Current Affairs Today 15th August 2019 | Current Affairs News


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Indiacelebrating its 73rdIndependence Day

  • India celebrates Independence Day every year on August 15
  • On 15th August 1947 India was declared independent from British colonialism, and the reins of control were handed over to the leaders of the Country


Government launches rural sanitation survey

  • Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched the ‘Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2019’, which will be three times bigger in scale than the previous edition of the rural sanitation survey.
  • Around 700 districts and over 17,000 villages will be covered under the survey that will be conducted across 34 states and union territories.
  • In the first edition in 2018, the survey covered over 6,000 villages across the country.
  • The focus of the survey will be solid waste and plastic waste management, taking the previous year’s exercise centered on making villages open defecation free (ODF).
  • The ODF-Plus programme has four verticals — biodegradable waste management, plastic waste management, greywater (household waste water) management and faecal sludge management.

Minister Piyush Goyal inducts first batch of ‘Commandos for Railway Security’

  • Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal inducted first batch of Commandos for Railway Security (CORAS). The commandos will be posted in Left extremist wing affected areas for security of passengers.
  • Inducted commandos will have access to high-tech equipments. Team will undergo world-class training and will further train fellow Railway Protection Force personnel.
  • Indian Railways has also decided to set up a new state-of-the-art commando training centre for the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Jagadhri, Haryana which will have access to latest technology and equipment to modernize and train commandos of the RPF.

RPF Launches “Operation Number Plate” across Indian Railways

  • Railway Protection Force (RPF) of Indian Railways launched a Special Drive with a Code Name – Operation “Number Plate”to identify and verify all vehicles parked in Railway premises, circulating area, parkings and even in the ‘No Parking’ areas for longer duration.
  • The drive has been undertaken in view of forthcoming celebrations of Independence Day on 15 August 2019 to ensure security and safety of passengers and other stake holders of railways.

Inter-State Council reconstituted with PM Modi as chairman

  • The government has reconstituted the Inter State Council and the Standing Committee of the Inter State Council.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Chairman of the Inter State Council. Chief Ministers of all States and  six Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and  Nirmala Sitharaman are  the members of the Council
  • The Article 263 of the Constitution provides for the establishment of an Inter-State Council which is mandated to inquire into and advise upon disputes which may arise between states, investigate and discuss subjects in which some or all of the states, or the Union and one or more of the states, have a common interest.
  • Home Minister Amit Shah will be the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Inter State Council.
  • The standing committee will have consultation and recommend matters for consideration of the council, process all matters pertaining to Centre-state relations before they are taken up for consideration in the council.
  • Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Thaawar Chand Gehlot and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and eight State Chief Ministers will be its members. These States are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

India to have new post of Chief of Defence Staff

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government would create the post of a chief of defence staff (CDS) that will integrate the operations of the three forces–the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • The CDS was to be a five star rank general – a rank above the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.
  • In 2012, a task force headed by former cabinet secretary Naresh Chandra had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee


Naval Air Enclave & CIAL inks MoU for air operations

  • The Naval Air Enclave (NAE) in Kochi and Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for commencement of naval air operations from the NAE, a naval aviation facility at CIAL in Nedumbassery.
  • The facility comprising an independent dispersal, aircraft hangar, administrative building and taxy track, is on the northwest side of CIAL. Military aircraft will use the CIAL runway for take off and landing and the NAE taxy track for accessing the dispersal and aircraft hangar.
  • NAE Officer-in-Charge Captain Satish Kumar S and CIAL airport director A C K Nair signed the MoU on behalf of both organisations, which lays down Standard Operating Procedures and their adherence by CIAL and the Indian Navy, for ensuring safe, secure and uninterrupted military air operations.


‘Panchamirtham’ of Palani temple gets GI tag

  • The famous Palani panchamirtham, given as ‘prasadam’ at the Murugan temple there, has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  • This is the first time a temple ‘prasadam’ from Tamil Nadu has been bestowed with the GI tag.
  • The panchamirtham is a combination of five natural substances — banana, jaggery, cow ghee, honey and cardamom. Dates and diamond sugar candies are added for flavour.
  • The panchamirtham is an ‘abhishega prasadam’ (food that is a religious offering), which is served in a semi-solid state. It is sweet in taste and one of the main offerings for Lord Dhandayuthapani Swamy, the presiding deity of Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani Swamy Temple, situated on Palani Hills.
Tamil Nadu CapitalChennai
Tamil Nadu CME. Palanisamy
Tamil Nadu GovernorBanwarilal Purohit

Ranipet and Tirupattur to become new districts of Tamil Nadu

  • Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami announced the creation of two more districts with Ranipet and Tirupatturas their headquarters
  • The move will increase the number of districts to 37 in Tamil Nadu
  • Vellore district will be trifurcated into Vellore, Tirupathur and Ranipet. The CM also announced that a new taluk will be formed with headquarters at KV Kuppam in Vellore district.
  • Vellore district was created in 1989 by bifurcating North Arcot district into Vellore and Tiruvanamalai districts.

Odisha Chief Minister inaugurates Naval Tata Hockey Academy

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA), a high-performance centre that will groom the best hockey talents in the state into future national and international players.
  • The academy has been opened at the Kalinga Stadium to nurture sports talent in the state.
  • The government sports hostels in Bhubaneshwar, Sundargarh and Rourkela will become Regional Development Centres (RDCs). The experts engaged by Tata Trusts and Tata Steel will work with the RDCs to further enhance their efficiency and excellence.
Odisha CapitalBhubaneswar
Odisha CMNaveen Patnaik
Odisha GovernorGaneshi Lal

 Madhya Pradesh government waives off loans taken by tribals from unofficial sources

  • In a radical move, the Kamal Nath government in Madhya Pradesh announced that all loans contracted by tribals from unofficial sources would be deemed ‘discharged’.
  • The announcement came on International Day of the World’s Indigenous People that is commemorated on August 9 every year.
  • Tribals who have taken loans from ‘sahukars’ would not have to repay them. The announcement would be effective in 89 out of the 313 blocks in the state that are designated as tribal blocks.
  • The Madhya Pradesh Government also announced “Mukhyamantri Madad Yojna” for providing assistance to tribal families on childbirth and death of a family member.
  • Under this yojana, the tribal family will get 50 kg of rice/wheat, if the birth of a boy or a girl.
  • In case of death in the family, 100 kg of rice or wheat and utensils for cooking food would be given.
Madhya Pradesh CapitalBhopal
Madhya Pradesh CMKamal Nath
Madhya Pradesh GovernorLal Ji Tandon


RBI finalises regulatory sandbox framework for innovation in fintech firms

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the final ‘enabling framework for regulatory sandbox,’ taking into account inputs received after a consultation process that began in April.
  • The framework will likely be a positive step for financial technology start-ups and companies looking to innovate in the fast changing and highly regulated sector.
  • The regulatory sandbox allows live testing of new products or services in a controlled or test regulatory environment.
  • The move by the RBI had received a largely positive response from most financial technology (fintech) firms, which welcomed the chance to be able to test their products in the initial stages or before launch. Another issue with the proposed guidelines was, however, the limitation of allowing testing to 10-12 selected entities at a time. The final version has not specified the number of entities that will be allowed testing at a time.
  • The focus of the RS (regulatory sandbox) would be narrow in terms of areas of innovation, and limited in terms of intake. The RS shall begin the testing process with a few select entities through a comprehensive selection process as detailed in the framework under ‘Fit and Proper’ criteria for selection of participants in RS.
RBI HeadquartersMumbai
RBI GovernorShaktikant Das
RBI Deputy GovernorBP Kanungo, N S Vishwanathan, and Mahesh Kumar Jain

RBI asks banks not to count failed transactions, balance enquiry as free ATM transaction

  • Reserve Bank of India has asked banks not to count failed transactions at ATMs due to technical reasons as part of “free ATM transactions” permitted every month.
  • Use of ATMs for balance enquiry and fund transfers too should not be part of the free transactions facility given to a customer
  • RBI clarified that transactions which fail on account of technical reasons, non-availability of cash, and any other reason attributable to the bank should not be counted as valid ATM transactions for the customer
  • Further, non-cash withdrawal transactions (such as balance enquiry, cheque book request, payment of taxes, funds transfer), which constitute ‘on-us’ transactions (when a card is used at an ATM of the bank which has issued the card) shall also not be part of the number of free ATM transactions.


PT Usha appointed as member of AAA’s Athletes Commission

  • Former Indian athlete and Olympian P.T. Usha has been appointed as a member of the Athletes Commission of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA).
  • Usha will be one of the six members of the AAA Athletes Commission, which will be headed by 1992 Olympics gold medallist hammer thrower Andrey Abduvaliyev of Uzbekistan.
  • The other members of the commission includes: Kazakhstan’s former Olympic champion triple jumper Olga Rypakova, China’s Wang Yu, Malaysia’s Lee Hup Wei and Saudi Arabia’s Saad Shaddad.


Rajasthan gets award at World Education Summit

  • Rajasthan has bagged the “best innovation and initiative leadership award” for its achievements in higher education in the World Education Summit-2019 held in New Delhi.
  • Minister of State for Higher Education Bhanwar Singh Bhati received the award at the 14th summit.
  • Free education for girls has helped improve their ratio in higher education. Against every 100 boys, we have 108 girls studying in the government colleges.
Rajasthan CapitalJaipur
RajasthanCMAshok Gehlot
RajasthanGovernorKalyan Singh

 Rajdeep Sardesai bags prestigious Prem Bhatia Award for political reporting

  • Veteran journalist and consulting editor at India Today TV Rajdeep Sardesai has been awarded the 2019 Prem Bhatia Award for Outstanding Political Reporting.
  • He was honored for his outstanding political reporting in an event held by the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust at the India International Centre in New Delhi.
  • The annual award carries a prize of Rs 2 lakh, and was established in the memory of veteran journalist Prem Bhatia, who was well known for his political reporting.
  • Sardesai is a senior journalist, author and news presenter who has reported on several groundbreaking stories in his career spanning over three decades.


HDFC Bank CEO Aditya Puri highest paid banker in India

  • HDFC Bank managing director Aditya Puri remained the highest paid bank chief executive in India with a monthly basic salary of Rs 89 lakh in FY19.
  • Axis Bank CEO Amitabh Chaudhry is the second-highest-paid bank executive with a basic salary of Rs 30 lakh.
  • Former Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma earned around Rs 24 lakh per month.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak ranked at number three in the highest-paid bank chief executives list with a monthly basic salary of Rs 27 lakh.


India beat England by 36 runs to lift Physical Disability World Series T20

  • India defeated England by 36 runs to win Physical Disability World Series 2019 in the final held at the New Road Stadium in Worcester, England.
  • The tournament was organized by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
  • England, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh were the five countries which participated in the tournament.

Simone Biles makes history with a “triple-double” twist

  • Simone Biles continues to raise the bar in competitive gymnastics.
  • The four-time Olympic gold medalist made history when she landed a triple-double during her floor routine at the United States championships.
  • No one else has landed a triple-twisting double somersault in competition.
  • This came after Biles became the first person to land a double-double as part of a dismount on the balance beam.
  • The performance helped her take home first place in the All-Around competition, her sixth AA title in the U.S. championship. She had the best score on floor, beam and vault while ranking third on the uneven bars.


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