20th August 2019 Daily Current Affairs:
PM’s telephonic conversion with Trump:
- In a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. President Donald Trump sought reduction of tensions between India and Pakistan, the White House said in a statement.
- During the 30-minute conversation, the two leaders also discussed regional developments and the ways to “strengthen U.S.-India economic ties through increased trade,” the statement said.
- Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had spoken to Mr. Trump on the same morning as a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting was being held to discuss Kashmir and India’s dilution of Article 370 (special status for Kashmir) .
- On his part, Mr. Modi told Mr. Trump that encouraging anti-India violence would not ensure regional peace.
- The Trump-Modi telephonic conversation is the first direct communication between the two leaders since India ended Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.
- Both leaders also discussed the Afghan scenario.
Chandryaan 2 inserted into Lunar Orbit:
- Chandrayaan-2 was successfully inserted into a Lunar orbit. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) made a successful maneuver of spacecraft into the lunar orbit.
- According to the ISRO, a series of orbit maneuvers will be performed on Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft to enable it to enter its final orbit passing over the lunar poles at a distance of about 100 km from the Moon’s surface.
- This move is also known as Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) which is very crucial as the approach velocity of Chandrayaan-2 must be accurate.
- Experts believe that even a smaller mistake can kill the entire mission and efforts.
Why it is important?
- Now, Chandrayaan-2 is just a few kilometres away from the Moon. ISRO’s satellite was slowed down by just the right amount so that the Moon could capture the spacecraft and bring Chandrayaan 2 in its orbit.
- Experts believe that if the satellite had higher-than-expected velocity it could bounce off it and get lost in deep space.
- On the other hand, if it had slow velocity, the Moon's gravity could pull the Chandrayaan 2 and it might crash into the surface. Therefore, this step is called the most tricky operation of the mission.
- ISRO Chairman K. Sivan tweeted that it is a very difficult maneuver and will mark a major milestone of the mission.
National Sports Award 2019:
Deepa Malik (para-athletics), Bajrang Punia (wrestling)
Ravindra Jadeja (cricket), Mohammed Anas Yahiya (athletics), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (football), Sonia Lather (boxing), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (hockey), S Bhaskaran (bodybuilding), Ajay Thakur (kabaddi), Anjum Moudgil (shooting), Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth (badminton), Tajinder Pal Singh Toor (athletics), Pramod Bhagat (para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (table tennis), Pooja Dhanda (wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (equestrian), Simran Singh Shergill (polo), Poonam Yadav (cricket), Swapna Burman (athletics), Sundar Singh Gurjar (para sports-athletics) and Gaurav Singh Gill (motorsports).
Dronacharya Award (regular category):
Mohinder Singh Dhillon (athletics), Sandeep Gupta (table tennis) and Vimal Kumar (badminton)
Dronacharya Award (lifetime category):
Sanjay Bhardwaj (cricket), Rambir Singh Khokar (kabaddi) and Mezban Patel (hockey).
Dhyan Chand Award:
Manoj Kumar (wrestling), C Lalremsanga (archery), Arup Basak (table tennis), Nitten Kirrtane (tennis) and Manuel Fredricks (hockey).
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna:
- Named after former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi
- Instituted in 1991-92
- The first recipient of the award was Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, who was honoured for the performance in the year 1991–92
- The latest winners of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award are Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu
- In this award, a medal, a citation and 7.5 lakh rupees are given to the winner
About Arjuna Award
- Instituted in 1961, it is India’s second-highest sporting award after Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
- Arjuna Award bestowed upon sportsperson for consistently outstanding performance for four years
- Sportsperson in recognition of their consistently outstanding performance for four years in National sports can be nominated for this award
- Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports conferred this award.
- It carries bronze statuette of Arjuna, a scroll and a monetary award of 5 lakh rupees.
28th Ministerial meeting of BASIC:
- The BASIC countries recently held their 28th Ministerial meeting on Climate Change in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- The BASIC group was formed as the result of an agreement signed by the four countries on November 28, 2009.
- They are a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China.
- The BASIC countries constituted one of the parties in the Copenhagen Accord reached with the US-led grouping; the Accord, was, however, not legally binding.
- The BASIC group wields considerable heft purely because of the size of the economies and populations of the member countries.
- Brazil, South Africa, India and China put together has one-third of the world’s geographical area and nearly 40% of the world’s population, and when they unitedly speak in one voice this shows their determination.
- BASIC is one of several groups of nations working together to fight climate change and carry out negotiations within the UNFCCC.
Gibraltar rejects request to seize Iranian tanker
- Gibraltar refused a U.S. request to seize the Iranian tanker, Grace 1, caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West, as the stationary vessel raised an Iranian flag ahead of its expected departure from the British territory.
- British Royal Marines seized the tanker in Gibraltar in July 2019 on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
- That triggered a series of events that have heightened tensions on shipping routes via the Gulf.
- A federal court in Washington issued a warrant for the seizure of the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million.
- Gibraltar said it could not comply with that request because it was bound by EU law. “The EU sanctions regime against Iran which is applicable in Gibraltar – is much narrower than that applicable in the US,” the government said in a statement.
- Tehran said it was ready to dispatch its naval fleet to escort the tanker — now renamed the ‘Adrian Darya-1’ — if required.