Current Affairs

18 December, 2019


WEF Gender Gap Index 2019: India slips 4 places to 112th place; Iceland topped

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its annual survey, India slipped four places and is in the 112th place in the Gender Gap Index, and ranks in the bottom-five in terms of women’s health and survival and in the economic participation of women.
India in Global Survey:

India has moved from the 108th as stated in 2018 report to the current place in the gender gap index, the economic opportunities for women is extremely limited in India with 35.4% according to the report.

List of Countries in Gender Gap Index:

Rank Country 
1 Iceland
2 Norway
3 Finland
4 Sweden
112 India


FICCI organizes 9th  Global sports summit ‘TURF 2019’ in New Delhi

FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), an association of business organizations in India, has organized the 9th edition of Global Sports Summit ‘TURF 2019‘ & India sports awards 2019 at the FICCI Federation house in New Delhi. Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiran Rijiju was the chief guest of the event.
About FICCI:
Formation– 1927
Headquarters– New Delhi
President– Sandeep somay

Gujarat police became 7th state police to get ‘President’s Colours’ in Gandhinagar

The state police of Gujarat become the 7th state to honoured with ‘President’s colours’. The Gujarat police were presented with the President’s colours by Vice President of India Shri Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu in Gandhinagar, Gujarat for their outstanding services.
About Gujarat:
Capital- Gandhinagar.
Governor- Acharya Devvrat.
Chief Minister- Vijay Ramniklal Rupani.
National Parks(NP)- Gir NP, Blackbuck NP (Velavadar NP), Vansda NP, Gulf of Kutch NP.

President approved Arms (Amendment) Bill 2019

The president of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind approved the Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment for manufacturing and carrying illegal arms. . After his assent, the bill became an act with effect from December 14, 2019.  The act was brought to check the acts of terrorism and insurgency and use of illegal arms, which is in favour of the common people.

The act has amended Arms Act 1959.

The Bill will enhance the period of arms license from 3 years to 5 years and also to issue arms license in its electronic form to prevent forgery.

Eminent vocalist Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas conferred with National Tansen Award for 2019

The Madhya Pradesh Government has conferred the annual Tansen Samman for the year 2019 upon Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas (75), an Indian Hindustani vocalist, and a contemporary exponent of the Paluskar style of North Indian classical singing.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and is given to outstanding exponents of Hindustani classical music.

95th edition of popular classical music festival ‘Tansen samaroh 2019’ commenced in Gwalior, MP

A 5-day long 95th edition of  Popular classical music festival ‘Tansen Samaroh 2019’, has commenced in Gwalior ,Madhya Pradesh(MP) with Harikatha and Milad. The festival is an annual celebration (started in 1924) in memory of Mian Tansen, a prominent 16-century Indian classical music composer, musician, and vocalist.

16th Orange Festival begun in Tamenglong, Manipur

2019, the 16th edition of the State-level Orange Festival began at Manipur. The 3-day festival until 18, 2019 was inaugurated by Manipur’s Chief Minister (CM) Shri Nongthombam Biren Singh at district headquarters Tamenglong. The festival is conducted annually by the Manipur govt under the sponsorship of the North Eastern Council(NEC), to promote the fruit and encourage its growers.
About Manipur:
Capital- Imphal.
Governor- Najma Heptulla.
Chief minister- N. Biren Singh.
National Park(NP)- Keibul Lamjao NP.

Govt approves changes in interest subvention scheme to give fillip to the MSME   Sector

In a bid to boost the productivity of small enterprises, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) & Road Transport & Highways, has approved changes to operational guidelines of the interest subvention scheme for MSMEs.

Govt extended deadline of Accessible India Campaign to March 2020

The ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment(MoSJE) has announced to extend the deadline of Accessible India Campaign to March 2020 due to its slowed progress. The decision in this regard was taken by the Central Advisory Board(CAB) chaired by social justice and empowerment minister Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot. Accessible India Campaign is a program that aims to make public spaces friendly for persons with disabilities.

Accessible India Campaign(AIC) is also known as Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan and was launched to serve the differently-able community of the country.

CII organizes “Steeling India- 2019: Driving metal intensity in key sectors” in New Delhi

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized the “Steeling India- 2019: Driving metal intensity in key sectors” in New Delhi. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Steel and Petroleum & Natural Gas participated in the event. The event aims to expand the economic activity in the implementation of government schemes and to promote drive steel usage in rural areas.

Mission Antyodaya scheme: TN tops 2019 panchayat ranking; Gujarat has most top 10 entries

2019 rankings on gram panchayats in the country, on implementation of development and infrastructure programmes under the Mission Antyodaya scheme was released. As per the ranking, Tamil Nadu’s (TN) Molugamboondi gram panchayat topped the ranking for the year 2019. Gujarat has most top 10 entries with 99 gram panchayats in the list.

112 parameters were used in 2019 for ranking.

Bambhaniya of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat ranked second on the list while four more Gujarat gram panchayats were tied for third ranks.

2nd Coeus Age report: Chhattisgarh topped in policy & mission mode project performance

Research and consulting organization Coeus Age Consulting has released a report titled “Digital States of India – A Comparative Analysis”. The report which is a 2nd in series with the first report launched in 2017, is about mapping all the States and Union Territories(UT) of India on their policy and infrastructure readiness and mission mode project’s performance. As per the report’s mapping, Chhattisgarh has emerged as the top state.

Top 5 states: Chhattisgarh was followed by Maharashtra, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place respectively. It is to be noted that 5th ranked Madhya pradesh was ranked 1st in 2017.


NPCI sets up subsidiary to take UPI to the international level: RBI governor

According to the Reserve Bank of India(RBI)  governor Shaktikanta Das, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), an umbrella organisation works under RBI for operating retail payments, has set up a subsidiary to take the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) model to other countries.
About Unified Payment Interface (UPI) :
It is a smartphone application which allows users to transfer money between bank accounts. It is a single-window mobile payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
There are currently 140 member banks using the UPI rails to enable payments for customers across the banking sector.
About NPCI:
Founded– 2008
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO– Dilip Asbe

SBI inks $277 million pact with Germany based KfW for energy-efficient housing programme in India

State Bank of India (SBI),an Indian multinational, public sector bank has signed a loan agreement worth of $277 million (about Rs 1,958 crore) with KfW (formerly KfW-Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Bankengruppe),a German state-owned development bank for establishing an energy-efficient housing programme in India.
SBI Capital Markets Ltd.,a wholly owned investment banking subsidiary of State Bank of India will arrange the loan and grant facilities under this programme.


England off-spinner Laura Marsh (33) announces her retirement 

Alexandra Marsh (33), England cricketer announced her retirement. Laura has won three World Cups in her 13-year career, she made her debut in 2006 as a pace bowler, later on she switched to spin. Laura was born in Pembury, United Kingdom (UK).
About England:
Capital- London
Monarch- Elizabeth II
Currency- Pound sterling

Kohli continues at No.1, Bumrah 6th among bowlers: ICC test rankings 2019

As per the ICC (International Cricket Council) test ranking 2019 released on December 16, 2019, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has retained his top position with 928 points in the list of batsmen, while injured bowler Jasprit Bumrah has dropped one place to 6th  place in the bowlers’ rankings.


Here’s the list of top3 & Indian players in ICC test ranking 2019:

Rank Batting Bowling All-rounder
1 Virat Kohli ( India) Pat Cummins (Australia) Jason Holder (West Indies)
2 Steve Smith (Australia) Kagiso Rabada (South Africa) Ravindrasinh Anirudhsinh Jadeja(India)
3 Kane Williamson (New Zealand) Neil Wagner (New Zealand) Ben Stokes (England)
Rank of Indian players

Cheteshwar Arvind Pujara-4th
Ajinkya Madhukar Rahane-6th Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah-6th Ravichandran Ashwin-6th

About ICC:
Formation– 15 June 1909
Headquarters– Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Chairman– Shashank Manohar
CEO– Manu Sawhney

India’s Koneru humpy finished 2nd in women’s FIDE Grand prix 2019 held in Monaco; Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) won

Indian chess grandmaster(GM),Koneru Humpy (32) from Andhra Pradesh, has finished 2nd  in the FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) women’s Grand Prix (WGP) 2019 which concluded at the Yacht Club de in Monaco.She also retained the World No. 3 (Elo 2580) position. Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) won the title at the event.
Women’s FIDE Grand Prix Series 2019-2020 :
It consists of four (4) Women’ Grand Prix tournaments held over two years (2019-20):
1st  – Skolkovo, September 10th – 23rd 2019
2nd – Monaco, December 2nd – 15th 2019
3rd – Lausanne, between March 1st and 14th 2020
4th – Sardinia, between May 2nd and May 15th 2020.
With the above result, Humpy will not play the 3rd of the Grand Prix series in Lausanne.


2 BrahMos missiles from land & air platforms successfully test fired from Odisha

land-attack and air version of the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test fired from Chandipur district of Odisha. The land attack version was test fired from a mobile autonomous launcher at Launch Complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur. The air attack version was test fired from Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft.
About BrahMos:
Fact1– Brahmos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile.
Fact2– It is produced by Brahmos aerospace which is a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia’s NPOM (NPO
Fact3– The name Brahmos was coined from Brahmaputra river of India and Russia’s Moskva river.

CCI gives nod for acquisition of shares in SBI general insurance by Napean opportunities & Honey wheat

Competition Commission of India (CCI), a statutory body of the Government of India(GoI) has gave its nod for the acquisition of 16.01% paid-up share capital of SBI (State Bank of India) General Insurance by Napean Opportunities LLP (where LLP is Limited Liability Partnership) and 9.99 % by Warburg Pincus Group-owned Honey Wheat Investment Ltd.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Formed– 14 October 2003
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman– Ashok Guptha
About SBI (State Bank of India) General Insurance:
Headquarters– Mumbai , Maharashtra
Founded– 2009

Sridhar Patra assumes additional charge as Chief Managing Director of NALCO

The Ministry of Mines (Minister: Pralhad Joshi) has named Sridhar Patra to assume the additional charge of Chief Managing Director (CMD) of the National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) w.e.f. December 1, 2019. Currently he is serving as the Director of Finance in NALCO. He will serve the company until his superannuation i.e. October 31, 2024.

Lt General Manoj Mukund: Vice Chief of Indian Army to be appointed as 28th Chief of Army Staff

Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane will be appointed as the 28th Chief of Army Staff (COAS) for a period of 3 years. He is currently the Vice Chief of the Army Staff and will replace Army Chief General Bipin Rawat who is set to retire on 31st December 2019 after a three-year term.
About Chief of the Army Staff (COAS):
Formation- 1 April 1955
Appointer- Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC)
Term length- 3 years or at the age of 62
Precursor- Commander-in-Chief, Indian Army

Fortune India 500 list 2019: Reliance Industries surpasses IOC to rank at no. 1

The Fortune magazine has released its annual Fortune India 500 list for the year 2019. Indian multinational conglomerate, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) led by Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani topped the list surpassing Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which ranked as India’s largest company to top Fortune India 500 list for 10 years. RIL is also the 1st privately held company to largest corporation in India in 10 years.

ICC awards 2019: Smriti Mandhana named in ICC Women’s ODI & T20 teams of the year

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the ICC awards 2019. It is a set of sports awards for cricket recognizing and honoring the best international cricket players of the previous 12 months.  Indian women’s cricket player Smriti Mandana was named in both ICC women’s ODI (One Day International) and T20(twenty twenty) teams of the year. The awards in brief are as follows:

Indian’s T20 team of the year: Others Indians in the list include Deepti Sharma and Radha Yadav.

Amitabha Bagchi won the DSC prize for South Asian Literature 2019 in the 8th edition of IME Nepal Literature festival

Amitabha Bagchi won the 9th edition of DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2019 for his book “Half The Night Is Gone”. The award ceremony was held in the 8th edition of IME (International Money Express) Nepal Literature Festival 2019 held in Pokhara, Nepal. The award was presented by Pradeep Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nepal and Surina Narula, co-founder of the DSC Prize.

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