Current Affairs in Short: 23 August 2019
UN & France call for protection against Amazon Rainforest Fire
• The United Nations and France called for the protection against the Amazon Rainforest Fire.
• Though the extent of the destruction is not exactly known yet, the smoke has choked the whole of Sao Paulo and other Brazilian cities.
• Around 73,000 forest fires have been recorded in Brazil since the beginning of 2019, the highest number since 2013.
• Wildfires have been an international crisis. Paraguay and Bolivia are already battling separate wildfires that have destroyed most of their rainforests.
Vikram Rathour to replace Sanjay Bangar as India's new batting coach
• Vikram Rathour, the former opener would be replacing Sanjay Bangar as India's new batting coach. India’s bowling and fielding coaches Bharath Arun and R. Sridhar have been retained.
• Vikram Rathour had played six Tests and seven ODIs in 1996 without much success but played a lot of domestic cricket for Punjab. He was a senior national selector under Sandeep Patil's chairmanship till 2016.
• Besides him, the senior national selection committee headed by MSK Prasad recommended three names each for all the support staff positions and the top names in each category will be appointed after the formalities with regard to Conflict of Interest declaration is complete.
Iran unveils domestically-built Bavar-373 missile defence system
• Iran unveiled a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defence system on August 22, 2019.
• Iran revealed the domestically-built missile defence system during its National Defense Industry Day. The move has come at a time when there is rising tension with the United States.
• Despite international sanctions, Iran has developed a large domestic arms industry.
Indian Army, Tata Realty sign MoU
• The Indian and Tata Realty & Housing signed a Memorandum of Understanding on August 22, 2019.
• The agreement will enable the Indian Army personnel to immediately take over dwelling units in 13 ‘Ready to Move in’ pan-India projects of Tata Realty spread across 10 cities including Gurugram, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune at a discount ranging from 11%-27%.
• The agreement will pave in a new era for the Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO), which has always strived to provide quality housing for the Indian Army personnel deployed in remote locations across the country.
• The Army Welfare Housing Organization will now facilitate the acquisition of homes from reputed private builders at a discounted price rather than building them for the soldiers.
Indian Army distributes Portable Solar Lights to poor families in J&K under Mission Reach Out
• The Indian Army recently distributed Portable Solar Lights to poor families of Lapri Top village and adjoining villages in Jammu and Kashmir as part of the Mission Reach Out.
• Considering that these villages have limited electric supply, the Army undertook the project to distribute portable solar lights.
• A total of 180 portable solar lights were distributed to fulfil the basic needs of children and young people.
• Apart from this, a mobile medical patrol also helped by providing door to door medical aid in Lapri Top and adjoining villages in Reasi District of J&K.
WADA suspends the accreditation of India’s NDTL for 6 months
• The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) suspends the accreditation of India's National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) for 6 months.
• With this, NDTL could not carry out any anti-doping activities.
• National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) of India can still collect the samples of blood and urine but these samples will be tested by WADA accredited laboratory outside India.
• NDTL’s suspension came due to its non-conformities with the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL).
PM Narendra Modi to launch ‘Fit India Movement’
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch ‘Fit India Movement’ on August 29, 2019, with an aim to encourage people to instil physical activity and sports in their everyday routine.
• For this initiative, a 28 member committee headed by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was formed to advise the government.
• The members of the committee are secretaries of Sports, Secondary Education, Ayush, Youth Affairs, among others.
• The other members of the committee are IOA President and seven NSF heads of boxing, athletics, football and cycling.