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National Affairs

1. President Kovind inaugurates 13th Annual Convention of CIC

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the 13th annual convention of the Central Information Commission (CIC) in New Delhi.
  • The Convention will deliberate on three specific subjects:

    • Data privacy and Right to Information
    • Amendment in the RTI Act and
    • Implementation of the RTI Act.
  • All the present and former Chief Information Commissioners, Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission, State Information Commission, RTI activists and NGOs associated with the implementation of the RTI Act will attend the Convention.

Note:

  • The Central Information Commission (CIC) set up under the Right to Information Act is the authorised body, established in 2005, under the Government of India to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer.
  • The Chief Information Commissioner of India: Radha Krishna Mathur.

2. Three-day Silver Jubilee celebrations of NHRC begin today

  • The three days Silver Jubilee celebrations of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has begun to mark the occasion.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the new version of the NHRC website and addressed the Silver Jubilee Foundation Day of the commission in New Delhi.
  • Mr. Modi also issues a Postage Stamp and Special Cover on the occasion.
  • The Commission will organize a ‘Human Rights Mela’ and ‘Human Rights Street Theatre Festival’ tomorrow.

Note:

  • The NHRC was set up on the 12th October 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, passed by Parliament.
  • NHRC Chairperson: Justice H.L. Dattu.

3. Govt hikes import duty on certain communication items up to 20%

  • According to The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) release, The Union government has hiked import duty on certain communication items, including base stations, to up to 20 per cent.
  • This is the second round of import duty hike announced by the government in a little over a fortnight.
  • The import duty has also been hiked on certain inputs used in the communication industry like Printer Circuit Board Assembly.

4.  Central University of Jammu signs MoU with ISRO to set up space applications centre

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signed an MoU with the Central University of Jammu (CUJ) for setting up of the Satish Dhawan Center for Space Science in the University in Jammu.
  • Another MoU was signed between CUJ and the Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIR-CSIO).
  • The objective of the centre to create awareness about space research and motivate young minds to take up researches related to space, astronomy, geology, atmospheric sciences and related fields.

5. Sushma Swaraj participates in 17th CHG meeting of SCO in Tajikistan

  • The union External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj participated in the 17th Council of Heads of Government (CHG) meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
  • This was the second CHG meeting since India became a full member of SCO in June 2017.
  • The SCO CHG meeting is a forum that enables India to engage with SCO member countries and Observer states of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.

Honours & Awards

6. Indus Towers wins Deming Prize for 2018

  • The world’s largest telecom tower company (outside China) ‘Indus Towers’ has won the Deming Prize for 2018.
  • Indus Towers is the first Indian company in the service sector and the fifth in the world to achieve this.
  • The Deming Prize was bestowed on Indus Towers for distinctive performance improvements through the application of Total Quality Management (TQM) practices.

Note:

  • The Deming Prize was established in 1951 and was originally designed to reward Japanese companies for their major advancements in quality improvement.

International Affairs

7. Malaysian Government abolishes Capital punishment

  • The Malaysian government decided to scrap capital punishment following strong domestic opposition to the practice.
  • Currently, Capital punishment in Malaysia is mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes.

8. World Bank’s Human Capital Index: Singapore Tops, India Ranks 115th

  • As part of the World Development Report 2019, The World Bank released the Human Capital Index (HCI) at the World Bank-IMF annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia.
  • Singapore topped the poll, highly rated for its universal health care system, education exams results and life expectancy figures.
  • It is followed by South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Finland.
  • The broader theme of the World Development Report (WDR) 2018 is “The Changing Nature of Work”.
  • India was ranked at the 115th position (in 157 countries) lower than Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Sports

9. Anil Kumble’s startup launches Microsoft AI-enabled ‘Power Bat’

  • Former leg-spinner Anil Kumble (start-up of Spektacom Tech), Microsoft Corp introduced the Power Bat at the star India studio.
  • Power Bat is the tool that provides players, coaches, commentators, and fans, a completely unique way to engage with cricket and improve their game.
  • The Power Bat is powered by the Microsoft Azure cloud platform using AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services.
  • Power Bat is a unique concept whereby a lightweight, Azure Sphere-powered sticker is stuck on the shoulder of the bat.

Note:

  • As soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on different parameters (speed, twist, and quality of the shot) are captured in a new unit of measurement titled Power Speks.

10. Archer Harvinder Singh clinches seventh gold for India in 2018 Asian Para-Games

  • Archer Harvinder Singh clinched seventh gold for India in the men’s individual recurve category in the Asian Para-Games in Jakarta.
  • Harvinder defeated Zhao Lixue (China) 6-0 in the W2/ST category final.
  • Monu Ghangas claimed the silver in the men’s discus throw F11 category, while Mohammed Yasser fetched a bronze in the men’s shot put F46 category.

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  Thoughts of the day’

“There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.

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