Daily Current Affairs-SeptemberCurrent Affairs

Current Affairs-2019 October 14TH

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 was awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer [all are USA nationals] “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” Kremer conducted pioneering work with Kenyan schools in the mid-1990s, which was further developed by Duflo and Banerjee. This research showed how to raise vaccination rates and educational standards in schools, touching hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

Today’s Nobel citation explains:

“More textbooks per student did not improve average test scores, but did improve test scores of the most able students. Giving flip charts to schools had no effect on student learning. The two health interventions reduced school absenteeism, but did not improve test scores. In theory, the incentive program could lead teachers either to increase effort to stimulate longterm learning or, alternatively, to teach to the test.

The latter effect dominated. Teachers increased their efforts in test preparation, which raised test scores on exams linked to the incentives, but left test scores in unrelated exams unaffected.

A field experiment by Kremer and co-author investigated how the demand for deworming pills for parasitic infections was affected by price. They found that 75 per cent of parents gave their children these pills when the medicine was free, compared to 18 per cent when they cost less than a US dollar, which is still heavily subsidised. Subsequently, many similar experiments have found the same thing: poor people are extremely price-sensitive regarding investments in preventive healthcare.

Low service quality is another explanation why poor families invest so little in preventive measures. One example is that staff at the health centres that are responsible for vaccinations are often absent from work. Banerjee, Duflo et al. investigated whether mobile vaccination clinics – where the care staff were always on site – could fix this problem. Vaccination rates tripled in the villages that were randomly selected to have access to these clinics, at 18% compared to 6%.”

PROFILE: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 to

Abhijit Banerjee
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Esther Duflo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Michael Kremer
Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

“for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty”

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NATIONAL

Kashmir: Postpaid mobile services on all networks were restored in the Kashmir Valley today, 72 days after they were snapped following restrictions. Some 40 lakh postpaid mobile phones have become operational from Monday noon.

INX media case: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today moved the Supreme Court seeking clarification on the observations made by the Delhi High court that Congress leader P Chidambaram is not a flight risk. This comes after Justice Suresh Kumar Kait of the Delhi High Court, while denying the bail to Chidambaram, said that there is no evidence that Chidambaram is a flight risk or has tampered with the evidence.

Biomethanation plant: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has set up first ever bio methanation plant in the city at the Chandanagar garbage transfer station at an estimated cost of Rs 24.76 lakh. City mayor, Bonthu Rammohan, along with zonal commissioner, D. Hari Chandana, inaugurated it at Deepthisri Nagar transfer station in Chandanagar circle.

  • Pranjal Patil hails from Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra, is the first 1st visually challenged woman IAS officer
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited unions went on an indefinite strike from Monday demanding wage revision, while the management termed the agitation as illegal.
  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday revealed that Left-wing extremist groups, who are active in almost 10 states across the country are getting organised funding to spread terror.
  • Sourav Ganguly was appointed as BCCI president.

 ECONOMY

Inflation: Wholesale prices based inflation eased to 0.33 per cent in September, as against 1.08 per cent in August due to fall in prices of non-food articles, government data showed today. The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly wholesale price index (WPI), was at 5.22 per cent in September 2018.

HAL: The workers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited across its nine units in the country began an indefinite strike today, pressing various demands including wage revision. More than 10,000 employees joined the strike and as a result work has come to a standstill.

Total SA:  French oil company Total SA has signed definitive agreement to buy 37.4 per cent stake in Gautam Adani-led Adani Gas for about Rs 5,700 crore. Total will purchase the shares in Adani Gas through a tender offer to public shareholders to acquire up to 25.2 per cent shares, subject to applicable regulations and purchase the residual shares from Adani Family.

Investment in natural gas: India is investing over $60 billion in developing natural supply and distribution infrastructure as it chases the target of more than doubling the share of natural gas in its energy base to 15 per cent by 2030, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on October 14.

NCLAT: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) today asked the ED to release the attached properties of Bhushan Power and Steel and directed the agency not to attach any further assets without its permission. The appellate tribunal also put the Rs 19,700-crore payout by the JSW Steel to buy the debt-ridden company on hold till further orders.

IRCTC: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which recently concluded its Rs 645-crore initial public offering, will make its stock market debut on Monday. The shares will be listed on the BSE and the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

  • Retail inflation rises to 3.99 % in September on costlier food items.
  • The Union government is reviewing a proposal to allow private sector workers to switch between the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) and the National Pension System (NPS).

INTERNATIONAL

Brexit: Britain and the European Union said on October 14 that a lot more work would be needed to secure an agreement on Britain’s departure to form the bloc. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his cabinet a last-minute deal was still possible as the two sides pressed on with intensive talks to try to avoid a disorderly Brexit on Oct. 31, the date set for Britain’s departure.

China: President Xi Jinping said on 13th October that anyone attempting to “split” China will be “crushed” as he held wide-ranging talks with Nepal’s top leadership. The two countries elevated their bilateral ties to strategic partnership and signed a slew of agreements, including a plan to build a trans-Himalayan railway line.

Ecuador: Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno and indigenous leader Jaime Vargas reached to an agreement on 13th October to end nearly two weeks of violent protests against austerity measures put in place to obtain a multi-billion-dollar loan from the IMF. With this agreement, the mobilizations… across Ecuador are terminated. The government also had withdrawn an order that removed fuel subsidies.

  •  Typhoon Hagibis hits Japan
  • Pervez Musharraf returns to active politics, talks about Kashmir by saying Kashmir is in the blood of Pakistan.

MARKET TODAY

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