Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s Visit To Japan And South Korea
The Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh visited Japan and South Korea. He held a 5-day visit to the countries with an aim to strengthen military and defence from September 2-6, 2019.
Mr Rajnath Singh visited Japan at the invitation of Mr. Takeshi Iwaya, Defence Minister of Japan from September 2 – 3, 2019.
SUMMITS AND MEETINGS
Japan–India Defence Ministerial Meeting 2019
Mr Rajnath Singh co-chaired the Japan – India Defence Ministerial Meeting 2019 with Defence Minister of Japan Mr Takeshi lwaya in Tokyo, Japan. Various issues of mutual concern were discussed in the meeting.
Mr Rajnath Singh invited the participation of Japanese companies and other stakeholders at biennial DefExpo 2020 to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from February 5 -8, 2020.
Both ministers shared their views to promote cooperation and exchanges in various areas.
Japan-India-U.S trilateral maritime exercise “MALABAR 2019” will be held from late September to early October, 2019.
India, Japan Annual Defence Dialogue 2019 resolved to further deepen bilateral defence and strategic ties.
Other meetings and highlights
- Mr Rajnath Singh called on Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe and held discussions with him.
- He paid homage to the martyrs of Japanese Self-Defence Forces at Ichigaya in Tokyo.
- He inspected the Guard of Honour at Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Japan.
- India & Japan decided to accelerate cooperation in the area of defence equipment and technology & urged deeper discussions between the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) and the Department of Defence Production (DDP).
- He paid a visit to the Hamamatsu Airbase in Japan & inspected the functioning of F-15 fighter aircraft and Kawasaki Trainer plane.He
- visited the Japan Maritime United Yokohama Shipyard Isogo Works in Yokohama.
South Korea visit
Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh arrived in Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK)on the second leg of his two-nation tour to Japan and South Korea on September 4, 2019.
Guard of Honour:Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received the Guard of Honour by the Tri-Services in South Korea. India’s national anthem was played out at the Ministry of National Defence in Seoul.
SUMMITS AND MEETINGS
8th Seoul Defence Dialogue for 2019
The 8th Edition of Seoul Defence Dialogue 2019 was held with the theme “Building Peace Together: Challenges and Visions” in Seoul, South Korea. It is an annual international security forum hosted by the Ministry of National Defense of South Korea.
It had 4 plenary sessions. The themes of the four plenary sessions are “Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula and International Cooperation,” “Peace in Northeast Asia: Challenges and Tasks,” “International Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Assistance” and “National Strategy and Crisis Management in Cyberspace.”
Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh addressed the dialogue. He called for a collective international action to check perpetrators of terrorism and advocated strong measures against those who support and finance terrorism and provide sanctuary to terrorists.
Raksha Mantri emphasised that good relations with neighbours are a priority for India’s foreign policy as part of its Neighbourhood First Policy.
India and South Korea signed 2 Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to enhance defence educational exchanges and extend logistical support to each other’s Navies. It will help to enhance defence cooperation between India-Republic of Korea.
Defence Minister met Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (RoK), Mr. Lee Nak-Yon and had a comprehensive interaction over different issues. The two leaders further noted with appreciation that South Korea’s ‘New Southern Policy’ and India’s ‘Act East Policy’ shared the same perspective and goals.
He held discussions with Mr Jeong Kyeong – Doo, the Minister of National Defence of South Korea.
He engaged in a discussion with South Korea’s minister of Defence Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) Mr Wang Jung-hong.
- The Defence Minister laid a wreath at the National Cemetery in Seoul.
- He attended the CEO’s (Chief Executive Officer) Forum in Seoul. The Forum was jointly organised by the Embassy of India and Department, Defence Production, Ministry of Defence (MoD), South Korea.
- He attended a Business-to-Government (B2G) meeting with the participation of members of the defence industry from both sides with an aim to encourage cooperation between the defence industries of India and South Korea.
- He visited the War Memorial to which he presented a copy of the citation received by the Indian 60th Para Field Hospital for its exceptional contributions during the Korean War.
- Shri Rajnath Singh addressed CEOs of Korean and Indian Defence Industries in Seoul, in the presence of Minister of Defence Acquisition and Program Administration, ROK, Mr Wang Jung-hong & invited the Korean Industry to explore the feasibility of local production of items, used in main weapon system, imported by Indian Defence PSUs (Public Sector Undertakings).
- He proposed setting up of a task force which identifies such items which are economically viable and locally produced in India resulting in reduction of import bill.
SUMMITS AND MEETINGS
2019 South Asian Parliamentarian conference for Children of UNICEF held in Colombo
- On September 2, 2019 the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) along with the parliament of Srilanka at the Colombo city conducted the two day long 2019 UNICEF South Asian Parliamentarian conference on Children Rights Convention to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of convention of the rights of the child.
- This is the 3rd convention conducted by UNICEF with parliamentarians for children where the meeting aims to discuss the issues faced by children and on the challenges to improve the child rights.
- The UN General Assembly adopted the convention under the resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 and came into force entry force on 2 September 1990.
- It is the most ratified human rights treaty that has so far changed the lives of t 627 million South Asian children.
- A commemorative event to celebrate the adoption of child rights convention is to be held in New York in September 25, 2019
India Pakistan participation:
- Theindian delegation was led by Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Gaurav Gogoi and BJP(BharatiyaJanata Party) MP Sanjay Jaiswal whereas the Pakistani side was led by MehnazAkber Aziz, Member of the National Assembly.
- Mehnaz raised the issue of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh into a Union Territory and so the declaration was rejected citing that it was against the agenda of the conference.
- This is the second time Pakistan’s declaration was interrupted for the same reason after the 4th South Asian Speakers’ Summit organised in Maldives of 2019.
FIRST ‘Make In India’ Metro Coach In Mumbai Inaugurated
Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the first Metro Coach in Mumbai On September 7, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative at Jio World Centre, Maharashtra, Mumbai. He also launched Rs.19,000 crore worth metro projects with previous investment of Rs 1.5Lakh crore and laid foundation stone of 3 Metro lines to the metro network of the city expected to be operational from 2031.
PM In Mumbai
The metro projects were launched with vision ‘Mumbai in Minutes’.
PM laid foundation stone of the state-of-the-art Metro Bhavan which is a 32 storey centre and would control 14 metro lines around 337 km radius. It would be constructed on the 20,387 square meter plot with buildable area 1,14,088 square meters.The metro coach was made in a record time of 75 days with design speed 90 kmph and operational speed 80 kmph. It was designed by Bharat Earth Movers Ltd(BEML) in Mumbai. Bandongri Metro Station in Kandivali East of Maharashtra was inaugurated by PM.9.2 km long Gaimukh to ShivajiChowk Metro-10 corridor
- 12.7 km long Wadala to ChhatrapatiShivajiMaharaj Terminus Metro-11 corridor and
- 20.7 km long Kalyan to Taloja Metro-12 corridor.
Brand Vision Document for Maha Mumbai Metro developed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMDRA) was released.
PM In Aurangabad:
- In Aurangabad shri Modi addressed ‘MahilaSakshamMelava’ (Empowered Women’s Meet) of the Self Help Groups(SHG) organised by the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (MSRLM).
- The first phase of Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC) of 10,000 acre area developed under Delhi-Mumbai Corridor at the Shendra industrial area, Maharashtra was observed to become an industrial centre in the near future with more job generation. AURIC in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, is the first Greenfield industrial smart city in the country.
- A 6 storey AURIC hall was inaugurated and an Auricchatbot to address city administration problem was launched.
- Achievement of 8 crore Liquified Petroleum Gas(LPG) connections distributed under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) was made on the occasion. This marks the achievement of 8 crore gas connections 7 months ahead of the target period.
- PM launched a book titled “Transforming Rural Maharashtra”.
- Under the JalJeevan mission the government is to spend Rs. 5 lakh crorein the next 5 years to provide piped water connection (HarGharJal) to all rural households by 2024. This move is dedicated to legendary socialist late Ram ManoharLohia for his dream of providing water to lessen the water issues faced by women.
STATE NEWS(JAMMU AND KASHMIR)
Conclave of first J&K investor summit -2019
- The Mini Conclave of First Jammu and Kashmir Investor Summit-2019 is held in Leh in Ladakh On September 5, 2019, after the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution that gives special status to J&K.
- The conclave was attended by the Leh Hill council CEC Gyal P Wangyal, LAHDC officials, CII representatives and the investors from across the state.
- Navin Kumar Choudhary (Principal Secretary, Jammu, and Kashmir Industries & Commerce), was the Guest of Honour for the conclave, stated that the new political developments are taken for rapid development in the state despite the bifurcation the state into 2 Union territories(UT) as Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh from November 1, 2019.
- He also informed to reduce the premium of SIDCO (Small Industries Development Corporation. Small Industries Development Corporations) Land in Ladakh.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal ,Union minister inaugurates food park of Telangana
- The Union Minister of food processing industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal, inaugurated the first Mega Food Park of Telangana that is promoted by Smart Agro Food ParkOn September 6, 2019 at Lingampally village, Nizamabad, Telangana.
- A total of Rs 14,000 crore turnover is expected through this food park with 50,000 job generation and would also benefit 1 lakh farmers. During the inauguration, the farmers were informed about the Pradhan Mantri KisanSammanNidhi (PMKSN) Yojana that provides Rs 6000 per annum to the farmers.
- The aim of the food park is to double farmers income by 2022 and to reduce harvest loss thus by overall contributing thr ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government.
- The food park is financially assisted by the government of upto ₹50 crore per Mega Food Park project with the Smart Agro Mega Food Park at a cost of Rs108.95 crores in 78acre land.
- 5000 tonne warehouse for each raw material, and other laboratories
DEFENCE AND SECURITY
Centre clears over Rs 5,000 crore worth Akash missile project
- In a bid to strengthen the Indian Air Force (IAF), the central government has approved the procurement of 6 squadrons of indigenous Akash Air Defense missile for the Air Force at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.
- They will be deployed along the borders with Pakistan and China.
- With this approval, the number of Akash missile systems approved for the Air Force will be increased to 15.
- The air force had initially ordered only 2 Akash systems.
- The approval of this 3-year-old proposal for the acquisition of Akash missiles is being seen as a whole hearted acceptance of the indigenous missile system in the military forces.
- The Akash system was officially inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) in July 2015. In the exercise held at Surya Lanka, Andhra Pradesh in 2018, all other air defense missiles, including the Israeli ones, were tested with the Akash missile system and Akash had the best performance.
- Therefore, the Ministry of Defense chose Akash instead of foreign systems.
- The Akash missile has also been selected by the Ministry of Defense over foreign systems as the government took out military tenders worth more than Rs 17,000 crore to favor the Akash.
- The missile proposal for the Air Force has been approved in wake of the February 27, 2019, post-Balakot strike when Pakistanis have launched a counter-attack.
9th SLINEX 2019- Indo-Lanka maritime fleet exercise
The 9th edition of weeklong joint maritime naval exercise between India and Srilanka(SL) named SLINEX for the year 2019 has commenced in the port of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh On September 7, 2019. Two Sri Lanka Navy Ships(SLNS) namelySindurala and Suranimala that are offshore patrol vehicles left the Trincomalee port of Srilanka to participate in the exercise.
Wide ranging naval exercise to enhance cooperation in the Indian Ocean region and helicopter operations.
At about 323 SL navy personnel are participating in the exercise including the SriLankan Flag Officer Commanding the Naval Fleet, Rear Admiral Upul De Silva.
The exercise will conclude on september 14, 2019.
The first SLINEX was held in the year 2005 and the the previous/8th edition took place in Trincomalee, Srilanka.
BANKING ,FINANCE & ECONOMY
RBI barred ESFB from opening new branches
- The apex bank of the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred the Equitas Small Finance Bank (ESFB) from opening new branches. The decision comes after ESFB missed the deadline to list its shares on stock exchanges
- It also froze the salary of ESFB’s Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vasudevan PN.
- As per the RBI’s licensing conditions issued in November 2014, a small finance bank’s shares have to be mandatorily listed on the stock exchanges within 3 years of touching a net worth of Rs 500 crore & 3-year period of ESFB lapsed on September 4, 2019.
- It had received the license in July 2016.
- RBI has warned ESFB that it may impose more restrictions if it fails to make “satisfactory progress” towards listing its shares.
UPI transactions reaches 918 million
- The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has released a data on the new record created by Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions that reached an overall high of 918 million transactions worth Rs 1.54 lakh crore by the end of August crossing the 900 million transaction mark.
- The new milestone in transaction was due to increase in adoption to payment channel and improved smartphone usage in certain states.
- The payment adoption increased by 11.6% and by 5.5% in value in the month of July with 822 million transactions leading to value Rs 1.46 lakh crore in the month.
- A milestone of 1 billion transaction mark is expected between September and December months of 2019.
- Government dataDigidhandashboard shows that Andhra Pradesh tops in the UPI transactions with 17 transactions per person followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha, whereas the least transaction is made by Chattisgarh with 0.08 transactions per person.
Banks begin in-principle approval of retail loan in 59 minutes
All 19 public sector banks (PSB) including State Bank of India(SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BOB) have initiated in-principle retail loan approval for customers availing housing and personal loans under the online lending platform ‘PSB Loans in 59 Minutes’.
- Currently, this platform is providing loan approval to the MSME(Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector. Through this platform, in-principle approval will also be started soon for vehicle loans.
- Applicants can choose the bank and the product they like, and will fastly avail home and personal loans, irrespective of whether they have an account with any of the available banks.
- The government launched the platform in 2018 for small businessmen and MSMEs, in which they were provided loans up to Rs 1 crore in less than an hour.
- More than 50,706 proposals had received in-principle approvals and 27,893 proposals been sanctioned as of 31 March 2019, as per the latest figures.
New GDP series to align with global method
- Union government unveiled a linked back-series of India’s growth numbers from 1950-51 to 2003-04, with 2011-12 as the base year with an aim to arrange the GDP (Gross Domestic Products) figures from past years with the new internationally accepted methodology that facilitates comparisons.
- When a new series of National Accounts Statistics is introduced with an updated base period, it is customary to link the old series to the series on the new base period.
- Prior 2004-05, the GDP estimates were compiled by adopting the splicing method, retaining the same growth rates of aggregates as in the old series.
- The current series uses the MCA-21 database that was stabilised after 2010-11. MCA-21, an e-Governance initiative of Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA), is a portal that allows electronic filings of various documents under the Companies Act and that data is used in GDP estimates.
Government plans to waive off the debts of small distressed borrowers
- Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas notified that there are plans to waive off the debts of small distressed borrowers using the ‘fresh start’ provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). It would be for the most distressed individuals within the economically weaker section (EWS). The waiver will cost Rs 10,000 crore per annum.
- Discussions are held by the government with the microfinance industry to select the criteria for the proposed waiver for small distressed borrowers from the EWS.
- There are various thresholds for ‘fresh start’ which includes the gross annual income of the debtor does not exceed Rs 60,000.
- The aggregate value of the debtor’s assets should not be more than Rs 20,000 and that the aggregate value of the qualifying debts does not exceed Rs 35,000.
- He should not own a dwelling unit, irrespective of whether it is encumbered or not.
CBSE ties up with Microsoft for capacity building of teachers
- The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has joined hands with American multinational technology company, Microsoft to incorporate cloud-based technology in high school teachers’ capacity building programs and teaching. This program, designed for teachers of 8th to 10th grade, will be run in 10 cities across India from September 11, 2019.
- Under the program, at least 1,000 teachers nominated by CBSE will be given 3 days project-based training. During this period, they will be given practical and practical knowledge of Microsoft 365 programs like OneNote, FlipGrid, Teams, and Outlook, etc.
- This initiative will help teachers and students to gain early education and skills in new technologies like Artificial intelligence(AI) and cloud so that they can become the pioneers of growth in a rapidly changing world.
PERSONS IN NEWS
ICC appoints Jonathan Hall as its General Counsel and Company Secretary
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed Jonathan Hall as its General Counsel and Company Secretary who will take up the responsibility in mid-September 2019.
- He has a legal experience of 27 years.
- He worked for The Football Association (The FA) for 11 years, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) (as General Counsel and Company Secretary) & Senior International Vice President, Legal Affairs for IMG on commercial legal matters across cricket, football, rugby, tennis, and golf.
ENVIRONMENT AND BIO DIVERCITY
Cricketer Rohit Sharma’s new innings, “Rhinoceros campaign” for conservation Rhinos in India
- Indian cricket team’s star batsman Rohit Sharma is launching “Rohit4Rhinos campaign” in partnership with WWF India and Animal Planet (wildlife channel) to spread awareness about the need for conservation of one-horned rhinos.
- This rhino conservation campaign will be launched on September 22 on World Rhino Day.
- The one-horned rhinoceros, the state animal of Assam, faces several threats, including poaching, habitat loss and mortality from in-breeding and disease. There are around 3,500 Indian rhinos present in the world. India is home to 82 % of the rhinos.
- Rohit is the brand ambassador for rhino protection in WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) India and for this, he joined in 2018.
Cameroonian professional footballer Samuel Eto’o announces retirement
- Cameroon football legend Samuel Eto’o(38) has announced retirement from all forms of football.
- Born on 10 March 1981 at Douala in Cameroon, he is regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time. In 1998, he was the youngest participant in the 1998 FIFA World Cup after making Cameroon’s team at the age of 17years and 3 months.
- He went on to join Football club Barcelona in 2004, where he was able to win 2 Champions League titles, 4 La Liga titles, 2 Supercopa de Espana and 1 Copa del Rey.
- In 2010, he signed with Inter Milan, where he was able to win his 3rd Champions League title.
- He was also voted African Player of the Year award four times (2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010), an honour for winning it for the most number of times that he shares with Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure.
- He was also the part of the Cameroon squad that won the Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympics& also won the Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002.
Former Pakistan cricketer Abdul Qadir passed away
- Pakistan’s former cricketer Abdul Qadir passed away at the age of 63 due to cardiac arrest On September 7, 2019.
- He is Born in Lahore, Pakistan on 15 September 1955, Qadir had played 67 Tests and 104 One Day Internationals (ODI) taking a total of 368 wickets representing his country.
- He also worked as a chief selector of Pakistan cricket squad in 2009 that won the International Cricket Council(ICC) World T20 (Twenty twenty) match in England the same year.
Kathakali maestro KottakkalChandrasekharan passed away
- Famous Kathakali maestro KottakkalChandrasekharaWarrier who was also the Principal of P.S.V. Natyasangham, Kottakkal, Kerala passed away at the age of 74 On September 4, 2019.
- Born in Kerala , Warrier was honoured with various awards during his reign including the SangeetNatakAkademi Award(2006), Kerala
- SangeethaNatakaAkademi Award, Kalamandalam Award, Tulaseevanam Award etc.
VENU GOPAL AKKINAPALLI