GK Update & Current Affairs: 23rd and 24th September 2018
1. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Won Presidential Election In Maldives
- Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the Maldives’ presidential election, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen.
- The poll is being closely watched by regional rivals India and China, who are jostling to influence Indian Ocean nations.
2. India Successfully Test Fires Prithvi Defence Vehicle
- India successfully conducted an interceptor missile test off the Odisha coast, achieving a major milestone in developing a two-layer Ballistic Missile Defence system.
- According to Defence sources, the interceptor was launched from Abdul Kalam Island of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
- This Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV) mission is for engaging the targets in theexo-atmosphere region at an altitude above 50 kilometres of the earth’s atmosphere. Both the PDV interceptor and the target missile were engaged successfully.
3. PM Modi Launches World’s Largest Healthcare Scheme
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana from Ranchi, Jharkhand. Under this scheme, over 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth five lakh rupees each, every year.
- This is the world’s largest government-funded healthcare program targeting more than 50 crore beneficiaries. The scheme will provide cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service.
4. PM Modi Inaugurated Sikkim’s First Airport In Pakyong
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim on September 24, nine years after the foundation stone was laid. The airport is the hilly state’s first and only airport.
- The foundation stone for the greenfield airport was laid in Pakyong in 2009, which is around 33 km from Gangtok, the state capital.
5. Fitch Raises India Growth Forecast To 7.8% This Fiscal
- Global research agency Fitch has raised India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7.8 per cent from the earlier 7.4 per cent.
- However, forecast for the next two fiscal, 2019-20 and 2020-21, have been shaved by 20 basis points (100 basis points means 1 per cent) to 7.3 per cent.
- Fitch’s latest projection for the current fiscal is higher than what is estimated by the Reserve Bank of India and even the Government. While the RBI’s estimate is 7.4 per cent, the Government feels that it could be 7.5 per cent.
6. AP, Odisha & MP Bag Award Under Amrut
- Andhra Pradesh has topped the charts among States in terms of “Ease of Living Index” rankings launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). It was followed by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.
- The three States were awarded the three best performing States under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) at the National Dissemination Workshop on Ease of Living Index, 2018.
7. BRICS Bank Approves $525-Mn Loan For Infra Projects In MP
- The BRICS’ New Development Bank has approved a $525-million loan for infrastructure projects in India.
- The loan will be used by the Indian government for on-lending to the Madhya Pradesh government for rehabilitating major district roads with a total length of about 2,000 km.
- The loan aims to improve connectivity of the rural interior with the national and state highways.
8. BSNL Signs Deal With SoftBank, NTT To Roll Out 5G In India
- State-run telecom firm BSNL has inked a pact with Japan’s Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and internet of things (IoT) technology in India.
- BSNL will look at collaborating with Softbank for its satellite constellation which will have around 900 satellites.
9. Former BCCI President Biswanath Dutt Passes Away
- Former BCCI president Biswanath Dutt, best known in the Indian cricket fraternity as Jagmohan Dalmiya’s mentor, passed away aged 92 after suffering from acute lung infection.
- Dutt was the BCCI president in 1989 after a six-year stint as the vice-president of the parent body from 1982-88.
10. Renowned Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi Passes Away
- Renowned filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi passed away in Mumbai. She was 64. Lajmi, a director, producer and screenwriter, was known for working on real subjects. She was known for her women-oriented films like “Rudaali”, “Daman”, “Darmiyaan”.
- Lajmi’s last movie as a director was “Chingaari” in 2006, based on a novel “The Prostitute and the Postman” by Bhupen Hazarika, who was her partner.