kilometres.
  54. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change (MoEFCC) relaxed mandatory charging of lease rent of INR 30000 per Mega Watt (MW) for wind power projects, to boost government’s commitment towards providing clean and green energy at cheaper rate. This additional cost was not mandatory for other renewal energy projects, including solar power and hydel electric projects.
  55. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will launch Bharatcraft portal e-commerce marketing platform, on lines of e-commerce behemoths such as Alibaba and Amazon. It will provide platform for MSMEs to market and sell their products and boost the sector.
    1. MSME sector contributes nearly 29% to manufacturing segment and 40% to exports. Government aims to increase contribution of MSMEs in manufacturing sector to 50% in 5 years.
  56. 1st World Youth Conference for Kindness held in New Delhi, organised by UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
  57. NITI Aayog prepared second Round of Composite Water Management Index (CWMI 2.0), to supplement efforts of Jal Shakti Ministry. NITI Aayog launched and conceptualized CWMI in 2018 as a tool to instill sense ofcooperative and competitive federalism among states.
    1. CWMI is an important tool to assess and improve performance of States/ UTs in efficient management of water resources.  CWMI 2.0 ranks various states for reference year 2017-18 as against base year 2016-17.
      1. Gujarat again ranked at top, followed byAndhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. 
      2. In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Himachal Pradesh adjudged best, followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam.
      3. UTs have first time submitted their data and Puducherry is declared best.
      4. In terms of incremental change in index (over 2016-17 level), Haryana holds number one position in general States and Uttarakhand ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  58. Common Service Centre e-Governance Services India Limited, which provides government services to people in rural areas has signed a MoU with Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR ) to turn all 2.5 lakh gram panchayats into ‘digital panchayats’.
    1. MoU will act as a catalyst to provide efficient delivery of all panchayat-level services & and social schemes to rural people and will enhance rural BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) across panchayats.
  59. As per a report released by TRAFFIC International in Cambridge (UK), 1977 tigers were killed between 2000 and 2018 across 32 countries. Another 382 were seized live. India leads with 626 poached tigers.
  60. NASA named rock on Mars in honour of the iconic English band, The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones Rock was a stone that was sent rolling after NASA's InSight lander touched down on Mars.
  61. Bandhan Bank partnered with multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered Bank to provide co-branded credit cards, with credit period upto 52 days.
  62. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) notified that small startups with a turnover of up to Rs 25 crore will continue to get the promised tax holiday as specified in Section 80-IAC of Income Tax (IT) Act 1961. It provides a deduction for 100% of income of an eligible startup for 3 years out of 7 years from the year of its incorporation.
  63. English monthly magazine ‘Euromoney’ has named Singapore Based DBS bank as ‘World’s Best Bank’, making DBS only bank to concurrently hold 3 global awards. Previously it won Global Finance’s “Best Bank in the World” in August 2018, Banker’s “Bank of the Year – Global” in November 2018. It also marks first time an Asian-headquartered bank has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney since 1993.
  64. Amazon will acquire 49% stake in Kishore Biyani-led Future Coupons Ltd for an undisclosed amount.
  65. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) members agreed to protect giraffes for the 1st time, which draws the praise from conservationists and angry expression from some sub-Saharan African nations.
    1. It was decided during 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held in Geneva, Switzerland.
    2. During the same meet, India's Vivek Menon, head of Delhi-based conservation non-profit, Wildlife Trust of India was awarded Clark R Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award 2019.
  66. A new book by Mihir Dalal, titled Big Billion Startup: The Untold Flipkart Story, recounting story of building up of Indian e-Commerce Firm Flpkart has been released. Flipkart was founded by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal.
  67. Balkans nation Serbia officially became a non-regional member of China based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
  68. Young Indian climate activist Vishnu P R is among 100 outstanding climate champions selected from around world for a special ''Green Ticket'' that will enable them to attend first-ever Youth Climate Summit at UN headquarters in September 2019.
    1. Vishnu P R, from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, is the CEO of ''Change Can Change Climate Change (C5) Foundation'', an organisation focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.
  69. Russia launched world's first floating nuclear reactor, Akademik Lomonosov -
    1. It was launched and loaded with nuclear fuel from Arctic port of Murmansk for its 5,000 kilometre voyage to Pevek in northeastern Siberia. It will replace local nuclear plant and closed coal plant. It is 144 metres long and 30 metres wide. It has displacement capacity of 21,500 tonnes and can carry crew of total 69 people.
    2. It is fitted with 2 modified KLT-40 naval propulsion nuclear reactors (each of 35 MW capacity) together providing up to 70 MW of electricity and 300 MW of heat.
  70. Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani launched Project SURE (Sustainable Resolution), a move towards sustainable fashion at Lakmé Fashion Winter/Festive 2019 in Mumbai. It aims to move towards sustainable fashion that contributes to a clean environment.
    1. It is commitment by India’s apparel industry to set a sustainable pathway for Indian fashion industry. It also seeks to move apparel industry towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment.
  71. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suspended accreditation of India's National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) for six months, due to non-conformities with International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) by NDTL as identified during WADA site visit.
    1. With rising trust issues, WADA had warned NDTL to improve its testing methods and types of equipment in September 2018. But NDTL subsequently failed to meet standards, forcing WADA to recommend its suspension following its visit to the lab in May 2019.
  72. Henley Passport Index 2019 ranked India at 86th position of 189 countries in 2019 with a mobility score of 58. India slipped 5 places from 79th place in previous index.
    1. Report named Japan and Sngapore as world’s most powerful passport in 2019. Japan topped the list for 2nd consecutive time.
    2. Top 5 -
      1. Japan and Singapore.
      2. South Korea, Germany & Finland.
      3. Denmark and Italy.
      4. France and Sweden.
      5. Austria, Netherlands, Portugal & Switzerland
  73. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman anounced several measures to boost economy, amid suspected slow down in economic growth. Key points
    1. INR 70000 crores capital to be provided to public sector banks, to boost lending and improving liquidity situation.
    2. Surcharge on long and short term capital gains arising from transfer of equity shares has been withdrawn, which was announced in Budget 2019-20. FPIs have pulled out Rs 23,000 crore from domestic equities in July and August, as Budget proposal to levy a surcharge on higher tax-income groups affected 40 per cent of FPIs. It made investment in Indian equities unattractive.
    3. To revive struggling Auto Sector -
      1. BS IV vehicles bought before 31st March 2020 will remain operational for their full period of registration.
      2. Hiking one time registration fees has been deferred till June 2020.
      3. Ban on purchase of vehicles by government departments has been lifted, allowing additional 15 per cent depreciation, taking it to 30 per cent, on vehicles acquired from now till March 2020.
    4. Banks will pass on RBI rate cut benefits to borrowers through MCLR reduction. Banks will launch repo rate and external benchmark-linked loan products that will lead to reduced easy monthly installments for housing, vehicle and other retail loans.
    5. As a major relief to entrepreneurs and startups, 'angel tax' provision will be withdrawn for startups and their investors. Angel tax has been a major issue among entrepreneurs and in startup ecosystem.
    6. MSMEs to get all their pending GST refunds within 30 days. Also, all GST refunds of MSMEs will be paid within 60 days from date of application.
    7. Non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) will be permitted to use the Aadhaar based bank mandated KYC (Know Your Customer) to avoid repeating the process for customers. It will simplify process of availing credit.
    8. To boost credit support for purchase of houses, National Housing Bank (NHB) will offer additional liquidity support of Rs 20,000 crore to housing finance companies (HFCs). This will increase total liquidity support to Rs 30,000 crores.
  74. Forbes magazine’s world’s Highest-Paid actresses of 2019 list -
    1. Hollywood Actress Scarlett Johansson (US)  topped for 2nd  consecutive year with earnings of $56 million.
    2. Top 3 -
      1. Scarlett Johansson (US) - $56 million
      2. Sofia Vergara ( Colombian-American) - $44.1 million
      3. Reese Witherspoon (US) - $35 million
  75. 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships held at St. Jakobshalle in Basel (Switzerland), as 25th Edition.
    1. Winners -
      Category Winner Runner
      Men’s Singles Kento Momota (Japan) Anders Antonsen (Denmark)
      Women’s Singles PV Sindhu (India) Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)
      Men’s Doubles Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) Takuro Hoki & Yugo Kobayash (Japan)
      Women’s Doubles Mayu Matsumoto & Wakana Nagahara (Japan) Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota  (Japan)
      Mixed Doubles Zheng Siwei & Huang Yaqiong (China) Dechapol Puavaranukroh & Sapsiree Taerattanachai(Thailand)
    2. Medal Table -
      1. Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
        1  Japan 2 3 1 6
        2  China 1 0 4 5
        3  Indonesia 1 0 2 3
        4  India  1 0 1 2
        5  Thailand 0 1 2 3
    3. India's Two Medals -
      1. Gold Won by PV Sindhu (India) in Women's singles, defeating Nozomi Okuhara (Japan). PV Sindhu became 1st Indian to win a Badminton World Championships gold.
      2. Bronze Won by B Sa Praneeth who reached semi-finals after defeating Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie. He lost to Kento Momota of Japan in semifinal.
  76. 4th Internet of Things (IoT) India Congress 2019 held in Bengaluru (Karnataka), as India’s largest confluence of digital-technology stakeholders. Theme of meet was ‘Mainstreaming the Internet of Things’.
  77. Microsoft and Indian School of Business (ISB) signed MoU to set up an AI Digital Lab powered by PlatiFi technologies (a Microsoft partner) at ISB campus in Hyderabad, to study issues that are relevant for business and public policy. It will also offer an executive 3-day non technical programme titled “Leading Business Transformation in the Age of AI”, in October 2019.
    1. Microsoft also launched a program named Digital Governance Tech Tour, under which it will train 5000 government employees by 2020, on AI (artificial intelligence) and cloud computing skills.
  78. Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) formed a 4 member Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF), to look into bank fraud cases of over 50 crore rupees. It will be headed by former Vigilance Commissioner T M Bhasin.  ABBF was previously called as Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds.
    1. ABBF would function as first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommending investigative agencies by PSBs.
  79. Intel Corp launched its latest processor, its first using artificial intelligence (AI), designed for large computing centres. Chip is developed at Intel facility in Haifa (Israel), and is known as Nervana NNP-I or Springhill and is based on a 10 nanometre Ice Lake processor that will allow it to cope with high workloads using minimal amounts of energy.
  80. PM Narendra Modi announced to observe September as month of nutrition as part of ‘POSHAN Abhiyaan’(National Nutrition Mission).
    1. POSHAN Abhiyaan is a flagship programme of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), To achieve improvement in nutritional status of Children from 0-6 years, Adolescent Girls, Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.
  81. India won 2 golds and 1 bronze in World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid (Spain) -
    1. Event Name Medal
      Recurve Cadet-Women Komalika Bari Gold
      Compound junior mixed team Raginee Markoo and Singh Sukhbeer Gold
      Compound junior men’s team Sangampreet Bisla, Sanjay Phadtare and Singh Sukhbeer Bronze
  82. Gokulam Kerala FC defeated Mohun Bagan FC to win 2019 Durand cup Football (129th edition) in Kolkata. It was Kerala's Durand cup  title. Other Awards -
    1. Golden Ball & Golden Boot awards - Gokulam Kerala FC's Marcus Joseph.
    2. Golden Glove - Gokulam Kerala FC’s goalkeeper CK Ubaid.
  83. As per rankings issued by National Health Mission (NHM), Rajasthan Government’s flagship free medicine scheme (launched on October 2, 2011) secured first rank among 16 states. Performance of the states was assessed on the basis of 10 parameters.
  84. Anil Puri became first serving Lieutenant General-rank officer of Indian Army to complete France’s oldest cycling event, the 1,200km Paris-Brest-Paris circuit.
  85. CPWD Director General Prabhakar Singh chosen for ‘Eminent Engineer Award for the Year 2019’ by the Institution of Engineers (India) for his exemplary Service in field of Engineering and Technology. It will be conferred to him on the ‘Engineers Day’ on September 15. 
  86. Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated FSSAI's National Food Laboratory (NFL) in Ghaziabad (UP), on occasion of 13th anniversary of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. It is first-of-its-kind in food laboratory sector, equipped with latest technologies to conduct analysis as per global accreditation standards for testing and calibration.
  87. IIT Delhi partnered with Denmark-based firm to start DESMI Centre of Excellence on Waste-to-Wealth at IIT-Delhi. The centre will provide support for implementing the framework of pilot projects, which address waste collection and management with possible energy generation.
  88. Aug 26 - Observed by US as Women's Equality Day. It commemorates 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to US Constitution, which prohibits states and federal government from denying right to vote to citizens of US on basis of sex. It was first celebrated in 1973.
    1. Aug 26 is also Mother Teresa's Birth Anniversary, noted social worker. She came to India in 1929 and worked for welfare of poor. She was honored by Nobel peace Prize in 1979.
  89. India and France will jointly build and operate world’s first space-based automatic identification system (AIS) to track merchant ships on a real-time basis. French space agency CNES and India's ISRO signed an agreement to start development of a constellation of satellites for the purpose.
  90. Scientists from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) discovered seven new species of water treaders belonging to genus Mesovelia. Water treaders are semi-aquatic insects that can walk or run on surface of water.
    1. These new discoveries include Mesovelia andamana from Andaman Islands, M. isiasi and M. bispinosa from Meghalaya, M. tenuia and M. occulta from Tamil Nadu and M. dilatata and M. brevia in Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu. Their size ranges from 1.5 mm to 4.5 mm.
  91. Department of Social Justice signed MoU with National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) to enhance outreach on AIDS prevention, address risk of HIV transmission among all substance users and to empower the discriminated and vulnerable groups such as victims of HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and female sex workers.
  92. 45th G7 summit held in Biarritz, Nouvelle-Aquitaine (France).
    1. G7 Includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States AND European Union.
    2. US President Donald Trump pressed G7 group to reinstate Russia as a permanent member of grouping.
    3. Indian PM Narendra Modi attended outreach session of G7 summit as a special invitee by France.
    4. Next, 46th G7 summit will be held in 2020 in US.
    5. G7 nations pledged to spend a total amount of $22 million to fight raging wildfires in the Amazon Rainforest in South America.
  93. 2019 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships held at St. Jakobshalle in Basel (Switzerland), as 12th edition of the tournament.
    1. It was first time that Para-Badminton World Championships is held together with World Badminton Championships in same venue.
    2. Medal Tally -
      1. Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
        1  China 7 3 3 13
        2  Indonesia 4 2 4 10
        3  India 3 4 4.5 11.5
        4  England 3 2.5 1.5 7
        5  South Korea 1 2 4 7
    3. India Ranked 3rd with 12 Medals. Sports Ministry awarded Rs 20 lakh to Gold Medalists, 14 lakh to silver medallists and 8 lakhs to bronze. Winners in doubles events were given Rs 15 lakh each for gold, 10.5 lakh each for silver and Rs 6 lakhs for bronze.
    4. Indian Medalists -
      1. Category Winner Medal
        Men’s Singles SL 3 Pramod Bhagat Gold
        Men’s Doubles – SL 3, SL 4 Pramod Bhagat & Manoj Sarkar Gold
        Women’s Singles SL 3 Manasi Girishchandra Joshi Gold
        Men’s Singles SL4 Tarun Silver
        Men’s Doubles SL3-SL4 Kumar Nitesh & Tarun Silver
        Men’s Doubles SS6 Nagar Krishna & Raja Magotra Silver
        Women’s Singles SL3 Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar Silver
        Men’s  Singles SL3 Manoj Sarkar Bronze
        Men’s Singles SL4 Sukant Kadam Bronze
        Men’s Singles SS6 Nagar Krishna Bronze
        Men’s Doubles SL3-SL4 Umesh Vikram Kumar with Chawarat Kitichokwattana Bronze
        Men’s Doubles SU5 Raj Kumar & Rakesh Pandey Bronze
  94. HRD Ministry launched National Digital Library of India project, under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT). It aims to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. It has been developed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.
  95. RBI accepted recommendation of Expert Committee to Review Extant Economic Capital Framework of RBI, headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, for transferring INR 176051 crores to government.
    1. It comprises of Rs 123414 crore of surplus for 2018-19 and 52637 crore of excess provisions as per revised Economic Capital Framework (ECF). Since 2013, RBI has been paying 99% of its disposable income to government. Other recommendations of committee Include -
      1. Committee recommended to maintain RBI’s Contingency Risk Buffer (CRB), as India’s fund to handle a financial stability. It was recommended to be maintained between 5.5% to 6.5% of RBI’s balance sheet, which is above available level of 2.4% as on June 2018.
      2. Panel recommended that revised economic capital framework, under which RBI decided to transfer Rs 52,637 crore excess provisions to government, be reviewed every 5 years.
      3. RBI accounting year (July-June) may be brought in sync with fiscal year (April to March) from FY year 2020-21, to reduce need for interim dividend being paid by the RBI.
      4. It has recommended a surplus distribution policy which targets not only the total economic capital (as per extant framework) but also realised equity level of RBI’s capital. It will help bring about greater stability of surplus transfer to Government.
      5. There will be no transfer of unrealised valuation buffers. These will be used as risk buffers against market risks. Interim dividend to the government may be paid only under exceptional circumstances.
      6. It recommended adopting Expected Shortfall (ES) methodology in place of extant Stressed-Value at Risk for measuring market risk on which there was growing consensus among central banks as well as commercial banks over the recent years.
        1. Central banks are seen to be adopting ES at 99% confidence level (CL). Committee recommended adoption of a target of ES 99.5% CL and a range defined between target and downward risk tolerance of 97.5% (both under stress conditions).
  96. RBI issued guidelines on Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for Kisan Credit Card (KCC) to Fisheries and Animal Husbandry farmers during 2018-19 and 2019-20.
    1. Apart from existing KCC holders for crop loans, farmers involved in activities related to Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, through a separate KCC will get at concessional interest rate of 7%  during 2018-19 and 2019-20 for short loan up to 2 lakh.
    2. Interest subvention is available for animal husbandry and fisheries farmers at the rate of 2% per annum at time of disbursal of loan.
      Additional interest subvention of 3% per annum will be given for timely repayment.
    3. Interest subvention & prompt repayment incentive benefits will be available only on an overall limit of 3 lakh per annum on availing short term loan.
  97. French IT firm Atos and India's Centre for Development of Advanced Computing(C-DAC) signed an agreement to work on the technical advancement in field of artificial intelligence (AI), exascale computing (billions of calculations per second) and quantum computing (computer technology based on quantum theory). Atos’s ‘Quantum Learning Machine’ will be used at C-DAC.
  98. Arhan Bagati (Awareness and Impact Ambassador of Paralympic Committee of India) launched mobile application called “IndTokyo” to help para-athletes to look up accessible places in Tokyo (Japan) during 2020 Paralympics Games.
  99. IIT-Guwahati Researchers developed lab grown meat, which is nutritious and will be a step towards cruelty-free food.
  100. Canara Bank launched India’s first one-time password (OTP) facility for ATM withdrawals. The OTP will be activated for cash withdrawals over Rs.10,000 per day at its ATMs to protect its cardholders from unauthorized withdrawal.
  101. Indonesia Government announced that administrative functions of Capital Jakarta would move to area of East Kalimantan. New capital will be located between North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara on the Indonesian part of Borneo, 870 miles away from current capital.
  102. Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa appointed Govind Makthappa Karajol, Ashwath Narayan CN and Laxman Sangappa Savadi as deputy chief ministers. Its first time that 3 deputy CMs have been appointed in state.
  103. Tamil Nadu government launched its exclusive education TV channel named Kalvi Tholaikkatchi, aimed at benefiting students of classes I to XII. Channel will include shows aimed at school children, besides those on jobs and related issues.
  104. Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) partnered with Incuspaze Solutions Private Limited (Incuspaze) to open a first-of-its-kind co-working space named @Workspaze, exclusively designed for MSMEs and startups.
  105. Govt. Announced Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2018, given in 4 categories -
    1. Land Adventure - Aparna Kumar, Dipankar Ghosh, Manikandan K
    2. Water Adventure - Prabhat Raju Koli
    3. Air Adventure - Rameshwar Jangra
    4. Life Time Achievement - Wangchuk Sherpa
    5. Awardees will receive statuettes, certificate and award money of Rs. 5 lakh each.
  106. Amazon India launched a Military Veterans Employment programme, aimed at creating employment opportunities for military veterans and their spouses across company’s fulfilment, sort and delivery centres in India.
  107. Sudan requested United Nations Security Council to lift its suspension of troop withdrawals and ensure all peacekeepers leave Darfur (in western Sudan) by June 2020.
    1. In June 2019, UN Security Council voted to stop withdrawal of joint U.N. African Union peacekeeping force from Darfur, observing that country is still dealing with political crisis.
    2. Conflict started in 2003 when two armed groups Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) waged war in Darfur against Government of Sudan, demanding better infrastructure and a power-sharing government. Sudanese government retaliated by sending in government forces and Janjaweed militia to quell rebellion.
  108. Pakistan and China conducted joint aerial exercise Shaheen VIII (Eagle VIII) in Chinese city of Holton, close to Indian border near Ladakh.
  109. US Coast Guard (USCG) ship Stratton visited India to take part in India-US joint Coast exercise.
  110. Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel launched an integrated NOC online Application Processing System for National Monuments Authority (NMA) for 517 local bodies of six states. This will help in online processing of applications requesting NOC for construction related work in prohibited and regulated area of ASI protected monuments. Earlier, this system was available only for five urban local bodies of Delhi and one urban local body of Mumbai.
    1. Portal has integration with Smart ‘Smarac’ Mobile App of ISRO, for accurate tracking of GEOs and approval status.
    2. Details of States and Urban Local Bodies -
      1. Madhya Pradesh (378)
      2. Andhra Pradesh (110)
      3. Haryana (15)
      4. Punjab (10)
      5. Jharkhand (3)
      6. Telangana (1)
  111. IMF released report titled Annual Observance Report of the Special Data Dissemination Standard for 2018, in which it stated India failed to comply with multiple requirements prescribed in Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) which are mandatory for all IMF members. There are 20 data categories.
    1. In 2018, India deviated from SDDS in at least 1 instance in all data categories listed. The delay had exceeded 100 days in multiple instances. China, South Africa and Russia lagged in some categories but the delay did not exceed 31 days for any category.
    2. IMF launched SDDS initiative in 1996 to guide members to enhance data transparency and help financial market participants with adequate information to assess the economic situations of individual countries. India subscribed to the SDDS on December 27, 1996.
  112. Cabinet Approvals (Aug 28, 2019) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Peru - Cooperation in field of Medicinal Plants.
      2. Guinea - Cooperation in Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.
      3. Gambia - Cooperation in Field of Traditional Systems of Medicine.
    2. General Approvals -
      1. Approved Establishment of an International Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) along with its supporting Secretariat Office in New Delhi. CDRI is proposed to be launched at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, USA on 23rd September 2019.
        1. CDRI will serve as a platform to share knowledge on different aspects of disaster and climate resilience of infrastructure. It will bring together technical expertise from a multitude of stakeholders. It will create a mechanism to assist countries to upgrade their practices about infrastructure development in accordance with their needs.
      2. Cabinet apprised of amendments in National Medical Commission Bill 2019 which was approved by Parliament in Budget Sesion 2019. Changes -
        1. Clause 4(1)(c) –Twentytwo part-time Members instead of fourteen members;
        2. Clause 4(4)(b) – ten members instead of six members
        3. Clause 4(4)(c) – nine members instead of five members
        4. Clause 37(2) – added at end “for the purposes of teaching also”.
      3. Approved Review of Foreign Direct Investment in various sectors, to make India a more attractive FDI destination.
        1. In coal sector, for sale of coal, 100% FDI under automatic route for coal mining, activities including associated processing infrastructure will attract international players to create a competitive coal market.
        2. Further, manufacturing through contract contributes equally to Make in India. FDI now being permitted under automatic route in contract manufacturing will be a big boost to Manufacturing sector in India
        3. Background
          1. FDI into India from 2014-15 to 2018-19 has been US $ 286 billion as compared to US $ 189 billion in the 5-year period prior to that (2009-10 to 2013-14). Total FDI in 2018-19 was US $ 64.37 billion, highest ever FDI received for any financial year.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved  establishment of 75 additional Government  Medical Colleges by 2021-22. To increase availability of healthcare infrastructure and manpower, Cabinet also sanctioned expenditure of Rs. 24,375 crore during 15lh Finance Commission period i.e. up to 2021-22. It would lead to addition of at least 15,700 MBBS seats in the country.
      2. Approved providing a lump sum export subsidy @ Rs. 10,448 per Metric Tonne (MT) to sugar mills for the sugar season 2019-20.  Estimated expenditure of about Rs.6,268 crore will be incurred for this purpose. The subsidy would be directly credited into farmers’ account on behalf of mills against cane price dues and subsequent balance, if any, would be credited to mill’s account.
  113. American singer Taylor Swift topped Forbes magazine ‘highest-paid woman in music’ category for 2019 with earnings of $185 million, followed by pop singer Beyonce with earnings $81 million.
  114. Lionel Aingimea has been appointed as new president of pacific nation Nauru.
  115. Odisha government extended benefits of the Direct Cash Benefit “Mamata” scheme to the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG) in the state for another five years.
  116. Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, D.V. Sadananda Gowda launched a mobile application “Janaushadhi Sugam”. This app will enable people to search for Janaushadhi generic medicines and the stores at the tip of their fingers.
  117. Indian Bank opened MSME CPC (centralised processing centre) in Chennai, to boost bank's MSME portfolio and will lead to speedy disposal of MSME loans.
  118. An Indo-Israel joint venture's "Astra Rafael Communication System" has been inaugurated in Hyderabad. The system will design, develop and manufacture tactical communication systems for Indian armed forces.
  119. Reliance Jio topped telecom market with a 31.7 percent market share in the second quarter of 2019. Bharti Airtel has regained its second spot, leaving behind Vodafone Idea.
  120. Government constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to look into issues concerning UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. 2 UTs will come into existence on October 31. GoM will comprise Ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad, Jitendra Singh, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Narendra Singh Tomar and Dharmendra Pradhan.
  121. Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) has set up a waste plastic to diesel plant in Dehradun (Uttarakhand) as a step towards ensuring freedom from plastic. The plant has a capacity to produce 800-litre diesel from 1 tonne of plastic.
  122. Researchers sighted critically endangered species of tarantula- Peacock Parachute Spider for first time beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats. Its known habitat is in degraded forests near Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. It was sighted in a cave in Pakkamalai Reserve Forests (in Eastern Ghats) near Gingee in Villupuram district of Tamil Nadu.
  123. MoU signed between Indian Navy and India Meteorological Department for handing over of Cyclone Detection Radar (CDR) building by IMD to Navy. MoU will enable Navy to utilise CDR building within naval premises at Kochi for meteorological purposes.
  124. India won 19 Medals at WorldSkills International Competition 2019 in Kazan (Russia), as India's Best ever finish at the event. Indian team won one Gold, one Silver and two Bronze medals besides 15 Medallions of Excellence at the competition.
    1. S Aswatha Narayana represented Odisha and won a Gold medal in Water Technology. He was also rewarded as ‘Best of Nation’ amongst the Indian competitors.
    2. Pranav Nutalapati represented Karnataka and won Silver Medal in Web Technologies.
    3. Sanjoy Pramanik represented West Bengal and won Bronze Medal in Jewellery.
  125. India became first country to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), capturing facial bio-metric data of seafarers. The new facial biometric technology is a marked improvement over two finger or iris based bio-metric data, with modern security features.  It will make identification of the SID holder more reliable and efficient, while protecting their dignity and privacy.
    1. In India, BSID project has been taken up in collaboration with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) Mumbai.
    2. 9 data collection centers are set up  at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Noida, Goa, New Mangalore, Kochi, Vizag & Kandla for issue of BSID.
  126. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched one of world’s largest Integrated Online Junction for – School Education named ‘Shagun’, at URL http://shagun.govt.in. It aims to improve  school education by creating a junction for all online portals and websites relating to various activities of Department of School Education and Literacy. Portal seeks to connect approximately 92 lakh teachers and 26 crore students.
    1. He also announced setting up of Integrated National School Education Treasury (INSET) which envisages a fully integrated, instantly accessible and seamless information network for all parameters relating to the students, teachers, and schools in country.
  127. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released its Annual Report for FY 2018-19. Key Highlights (Stats as on June 30, 2019) -
    1. RBI stated that growth deceleration is cyclical downswing and not a structural slowdown.
    2. Balance sheet size of RBI increased by 13.42 % to Rs 41.03 lakh crore from 36.17 lakh crores an year ago.
    3. RBI contingency fund, which is useful in fighting any exigency is reduced to Rs 1.96 lakh crores, after 52,000 crore excess payout to government.
    4. Income for 2018-19 increased by 146.59 % to Rs 1.93 lakh crore in 2018-2019. Expenditure decreased to Rs 17,045 crore, from 28,277 crore in 2017-18.  Interest income grew by 44.62 % to Rs 1.06 lakh crore and other income rose to Rs 86199 crores.
    5. RBI’s holding of government securities grew by 57.19 per cent, from Rs 6.29 lakh crore to Rs 9.89 lakh crores.
    6. Year ended with an overall surplus of Rs 175987 crores as against 50000 crores in previous year.
    7. RBI held 618.16 metric tonnes of gold as compared to 566.23 metric tonnes as on June 30, 2018.
    8. After IL& FS crisis, credit flow from NBFCs to commercial sector dips 20%.
    9. Value of bank fraud cases increased 74%, from 41,167 crore in FY18 to 71,543 crores in FY19.
    10. Number of bank fraud cases rose from 5,900 in FY18 to 6,800 in FY19.
    11. Gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio of banking system declined to 9.1 per cent in March 2019, from 11.2 per cent in previous year.
    12. Currency in circulation soars 17 % to Rs 21.10 trillion.
  128. Aug 29 is observed as National Sports Day in India. It marks birth anniversary of India’s hockey legend, Major Dhyan Chand.
    1. On this occasion, PM Narendra Modi launched a nation-wide ‘Fit India’ Movement, aiming to take India towards a healthier future by preventing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension. Advisory Committee under chairmanship of sports minister Kiren Rijiju has been formed for Fit India Movement which aims to encourage people to inculcate physical activity and sports in their everyday lives.
    2. Aug 29 is also observed as UN International Day Against Nuclear Tests, established in December 2009.
  129. Geographical Indication Registry of India granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the state of Tamil Nadu for Dindigul lock and Karaikudi Kandangi sarees.
    1. Handmade Dindigul locks were famous for their traditional design, superior quality, and durability. They are concentrated in the villages of Nagelnagar, Nallampatti, Kodaiparailpatti, Kamalapatti, and Yagappanpatti.
    2. Kandangi Sarees are the symbol of entire Karaikudi taluk of Sivaganga district. The hand-woven Kandangi sarees are characterized by brilliant colour large contrast borders.
  130. Ashish Kasodekar from Pune became 1st Indian to complete 555 kms long 10th edition of ‘La Ultra The High’ marathon 2019 held in Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir(J&K). He came 3rd with 126 hrs 18 min timing.
  131. New book on Former US Prez Barack Obama titled “Obama: The Call of History”, written by Peter Baker has been released in India.
  132. Pakistan test-fired nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Ghaznavi, with range up to 290 kms.
  133. NGOs World Vision India and Institute for Financial Management and Research-Leveraging Evidence for Access and Development (IFMR LEAD) launched Child well-being index, to assess and track children’s well-being -
    1. Index was topped by Kerala (0.76), followed by Tamil Nadu (0.67) and Himachal Pradesh (0.67). Among Union Territories(UT), Puducherry topped the spot.
    2. Meghalaya, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh (Bottom) were poor performers and were ranked at the bottom. Among UTs Dadra and Nagar Haveli was ranked at the bottom.
  134. Hardeep S Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs launched angikaar campaign for change managementande-Course on Vulnerability Atlas of India.Angikaar has been launched for social behaviour change, focusing on issues such as water & energy conservation for beneficiaries of completed houses under PMAY (U).
  135. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare released 3rd Advanced Estimate (2018-19) of Area and Production of various Horticulture Crops. Total Horticulture Production of country is estimated to be 313.85 Million Tonnes, 0.69% higher than 2017-18.
  136. Oklahoma court (US) court ordered American Consumer Goods Firm Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for Opioid addiction crisis in US. J&J is accused of its role in fostering state’s opioid addiction crisis.
  137. 2019 Indo Pacific Chiefs of Defence (CHOD) Conference held in Thailand’s capital city Bangkok. India was represented by Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff Birender Singh Dhanoa. Theme was Collaboration in a free and Open Indo – Pacific.
  138. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Merger of several Public sector Banks, aimed at minimizing administrative tasks and maximize growth and profitability-
    1. Merger 1 - Punjab National Bank + Oriental Bank of Commerce + United Bank
      1. It will create 2nd largest PSB with business of 17.95 lakh crores.
      2. Anchor Bank - Punjab National Bank
    2. Merger 2 - Canara Bank + Syndicate Bank
      1. It will create 4th largest PSB with business of 15.20 lakh crores.
      2. Anchor Bank - Canara Bank
    3. Merger 3 - Union Bank + Andhra Bank + Corporation Bank
      1. It will create 5th largest PSB with business of 14.59 lakh crores.
      2. Anchor Bank - Union Bank of India
    4. Merger 4 - Indian Bank + Allahabad Bank
      1. It will create 7th largest PSB with business of 8.08 lakh crores.
      2. Anchor Bank - Indian Bank
    5. Note That SBI Associate Banks were merged into SBI in May 2016 and Dena Bank and Vijaya bank were merged into Bank of Baroda in April 2019.
    6. PSBs that are left out of this round of mergers - Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of Maharashtra and Punjab and Sind Bank.
    7. After mergers, 12 PSBs will be functional in country.
  139. Ministry of  Statistics and Programme Implementation's National Statistical Office (NSO) released estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for first quarter (April-June) Q1 of 2019-20 -
    1. GDP growth rate came down to 6 year low of 5% in Q1 of FY 2019-20 financial year, triggered by huge slowdown in manufacturing sector.
      1. GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 of 2019-20 is estimated at 35.85 lakh crores, as against 34.14 lakh crore in Q1 of 2018-19, showing growth rate of 5.0 %. 
      2. Quarterly GVA at Basic Price at Constant (2011-12) Prices for Q1 of 2019-20 also shown slow growth rate of 4.9 % over corresponding quarter of previous year.
      3. The Q1 FY 2019-20 Growth rate is much lesser than most agencies had predicted, showing slowing down state of the economy.
    2. Earlier, India's GDP growth was 5.8 % in Q4 of FY 2018-19, 6.6 % in Q3, after strong growth of 7.1% in Q2 and 8.2% in Q1 of FY 2018-19. GDP Growth Rate of FY 2018-19 was 6.8 %.
  140. Central TB Division of the Health Ministry signed MoU with Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence to explore the application of cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technology in its fight against TB. Wadhwani AI would support National TB programme become AI-ready which would include, developing, piloting, and deploying AI-based solutions.
  141. As part of measures for mitigating genuine difficulties of Start-ups, CBDT has decided to form a dedicated cell headed by Member (IT &C) - Currently Pramod Chandra Mody (He is also CBDT Chairman). Cell will work towards redressal of grievances and mitigate tax-related issues in case of Start-ups.
  142. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan launched National Lab Directory as a one-stop-shop for all testing needs of industries, academia and researchers who need to get their Testing Facilities accredited / certified / recognised. 
  143. Ministry of Commerce and Industry's Government e Marketplace (GeM) signed MoU with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to benefit MSMEs, women entrepreneurs, Self Help Groups (SHGs), and various beneficiaries under MUDRA and Stand-up India scheme. It will enable promotion of special initiatives of GeM like Womaniya and Start-up Runway with SIDBI stakeholders.
  144. PM Narendra Modi conferred Yoga awards to winners of PM’s Award for Outstanding Contribution for Promotion and Development of Yoga.
    1. He also released 12 commemorative postal stamps to acknowledge great work of great Master Healers of AYUSH Systems.
    2. He also launched 10 AYUSH Health and Wellness Centres (AYUSH HWCs) in Haryana, in line with Ministry of AYUSH’s commitment to make 12,500 AHWCs functional in next three years.
    3. Winners of 2019 Yoga Awards
      1. Swami Rajarshi Muni of Life Mission (Gujarat) - Individual - (National)
      2. Antonietta Rozzi (Italy) - Individual (International)
      3. Bihar School of Yoga (Munger,  Bihar) - Organisation (National)
      4. Japan Yoga Niketan (Japan) - Organisation (International)
    4. Winners of 2018 Yoga Awards -
      1. Vishwas Mandalik (Nasik) - Individual (National)
      2. Yoga Institute (Mumbai) - Organisation (National).
  145. P.K. Sinha has been appointed as Officer on Special Duty in Prime Minister's Office, after Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister submitted his resignation.
  146. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change approved establishment of new International Standard Zoo and Biopark on 1914 hectares in forest land at Gorewada in Nagpur (Maharashtra).
  147. Mastercard, RBL Bank and Samsung India tied up for launch of Samsung Pay for RBL Bank credit card holders, enabling RBL Bank Mastercard card holders to make contactless mobile payments using their Samsung Pay-enabled phones.
  148. Mumbai ranked as 45th safest city on Safe Cities Index (SCI) issued by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), while Delhi stood at 52nd position. Tokyo (Japan) is named safest globally, followed by Singapore and Osaka (Japan).
  149. Maharashtra cabinet cleared vertical property rules to create a database of all flats, buildings and commercial complexes, to prevent frauds. All flat owners in state will get supplementary property cards, which will have specific property details.
  150. Steel Users Federation of India signed MoU with Bombay Stock Exchange to launch trading in steel futures. BSE and SUFI will work towards enlisting steel futures in both long and flat segments, which will bring stability and risk-aversion besides creating a level-playing field for all.
  151. IIT Guwahati signed MoU with RD Grow Green India Pvt for Technology transfer for safer drinking water of chemical-free treatment technique based on 'Apparatus and Method for Removal of Fluoride, Iron, Arsenic and Microorganisms from Contaminated Drinking Water'.
  152. Uttarakhand Government will form a Special Tiger Force for Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR), with 85 posts. It will help serve as much needed second layer of protection for Tigers.
  153. UGC has set up a five-member committee to look into sale of fake degrees by certain universities, to be headed by Chairman DP Singh.
  154. US President Donald Trump launched US Space Command, as US military's 11th and newest combatant command. It is first one to be created in more than a decade.
  155. Ministry of Environment has released Rs 47,436 crore of CAMPA funds to various states for afforestation projects, to boost forestry activities and achieve objectives of Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs) of increasing forest and tree cover.
  156. Highest sky cycling track of India has been built at an altitude of 9,000 feet at Gulaba, Manali (Himachal Pradesh). Length of track is 350 meters, made by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Mountaineering Sports Institute.
  157. Aug 30 - UN International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.
  158. Cash-strapped Pakistan will get about $7 billion assistance from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for various development projects over next three years. Struggling pakistan has been looking for help from various sources to push economy forward.
  159. General Conferences (Aug 21-31, 2019) -
    1. Delhi government launched 10-week campaign against dengue and chikungunya titled "10 Hafte, 10 Baje 10 minute Har Ravivar, Dengue Par War".
    2. 12th edition of Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy security summit of India organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi with theme Towards New National Cyber Security Strategy.
    3. Actor Shah Rukh Khan introduced heritage postage stamp of Bandra station in Mumbai, on completion of 150 years of this railway station.
    4. 7th Community Radio Sammelan held in New Delhi, organized by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting with theme Community Radio for SDGs’.
      1. Department of Telecommunications dedicated two additional frequencies viz. 89.6 and 90.0 MHz for running Community Radio Stations.
    5. National Conference of Tourism Ministers organized in New Delhi.
    6. Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated National Centre for Avian Ecotoxicology at Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural Sciences ((SACON) in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
    7. First Kerala edition of Women Economic Forum (WEF) held at IIM Kozhikode.
    8. MoU signed between Indian Army and Tata Realty & Housing to enable personnel of Indian Army to immediately take over dwelling units in 13 ‘Ready to Move in’ projects of Tata Realty pan India spread over 10 cities.
    9. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and former India football captain Baichung Bhutia flagged off Op-Blue Freedom in Delhi, as an initiative in which a armed forces veterans train sports enthusiasts in survival training and self-defence.
    10. India-UK workshop on Science for Disaster and Emergency Risk Management held in New Delhi.
    11. India and US held a round of bilateral 2+2 Intersessional meeting in Monterey, California, US.
    12. Tamilnadu Govt. lauched Amma Patrol cars aimed at ensuring the security of women and children in public places.
    13. Banjari village of Katni district in MP became an integral part of digital map of the country , becoming first village in state to be associated with Digital India project.
    14. Short video creation platform Likee entered 2019 Guinness World Records for creating largest online video album of people waving Indian flag during its ‘No matter where I am, #IAMINDIAN‘ campaign. Tricolour was waved by over 1 lakh Indians.
    15. Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) has set up a ‘Centre of Excellence in FinTech’ in Chennai, asfirst of its kind in India and is named ‘FinBlue’.
    16. Mission Million trees campaign concluded in Ahmedabad, with plantation of over 10 lakh tress in city. It began on world environment day (5th June 2019). Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off first fleet of eco-friendly e-buses (electric buses) and also inaugurated India’s 1st automated battery charging & changing station for e-buses in city.
    17. Chief Minister of Meghalaya launched ‘Walk to Work’ campaign in state, as part of Fit India Movement launched by PM Recently.
    18. World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will organize 2-day India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi in October 2019 with the aim of promoting strong collaboration between South Asia and ASEAN nations, with theme Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World’.
    19. International dialogue on South-South and Triangular Cooperation that was held in New Delhi.
  160. Indonesia President Joko Widodo announced sparsely populated East Kalimantan province on forested Borneo island, known for orangutans as its new capital. Current capital Jakarta is overcrowded and sits on watery land. Parts of city are sinking by as much as 25cm a year.
  161. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) developed biggest-ever computer chip using carbon nanotubes (CNT)- RV16XNano. RV16XNano is a 16-bit processor that contains 14,000 transistors — electronic switches.
  162. Book titled ‘Jin Dhoondha Tin Paaiyan’ written by O P Singh (IPS) has been released.
  163. Book titled “A Short History of Indian Railways”, written by Rajendra B Aklekar has been released.
  164. Himachal Pradesh assembly passed a bill named Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2019, which reveals Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 2006. New bill is against conversion by force, inducement or through marriages solemnised for sole purpose of adopting a new religion.
  165. RBI extended timeline for conversion of minimum detail Prepaid Payment Instruments to KYC-compliant PPIs from 18 months to 24 months.
  166. National Register of Citizens (NRC) released awaited Assam's final National Register of Citizens list.
    1. NRC took five years and INR 1220 crores spent on tghe project.
    2. From 3.29 crore applicants, a total of 3.11 crore people have been found eligible for inclusion in final NRC list. 19.06 lakh people have been excluded from final NRC list.
    3. Those excluded from the final NRC list will have 120 days to approach the Foreigners’ Tribunals. If a person is dissatisfied with the tribunal's decision, he/she can appeal against it.
    4. NRC list is biggest exercise India has undertaken to expel illegal immigrants residing illegally in India.
  167. New Governors Appointed -
    1. Himachal Pradesh - Bandaru Dattatreya
    2. Kerala - Arif Mohammad Khan
    3. Maharashtra - Bhagat Singh Koshyari
    4. Rajasthan - Kalraj Mishra
    5. Telangana - Tamilisai Soundararajan (First Separate Governor of Telangana).
  168. Visits from India (Aug 21 - 31, 2019) -
    1. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan visited Russia, to strengthen relationship in energy and steel sectors.
    2. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Japan and South Korea.
    3. External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited Russia and Hungary and Bangladesh.
    4. Vice President Venkaiha Naidu Visited Baltic Nations-Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
      1. MoUs on Cyber Security and exemption of Visa requirement for Diplomatic Passport holders were signed between India and Estonia.
      2. Lithuania and India signed 2 agreements on Agriculture and Allied sectors and Cultural Exchange Program from 2019-21.
    5. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Visited Nepal.
      1. 5th meeting of India-Nepal Joint Commission held in Kathmandu (Nepal).
      2. SAARC foreign ministers informal meeting will held in Nepal in September 2019.
    6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited France, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
      1. France -
        1. MOUs signed for -
          1. Cooperation in Skill Development and Vocational Training, Renewable Energy, Joint Maritime Domain Awareness.
          2. Co-opeRation Abetween Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and ATOS (France).
        2. PM Narendra Modi attended outreach session of G7 summit as a special invitee by France.
        3. France backed India's permanent seat in United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
        4. India and France concluded road-map to make digital technology a transformative factor in their societies, to fight terror and foster economic growth.
      2. Bahrain -
        1. Its First ever Visit of an Indian PM to Bahrain.
        2. PM Narendra Modi was conferred Bahrain Order- First Class by Bahrain’s King, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations. Bahrain Order - First Class is also known as the King Hamad Order of Renaissance. Global awards conferred on PM Modi since 2014
          1. Amir Amanullah Khan Award– highest civilian award of Afghanistan
          2. Order of King Abdulaziz Sash- highest civilian honour of Saudi Arabia
          3. Grand Collar of the State of Palestine-highest honour of Palestine
          4. Seoul Peace Prize – by Seoul Peace Prize Foundation of South Korea.
          5. Champions of the Earth award – United Nations’s highest environmental honour, awarded by UNEP
          6. Order of Zayed – highest civil honour of UAE.
        3. 4 MOUs Signed -
          1. Collaboration between Space agencies.
          2. Statement of Intent on collaboration of the Kingdom of Bahrain with International Solar Alliance (ISA)
          3. Cultural Exchange Programme between India and Bahrain.
        4. PM launched $4.2 million redevelopment project of 200-year-old Shreenathji or Lord Sri Krishna temple in Bahrain capital Manama. Renovated structure of temple will have a knowledge centre and a museum, on land measuring 16500 square feet.
        5. RUPAY Payment system has been launched in Bahrain.
      3. UAE -
        1. PM Narendra Modi has launched RuPay card in UAE, making UAE the first country in Middle East to initiate Indian indigenous payment system. Current foreign markets for Rupay are - Singapore, Bhutan, Maldives, UAE and Bahrain.
        2. 6 MoUs signed -
          1. Bilateral currency swap agreement, cooperation in field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy, employment of ex-servicemen of Indian Navy in the Navy and Coast Guard of UAE.
          2. Cooperation among Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis and Emirates Centre of Strategic Studies and Research.
  169. Visits to India (Aug 21 - 31, 2019) -
    1. Australian Minister for Resources and Northern Australia,  Matthew Canavan visited India.
    2. Minister for Home Affairs and  Law of Singapore, Mr. K. Shanmugam visited India.
    3. Ghana's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu visited India for First India-Ghana Foreign Office Consultations held in New Delhi.
    4. Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao visited India, committig over $12 billion in lending to India over 3 years.
    5. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of Zambia Visited India. 6 MOUs signed -
      1. Cooperation in field of Geology and Mineral Resources, Defence, Arts & Culture.
      2. Cooperation among  Foreign Service Institute of India and Zambian Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies, EVBAB Network Project and Election Commissions.
  170. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (August 2019) -
    1. Ratings agency CRISIL has cut its forecast for India's GDP growth by 20 basis points for FY 2019-20 to 6.9% from 7.1%.
    2. As per National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), India’s GDP growth will be 6.2% in FY 2019-20, down from 6.8% in 2018-19. The decline in estimation was due to flat growth in the agriculture sector as it depends largely on the south-west monsoon.
    3. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) slashed India’s GDP growth forecast expected to grow by 6.2 % in FY 2019-20, from 6.5% earlier, amid sluggish domestic demand, and slowing down of Industry figures. ANZ also downgraded forecast for FY 2020-21 to 6.5% from 7.1% earlier.
    4. Moody’s Investors Service reduced India’s GDP growth forecast for 2019 calendar year to 6.2% from the previous estimation of 6.8%.
    5. India’s economy will grow at a median rate of 6% during first quarter of FY 2019-20, as per a FICCI report. In same Quarter an year earlier, economy grew at 8.2%.
    6. India Ratings and Research has revised its projection of India’s GDP growth in the financial year 2019-20 to 6.7%, from 7.3% earlier.
  171. Misc. Sports events (August 2019) -
    1. Australian Female Cricketer Ellyse Perry became first cricketer (Both Male / Female) to reach milestone of scoring 1000 runs and taking 100 wickets in the T20 format.
    2. India won 6 medals at Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament 2019 in Kaspiysk (Russia). India won 2 golds, 1 silver, and 3 bronze. Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Neeraj (57kg) won Gold Medals.
    3. Germany cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger became first woman to win cycling’s Transcontinental Race 2019, from Bulgaria to France. She cycled for more than 2,485 miles across Europe in just over 10 days.
    4. Indian men’s 20km race walk team that finished 4th in IAAF World Race Walking Cup held in 2012 in Russia, has now been honored with a Bronze after disqualification of second-placed Ukrainian team for dope violation.
    5. Indian Army team won 5th Army International Scout Masters Competition held at Jaisalmer Military Station (Rajasthan), which had participation from 8 Nations.         
    6. Bangalore(Karnataka) will host 10th AASF (Asia Swimming Federation) Asian Age Group Championships 2019 in September - October 2019. Swimming Federation of India(SFI)will organize the 9-day event.
    7. Indian Wrestler Vinesh Phogat won gold in women’s 53kg category at Poland Open wrestling tournament in Warsaw (Poland).
    8. India's Surya Shekar Ganguly won 2019 Belt and Road China Hunan International Chess tournament at Hunan province (China).
    9. Cricket Australia announced new transgender inclusive policy, enabling transgender players to play the game of cricket at highest levels.
    10. World Archery suspended Archery Association of India, causing panic for Indian archers looking to compete at Olympics. However, World Archery wrote to Indian Olympic Association, stating that suspension might be lifted if a clear roadmap is established.
    11. Chris Gayle became first West Indies' cricketer to play 300 ODIs, achieving this against India.
    12. Indian Army participated in Sniper Frontier Competition 2019 in Belarus, as part of International Army Games.
    13. Indian junior Badminton players won 6 medals at the Bulgarian Junior International Championships in Pazardzhik. Medals comprised of three gold, a silver and two bronze.  Gold medals were won by Samiya Imad Faruqui (women's singles), duo of Edvin Joy and Shruti Mishra in Mixed Doubles and pair of Tanisha Crasto and Aditi Bhatt in women's doubles.
    14. Women’s Cricket team of Thailand broke world record by winning 17th successive T20 international match, surpassing record held by Australian Women (16 victories).
    15. Indian female wrestler Vinesh Phogat won silver in Medved event 2019 in Minsk (Belarus), after losing to N Malisheva of Russia.
    16. American Artistic gymnast Simone Arianne Biles became first woman in world to make a “triple-double” floor exercise landing, during 2019 US Gymnastics Championships. Triple double involves two flips and three twists in air, done by only 2 men before her.
    17. India won T20 Physical Disability World Cricket Series 2019 defeating England in England. 6 teams had participated in tournament.
    18. Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) has been granted full membership in BCCI by Committee of Administrators (CoA), fulfilling a long standing demand.
    19. Indian Cricketer Virat Kohli became first batsman to score 20,000 international runs in a decade, achieving this during a match against West Indies.
    20. FIFA banned former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia for lifetime, after he was found guilty of a violation of FIFA Code of Ethics.
    21. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sports personnel won 10 medals, at World Police and Fire Games 2019 (WPFG-2019) held at Chengdu, China.
    22. Indian Football club Chennai City FC partnered with German sports goods supplier "uhlsport", to support sustainable growth of football education in India.
    23. Australia's Marnus Labuschagne become 1st Concussion Substitute player in history of International cricket. A Concussion Replacement is a player who takes place of a player who has been replaced for remainder of the match. In Ashes Series 2019 between Australia and England, Steve Smith was ruled out due to concussion.
    24. India  will host World Youth Chess Championship 2019, in Mumbai in October 2019.
    25. BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain ordered for reduction in Lifetime ban of Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth, who was alleged in a match-fixing scandal in 2013. His ban is now lowered to 7 years which will end by September 2020.
    26. India’s junior women boxers won four gold, four silver and four bronze medals at 3rd Nation’s Cup in Vrbas, Serbia. BGold medalists are - Tamanna (48 kg), Ambeshori Devi (57 kg), Preeti Dahiya (60 kg), Priyanka (66 kg).
    27. IOCL beat Army XI to win Dolo-650 Bangalore Cup All India Hockey Tournament in Bengaluru.
    28. Bhubaneswar (Odisha) become first venue to get clearance for FIFA U-17 Women's world cup to be hosted by India in 2020, in 4 cities.
    29. Former French Footballer and now actor, Eric Cantona will be honoured with 2019 UEFA President’s Award, for his outstanding achievements. Also, Dutch footballer Virgil van Dijk won UEFA Player of the Year award in Male category and English footballer Lucy Bronze won Women's Player of the Year award.
    30. Indian sprinter VK Vismaya won gold medal in women’s 400m race at International Athletic Meeting – Josef Seckar Memorial (MJS) in Brno, Czech Republic.
    31. Cricketer Jalaj Saxena (Player for Kerala) became only Indian cricketer to score 6000 runs in first-class cricket and take 300 wickets. he still hasn't played for India.
  172. Misc. Appointments (August 2019) -
    1. Govt. appointed Madhumita Hazarika Bhagat as New Indian Ambassador to Republic of Cyprus.
    2. PSU Power Grid Corporation appointed Kandikuppa Sreekant as its chairman and managing director.
    3. Global Financial Firm HSBC appointed Noel Quinn as interim CEO.
    4. Indian IT Firm Mindtree appointed Debashis Chatterjee as its new MD & CEO.
    5. Government extended tenure of State Bank of India (SBI) Managing Director (MD)Dinesh Kumar Khara by 2 years.
    6. Government appointed Ghotu Ram Meena as New Indian Ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa).
    7. Elangbam Valentina Devi, a 9-year-old girl from Manipur was made the ambassador of ‘Chief Minister’s Green Manipur Mission’. She had planted two Gulmohar trees near her house in Kakching district of Manipur when she was in class 1. She wept immensely when she saw the trees uprooted after coming from school.
    8. Yes Bank appointed Anurag Adlakha as Group Chief Financial Officer and Raj Ahuja as Group Chief Strategy Officer.
    9. Former New Zealand Cricketer Brendon McCullum appointed as head coach of IPL Team Kolkata Knight Riders, replacing Jacques Kallis.
    10. Financial Firm Paytm Appointed Madhur Deora as its President.
    11. National Housing Bank (NHB) appointed Jaishankar R. Padmanabhan as Executive Director (special grade).
    12. Shavendra Silva is appointed as Sri Lankan Army Chief. He has earlier been accused of war crimes.
    13. HDFC Bank appointed Srinivasan Vaidyanathan as Chief Financial Officer.
    14. Ms. Padmaja appointed as New India High Commissioner to Cook Islands.
    15. Government appointed Pavan Kapoor as New Indian Ambassador to United Arab Emirates(UAE).
    16. Pramod Agrawal will be appointed as Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Limited.
    17. Former Delhi HC Judge Sunil Gaur has been appointed as Chairperson of PMLA Appellate Tribunal.
    18. Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Shalija Dhami became 1st female officer to be appointed as flight commander of a flying unit, after she took over a Chetak helicopter unit at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad.
    19. Govt. approved extension of tenure of CBDT Chairman Pramod Chandra Mody, by one year.
  173. Obituaries (August 2019) -
    1. D. A. Pennebaker - Noted American Documentary Film Maker.
    2. Devadas Kanakala - Noted Telugu Actor.
    3. Malcolm Nash - England Cricketer.
    4. Jean Arasanayagam - Renowned Srilankan contemporary poet and fiction writer.
    5. J. Om Prakash - Noted Bollywood filmmaker and also maternal Grandfather of Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan.
    6. Kanti Bhatt - Noted Gujarati journalist and author.
    7. Anant Setalvad -Noted Cricket commentator.
    8. Toni Morrison - Noted American Novelist and 1993 Nobel laureate in literature. She was the 1st African American woman to win Nobel in literature.
    9. Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy - Noted educationist and Padma Shri awardee.
    10. Sushma Swaraj - Former Union External Affairs Minister. Many firsts to her credit - Youngest Cabinet Minister in Haryana Government in 1977, first woman Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998, first woman spokesperson for any national political party in the country and India’s first full-time woman Foreign Minister.
    11. Harley Race - Noted American Professional Wrestler.
    12. Dayanidhi Nayak - Noted freedom fighter. He struggled against British Government during the Quit India movement.
    13. Amarendra Sharan - Senior advocate and former Additional Solicitor General.
    14. Jose Luis Brown - Noted Argentine footballer.
    15. V.B. Chandrasekhar - Former India and Tamil Nadu cricketer.
    16. Vidya Sinha - Noted Bollywood actress.
    17. Peter Fonda - Noted American actor.
    18. Rizia Rahman - Noted Bangladeshi novelist.
    19. Damodar Ganesh Bapat - Noted social worker from Chhattisgarh and Padma Shri awardee.
    20. Niranjan Singh Tasneem - Noted Punjabi writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee.
    21. Jagannath Mishra - Former Three time Chief Minister of Bihar.
    22. Mohammed Zahur Khayyam - Noted Indian music director.
    23. Babulal Gaur - Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
    24. Arun Jaitley - Former Union Minister, Served several terms including Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs from 2014 to 2019.
      1. DDCA (Delhi and Districts association announced to rename Feroz Shah Kotla as Arun Jaitley stadium).
    25. Lalat Indu Parija - former chief secretary of Odisha.
    26. Noel Kelman - Kirti Chakra awardee Navy Commander. In 1961, he received Kirti Chakra  for valour during liberation of Goa from Portuguese.
    27. Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya - First woman Director General of Police (DGP) in India. She was appointed DGP of Uttarakhand in 2004, becoming First female DGP in India.
    28. Nimu Bhowmik - Noted Bengali actor.
    29. Valerie Harper - Noted American Actor and four-time Emmy winner.
  174. Industrial Awards (August 2019) -
    1. Vinayak S Hiremath from Karnataka has been felicitated with ‘Pride of Nation Award’ by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
    2. Co-founder and director of Einfolge Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ruhan Rajput was honoured as entrepreneur of the Year 2019 for his excellence in service sector.
    3. Indian Actor Shah Rukh Khan conferred with an honorary degree, Doctor of Letters, by La Trobe University (Australia).
    4. Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs instituted PMAY(U) Awards for Beneficiariesfor the first time to recognise the contribution of States/UTs, Urban Local Bodies and Beneficiaries.
      1. PMAY(U) has achieved a significant milestone of approving more than85 Lakh houses against a demand of about 112 Lakh houses in urban areas. Out of these, 50 Lakh houses are at various stages of construction and over 26 Lakh houses have already been completed.
    5. Rajasthan won best innovation and initiative leadership award for its achievements in higher education, at World Education Summit-2019 in New Delhi.
    6. Indian-American teenager Navneeth Murali won 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee contest and earned a grand cash prize of USD 3,000.
    7. IIT-Delhi-incubated start-up working on development of inclusive learning resources for visually impaired people won the award for developing a multisensory kit. The device narrates the content in the picture when a visually impaired person touches it.Ankita Gulati, founder of TouchVision was awarded the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award 2019.
    8. Indian documentary film "I'm Jeeja" has won award in Under 30 minute category at 14th edition of 'We Care Film Festival on Disability Issues'.
    9. Maitri App created by Students from Amity International School Noida won bronze medal at global tech competition called ‘Technovation Challenge’ in San Francisco (US). This app connects children at orphanages with senior citizens in old-age homes.
    10. ONGC CMD Shashi Shanker honoured with Distinguished Fellowship of Institute of Directors (IOD) 2019 during 29th Institute of Directors (IOD) Annual Day Ceremony in New Delhi.
    11. Kalinga-FCC Awards for Excellence in Journalism for 2019 as first of their kind Annual awards in India -
      1. Print Journalist and Digital Journalist - Team at Reuters
      2. Television Journalist - Rajini Vaidyanathan( BBC’s India Correspondent)
      3. Photo Journalist - Harish Tyagi (EPA)
      4. Video Journalist - Rakesh Nagar (PBS NewsHour)
    12. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs 's Deendayan Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) has been conferred SKOCH Governance Gold Award for its Portal for Affordable Credit and Interest Subvention Access (PAiSA).
    13. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited won award for the ‘ Best Navratna‘ in the ‘ Manufacturing Sector ‘ for 2nd time at 6th edition of Dun & Bradstreet PSU Awards in New Delhi.
    14. Phoebe Waller-Bridge will be felicitated by Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year by British Academy Los Angeles branch.
  175. Persons Resigned / Retired (August 2019) -
    1. New Zealand Cricketer Daniel Vettori retired from all forms of Cricket.
    2. New Zealand Cricketer Brendon Mccullum retired from all forms of Cricket.
    3. South African Cricketer Dale Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket.
    4. South African Cricketer Hashim amla announced his retirement from Test all forms of International cricket.
    5. Uruguay Footballer striker Diego Forlan announced his retirement from professional football.
    6. Noted Netherlands' footballer Wesley Sneijder announced his retirement from football.
    7. England football player Ashley Cole announced retirement from football.
    8. Giuseppe Conte resigned as Prime Minister of Italy.
    9. West Indies pacer Cecil Wright announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, at old age of 85 years.
    10. Sri Lankan Spinner Ajantha Mendis announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
    11. Cricketer Ambati Rayudu announced reversing his recent decision about retirement and expressed his will to play in all formats.
  176. RBI has put penalty of INR 1.5 crores on Bank of India for of ‘non-compliance with RBI direction on frauds’ in Rotomac Group companies.
    1. RBI has also imposed penalty of INR 50 lakh on Punjab National Bank (PNB) for delay in reporting of fraud observed in account of Kingfisher Airlines Limited.
  177. To Boost Digital India initiative and bring technology to farmers, Govt. launched a mobile application named Meghdoot, that will provide location, and crop and livestock-specific weather-based agro advisories to farmers in local languages.
  178. Gujarat Govt. launched ‘Vhali Dikri Yojna’, aimed at welfare of girl child.  It is a statewide cash incentive scheme for every girl child born in Gujarat, with a view to raising the female birthrate at par with male to achieve gender equality.
    1. State Government will pay Rs. 4,000 to every girl child at the time of admission to Standard 4th, Rs. 6,000 at the time of taking admission to Standard IX, Rs. 1-lakh at the time of taking admission for higher education at the age of 18 and another Rs. 1-lakh at the time of marriage.
  179. State Bank of India's (SBI) Shanghai branch got connected to China's National Advance Payment System (CNAPS), making SBI only Indian bank to have obtained license to do business in local currency in China and also inducted to CNAPS by People's Bank of China (PBOC).
    1. CNAPS, launched in 2008 by People's Bank of China (PBOC) provides real-time settlement services for all payments.
  180. RBI allowed Bank of China to offer regular banking services in India, Including Bank of China Limited in 2nd Schedule of RBI Act 1934.
  181. Indian Origin Doctor Bhasha Mukherjee won Miss England Title 2019. She will enter into Miss World contest 2019 on behalf of England.
  182. A joint venture company named Khanij Bidesh India limited (KABiL) has been set up with participation of 3 Central Public Sector Enterprises - National Aluminium Company Limited, Hindustan Copper Limited and Mineral Exploration Company limited. KABIL will ensure supply of critical Minerals to Indian domestic market. Equity participation between NALCO, HCL and MECL is in ratio of 40:30:30.
  183. West Bengal Government launched an awareness campaign ‘Save Green, Stay Clean’ for preserving the greenery and keeping the environment clean.
  184. Indian theoretical physicist Atish Dabholkar has been appointed as new director of Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy.
  185. Researchers at IIT Kharagpur developed a technology which can generate energy from solid waste with high moisture content, called Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC). It can convert municipal solid waste to biofuel, soil amendment and absorbents.
  186. Postal department will convert India Post Payments Bank into a small finance bank, enabling it to provide micro credit at the doorsteps to individuals and SME's. Payments Banks are commercially unviable due to too many regulatory restrictions on operating procedures.
  187. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced all Delhi households consuming 200 units of power or less will now get complete waiver on electricity Bill.
  188. Government gave additional charge of post of Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau to Rakesh Asthana (Director General of Civil Aviation Security (DG CAS)).
  189. Government launched One Nation-One Ration Card scheme on pilot basis in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra and Gujarat. It seeks to allow portability of food security benefits. Govt. Indents to extend this scheme to all states by August 2020 so that portability of food security card implemented.
  190. Department of Revenue will conduct India’s 1st National Time Release Study (TRS) for enabling faster movement of cargo across borders to benefit traders. TRS is an to measure efficiency and effectiveness of international trade flows.
    1. National TRS is an internationally recognized tool advocated by Brussels based World Customs Organization (WCO) that will measure bottlenecks in clearance of goods, from time of arrival until physical release of cargo.
    2. It is part of India’s commitment to improve global trade, conducted between 1- 7 August 2019. From now onwards exercise will be HELD on annual basis, during same period every year.
    3. Expected Beneficiaries will be export oriented industries and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) who will enjoy greater standardization of Indian processes with comparable international standards.
  191. Indian journalist Ravish Kumar of NDTV news channel is among 5 chosen winners of 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award, to be presented in Manila (Capital of Philippines) in September 2019.
    1. Other Winners of 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award -
      1. Ko Swe Win (Myanmar)
      2. Neelapaijit Angkhana (Thailand)
      3. Cayabyab Rayamundo Pujante (Philippines)
      4. Kim Jong Li (South Korea)
    2. Ramon Magsaysay Award, named after former Philippine president Ramon Magsaysay, is Asia’s premier prize and highest honour, regarded as Asia’s equivalent of Nobel Prize. It was established in 1957 by trustees of New York City (NYC) based Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Philippine government.
  192. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) launched India’s first large-scale trial for two new tuberculosis (TB) vaccines named IMMUVAC and VPM1002. These vaccines aim to prevent infection (pre-exposure) or prevent primary progression or reactivation of latent TB infection (post-exposure), all of which have critical role to play in India’s big fight against TB.
  193. Bureau of Indian Standards published an Indian Standard for identification, marking and labelling of Pashmina products to certify its purity. BIS also announced setting up Pashmina testing centre in Leh region of Jammu and Kashmir to check the quality of pashmina collected.
    1. Centre will have standards testing lab, machines and scientists to check the quality of pashmina collected. Pashmina is a fine type of Kashmiri wool,meaing ‘Soft Gold’ in Kashmiri.
    2. Kashmir Pashmina has been accorded Geographical indication (GI) tag under Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  194. Housing sector regulator National Housing Bank (NHB) opened a liquidity infusion facility of Rs.10000 crore for Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) to improve liquidity in sector, to boost lending and accelerate growth of Stressed NBFC Sector.
  195. 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok (Thailand). India was represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. During this meeting, new MGC Plan of Action 2019-2022 was adopted.
    1. Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is sub-regional cooperation organisation comprising India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
  196. Gross GST revenue collected in July 2019 remained INR 102083 crores (CGST -17,912 crore, SGST - 25,008 crore, IGST - 50,612 crore and Cess is  8551 crores).
  197. Giriraj Prasad Gupta appointed as Controller General of Accounts (CGA) in Department of Expenditure (Ministry of Finance).
  198. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways exempted armoured and other specialised vehicles of Indian armed forces and paramilitary forces from new stringent vehicular emission norms (BS-VI) which are set to take effect from 1st April, 2020. Exemption has been granted because these vehicles operate in remote and inhospitable terrains with most challenging operational and environmental conditions.
  199. Aug 2 is birth anniversary of Noted freedom fighter Pingali Venkayya, the designer of Indian flag. Venkayya's design for National Flag was finally approved by M K Gandhi in a Congress meeting in Vijayawada in 1921.
  200. India ranked at 7th place in global GDP rankings 2018, as per data by World Bank. India was ranked 5th in 2017. In 2018 data, UK and France again moved ahead of India to reclaim their 5th and 6th spots respectively.
    1. Top 3 - US ($20.5 trillion), China ($13.6 trillion), Japan ($5 trillion).
    2. India recorded a GDP of $2.73 trillion in 2018, which is less than that of the UK ($2.82 trillion) and France ($2.78 trillion).
    3. Drop in India’s position on the global GDP table reflects the slump in India’s overall economic growth. India is, however, still the fastest-growing major economy in world.
  201. LIC Subsidiary LIC Housing Finance appointed Siddhartha Mohanty as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.
  202. DRDO successfully flight-tested its state-of-the-art Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missiles (QRSAM) against live aerial targets from Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur (Odisha).
  203. European Nation The Netherlands banned wearing of face-covering clothing including burqa and niqab worn by conservative Muslim women. The law also bans motor helmets and ski masks.
  204. RBI barred both deposit-taking and non- deposit taking NBFCs (Non-Banking Finance Companies) from charging pre-payment /foreclosure charges on any floating rate term loans sanctioned for purposes other than business to individual loan borrowers.
    1. Earlier, RBI barred commercial banks from charging such penalties from individual borrowers with mortgage loans in May 2014.
  205. Microsoft India partnered with Apollo Hospitals Group to set up a National Clinical Coordination Committee (NCCC), to co-ordinate in cardiovascular-related Artificial Intelligence(AI) projects. It will work for AI-powered Cardiovascular Disease(CVD) Risk Score API (application program interface) built on Microsoft Azure (cloud computing service), to predict the risk of disease.
  206. Former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev has been conferred with Bharat Gaurav Award 2019 by East Bengal Football Club. Other Awardees -
    1. Footballer Bhaichung Bhutia - ‘Identifying and Nurturing the Icon’ award.
    2. Former Footballers Manoranjan Bhattacharya and Bhaskar Ganguly - Lifetime achievement award.
    3. Footballer P.K. Banerjee - Coach of Coaches award.
    4. Laldanmawia - Best Footballer of the Year award.
  207. Report titled Grain by Grain 2019 has been released, as a Green Rating Project (GRP) on the Indian fertilizer industry conducted by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
    1. Grain by Grain is 7th rating project undertaken by GRP, prior being pulp and paper, automobile, chlor-alkali, cement, iron and steel and thermal power sectors. Rating covers all 28 operational plants in country. Findings -
      •  Grasim Industries Ltd’s Indo Gulf Fertilisers unit at Jagdishpur, Uttar Pradesh emerged as top rated plant with 61% score. It received the coveted Four Leaves award.
      • Next three winners received Three Leaves award - Hazira (Gujarat) unit of KRIBHCO, Panambur (Karnataka) unit of MRPL, and Babrala (Uttar Pradesh) unit of Yara Fertilizers.
      • Imbalance in nitrogen cycle and climate change were 2 main environmental challenges. Nitrogen use efficiency was 35% for lowland rice and under 50% for upland crops.
  208. Book co-authored by Microsoft President Brad Smith & Carol Ann Brown titled Tools and Weapons: The Promise and The Peril of the Digital Age will be released in September 2019.
  209. Cabinet approved increasing number of judges in Supreme Court from the present 31 to 34. In this regard, cabinet approved Introducing a bill to amend Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act 1956.
  210. IIT Kanpur Researchers developed world’s first robot hand for the rehabilitation of stroke patients, as a two-finger robotic hand (exoskeleton) that uses a four-bar mechanism and has four degrees of freedom (DOF). It uses brain signals, with the help of the brain-computer interface (BCI).
  211. US and Chinese scientists developed a novel computer model that can help accurately predict air pollution levels in the region a season in advance. It uses certain climatic patterns related to oceans which have a regulatory effect on wintertime air pollution over northern India.
    1. Inter-annual variability of wintertime aerosol pollution over northern India is regulated mainly by a combination of El Nino -- a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns -- and the Antarctic Oscillation (AAO), a low-frequency mode of atmospheric variability of the southern hemisphere.
  212. Private life insurer Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance tied up with MobiKwik to offer mobile-based group insurance solutions for customers of MobiKwik. Key Points: i. Edelweiss Tokio Life will provide life insurance upto 5 lakh through MobiKwik.
  213. As per Water Stress Index 2019 formulated by London-based risk analytics firm Verisk Maplecroft, India is 46th highest risk country in world. 11 out of India’s 20 largest cities face an ‘extreme risk’ of water stress and 7 are in the ‘high risk’ category. India is rated ‘high risk’ in the Climate Change Vulnerability Index.
  214. Abhay Thakur has been appointed as New Indian permanent representative to economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS).
  215. RBI opened a Money Museum in Kolkata in March 2019, aiming at improving people’s knowledge of the banking system with the help of interactive displays. It has a big tree made using unusable coins and demonetized notes attached with a computer model outlining how money gets transferred to the account digitally.
  216. According to Vidhi centre for for Legal Policy's report titled “Building Better Courts (Surveying the Infrastructure of India’s District Courts)” -
    1. Delhi (90%) and Kerala (84%) are top-performing states in court infrastructure facility whereas Bihar (26%) and Manipur (29%) have poorest infrastructure in lower judiciary.
  217. English actor and film director Andy Serkis will receive International Broadcasting Convention’s(IBC) highest award “International Honor for Excellence” for bringing extraordinary humanity to computer-generated characters.
  218. Mercedes Racer Lewis Hamilton (UK) won Hungarian Grand Prix 2019 - -
    1. Formula 1 Season 2019 -
      1. Round Grand Prix Winner date
        1 Australian Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 17 March
        2 Bahrain Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 31 March
        3 Chinese Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 14 April
        4 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Valtteri Bottas (Finland) 28 April
        5 Spanish Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 12 May
        6 Monaco Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 26 May
        7 Canadian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 9 June
        8 French Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 23 June
        9 Austrian Grand Prix Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch) 30 June
        10 British Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 14 July
        11 German Grand Prix Max Verstappen (Belgian-Dutch) 28 July
        12 Hungarian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton (UK) 4 August
        13 Belgian Grand Prix   1 September
        14 Italian Grand Prix   8 September
        15 Singapore Grand Prix   22 September
        16 Russian Grand Prix   29 September
        17 Japanese Grand Prix   13 October
        18 Mexican Grand Prix   27 October
        19 United States Grand Prix   3 November
        20 Brazilian Grand Prix   17 November
        21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix   1 December
  219. Government announced repealing Article 370 and introduced Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 in Rajya Sabha. 
    1. The resolutoin was passed by Home Minister Amit Shah in the upper house.
    2. The Historical Bill aims at repealing special status to Jammu and Kashmir and will make J&K an integral part of India. Bill proposes Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory with a legislature, while Ladakh as a Union Territory without a legislature.
    3. Article 370 of Indian constitution gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
      1. Jawaharlal Nehru Govt. got the article added with a 1954 Presidential Order, without presenting it into parliament.
        1. In October 1947, then-Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir signed the ‘Instrument of Accession’, which specified three subjects- Foreign affairs, Defence and Communications on which J&K would transfer its powers to India.
        2. In July 1949, Sheikh Abdullah, then chief minister of J&K Joined Indian Constituent Assembly and negotiated special status of J&K, leading to adoption of Article 370 in 1954 through the Presidential Order.
        3. The article has reportedly done more harm to Jammu and Kashmir than good. The scrapping of Article 370 will pave way for social and economic inclusion of J& K in India and will cause increase in economic activities and decline in terrorism in state.
      2. Article 370, along with Article 35A, defined that Jammu and Kashmir state's residents live under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property, and fundamental rights, as compared to resident of other Indian states. Indian citizens from other states could not purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir.
      3. Article is drafted as Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions in Part XXI of the Constitution. The Indian Constitution still describes it as a temporary provision. However, it was continuing for over 70 years.
      4. Article 370 provided six special provisions for Jammu and Kashmir:
        • The State is allowed to have its own Constitution.
        •  The Central legislative powers over the State were limited to the three subjects of defence, foreign affairs and communications.
        • Only with concurrence of State Government, other constitutional powers of Indian Government could be extended to State.
        • Concurrence was only provisional. The State’s Constituent Assembly should ratify the provision.
        • Until State Constituent Assembly was formed, State Government was given authority to give concurrence. Once State Constituent Assembly finalised scheme of powers and dispersed, no further extension of powers was possible.
        • Only if State’s Constituent Assembly approves the Article 370, it could be repealed or amended.
        • Centre has no power to declare financial emergency under Article 360 in state. It can declare an emergency in the state only in case of war or external aggression.
    4. Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order 2019 made by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind was published. Once this order was tabled by the home minister, it came into force immediately and supersede the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order 1954. 
    5. J&K Reorganisation Bill 2019 was moved by Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha. Bill bifurcates Jammu and Kashmir into 2 new Union Territories, one with legislature (Jammu and Kashmir) and other without legislature (Ladakh).
    6. Key changes in J & K political scenarion after the decision -
      1. Earlier

        Now Onwards

        Jammu & Kashmir was a state with special status.

        Now Jammu & Kashmir will be a Union Territory.

        Only citizens of Jammu and Kashmir were allowed to buy land in the state.

        People from anywhere in India will be able to buy a property and do business.

        No ‘outsider’ could settle in the state.

        Now any citizen of the country can settle in J&K.

        RTI could not be filed

        No restriction on filing RTI

        Period of Legislative assembly was 6 years.

        It will now be 5 years.

        Jammu & Kashmir had a separate flag.

        Only National Flag will be applicable there.

        J&K had a separate constitution.

        No separate constitution, law & order will be under central government.

        Ladakh was a part of Jammu & Kashmir

        Ladakh will be a separate Union Territory without a legislature.

        The constitutional head was Governor

        Head will now be Lieutenant Governor.

  220. Cabinet Approvals (Aug 5, 2019) -
    1. General Approvals -
      1. Approved Ratification of amended Framework Agreement of the International Solar Agreement (ISA) for opening up the ISA membership to all countries that are members of United Nations. It will put solar energy in global agenda with universal appeal for developing and deploying solar energy.
    2. MOUs -
      1. Tunisia - Cooperation in Exploration and Use of Outer space for Peaceful Purposes.
    3. CCEA Approvals-
      1. Approved plan construct New Line between Vaibhavwadi – Kolhapur (now Shri Chhatrapati Shahumaharaj Terminus) (108 km) with an estimated cost of Rs. 3,439 crore. The project will be completed by 2023-24 and will be executed by Construction Organization of Central Railway.
      2. Approved increasing speed of the Delhi-Mumbai route (including Kanpur-Lucknow) to 160 Kmph’ at a total cost of Rs. 6,806 cr by 2022-23, under Mission Raftaar. It will ensure upto 60% increase in average speed of passenger trains and doubling of average speed of freight traffic.
        1. 1,483 Kms long Delhi-Mumbai Route passes through 7 states, namely Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
      3. Approved increasing speed of the Delhi-Howrah route (including Kanpur-Lucknow) to 160 Kmph’ at a total cost of Rs. 6,685 cr by 2022-23, under Mission Raftaar. Like similar approval for Delhi-Mumbai route, this will ensure upto 60% increase in average speed of passenger trains and doubling of average speed of freight traffic.
        1. 1,525 Kms long Delhi-Howrah Route passes through 5 states, namely Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
  221. Relaxing bank lending norms to Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), RBI allowed banks on lending through NBFCs (other than MFIs- Microfinance Institutions) to Agriculture, MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) and affordable housing to be treated as priority sector lending for banks.
    1. Banks have been allowed on-lending to agriculture (investment credit) up to Rs.10 lakh, MSMEs up to Rs. 20 lakh and housing up to Rs.20 lakh per borrower (increased from Rs.10 lakh) to be classified as priority sector lending.
    2. RBI also eased bank’s exposure limits to help NBFC sector under stress. It has raised bank’s exposure limit to a single NBFC to 20% of Tier-I capital of bank against 15% earlier.
  222. RBI permitted all categories of billers (except prepaid recharges), who provide for recurring bill payments to participate in BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) on a voluntary basis. Presently, BBPS covers billers in 5 segments including DTH(Direct-to-Home), electricity, gas, telecom, and water bills.
  223. LIC launched a new term insurance plan called 'Jeevan Amar', as a non-linked, non-participating, life term assurance plan.
    1. Policyholder cannot claim the amount on maturity. Nominee will receive death claim in case of demise of life assured during term of policy.
    2. Plan is available for ages 18-65 years with maximum age maturity at 80 years offering policy terms from 10 years to a maximum of 40 years.
  224. India's Naaz Joshi won beauty pageant title of Miss World Diversity 2019 in Mauritius, as her third successive victory in this beauty pageant.
  225. Iran unveiled three precision-guided missiles “Yasin”, “Balaban” and a new series of “Ghaem”.
  226. As per report Top 100 Retailers in Asia 2019 by market research firm Euromonitor International -
    1. Walmart, which acquired Flipkart in 2018($16 Bn deal) topped rankings in India for 2018 with Gross Merchandise Volume(GMV) of $14.49 Billion. Amazon is 2nd with $9.8 Bf GMV followed by Future Group with $3.8Bn GMV(3rd position) and Reliance 4th ($3.6 Bn).
  227. Mumbai based Fynd, a Google-backed firm that connects retailers with online stores and consumers, has been acquired by Reliance industries. Reliance will own 87.6% stake in Fynd, valued approx 295 crore INR.
  228. Global Payments Firm Mastercard launched Identity Check Express as next-generation, mobile-first authentication solution that aims to redefine e-commerce journey for Indian consumers. It will help eliminate unnecessary friction and enhance the security of online transactions.
  229. Sardar Patel Memorial Statue of Unity, a 182 Metres Tall Structure in Gujarat’s Kevadiya town has been shortlisted for ‘The Structural Awards 2019’ of UK-based Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). It was unveiled by PM Narendra Modi on October 31, 2019.
  230. RBI imposed collective penalty of Rs 11 crore on 7 public sector banks, for non-compliance with certain RBI directions related to 'Code of Conduct for Opening and Operating Current Accounts.
    1. Allahabad Bank and Bank of Maharashtra have been imposed with a penalty of Rs 2 crore each.
    2. Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank and United Bank of India have been imposed with a penalty of Rs 1.5 crore each.
    3. Oriental Bank of Commerce has been imposed with a penalty of Rs 1 crore.
    4. RBI has also imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on Corporation Bank for non-compliance of norms related to cyber security framework for banks, frauds classification and reporting.
  231. ISRO Chairman K Sivan laid foundation stone for Space Situational Awareness Control Centre at Peenya in Bengaluru.
    1. Control centre would facilitate intensified activities foreseen for ASSAM, in view of increasing debris population and operational space assets.
    2. It would host a range of activities pertaining to the protection of Indian space assets from inactive satellites, pieces of orbiting objects, near-earth asteroids and adverse space weather conditions.
  232. RBI will set up a "Central Payment Fraud Registry", to track frauds in payment systems. Under this registry, payment system participants will be provided access to it for near-real time fraud monitoring. The aggregated fraud data will be published to educate customers on emerging risks. Currently, banks report all banking frauds to the Central Fraud Monitoring Cell of RBI.
  233. SEBI approved Singapore Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India to operate jointly in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, Gandhinagar. The two entities will create a new platform for trading called NSE International Financial Service Centre (IFSC)-SGX Connect.
  234. Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati developed a portable device to detect bacteria without cell culture or microbiological assays. The hand-held device, with bio-compatible sensor, can also diagnose time-critical illnesses such as meningitis.
  235. AustralianSuper and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan will invest $1 billion each in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Master Fund. The agreements include commitments of $250 million each in the Master Fund and co-investment rights of up to $750 million each in future opportunities alongside Fund.
    1. NIIF is India’s first sovereign wealth fund that was set up by the Government of India in February 2015. It manages over $4 billion of capital commitments across three funds.
    2. Fund invests in equity capital in core infrastructure sectors in India with a focus on transportation, energy and urban infrastructure.
  236. Thailand Open (Badminton) 2019 Winners -
    1. Men's Singles - Chou Tien-chen (Chinese Taipei)
    2. Women's Singles - Chen Yufei (China)
    3. Men's Doubles - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (India) AND Chirag Shetty (India)
      1. India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty defeated China's Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen to win in men’s doubles final of Thailand Open badminton championship in Bangkok. This is the first-ever Indian men’s combination to win a BWF Super 500 title.
    4. Women's Doubles - Shiho Tanaka (Japan) AND Koharu Yonemoto (Japan)
    5. Mixed Doubles - Wang Yilü (China) AND Huang Dongping (China)
  237. 2019 Citi Open Tennis Winners (Also called Washington Open) -
    1. Men's Singles - Nick Kyrgios (Australia)
    2. Women's Singles - Jessica Pegula (US)
    3. Men's Doubles - Raven Klaasen (South Africa) AND Michael Venus (New Zealand)
    4. Women's Doubles - Cori Gauff (US) AND Caty McNally (US)
  238. August 6 marks anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during World War II. The incident took place on August 6, 1945, when United States dropped an atomic bomb named Little Boy, on Hiroshima in Japan. This was first ever usage of an atomic bomb against a nation.
  239. Bangladesh signed deal with Russia for lifetime supply of uranium for its 2,400 MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) in Bangladesh. RNPP will come into operation by 2022.
    1. In 2017, Russia and Bangladesh signed spent fuel sent back agreement for management of nuclear waste of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP). Work on these two units of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), each producing 1200 MW of electricity is to be completed in 2022 and 2024 respectively.
  240. US designated China a “currency manipulator”, after China’s central bank allowed Yuan (Chinese Currency) to fall against USD. This may esclate already stressed trade relations between two nations.
    1. US accused China of manipulating its currency to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade and that China still targets on continuing to receive hundreds of billions of dollars which it have been taking from US with unfair trade practices and currency manipulation.
    2. US will now engage with International Monetary Fund (IMF) to eliminate unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.
  241. Rajasthan government launched a new higher education model titled- Resource Assistance for Colleges with Excellence or RACE, for distribution of faculties and movable assets among government colleges at district level so as to rationalise availability of resources.
    1. RACE model will create a pool for sharing of facilities which will benefit colleges that lack infrastructure.
    2. RACE is expected to help channelise resources and ensure quality education amid less strength of teachers in state (by approx 2000).
  242. France’s Franky Zapata successfully crossed English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard, as a first such achievement. He took just over 20 minutes and reached speeds of 110 mph to complete 22-mile journey.
    1. In 2011 he invented Flyboard, a device that uses a water jet to propel rider through air behind a boat. He later invented Flyboard Air, a board powered by four turbo jet engines that allows a rider to fly through air untethered, using a computer to keep it stabilized.
    2. English Channel is is narrow arm of Atlantic Ocean, which separates Southern England from northern France and links southern part of North Sea to Atlantic Ocean. It is busiest shipping area in world.
  243. RBI tightened fit-and-proper criteria for directors on boards of state-run Public Sector Banks (PSBs), to determine ‘fit and proper’ status of person to be eligible to be elected as a director on PSBs. It has for the first time, laid down exhaustive list for the disqualification of directors.
    1. PSBs are required to constitute Nomination and Remuneration Committee (NRC) consisting of minimum of three non-executive directors from amongst board of directors. Centre’s nominee director shall not be part of the NRC. Elected director shall hold office for 3 years.
    2. Several other conditions have been laid out by RBI.
  244. As per report, tigers face glooming threat from Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) transmitted from CDV-infected dogs living in and around wildlife sanctuaries. It has found that 86% of tested dogs around Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan carried CDV antibodies in their bloodstream. In 2018, over 20 lions from Gir Wildlife Sanctuary had died due to canine distemper virus infection.
  245. Government approved project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi rivers of Bihar, with cost INR 4900 crores, as 2nd major river interlinking project in country to be approved by Central Government after Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh.
    1. Approval came after project secured last remaining mandatory nod from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
    2. It envisages diversion of part of surplus water of Kosi river through existing Hanuman Nagar barrage to Mechi River of Mahananda basin.
    3. It will channel surplus water from Kosi into Mahananda, optimizing redistribution of surplus waters and providing it for irrigation of 2.14 lakh hectares of command areas spread across districts of Kishanganj, Araria, Purnia and Katihar in north Bihar.
  246. NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission discovered GJ 357 d, a super-Earth planet located 31 light years away from our solar system.
    1. Researchers claim that it is the first nearby “super-Earth” planet that could possibly support life as it orbit within its star’s “habitable zone or Goldilocks Zone”.
    2. It is located in GJ 357 planetary system which has diminutive M-type dwarf sun, about one-third the size of our own sun and harbour in three planets including GJ 357 d.
  247. Former India cricketer Arun Lal conferred with Karthik Bose Lifetime Achievement award of the Cricket Association of Bengal’s (CAB’s). He won his battle against jaw cancer and was coaching Bengal.
  248. Actor Aamir Khan launched Mission Shakti, a Maharashtra government’s initiative to train athletes from tribal areas for international sports events. It will help Maharashtra government to hunt for talented athletes in remote areas of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, and will be extended to entire state soon.
    1. The mission is directed towards 6 sporting disciplines namely- archery, shooting, volleyball, swimming, weightlifting and gymnastics.
  249. Rajasthan Assembly passes Bill against honour killing, titled Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill 2019 - It makes honour killing punishable by death penalty or life imprisonment.
    1. Bill has laid down death penalty/life sentence and a fine up to Rs.5 lakh for killing a couple or either of them on basis that their marriage had dishonoured or brought disrepute to caste/community/family.
    2. Bill also proposes punishment up to 7 years for criminal intimidation. Punishment is also based on Level of Hurt caused.
  250. Protection from Lynching Bill 2019 passed by Rajasthan Assembly, making rajasthan 2nd State after Manipur to have a dedicated legislation that criminalises mob lynching as a special offence. Manipur Assembly had passed a similar Bill in December 2018.
    1. Bill makes Mob Lynching offence cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offences. Life imprisonment and a fine up to Rs.5 lakh to convicts in cases of mob lynching involving victim’s death.
  251. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Consumer Affairs) published draft e-Commerce Guidelines for consumer protection 2019, applicable on all business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms.
    1. It aims to make e-commerce platforms and their sellers more transparent and accountable to consumers.
    2. It also seeks to curb sale of counterfeit products online and unfair trade practices by a series of consumer safeguards that forbid e-commerce companies from influencing pricing, adopting unfair promotion methods or misrepresenting quality of goods / services.
    3. It mandates e-commerce firms to self-declare compliance and also provide way for customers to contact them directly.
    4. It proposes to make mandatory for e-commerce entities to accept returns in event products delivered are defective, wrong or spurious or if they do not have characteristics or features advertised.
    5. It makes mandatory for e-commerce platforms to declare all details about their sellers including address, website and email address.
  252. India’s first wireless 3-D Smart Traffic Signal System called Intelights launched in Mohali (Punjab),, which proposes a Intelligent Traffic Timer Control to regulate traffic signals with smart bird’s eye view using wireless sensor system. Intelights has been devised by students at Chandigarh university.
  253. Scientists at University of Leeds (UK) created world's thinnest gold measuring 2 atoms thick or million times thinner than a fingernail, with official measurement being 0.47 nanometres.
    1. The material is regarded as two-dimensional (2D) because it comprises just two layers of atoms sitting on top of one another.
    2. The material could have wide-scale applications in the medical device and electronics industries -- and also as a catalyst to speed up chemical reactions in a range of industrial processes.
    3. Lab tests show that ultra-thin gold is 10 times more efficient as a catalytic substrate than the currently used gold nanoparticles, which are three dimensional (3D) materials with majority of atoms residing in bulk rather than at surface.
  254. In its 3rd Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting, RBI reduced policy repo rate by 35 basis points (bps).
    1. Repo rate under liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) was reduced from 5.75% to 5.40%, lowest since April 2010.
    2. Reverse repo rate revised to 5.15% (from 5.50%).
    3. Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and Bank Rate revised to 5.65% (From 6 %).
    4. RBI has also reduced GDP growth Projection for 2019-20 from 7% to 6.9%.
    5. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is 4 % and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) is 18.75 % (will update on October 12, 2019).
    6. RBI Monetary Police Committee is headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das with members – Ravindra H. Dholakia, Michael Debabrata Patra, Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Chetan Ghate and Pami Dua.
    7. RBI also stated to make available National Electronic Funds Transfer system on a 24x7 basis from December 2019 as per the Payment System Vision 2021 document.
  255. Aug 7, 2019 observed as 5th National Handloom Day, being observed since 2015. Bubaneswar (Odisha) was chosen as venue for main event due to its rich tradition of Handlooms. National Handloom Day seeks to focus on the contribution of handloom to the socio economic development of the country and also increase the income of weavers.
  256. World Breastfeeding Week observed from 1st to 7th August 2019.
    1. As per a Govt report, Northeastern state of Manipur topped in Breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in India.
  257. As part of centenary year celebrations of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, father of Indian space programme, ISRO instituted two categories of awards in journalism - Vikram Sarabhai Journalism Award in Space Science, Technology and Researc, to recognize journalists who have actively contributed towards the field of space science, applications, and research.
    1. There are two categories of awards, wherein the first category holds a cash price of Rs 5,00,000, a medal and  citation. 2 journalists or freelancers of print media will be awarded.
    2. Second category holds 3 cash prizes of Rs 3,00,000, 2,00,000 and 1,00,000 and citation each for journalists or freelancers of print media.
  258. An agreement Signed between National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to initiate a skill development programme for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector.
    1. NISE and UNIDO will engage national and international experts to bring the best practices by developing specialized training material.
  259. Scientists at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia developed an automated system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and capture fast radio bursts (FRBs) in real-time. FRBs are mysterious and powerful flashes of radio waves from space, thought to originate billions of light-years from Earth.
  260. Environment ministry unveiled a draft ‘Nation Resource Efficiency Policy’ which suggests the institutional mechanism and a three-year action plan through the principle of 6R and ‘green public procurement’.
    1. In India, consumption of fossil fuels, biomass, metal ores and non-metal ores was increased by over 6 times in 45 years, from 1.18 billion tonnes (BT) in 1970 to 7.4 BT in 2015. It is projected to be doubled by 2030 from 2015 level.
    2. 6R stands for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Redesign, Re-manufacture and Refurbish.
    3. Green public procurement is to procure products with lower environmental footprints such as secondary raw materials and locally sourced materials.
    4. Draft suggests to set up ‘National Resource Efficiency Authority’ (NREA) to develop an action plan with 3 years time-frame, create and maintain database, measure progress and build capacities.
    5. Under initial action plan (2019-22), draft seeks to constitute an inter-ministerial body – National Resource Efficiency Advisory Board (NREAB) – for coordination among different agencies.
  261. Bills Passed / Presented in Budget Session of Parliament 2019 -
    1. Concerned sessioon is First of newly-constituted 17th Lok Sabha. It was held between June 17 - Aug 7, 2019.
    2. During this Session, total 40 Bills (33 in Lok Sabha and 07 in Rajya Sabha) were introduced.  35 Bills were passed by Lok Sabha and 32 Bills were passed by Rajya Sabha and 30 Bills have been passed by both the Houses of Parliament.
    3. Productivity of Lok Sabha was approx. 137% and that of Rajya Sabha was approx. 103%.
    4. Bills passed by Both Houses (Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha)
      1. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019 -
        1. The historical bill was Introduced in Rajya Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah. Bill provides for reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh.
        2. Bill reorganises state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature and Union Territory of Ladakh without a legislature. 
          1. UT of Ladakh will comprise Kargil and Leh districts, and UT of Jammu and Kashmir will comprise the remaining territories of the existing Jammu and Kashmir. 
        3. UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will be administered by Lieutenant Governors, appointed by President. 
        4. Bill provides for a Legislative Assembly for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, with total number of seats in Assembly being 107.  Of these, 24 seats will remain vacant on account of certain areas of Jammu and Kashmir being under occupation of Pakistan. 
          1. Lieutenant Governor may nominate two members to the Legislative Assembly to give representation to women, if they are not adequately represented.     
        5. Assembly will have a term of five years, and the Lieutenant Governor must summon the Assembly at least once in six months. Legislative Assembly may make laws for any part of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir as per any matter in the Concurrent List applicable to Union Territories.  Further, Parliament will have power to make laws in relation to any matter for the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
        6. UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a Council of Ministers of not more than ten percent of the total number of members in Assembly.        
        7. High Court of Jammu and Kashmir will be the common High Court for the Union Territories of Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.  UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have an Advocate General to provide legal advice to the government of UT.   
        8. Legislative Council of state of Jammu and Kashmir will be abolished. All Bills pending in Council will lapse.  
        9. Central government will appoint Advisory Committees, for various purposes.  These Committees must submit their reports within six months to Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, who must act on these recommendations within 30 days. 
        10. Schedule lists 106 central laws that will be made applicable to Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.  These include Aadhaar Act, 2016, the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Right to Education Act, 2009.  Further, it repeals 153 state laws of Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, 166 state laws will remain in force, and seven laws will be applicable with amendments.  These amendments include lifting of prohibitions on lease of land to persons who are not permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
      2. Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It allows trusts to establish units in Special Economic Zone (SEZs). It replaces Special Economic Zone (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 promulgated March 2019 and amends SEZ Act 2005.
        2. It amends definition of “person” under Section 2(v) of SEZ Act 2005 to include ‘trusts’. Apart from trusts, it also includes any entity that central government may notify from time to time in definition of ‘person’. As per act, proposal for establishment of SEZ be made by any “person”.
      3. The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2019, aimed at providing relief to persons in Jammu and Kashmir living in areas adjoining international border.
        1. It will replace The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 by amendments in Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act 2004 and bringing persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border within the ambit of reservation at par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC).
      4. Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Homoeopathy Central Council Act 1973 and replaces the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 that was promulgated in March 2019.  It sets up Central Council of Homoeopathy which regulates homoeopathic education and practice.
      5. Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Teachers' Cadre) Bill 2019 -
        1. It provide for reservation of posts in appointments by direct recruitment of persons belonging to SC/ST and Educationally Backward Classes and Economically Weaker Sections to teachers’ cadre in Central Educational Institutions. It aims at   implementing 200-point reservation system instead of 13-point roster system for concerned recruitment.
      6. Central Universities (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Central Universities Act 2009, which establishes universities for teaching and research in various states. Bill provides for establishment of two central universities in Andhra Pradesh to be known as the Central University of Andhra Pradesh and the Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh.
      7. Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and replaces Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance 2019 which was promulgated in February 2019. 
        2. It sets up Medical Council of India (MCI) which regulates medical education and practice. 
        3. 1956 Act provides for supersession of MCI and its reconstitution within a period of three years from the date of its supersession. In interim period, Act requires government to constitute a Board of Governors, to exercise powers of MCI.  The Bill amends the Act to reduce time period for supersession of the MCI from 3 years to 2 years.
        4. Act provides for Board of Governors to consist of up to seven members including persons of eminence in medical education, appointed by government. Bill amends this provision to increase strength of Board from 7 to 12 members.
      8. Dentists (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Dentists Act 1948, which regulates profession of dentistry and constitutes Dental Council of India, State Dental Councils and Joint State Dental Councils.  
        2. Register of dentists is maintained under Act in Part A and Part B.  Persons with recognised dental qualifications are registered in Part A and persons not possessing such qualifications are in Part B.  Part B persons are those who have practicing as dentists for at least 5 years.  
        3. Under the Act, composition of mentioned Councils includes representation from dentists registered in Part B.  The Bill seeks to remove mandatory requirement of representation of dentists registered in Part B in these Councils.
      9. Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill amends Protection of Human Rights Act 1993, which provides for a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), State Human Rights Commissions (SHRC), as well as Human Rights Courts.
        2. Under the Act, chairperson of NHRC is a person who has been a Chief Justice of Supreme Court. Bill amends this to provide that a person who has been a Judge of Supreme Court. 
        3. Act provides for two persons having knowledge of human rights to be appointed as members of the NHRC. Bill amends this to allow three members to be appointed, of which at least one will be a woman. 
        4. the Act, the chairperson of a SHRC is a person who has been a Chief Justice of a High Court.  The Bill amends this to provide that a person who has been a Judge of a High Court will be chairperson of a SHRC.  
        5. Act states that chairperson and members of the NHRC and SHRC will hold office for five years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.  Bill reduces the term of office to three years or till the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier.   
        6. Bill provides that government may confer on a SHRC human rights functions being discharged by Union Territories.  Functions relating to human rights in case of Delhi will be dealt with by NHRC.
      10. Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill additionally allows ‘offline verification’ of an individual’s identity, without authentication, through modes specified by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) by regulations. During offline verification, agency must obtain consent of individual, inform them of alternatives to sharing information, and not collect Aadhaar number / biometric information.
        2. It allows voluntary linking of the 12-digit identification number as part of know your customer (KYC) guidelines to open bank accounts or get a mobile connection.
        3. Entities using Aadhaar - Under the Act, usage of Aadhaar number for establishing identity of an individual, is permitted.  Bill removes this provision and makes the permission subject to several UIDAI regulations.
        4. Aadhaar number of children - Bill specifies that at the time of enrolling a child to obtain an Aadhaar number, enrolling agency shall seek consent of his parent or guardian. After attaining 18 years age, child may apply for cancellation of its Aadhaar.
        5. Disclosure of information in certain cases - Under the Act, restrictions on confidentiality of Aadhaar information do not apply in case disclosure is pursuant to an order of a District Court (or above).  Bill amends this to allow such disclosure only for orders by High Courts (or above).  Bill amends rule to allow such disclosure on directions of officers not below the rank of a Secretary (Joint Secretary earlier).
        6. UIDAI Fund - Under the Act, fees and revenue collected by UIDAI will be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India.  Bill removes this provision, and creates Unique Identification Authority of India Fund.
        7. Complaints - Under the Act, courts can take cognizance of an offence only if UIDAI registers a complaint.  Bill amends this to allow individual to register complaints in certain cases, including impersonation or disclosure of their identity.  
        8. Bill defines Aadhaar ecosystem to include enrolling agencies, requesting agencies, and offline verification-seeking entities.
        9. Penalties - Under the Bill, UIDAI may initiate a complaint against an entity in Aadhaar ecosystem for failure to comply with Act or UIDAI directions, and furnish information required by UIDAI.  Adjudicating Officers appointed by UIDAI may impose penalties up to 1 crore rupees on such entities. 
      11. Right to Information (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Right to Information Act 2005.
        2. Under the Act, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and Information Commissioners (ICs) are appointed for term of five years. Bill states that central government will notify term of office for the CIC and ICs.
        3. Bill seeks to amend provisions related to salaries, allowances, and other terms and conditions of service of the central and state CIC and ICs, stating thet these will be determined by the central government.
        4. Act states that at the time of the appointment of the CIC and ICs (at the central and state level), if they are receiving pension or any other retirement benefits for previous government service, their salaries will be reduced by an amount equal to the pension.  Bill removes these provisions.
      12. New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill seeks to provide for establishment of a 7 Member NDIAC to conduct arbitration, mediation, and conciliation proceedings.  It declares NDIAC as an institution of national importance.
        2. International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ICADR) is a registered society to promote resolution of disputes through alternative dispute resolution methods (such as arbitration and mediation). Bill seeks to transfer existing ICADR to central government
        3. Members of NDIAC will hold office for three years and will be eligible for re-appointment. retirement age for Chairperson is 70 years and other members is 67 years.
        4. NDIAC will establish a Chamber of Arbitration which will maintain a permanent panel of arbitrators.  NDIAC may also establish an Arbitration Academy for training arbitrators and conducting research in area of alternative dispute resolution. 
      13. National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act 2008 and provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in a schedule (scheduled offences).
        2. Scheduled offences are are to be investigated and prosecuted by NIA.  These offences under Acts such as Atomic Energy Act 1962 and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967. 
        3. Bill seeks to allow NIA to investigate the following offences, in addition - human trafficking, offences related to counterfeit currency or bank notes, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism, and offences under Explosive Substances Act 1908.       
        4. Bill states that in addition, officers of NIA will have the power to investigate scheduled offences committed outside India, subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries
        5. Act allows the central government to constitute Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.  Bill amends this to state that central government may designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for trial of scheduled offences.
      14. Companies (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Companies Act, 2013. 
        2. Act contains 81 compoundable offences punishable with fine or fine or imprisonment, or both. Bill re-categorizes 16 of these offences as civil defaults, where adjudicating officers may now levy penalties instead.
        3. Under the Act, if companies which have to provide for Corporate Social Responsibility, do not fully spent funds, they must disclose reasons for non-spending. Under the Bill, any unspent annual CSR funds must be transferred to one of funds under Schedule 7 of Act (e.g., PM Relief Fund) within six months of financial year.
          1. However, if CSR funds are committed to certain ongoing projects, then unspent funds will have to be transferred to an Unspent CSR Account within 30 days of end of the financial year, and spent within three years.
          2. Any violation may attract fine between Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,00,000 and every defaulting officer may be punished with imprisonment of up to three years and / or fine 50,000 and 25,00,000. 
        4. Under the Act, the National Financial Reporting Authority can debar a member / firm from practising as a Chartered Accountant for a period between six months to 10 years, for misconduct.
          1. Bill amends punishment to provide for debarment from appointment as an auditor / internal auditor of a company, or performing a company’s valuation, for period between six months to 10 years.
        5. Bill states that a company may not commence business, unless it files a declaration within 180 days of incorporation, confirming that every subscriber to Memorandum of the company has paid for shares taken by him, and files a verification of its registered address with RoC within 30 days of incorporation.
        6. Act requires companies to register charges on their property within 30 days of creation of charge, extendable upto 300 days with permission of RoC.  Bill changes deadline to 60 days (extendable by 60 days). 
        7. Under the Act, change in period of financial year for a company associated with a foreign company, has to be approved by National Company Law Tribunal. Bill transfers these powers to central government. 
        8. Under the Act, a regional director can settle offences with a penalty of up to five lakh rupees.  Bill increases this ceiling to Rs 25 lakh. 
        9. Under the Act, central government or certain shareholders can apply to NCLT for relief against mismanagement of the affairs of company. 
          1. Bill states that in such a complaint, government may also make a case against an officer on ground that he is not fit to hold office, for reasons such as fraud / negligence.  If NCLT passes an order against officer, he will not be eligible to hold office in any company for five years. 
        10. If a person holds beneficial interest of at least 25% shares in a company or exercises significant influence or control over the company, he is required to make a declaration of his interest.
      15. Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill 2019 -
        1. It provides for a mechanism to ban unregulated deposit schemes and protect interests of depositors. It also seeks to amend three laws - Reserve Bank of India Act 1934, Securities and Exchange Board of India Act 1992 and Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act 2002.
        2. Bill bans unregulated deposit schemes.  A deposit-taking scheme is defined as unregulated if it is taken for a business purpose and is not registered with the regulators listed in the Bill. 
        3. Bill provides for the appointment of one or more government officers, not below rank of Secretary to state / central government, as Competent Authority.  Police officers receiving information about offences under Bill will report to Competent Authority. 
        4. Police officers (not below rank of an officer-in-charge of a police station) may seize any property believed to be connected with an offence under Bill, with or without a warrant.   Competent Authority will have powers similar to those vested in a civil court.
        5. Bill provides for the constitution of one or more Designated Courts in specified areas. 
        6. After provisional attachment of deposit taker’s assets, Competent Authority will approach Designated within 30 days (extendable to 60 days). to make provisional attachment absolute and ask for permission to sell assets.
        7. Designated Court shall will seek to complete process within 180 days of being approached by Competent Authority.
        8. Bill provides for central government to designate an authority to create an online central database for information on deposit takers. 
        9. Bill defines three types of offences, and penalties related to them -
          1. Running (advertising, promoting, operating or accepting money for) unregulated deposit schemes.
          2. Fraudulently defaulting on regulated deposit schemes
          3. Wrongfully inducing depositors to invest in unregulated deposit schemes by willingly falsifying facts. 
          4. Penalties -
            1. Accepting unregulated deposits will be punishable with imprisonment between 2 - 7 years, along with fine ranging from 3 - 10 lakh rupees. 
            2. Defaulting in repayment of unregulated deposits will be punishable with imprisonment between 3 - 10 years, and a fine ranging from 5 lakh rupees to twice the amount collected from depositors.
            3. Repeated offenders will be punishable with imprisonment between 5 - 10, along with a fine ranging from Rs 10 lakh to five crore rupees.
      16. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2019 (Informally called as Teen-Talak Bill) -
        1. It replaces an Ordinance promulgated on February 21, 2019.  
        2. Bill makes all declaration of talaq, including in written or electronic form, to be void and illegal.  It defines talaq as talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq pronounced by a Muslim man resulting in instant and irrevocable divorce.  
          1. Talaq-e-biddat refers to practice under Muslim personal laws where pronouncement of word ‘talaq’ thrice in one sitting by a Muslim man to his wife results in an instant and irrevocable divorce. 
        3. Bill makes declaration of talaq a cognizable offence, attracting up to three years’ imprisonment with a fine.
          1. Cognizable offence is one for which a police officer may arrest an accused person without warrant.
        4. Bill provides that the Magistrate may grant bail to accused.  Bail may be granted only after hearing woman, and if Magistrate is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for granting bail.
        5. Offence may be compounded by Magistrate upon request of woman. 
          1. Compounding refers to the procedure where the two sides agree to stop legal proceedings, and settle dispute.  
        6. Affected woman is entitled to seek subsistence allowance from her husband for herself and for her dependent children, with amount to be determined by Magistrate.
        7. Affected Muslim woman is entitled to seek custody of her minor children. Manner of custody will be determined by Magistrate.
      17. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016., which provides a time-bound process for resolving insolvency in companies and among individuals.
          1. Under the Code, a creditor may file an application before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for initiating insolvency resolution process. NCLT must find existence of default within 14 days.  A Committee of Creditors (CoC) consisting of financial creditors will then be constituted for taking decisions regarding insolvency resolution.  CoC may either decide to restructure debtor’s debt by preparing a resolution plan or liquidate debtor’s assets.
          2. CoC must complete a resolution process within 180 days, extendable by 90 days if the extension is approved by NCLT.   
          3. If resolution plan is rejected by CoC, debtor will go into liquidation. Code places financial creditors ahead of operational creditors.  In a 2018 Amendment, home-buyers who paid advances to a developer were to be considered as financial creditors.   
        2. Bill addresses three issues -
          1. Strengthens provisions related to time-limits. 
          2. Specifies minimum payouts to operational creditors in any resolution plan. 
          3. Specifies manner in which representative of a group of financial creditors (such as home-buyers) should vote.  
        3. Resolution plan -
          1. Code provides that resolution plan must ensure that operational creditors receive an amount which should not be lesser than amount they would receive in case of liquidation.  Bill amends this to provide that amounts to be paid to operational creditor should be higher of -
            1. Amounts receivable under liquidation, and
            2. Amount receivable under a resolution plan, if such amounts were distributed under same order of priority (as for liquidation).
              1. E.g, if default were for Rs 1,000 crore and resolution recovered 800 crores, operational creditor must at least get an amount which they would have received if Rs 800 crore have been obtained through liquidation proceeds.
            3. Bill states that this provision would also apply to insolvency processes.
        4. As per Code, NCLT must determine b existence of default within 14 days of receiving a resolution application.  Bill states that in case NCLT does not find existence of default and has not passed an order within 14 days, it must record reasons in writing. 
        5. Code states that insolvency resolution process must be completed within 180 days, extendable by a period of up to 90 days.  Bill adds that resolution process must be completed within 330 days, including extension and time taken in legal proceedings.  On the enactment of Bill, if any case is pending for over 330 days, Bill states it must be resolved within 90 days.
        6. Code specifies that, in cases when debt is owed to a class of creditors beyond a specified number, financial creditors will be represented on committee of creditors by an authorised representative, who will vote on behalf of creditors.
      18. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill 2019
        1. It amends Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, which seeks to protect children from offences such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography.
        2. The Bill enhances jail term / fine for variosu types of sexual crimes against children.
        3. Act penalises storage of pornographic material for commercial purposes with a punishment of up to three years, or a fine, or both.  Bill amends this to provide that the punishment can be imprisonment between three to five years, or a fine, or both.
      19. National Medical Commission Bill 2019
        1. It seeks to repeal Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and provide for a reformed medical education system.
        2. Bill sets up National Medical Commission (NMC).  Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will establish State Medical Councils at state level.  NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by central government. 
          NMC will look after Functions related to medical education and profession across nation.
        3. Central government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council, as primary platform through which states/UTs can put forth their views and concerns before NMC.
        4. Bill sets up autonomous boards under the supervision of NMC. 
          1. Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) and the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB).
          2. Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) - Will have the power to levy monetary penalties on medical institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and PGMEB. 
          3. Ethics and Medical Registration Board - Will maintain a National Register of all licensed medical practitioners, and regulate professional conduct. 
        5. NMC may grant a limited license to certain mid-level practitioners connected with the modern medical profession to practice medicine. These practitioners may prescribe specified medicines in primary and preventive healthcare.
        6. There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate super-speciality medical education in all medical institutions regulated under the Bill. 
        7. Bill proposes a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test for the students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice.
      20. Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It seeks to amend Motor Vehicles Act 1988, to provide for road safety.  
        2. Government will develop a scheme for cashless treatment of road accident victims during golden hour.  Bill defines golden hour as time period of up to one hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is highest.  Bill increases minimum compensation for hit and run cases.
        3. Bill requires government to constitute a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India, to be utilised for related causes. 
        4. Bill defines a good samaritan as a person who renders emergency medical or non-medical assistance to a victim at the scene of an accident.  Such a person will not be liable for any civil or criminal action for any injury to or death of an accident victim. 
        5. Bill allows government to order for recall of motor vehicles if a defect in vehicle may cause damage to environment / driver / other road users.
        6. Government may develop a National Transportation Policy, in consultation with state governments. 
        7. Bill provides for a National Road Safety Board to be created by central government. It will advise central and state governments on all aspects of road safety and traffic management.
        8. Bill increases penalties for several offences under the Act. 
          1. Maximum penalty for driving under influence of alcohol or drugs has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000.  If a vehicle manufacturer fails to comply with motor vehicle standards, penalty will be a fine of up to Rs 100 crore, or imprisonment of up to one year.  government may increase fines mentioned under Act every year by up to 10%.
      21. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
        2. Bill additionally empowers government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds such as terrortist organizations.  
        3. Bill adds Provisions related to that if investigation is conducted by an officer of National Investigation Agency (NIA), approval of Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.  
        4. Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act.  The Schedule lists nine treaties.  Bill adds another treaty to the list - International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).
      22. Repealing and Amending Bill 2019
        1. Bill repeals 68 laws that have been listed in the First Schedule of the Bill.  These include Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act 1976 and Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2001.
        2. Bill makes minor amendments to two Acts which relate to substitution of certain words. The two Acts are Income Tax Act 1961, and India Institutes of Management Act 2017.
      23. Code on Wages Bill 2019 -
        1. It subsumes relevant provisions of Minimum Wages Act, 1948, The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. After enactment of Code on Wages, all these four Acts will get repealed.
        2. The Code on Wage universalizes provisions of minimum wages and timely payment of wages to all employees irrespective of the sector and wage ceiling.
        3. At present, the provisions of both Minimum Wages Act and Payment of Wages Act apply on workers below a particular wage ceiling working in Scheduled Employments only. This would ensure "Right to Sustenance" for every worker and intends to increase the legislative protection of minimum wage from existing about 40% to 100% workforce.
        4. At present, many of the states have multiple minimum wages. Through Code on Wages, the methodology to fix the minimum wages has been simplified and rationalised by doing away with type of employment as one of the criteria for fixation of minimum wage.
      24. Consumer Protection Bill 2019
        1. It replaces Consumer Protection Act 1986. 
        2. Six consumer rights have been defined in the Bill -
          1. To be protected against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property
          2. To be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods or services
          3. To be assured of access to a variety of goods or services at competitive prices
          4. To seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices.
        3. Government will set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to protect and enforce rights of consumers.  CCPA will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements. 
        4. CCPA may impose a penalty on a manufacturer or an endorser of up to Rs 10 lakh and imprisonment for up to two years for amisleading advertisement. In subsequent offence, fine may extend to Rs 50 lakh and imprisonment of up to five years.
        5. Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions (CDRCs) will be set up at the district, state, and national levels. 
        6. District CDRC will entertain complaints where value of goods and services does not exceed Rs one crore.  State CDRC will entertain complaints when the value is more than Rs one crore but does not exceed Rs 10 crore.  Complaints with value of goods and services over Rs 10 crore will be entertained by the National CDRC.
      25. Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It seeks to amend Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996, which contains provisions to deal with domestic and international arbitration, and defines law for conducting conciliation proceedings.
        2. Bill seeks to establish Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the promotion of arbitration, mediation, conciliation and other alternative dispute redressal mechanism.
        3. Under the Bill, Supreme Court and High Courts may now designate arbitral institutions, which parties can approach for the appointment of arbitrators, within 30 days.
        4. Under the Act, arbitral tribunals are required to make their award within a period of 12 months for all arbitration proceedings. Bill seeks to remove this time restriction for international commercial arbitrations. It adds that tribunals must endeavour to dispose off international matters within 12 months.
        5. Bill requires that written claim and defence to claim in an arbitration proceeding, should be completed within six months of appointment of the arbitrators.
        6. Bill clarifies that 2015 Act shall only apply to arbitral proceedings which started on or after October 23, 2015.
      26. Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019
        1. It amends Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act 2008, which established Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).  AERA regulates tariffs and other charges for aeronautical services provided at civilian airports with annual traffic above 15 lakh passengers. 
        2. Act defines a major airport as one with annual passenger traffic over 15 lakh, or any other airports as notified by the central government.  Bill increases the threshold of annual passenger traffic for major airports to over 35 lakh.  
        3. Bill adds several clauses related to determining tariff, tariff structures, or development fees.
      27. Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill amends Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act 1971, which provides for eviction of unauthorised occupants from public premises in certain cases.
        2. Bill adds a provision laying down the procedure for eviction from residential accommodation.  It requires an estate officer to issue a written notice to a person if he is in unauthorised occupation of a residential accommodation.  Notice will require the person to show cause of why an eviction order should not be made against him, within three working days. 
        3. After considering the cause shown, estate officer will make an order for eviction.  If the person fails to comply with the order, the estate officer may evict such person from the residential accommodation, and take possession of it.
      28. Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill 2019
        1. It amends Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act 1956. 
        2. Act fixes maximum number of judges in the Supreme Court at 30 judges (excluding Chief Justice of India). Bill increases this number from 30 to 33.
      29. Other Two Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament were The Appropriation (No. 2) Bill 2019 AND The Finance (No. 2) Bill, 2019
    5. Bills Passed by Lok Sabha (Pending in Rajya Sabha) -
      1. Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It amends Inter-State River Water Disputes Act 1956, which provides for adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-state rivers and river valleys. 
        2. Under the Bill, when a state puts in a request regarding any water dispute, central government will set up a Disputes Resolution Committee (DRC), to resolve the dispute. DRC will comprise of a Chairperson, and experts with at least 15 years of experience in relevant sectors.
          1. DRC will seek to resolve dispute through negotiations, within one year (extendable by six months). If dispute cannot be settled by DRC, central government will refer it to Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal, within 3 months from receipt of report from DRC. 
          2. Central government will set up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal, for adjudication of water disputes. All existing Tribunals will be dissolved, and pending disputes will be transferred to new Tribunal.  Tribunal will consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, three judicial members, and three expert members. 
        3. Under the Act, Tribunal must give its decision within three years, which may be extended by two years.  Under the Bill, the proposed Tribunal must give its decision on the dispute within two years, which may be extended by another year.
        4. Under the Act, decision of Tribunal must be published by central government in official gazette, with same force as that of an order of Supreme Court.  Bill removes requirement of such publication. 
        5. Bill adds that decision of Tribunal will be final and binding on parties involved in dispute.  Bill makes it mandatory for central government to make a scheme to give effect to decision of Tribunal.  
        6. Under the Act, central government maintains a data bank and information system at national level for each river basin.  Bill provides that central government will authorise an agency to maintain such data bank.
      2. The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill 2019
        1. It amends Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act 1951, which provides for erection of a National Memorial in memory of those killed / wounded on April 13, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh.  It also creates a Trust to manage the Memorial.
        2. Under Act, Trustees of Memorial include PM as Chairperson, President of Indian National Congress, Minister in-charge of Culture, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Governor of Punjab, Chief Minister of Punjab, and 3 eminent persons nominated by government.  Bill removes President of Indian National Congress as a Trustee. 
        3. Act provides that three trustees nominated by government will be trustees for a period of five years and will be eligible for renomination. Bill allows government to terminate term of a nominated trustee before expiry of period of his term without assigning any reason.
      3. Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill prohibits discrimination against a transgender person, including denial of service or unfair treatment.
        2. Every transgender person shall have a right to reside and be included in his household.
        3. No government or private entity can discriminate against a transgender person in employment matters, including recruitment, and promotion.
        4. Educational institutions shall provide inclusive education, sports and recreational facilities for transgender persons, without discrimination.
        5. A transgender person may make an application to the District Magistrate for a certificate of identity, indicating the gender as ‘transgender’. 
        6. Government will take measures to ensure full inclusion of transgender persons in society.
        7. Bill recognizes several offences against transgender persons. Penalties for these offences vary between six months and two years, and a fine.
        8. National Council for Transgender persons (NCT) will be formed with Union Minister for Social Justice as (Chairperson) and other designated members.
      4. Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill defines surrogacy as a practice where a woman gives birth to a child for an intending couple with intention to hand over the child after birth to intending couple.
        2. Bill prohibits commercial surrogacy, but allows altruistic surrogacy.  Altruistic surrogacy involves no monetary compensation to the surrogate mother other than the medical expenses and insurance coverage during pregnancy.
        3. Intending couple should have a ‘certificate of essentiality’ and a ‘certificate of eligibility’ issued by the appropriate authority.
          Certificate of essentiality will be issued upon fulfilment of given conditions related to proven infertility and other terms.
        4. To obtain a certificate of eligibility from appropriate authority, surrogate mother has to be - a close relative of the intending couple, a married woman having a child of her own, 25 to 35 years old, a surrogate only once in her lifetime and possess a certificate of medical and psychological fitness for surrogacy.
        5. Central and state governments shall appoint one or more appropriate authorities within 90 days of the Bill becoming an Act. 
        6. To act as Surrogacy clinics, Clinics must apply for registration within a period of 60 days from the date of appointment of the appropriate authority.
        7. Central and the state governments shall constitute National Surrogacy Board (NSB) and State Surrogacy Boards (SSB), respectively. 
        8. Offences under Bill include undertaking or advertising commercial surrogacy, exploiting surrogate mother, abandoning a surrogate child, selling or importing human embryo or gametes for surrogacy.  Penalty is imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine up to 10 lakh rupees.
      5. Dam Safety Bill 2019 -
        1. It provides for surveillance, inspection, operation, and maintenance of specified dams across country.
        2. Bill applies to all specified dams in the country.  These are dams with height over 15 metres, height between 10 metres to 15 metres and subject to certain additional design and structural conditions.
        3. National Committee on Dam Safety will be constituted and will be chaired by the Chairperson, Central Water Commission.  All other members will be nominated by central government.
          1. Functions of Committee include formulating policies and regulations regarding dam safety standards and prevention of dam failures, and analysing causes of major dam failures and suggesting changes in dam safety practices.
        4. National Dam Safety Authority will be headed by an officer not below rank of an Additional Secretary. Functions include
          1. Implementing the policies formulated by the National Committee on Dam Safety.
          2. Resolving issues between State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs), or between a SDSO and any dam owner in that state
          3. Specifying regulations for inspection and investigation of dams
          4. Providing accreditation to agencies working on construction, design, and alteration of dams.
        5. State governments will establish State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs).  All specified dams situated in a state will fall under the jurisdiction of that state’s SDSO.  In certain cases National Dam Safety Authority will act as the SDSO.  These include cases where a dam extends over multiple states or is owned by a central public sector undertaking. SDSOs will
          1. Keep perpetual surveillance, inspect, and monitor operation and maintenance of dams
          2. Keep a database of all dams and recommend safety measures to owners of dams.
        6. Bill provides for constitution of State Committees on Dam Safety by state governments. Functions of Committee include -
          1. Reviewing work of SDSO
          2. Ordering dam safety investigations
          3. Recommend dam safety measures and reviewing progress on such measures
          4. Assess potential impact on upstream and downstream states. 
        7. Owners of specified dams are required to provide a dam safety unit in each dam.
        8. Bill provides for two types of offences -
          1. Obstructing a person in discharge of his functions under the Bill and
          2. Refusing to comply with directions issued under the Bill.  
          3. Offenders will be punishable with imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine, or both.
    6. Bills Passed by Rajya Sabha (Pending in Lok Sabha) -
      1. Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Second Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. Bill amends Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act 2004. 
        2. Act provides for reservation in appointment (by direct recruitment) in state government posts for SC/ST and backward classes. It provides for reservation in admission in professional institutions for certain reserved categories.  Bill additionally provides for reservation in appointment and admission in professional institutions for economically weaker sections. 
        3. Reservations of upto 10% for economically weaker sections in appointment and admission to professional institutions will be in addition to existing reservation under the Act.         
      2. National Institute of Design (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It seeks to amend National Institute of Design Act 2014, which declares National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad as an institution of national importance.
        2. Bill seeks to declare four National Institutes of Design in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, and Haryana as institutions of national importance. Currently, these are registered as Societies under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and do not have the power to grant degrees or diplomas.
    7. Bills Introduced in Lok Sabha -
      1. Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. It Bill seeks to amend Chit Funds Act 1982, that regulates chit funds, and prohibits a fund from being created without prior sanction of state government.  Under a chit fund, people agree to pay a certain amount from time to time into a fund.  Periodically, one of subscribers is chosen by drawing a chit to receive the prize amount from the fund.
        2.  Act specifies various names which may be used to refer to a chit fund. These include chit, chit fund, and kuri.  Bill additionally inserts ‘fraternity fund’ and ‘rotating savings and credit institution’ to this list.
        3. Act defines certain terms in relation to chit funds - ‘chit amount’, ‘dividend’ and ‘prize amount’. Bill changes names of these terms to ‘gross chit amount’, ‘share of discount’ and ‘net chit amount’, respectively.
        4. Under the Act, the ‘foreman’ is responsible for managing chit fund, who is entitled to maximum commission of 5% of chit amount.  Bill seeks to increase the commission to 7%.
        5. Under the Act, chits may be conducted by firms, associations or individuals. Maximum amount of chit funds which may be collected - 1 lakh for chits conducted by individuals and firms with under 4 partners and 6 lakh rupees for firms with four or more partners.  Bill increases these limits to three lakh rupees and 18 lakh rupees, respectively. 
        6. Act does not apply to any chit started before it was enacted and any chit (or multiple chits being managed by the same foreman) where amount is less than Rs 100. Bill removes limit of Rs 100, and allows state governments to specify base amount over which vprovisions of Act will apply.
      2. Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2019 -
        1. The Code applies to establishments employing at least 10 workers, and to all mines and docks.   It does not apply to apprentices.
        2. Code repeals and replaces 13 labour laws relating to safety, health and working conditions. These include the Factories Act, 1948, the Mines Act, 1952, and the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970.  
        3. Central and state governments will set up Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Boards at national and state level, respectively.  
        4. Code specifies several duties of employers related to health of employees, including a workplace that is free from hazards that may cause injury or diseases, and free annual health examinations.
        5. Work hours will be as per rules prescribed by government. For overtime, worker must be paid twice the rate of daily wages.  
        6. No employee may work for more than six days a week. Exceptions may be provided for motor transport workers. During medical leave, worker must be paid half his daily wages.
        7. An offence that leads to death of an employee will be punishable with imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine up to five lakh rupees, or both. For any other violation employer will be penalised with a fine between two and three lakh rupees.
      3. DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill 2019
        1. Bill provides for regulation of use of DNA technology for establishing the identity of certain persons. Same Bill had been previously introduced in Lok Sabha in August 2018, but lapsed.    
        2. DNA testing is allowed only in respect of matters listed in the Schedule to the Bill.  These include offences under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and for civil matters such as paternity suits.    
        3. Bill provides for the establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and Regional DNA Data Banks, for every state, or two or more states.
        4. Bill states that the criteria for entry, retention, or removal of the DNA profile will be specified by regulations. 
        5. Bill provides for the establishment of a DNA Regulatory Board, which will supervise the DNA Data Banks and DNA laboratories. 
        6. Any laboratory undertaking DNA testing is required to obtain accreditation from the Board.   
        7. Bill specifies penalties for various offences, including: (i) for disclosure of DNA information, or (ii) using DNA sample without authorization.
  262. Government organized 22nd National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) in Shillong (Meghalaya), with theme Digital India: Success to Excellence. This is the first time the event is being organized in North-Eastern region of the country. This Conference provides a platform to disseminate knowledge on effective methods of designing sustainable e-Governance initiatives.
  263. Manila (Philipppines) based Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved $200 million loan for improving road infrastructure in 34 districts of Maharashtra to connect rural areas with markets and services. The total cost of the project is $296 million.
  264. Book by Former RBI Governor named Resurgent India has been launched. The book talks about key priorities that can be implemented by the new government in national interest, irrespective of the political agenda of the party that come to power.
  265. Book titled Oru Manidhan, Oru Iyakkam has been released. It depicts life of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Dravidian Progressive Conference) (DMK) leader Late M Karunanidhi , the former Tamil Nadu chief minister.
  266. Andhra Pradesh government will launch Navodayam scheme, as a complete outreach programme for thousands of ailing MSMEs. Navodayam will provide a lifeline to stressed MSMEs by ensuring that all eligible units are permitted for the one-time restructuring of accounts up to March 31, 2020. About 86,000 MSMEs have been identified for restructuring under Navodayam with an outlay of Rs 3,900 crores.
  267. Grexter Living, Bengaluru based co-living services startup has acquihired i2Stay, which will expand the scale of operations of the combined entity and also enable it to move into newer cities.
  268. IIT Madras partnered with National Institute of Ocean Technology to harness electricity from ocean waves. Both institutions will together develop turbines that can harness the power of ocean waves to generate electricity.
  269. Forbes' List Of Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 -
    1. US Tennis Player Serena Williams topped the List for 4th consecutive year with estimated total earnings of $29.2 million.
    2. Japan’s Naomi Osaka was 2nd on the list with earnings of ($24.3 million).
    3. Indian badminton player P.V. Sindhu came in tied for 13th ($5.5 million), with Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn ($5.3 million).
  270. SBI Life Insurance and Indian Bank have signed a bancassurance pact to offer holistic financial planning solutions to Bank’s customers.
    1. Indian Bank also signed similar corporate agency agreement with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd.
    2. Axis Bank signed similar bancassurance agreement with health insurer Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co Ltd (ABHICL).
    3. Karur Vysya Bank signed a similar bancassurance agreement with General insurance company Digit Insurance.
    4. Indian Bank signed Bancassurance Tie up with Tata AIG General Insurance.
  271. Pakistan announced a five-point plan that included suspension of bilateral trade in response to India’s move to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir. Also, Pakistani ambassadors will no longer be in New Delhi and their counterparts in Pakistan will also be sent back.
    1. This decision by cash-strapped Pakistan will not cause much impact on India as India has already downgraded trade witth Pakistan After Pulwana Attacks.
    2. Pakistan also permanently stopped Samjhauta Express train services that linked India and Pakistan.
  272. Saudi Arabia has de-recognized Pakistani PG medical degree programmes such as MS/MD degrees, as Pakistani medical programs lacked properly structured trainings.
  273. Government constituted a 12-member selection panel for national sports awards, headed by SC judge (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma.
    1. Panel including six-time world champion boxer M. C. Mary Kom and former football captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
    2. National sports awards will be given away on National Sports Day, August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. According to the Sports Ministry, it is a new idea of one selection committee for all the awards.
  274. India contributed US $5 million to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in support of UNRWA’s core programmes and services, including education, health care, and relief and social services.
  275. 8 August is celebrated in India as August Kranti Din. On this day in 1942, foundation of Quit India Movement, run by M K Gandhi was laid, after which whole of India united against British and British rule had to kneel down.
  276. As per languages directory Ethnologue, Pacific island Oceanic nation Papua New Guinea has highest number of ‘living’ indigenous languages in world (840). India stands fourth in list with 453 languages. 2019 is the United Nations' International Year of Indigenous Languages.
    1. Director lists 7,111 living languages worldwide. Chinese, Spanish, English, Hindi and Arabic are most widely spoken languages worldwide.
  277. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) unveiled draft Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for coastal zone management, prepared by Society for Integrated Coastal Management.
    1. ESMF lays out guidelines out for coastal States to adopt when they approve and regulate projects in coastal zones.
    2. It proposes key activities for coastal zone development that consist investments by States including mangrove afforestation/shelter beds, habitat conservation activities such as restoration of sea-grass meadows, rearing/rescue centres for turtles and other marine animals, creation of infrastructure for tourism, beach cleaning and development etc.
  278. A Mexico Researcher discovered way to turn cactus leaves into non toxic and biodegradable material with similar properties to plastic. This innovation offers a promising solution to one of the world’s biggest pollution conundrums caused by toxic and non-biodegradable plastics.
  279. President Ram Nath Kovind presented Bharat Ratna Awards to Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (posthumously) and Pranab Mukherjee. Awards were announced in January 2019.
  280. Monetary limits for filing of appeals by Income Tax Department further enhanced by CBDT, To effectively reduce taxpayer grievances and help Department focus on litigation involving complex legal issues and high tax effect.

    Appellate Forum

    Existing Monetary Limit(Rs.)

    Revised Monetary Limit(Rs.)

    Before Income Tax Appellate Tribunal

    20,00,000

    50,00,000

    Before High Court

    50,00,000

    1,00,00,000

    Before Supreme Court

    1,00,00,000

    2,00,00,000

  281. India signed United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA) also known as Singapore Convention on Mediation. So far 46 countries have signed this international treaty on settlement agreements. Benefits -
    1. It is important for growth of mediation in India and enhancing ease of doing business in India particularly in legal front. It will help to boost confidence of investors especially foreign investors investing in India.
    2. It will provide positive signal to foreign investors about India’s commitment for adhering to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or external dispute resolution (EDR).
    3. In December 2018, UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation. It provides uniform framework for enforcing international settlement agreements which results from mediation.
    4. It aims to become essential instrument that facilitates international trade and in promotion of mediation as alternative and effective method of resolving trade disputes. It also seeks to contribute to strengthening access to justice, and to the rule of law.
  282. August 9 marks anniversary of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki during World War II. The incident took place on August 9, 1945, when United States dropped an atomic bomb named Fat Man, on Nagasaki in Japan.
    1. Three Days Earlier, on Aug 6, An atomic bomb named Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima (Japan). The two bombings killed between 129000 and 226000 people, most of whom were civilians. It still remains only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.
  283. As per LinkedIn’s fourth edition of Top Companies list for India 2019 -
    1. Walmart Owned Flipkart ranked as best workplace in India.
    2. Top 5 - Flipkart, Amazon, OYO, One97 Communications, Uber.
  284. Odisha government unveiled ‘Odisha Small Savings Incentive Scheme‘ for the calendar year 2019 under the notation “AQ” series. It aims to stop people from transacting with ‘suspicious’ non-banking private financial institutions.
    1. Any eligible person who deposits minimum amount INR 2000 in any Small Savings Schemes during 2019 can obtain a free web-based coupon from designted offices.
    2. A state-level lucky draw of the scheme will be held on April 26, 2020, in which the people can win cash award as an incentive for their habit of thrift. First prize will be Rs 5 lakh.
  285. India and Pakistan will participae in upcoming major military exercise Tsentr (centre) 2019 under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), to be held in September 2019 at Orenburg, Russia. SCO members are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan.
  286. PNB Housing Finance raised fresh equity of Rs 522 crore ($75 million) as External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) of Singapore.
  287. RBI Task Force on Offshore Rupee Markets headed by Usha Thorat has recommended the extension of onshore market hours to 9 am to 9 pm, from 9 am to 5 pm, to improve access of overseas users and allow Indian banks to freely offer prices to global clients around the clock.
    1. Panel was constituted in August 2018, amid sharp growth in offshore trading volumes in rupee Non-Deliverable Forward (NDF) (Offshore markets) market.
  288. Remains of World’s largest parrot, Heracles inexpectatus that lived 19 million years ago have been discovered in New Zealand which is well known for giant birds. It is nicknamed as “Squawkzilla”.
  289. RBI Approved Scheduled bank status for Bengaluru Based Jana Small Finance Bank, which now has over 260 branches.
  290. Aug 9 is observed as International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples. 2019 Theme is Indigenous Languages, dedicated to 2019 being marked as International Year of Indigenous Languages by United Nations (UN). The day was proclaimed by UNGA in 1994. August 9 marks 1st meeting of UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights was held in 1982.
  291. Urkund, an anti-plagiarism (anti-piracy, anti-theft) Swedish software has been chosen by UGC to be accessed for free by Indian Universities through global tender process. Software will be provided to 900 universities. Previously used software was Turnitin but it was found to be 10 times more expensive without a proportionate increase in features or reliability.
  292. Registration for PM Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana began, as newly launched old age pension Scheme aimed at improving livelighoods of small and marginal farmers.
    1. Scheme is for farmers aged 18 to 40 years and a monthly pension of Rs. 3000 will be provided to them on attaining the age of 60 years.
    2. The farmers will have to make a monthly contribution of Rs.55 to Rs.200, depending on their age of entry. Government will also make an equal contribution of the same amount in the pension fund.
    3. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) shall be the Pension Fund Manager and responsible for Pension pay out.
  293. As a step towards ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan inaugurated  inter-State portability in two clusters of adjoining States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana and Gujarat & Maharashtra. This will enable beneficiaries from either States’ cluster to avail the benefits accruing to them under the National Food Security Act from any of the two States.
    1. Govt aims Pan India roll out of "One Nation One Ration Card" scheme from June 1, 2020.
  294. Government announced 66th National Film Awards 2019. Awards are given in 31 categories.
    1. Jury Heads - Rahul Rawail (Feature Film Category), AS Kanal (Non-Feature Film Category) and Utpal Borpujari (Best Writing on Cinema).
    2. Uttarakhand named winner of newly created Film friendly state Awards. Awardees -
    3. Category Winner
      Best Feature Film Hellaro (Gujarati) directed by Abhishek Shah
      Best Direction Aditya Dhar for Uri: The Surgical Strike
      Best Actor (Male) Ayushmann Khurrana for Andhadhun AND Vicky Kaushal for Uri: the Surgical Strike
      Best Actor (Female) Keerthy Suresh (Mahanati)
      Best Supporting Actor (Male) Swanand Kirkire (Chumbak)
      Best Supporting Actor (Female) Surekha Sikri (Badhaai Ho)
      Best Hindi Film Andhadhun
      Best Film on Social Issues Padman
      Best Music Direction Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Padmaavat)
      Best Background Score Shashwat Sachdev (Uri: The Surgical Strike)
      Best Female Playback Singer Bindu Malini (Maayavi Manave – Nathicharami, Kannada)
      Best Male Playback Singer Arjit Singh (Binte Dil – Padmaavat)
      Best Lyrics Nathicharami (Kannada)
      Best Cinematography MJ Radhakrishnan for Olu (Malayalam)
      Nargis Dutt Award for Best Film on National Integration Ondalla Eradalla (Kannada)
      Best Child Artist PV Rohit (Kannada), Sahib Singh (Punjabi), Talha Arshad Reshi (Urdu) and Shrinivas Pokale  (Marathi)
      Best Film on Environment Conservation Paani
      Best Children’s Film Sarkari Area Prathamika Shaale Kasaragod (Kannada)
      Best Regional Films
      Malayalam Sudani from Nigeria
      Marathi Bhonga
      Urdu Hamid
      Tamil Baaram
      Rajasthani Turtle
      Telugu Mahanati
      Assamese Bulbul Can Sing
      Punjabi Harjeeta
      Bengali Ek Je Chhilo Raja
      Garo Anna
      Kannada Nathicharami
      Konkani Amori
      Gujarati Reva
      Sherdukpan Mishing
      Panchanga In The Land Of Poisonous Women
      Non Feature Films
      Educational Sarala Virala
      Sports Swimming through the Darkness
      Investigative Film Amoli
      Environment Film The World’s Most Famous Tiger
      Promotional Film Rediscovering Jalam
      Science & Technology Film G.D Naidu: The Edison of India
      Arts and Culture Film Bunkar: The Last of The Varanasi Weavers
  295. Aug 10 - World Biofuel Day, to create awareness about importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. 2019 Theme is Production of Biodiesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO).
    1. National Policy on Biofuels 2018 envisages production of biofuel from UCO. Presently, 850 crore litres of High Speed Diesel (HSD) is consumed on a monthly basis in India. National Policy on Biofuels 2018 aims 5% blending of Biodiesel in HSD by 2030.
    2. On this occasion, Rajasthan became 1st state to release biofuel rules 2019 (after notification of Centre on April 30, 2019) with the vision to promote use of biofuels.
    3. Aug 10 is also birth anniversary of V V Giri, 4th president of India from 24 August 1969 to 24 August 1974.
  296. Chinese telecom Major Huawei launched its own operating system called HarmonyOS or HongMeng in Chinese, amid Huawei facing threat of losing access to Google’s Android platform. First version of Huawei's operating system would launch in late 2019.
  297. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) announced 4th edition of National Entrepreneurship Awards 2019, to honour outstanding young 1st generation entrepreneurs / ecosystem builders for their contribution in entrepreneurship development. Categories -
    1. There are total of 45 specially designed awards to be bestowed - 39 Enterprise Awards and 6 Awards.
    2. To be eligible, entrepreneur must be under 40 years age , must be a first-generation entrepreneur, hold 51% or more equity and ownership of business and women entrants individually or collectively owning 75% or more of the enterprise.\
    3. Winners will be presented with Trophy, Certificate and Cash Prize of Rs. 5 lakh (enterprises/ individuals) and Rs. 10 lakh (organizations/ institutes).
  298. Home Affairs Minsiter Amit Shah launched book ‘Listening, Learning and Leading’, based on Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s two years in office.
  299. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will expand Rotavirus vaccine to entire country from September 2019, providing Rotavirus vaccine to every child across all 36 states / UTs.
    1. In India, every year there are 37 diarrheal deaths out of every 1000 children. Rotavirus diarrhoea presents in similar manner like any other diarrhoea but can easily prevented through rotavirus vaccination.
  300. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu launched Jharkhand Govt's Mukhyamantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana. Farmers having farmlands of less than 1 acre to 5 acres will be provided financial assistance of 5,000-25,000. Outlay of scheme is INR 3000 crores. This scheme is apart from the benefits that the farmers are getting under Pradhan Mantri Kisan yojana. Money distribution -
    1. 5000- Under 1 acres of land.
    2. 10,000 - 1 - 2 acres of land.
    3. 15000 - 2 - 3acres of land.
    4. 20000 - 3 - 4 acres of land.
    5. 25,000 - 4 - 5 acres of land.
  301. Payments startup EnKash launched India’s first corporate credit card called ‘Freedom Card’ for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups. Freedom card enables availing credit facility for immediate needs and to manage liquidity of startups.
  302. Singapore based Financial firm DBS Bank tied up with Social Alpha, the non-profit start-up incubator to mentor & support start-ups focusing including inclusion, healthcare, and the environment in India, over next 18 months.
  303. RBL Bank and digital healthcare platform Practo partnered to launch an industry first co-branded health credit card, powered by Mastercard.
  304. Uttar Pradesh Govt's Vriksharopan Mahakumbh drive created world record by planting more than 22 crore saplings, on occasion of 77th anniversary of Quit India Movement on 8 August 2019.
  305. NITI Aayog launched 4th edition of Women Transforming India (WTI) Awards, with theme Women and Entrepreneurship. WhatsApp has collaborated with NITI Aayog for WTI Awards 2019 and will be providing support amounting to US $100,000 to award winners.
    1. Award is being organized annually by NITI Aayog in collaboration with United Nations to recognize women entrepreneurs from India, launched under Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP).
  306. General Conferences (Aug 1 - 10, 2019) -
    1. For 1st time since Independence, ‘Nagar Kirtan’ carrying Guru Granth Sahib which was taken out from Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province of Pakistan, arrived at Attari in Amritsar (India). Nagar Kirtan will culminate at Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district of Punjab in India after passing through various cities and towns, marking 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev
    2. e-version of Rozgar Samachar has been launched by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, to make aspirants aware of job opportunities in government sector. Journal has been priced at 75% of the cost of its print version and is available for an annual subscription fee of 400.
    3. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched ‘Samagra Shiksha-Jal Suraksha’ drive, to cre1ate awareness about Water Conservation among all school students in country, so that they can become competent, conscientious and committed water citizens.
    4. Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum in Punjab Anandpur Sahib will be listed in the Asia Book of Records for becoming most visited museum in Indian sub-continent in a single day, with over 20000 visitors on a single day on March 20, 2019.
    5. City of Lakes, Udaipur (Rajasthan) hosted 3rd edition of India’s largest education brainstorming event called “ScooNews Global Educators Fest (SGEF)” on 2019 theme ‘Education for Sustainability: Moving on from conformity to creativity’.
    6. Madhya Pradesh State Action Plan for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance (MP-SAPCAR) has been released, making MP 2nd state after Kerala to develop an action plan to manage antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
      1. With rising AMR, antibiotics are increasingly becoming ineffective for treating diseases in humans. If there is no timely containment, AMR is likely to cause nearly 10 million deaths by 2050 and result in significant global economic losses.
    7. 15th India-US Defence Policy Group meeting 2019 on defence issues held in Washington (US).
    8. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ inaugurated TechEx - technology exhibition at IIT Delhi, to demonstrate products and prototypes developed under the two flagship schemes of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) namely IMPacting Research, INnovation and Technology (IMPRINT) and UchhatarAvishkar Yojana (UAY). 
    9. Foreign Ministers from South East Asia Nations attended 52nd ASEAN summit in Bangkok (Thailand).
    10. Govt. organized Regional Conference on Good Governance with the theme “Strengthening State Institutes of Public Administration” at Jaipur, Rajasthan.
    11. E-commerce Firm Flipkart launched Samarth, an initiative to bring Indian artisans, weavers, and makers of handicrafts to its platform. Walmart-owned Flipkart partnered with 5 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help artisans use online marketplace to sell their products.
    12. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal announced that India’s first underwater train project will be launched in Kolkata (West Bengal) under Hooghly river. It is a 16-kilometer long Kolkata Metro project, to connect Salt Sector 5 with Howrah Maidan.
    13. Nigeria joined Global coalition group of the willing on pollinators as the fourth African nation to protect pollinators and their habitats by developing and implementing National pollinator strategies, where currently world’s pollinator species are on decline. Other Nations in coalition are Ethiopia, Burundi and Morocco.
    14. Government sanctioned 5595 electric buses in 64 cities for intracity and intercity operations under Phase-II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME-India) Scheme.
    15. Delhi government announced that 11,000 hotspots will be installed to provide Wi-Fi before the end of 2019. The announcement was part of Mr. kejriwal's election agenda in 2014 but didn't see light of day during his tenure as Delhi CM.
    16. 3rd International Electric Vehicle Conclave held at International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) in Manesar (Haryana).
    17. Uttar Pradesh government has extended bilateral agreements with Netherlands till 2024, that sought cooperation in the fields of solid waste management, spatial planning, water management including restoration of water bodies and mobility planning.
    18. English Actor Steve Coogan will be honored with BAFTA Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy.
  307. Visits from India (Aug 1 - 10, 2019) -
    1. Piyush Goyal (Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways) visited Vladivostok (Russia), to explore investment opportunities and strike close partnerships with the Far East provinces.
    2. Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan atended 8th RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial meeting held in Beijing (China)
    3. External Affairs Minister (EAM)  S. Jaishankar visited Bangkok (Thailand). He attended ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, 9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (EAS FMM), 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and 10th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Ministerial Meeting.
    4. President Ram Nath Kovind Visited West African Nations Benin, Gambia and Guinea.  This visit is the first-ever visit of Head of State/Head of Government of India to each of the three countries.
      1. Benin -
        1. India and Benin signed four MoUs on education, health and e-visa facilities. The signing of the agreement on mutual exemption of visa requirement for holders of diplomatic and official passports and agreement on the fresh line of credit of 100 million US dollars by India to finance development projects in Benin.
        2. India also extended free tele-education courses to over 15,000 Beninese students and tele-medicine courses to 1,000 doctors and paramedics in Africa.
      2. Gambia -
        1. India offered Gambia a grant of US dollars 500,000 in support of skill development and cottage industry project. In addition, the two sides also signed and exchanged a MOU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy.
      3. Guinea -
        1. President Ram Nath Kovind has been awarded National Order of Merit by the President of Guinea for his exceptional contribution to advancement of overall relations and development of mutual cooperation between India and Guinea.
        2. India extended a new Line of Credit of US$ 170 million for Conakry Water Supply Project in Guinea.
        3. MOUs -
          1. Cooperation in field of traditional system of medicine and homeopathy.
          2. MOU Between Guinea and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited for Participation in the e-VBAB Network Project.
          3. Cooperation in field of renewable energy.
  308. Visits to India (Aug 1 - 10, 2019) -
    1. 7th meeting of India-Bangladesh Home Minister Level Talks (HMLT) held in New Delhi, attended by Asaduzzaman Khan, Minister for Home Affairs of Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh have agreed to set up a Joint Technical committee for optimum use of Ganges water. River Ganges water is being received by Bangladesh under the Ganga Water Sharing Treaty 1996.
  309. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed to come under ambit of National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA). Till now, Sweden-based International Dope Testing Management (IDTM) was collecting cricketers’ samples on behalf of BCCI and submitting them to the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL). NADA will now collect samples of all cricketers during various tournaments.
  310. A Peace agreement signed between Central Government, State government of Tripura and Tripura’s banned insurgency group National Liberation Front of Twipra led by Sabir Kumar Debbarma (NLFT-SD). NLFT-SD agreed to abjure path of violence and join mainstream.
  311. Defence minister Rajnath Singh approved extension of benefits of Child Care Leave (CCL) to single male service personnel as well as certain relaxations of CCL provisions in case of women officers of defence forces. Currently, Child Care Leave (CCL) is granted only to women officers in defence forces.
  312. Odisha government released Draft Agricultural Policy 2019, to focus on increasing income of farmers -
    1. Special Focus will be on about 50000 single landless women in Odisha.
    2. Draft policy deals with 8 specific strategies. They are leveraging science and technology, adoption to climate change, markets, higher productivity, infrastructure, diversification, skilling and strengthening institutions.
    3. Draft Policy says average farmer's income in Odisha has grew over 7 times in 13 years between 2002-03 and 2015-16, now being over 77100 per month.
    4. The policy proposes a new scheme called SAMRIDHI. Although not a proper full form, the draft policy signies SAMRIDHI as Science and technology in farming, Adaptation to climate change, Access to Markets, Optimum use of Resources, Infrastructure, Diversifying of farming, Highlights need to upgrade skills of farmers Strong farm-related Institutions.
      1. Terming Existing KALIA a disruptive scheme, draft policy bets big on a calibrated approach to scheme in the next five-years to have optimum results in increasing farm productivity, raising incomes of farmers and landless labourers.
      2. Under Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, farmers get Rs 5000 financial assistance per crop. A farm household is entitled to get Rs 10,000 per year for two crops (Kharif and Rabi).
  313. Gogabeel, an ox-bow lake in Bihar’s Katihar district, has been declared as state’s first ‘Community Reserve’. Gogabeel is formed from the flow of the rivers Mahananda and Kankhar in the north and the Ganga in the south and east. It is the fifteenth Protected Area (PA) in Bihar.
  314. Germany based Financial Major Deutsche Bank will trigger major overhaul by creating a so-called bad bank, that would house or sell assets valued at up to 50 billion euros ($56 billion), after adjusting for risk and comprising mainly long-dated derivatives.
  315. Saudi Arabia’s oil firm Saudi Aramco will accquire 20 % stake of Reliance Industries’s  oil and chemicals business for about $15 billion (approx Rs 1.06 lakh crores).
    1. As part of deal, Aramco will supply 700,000 barrels per day on a long-term basis of crude oil to Reliance’s twin refineries(Reliance & petrochemical complex) at Jamnagar in Gujarat, which has capacity of 68.2 million tonnes per annum.
    2. Reliance also announced launch of Jio Fiber, its promising optical fibre-based service that was announced last year. It will provide broadband speeds upto 1GBPS, along with a bundled landline connection and DTH Service. Commercial launch of jio Fiber will begin from Sep 5, 2019.
  316. Noted biologist Chandrima Shaha became first woman to get elected as President of Indian National Science Academy (INSA), for 3 years.
  317. Aug 12 - International Youth Day, proclaimed by UN General Assembly (UNGA) in December 1999. 2019 Theme is Transforming education’.
    1. On this occasion, National Youth Awards 2016-17 were conferred upon 20 individuals (aged between 15-29 years) and 3 organizations.
    2. Aug 12 is also Observed as World Elephant Day, being observed since 2012.
  318. Newly discovered Kajin Sara lake in Nepal is likely to be world’s highest lake, located at Singarkharka area of Chame rural municipality in Manang district of Nepal. It is located at an altitude of 5,200 metres, estimated to be 1,500-metre-long and 600-metre-wide. Once its location is verified, it will be world’s highest lake.
    1. Current highest lake is Tilicho Lake, at an altitude of 4919 metres in Nepal. It is 4 km long, 1.2 km wide and 200 metres deep.
  319. Chennai Lions defeated Dabang Delhi to win Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) league Season 03 title.
  320. Hyderabad Open badminton 2019 -
    1. Category Winner
      Men’s Singles Sourabh Verma (India)
      Women’s Singles Yeo Jia Min (Singapore)
      Men’s Doubles Muhammad Shohibul Fikri & Bagas Maulana (Indonesia)
      Women’s Doubles Baek Ha-na & Jung Kyung-eun (South Korea)
  321. 2019 Rogers Cup Tennis Winners (Montreal, Canada) -
    1. Men's Singles - Rafael Nadal (Spain), defeated Daniil Medvedev (Russia)
    2. Women's Singles - Bianca Andreescu (Canada), defeated Serena Williams (US)
    3. Men's Doubles - Marcel Granollers (Spain) AND Horacio Zeballos (Argentina)
    4. Women's Doubles - Czech Republic's Barbora Krejčíková AND Czech Republic Kateřina Siniaková
  322. Noted actor Anupam Kher’s autobiography titled “Lessons Life Taught Me, Unknowingly” has been launched.
  323. Aug 12, 2019 marks 100th Birth anniversary of ISRO Founder Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, knows as father of India's Space Proramme.
  324. According to Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) -
    1. Total forest cover in India is 24.49 % of geographical area.
    2. Lowest forest and tree cover is in Haryana (6.79 %), followed by Punjab (6.87 %), Rajasthan (7.26%).
    3. Highest forest and tree cover - Union Territory of Lakshadweep (97%).
    4. Out of 6 States with highest forest and tree cover, four are in Northeast India - Mizoram (88.84%), Arunachal Pradesh (80.93%), Meghalaya (79.37%) and Manipur (78.68%). Goa and Kerala have more than 50 % of geographical area as forest / tree cover.
  325. Environment ministry launched website unccdcop14india.gov.in with information related to COP14. 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) will take place on 2-13 September 2019 at Greater Noida (UP).
  326. Reliance Jio and Microsoft partnered to accelerate digital transformation in India. Under this, Microsoft will bring in its Azure Cloud on Jio Network and target the enterprise and business users seeking a technological shift.
  327. South Korea removed Japan from its preferred trade list, because Japan failed to uphold international principles while managing its export controls on sensitive materials. Preferred trade list is a list of nations receiving preferential treatment in trade.
  328. Govt. has set up A three member committee to resolve dispute between the Indian Railways and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) regarding issues related to the quantity and supply of high-quality steel rails.
    1. Doubts based on quality of rails supplied by SAIL arose after a team from the University of Illinois conducted a study Transportation Technology Transfer (TTT). Study stated that tensile strength of the existing tracks were not adequate for 25-tonne axle load operations.
    2. SAIL reported that the rails were supplied after stringent (strict) inspection was done by RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service), a third party inspection agency.
  329. France government conferred Indian Chef Priyam Chatterjee with ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mrite Agricoleto’ (Order of Agricultural Merit), in recognition of his great contribution towards reinventing gastronomic scene in India.
  330. 3 New Women's events have been included in Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 to be held in Birmingham (England). It will be first major multi-sport event to give additional spot to women’s medals, with 135 medals for women and 133 medals for men. Newly added events are - Women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball and Para-table tennis.
    1. Shooting will not be part of the 2022 CWG even despite India’s threat of boycotting the entire event in form of protest.
  331. New Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) named Kanaklata Barua has been launched.
  332. Aug 13 - World organ donation day. Aug 13 is also observed as International Left-Handers Day.
  333. Government made "Headgear" mandatory for children above 4 years while travelling on a motorcycle. The safety measures for the children travelling on motorcycles have been included in Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019. Only Sikhs wearing turban have been exempted from provision of Section 129 that makes helmets mandatory for all riders of motorcycles above 4 years of age.
  334. Alejandro Giammattei has been elected as new president of Guatemala (Central America).
  335. Indian Army launched "Mission Reach Out", aimed to ensure basic necessities and essential services are available in Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir.
  336. IIT Kharagpur Researchers developed a low-cost diagnostic device which can perform various pathological tests by using blood taken from a finger prick. Device requires only a paper strip based kit integrated with a smartphone to enable analytics and readout functions and an LED light for imaging.
  337. Book, titled 'Sridevi: Girl Woman Superstar' will be launched on Sridevi's 56th birth anniversary, written by Satyarth Nayak.
  338. Aishwarya Pissay became first Indian to claim a world title in motorsports by winning FIM World Cup ( Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) in women’s category at Varpalota in Hungary. She also finished 2nd in FIM Junior category.
  339. Bar Council of India (BCI) imposed 3 year moratorium (stay) on opening of new institutions except for national law universities (NLUs), if proposed by a state. This has been decided to curb mushrooming of law colleges and improve standard of existing institutions.
    1. BCI can approve / recognize LLB degree and LLM and Ph.D degrees are not under its control.
  340. Railway Protection Force (RPF) launched a Special Drive with a Code Name - Operation “Number Plate”to identify and verify all vehicles parked in Railway premises, circulating area, parkings and even in ‘No Parking’ areas for longer duration.
  341. As per Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), 33% of India’s skilled youth are jobless.  Nearly a third of trained young men and more than a third of trained young women were unemployed.
  342. Oyo Hotels and Homes partnered with ACKO General Insurance to provide a complimentary insurance cover of upto 10 Lakh as part of booking price for guests at its hotels across India.
  343. India's Ajith Haridas and Vijay Lancy won men’s doubles title (40+) in BWF World Senior Badminton Championships 2019 in Katowice (Poland), defeating Danish pair of Esben Hedegaard and Morten Rasmussen.
    1. India won 7 Medals and was ranked 11th. Medals included 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze.
    2. Germany was at top, followed by England and Japan.
  344. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to legislation for bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, and two Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will come into existence on October 31.
  345. Google announced Arantza Pena Popo of Georgia as Winner of its Doodle for Google 2019 contest, for her Doodle titled “Once You Get It, Give It Back.” Google awarded Arantza with a USD 30,000 college scholarship and a USD 50,000 technology award for her school.
    1. Arantza’s Doodle was inspired by one of her family photo of her mother and younger sister.
  346. Government issued a scheme named Partial Credit Guarantee offered by Government of India (GoI) to Public Sector Banks (PSBs) for purchasing high-rated pooled assets from financially sound Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs)/Housing Finance Companies (HFCs).
    1. Scheme would enable public sector banks (PSBs) to purchase pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs amounting to Rs. one lakh crore.
    2. Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech for Union Budget 2019-20 had made the announcement to support fundamentally sound Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) in getting continued funding from banks.
    3. Anouncement said - For purchase of high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, amounting to a total of Rupees One lakh crore during the current financial year, Government will provide one time six months’ partial credit guarantee to Public Sector Banks for first loss of up to 10%.
    4. Window for one-time partial credit guarantee offered by Govt. will open from date of issuance of Scheme for period of six months, or till such date by which Rupees One lakh crore assets get purchased by banks, whichever is earlier.
    5. One-time guarantee provided by Govt. on pooled assets will be valid for 24 months and can be invoked on occurrence of default.
    6. Eligible NBFCs/HFCs (as on as on 31-03-2019) -
      1. CRAR of NBFCs/CAR of HFCs should not be below regulatory minimum (i.e. 15% for NBFCs and 12% for HFCs) as on 31-3-2019.
      2. Non-Performing Asset should not be more than 6% .
      3. Micro Finance Institutions and Core Investment Companies are not covered under the Scheme.
    7. NBFCs/HFCs can sell up to a maximum of 20% of their standard assets subject to a cap of Rs. 5,000 crore at fair value. Any additional amount above 5,000 crore will be considered on pro rata basis. Individual asset size in pool is capped at Rs. 5 crore.
    8. NBFCs/HFCs will pay a fee equivalent to 0.25% per annum of the fair value of assets being purchased by bank under this Scheme to GoI.
  347. Injeti Srinivas, Secretary (Corporate Affairs) submited Report of High Level Committee on CSR to Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
    1. Committee made several recommendations, including making CSR expenditure tax deductible, provision for carry forward of unspent balance for a period of 3 – 5 years, aligning Schedule 7 with the SDGs by adopting a SDG plus framework, balancing local area preferences with national priorities etc. 
    2. The High Level Committee on CSR was constituted in October 2018 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Corporate Affairs) to review existing CSR framework and make recommendations on strengthening the CSR ecosystem.
  348. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (IC) for Housing & Urban Affairs launched Swachh Survekshan 2020 (SS 2020), the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness survey conducted by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).
    1. Swachh Survekshan 2020 Toolkit, SBM Water PLUS Protocol and Toolkit, Swachh Nagar – an integrated waste management app and AI enabled mSBM App were also launched.
    2. Earlier, Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (SS League 2020) was launched with objective of sustaining the on ground performance of cities along with continuous monitoring of service level performance on cleanliness. 
    3. Swachh Survekshan 2020 field survey will be conducted in January 2020.
  349. India contributed $1 million to help reform the United Nations (UN) Development system by contributing to the UN Special Purpose Trust Fund (SRTF) for the resident coordinator system. SPDF is a specific fund established mainly to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions in an efficient and transparent way.
  350. RBI issued final draft enabling framework for regulatory sandbox (RS) for fintech startups, enabling them to set up their own regulatory sandbox for live testing of innovative products in the areas of retail payments, digital KYC(Know your customer) and wealth management. It will be for firms that have minimum net worth of INR 25 lakh.
    1. RS refers to live testing of new products/services in a secure &controlled regulatory environment, where the regulators can allow certain regulatory relaxations for the limited purpose of the testing.
    2. It also permits carrying out field tests so that benefits and risks of emerging financial innovations can be evaluated.
    3. Concept of Regulatory Sandbox was proposed by a committee headed by Sudarshan Sen, former executive director of RBI.
  351. During recent visit of Piyush Goyal (Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways) to Vladivostok (Russia), India and Russia agreed to Boost Ties To Achieve $30 Billion In Bilateral Trade By 2025.
  352. Manila (Philipppines) based Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed agreement to invest $23 million in non-convertible debentures(NCD) being issued by GRIL (GR Infraprojects Limited), to support road sector investment plans of India. This will promote GIRL’s ability for construction of roads and highways in India through purchase of new building equipment.
  353. Agricultural Ministry will launch a farm equipment rental app to aid farmers in accessing advance technology at affordable prices. Through this, small farmers will be able to make use of tools that are expensive to own. It has been named Uber for tractors.Trial run for the app was conducted in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.
  354. India Today TV journalist Rajdeep Sardesai won 2019 Prem Bhatia Award for his Outstanding Political Reporting over three decades, honored by Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust in New Delhi. The award carries cash prize of INR 2 lakhs.
    1. Another award, for Environment reporting was given to Down to Earth’s Ishan Kukreti and journalist Sharada Balasubramaniam.
  355. Madhya Pradesh Govt. announced to waive off loans taken from non-licensed money-lenders by tribals living in 89 scheduled villages in Chhindwara, to make tribals debt-free. Government will also provide tribals with debit cards. Through this, they can withdraw up to Rs 10,000 from ATMs installed at weekly markets.
    1. State Government also announced “Mukhyamantri Madad Yojna” for providing assistance to tribal families on childbirth and death of a family member. Under this, tribal family will get 50 kg of rice/wheat, on birth of a child. In case of death, 100 kg of rice or wheat and utensils for cooking food would be given.
  356. Panchamirtham, an ‘abhishega prasadam’ of Murugan temple (Tamil Nadu) has been bestowed with Geographical Indication tag. Panchamirtham is a combination of five natural substances — banana, jaggery, cow ghee, honey and cardamom. It hails from Palani Town in Dindigul District of Tamil Nadu.
  357. Noted Indian sprinter P.T. Usha has been appointed as a member of the Asian Athletics Association’s (AAA) Athletes Commission, as her 2nd appointment at the post.
  358. Cab aggregator Ola acquihired Pikup.ai, an Artificial Intelligence start­up based in Bengaluru. In Acquihiring, staff of target company joins acquiring firm.
  359. Govt. announced First-Ever Global Investors Summit in Jammu & Kashmir to be held in October 2019. It will be a major push to bring investment in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh region, after recent bifurcation of J& K in 2 Union Territories.
  360. A rare variety of tea named ‘Golden Butterfly’ from Upper Assam’s Dikom Tea Estate has set a new record after being auctioned for INR 75,000 per kg at Guwahati Tea Auction Centre (GTAC). ‘Golden Butterfly’ tea is characterised by extremely mellow and sweet caramel flavour.
    1. Earlier, ‘Maijan Golden Tips‘ tea was sold for 70501 / kg and Manohari Gold’ (from Manohari Gold Estate in Dibrugarh) was sold at 50,000/Kg.
  361. As per Govt. Data, there has been a 41% reduction in stubble burning incidents in 2018 as compared to 2016, in States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & NCT of Delhi’. The scheme launched for the purpose had outlay of 1151.80 Crores.
  362. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) annnounced that a Document Identification Number (DIN) will be allotted to all communications made by tax department to assessees, for better taxpayer services and accountability in official dealing.
  363. Railways launched 1st batch of CORAS (Commando for Railway Security), in Railway Protection Force. CORAS is a special Railway Unit estalished in RPF, to meet challengess to Railway security.
  364. 16 State Governments signed MoU with Ministry of Textiles to take Samarth - Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS) forward. After the training employment will be provided to all beneficiaries in various textiles related activities, covering entire value chain of textiles sector except spinning and weaving.
    1. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a new skill development scheme, called “Samarth” - Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector (SCBTS)" from 2017-18 to 2019-20. It aims at skill development of 10 lakh youth upto 2020, with outlay of 1300 crores.
  365. Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched  Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2019 (SSG 2019) in New Delhi, to be instituted from August 14 to September 30, 2019. SSG 2019 will cover 17,450 villages in 698 districts across India.
    1. With over 5.8 lakh villages, 639 districts, and 32 States/UTs declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) in rural India, India is poised to be completely Open Defecation Free by October 2, 2019.
  366. Aug 15, 2019 - 73rd Independence Day of India.
    1. PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation from Red fort in Delhi.
      1. PM announced that government will launch a Jal Jeevan Mission to bring piped water to households, amid rising need of water conseration. It will focus on integrated management of water including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability such as groundwater recharge, rainwater harvesting and reuse of household wastewater in agriculture.
      2. PM also announced appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff, who will be a 5 Star rank officer and will be above 3 Service Chiefs. CDS will be a single-point military advisor to government who will coordinate long-term planning, procurements, training and logistics of services.
    2. On this occasion, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh dedicated 3rd phase of ‘Jung-E-Azadi’ memorial to people who were killed in Jallianwala Bagh massacre and unsung heroes who were incarcerated in Andaman Cellular jail during freedom struggle. Jung-E-Azadi Memorial is being built in Kartarpur, near Jalandhar.
    3. President Ram Nath Kovind approved 132 Gallantry Awards and other decorations to Personnel of Armed and Paramilitary Forces.
      1. Awards include 2 Kirti Chakras, 1 Vir Chakra, 14 Shaurya Chakras, 8 Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 90 Sena Medals (Gallantry), 5 Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), 7 Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry) and 5 Yudh Seva Medals.
      2. Kirti Charka - Sapper Prakash Jadhav, Hasrshpal Singh
      3. Vir Chakra - Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
        1. Abhinandan was on a mission to defend Indian Borders amid recent standoff between India and Pakistan after recent Pulwama Terror Attack in which 40 CRPF Personnel were martyred.
        2. After this attack Indian Air Force carried out air strikes in Pakistan, destroying a major Jaish-E-Mohammad Terror camp in Balakot, killing over 300 Terrorists. As a response to this air strike, pakistan sent over 20 F-16 American Fighter Jets, which Intruded into India but were unable to do any harm due to swift reaction by Indian Defender Jets.
        3. Among these jets was a Mig-21, which carried Abhinandan Varthaman. Abhinanadan followed the Pakistani F-16s, downing one before getting down itself due to some damage.
        4. Abhinandan ejected and was flown to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, where he was surrounded by pakistani Mob who harmed him physically. He was later captured by Pakistan Army.
        5. As per Geneva convention, Pakistan was bound to return Abhinandan as he was on National Duty. The same happened, and abhinandan was returned to India within 60 Hours.
        6. Along with Abhinandan, 5 Vay Sena Medals are awarded to pilots who carried out Airstrikes in Balakot after Pulwama attacks.
      4. Shaura Chakra - Ajay Singh Kushwah, Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, Maheshkumar Bhure, Sandeep Singh, Brajesh Kumar, Hari Singh, Ajveer Singh Chauhan, Shive Kumar, Amit Singh Rana, Sable Dnyaneshwar Shriram, Zaker Hussain, Shiq Hussain Malik, Subash Chander, Imran Hussain Tak.
      5. Along with Gallantry awards to Defence Forces -
        1. 06 personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were honored with Police Medals.
        2. 56 personnel have been awarded Fire Service Medals and 44 personnel have also been awarded Home Guard & Civil Defence Medals.
    4. On this occasion, Air India became 1st Indian airline to fly over North Pole while connecting New Delhi and North America. Inaugural flight over Polar region took off from New Delhi to San Francisco.
    5. In Chhattisgarh, a 15-km long national flag was unfurled on this occasion. This event was organised by Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam Foundation, to enter Champions Book of World Records (for longest tricolour).
    6. President also awarded Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman on occasion of Independence Day -
      1. Maharshi Badrayan Vyas Samman Awardees -
        1. SANSKRIT - Ashok thapliyal, Sujata Tripathi, Sanju Mishra, Abhijit Hanmant Joshi, Sharach chandra Dwivedi
        2. PALI - Anoma Shriram Sakhare
        3. PRAKRIT - Ashish Kumar Jain
        4. ARABIC - Dr. Fauzan ahmad
        5. PERSIAN - ER.M. Shahbaz Alam
        6. CLASSICAL KANNADA - G B harisha, S. Karthik, Dr. M. Byrappa
        7. CLASSICAL TELUGU - Addanki Srinivas, V. Triveni, DK Prabhakar
        8. CLASSICAL MALAYALAM - Rajeev RR, Santhosh Thottingal
        9. CLASSICAL ODIA - Subrat Kumar Prusty
      2. In addition, President also awarded certificate of honor to -
        1. SANSKRIT - 15 Awardees
        2. PALI - Uma Shankar Vyas
        3. PRAKRIT - Kamal Chand Sogani
        4. ARABIC - Faizanullah Farooqi, Mohammad iqbal Husain, Mohd. Samiullah Khan
        5. PERSIAN - Iraq Raza Zaidi, Chander Shekhar, Mohammad sidiq Niazmand
        6. CLASSICAL KANNADA - Hampa Nagarajaiah
        7. CLASSICAL TELUGU - Ravva Srihari
        8. CLASSICAL MALAYALAM - CP Achuthan Unny
        9. CLASSICAL ODIA - Antaryami mishra
  367. ISRO associated First space museum of India opened at Hyderabad (Telangana), housed in Birla Science Museum. It aims to spread knowledge on science and technology and also as a way to encourage young students to explore space.
  368. Tamil Nadu officially declared Tamil Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais) as state butterfly to symbolise its rich natural and cultural heritage. Tamil Nadu became fifth Indian state to declare its state butterfly. Maharashtra was 1st state to officially declare Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor) as its state butterfly, followed by Uttarakhand (Common peacock), Karnataka (Southern bird wings) and Kerala (Malabar banded peacock).
  369. Govt. reconstituted Inter-State Council , with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairman and 6 Union Ministers and Chief Ministers of all states / UTs as members.
    1. Member Union Ministers -
      1. Amit Shah (Home)
      2. Nirmala Sitharaman (Finance)
      3. Rajnath Singh (Defence)
      4. Narendra Singh Tomar (Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj)
      5. Thaawar Chand Gehlot (Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment)
      6. Hardeep Singh Puri (Minister of State (IC) of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs)
    2. Article 263 of Constitution provides for establishment of an Inter-State Council which will advise upon disputes that may arise between states.
    3. Government reconstituted standing committee of the Inter-State Council with chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah. 4 Union ministers and 8 chief ministers are members.
  370. RBI asked banks not to count failed transactions at ATMs due to technical reasons, as part of “free ATM transactions”, which are permitted every month. RBI said that Using ATMs for non-cash withdrawal transactions also should be not part of the free transactions facility.
  371. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) stated that Aadhaar enabled Payment System (AePS) stood at 220.18 million with transaction value 9685 crores during July 2019. This will help improve the reaching out of financial inclusion in India. AePS allows a bank customer to use Aadhaar as an identity to access respective Aadhaar enabled bank account and perform basic banking transactions.
  372. Denmark’s Jyske Bank launched world’s first negative interest rate mortgage - with Minus 0.5% annual interest rate.
    1. Jyske bank borrowers will make a monthly repayment as usual, but amount still outstanding will be reduced each month by more than borrower has paid. Throghout repayment period, borrower will actually pay lesser than it borrowed.
  373. Tamil Nadu Govt. announced creation of two new districts, taking total number of districts to 37. Vellore district will be trifurcated into Vellore, Tirupattur and Ranipet.
    1. Earlier in July 2019, Tamil Nadu Govt. announced creation of 2 new districts - Tenkasi and Chengalpattu, by bifurcating Tirunelveli and Kancheepuram districts respectively.
  374. Government appointed VG Somani as Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), to head Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
  375. ISRO Chairman K.Sivan has been conferred with Tamil Nadu Government’s Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam award, for his extraordinary contribution in India's Space Programme.
  376. Liverpool FC (England) defeated Chelsea FC (England) to win UEFA Super Cup 2019 League Football held in Istanbul (Turkey).
  377. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurated Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA) high-performance centre for hockey at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar (Odisha), as a joint initiative of Tata Steel, Tata Trusts and Government of Odisha to nurture sports talent in State.
  378. Researchers from Indian IIT Hyderabad and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology Jalandhar have developed process of synthesizing bone implant materials from eggshells. Through this, bone substitute materials such as tricalcium phosphate, a commonly-used bone substitute material can be produced from natural sources.
    1. Eggshell waste can help to replace commercially available tricalcium phosphate (produced by using harmful chemicals) and has capability to develop implantable biomaterial for tissue regeneration.
  379. Govt. appointed Harshad Pandurang Thakur as Director of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare Delhi.
  380. Indian Navy will host multilateral naval exercise named ‘MILAN‘ at Visakhapatnam in March 2020. MILAN is a biennial exercise, which started in 1995.
  381. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee launched World’s 1st museum dedicated to life of 16th-century saint and social reformer, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, designed by the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM).
  382. 5th BRICS Minister of Environment Meeting held in Sao Paulo (Brazil), attended by Prakash Javadekar (Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change), on India's Behalf.
  383. New Book titled Kashmir’s untold story: Declassification, written by Iqbal Chand Malhotra and Maroof Raza will be released in September 2019. It portrays time of political and geographical consolidations of Jammu & Kashmir(J&K), beginning from era of Maharaja Gulab Singh till present.
  384. Chhattisgarh government announced increase in reservation for Scheduled caste (SC) from 12% to 13% and for Other Backward Classes (OBC)  from 14% to 27%. Now, reservation in state has reached 72 %, well above limit of 50 % mandated by Supreme court.
    1. New district named “Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi” was also announced, to bve carved out of Bilaspur. State will now have 28 districts.
    2. Development of Lemru forest area as ‘Lemru elephant reserve’ was also announced.
    3. State govt. will also launch a new scheme ‘Suposhan Abhiyan’ on October 2, 2019, to fight malnutrition.
  385. Indian team consisting of Esow Alben, L Ronaldo Singh, Y Rojit Singh and Jemsh Singh won India’s first gold at a world cycling event, after they won gold at Junior Track Cycling World Championships, in Frankfurt (Germany).
  386. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launched online revenue payment system, enabling easier land revenue payments-online, as first such initiative of State revenue department of  Odisha under 5-T mantra - Technology, Transparency, Teamwork, Time and Transformation.
  387. Geographical Indications Registry under Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) accorded Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Tirur betel leaf from Kerala, Tawlhlohpuan fabric and Mizo Puanchei shawl/textile from Mizoram.
    1. Tirur betel Leaf (Kerala) is mainly cultivated in Tirur, Tanur, Tirurangadi, Kuttippuram, Malappuram and Vengara block panchayaths of Malappuram District of Kerala.
    2. Tawlhlohpuan (Mizoram) is compactly woven fabric from Mizoram. It is known for warp yarns, warping, weaving and intricate designs that are made by hand.
    3. Mizo Puanchei (Mizoram) is colourful Mizo shawl considered essential by most women from State and common costume in Mizo festive dances and official ceremonies.
    4. GI product is recognised as originating from specific geographical origin. This tag is exclusive and similar item originating from different location is not allowed to use it.
  388. Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched ‘Village Volunteers System’ aimed at providing government services at doorsteps of people, to be officially launched on 2 October 2019. It is aimed at providing governance services at doorsteps of people. Village secretariats would be set up in each village to deliver governance to people in 72 hours.
    1. Under this scheme, State govt had recently invited applications for recruitment of over 4 Lakh volunteers. 1 volunteer will cover 50 families in each village and they would get an allownace of Rs. 5000 per month.
  389. On occasion of First Death anniversary of Former PM Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Aug 16, Dr Harsh Vardhan (Minister of Health and Family Welfare) inaugurated Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Medical Sciences at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi.
  390. As per NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, July 2019 was hottest July Month ever recorded, with average temparatures in July 2019 being 1.71 degrees F above 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees. It also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.
  391. As per global assessment of forest biodiversity titled Below the Canopy: Plotting Global Trends in Forest Wildlife Populations by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), number of forest wildlife populations have declined on average by 53% since 1970 due to Habitat loss and degradation, over exploitation and Climate change.
    1. 60 % of threats accounted from Habitat loss, 40 out of 112  forest-dwelling primate populations threatened due to over exploitation & 43% amphibian populations, 37 % of reptile populations, 21 %of bird populations were threatened due to Climate change.
  392. Defence Ministry approved setting up of a Committee under Chairmanship of Director General (Acquisition) (currently Apurva Chandra) to review Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 and Defence Procurement Manual (DPM) 2009. Committee will revise and align procedures, to ensure seamless flow from asset acquisition to life cycle support.
  393. Supreme Court approved Chardham highway project, which will connect four holy places of Uttarakhand through 900 km all-weather roads. Supreme Court modified an earlier order of National Green Tribunal by constituting a fresh high-powered committee to look into environmental concerns.
    1. SC directed that in case of non-survival of any sapling, further plantation should be done and compensatory afforestation should be 10 times number of trees cut.
    2. Char Dham Highway is a proposed two-lane (in each direction) express National Highway in state of Uttarakhand, with minimum width of 10 metre. It will connect 4 holy places in Uttarakhand - Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, spanning 900 kms.
  394. India suspended weekly Jodhpur-Munabao Thar Link Express amid ongoing issues with Pakistan over Kashmir row. Earlier, India had cancelled Samjhauta Express after Pakistan had suspended all train services to India.
    1. Thar Express is Indian portion of international passenger train operated weekly (every Saturday morning), between Jodhpur and Munabao in India.
    2. Passengers from Munabao (Rajastan) are taken to Karachi (Pakistan) via Munabao - Khokhrapar (Pakistan’s Sindh province) crossing.
  395. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved new drug-Pretomanid for treating drug-resistant strain of Tuberculosis (TB), developed by New York-based non-profit organisation TB Alliance. It is used alongside two other antibiotics (bedaquiline and linezolid) to treat extremely drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis.
  396. Ravi Shastri has been re-appointed as head coach of Indian men’s cricket team till 2021 by Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC).
  397. Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) have developed a new class of Robotic System called “GraspMan’, which has a human hand like grasping, manipulation and locomotion abilities.
  398. Manipur CM N Biren Singh launched “School Fagadaba” (Make education better) scheme with the aim to improve the infrastructure, quality education and overall improvement of government schools.
  399. Ministry of Corporate Affairs amended provisions relating to issue of shares with Differential Voting Rights (DVRs) under Companies Act 2013, to help startups by enabling promoters of Indian companies to retain control of their companies, even they raise equity capital from global investors.
    1. Raising equity capital from global investors with DVR shares now making up to 74% of total voting rights instead of existing 26%.
    2. Requirement of distributable profits for 3 years period has removed for a company to be eligible to issue shares with DVR.
  400. Government assured that ceiling price of orthopaedic knee implants will not be increased beyond 10% in a given year and it will monitor price increase as per Drugs Prices Control Order (DPCO) 2013.
  401. Indian Navy’s INS Tarkash participated in 14th Edition of KONKAN-19 series of annual bilateral exercises between Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Britain, off South Coast of United Kingdom (UK).
  402. China launched a new rocket for commercial use named Smart Dragon-1 (SD-1) with 3 satellites, to be used for remote sensing services, communication and Internet of Things (IoT). SD-1 carrier rocket is capable of sending 200 kg payloads to solar synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.
  403. India got its first National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) finalized by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), aiming to bridge regulatory system’s gap that does not cover all medical devices and in-vitro diagnostic device (IVD). India is first country to compile such a list.
    1. NEDL builds upon Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of Health Ministry to provide expanded basket of tests at different levels of public health system. It will enable improved health care services delivery through evidence-based care, improved patient outcomes and reduction in expenditure.
  404. Parsi New Year, also known as Navroz or Jamshedi Navroz, is celebrated every year on August 17 to mark beginning of new Iranian calendar.
  405. India's Deepak Punia won gold medal at Junior World Championships held in Tallinn (Estonia), defeating Russia's Alik Sherbakov. He is 1st Indian in 18 years to win a Junior World Championship title. Other Indian medalists at the event -
    1. Vicky Chahar - bronze in 92 kg category.
    2. Sajan Bhanwal - Bronze in 77kg Greco-Roman category.
  406. BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change recently in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was held in run-up to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties (COP-25) meet scheduled to be held in December 2019 in Chile (South America). India was represented by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
    1. BASIC bloc of four advanced developing countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) was established in 2009.
  407. Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) constituted a committee to rationalise additional taxes that airlines have to pay while uplifting Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) at airports across India. It is formed to develop a direct billing mechanism between airline companies and airport operators so that multiple taxes can be removed, enabling airlines to save upto 400 crores annually.
  408. National Sports Awards 2019 announced -
    1. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awrad (Highest Sports honor in India) - Para Games athelete Deepa Malik and wrestler Bajrang Punia.
    2. Arjuna Award -
      1. Ravindra Jadeja (cricket)
      2. Poonam Yadav (cricket)
      3. Mohammed Anas Yahiya (athletics)
      4. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (football)
      5. Sonia Lather (boxing)
      6. Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (hockey)
      7. S Bhaskaran (bodybuilding)
      8. Ajay Thakur (kabaddi)
      9. Anjum Moudgil (shooting)
      10. Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth (badminton),
      11. Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (athletics)
      12. Pramod Bhagat (para sports-badminton)
      13. Harmeet Rajul Desai (table tennis)
      14. Pooja Dhanda (wrestling)
      15. Fouaad Mirza (equestrian)
      16. Simran Singh Shergill (polo)
      17. Swapna Burman (athletics)
      18. Sundar Singh Gurjar (para sports-athletics)
      19. Gaurav Singh Gill (motorsports).
    3. Dronacharya Award (For Outstanding Coaches in Sports ) 
      1. Regular - Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton).
      2. Lifetime - Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey).
    4. Dhyan Chand Award (Lifetime Achievement in Sports / Games) - Manoj Kumar (wrestling), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey).
    5. Malualna Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy -
      1. Panjab University Chandigarh - 1st Place.
      2. Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar - 2nd Place.
      3. Punjabi University Patiala - 3rd Place.
    6. About the awards -
      1. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna -
        1. Named after former PM Rajiv Gandhi, It was instituted in 1991-92. First recipient was Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. In this, a medal, a citation and 7.5 lakh rupees are given to the winner.
      2. Arjuna Award -
        1. It was instituted in 1961, as India’s second-highest sporting award.  It is bestowed upon sportsperson for consistently outstanding performance for four years. 
        2. It carries bronze statuette of Arjuna, a scroll and a monetary award of 5 lakh rupees.
      3. Dhyan Chand Award -
        1. It is lifetime achievement sporting honour in India, named after legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand. It has been given since 2002. It comprises a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress, and a cash prize of 5 lakh.
      4. Dronacharya Award -
        1. It is awarded for Outstanding Coaches in Sports and Games, named after Guru Drona, a character from epic Mahabharata of ancient India. It was instituted in 1985.
        2. Award comprises a bronze statuette of Dronacharya, a certificate, ceremonial dress, and a cash prize of  5 lakh.
    7. Govt had recently constituted a 12-member selection panel for national sports awards, headed by SC judge (Retd) Mukundakam Sharma.
      1. Panel including six-time world champion boxer M. C. Mary Kom and former football captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
      2. National sports awards will be given away on National Sports Day, August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. According to the Sports Ministry, it is a new idea of one selection committee for all the awards.
  409. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik announced “Mo Sarkar” initiative, to ensure transparency in governance focusing fully on the common public and will be commenced from October 2, 2019. Govt. will work on this initiative to ensure that people get their rights with help of the 5T mantras - Technology, Transparency, Teamwork, Transformation and Time.
  410. Indian sprinters Hima Das and Muhammed Anas won a gold each in women’s and men’s 300m races respectively at Athleticky Mitink Reiter event in Czech Republic. This was Hima’s sixth gold in European races since July 2.
  411. New novel A splendid Second Night written by Rajiv Dogra has been released.
  412. India won Under - 12 Asian Tennis Team Championship 2019 held in Kazakhstan, defeating Chinese Taipei. Indian team comprised Manas Dhamme, Arnav Paprakar and Pranav Rethin.
  413. Indian Actor Shah Rukh Khan felicitated with ‘Excellence in Cinema’ honour at Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2019 (Australia). 2019 marks 10th edition of festival in Victoria (cultural city of Australia).
  414. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden discovered a new mesh-like organ in skin that senses pain and able to detect painful mechanical damage such as pricks and pressure. This could pave way for devising painkilling medication effectively. New two-cell receptor sensory organ is made up of glial ‘Schwann’ cells with multiple long protrusions present below outer layer of skin (epidermis).
    1. Activation of the organ creates electrical impulses in the nervous system that result in reflex reactions (such as pulling our hand away when we feel a jab from a sharp object) and experience of pain.
  415. As per environmental organization Greenpeace, India is world’s top emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide(SO2), with over 15% of all SO2 hotspots, tracked by NASA’ OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.
    1. Norilsk smelter complex in Russia is the largest SO2 emission hotspot in world, followed by China, Mexico, Zagroz (Iran) and  Kriel in Mpumalanga province (South Africa).
    2. SO2 is produced from burning of coal in power plants and other industries and it is known to largely contribute to air pollution.
  416. Researchers from Rajiv Gandhi University Arunachal Pradesh (RGU) discovered 5 new fish species in various districts of state.
    The discovered fish species are:
    Species Place
    Mystus prabini Sinkin and Dibang rivers in Lower Dibang valley district.
    Exostoma kottelati Ranga river in Lower subansiri district.
    Creteuchiloglanis tawangensis Tawangchu river in Tawang district.
    Garra ranganensis Ranga river
    Physoschistura harkishorei Dibang and Lohit rivers in lower Dibang valley district.
  417. 2019 Western & Southern Open Tennis (Cincinnati Masters) -
    1. Men's Singles - Daniil Medvedev (Russia). He Defeated David Goffin (Belgium)
    2. Women's Singles - Madison Keys (US). She defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia)
    3. Men's Doubles - Ivan Dodig (Croatia) AND Filip Polášek (Slovakia)
      Women's Doubles - Lucie Hradecká (Czech Republic) AND Andreja Klepač (Slovenia)
  418. Iceland commemorated loss of 1st glacier "Okjokull", lost due to climate change with a bronze plaque unveiled for the same. Plaque bears inscription "A letter to the future". Okjokull was officially declared dead in 2014 at age of 700 years.
  419. Odisha Government approved ‘Integrated Management Plan of Chilika and Ansupa Lake’ for conservation of ecology and promotion of sustainable livelihood of fishermen living around two wetlands. The plan will be executed over 5 years at investment of 179 crores.
  420. Biographical documentary "100 Years of Chrysostum" will receive Guinness Award in category of longest documentary. It is based on life of Philipose Mar Chrysostum, directed by filmmaker Blessy. It is 48-hour and 8 minutes long documentary.
    1. Former Padma Bhushan awardee Philipose Mar Chrysostum is a Metropolitan Emeritus of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church of Malabar.
  421. IIT Kanpur developed a kit in collaboration with National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to spread awareness about sexual abuse among children. The kit can be used in classrooms for kids aged between 8-12 and in a group of 30-35 students in one session.
  422. Aug 19 - UN World Humanitarian Day. 2019 theme is ‘Women Humanitarians’. It is dedicated to recognize humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes.
    1. Aug 19 is also observed as World Photography Day.
    2. Aug 19 is also birth anniversary of 9th president of India - Shanker Dayal Sharma.
  423. Scientists of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) discovered 2 new species of freshwater fish from north-eastern and northern parts of country.
    1. Glyptothorax gopii - New species of catfish found in Kaladan river of Mizoram. It measures 63 mm standard length without caudal fin (tail fin). It has been named to celebrate contribution of eminent taxonomist K.C. Gopi.
    2. Garra simbalbaraensis - It was found in Simbalbara river of Himachal Pradesh. It measures 69 mm standard length without caudal fin (tail fin) and has a yellowish-grey colour fading ventrally.
  424. India’s first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (CICET) will be set up in Gujarat to boost chemical industry. Government is also planning to set up Plastic Waste Management Centre in Ahmedabad to find out solutions to systematicsegregation and recycling of plastic waste.
  425. National green tribunal formed a committee to examine the allegations of illegal sand mining in Yamuna River.
  426. Ministry of Corporate Affairs amended Companies (Share Capital & Debentures) Rules by removing Debenture Redemption Reserve requirement for Listed Companies, NCFCs and HFCs. Provisions relating to creation of Debenture Redemption Reserve (DRR) have been revised for -
    1. Removing requirement for creation of a DRR of 25% of value of outstanding debentures in respect of listed companies, NBFCs registered with RBI and for HFCs registered with National Housing Bank (NHB) both for public issue as well as private placements.
    2. Reduction in DRR for unlisted companies from present 25% to 10% of outstanding debentures.
    3. Till now, Listed Companies had to create a DRR for both Public Issue as well as Private Placement of Debentures, while NBFCs & HFCs had to create DRR only when they opted for Public Issue of Debentures.  It is aimed at creating a level-playing field between NBFCs, HFCs and listed companies’ on one hand and also between them and Banking Companies & All India Financial Institutions on other, which are already exempted from DRR.
  427. 4th Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2018-19 released by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare -
    1. Foodgrains  –  284.95 million tonnes.
      1. Rice  –  116.42  million tonnes. (record)
      2. Wheat – 102.19 million tonnes (record)
      3. Nutri / Coarse Cereals – 42.95 million tonnes.
      4. Maize  –  27.23 million tonnes.
      5. Pulses  –  23.40 million tonnes.
      6. Gram – 10.13 million tonnes.
      7. Tur  –  3.59 million tonnes.
    2. Oilseeds  –  32.26 million tonnes.
      1. Soyabean  –  13.79 million tonnes
      2. Rapeseed and Mustard  –  9.34million tonnes
      3. Groundnut  –  6.69 million tonnes
    3. Cotton  –  28.71 million bales (of 170 kg each)
    4. Sugarcane – 400.16 million tonnes (record)
    5.  As per Fourth Advance Estimates for 2018-19, total Foodgrain production in country is estimated at 284.95 million tonnes which is higher by 19.20 million tonnes than the previous five years’ (2013-14 to 2017-18) average production of foodgrain.
  428. Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) will launch a new scheme called “Supra” (Scientific and Useful Profound Research Advancement), to promote research in cutting edge areas of science. Aim is to fund new scientific and engineering breakthroughs with global impact.
  429. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Hyderabad Scientist K Thangaraj has been selected 2019’s J C Bose Fellowship for his outstanding contribution in the field of population and medical genomics.
  430. General Conferences (Aug 11 - 20, 2019) -
    1. India’s first-of-its-kind clinical ecotoxicology facility inaugurated at AIIMS Delhi, to investigate increasing number of diseases resulting from exposure to environmental toxins contaminating water, food, and air.
    2. Karnataka government launched E-Step, an initiative to empower student start-ups, as part of Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS).
    3. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar released patriotic song “Watan” produced by Doordarshan to mark Independence Day 2019. It is sung by Javed Ali, penned by Alok Shrivastav and composed by Dushyant.
    4. MoU signed between Naval Air Enclave (NAE) Kochi and Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), in connection with commencement of naval air operations from NAE, a naval aviation facility.
    5. Japanese Ship JS Sazanami visited Kochi (Kerala) on a goodwill visit.
    6. Ministry of New & Renewable Energy organised Curtain Raiser ceremony for 3rd Edition of Global Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo (RE-INVEST 2019). RE-INVEST 2019 will be held in October - November 2019 in Indi, coinciding with 2nd Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA).
    7. 9 Day event Aadi Mahotsav (National Tribal Festival), initiative of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) held at Polo Ground, Leh-Ladakh. Theme is A celebration of the spirit of Tribal Craft, Culture and Commerce.
    8. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik dedicated ‘The Rath’, a steel monument seeking to accentuate Odisha’s diverse culture and rich heritage, built at Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar.
    9. Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) organized exhibition on ‘DAE Technologies: Empowering India through Technology’ in New Delhi.
    10. A two-day International Conference titled ‘Journey of Teacher Education: Local to Global’ held in New Delhi, organized by National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) as part of silver jubilee (25 years) celebration of its establishment in 1995.
    11. 2nd meeting of Govt formed High Powered Committee of chief ministers headed by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis for transforming Indian agriculture and raising farmers’ income, under NITI  Aayog held in Mumbai.
    12. India-Maldives MoU on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian Civil Servants has been operationalised.
    13. Under Swachh Bharat Mission, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) launched a nationwide Hackathon called “San-Sadhan” for Divyang/ physically challenged people accessible toilets, to be held from September 14- 15, 2019 in New Delhi.
    14. Indian and Sri Lankan Coast Guards agreed for establishment of a collaborative relationship to combat transnational illegal activities at sea and develop regional co-operation.
  431. Visits to India (Aug 11 - 20, 2019)
    1. Peter Munya, Kenya's Minister of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives visited India to attend 9th Session of India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee (JTC) held in New Delhi.
    2. Hamid Karzai, Former President of Afghanistan visited India.
  432. Visits from India (Aug 11 - 20, 2019) -
    1. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Visited China, to attend 2nd meeting of the India-China High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges. He also attended 4th India-China Media Forum. 5 MOUs signed -
      1. Plan of Action to Implement Protocol between Foreig Ministeries on Cooperation in Bilateral Relations 2020.
      2. Cooperation in Sports, Cultural Exchange, Traditional Medicine and cooperation among national museums.
    2. Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi visited Bhutan -
      1. MOUs signed -
        1. Cooperation in Space Exploration.
        2. Cooperation in Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation
        3. MoU between National Knowledge Network of India (NKN) and Department of Information Technology & Telecom (Druk Research and Education Network) on Peering Agreemnt.
        4. Power Purchase Agreement Between PTC India Limited and Druk Green Power Corporation Limited for Sale and Purchase of Mangdechhu Power.
          1. PM Inaugurated Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant in Bhutan, as a major projects under Bhutan's initiative to generate 10,000 MW hydropower by 2020 with support of India.
          2. Cost of this project is 4,500 crores INR and this 720MW run-of-river power plant built on Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district. It is funded by India through a 70 % loan and a 30 % grant. It is estimated to generate 2,923 GWh of electricity.
        5. Cooperation in Judicial Education and Mutual Exchanges.
        6. MoU between Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law (Bhutan) and National Law School of India University Bangalore to develop academic and cultural interchange in areas of legal education and research.
        7. MoUs between Royal University of Bhutan and IIT Kanpur, IIT Bombay, NIT Silchar, IIT Delhi.
      2. Also, PM Modi launched RuPay Card in Bhutan by making a purchase at Simtokha Dzong, one of oldest dzongs in Bhutan. India announced that an additional $100 million will be available to Bhutan under SAARC currency swap framework to meet foreign exchange requirement
      3. Launch of RuPay card in Bhutan will be done in two phases - in first phase, India's banks will issue RuPay cards that can be used by Indian travellers in Bhutan. In 2nd phase-banks of Bhutan will be empowered to issue RuPay cards to Bhutanese citizens to use in India 
  433. IIT Guwahati researchers invented two distinct and special membranes that can separate oil and water, even under harsh conditions. Membranes are super-water repellent in air and super oil-repellent in water.
  434. Karnataka government amended Poisons (Possession and Sale) Rules 2015 and notified Nicotine as "Class A poison", to strengthen enforcement of the ban on production and sale of electronic cigarettes. Govt also ordered suspension of all kinds of promotion of e-cigarettes.
  435. Ravinder Takkar has been appointed as MD and CEO of Telecom Firm Idea-Vodafone, replacing Balesh Sharma.
  436. Aug 20 is observed as Sadbhavana Diwas, commemorating birth anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.
    1. Aug 20 is also observed as World Mosquito Day.
  437. Former Australian bowler Mitchell Johnson elected as an Honorary Life Member of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in England.
  438. Home Ministry stated that all Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) personnel will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years instead of 57 years for certain rank of officials.
    1. This corrects anomaly where CAPF personnel between ranks of Constable to Commandant in 4 forces - CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB superannuated at age of 57, instead of 60. While officers from rank of Deputy Inspector General upto top-most rank of Director General in these 4 forces retired after attaining age of 60.
  439. Indian Railways' 2nd UDAY (Utkrisht Double Decker Air Conditioned Yatri) Express will run between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada to cater to busy route in East Coast Railway zone (ECoR).
    1. 1st double-decker UDAY Express started service between Coimbatore and Bangalore in June 2018.
    2. UDAY ExpressIt is a specially-designed double decker air conditioned train with chair car coaches which is primarily allocated to routes with heavy passenger traffic. It is equipped with several advanced facilities.
  440. DRDO transferred design of Mobile Metallic Ramp (MMR) to Indian Army, Developed by Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES). MMR has load bearing capacity of 70 metric ton (MT), to reduce Strategic Mobility time of mobilising Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs).
  441. NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission took first high-resolution measurements of an interplanetary shock, made of particles and electromagnetic waves launched by Sun. These interplanetary shocks provide ideal test beds for learning about larger universal phenomena.
    1. Interplanetary shocks are type of collisionless shock, where particles transfer energy through electromagnetic fields instead of directly bouncing into one another.
    2. MMS was launched in March 2015 to study Earth’s magnetosphere. It consists of constellation of four identical spacecraft that orbit in tetrahedral formation around Earth through dynamic magnetic system surrounding our planet to study Magnetic reconnection.
  442. US tested a ground-launched cruise missile with range over 500 kilometres, range which was prohibited under recently abolished Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. It was signed in 1987 and banned land-based missiles with a range of between 500 and 5,500 km. US had withdrawn in August 2019.
  443. Public broadcaster Prasar Bharti introduced  2 awards namely Neelum Sharma Tejaswini award & Achyutananda Sahoo Award, in memory of  noted DD News anchor Neelum Sharma who pased away recently.
  444. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy's National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) signed MoU with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) to work jointly on National Solar Mission.
    1. NSM was inaugurated in 2010, with a target of 20GW by 2022, which was later increased by PM Modi government to 100 GW by 2022.
  445. Govt. approved additional central assistance of Rs. 4432.10 crore to three States from National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) -  3338.22 crores to Odisha for Cyclone Fani, 1029 crore toKarnataka for drought and 64.49 crore to Himachal Pradesh for avalanches and hailstorm.
  446. Panel headed by CBDT member Akhilesh Ranjan submitted report to Finance Ministry, to replace Income Tax Act with a new Direct Tax Code(DTC).
    1. Idea to replace Income Tax (IT) Act 1961 was given by PM Narendra Modi in September 2017, stating that Income-Tax Act 1961, had been drafted more than 50 years ago and needed a change.
  447. Indian Wrestler Bajrang Punia won gold in 65kg men’s freestyle at Tbilisi Grand Prix 2019 (Georgia).
  448. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated underground ‘Bunker Museum‘ at Raj Bhavan (residence of Governor of Maharashtra) in Mumbai. The 15,000 square feet museum has virtual reality (VR) booths in which visitors can time travel to 19th century.
    1. Bunker was discovered by Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao last year, along with two identical cannons, atop foothills of Raj Bhavan. Ttwin cannons (1.15 metre in diameter and 4.7 metre in length) were found covered in mud 25 metres apart from each other.
    2. It was created in 19th century to fire cannons at approaching enemy ships, to defend Bombay Castle from naval attacks. It resembles fort and is made up of 13 rooms. Rooms bear names such as Gun Shell, Shell Store, Cartridge Store, Pump, Central Artillery Store, Shell Lift and Workshop.

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