Current Affairs in English – August 11, 12, 13 – 2019

Chintamadaka first village to have health profile

Telangana chief minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao’s Village Chintamadaka in Medak District to be the first village to gave health profile as the government is planning to have for all the villages across the state. A team of doctors and staff from Yashodha Hospitals, which had been camping at Chintamadaka village for eight days to conduct health tests on the villagers, completed their job on August 11th. Hospital management spent about Rs one crore to conduct 36,146 tests on 5,561 villagers during the past eight days. The Siddipet MLA T Harishrao thanked Yashoda hospitals for transforming the premises of Gram Panchayat into a hospital to complete the gigantic task within a short time.

Sonia interim Cong chief

Sonia Gandhi was named interim Congress president on Saturday, returning at the helm after almost 20 months. The announcement was made on August 10th night after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) accepted Rahul Gandhi’s resignation during its second meeting of the day.

NC moves SC against Article 370

The National Conference mounted a legal challenge in Supreme Court on Saturday to the changes made in the Constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir, contending that these have taken away rights of citizens without their mandate. Arguing that the legislation approved by Parliament and the orders issued by the President subsequently were “unconstitutional”, the petition prayed for these to be declared as “void and inoperative”. The petition has been filed by Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (rtd) Hasnain Masoodi, both Lok Sabha members belonging to the NC.

N Korea fires two ballistic missiles

North Korea on Saturday extended a recent streak of weapons displays by firing what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, according to South Korea’s military. The fifth round of launches in less than three weeks was likely another protest at the slow pace of nuclear negotiations with the United States and the continuance of US-South Korea joint military exercises that the North says are aimed at a northward invasion.

Kim has apologised, says Trump

US President Donald Trump said on August 10th that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to resume denuclearisation talks after US-South Korean war games end. Trump tweeted that in a letter to him, Kim apologised for a recent spate of missile tests, the latest of which came at daybreak Saturday Korean time, and said they were to protest these joint military drills.

No business with Huawei: Trump

US President Donald Trump said America will not do any business with Chinese tech giant Huawei. The Trump administration believes that giving access to the state-controlled Huawei on 5G would risk America’s national security. As such the US is not only denying Huawei access inside the country but also is asking other countries to follow suit.

CBSE hikes board exam fee

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has increased the fee of Class 10 and 12 board examinations for SC and ST students from Rs 50 to Rs 1,200, while the amount has been doubled for those from the general category, who will now have to pay Rs 1,500.

The students appearing for the Class 10 board exams are registered for it when in Class 9, and those appearing for Class 12 are registered when in Class 11.

Deccan Dialogue’ on Aug 31 at ISB

The Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with Indian School of Business (ISB) is organising their annual flagship event ‘Deccan Dialogue’ at ISB Hyderabad on August 31.

The event will have five thought-provoking and informative dialogues around the theme ‘Economic Diplomacy in the Age of Disruptions’.

BSNL chasing dues of Rs 3,000 cr

Battling severe liquidity crunch, BSNL plans to aggressively chase outstanding dues from its enterprise clients and is hoping to recover the bulk of over Rs 3,000 crore receivables in the next two-three months, its chairman P K Purwar said.

The move comes at a time when Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is facing mounting pressure on its financials, and it even delayed payment of employee salaries for the second time this year. BSNL on August 5 had released July salaries of employees.

India’s coal import rises 29 per cent

The country’s coal imports increased by 28.7 per cent to 24.14 million tonnes in June on the back of softening of non-coking coal prices in the international markets. India had imported 18.75 million tonnes of coal in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal, according to a compilation by mjunction services, based on monitoring of vessels’ positions and data received from shipping companies.

Flood toll crosses 200 in four States

Flood-hit Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, the four States where over 200 people perished so far, while nine people were killed in landslides in Uttarakhand and Jammu following heavy rains. Also, five people were killed in West Bengal and Odisha in rain-related incidents on Monday. Rains subsided in many parts of the flood-hit States where over 12 lakh people were affected and the water level had started receding in the deluge-ravaged areas, officials said.

No more sale of loose cigarettes

The Union Health Ministry re-initiated the process of amending the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) in a bid to strengthen its provisions, including a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes and heavy fine for violation of rules. The aim is to make it more effective and more inclined to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) guidelines. Currently, the penalty for smoking in restricted areas is up to Rs 200. The Ministry had proposed a number of amendments to the 2003 legislation and put the draft Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Amendment Bill in the public domain in 2015.

Krishi Ashirwad Yojana inaugurated in Jharkhand

‘Mukhya Mantri Krishi Ashirwad Yojana’ was inaugurated in Jharkhand on 10 August 2019. Under the scheme, farmers holding land of an acre or less would be eligible for receiving Rs 5,000 and farmers with five acres of land would be eligible to receive Rs 25,000 in two fixed instalments.  The scheme was incorporated in the state budget from the financial year 2019-2020.

Largest parrot discovered in New Zealand

Fossils of the largest parrot ever recorded have been found in New Zealand. The fossils are estimated to have weighed about 7kg; it would have been more than twice as heavy as the kakapo, previously the largest known parrot.  Palaeontologists have named the new species Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its unusual size and strength and the unexpected nature of the discovery.

M C Mary Kom, Lovlina Borgohain selected for world boxing Championships

M C Mary Kom and Lovlina Borgohain have been selected for the upcoming women’s world boxing championships based on their recent performances. Mary Kom, who has already claimed two gold medals in 2019 in India Open and in Indonesia, has been selected in the 51kg category. Lovlina will be competing in the 69kg category. The world championships are scheduled from October 3 -13, 2019 in Russia.

UNIDO and NISE to partner

An agreement was signed between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). They will initiate a skill development programme for different levels of beneficiaries in the solar thermal energy sector. Both will engage national and international experts to bring the best practices by developing specialized training material.

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