Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for the Month of October 2019 – Set 2

  • Senior BJP leader Manohar Lal Khattar was sworn in as the chief minister of Haryana for second straight time, with the support of Dushyant Chautala led Jannayak Janta Party.
  • Air India became the first airline in the world to use a Taxibot on a A320 aircraft with passengers on board. Taxibot is a robot-used aircraft tractor for taxiing an aircraft from parking bay to runway and vice versa. The national carrier’s Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani flagged off flight AI665, which was carried to runway using Taxibot at terminal 3 of the Delhi airport to Mumbai.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become the most-followed elected world leader on photo-sharing app Instagram. He is ahead of US President Donald Trump, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and former president Barack Obama.
  • NITI Aayog with Institute for Competitiveness as the knowledge partner released the India Innovation Index (III) 2019. Karnataka is the most innovative major state in India. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Telangana, Haryana, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh form the remaining top ten major states respectively. Sikkim and Delhi take the top spots among the northeastern & hill states, and union territories/city-states/small states respectively. Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh are the most efficient states in translating inputs into output.
  • The State Cabinet of Assam has decided to make government jobs out of bounds for people with more than 2 children. The policy will come into effect from January 1, 2021.
  • The latest 2 edition of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) India University Rankings 2020 released. The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) has again topped all Indian Institutes in the list with an overall score of 88.5 followed by IISc- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (ranked 2 with 84.7 score) & Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), which has improved a notch to rank 3 with 82.2 scores.
  • SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar has been appointed as the new chairman of Indian Banks’ Association. He will succeed Sunil Mehta, who was the MD & CEO of Punjab National Bank.
  • The India-Myanmar Naval Exercise called IMNEX-2019 is being organised in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The opening ceremony of the second edition of Indo-Myanmar joint naval exercise was conducted onboard INS Ranvijay.
  • An Indian historian, educationist and Padma Shri recipient, Kashi Nath Pandit’s new book entitled “Ten Studies in Kashmir: History and Politics”, published by Academic Foundation. A new book looks at the riveting history of Jammu and Kashmir from the time of its political and geographic consolidation to the abrogation of the state’s special status.
  • J&K’s Chenani-Nashri Tunnel, a 9 km-long tunnel that reduces the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 31 km has been renamed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Tunnel. The ‘Chenani-Nashri Highway Tunnel’ is not only India’s longest highway tunnel but also Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel.
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the merger of loss-making telecom firms BSNL and MTNL as part of a revival package. The Cabinet has also given in-principle nod to the merger of BSNL and MTNL and till modalities are in place, MTNL will be a subsidiary of BSNL.
  • ‘Maharatna’ status has been granted by the Government to state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited. The status also comes with greater operational and financial autonomy. The grant of Maharatna status to the PSUs will impart enhanced powers to their Boards to take financial decisions. The Boards can structure and implement schemes relating to personnel and human resource management and training. They can also enter into technology joint ventures or other strategic alliances, among others.
  • Indian Railways has launched ‘one touch ATVM (Automatic Ticket Vending machine)’ at 42 suburban stations of Central Railway over Mumbai Suburban Network. The machine has been launched to render fast ticketing to millions of commuters. This new machine will reduce the waiting time of the passengers and allow passenger to avoid standing in long queues.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind has signed a warrant appointing Justice S A Bobde as the next Chief Justice of India. Justice Bobde will take over as the CJI on November 18 2019. As per the convention, the sitting CJI recommends the name of his successor. The convention also demands that the senior most judge of the Supreme Court be recommended as the next CJI. Sharad Arvind Bobde, born in Nagpur on April 24 1956 is a former Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. He studied law at the Nagpur university and enrolled as an advocate in 1978 at Maharashtra.
  •  The Global Bio-India 2019 will be held for the first time in India in New Delhi from 21st to 23rd November, 2019. It is one of the largest biotechnology stakeholder’s integration programme. India is hosting this mega event for the biotech community to attract investments and showcase our indigenous strengths and aspirations of the indigenous talent pool.
  • Italy approved a new tax on digital companies, including U.S. tech giants, as part of its 2020 draft budget on October 16. The levy, due to be introduced from next year, will oblige companies such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, to pay a 3% levy on internet transactions, according to a text of the draft budget. The Italian scheme is expected to yield about 600 million euros ($662 million) a year.
  • The World Bank-International Monetary Fund (IMF) annual meetings kicked off on a somber note, with the IMF downgrading global growth in 2019 to 3%, the slowest since the global financial crisis. India’s growth projections have also been downgraded to 6.1% and 7.0% in 2019 and 2020 respectively, down by 1.2 percentage points and 0.5 percentage points relative to April projections, owing to weaker than expected domestic demand. India’s growth rate in the April-June quarter had hit 5%, the lowest in six years, as per government data. Consumption, investment and exports were down.
  • European Union leaders confirmed the appointment of Christine Lagarde as the new chief of the European Central Bank. She will be replacing Mario Draghi (Italy) from November 1. Lagarde’s confirmation for a non-renewable term of 8-years. She served 8-years as the head of IMF since 2011.
  • Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have jointly won the 2019 Booker Prize after judges flout the rules by declaring a tie. The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they could not separate Atwood’s – ‘The Testament’ and ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ by Evaristo, who is the first black woman to win the prestigious award since its creation in 1969. British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie’s tragicomic ‘Quichotte’ was among the six books shortlisted for the prize.
  •  The Global Health Security Index – prepared by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) – ranks India 57th out of 195 countries. USA tops the list.
  • The 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) indicates that the level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide falls into the serious category. As per the index, India ranks 102nd out of 117 qualifying countries, with a score of 30.3.
  • World Bank has released Ease of Doing business Rankings which includes 190 countries. As per the rankings, India has jumped 14 places and has been ranked at 63rd among 190 countries. New Zealand and Somalia retained their 1st and 190th spot respectively. The indicator measures the performance of countries across 10 different dimensions in the 12-month period ending May 1, 2019.
  • 24th October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. The United Nations was founded in 1945 to support collective action to realize peace, development and human rights for all.
  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has changed the super-over rule for all its major events following the uproar over the outcome of the men’s World Cup final this year when England was declared winners against New Zealand on boundary count. As per new rule, in case of a super over tie, there will be a repeated super over until one team has more runs than the other.
  • In the final of 7th season of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League 2019, Bengal Warriors won their first title by defeating Dabang Delhi by 39-34 at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  • One of India’s most decorated captains Sourav Ganguly takes over as the 39th President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
  • Karnataka has won the 2019-20 Vijay Hazare Trophy. Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by 9 wickets in the finals of Vijay Hazare Trophy at Bengaluru. Karnataka won their 4th Vijay Hazare Trophy title with a dominant display against Tamil Nadu. Abhimanyu Mithun took a hat-trick in the summit clash.
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