Current Affairs Today 20th August 2019-Download in PDF


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Current Affairs Today – 20th August 2019


20th August: Sadbhavana Diwas

  • Sadbhavana Diwas is celebrated annually on 20th August across the country to commemorate the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • This year will be the 75th Birth Anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.
  • This day is observed to encourage the national integration, peace, affection and communal harmony among the Indian people of all religions.

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  • Shri Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944 in Bombay.
  • He was the youngest Prime Minister of India at an age of 40.
  • He was the 6th PM of India, serving from 1984-1989.
  • He was assassinated on 21st May 1991.


State Bank of India aims to eliminate debit cards

  • State Bank of India bank debit cards from the banking system as the bank plans to promote more digital payment solutions and eliminate the plastic cards.
  • Through the Yono platform, one can withdraw cash at automated teller machines or pay for purchases at a merchant establishment without having a card at all.
  • The bank already set up 68,000 ‘Yono cashpoints’ and is in the process of scaling it up massively to over 1 million in the next 18 months.which will make the necessity to have a card even less.
  • The Yono platform can also give credit for buying certain merchandise, making the credit card in the pocket also as a stand-by.

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State Bank of India: Founded on: As 2 June 1806 (Bank of Calcutta), 15 April 1840 (Bank of Bombay), 1 July 1843 (Bank of Madras), 27 January 1921 (Imperial Bank of India), 1 July 1955 (State Bank of India)

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman: Rajnish Kumar
  • SBI is the largest commercial bank and the largest mortgage lender across the country.
  • SBI has 22,010 branches and 58,000 ATM/CDM across India.


Centre to set up India’s first CICET

  • The Centre is planning to set up India’s first Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (CICET) in Gujarat.
  • AIM: to boost the chemical industry in India.
  • The Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Sh. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the other campus of the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering & Technology (CIPET) in Valsad, Gujarat.
  • CIPET was built at the cost of Rs.54 crore for the benefit of tribal students and used for research in plastic engineering technology.
  • The Union minister also inaugurated the CIPET hostel built at a cost of Rs.31 crore. The hostel can accommodate 575 boys and 150 girls
  • The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers is also planning to set up a Plastic Waste Management Centre in Ahmedabad.

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CIPET – Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology

  • CIPET was established in 2017.
  • It is located in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Gujarat: Capital City(Gandhinagar) CM(Vijay Rupani) Governor(Acharya Dev Vrat)

Indian Railways planned for 3000th stations to get 1000 Wi-Fi Spots

  • The Indian railways enabled free Wi-Fi at its 3000th station .
  • The facility went live at Rajasthan’s Ellenabad on Monday, with 1,000 stations connected.
  • Ellenabad railway station in Bikaner Division of North Western Railway situated north of the Ghaggar-Hakra river .
  • It serves as a point of entry into the state of Haryana from Rajasthan.

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Indian Railways: Indian Railways is India’s national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways. It manages the fourth largest railway network in the world by size, with a route length of 67,368-kilometre and total track length of 121,407-kilometre as of March 2017.

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Customer service: 139

Hollongi Airport will be completed by March 31, 2022

  • Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri announced that the Hollongi Airport in Itanagar will be completed by March 31, 2022.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi near Itanagar on 9th of February this year.
  • Mr Puri further informed that the flight connectivity between Tezu-Guwahati and Tezu-Jorhat under Regional Connectivity Scheme will also start operating this year.

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Arunachal Pradesh: Capital City(Itanagar) CM(Pema Khandu) Governor(BD Mishra)

Govt directs all CAPFs to adopt uniform retirement age of 60 years

  • All personnel working in the Central Armed Police Forces, CAPFs will now retire at a uniform age of 60 years.
  • Officers from the rank of Deputy Inspector General upto the top-most rank of Director General in these four (Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police force and Sashastra Seema Bal) forces retired after attaining the age of 60.


Chhattisgarh: Birth centenary year of Kanhaiyalal Agrawal being celebrated in Rajnandgaon

  • In Chhattisgarh, the birth centenary year of freedom fighter Kanhaiyalal Agrawal is being celebrated in his home town Rajnandgaon today.
  • He is one of the oldest living freedom fighter and social worker of this region.
  • During freedom struggle, just at the age of 10 years, he took part in Civil Disobedience Movement in the year 1930.
  • Today a function is being organized in Rajnandgaon to felicitate Shri Agrawal.

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Chhattisgarh: Capital City(Atal Nagar) CM(Bhupesh Baghel) Governor(Anusuiya Uikey)


20 officers from Nepal start training in India on anti-money laundering

  • Twenty officers from various government agencies of Nepal has started their training on Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism at National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics (NACIN), Faridabad.
  • The six-day customized training course has been organized on the request of Government of Nepal.
  • The training is fully supported by the Government of India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.
  • This initiative is likely to enhance the capacities of agencies of Nepal on the matters pertaining to Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism.

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Nepal (Capital/Currency): Kathmandu/ Nepalese rupee

  • Prime Minister: KP Sharma Oli


India is the top emitter of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the world :Greenpeace Report

  • As per the data released by environmental NGO Greenpeace 2019, India is the largest emitter of anthropogenic sulphur dioxide in the world.
  • Anthropogenic sulphur dioxide chemical is produced from the burning of coal and it is known to largely contribute to air pollution.
  • India has over 15 per cent of all anthropogenic sulphur dioxide (SO2) hotspots in the world.
  • The SO2 hotspots were detected by OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) satellite.

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  • The main SO2 hotspots in India includes Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Talcher and Jharsuguda in Odisha, Neyveli and Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Kutch in Gujarat, Ramagundam in Telangana and Chandrapur and Koradi in Maharashtra.


Paytm promotes Madhur Deora to President

  • Paytm has announced that Madhur Deora, currently CFO of Paytm, has been promoted as President of the company.
  • Madhur Deora has over two decades of professional experience.
  • Prior to joining Paytm in October 2016, he served as Managing Director in Citigroup’s investment banking business.

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Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and digital wallet company, based out of NOIDA SEZ, India.

  • Founded: 2010
  • Headquarters: Noida
  • Founder: Vijay Shekhar Sharma
  • CEO: Renu Satti
  • Parent organization: One97 Communications

Shavendra Silva appointed Sri Lanka Army commander

  • Shavendra Silva has been appointed commander of Sri Lanka’s army by President Maithripala Sirisena.
  • He succeeds Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake.
  • He has been in the army for 34 years.

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Sri Lanka (Capital/Currency): Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte/Sri Lankan rupee

  • President: Maithripala Sirisena

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Bajwa’s term extended by 3 years

  • The term of Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has been extended for a period of three years.
  • Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved the extension of Bajwa’s term.

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Pakistan (Capital/Currency): Islamabad/Pakistani Rupees

  • Prime Minister: Imran Khan
  • President: Arif Alvi

Jaishankar R. Padmanabhan selected for appointment as NHB Executive Director

  • National Housing Bank (NHB) has selected Jaishankar R. Padmanabhan for appointment to the post of Executive Director (special grade).
  • This appointment is subject to necessary clearances and verifications, according to NHB.
  • Jaishankar is currently Chief General Manager at India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd (IIFCL), a state-owned infrastructure lender.
  • Jaishankar has been selected for appointment as an Executive Director after NHB held an interview for the post.

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NHB: National Housing Bank, a Government of India owned entity, was set up on 9 July 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987. NHB is an apex financial institution for housing.

  • Founded: 9 July 1988
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Managing Director: Shri Sriram Kalyanaraman


Indian team retain top-spot in ICC test rankings

  • ICC Indian skipper Virat Kohli retained the top spot in the Test batsmen’s rankings.
  • It is officially released by the International Cricket Council in Dubai.
  • Australia’s Steve Smith occurred the second position.
  • Smith overtook New Zealand Captain Kane Williamson to reach the second spot.
  • Smith is just nine points behind Kohli.
  • India are on top of the team table with 113 points followed by New Zealand 111 points and South Africa 108 points.

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ICC: The International Cricket Council is the global governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. It was renamed as the International Cricket Conference in 1965, and took up its current name in 1989.

  • Founded: 15 June 1909
  • Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Chairperson: Shashank Manohar
  • CEO: Manu Sawhney
  • 13th ICC Cricket World Cup will be held in India from 9th February to 26th March 2023.

Former Australian bowler Mitchell Johnson becomes MCC Honorary Life member

  • Former Australian player Mitchell Johnson elected as an Honorary Life Member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
  • Johnson played 73 international Test matches for Australia claiming 313 wickets at an average of 28.40.
  • Johnson made his debut for Australia in 2005 and hung up his boots a decade later in 2015. He was a part of Australia’s two successful World Cup triumphs in 2007 and 2015.

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Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC): Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club founded in 1787.

  • Founder: Thomas Lord
  • Founded: 1787
  • Headquarters: London, United Kingdom


PM Modi to receive UAE’s highest civil honour ‘Order of Zayed’ during his visit on August 23

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will receive the highest civilian award of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — Order of Zayed — during his visit to the Gulf nation.
  • The award is after the name of UAE’s founding father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
  • It assumes special significance as it was awarded to Prime Minister Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed.
  • This will be the first visit of Prime Minister Modi to the UAE in the second term.
  • Last year in February, he visited UAE as Chief Guest at the World Government Summit.

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UAE (Capital/Currency): Abu Dhabi/UAE dirham‎

  • President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Chief scientist K Thangaraj of CCMB won JC Bose Fellowship for the year 2019

  • K Thangaraj, chief scientist at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB), Hyderabad, Telangana, won this year’s J C Bose Fellowship.
  • The award is given for his outstanding contribution in the field of population and medical genomics on August 17, 2019.
  • His research work includes the genetic basis of male infertility, cardiovascular disease, sex determination, mitochondrial disorders, ayur genomics and forensic genetics.
  • He established the association of mitochondrial DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) variations with several disorders which is the first in India.

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JC Bose fellowship

It is awarded to active scientists and engineers in recognition of their outstanding performance and contributions by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.The award is named after Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose.


Chandrayaan-2 successfully enters into lunar orbit

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, has successfully manoeuvred Chandrayaan-2 satellite into lunar orbit today at 0902 hours using the on-board propulsion system.
  • the satellite is placed in 114 Kilometres-by-18072 Kilometres orbit and the duration of manoeuvre was 1738 seconds.
  • Moon is 3.84 lakh Kilometres away from Earth.
  • ISRO Chairman Dr.K Sivan said that it is for the first time by any country that an attempt is being made to land at the south pole.
  • All other missions had landed near the equator of the moon

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ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation is the space agency of the Government of India.

  • Founded: 15 August 1969
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Founder: Vikram Sarabhai
  • Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan
  • Subsidiary: Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre


Veteran DD News anchor Neelum Sharma passes away

  • One of the founding anchors of DD News and Nari Shakti awardee Neelum Sharma passed away at an age of 50.
  • Neelum Sharma was a founding anchor with over 20 years of association with the broadcaster.
  • The anchor of programmes such as ‘Badi Charcha’ and ‘Tejasvini’ was recently awarded with the Nari Shakti Puraskar.
  • Prasar Bharti Chairman A Suryapakash has announced that Prasar Bharati would soon be introducing two awards – the Neelum Sharma Tejaswini award and the Achyutananda Sahoo Award.

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Prasar Bharati is India’s largest public broadcasting agency. It is a statutory autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio.

  • Founded: 23 November 1997
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • CEO: Shashi Shekhar Vempati
  • Chairman: Dr. A. Surya Prakash

Sahitya Akademi Award winner NS Tasneem passes away

  • Eminent Punjabi writer and Sahitya Akademi winner Professor Niranjan Singh Tasneem passed away at an age of 91.
  • He was born in Amritsar on May 1, 1929.
  • Tasneem had served as a professor at SCD Government College, Ludhiana. He initially wrote in Urdu before switching to English and Punjabi.
  • He was awarded Punjab’s highest literary honor – Punjabi Sahit Rattan – in 2015.

Veteran music director-composer Khayyam passes away

  • Veteran music director-composer Khayyam, best known for his music in classic films such as ‘Umrao Jaan’ and ‘Kabhi Kabhi’, passed away after a prolonged illness at a hospital in Mumbai.
  • He was 92.
  • Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi, popularly known as Khayyam, was admitted to Sujay Hospital in suburban Juhu a few days ago owing to breathing issues and other age-related illnesses.

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