Daily GK Update: 19th December 2019

India is world’s third largest producer of scientific articles: Report

  • With over 1.35 lakh scientific papers published, India has become the world’s third largest publisher of science and engineering articles, according to a US government agency data, topped by China.
  • As per the statistics compiled by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the number of scientific papers published worldwide increased from 17,55,850 in 2008 to 25,55,959 in 2018.
  • The global research output, as measured by peer-reviewed science and engineering (S&E) journal articles and conference papers, grew about four per cent annually over the last 10 years.

Source : India Today

DRDO-developed Pinaka missile successfully test-fired from Chandipur range

  • India successfully conducted another test-firing of its indigenously-developed Pinaka guided missile system from a test range off Odisha coast on Thursday.
    The test was carried out from the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur in the afternoon.
  • Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Pinaka is an artillery missile system that is capable of striking into enemy territory up to a range of 75 km with high precision.
  • Two round of trials of the missile was conducted at Pokhran range in Rajasthan in March this year.

Source : Business Standard

Centre launches national broadband mission

  • The government Tuesday launched a national broadband mission that aims to connect 600,000 villages across India at an estimated outlay of Rs 7 lakh crore including a 10% contribution from the state reserve over a period of next 3-4 years.
  • “The national broadband mission is a transformative program to connect all villages,” telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, and added that the government aims to offer Internet speed upto 50 Mbps in a phased manner.

Source : Telecom.com

Navy chief to leave for Sri Lanka on 4-day visit to bolster maritime ties

  • Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh will leave for Sri Lanka on Thursday on a four-day visit to “consolidate and enhance” the bilateral maritime relations between the two countries, according to an official statement.
  • The visit of the Indian Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) comes a month after newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa came to India.
  • Singh will hold bilateral discussions with Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander of Sri Lanka Navy, other service chiefs and senior Sri Lankan government officials, according to the official statement.

Source : Business Standard

Indian Coast Guard holds 18th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board meeting

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) organised the 18th National Maritime Search and Rescue Board (NMSARB) meeting here today to discuss policy issues, formulate guidelines & procedures and assess the efficacy of National Search and Rescue Plan.
  • The apex-level meeting was chaired by Director General Indian Coast Guard and Chairman NMSARB Shri K Natarajan and attended by 48 Board members from various ministries, agencies, all Coastal States & Union Territories. For the first time, three strong components of the M-SAR – Secretary (Ministry of Shipping), Secretary (Ministry of Civil Aviation) and Secretary (Department of Fisheries) participated in the annual meeting.

Source : News Bharati

Infosys launches blockchain-powered distributed applications

  • Infosys NSE 0.04 % on Wednesday announced the launch of three blockchain-powered distributed applications for government services, insurance, and supply chain management domains.
  • “These comprehensive applications designed as ready-to-subscribe business networks ensure quick deployment, interoperability across disparate systems of value chain stakeholders and a wide variety of use cases involving other digital technologies like IoT, Analytics as well,” it said.
  • They are equipped with predictive return on investment (ROI) analytics for business investments that can be tailored to meet numerous industry-specific needs, the Bengaluru-headquartered IT services major said in a statement.

Source : The Economic Times

Naveen launches ‘Jalsathi’ programme to supply safe drinking

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday launched the ‘Jalsathi’ programme which will ensure supply of safe drinking water to all households in the state.
  • While launching the programme, Patnaik paid Rs 593 to clear water cess dues of Naveen Niwas, the residence of the chief minister.
  • Patnaik also distributed water quality testing kits and POS (point of sale) machines to the women volunteers – ‘Jalasathis’.

Source : Business Standard

Union Minister Gehlot releases Braille edition of ‘Exam Warriors’

  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot on Wednesday released Braille edition of ‘Exam Warriors’, a book authored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Gehlot said millions of blind students of the country will be able to derive motivation and mental strength from Braille edition.
  • The release of the Braille edition of ‘Exam Warriors’ has taken place months ahead of examination for secondary and higher secondary classes.

Source : Business Standard

Minorities Right Day celebrated in India on December 18

  • The Minorities Rights Day was celebrated by the National Commission for Minorities in India in order to focus religious harmony and better understanding of the minority communities in the country.
  • On December 18, 1992, the United Nations adopted the Individual’s rights belonging to religious, linguistic and religious minorities. The organization also stated that it is the responsibility of the state to improve minority conditions and create awareness about their linguistic, national, cultural and religious identity.

WHO launches first biosimilar medicine to treat Breast Cancer

On December 18, 2019, the World Health Organization launched its first biosimilar medicine to treat breast cancer. The WHO intends to make the expensive, life-saving treatment affordable for women all over the world.

Phase-III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana launched

  • Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today launched Phase-III of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in New Delhi to further enhance connectivity of villages with hospitals, schools and agricultural markets.
  • The Phase-III of PMGSY aims at consolidation of 1 lakh 25 thousand Kilometers through Routes and Major Rural Links that connect habitations to Gramin Agricultural Markets, Higher Secondary Schools and Hospitals with an estimated cost of 80 thousand 250 crore rupees for the period 2019-20 to 2024-25.

Source : News Services Division

2+2 Dialogue provides forward-looking vision for India-US strategic partnership

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar met US Secretary of Defense Dr Mark T Esper and Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo in Washington DC, US on December 18, 2019 for the second annual India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
  • This 2+2 Ministerial is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries and provides for a review of the security, defence and strategic partnership between India and the United States. This was the second 2+2 meeting and the first in the US.
  • At the dialogue, both sides positively appraised the growing partnership between India and the United States, and noted that important milestones had been achieved since the inaugural 2+2 dialogue in New Delhi in 2018.

Source : India Today

Donald Trump impeached on two counts by House, setting up Senate trial

  • The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, the culmination of an effort by Democrats that further inflamed partisan tensions in Washington and deepened the nation’s ideological divide.
  • The historic votes , which won the support of almost all Democrats in the House chamber but not a single Republican, leave Trump as only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached — and the only impeached president likely to win his party’s nomination for re-election.

Source : The Economic Times

FM Nirmala Sitharaman to chair 38th GST council meeting today

  • Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 38th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council Meeting here on Wednesday.
  • A review of the tax rates and slabs under GST is expected to be announced in the meeting scheduled for this afternoon.
  • The last GST Council meeting was held on September 20 in Goa.
  • Important decisions including many new GST exemptions and making Aadhaar mandatory for registration of taxpayers under GST among others were taken in the 37th meeting held in September.

Source : The Economic Times