Current Affairs Pocket : 2nd – 4th November 2019

India, Uzbekistan to sign MoUs for military medicine and military education
* India and Uzbekistan are planning to sign two memorandum of understanding (MOUs) concerning military medicine and military education. The 2 MoUs were signed during the three-day visit of the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Uzbekistan, the Central Asian nation.
Highlights:
♦ Rajnath Singh paid tributes at a memorial of former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent.
♦ He represented India at the Council of Heads of Government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
♦ He held bilateral discussions concerning defence co-operation between the countries with Uzbekistan Defence Minister Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich.
♦ They also discussed the co-operation between India and Uzbekistan on military education and military medicine.

Customs, GST relief to give Rs.60,000 crore boost to defence
* Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh said that the defence budget would be augmented by more than Rs.60,000 crore over the next five years. * The estimation is because the MoD is to be exempted from the customs duty and goods and services tax (GST), which began on 1 October 2019. The estimates announced by the Rajnath Singh- led defence ministry showed that the exemptions from two levies would significantly impact its budget and free up resources for modernization and replenishment of equipment.
* The defence ministry was severely affected by the imposition of customs duty in 2016 on all military equipment imports, which was followed by the GST in the year 2017. The two levies were aimed to promote the indigenous production of defence equipment. But it became evident that there was a lack of capability to produce certain items locally.

Sumant Kathpalia to be MD, CEO of IndusInd Bank
* Sumant Kathpalia has been selected by the private sector lender IndusInd Bank as the new MD & CEO of the bank. Kathpalia is currently serving as the head of consumer loans at the Hindujas-promoted lender.
* Kathpalia will succeed Romesh Sobti, the current MD & CEO of the bank. *Sobti will be retiring in March 2020. He will be appointed after the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). His name has been forwarded to RBI for approval.

Rajinikanth to be conferred the Icon of Golden Jubilee of IFFI award
* The Government is to confer the Icon of Golden Jubilee of IFFI award to the eminent film personality Shri S Rajinikanth. It was announced by the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Shri Prakash Javadekar, in New Delhi on 2 November 2019. The award recognizes his outstanding contribution to Indian cinema, during the past several decades.

Ashleigh Barty claimed the 2019 WTA Finals in China
* Australian tennis player and world number one Ashleigh Barty claimed the 2019 WTA Finals in China. She defeated Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and smashed the title. She has claimed the record-breaking prize money of $4.42 million. The prize money is considered as the biggest ever amount in men’s or women’s tennis. She secured 6-4, 6-3, to claim the prestigious 2019 WTA Finals title.

Novak Djokovic won the Paris Masters 2019 title
* Novak Djokovic won the Paris Masters 2019 title. He won the title for the fifth time. He sealed his 34th Master’s title and fifth overall ATP victory of the year 2019. He defeated Canada’s Denis Shapovalov. He secured 6-3 6-4 to win the title.

Pooja Gehlot wins silver in UWW Under-23 World Championships
* Pooja Gehlot (53kg) in wrestling claimed India’s second silver medal after going down to Japan’s Haruna Okuno in the finals of the UWW Under-23 World Championships in Budapest. She lost 0-2 to Okuno in the summit clash. Ravinder (61kg), had won India’s first silver earlier this week.

Maisnam Meiraba clinches Korea Jr Open Title 2019
* India’s Maisnam Meiraba Luwang clinched the boys’ singles U-19 title at the Woncheon Yonex Korea Junior Open Badminton International Challenge 2019 in Miryang, Korea. The top seed Maisnam from Manipur needed just 36 minutes to brush aside the challenge of 15th seed Lee Hak Joo of Korea in a 21-10 21-13 win.
* Meanwhile, the eighth seed, Sathish Kumar Karunakaran, who had bowed out to Luwang 16-21, 22-24 in the semi-final claimed bronze in the same category.

South Africa wins Rugby World Cup 2019
* South Africa defeated England’s team by 32-12 scores in the final of the 9 edition of Rugby World Cup 2019 held at International Stadium, Yokohama, Japan. This was the 3 time the South African(SA) team reached the final of the World Cup and won the tournament. The SA team, which won the World Cup for the first time in 1995, also won the final in 2007. With this, the team also equalled New Zealand’s record of winning the World Cup three times.

Lakshya Sen wins SaarLorLux Open badminton tournament
* India’s Lakshya Sen has won the SaarLorLux Open badminton tournament at Saarbrücken in Germany. He defeated Sen Weng Hong Yang of China. Lakshya, seeded eighth, needed 59 minutes to overcome Weng 17-21 21-18 21-16 in the summit clash for his third successive singles title of the season.

Pepsico India wins US award for saving water
* US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo presented the prestigious Award for Corporate Excellence to Pepsico India. This award is given for its efforts to save more than 17 billion of litres of water by conducting various community programs and replenished over 5 billion litres of water, by impacting 60,000 community members. This award is given by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

Writer Anand selected for 27th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram 2019
* Noted writer Anand has been selected for the 27th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram 2019. This award is given by Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and the Government of Kerala. He was chosen for his overall contributions to Malayalam language and Literature. His real name is P.Satchidanandan uses the pseudonym, Anand.
* Anand retired as Planning director from the Central Water Commission in New Delhi. His native is Iringalakkuda, Thrissur at Kerala. His first novel was Alkkoottam. He is also a recipient of Vayalar Award and Yashpal Award.

Neeraj sharma wins ‘Early career researcher of the year 2019’ award
* Indian-origin researcher Neeraj Sharma has been given the ‘Early Career Researcher of the Year award’ by the Australian government. This award is given for developing next-generation battery systems such as a sodium-ion battery that will leave a minimal environmental impact. He is a professor at the University of South Wales (UNSW)’s School of Chemistry.
* Neeraj Sharma, considered one of the global leaders in the use of neutron and X-ray scattering methods, is also exploring inherently safe solid-state batteries, energy-dense lithium-sulfur batteries, dual function solar batteries and methods for recycling.

Madhuri Vijay JCB Prize for Literature for 2019
* The 27-year-old, Madhuri Vijay has won the JCB Prize for Literature 2019 for her debut novel ‘The Far Field’. She has been selected from a shortlist featuring novels from five accomplished writers. She is also a recipient of Henfield Prize and the Pushcart Prize.

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