Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for the Month of August 2019 – Set 1

  • President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented Bharat Ratna Awards to Nanaji Deshmukh, Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika and Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 8th August 2019.
  • The Reserve Bank of India will make available the National Electronic Funds Transfer system on a 24×7 basis from December 2019 as per the Payment System Vision 2021 document. Presently, the transfer of funds via NEFT can only be done during banks’ working hours.
  • The State Bank of India’s (SBI) Shanghai branch is now connected to China’s National Advance Payment System (CNAPS). SBI is the only Indian bank to have obtained the license to do business in local currency and also inducted to the CNAPS by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). SBI Shanghai can also offer the real-time transfer of local funds within China by routing them through the PBOC. The CNAPS, launched in 2008 by People’s Bank of China (PBOC) provides real-time settlement services for all payments.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed “Bank of China” to offer regular banking services in the country. Banks falling under this schedule have to adhere to the norms of the RBI. ‘Bank of China Limited’ has been included in the 2nd Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • According to the World Bank, India has been pushed to the 7th place in the global GDP rankings in 2018. In 2017, India had emerged as the 6th largest economy. The US remains the top economy with a GDP of $20.5 trillion in 2018. China was the 2nd largest economy with $13.6 trillion, while Japan took the 3rd place with $5 trillion. India’s GDP was at $2.7 trillion in 2018, while UK and France were at $2.8 trillion.
  • Indian journalist Ravish Kumar has been awarded the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award for “harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless”. He is among 5 individuals who were chosen for this years’ award. The award will be presented to all recipients at a ceremony in Manila on 9th September 2019.
  • 66th National film awards were announced by Rahul Rawail, head of Jury for feature films. Usually recipients of annual National Film Awards are announced in month of April and presentation takes place on May 3 every year but it was delayed this time owing to the 17th Lok Sabha polls.
    • Best Feature Film: Hellaro (Gujarati Film)
    • Best non feature film: Son Rise by Vibha Bakshi and The Secret Life of Frogs by Ajay and Vijay Bedi
    • Best Director: Adhitya Dhar for Uri: The Surgical Strike
    • Best Actor: Ayushmann Khuranna for Andhadhun and Vicky Kaushal for Uri: The Surgical Strike
    • Best Actress: Keerthy Suresh for Mahana (Telugu)
    • Best Hindi Film:  Andhadhun
  • The Department of Heavy Industry has sanctioned 5,595 electric buses under the phase II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles (FAME) India scheme. The buses are sanctioned to 64 cities in 22 states and union territories for intracity and intercity operations in order to push for clean mobility in public transportation.
  • The country is celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of scientist and innovator Dr Vikram A Sarabhai. He is considered as the father of India’s space program. The lander of Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, is named ‘Vikram’ to honour the late Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
  • Private sector bank, RBL Bank and digital healthcare platform Practo have partnered to launch an industry-first co-branded health credit card. This credit card is powered by Mastercard. RBL Bank’s new credit card offers benefits like online consultations with doctors and a free health check-up.
  • President has approved the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. The bill amends the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The act aims to make Indian roads safer, reduce corruption and use technology to overhaul the country’s transportation system. Some main features of the act are:
    • The Bill proposes a scheme to allow cashless treatment of victims in a road accident during the golden hour. The golden hour is defined as the time period of up to one hour following a traumatic injury, during which the likelihood of preventing death through prompt medical care is the highest.
    • The Bill proposes to increase the minimum compensation for hit and run cases. In case of the death, the compensation has been raised from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2,00,000, and in case of grievous injury it will be from Rs. 12,500 to Rs. 50,000.
  • Veteran actor Anupam Kher’s autobiography titled “Lessons Life Taught Me, Unknowingly” was launched at a special event at Consulate General of India in New York. It was unveiled by Rishi Kapoor, along with wife Neetu Kapoor and cast of NBC’s show New Amsterdam.
  • Former Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest in New Delhi on 6th Aug 2019. She was 67, She had started her political career under Janata Party and was elected to the Haryana assembly in 1977 and became a state minister at age 25.
  • Mindtree appointed S.N. Subrahmanyan as its non-executive vice-chairman. Subrahmanyan currently serves as L&T group’s managing director and CEO. Chatterjee Cognizant’s global leader for digital systems and technology practice will be the first person outside Mindtree’s seven-member founding team to be appointed as the chief executive officer. He is the third person to take up the top job since the company launched 20 years ago. He is appointed till 1 August 2024
  • The International Youth Day 2019 is observed across the world on 12 August with the theme “Transforming education”. The day draws attention to given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth and also seeks to highlight role played by young women and men as essential partners in change and provide opportunity to raise awareness about challenges and problems being faced by world’s youth.
  • Denmark’s third-largest bank Jyske Bank launched the world’s first negative interest rate mortgage. The bank handling out loans to homeowners where the charge is minus 0.5% a year. It has begun offering borrowers a 10-year deal at -0.5%. Jyske bank borrowers will make a monthly repayment, as usual, The amount still outstanding will be reduced each month by more than the borrower.
  • London has been named the world’s best city for students for the 2nd consecutive year. Tokyo and Melbourne that came 2nd and 3rd, respectively, on a new worldwide ranking. According to the rankings, India’s best student city is Bengaluru (81st), followed by Mumbai (85th), Delhi at 113th and Chennai at 115th, out of a total of 120th cities in the list.
  • Serena Williams topped the List of Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 published by Forbes. She has topped the annual list for a 4th consecutive year with estimated total earnings of $29.2 million. Japan’s Naomi Osaka was 2nd on the list with earnings of ($24.3 million). Indian badminton player P.V. Sindhu came in tied for 13th ($5.5 million), with Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn ($5.3 million) rounding out the top 15 of Forbes list of best-paid female athletes.
  • Aishwarya Pissay became first Indian to claim a world title in motorsports by winning FIM World Cup (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) in women’s category after the final round of the championship at Varpalota in Hungary. She also finished 2nd in FIM Junior category.
  • Rafael Nadal won the Montreal Masters Cup. He won the 35th Masters crown. He defeated Russian Daniil Medvedev. He extended his record haul of Masters 1000 titles. Nadal got the title for the first time in his career.
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