Current Affairs 23rd August 2019

Daily Current Affairs 23rd August 2019 covers some important current affairs like Sabka-Vishwas Scheme, Ayushman Bharat Grievance Portal, Ocean Energy as renewable energy, Deepor Beel Eco-sensitive zone & Russia sends first humanoid robot Fedor in space etc

Daily Current Affairs 23rd August 2019 covers some important current affairs based on the examination point of view. All Current Affairs are mentioned below:-

  • Ayushman Bharat helped 39 lakh people, & unveiled its Grievance Portal
  • Digitizing Gram Panchayat
  • NGT seeks eco-sensitive zone tag for Assam wetland Deepor Beel
  • Govt accepts Ocean Energy as Renewable energy
  • International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief- 22nd August
  • Russia sends its first humanoid Robot Fedor in space

Ayushman Bharat helped 39 lakh people, & unveiled its Grievance Portal:-

Recently, the Centre’s national health insurance scheme has unveiled its newly designed grievance redressal portal. It is aimed at ensuring that the general public was aware of the facilities offered and that any problem in accessing treatment was sorted without delay. This would also check cases of fraud.
  • It has a 3-tier system where the district, State and national-level officers and committees can scrutinize and take action for a speedy solution to problems.
  • Grievances will also be tracked through a system-generated unique registration number. 
  • This is a sophisticated online system to help members of the general public to register their grievances and get assisted support
Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) has released data stating that more than 39 lakh people have availed cashless treatment worth over ₹6,100 crore for serious illnesses since the launch. The Ministry recently reviewed the implementation of the government national health insurance scheme.

About AyushMan Bharat:-

Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW in India. The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically. When fully implemented, the PM-JAY will become the world’s largest government-funded health protection mission.
  • PM-JAY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) will provide financial protection (Swasthya Suraksha) to 10.74 crores poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational categories of urban workers’ families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data (approx. 50 crore beneficiaries).
  • PM-JAY will have offer a benefit cover of Rs. 500,000 per family per year (on a family floater basis).
  • PM-JAY will cover medical and hospitalization expenses for almost all secondary care and most tertiary care procedures. 
  • PM-JAY has defined 1,350 medical packages covering surgery, medical and daycare treatments including medicines, diagnostics, and transport.
  • To ensure that nobody is left out (especially girl child, women, children and elderly), there will be no cap on family size and age in the Mission. 
  • The scheme is cashless & paperless at public hospitals and empaneled private hospitals. The beneficiaries will not be required to pay any charges for the hospitalization expenses. 
  • The benefit also includes pre and post-hospitalization expenses. 

Digitizing Gram Panchayat:-

Common Service Centre SPV, which provides government services to people in rural areas, it has signed a pact with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) to convert all gram panchayats in the country to ‘digital panchayats’. The move is aimed at providing speedy delivery of government services to people in rural areas and promoting rural BPO (business processing outsourcing) across all 2.5 lakh panchayats in the country.

According to Memorandum:-

  • Gram Panchayat Bhawans will host common service centers (CSCs) so that all government services and social schemes are made easily available to villagers.
  • CSCs will ensure the creation of digital panchayats by integrating and updating online platform for CSC services, MoPR applications, and state-level services. 
  • CSCs will automate and digitize day-to-day work at gram panchayats, engage e-panchayat application and other central and state government applications to create a true digital panchayat
  • CSC will also be responsible for overall project management, monitoring, and coordination with MoPR, state government, other ministries, and gram panchayats.

NGT seeks eco-sensitive zone tag for Assam wetland Deepor Beel:-

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Assam government to declare the area around Deepor Beel — a major wetland on the western edge of Guwahati — an eco-sensitive zone. The NGT, in its order on August 19, also directed the government to remove existing encroachment on the wetland, take steps to prohibit any further encroachment and manage a municipal solid waste dumping ground inside Deepor Beel’s system.

The order, based on a petition by environment activist Rohit Choudhury, has also sought an end to the “land utilization character for a rail track alignment through three elephant corridors – Segunbari, Mikirpara, and Matia”. The track runs between the southern edge of Deepor Beel and the reserve forest.

About Deepor Beel:-

  • Deepor Beel is an ‘Important Bird Area’ and a Ramsar Site, with a reserve forest nearby.
  • It is also called a wetland under the Ramsar Convention which has listed the lake in November 2002, as a Ramsar Site for undertaking conservation measures on the basis of its biological and environmental importance.

What is Eco-Sensitive Zone?
Eco-sensitive zone entails declaring up to 10 km around a protected area a buffer zone and restricting industrial and other human activities.


The finance ministry notified a scheme to settle the indirect tax disputes in the pre-GST era, named Sabka Vishwas legacy dispute resolution scheme, which was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the union budget for FY20. Businesses can now settle their pending disputes relating to central excise duty and service tax within four months starting 1 September under the terms notified by the government.

About Scheme:-

  • It offers amnesty to those who wish to disclose any previously undisclosed tax liability and pay the tax amount involved without any penalty or prosecution.
  • For all the cases pending in adjudication or appeal—in any forum—the scheme offers relief of 70% from the duty demand if it is ₹50 lakh or less and 50% if it is more than ₹50 lakh. 
  • The same relief is available for cases under investigation and audit where the duty involved is quantified and communicated to the party or admitted before 30 June 2019.
  • In cases of confirmed duty demand, where there is no appeal pending, the relief offered is 60% of the confirmed duty amount if the same is Rs. 50 lakh or less and 40% if the confirmed duty amount exceeds ₹50 lakh.
  • In cases of voluntary disclosure, the person availing of the scheme will have to pay only the full amount of disclosed duty.
  • The scheme would continue till 31 December 2019.

Its aim is to free as large a segment of the taxpayers from legacy taxes as possible, the relief given is substantial and that it is tailored to benefit a large number of small taxpayers.

Govt accepts Ocean Energy as Renewable energy:-

Ocean energy has been included in renewable energy to give a further boost to ocean energy in India. Power Minister R K Singh approved the proposal. It has been clarified by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to all the stakeholders that energy produced using various forms of ocean energy such as tidal, wave, ocean thermal energy conversion, etc. shall be considered as renewable energy and shall be eligible for meeting the non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO).

The total identified potential of tidal energy is about 12,455 MW, whereas the total theoretical potential of wave energy in India along the country’s coast is estimated to be about 40,000 MW, according to the ministry. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) has a theoretical potential of 180,000 MW in India if suitable technological support is provided.

In another move towards boosting renewable energy, the government has decided to relax the condition of mandatory charging of lease rent of Rs. 30,000 per MW for wind power projects, according to the statement by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change. The move is aimed to boost investment in wind power projects and to help in providing wind power at a cheaper rate.

Further, the government underlined that currently India has overachieved the target and is well on track to ensure that more than 50% of the installed capacity comes from renewable sources by 2030.

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief- 22nd August:-

On 22 August 2019 for the first time the world is observing ‘International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief’ with the aim to honor victims and survivors of heinous acts who often remain forgotten.

Following an unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and people belonging to religious minorities, United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) on 28 May 2019, adopted resolution A/RES/73/296 designating 22 August as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. UNGA recognized the importance of providing victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief and members of their families with appropriate support and assistance in accordance with applicable law.

By proclaiming an International Day Commemorating Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, the UNGA recalled that States have a primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights, including human rights of persons belonging to religious minorities as well as including their right to exercise their religion or belief freely.

Russia sends its first humanoid Robot Fedor in space:-

Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot named Fedor that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station. The robot is the first-ever sent up by Russia.

Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft at 6:38 am Moscow time (0338 GMT) from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz is set to dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till September 7.

About Fedor:-

  • The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands 1.80 meters (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilograms (353 pounds).
  • Fedor has Instagram and Twitter accounts with posts saying it is learning new skills such as opening a bottle of water. In the station, it will try those manual skills in very low gravity.
  • Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth to carry out tasks while the humans are strapped into an exoskeleton.
  • Fedor is described as potentially useful on Earth for working in high radiation environments, demining and tricky rescue missions.
  • Onboard, the robot will perform tasks supervised by Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, who joined the ISS in July and will wear an exoskeleton and augmented reality glasses in a series of experiments later this month.
  • “Let's go. Let's go,” the robot was heard saying during launch, repeating the famous phrase used by the first man in space Yuri Gagarin.

Fedor is not the first robot to go into space:-

  • In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot developed with General Motors that had a similar aim of working in high-risk environments.
  • It was flown back to Earth in 2018 after experiencing technical problems.
  • In 2013, Japan sent up a small robot called Kirobo along with the ISS's first Japanese space commander. Developed with Toyota, it was able to hold conversations — albeit only in Japanese.

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