August 2019

Daily Current Affairs (26-08-19)


Related Topics: Security Agencies, Internal Security

Why in News

The Special Protection Group (SPG) protection given to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has been withdrawn following a review by multiple security agencies.


  • The SPG was set up in 1985 after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and Parliament passed the SPG Act in 1988 dedicating the group to protecting the Prime Minister of India.
  • At the time, the Act did not include former Prime Ministers.
  • The SPG has various wings such as technical, training, communication, motor transport, workshop and administration to form a comprehensive security cover for its protectee.

Amendments in SPG Act

  • When P. Singh came to power in 1989, his government withdrew SPG protection to the outgoing PM Rajiv Gandhi.
  • After Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 the SPG Act was amended.
  • The amendment offered SPG protection to all former Prime Ministers and their families for a period of at least 10 years.
  • In 1999, PM Vajpayee’s government conducted a major review of the SPG’s operations, and decided to withdraw SPG protection to former PMs P.V. Narasimha Rao, H.D. Deve Gowda, and I.K. Gujral.
  • In 2003, the Vajpayee government also amended the SPG Act to bring the period of automatic protection down from 10 years to “a period of one year from the date on which the former Prime Minister ceased to hold office and beyond one year based on the level of threat as decided by the Central Government.”

Difference between SPG and NSG

  • The Special Protection Group guards the prime minister and immediate family, former prime ministers and their immediate families.
  • National Security Guard (NSG) was established in 1984, to protect states against internal disturbances and terrorism.
[Source: The Hindu]



Related Topics: Anti Microbial Resistance, KARSAP


  • Kerala, which launched a comprehensive action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) last year, is strengthening its AMR surveillance network in the State by roping in more laboratories in the private sector and private medical colleges in the State.


  • At present, Kerala AMR Surveillance Network (KARSNET) includes the microbiology laboratories in eight Government Medical Colleges, General Hospital, Ernakulam, and the State Public Health Lab.
  • By including some 16 NABH/NABL-accredited labs from the private sector, KARSNET is being expanded so that ground-level data on AMR pattern from across the State can be obtained.

National level surveillance networks

  • At the national-level, there is an AMR surveillance network of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as well as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  • NCDC monitors data across medical colleges and KARSNET is part of this network.
  • ICMR has the AMR pattern from premier tertiary care institutions like the AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh etc.

Why strengthening KARSNET?

  • AMR surveillance data is now restricted to tertiary care institutions alone, where most patients are very sick and the antibiogram pattern would be along the expected lines.
  • To know the ground-level data on the resistance pattern from across the State, data from district hospitals and primary health centres are needed.
  • Roping in local clinical labs in the private sector thus becomes crucial so that a true resistance profile can be built.

Training for Labs

  • To train the labs in Standard Operating Procedures, the government has proposed that all KARSNET labs must go through a rigorous training programme.
  • All labs in KARSNET will have to report routine clinical antimicrobial susceptibility to the network.
  • This data will be collated to draw a picture of the true community-level burden of AMR in the State.


To know more about KARSAP:

[Source: The Hindu]



Related Topics: Research & Development, Centre for E3


  • The Centre for Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (Centre for E3), an advanced R&D facility for compliance evaluation of electronic devices and super-structures from a mobile phone to a complex ship or aircraft environment by the Central government, has become fully operational.
  • The R&D lab, touted as first of its kind in the country, is set up under the aegis of Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering (SAMEER).

Centre for Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3)

  • It will undertake evaluation, design and consultancy services.
  • It is located in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The project is completed in all respects with highly specialised facilities like electromagnetic pulse (EMP), pulsed current injection (PCI), ultra-wide band (UWB), electromagnetic modelling and simulation lab and large RF shielded anechoic chamber (EMC chamber) for evaluating compliance of electronics as per military and several civilian standards.
  • The project is empanelled as EMP consultant for country’s prestigious project for establishment of EMP compliant centres across the country for strategic applications.
  • It is competent to develop indigenous point-of-entry (POE) protection systems against EMP for strategic applications.


  • It is a Research & Development Institute under the administrative control of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
  • Its main objective is to promote the growth of Science and Technology in the field of RF/Microwave Electronics, Electromagnetics, Optoelectronics, millimeter wave Technology and its allied areas.
  • It has its headquarters at Mumbai and centres at Chennai, Kolkata, Navi Mumbai and Visakhapatnam.
[Sources: The Hindu,]


Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF)

Related Topics: Banking Frauds, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC)

Why in News

CVC has constituted an Advisory Board for Banking Frauds (ABBF) headed by former Vigilance Commissioner T.M. Bhasin to examine bank fraud of over ₹50 crore and recommend action.

Earlier Body

  • The panel in its previous avatar was called the Advisory Board on Bank, Commercial and Financial Frauds.


  • The tenure of the Chairman and members would be for a period of two years from August 21, 2019.

Other Members

  • Madhusudan Prasad (former Urban Development Secretary)
  • D K Pathak (former Director General of Border Security Force)
  • Suresh N Patel (former MD and CEO of Andhra Bank)


Functions & Jurisdiction

  • The ABBF, formed in consultation with the RBI, would function as the first level of examination of all large fraud cases before recommendations or references are made to the investigative agencies by the respective public sector banks (PSBs).
  • The four-member board’s jurisdiction would be confined to those cases involving the level of officers of General Manager and above in the PSB in respect of an allegation of a fraud in a borrowal account.
  • Lenders would refer all large fraud cases above ₹50 crore to the board and on receipt of its recommendation or advice, the bank concerned would take further action in such matter.
  • CBI may also refer any case or matter to the board where it has any issue or difficulty or in technical matters with the PSB concerned.
  • The Board would also periodically carry out frauds analysis in the financial system and give inputs for policy formulation related to the fraud to the RBI.

Supporting Agency

Reserve Bank of India will provide required secretarial services, logistic and analytical support along with the necessary funding to the board.


  • Government has already issued the ‘framework for timely detection, reporting, and investigation relating to large-value bank frauds’ to PSBs, which makes it clear that all accounts exceeding ₹50 crore, if classified as an NPA, should be examined by banks from the angle of possible fraud.
  • A report should be placed before the bank’s Committee for Review of NPAs based on the findings of the investigation.
  • Besides, the PSBs have been advised to obtain a certified copy of the passport of promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies taking loan facilities of more than ₹50 crore.

[Source: The Hindu]






P.V. Sindhu created history by becoming the first Indian to win the World Championship in badminton by defeating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the final at Basel, Switzerland. She won her first-ever gold medal at the BWF World Championships after losing in two consecutive finals in 2017 and 2018.



Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has partnered with Denmark-based firm to start DESMI Centre of Excellence on Waste-to-Wealth at IIT-Delhi. It aims to remove debris from drains and generate resource from the mixed waste feedstock collected. The centre was set up under the guidance of the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA), Government of India.



Bandhan Bank launched a co-branded credit card in association with Standard Chartered bank. This credit card would be offered to 40 lakh savings bank account holders across the 1,000 branches of Bandhan Bank. As part of the tie-up, while Standard Chartered bank will take the credit risk, Bandhan Bank will be responsible for identifying and issuing cards to its customers.



Union Human Resource Development Ministry under its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has launched the National Digital Library of India project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. As of now, there are more than 3 crore digital resources available through the National Digital Library.



PM Narendra Modi was conferred ‘The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance’ by King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He was conferred this prestigious honour in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with Bahrain.

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