Current Affairs 2020-21
September Spotlight 2019
🗓️ September 2019
1. Malabar River Festival, Asia’s biggest White-Water festival, takes place in Kerala.
2. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Google have signed a statement of intent to initiate the ‘Build for Digital India’ programme.
- Under it, engineering students will be trained to learn new technologies like machine learning, cloud computing etc. to address social problems.
- These will be provided through Google’s Developer Student Club network and other Google Developer networks.
3. Global Happiness Index 2019, released by Ipsos, ranks India at 9th position with 77% score (a 6% fall from 83% score in 2018) among the total 28 countries.
- Australia and Canada are at the top spot (at 86% score each) while Argentina (34%), Spain (46%) and Russia (47%) are at the bottom spots.
- Parameters: – physical health, living conditions, hobbies and interests, personal safety and security, purpose in life, satisfaction with present life, money, friends.
4. India has launched the “Samudrayaan” mission to send 3 humans to sea-bed at a depth of 6,000 meters for 72 hours (a usual submarine can go up to 200 meters) by 2021-22.
- Purpose: – To explore mineral resources and conduct study of the oceans.
- National Institute of Ocean Technology is the anchor of this project.
- ‘Samudrayaan’ is a part of Ministry of Earth Sciences’ Deep Ocean Project for mining of rare minerals. [details of deep ocean project is covered in July Spotlight]
5. Election Commission of India will host the 4th General Assembly of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) at Bengaluru.
- India will take over as A-WEB’s Chair for the period of 2019-21.
- An International Conference on “Initiatives and Challenges of Social Media and Information Technology in Elections” will be held during the event.
- A-WEB (established in 2013 in Song-do, South Korea) is the world’s largest association of Election Management Bodies and has 114 members in total.
- A-WEB’s vision is to foster efficiency and effectiveness in conducting free, fair, transparent and participative elections worldwide. Its permanent secretariat is Seoul.
6. Two Indian Navy warships- INS Sahyadri and INS Kiltan have reached Laem Chabang Port at Bangkok, Thailand for a port call.
- The port call is a demonstration of India’s warm ties with Thailand.
7. High Commissions of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea have jointly organised the “Namaste Pacific” event to showcase the culture of the Pacific region in New Delhi.
- Aim: – To strengthen ties between India and Pacific nations.
8. India’s tallest Air Traffic Control tower (102 metre tall) has been established at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
- Purpose: – To enhance safety and efficiency of air transport management services.
9. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released the draft “Health Care Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and damage to Property) Bill 2019”.
- Rs 2-10 lakh penalty and a jail term of up to 3-10 years (maximum) will be imposed on persons committing violence against the doctors and hospital premises.
10. PM Modi will be conferred a Global Goalkeepers Awards by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during his visit for the 74th UN General Assembly in New York, USA in September for his “Swachch Bharat Abhiyan” (launched in 2014).
11. Ministry of Power has tightened norms for stressed assets of power companies to ensure payment compliance in both discoms and power generating companies.
- In March, Coal linkages (supply assurance) of power plants that cancel PPAs (power purchase agreements), due to payment default by discoms, were allowed to be valid for 2 years.
- Also, power plants with no PPA with Coal India will be allowed the Coal linkage for one year.
- Now, it has been suggested to allow Central/state gencos to act as aggregators of power.
- Power stations which cancel PPAs (for payment default by discoms) will sell electricity only through the govt’s DEEP portal or power exchanges at market- determined price for maximum 2 years.
- Target: – To de-stress power plants with aggregate capacity of 40,000 MW.
12. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has developed the digital National Laboratory Directory to provide all information regarding standards of products and testing infrastructure in India.
13. Rajasthan has launched the Ayushman Bharat-Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana (AB-MGRSBY scheme) by merging the Central scheme of Ayushman Bharat and state scheme- Bhamashah Health Insurance Scheme (BSBY).
- The number of beneficiaries covered under the scheme has been increased from 1 crore to 1.1 crore.
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