Thailand became the first Asian nation to unveil plain cigarette packaging
- Thailand became the first Asian nation to unveil plain cigarette packaging to reduce the appeal of smoking and complied with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.
- The stocks must be cleared by December 8, 2019 or else the entities will have to pay a fine of 40,000 baht ($1,300).
- Australia became the first country to require tobacco products to be sold without colourful brand logos in 2012 and other European countries including France, Hungary and the United Kingdom have also followed the same path.
Eritrea tops the list of 10 countries in press censorship by CPJ
- New York-based media watchdog “Committee to Protect Journalists” (CPJ) released “10 Most Censored Countries list” that have high press censorship.
- The list was topped by East African country Eritrea that shut all independent media in 2001and has only 1% of the country’s population in internet penetration. The country was also labeled as “the worst jailer of journalists in sub-Saharan Africa,” in the report as it has jailed nearly 16 journalists in the country since December 2018. Eritrea is followed by North Korea and Turkmenistan in the second and third place respectively.
- Most of these countries were framed to have been jailing and harassing journalists and their families and also engaging in digital monitoring and censorship of internet access. Under Article 19 of the Universal
- Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to seek and receive news and express opinions.
- Press freedom is restricted to countries like Yemen, Syria, and Somalia but it is due to the fact of violent conflict, insufficient infrastructure that are dangerous for the press.
CPJ’S 10 MOST CENSORED COUNTRIES
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Equatorial Guinea
PM Modi launched NADCP in Mathura.
- Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi launched National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Mathura Member of Parliament (MP) Hema Malini On september 11 ,2019. NADCP aims to control the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in the livestock by 2025 and eradicate them by 2030.
- The cost of the project, funded entirely by the government, is Rs 12,652 crores for a period of five years till 2024.
- Vaccination will be provided against the FMD to more than 500 million livestock including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs and 36 million female bovine calves annually to fight against the brucellosis disease.
- PM launched National Artificial Insemination Programme, Babugarh Sex Semen facility and Swachhta Hi Seva Programme 2019 in Mathura.
- He requested the public to eliminate single use plastic from October 2, 2019.
- He visited the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Pashu Arogya Mela.
SUMMITS AND MEETINGS
Commerce & industry minister attended the 7th RCEP ministerial meeting held in Bangkok
Commerce & Industry and Railways minister Shri Piyush Goyal attended the 7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) meeting of the 10members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) countries and its 6 Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners in Bangkok, Thailand from September 8-10, 2019. Along with this meeting, he also attended the 16th ASEAN India Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting and the 7th East Asia Economic Ministers Summit held at the same place.
Piyush Goyal held bilateral talks with his counterparts from Japan, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Thailand and Russia.
Recently the 8th RCEP meeting was conducted in the month of August, one month ahead of the 7th RCEP in Beijing, China and was attended by commerce secretary Dr. Anup Wadhawan.
22nd session of UN Committee on CRPD
- The 22nd session of the United Nations (UN) Committee on Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was held at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Geneva, Switzerland from September 2-3, 2019.
- Indian delegation was led by Mrs. Shakuntala D. Gamlin, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).
- UN Committee on CRPD took up India’s First Country Report for consideration.
- Secretary of DEPwD highlighted on enactment of the Comprehensive Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016, launch of Accessible India Campaign, establishment of National Institute of Mental
- Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) , establishment of Centre for Disability Sports, achievements in distribution of aids and assistive devices, etc while speaking in the different initiatives taken by the Indian Government.
- India is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
- It ratified this Convention on 01-10-2007 in pursuance of Article 35 of the Convention. India submitted its First Country Report on the Status of Disability in India in November 2015.
The first meeting of the Apex Committee for DefExpo 2020
On September 9, 2019, The first meeting of the Apex Committee for DefExpo 2020 was held in New Delhi. It was chaired by the Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and it was also attended by Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath. 11th edition of DefExpo will be held for the first time in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from February 05 – 08, 2020 with the theme ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’.
DefExpo India 2020 Brochure was released during the meeting.
An MoU was signed between the officials of the Ministry of Defence and Uttar Pradesh Government highlighting the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders.
Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik, Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Subhash Chandra, Secretary (Defence Finance) Smt Gargi Kaul, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D (research & development) and Chairman, DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) Dr. G Satheesh Reddy and other senior officials of Ministry of Defence (MoD), Chief Secretary of Government of Uttar Pradesh, and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – the nodal agency of the event had participated in the meeting.
DPIIT launched ‘Swachhta hi Sewa 2019’ campaign
- As part of Prime Minister’s call to action for Plastic Waste Management, during his Independence Day speech, the theme of this year’s Swachhta hi Sewa is Plastic Waste Management.
- Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is playing a critical two-fold role for the success of the campaign as mandated by Department of DrinkingWater and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.
- First, DPIIT will ensure recycling of plastic waste collected on 2nd October 2019
in cement kilns and second, collect plastic waste through nationwide shramdaan
on 2nd October 2019.
- For this DPIIT has requested all the State Governments and Union Territories to mobilise the Industrial Parks in States and Union Territories for collection of plastic waste across all Industrial Estates, Parks, Corridors, Nodes and Industrial Areas for the Swachhta hi Sewa 2019 campaign beginning from 11th September, 2019.
- The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, has requested DPIIT to mandate the use of plastic waste by cement kilns and DPIIT will ensure that all collected plastic waste may be recycled in cement kilns by Diwali this year.
- On 2nd October, for the Swachhta hi Sewa campaign this year, DPIIT personnel will undertake Shramdaan and ensure the collection of plastic waste on and around industrial areas all across the country.
- DPIIT has requested State Governments to sensitize Industrial Parks by focusing on Plastic Waste Management on a sustained and continuous basis.
- State and Union Territory Governments will monitor the campaign through their nodal teams to be set up by them.
- The Department Of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) was renamed as the Department For Promotion Of Industry And Internal Trade (DPIIT)in January 2019.
- Established- 1995
STATES NEWS(MADHYA PRADESH)
MP govt. to offer cows for online adoption
On September 10, 2019 Madhya Pradesh (MP) govt. announced to launch online service for cow adoption and shed provisions under the MP govt’s initiative “Project Gaushala”at Gaushalas(cow shelters). In this project a cow can be adopted for a minimum period of 15days.
Currently there are 626 gaushalas in the state. 15day cow feed would cost Rs. 1100, 10years would cost Rs. 3Lakhs and for 6months it costs Rs. 11,100.
Happiness department of Madhya Pradesh opens “Time Bank”
- On september 9,2019,The Madhya Pradesh’s Happiness department has planned to set up “Time Bank” that is mutual exchange of services.
- In Time bank, The units of time in an hour is valued as currency. It would provide money for an hour that could be exchanged to acquire a new skill without the need of any paper money.
- Whenever a bank member needs to get a skill or service ,for example gardening , playing guitar, by knowing the particular skill ,the member could exchange an hour of credited money to another bank member.The member can start with zero credit.
- Time bank was first set up in Japan in 1973. Later, it was famous in the idea of Time Dollar by USA CEO of Timebanks.
- There are over 500 such communities across 32 countries.
Indian Concrete Institute award 2019 honours MEIL for Kaleshwaram project
- On September 7, 2019 on the occasion of concrete day celebrations, Construction company Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) was recognised with Indian Concrete Institute award 2019 (ICI award)for the outstanding concrete structure of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) in Telangana.
- The award was received by N Venkateshwarlu, chief engineer of the project and B. Srinivas Reddy, MEIL director from ICI president Vinay Gupta in Hyderabad, Telangana.The ICI awarded the best concrete structure award 2019 to Amazon building and for execution of the Khajaguda to Nanakramguda concrete road.
- on the concrete day occasion a lecture on “Engineering challenges in the construction of Kaleshwaram project” was delivered by the project chief engineer.
Rajasthan Health minister Raghu Sharma launches a personal website and a mobile app
Health Minister of Rajasthan, Raghu Sharma launched a personal website and a mobile app On September 10, 2019, to stay connected with the public. Details of the programmes of the minister and other important information will be updated on the platforms on a real-time basis.
An internal group of RBI to assess the adequacy of forex reserves
- An internal group of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will frame a formal mechanism to assess the adequacy of its foreign exchange (forex) reserves.
- RBI had recently adapted the fresh Economic Capital Framework (ECF) as recommended by Bimal Jalan Committee on ECF which noted that RBI’s forex reserves in 2008 were higher than India’s external debt.
- The panel will study whether forex reserves are adequate or not and how much reserves are adequate to cover various risks.
- At present, the forex reserves (more than $400 billion) are lower than India’s total external liabilities ($1 trillion) and even lower than total external debt ($500 billion).
- As on August 16, 2019, India’s forex reserves stood at $430.5 billion, an increase of $17.6 billion over March 31, 2019 ($412.9 billion).
IDBI & LIC CSL to launch a co-branded credit card
The Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI Bank) and Life Insurance Corporation of India Credit Cards Services (LIC CSL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LIC, will launch a co-branded credit card. It will be marketed to customers, agents, and employees of the corporation and its subsidiaries. At present, IDBI Bank offers 5 credit card variants as LIC has ties up with Axis Bank and Corporation Bank for issuance of credit cards under co-branded/white label agreements.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
International Literacy Prizes 2019:UNESCO
On September 2, 2019, Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General (DG) of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the winners of UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2019. The International jury, which recommended the prizes, comprised of John Benseman (New Zealand), Rana Dajani (Jordan), Ms. Jianhong Dong (People’s Republic of China), Sowonne Tchang (Republic of Korea) and Dr. Willy Ngaka (Uganda).
The awards were distributed by the Director-General in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters-Paris on September 9, 2019 on the occasion of International Literacy Day (ILD) 2019 (Theme-Literacy and Multilingualism).
UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize
National Office of Literacy and Education for Adults (ONAEA), Algeria
National Strategy for Multilingual Literacy
Textile Fibres and Development Company (SODEFITEX), Senegal
Functional literacy and follow-up vocational training for farmers in southern Senegal in national languages
UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy
Camacol Antioquia, Colombia
Nuovo Comitato il Nobel per I Disabili, Italy
TELL ME – Theatre for Education and Literacy Learning of Migrants in Europe
“Srivilliputtur Palkova” gets GI- tag in Chennai
On september 10, 2019 “Srivilliputtur Palkova” in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu has get Geographical Indication(GI) tag in chennai.The sweet is prepared from high quality flavour of milk with sugar. The milk is fetched only from in and around reared cows of Srivilliputtur. In 2014,The petition was filed by Srivilliputtur Milk Producers’ Co-operative Society for Geographical Indication(GI) tag.It was approved by Geographical Indication (GI) registry of Chennai.
PERSONS IN NEWS
P K Mishra appointed as the new principal secretary to PM
Pramod Kumar Mishra, aged 71, was appointed as the new principal secretary to Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi succeeding Nripendra Misra with effect from September 11, 2019. He was the additional principal secretary to the PM (2014-19) and was holding the rank of a Cabinet minister. He is the recipient of United Nations Sasakawa Award 2019, the most prestigious international award in disaster management. He is a retired 1972 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer.
P K Sinha appointed as principal advisor to PM
Former cabinet secretary P K Sinha, aged 64, was appointed as the principal advisor to the PM. He currently serves as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). He is a 1977 Batch IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer from Uttar Pradesh Cadre.
Bollywood Actor Ranveer Singh signed as JBL’s new global brand ambassador
Bollywood Actor Ranveer Singh is the new global brand ambassador of Audio equipment Maker JBL owned by Harman International Industries.To strengthen JBL’s dominance in the country, He will engage in all sequence of marketing initiatives and also endorse a range of new JBL’s consumer audio product.
DEFENSE AND SECURITY
IAF Chief B S Dhanoa restored Ambala-based 17th Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’
- Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa restored Air Force Station (AFS) Ambala-based 17th Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’On September 10, 2019, which will be committed to operate India-Pakistan frontier.
- It will be the first unit to operate the newly-acquired Rafale aircraft. He also presented a memento to Station Commander Group Captain Harkirat Singh to commemorate the occasion.
- Golden Arrows was formed in Ambala, Haryana on October 1, 1951.
Group Captain Harkirat Singh is designated as the Commanding Officer.
- The first Indian Rafale combat aircraft manufactured by French firm Dassault Aviation will be inducted into IAF on October 8, 2019, which will be received by defence minister Rajnath Singh in France, and will start arriving in India only in May 2020. It will be deployed in one squadron each at the air bases in Ambala in Haryana and Hashimara in West Bengal.
- In September 2016, India and France had signed an agreement for the procurement of 36 jets at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore.
- IAF has plans to restore former MiG-21, 101 Squadron ‘Falcons’ which will be based in Hashimara to operate Sino-Indian front.
IT AND BIO TECHNOLOGY
Samsung unveils ‘Good Vibes’ and ‘Relumino’ app
South Korean tech giant Samsung,has unveiled two apps namely “Good Vibes” a communication tool for deaf and blind people and “Relumino” On September 9, 2019 that helps the visually impaired people to see the images clearer.
It was developed in partnership with the Non-Profit Organisation(NPO) Sense India, and uses Morse code that converts vibrations into text and vice versa, where a deaf-blind person can communicate with the help of dots and dash combinations to send messages.The first version of the Good Vibes app allowed communication between two deaf-blind people but the current version(2nd) allows communication with caregivers as well.The app is currently available in Samsung Galaxy store and would soon be available in Google Play store.
It was developed by the Samsung employees in the global C-Lab programme in partnership with the National Association for the Blind (NAB), Delhi. The NAB will make use of this relumino in classrooms for students with low vision. This is expected to be a revolutionary move in communication to help the 253 million visually impaired people, 217 low vision people and 14million blind people as per 2017 data released by the World Health Organisation(WHO) of which there are about 5,00,000 deafblind people in India.
ENVIRONMENT AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT
New species of Pterosaur reptile identified by scientists
- The University of Southern California (USC) scientists and colleagues have discovered new reptile species Cryodrakon boreas from the Azhdarchid group of pterosaurs, which is also called as “frozen dragon of the north”.
- These species with a wingspan of up to 10mts and weight of about 250kg were once, one among the largest flying animals that lived 77 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.
- The remains of the species was first discovered in Alberta, Canada, 30 years ago. Its study is published in the journal of “Vertebrate Paleontology” led by author David Hone from Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom (UK).
MYAS derecognises PCI for violating NSDCI, 2011
- The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) derecognised the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for violating the National Sports Development Code of India (NSDCI), 2011 in accordance with provisions under clause I (ix) and (x) of Annexure-III of NSDCI, 2011.
- It has been penalised for mis governance.Earlier, it was also suspended in 2015 on governance issues and re-recognised in 2016.
Documentary photographer Robert Frank passed away
- On September 10, 2019 Switzerland born famous documentary Photographer Robert Frank passed away at the age of 94 in Nova Scotia, Canada. He rose to fame by his landmark book “The Americans” and for his 20th century photographs.
- Frank was born on November 9, 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland, and worked as a photo assistant and later moved to the United States(US) after the Second World War. He produced 28,000 images compressed down to 83 for “the Americans” which rewrote photography rules.
VENU GOPAL AKKINAPALLI