GK Update & Current Affairs: 19th September 2018
1. Union Home Secretary Launches ‘E-Sahaj’ Portal For Grant Of Security Clearance For Private Firms
- The Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba launched an online ‘e-Sahaj’ portal for grant of Security Clearance. The portal will facilitate an applicant to submit application online and also to view the status of his application from time to time.
- With the introduction of online portal, the process has become standardized, resulting in a process which will be faster, transparent and easy to monitor. Various functionaries can access the application and documents online and take timely decisions.
2. Government Committee Pushes For An Independent Payments Regulator
- An inter-departmental committee set up to suggest reforms to India’s payment laws has recommended setting up an independent payments regulator, outside the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The payments regulator would be known as the Payments Regulatory Board (PRB).
- The committee consisted of members from the government, the RBI, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
- The committee suggests that the Payments and Settlements Act 2007 be amended to separate the regulation of payments from RBI’s central banking and monetary policy management functions.
3. PM Inaugurates Key Development Projects In Varanasi
- The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the Foundation Stone for several important development projects, at a public gathering in Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Among the projects inaugurated are the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) for Puraani Kashi; and an Atal Incubation Centre at BHU.
- Among the projects for which the Foundation Stone was laid is the Regional Ophthalmology Centre at BHU. The cumulative value of all projects which were inaugurated, or for which foundation stone was laid is over Rs. 550 crore.
4. PM Modi, Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina Jointly Launched Indo-Bangla Pipeline Project
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina jointly launched the construction of India-Bangladesh Friendship Product Pipeline Project through video conferencing. The project will go a long way in strengthening the Indo-Bangla ties.
- The 130-kilometre pipeline will connect Siliguri in West Bengal in India and Parbatipur in Dinajpur district of Bangladesh.
- The capacity of the pipeline will be 1 million metric tons per annum.
- The estimated project cost will be Rs 346 crore and it will be completed in 30 months time.
- This will be the first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India.
5. Germany Launches World’s 1st Hydrogen-Powered Train
- Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology.
- The two Coradia iLint trains were built by French train-maker firm Alstom. It started operating on a 100 km (62-mile) route between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany.
6. Tajinder Mukherjee Takes Over As CMD Of NICL
- Tajinder Mukherjee has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of National Insurance Company Limited (NICL). Prior to joining NICL, she was posted as General Manager and Chief Underwriting Officer of New India Assurance.
- She has over 33 years of experience in the insurance industry having joined as a Direct recruit Officer 1983 batch in United India Insurance Company.
7. Independent India’s 1st Woman IAS Officer Passes Away
- India’s first woman IAS officer after Independence, Anna Rajam Malhotra died at the age of 91 in Mumbai
- She later married R.N. Malhotra, who served as Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 1985 to 1990. Ms. Malhotra joined the civil services in 1951 and opted for the Madras cadre.
8. Dr. Raghupati Singhania Conferred With Civilian Honour Of Mexico
- Chairman and MD, JK Tyre & Industries Ltd., Dr. Raghupati Singhania has been conferred with ‘Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle’, the highest honour accorded to non-nationals by the Government of Mexico.
- Melba Pria, Ambassador of Mexico to India presented the award to Dr. Singhania on behalf of the President of Mexico on the eve of 128th National Day of Mexico.
- The top honor is in recognition of Dr. Singhania’s exemplary leadership, his noteworthy services towards humanity and his efforts to strengthen bilateral ties between India and Mexico.
9. Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma Signed As Ambassadors Of Skill India Campaign
- Actors Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma have been signed on to promote and endorse the Skill India Mission, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The actors through their film are saluting India’s entrepreneurs and skilled workforce, especially homegrown artisans, craftspeople and weavers.
10. Lewis Hamilton Wins Singapore Grand Prix 2018
- Lewis Hamilton won the Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay Street Circuit, in Singapore. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the 1st position. He was followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the 2nd spot.
- Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in the 3rd place. With this victory, Lewis Hamilton has increased his chances of winning this year’s Formula One World Championship.
11. Hangzhou To Host 2022 Asian Para Games
- The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) confirmed that Hangzhou in China will host the fourth edition of Asian Para Games in 2022.
- The confirmation came following a visit to Hangzhou in July by APC President Majid Rashed and CEO Tarek Souei.