Daily Current Affairs and General Knowledge 20 July 2019

1. 12 Indian beaches in the race to crest the ‘Blue Flag’ challenge

The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification.

Blue flag is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

2. 10th Jagran Film festival inaugurated in New Delhi

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the 10th Jagran Film festival at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.

Jagran Film Festival, JFF is an initiative by the Jagran Prakashan Group towards creating a culture of cinema appreciation and an honest and sincere attempt to create a platform that connects great content with audiences across the country.Last year, with over 18 towns, 400 screenings, 18 cinema appreciation workshops, the festival directly touched over an audience of over 55 thousand people.

3. Union HRD Minister releases Deeksharambh- A Guide to Student Induction Programme

The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ released UGC Guide to Student Induction Programme - “Deeksharambh” in New Delhi.

Deeksharambh is a guide to Student Induction Programme is to help new students adjust and feel comfortable in the new environment, help them build bonds with other students and faculty members, and expose them to a sense of larger purpose and self-exploration.The Programme engages with the new students as soon as they come into the institution before regular classes start.

4. India, Sri Lanka sign contract to upgrade 130 km long railway track

India and Sri Lanka on signed a USD 91.26 million contract to upgrade 130 kilometres long railway track connecting Maho and Omanthai town in Sri Lanka.

The agreement was signed between IRCON International Limited and Government of Sri Lanka under the Indian Concessional Financing Scheme.The agreement includes the up-gradation of 12 crossing stations, seven halt stations, and 78 level crossings between Maho and Omanthai.This would be the first up-gradation of this 130-kilometre long railway line in over a hundred years.

5. INS Sagardhwani embarks on mission Sagar Maitri

INS Sagardhwani embarked on mission Sagar Maitri.

The primary objective of the mission is data collection from the entire North Indian ocean, focusing on the Andaman Sea and adjoining seas. In its second mission, the ship would be visiting Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia and would be initiating collaborative research programmes with selected institutes in these countries.The first Sagar Maitri mission was held in April when INS Sagardhwani visited Myanmar.

6. Maharashtra increases aid to kin of martyred jawans

Maharashtra will now give Rs 1 crore as compensation to the family members of anyone from the state who attains martyrdom for the country.

Accordingly, a four-fold increase, from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore in the financial assistance to the family members of soldiers killed in the line of duty has been sanctioned. Financial assistance for injured jawans has also been sanctioned. In March 2018, the state government had enhanced the compensation for martyrs, from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. It has now further been increased.

7. HDFC Bank, CSC launch credit card for small traders, village entrepreneurs

HDFC Bank and CSC launched a co-branded ''Small Business MoneyBack Credit Card'' for small traders and village level entrepreneurs (VLEs).

The credit card is specifically designed for CSC’s VLEs, and VLE-sourced customers, and will give users easy access to credit for their day-to-day business expensesThe card was launched by HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri and CSC Chief Dinesh Kumar Tyagi.

8. Ebix acquires Yatra for an enterprise value of $337.8 million

Ebix Inc., a supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services has acquired online travel portal Yatra Online Inc., for an enterprise value of $337.8 million, in an all-stock transaction.

The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Ebix will acquire Yatra via merger.The transaction will create India's largest and most profitable travel services company.However, Yatra will continue to operate independently and also retain its brand and status in India.Ebix makes software for the insurance, financial and healthcare industries.

9. IFS officer Vivek Kumar has been appointed as Private Secy to PM Modi

Indian Foreign Service officer Vivek Kumar was appointed as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The decision was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister. Mr Kumar, a 2004 batch IFS officer, is currently working as the Director in the Prime Minister's Office.

10. Book titled ‘Kargil: Untold stories from the War’ released

On the 20th anniversary of the Kargil War, a new book will revisit the freezing battlegrounds of the 1999 conflict through untold stories of its bravest soldiers.

Titled, "Kargil: Untold stories from the War", the book published by Penguin Random House, is authored by Rachna Bisht Rawat.The book that is based on Rawat's interviews with war survivors and martyrs’ families.

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