Current Affairs August 04, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of August 04, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. President Ram Nath Kovind has been awarded the National order of Merit by the President of Guinea for his exceptional contribution to the advancement of overall relations and development of mutual cooperation between India and Guinea and for promoting friendship and partnership between the people of both the countries. This is the highest award of Republic of Guinea. Beside this, 3 MoUs were signed between the two countries viz. Cooperation in the Field of Traditional System of Medicine, e- Vidhyabharati – e-Aarogya Bharati Network Project and Renewal Energy. President Kovind also announced a new Line of Credit of US$ 170 million for Water Supply Project of Conakry city. Both countries also agreed on the need for reform of the UN Security Council to make it reflective of contemporary realities.

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2. The United States has officially withdrawn from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia. The INF Treaty is a Cold War-era missile treaty that was signed by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The treaty banned both countries from deploying land-launched cruise missiles in the 500- to 5,500-km range. It was a key to ending the arms race between the (then) two super powers and helped protect the U.S.’s NATO allies in Europe from Soviet missile attacks. The reasons for withdrawal are as follows: the Trump and Obama administrations have repeatedly alleged that Russia was violating the treaty by fielding a ground-based cruise missile – the Novator 9M729 (“SSC-8” in NATO terminology) that could strike Europe at a short notice, an allegation that Russia has repeatedly denied.

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3. On August 3, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched the ‘Vhali Dikri Yojna’ in Rajkot for the 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. According to scheme, the 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. Approx, Rs.133-crore has been allocated for this scheme.

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4. The State Bank of India’s (SBI) Shanghai branch has become the first Indian bank to link up with China’s National Advance Payment System (CNAPS). After being a member of the CNAPS, SBI Shanghai can also offer real time transfer of local funds within China by routing them through the PBOC. It eliminates the need of tie up and maintenance of accounts with multiple Banks for fund transfer. The CNAPS provides real-time settlement services for all payments cleared in mainland China, as well as in all clearing banks in offshore yuan centers, such as Hong Kong. The CNAPS system is complemented by its international counterpart, the CIPS (China International Payments System or Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payment System), launched in 2015 with the aim of boosting international use of the Chinese currency, yuan. The CNAP was launched in 2008 by People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

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5. Devadas Kanakala (75), the veteran Telugu actor, has passed away in Hyderabad on August 3, 2019. Hailed from Yanam (neighbouring East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh) in Pondicherry, Kanakala began his career about five decades ago. He acted in about 100 films and would be best remembered for ‘O Seetha Katha’, ‘Siri Sirmuvva’, ‘Gorintaku’ and ‘Gang Leader’. He was also well-known to have trained South Indian megastars – Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi and Rajendra Prasad – through his film institute.

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6. A 23-year-old Indian-origin doctor, Bhasha Mukherjee has been crowned Miss England after fending off competition from dozens of other models. She holds two different medical degrees & has an IQ of 146, which makes her officially a ‘genius’. Mukherjee speaks five languages – English, Bengali, Hindi, German and French -and has a Bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Nottingham. As winner of Miss England, she will be entered into the Miss World contest and will also bag a holiday to Mauritius.

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7. The 16th edition of Census 2021 will be conducted in 18 languages out of the 22 scheduled languages, while Census 2011 was in 16 of the 18 scheduled languages declared at that time. It also will introduce a code directory to streamline the process. Importantly, the latest census, as per the existing plan, will not collect caste data. The option of “Other” under the gender category is now “Third Gender”. It will be conducted in two phases: the houselisting phase with 34 parameters from April 2020 to September 2020 and the population enumeration phase with 28 parameters from February 9 2021 to February 28 2021. The decennial exercise would involve 31 lakh trained enumerators, with data collected digitally using Android based mobile phones. The Census data would be available by the year 2024-25 as the entire process would be conducted digitally and data crunching would be quicker.

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8. In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has recently held that a judicial magistrate can order an accused to give his voice samples even against his consent in the course of a criminal investigation. This judgment was rendered by a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. The bench dealt with the issues, including that whether in the absence of any provision in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc), can a magistrate authorise the investigating agency to record the voice sample of the person accused of an offence. The CJI pointed out that the Supreme Court has issued this order under Article 142 of the Constitution following the interpretation of all the pertinent laws.

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9. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended the grant of the Institute of Eminence (IoE) status to 20 institutions such as IITs Madras and Kharagpur, Delhi University, University of Hyderabad, Amritha Vishwa Vidyapeetham and VIT. The recommendations are based on the reports of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) under the chairmanship of N Gopalaswami. The aim of Institute of Eminence (IoE) scheme is to develop 20 world-class institutions which would put India on the global education map. Those selected will be given greater autonomy and freedom to decide fees, course durations and governance structures. The public institutions will also receive a government grant of Rs 1,000 crore, while the private institutions will not get any funding under the scheme.

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10. A research team at IIT Kharagpur has developed a technology which can generate energy from solid waste with high moisture content. The new technology – Hydro Thermal Carbonization (HTC) – can convert municipal solid waste to biofuel, soil amendment and absorbents. The technology converts organic fraction of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into Hydrochar by using a batch reactor. The moisture in the waste is used to the advantage of the process which uses water for the reaction. The process has increased the resource recovery yield to 50-65% of urban organic waste. The key to the success of the technology lies in designing a proper industrial-scale HTC reactor with improved heat integration system.

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