Current Affairs India - 19 November 2014

1. Indian space agency ISRO was chosen for the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2014, as per the announcement made by the Jury headed by Vice President Hamid Ansari. ISRO was chosen for its contribution to strengthen international cooperation in peaceful use of outer space.

ISRO has also played an important role to promote sustainable social and economic development and address basic needs of the people in remote and rural areas of the country by using advanced and cutting edge technologies.

2. The Finance Ministry has directed state run Insurance giant Life Insurance Corporation to immediately operationalize the benefit of life cover issued under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). LIC has been asked by the Ministry to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Banks Association (IBA) for providing this facility to all the bank account holders who opened bank account under the PMJDY scheme. Earlier the Finance Ministry directed NPCI to enter into MoU, but now NCPI will be out of this arrangement.

As a part of PMJDY scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a life cover of Rs 30,000 with the RuPay card for all the enrollees of the scheme. As per the announcement, the benefit would be made available for all those who subscribe to a bank account for the first time during the period 15th August 2014 to 26th January 2015.

3. The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown confidence in Indian economy and said in its later report that Indian economy is showing signs of turnaround. It has projected India's GDP growth at 5.4% in the current financial year 2014-15 which will increase to 6.6% in next financial year 2015-16 and 6.8% in 2016-17, as per its latest Economic Survey of India.

As per OECD, Indian economy will recover at faster pace compared to other economies. It also said that Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to implement more reforms in the coming months to place the country on a strong, sustainable and inclusive growth path.

4. Andhra Bank launched two new schemes for children and teenagers with the aim of financial inclusion. The scheme named as "AB Little Stars" was launched for children in age group of 10-15 years and their parents stands as guardians. Another scheme named as "AB Teens" was also launched for teenagers between 15-18 years. With this scheme, Internet banking, ATM card, mobile banking and cash transfer will be provided to the customers.

5. The number of people using Interned in India is projected to touch 302 million by the end of this year due to higher growth in Internet usage on mobile devices, according to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International. With this, India will also overtake the USA as the second-largest Internet market in the world just after China.

As per the report, the number of Internet users in India is expected to grow 32% to 302 million this year compared to 213 million at the end last year which will further to 354 million by June 2015. Currently China leads the list with more than 600 million internet users followed by USA with around 279 million and India with 278 million internet users. Of the 278 million users, 177 million are in urban India, while the rest 101 million are in rural area.

6. Indian American Neha Gupta has been awarded with the prestigious International Children's Peace Prize 2014 for her contribution to help orphans in India and other vulnerable children.With this award, she also became the first ever American to be awarded with the prize.

She was awarded the prize by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu the patron of the Dutch children's rights organization in The Hague, Netherlands. Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousufzai won this award in previous year 2013.