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

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has decided to translate and publish an anthology of the writings of Guru Nanak Dev in world languages to mark his 550th birth anniversary. The Government of India is also holding a series of events and has initiated projects to mark 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (production, manufacture, import, export, transport, sale, distribution, storage and advertisement). Any production, import, export, transport, sale (including online sale) or advertisement (including online advertisement) of e-cigarettes shall be a cognizable offence punishable with an imprisonment of up to one year or fine up to Rs. 1 lakh or both for the first offence. For a subsequent offence, there will be imprisonment of up to 3 years and fine up to Rs. 5 lakhs. Storage of electronic-cigarettes shall also be punishable with an imprisonment up to 6 months or fine up to Rs 50,000 or both.
  • PM Matru Vandana Yojana has achieved a significant milestone by crossing one crore beneficiaries. The total amount disbursed to the beneficiaries under the scheme has crossed Rs. 4,000 crores. The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing Centrally Sponsored Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY). Implementation of the scheme started with effect from 01.2017. PMMVY is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme under which cash benefits are provided to pregnant women in their bank account directly to meet enhanced nutritional needs and partially compensate for wage loss.
  • The central Government has appointed Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria as the next Chief of Air Staff (CAS). He will take over on 30th September. He will have a two-year tenure. Mr. Bhadauria had played a key role in the negotiations for the deal with France for 36 Rafale jets.
  • Indian Air Force has successfully flight-tested air-to-air missile Astra off the coast of Odisha. The missile was launched from a Sukhoi Su-30 MKI combat aircraft. The missile was tracked using radars, electro-optical tracking sensors and struck its target successfully. The missile has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the premier research and development organisation of the armed forces. It is capable of engaging targets at varying range i.e. short-range targets (up to 20 km) as well as long-range targets (up to 80–110 km).
  • A maiden trilateral exercise named SITMEX-19, involving Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), Royal Thailand Navy (RTN) and Indian Navy (IN) has commenced at Port Blair. The five-day-long exercise is aimed at bolstering the maritime inter-relationships amongst navies of Singapore Thailand and India, and contribute to enhancing the overall maritime security in the region.
  • The 23rd edition of the Trilateral Maritime Exercise MALABAR, is scheduled between the navies of India, Japan and USA from 26 September to 4 October 2019 off the coast of Sasebo, Japan.  MALABAR 2019 would endeavour to further strengthen India – Japan – US Naval cooperation. The Exercise would encompass conduct of operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains, and focus on Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Air and Anti-Surface Firings, Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) including tactical scenario-based Exercise at Sea.
  • A new book titled “Being Gandhi” written by award-winning author Paro Anand is released. It marks the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The book, published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, explores the life events of Gandhiji.
  • Shondol dance, which is known as the royal dance of Ladakh, has created history by entering into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Ladakhi dance. Shondol is a famous dance, which artistes used to perform for the king of Ladakh.
  • The International Migrant Stock 2019 was released by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The report provides the latest estimates of the number of international migrants by age, sex and origin for all countries and areas of the world.As per the report, India was the leading country of origin of international migrants in 2019 with a 17.5 million strong diaspora.
  • Sri Lanka unveiled South Asia’s tallest tower, costing over $100 million, 80% of which has been funded by China under the controversial Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The 350-metre-tall 17-storey Lotus Tower, located in the heart of Colombo city. The tower spread over an area of 30,600 sq. metres. The project which began in 2012 under the then-president Mahinda Rajapakse.
  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao has announced his resignation. He became the president of ADB on April 28, 2013. He expanded the operations of the funding agency from USD 14 billion in 2013 to USD 22 billion in 2018.
  • After coming in second to Mauritius for two years, Singapore regained top spot as India’s largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the 2018-19 financial year, which ended in March.
  • Bulgarian economist Kristalina Georgieva has been selected as the new Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. She will succeed Christine Lagarde. Kristalina Georgieva had previously served as the chief executive of the World Bank. She will also become the first person from an emerging economy to lead the IMF.
  • The Asian Development Bank has slashed its growth forecast for India for fiscal year 2019-20 to 6.5% from 7%. The bank lowered the growth rate because of weaker growth in the first quarter due to a slowdown in consumption and investment activities that hit manufacturing and service sectors.
  • India was ranked 44th in the IMD World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2019 produced by the IMD World Competitiveness Center.  The US was ranked as the world’s most digitally competitive economy, followed by Singapore in the second place.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the 2019 Global Goalkeeper Award. He received the award for Swachh Bharat Mission from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on October 2, 2014, aims to accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage in the country. Global Goalkeeper Award is a “special recognition” by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The award celebrates a political leader who has “demonstrated their commitment to the Global Goals through impactful work in their country.
  • Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, was among four people named as the winners of a Right Livelihood Award. She shares the award with Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa of the Yanomami people, Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei and Western Sahara human rights defender Aminatou Haidar. It honours courageous people and organisations offering solutions to the root causes of global problems, that the prize founder, felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.
  • The United Nations observes 16 September every year as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The ozone layer is a fragile shield of gas which protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun and thus help in preserving life on the planet. This years theme is “32 Years and Healing”. The theme for this year celebrates over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol.
  • The country’s highest film honour, the Dadasaheb Phalke award, will be presented this year to Amitabh Bachchan. This award is given for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema. The Dadasaheb Phalke award comprises a Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus), a shawl and a cash prize of ₹1,000,000. The award very appropriately comes in the year that marks Mr Bachchan’s golden jubilee in cinema. He made his debut in 1969 with Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’ Saat Hindustani.
  • Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur has become the only Indian film to feature in “The Guardian” list of 100 Best Films of the 21st century. The film has bagged the 59th position.
  • The Film Federation of India (FFI) has chosen ‘Gully Boy’ as India’s official entry to the Oscars. “Gully Boy”, produced by Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar and directed by Zoya Akhtar’, featured Ranveer as an up-and-coming rapper who sets out to achieve his dream by rhyming about his life on the Mumbai streets.
  • Moti Bagh, a documentary film based on the struggle of a farmer in a remote Uttarakhand village, has been nominated for the Oscars. The film, based on the life of Vidyadutt Sharma, a farmer living in Pauri Garhwal region, also won the 1st prize at the International short film festival in Kerala. This documentary film was directed by Nirmal Chandra Dandriyal.
  • The 20th Edition of NEXA International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards) for 2019 was held at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
    • Best Film:            Raazi
    • Best Actor in a leading role (Female):       Alia Bhatt (Raazi)
    • Best Actor in a leading role (Male):           Ranveer Singh (Padmaavat)
    • Best Director:     Sriram Raghavan (Andhadhun)
  • Madhya Pradesh government will appoint filmstar Govinda as brand ambassador to promote the state’s traditions and tourist places.
  • Payment technology company Visa announced that it has signed up world badminton champion Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (PV Sindhu) as its brand ambassador for two years. Besides promoting the brand through advertising campaigns, Sindhu has also become an athlete member of Team Visa for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
  • Pankaj Advani defeated Nay Thway Oo to win the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship held in Mandalay, Myanmar. This was his 4th straight victory in the final of the 150-up format at the IBSF World Billiards Championship. With this win, he has increased his tally of world titles to 22.
  • Spain defeated Argentina by 95-75 to win the Basketball World Cup held in Beijing, China. This was its second title win after 13 years. The next world cup will be held in 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • Bajrang Punia won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Bajrang defeated Mongolia’s Tulga Ochir 8-7 in the bronze medal match of 65kg freestyle category.
  • Vinesh Phogat won the bronze medal at the Wrestling World Championships held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. She defeated Maria Prevolaraki of Greece in the 53 kg freestyle event. Vinesh Phogat has also won India an Olympic quota in the 53 kg freestyle event of Tokyo Olympics.
  • The “Best Fifa Football Awards 2019” felicitated in Milan. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi won the best men’s player at the Best Fifa Football Awards in Milan. It is the 6th time Messi has been voted the world’s best men’s player after winning it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
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