NIC Hosts conclave on New Technologies
On January 22,2019, Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of National Informatics Centre (NIC) inaugurated a two-day Technology Conclave in New Delhi.The conclave was inaugurated by Shri Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.The theme of the conclave was “Technologies for NextGen Governance”.It concluded on 23rd January,2019.
i. This Technology Conclave is considered to be the first move through a decade of digital technology and setting our path wide toward the New Digital India.
ii. The technologies covered during this conclave were Big Data and Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning Methodologies, Cloud Native Scalable Applications, Micro-services, Software Defined Infrastructure and Cyber Security.
About New Delhi:
♦ Capital: New Delhi
♦ Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Governor: Anil Baijal
Amul Launches Camel Milk With ‘Numerous Benefits’ In Select Markets
On January 24th,2019 Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, venture of diary brand Anand Milk Union Limited or Amul has launched the Camel milk first time in the brand name of ‘Amul Camel Milk’ in selective areas of Gujarat.
i. Initially ‘Amul Camel Milk’ will be launched in areas like Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad and the Kutch of Gujarat.Price of 500ml will be Rs.50 and it should be refrigerated with shelf life of three days.Amul has already introduced the Camel Milk Chocolate.
India, China sign protocol for export of Indian tobacco to Chinese market
On January 21, 2019 a protocol was signed between India’s Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan and Zhang Jiwen, Vice Minister of General Administration of China Customs (GACC) accountable for examining market access and quarantine issues for India’s agriculture and allied products. Mr. Wadhawan was on a two-day visit to Beijing, China where his efforts with Chinese officials facilitated for the tobacco export to China.
The revival of the pyto-sanitary protocol with China will turn economically better for the farmers and also ameliorate Indian tobacco exports as China is the largest consumer and producer of tobacco with over 350 million smokers (world’s highest).
Nepal and India partnered to set up a Energy banking mechanism
On January 25,2019 In Pokhara,India and Nepal agreed to set up energy banking mechanismto make use of the surplus electricity in a essential and a useful way.
i. Nepal’s demand for electricity increased during the summer months, whereas in India demand increases during the monsoon season and slumps during winter.
ii. This partnership will help the Nepal export its surplus electricity to neighbour India during the monsoon season and import power during winter season .
BANKING & FINANCE
IRDAI sets panel headed by Praveen Kutumbe to identify systematically important insurers
A panel is all set by Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) headed by Praveen Kutumbe,to identify domestically systematically important insurers (SIIs) and an augmented regulatory framework is logically established in this regard.
i. The rationale behind the idea for SIIs as explained by IRDAI states that any fiasco in the system will defy the essential services they provide to policy holders overall economic activity can start dampening.
ii. In this regard, a committee headed by Praveen Kutumbe, Member- Finance and Investment, IRDAI, has been asked to submit report in six months.
iii. It is also perceived that SIIs is pivotal for the smooth and incessant functioning of insurance services to the real economy.
♦ IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India) was established in 1999, regulates and promotes the insurance and re-insurance business in India.
♦ Chairperson- Subhash Chandra Khuntia
♦ Headquarters- Hyderabad.
SBI Card & Etihad Guest tie-up to launch premium card for international travel
On 24th January 2019,SBI Card, the country’s second largest credit card issuer and Etihad Guest, the loyalty programme of Etihad Airways have weld their hand together for a specific visa credit card to come into play for members and Indian travellers.
i .The card will prove handy in two forms:-
- Etihad Guest SBI Card
- Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card
ii. It has been launched in order to confront the constraints of international travel. It is a promise to backtrack the lifestyles of affluent and urban Indians to complement their travel experience. Besides that, it is anticipated that the Indians will boost their travelling frequency which in turn leads to global exposure substantially.
iii. It is an appealing programme through which its clients can start collecting reward points instantly.
About SBI Card:
♦ SBI Card Director & CEO- Hardayal Prasad.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
NCDEX, IRMA sign MoU to handhold farmer producer organisations
On January 24 2019, A MoU has been signed between The National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) and Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) to guide farmer producer organizations(FPOs) and allied institutions.
i. They provide their support through training sessions, handholding, and leadership development.
ii. IRMA’s students able to learn about commodity markets and also could provide training to agro sourcing professionals, skill upgrades of government officials, supportive awareness programmes and research.
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX)
♦ It is an online commodity exchange based in India.
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
♦ MD & CEO – Vijay Kumar
Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)
♦ It is an autonomous institution located in Anand in Gujarat, India with the mandate of contributing to the professional management of rural organisations.
♦ Founder – Verghese Kurien
BSNL, French firm join hands to offer data services through SMS
On January 24 2019, Indian state-owned telecommunications BSNL and French company Be-Bound had signed an agreement to become partners to provide data connectivity through SMS in areas where there is no Internet connectivity or signal breaks.
i. BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava informed that Be-Bound has been given patent and already developed this technology which will be embedded in mobile apps. This app used to send command to Be-Bound server if it does not get data connectivity for SMS-based connectivity.
ii. Be-Bound server will facilitate SMS connectivity after getting command from the app. The app will also send SMS from user’s account because for connectivity .The limit of 100 SMS per day per subscriber which is sufficient for this service.
About Be-Bound, Inc.
♦ Be-Bound optimizes existing networks to bring constant connectivity to all Android smartphones and IoT devices, enabling coverage for 95% of the world’s population without the need for any additional infrastructure investment. This technology is made for corporations, governments, mobile network operators, and developers to connect the unconnected, immediately.
♦ Founder : Yazid Chir
♦ Founded : 2011
♦ Parent organization : Altheia Group
Saab, AAI sign MoU over air traffic management solutions
On January 23, 2019, Swedish aerospace and defence company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to improve air traffic management(ATM) solutions in airports
About the MoU
i. The MoU was signed by Vineet Gulati, Member (ANS) from AAI and Peter Engberg, Head of Traffic Management, Saab Business Area Industrial Products and Services.
ii. Saab and the AAI will jointly explore potential avenues for co-operation for automation system solutions in India
iii. Saab has ability to create Advanced-Surface Movement Guidance & Control System (A-SMGCS) and Surface Movement Radar (SR- 3), to Remote Towers which can be fitted at all types of airports.
iv. Saab’s ATM solutions are now deployed in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Guwahati, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Cochin and Bhubaneshwar.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Overview Of Padma Awards-2019
- On January 25,2019 President of India Ram Nath Kovind announced Padma Awards,which is the highest civilian Awards in the country.The Padma Awards are conferred under 3 categorized viz- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
- President Ram Nath Kovind has approved conferment of 112 Padma Awards including one duo which is considered to be one award.The Padma Awards consist of 4 Padma Vibhushan award,14 Padma Bhushan Award and 94 Padma Shri awards.
Winners of Padma Vibhushan 2019:
|Ms. Teejan Bai
|Shri Ismail Omar Guelleh (Foreigner)
|Shri Anilkumar Manibhai Naik
||Trade & Industry-Infrastructure
|Shri Balwant Moreshwar Purandare
Bharat Ratna Award 2019
On January 26, 2019,President Ram Nath Kovind announced the recipients of Bharat Ratna,the country’s highest civilian award,they are former president Pranab Mukherjee, social activist Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) and musician Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) in New Delhi
Details about the three recipients:
i. Pranab Mukherjee also known as Pranab Da , was the 13th President of India and served from 2012 until 2017.
ii. Nanaji Deshmukh, who died at the age of 94 in 2012, was a member of the Lok Sabha and represented the Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh. He also served as a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha from 1999 to 2005
iii. Bhupen Hazarika, legendary singer-composer from Assam, was awarded (posthumously) with this award. He was a recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padmashri and Padmabhushan. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour, in 2012. He died in November 2011 at the age of 85.
Tetra Pak wins ICC ‘Social Impact Award’ for Environment Sustainability
On 25th January 2019, ‘Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) awarded social impact award to Tetra Pak India, the world’s leading packaging and processing solutions provider under the category ‘Sustainable Environment category’.
i.The award recognizes Tetra Pak’s leading efforts in setting up a sustainable ecosystem.
ii.Tetra Pak in partnership with RUR conducted Go Green with Tetra Pak, Greenlife and Sahakari Bhandar ‘Alag Karo’ in 2010 to create awareness to the consumers about their role in waste management
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
GSKCH India gets CCI approval for merger deal with HUL
On January 25,2019 Competition Commission of India (CCI), fair trade regulator has approved the merger deal between GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH India) and Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) via an all-equity deal.
i. CCI also approved the merging of schemes between the two companies and the total business has been valued at Rs 31,700 crore.
ii. The scheme remains subject to the receipt of other necessary statutory and regulatory approvals under applicable laws, including by the NSE, SSE, SEBI, NCLT and the respective shareholders and creditors of HUL and the company.
iii. GSK CH India is familiar in the health food drinks with popular brands such as Horlicks and Boost. Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant Unilever had announced already in Dec 2018 about the acquirement brands Horlicks and Boost from GlaxoSmithKline in India.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Roshni, an Android app developed by IIT Ropar helps the visually impaired to recognise Indian currency notes
On January 24,2019, The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar, has developed an app Roshni that would help the Visually Impaired to recognise currency notes. The app can recognise both old and new notes and gives audio information as to which note you are holding in your hands.This app was launched in Chandigarh. Roshni is the first Android app,which recognise INR currency notes.
About Roshni App:
i. The user have to bring the currency note in front of phone camera and the App would give a audio intimation about the currency note denomination
ii. This app is now formed enough to recognise Indian money of any denominations, whereas we can expect its upgrade version in further even to identify the Indian coins as well as foreign currency notes.
iii. This app is bug free and is available in beta version of the play store
BFW, Universal Robots to co-create robots for MSMEs
On 25th January 2019, Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd (BFW), Bengaluru-based machining solution provider has entered into Partnership with Universal Robots, a Danish robot maker and a leader in collaborative robots, to co-create Robots for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs).
i. By using a modular, flexible and user-friendly integration solution ‘Arjun’,BFW and Universal Robots had planned to redefine production processes for MSMEs.
ii. The Partnership between the two companies will dramatically improve productivity, quality and working conditions in the MSME segment as they will automate and streamline repetitive industrial processes.
Government to launch Technology Mission Centre on Solar Energy & Water Treatment in Chennai
on 25th January 2019 Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched three important centres at IIT Madras in Chennai.
Implementation during the launch:
i. The first centre was DST –IITM Solar Energy Harnessing Centre which would focus on a wide range of research activities such as silicon solar cells that would provide high efficiency in India.
ii. Next on count was the DST-IITM Water –IC for SUTRAM of EASY WATER (DST- IITM Water Innovation Centre for Sustainable Treatment, Reuse and Management for Efficient, Affordable and Synergistic Solutions) established with an aim to undertake training programs on wastewater management, water treatment, sensor development, storm water management and distribution and collection systems.
iii. The third on count was the Test bed on Solar thermal desalination solutions which was established by IIT Madras and Empereal KGDS as a preventive measure in Naripaaiyur, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu with the aim to deliver customized technological solutions to prevalent water challenges in the arid coastal village located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.
♦ Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change- Dr. Harsh Vardhan
♦ Consituency: Chandni Chowk in Delhi
Important facts about chennai:
♦ Capital: Chennai
♦ Chief minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
♦ Districts: 33
French Oscar-winning composer Michel Legrand passed away aged 86 in Paris
On 26th January 2019, French music composer Michel Legrand died at the age of 86 in Paris.
i. Legrand won Oscar award three times.In 1969,he won the first award for the song “The Windmills of Your Mind” from the film “The Thomas Crown Affair”. In 1972,he won for the song “Summer of ’42” and “Yentl” in the year 1984.
ii. He also won five Grammys awards.