Current Affairs & Quiz - 31st August 2019

Posted: August 31, 2019
Category: Current Affairs
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SC collegium recommends to Centre 4 names for elevation as apex court judges

-> The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended to the Centre names of four high court chief justices for elevation as apex court judges, which will take its strength to full 34, sanctioned recently by the government. The collegium, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said the apex court is presently functioning with 30 judges, against the sanctioned judge-strength of 34, leaving four clear vacancies.

-> It has decided to recommend the names of Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Krishna Murari, Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Himachal Pradesh High Court Chief Justice V Ramasubramanian and Kerala High Court Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy for their elevation.

-> “The Collegium has extensively deliberated and discussed names of Chief Justices and senior puisne High Court Judges eligible for appointment as Judges of the Supreme Court and has resolved to fill up all the four existing vacancies,” the collegium, also comprising justices S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and R F Nariman said.

-> “The Collegium, therefore, unanimously resolves to recommend that Justice Krishna Murari, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Justice V Ramasubramanian, and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, be appointed as Judges in the Supreme Court of India,” it said.

After liquor, Bihar government now bans 12 pan masala brands

-> Nitish Kumar government banned 12 pan masala brands in Bihar for a period of one year for containing magnesium carbonate which causes health problems, an official said. The decision was taken by the state government following the presence of magnesium carbonate in all the 20 samples of pan masala collected from nine districts by food safety officers.

-> Using power under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Food Safety Commissioner Sanjay Kumar has banned the manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution, display and sale of pan masala of 12 different brands for a period of one year from August 30, 2019, an official release said. People of the state have been requested to cooperate for the enforcement of the ban on pan masala, the commissioner said in the release.

Ebola death toll in east Congo outbreak climbs above 2,000

-> The death toll from Democratic Republic of Congo's year-long Ebola outbreak has climbed above 2,000, government data showed, as responders battle to overcome community mistrust and widespread security problems.

-> The government team overseeing the response said the number of confirmed and probable cases had also hit a milestone of more than 3,000 in what has become the second-worst epidemic of the virus on record.

-> This is Congo's 10th Ebola outbreak, but it is the first in the densely forested hillside provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, where militia-led violence and ethnic killing have undermined security in certain areas for decades.

Central government amalgamated 10 public sector banks (PSBs) into four entities

-> After the announcement of the foreign direct investment, in a major reform measure, the Central government amalgamated 10 public sector banks (PSBs) into four entities, bringing down their total number to 12 from 27 in 2017, a move aimed at making state-owned lenders global sized banks. Big banks enhanced capacity to increase credit, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the start of the press conference before announcement of the new bank mergers.

-> In place of fragmented lending capacity with 27 PSBs in 2017, now there will be only 12 state-run banks post-consolidation, Sitharaman said. The finance minister also said banks will be provided adequate capital.

-> The largest of the mergers announced is that of Punjab National Bank with Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank. The amalgamated entity — to be called Punjab National Bank — will become the second-largest public sector bank in India, after the State Bank of India. It will also become the second-largest bank in India in terms of its branch network, with a combined total of 11,437 branches.

-> The second merger announced was that of Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank, which would render the merged entity the fourth-largest public sector bank.
The third merger is of Union Bank of India with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank, the Finance Minister said, which would make the merged entity the fifth largest public sector bank.

-> The fourth merger announced is of Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank. This, too, would lead to a doubling of the size of the business and would also lead to a huge potential for scaling up due to the complementary networks of the two banks.

Asian Development Bank pledges $7 billion for development activities in Pakistan

-> Cash-strapped Pakistan will get about $7 billion in fresh assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for various development projects over the next three years.

-> The decision was taken during the meeting between ADB Vice President Shixin Chen and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. The ADB plans to provide Pakistan about $7 billion in fresh assistance for various development projects and policy-based programmes during the next three years under the country operations business plan 2020—2022.

GDP growth down to 6-year low in Q1 of 2019-20 financial year

-> India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate slowed to a six-year low of 5% in the first quarter of the 2019-20 financial year, the government announced, led by a dramatic slowdown in the manufacturing sector.

-> The last time the GDP grew slower was in the fourth quarter (January to March) of the financial year 2012-13, according to data with the Ministry of Statistics.

-> It grew at 8% in the first quarter of last year. The growth of Gross Value Added (GVA) stood at 4.9% in the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20, also the slowest in six years.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fully assembled, to be launched in 2021

-> Engineers have joined two halves of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope for the first time at Northrop Grumman’s facilities in California. The telescope which is scheduled to be launched in 2021 is NASA’s most powerful and complex space telescope. Once it is sent into space, it will be exploring the universe using the infrared light, from the celestial bodies that are in our solar system to the old and distant galaxies.

-> The James Webb Space Telescope is considered as the successor to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. NASA claims that it will be world’s premier space science observatory and solve mysteries that are in our solar system. It will also observe beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe.

ISRO performs 4th lunar-bound orbit maneuver for Chandrayaan-2

-> ISRO said it has successfully performed the fourth lunar bound orbit manoeuvre for the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft that is currently in the lunar orbit for its rendezvous with the Moon. India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV MkIII-M1 had successfully launched the 3,840-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft into the earth's orbit on July 22.

-> Following the landing, the rover 'Pragyan' will roll out from lander 'Vikram' and carry out experiments on the lunar surface for a period of one lunar day, equivalent to 14 earth days. The mission life of the lander is also one lunar day, while the orbiter will continue its mission for a year.

Kerala declared the overall champions of the four-day National Inter-State Athletics Championships

-> Kerala was declared the overall champions of the four-day National Inter-State Athletics Championships. Anjali Devi was adjudged the best female athlete while Iran's Mahdi Pirijahan, who won the 400m hurdles, was named the best male athlete.

-> Steeplechaser Avinash Sable and long jumper Murali Sreeshankar warmed up for the World Championships later this month with gold-winning decent performances on the concluding day of the 59th National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Lucknow.

Meghalaya student to witness moon landing live from ISRO

-> A tribal student from Meghalaya has become part of a team that will witness the moon landing of Chandrayaan 2 live from ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru on September 7 in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official said.

-> Ribait Phawa studies at Class 10 in Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School, Sohra and is an NCC cadet. He was selected after winning a national quiz competition conducted by ISRO, a statement issued by Defence PRO Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh said.

Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be demitting office in two weeks

-> Nripendra Misra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be demitting office in two weeks after serving in the post for more than five years.

-> Official communications in the PMO indicated that Misra (74) had expressed his intention to be relieved of his assignment, following which Modi asked him to stay for two weeks.

-> The PM-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet also inducted P K Sinha, a 1977-batch IAS officer who just stepped down as Cabinet Secretary after a four-year term, as an Officer on Special Duty in the PMO. Rajiv Gauba, former Home Secretary, took charge as the new Cabinet Secretary. It is believed that P K Mishra may be made the next Principal Secretary to Modi.

Current Affairs Quiz - 31st August 2019

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