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Important Current Affairs 12th February 2020

National

15 crore loans extended to women under PMMY till Jan 2020, TN tops

• Over 15 crore loans, amounting to Rs 4.78 lakh crore, have been disbursed to women borrowers under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), stated Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs

• “As on 31.01.2020, over 15 crore loans have been disbursed to women borrowers, since inception of the scheme, amounting to Rs 4.78 lakh crore under PMMY.”

PSU Survey 2019: ONGC, IOC, NTPC top three profitable PSUs

• According to the PSU Survey 2018-19, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation and NTPC were three the top profitable companies of India.

• Their total profits were 15.3%, 9.68% and 6.73% respectively. On the other hand, Air India, BSNL and MTNL suffered the most losses.

• According to the survey, 70 government companies were at a loss during this period. About 10 companies were accounted for more than 94% of the total losses.

Bhupesh Baghel inaugurates Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi as Chhattisgarh’s 28th district

• Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi as the 28th district of the state.

• The new district, carved out of Bilaspur, has three tehsils and three development blocks namely Gaurela, Pendra and Marwahi.

• It comprises 166 gram panchayats, 222 villages and two nagar panchayats, with an area of 1,68,225 hectares.

International

Covid-2019 is official name for disease caused by new coronavirus says WHO

The World Health Organization on February 11, 2020 official renamed Coronavirus as ‘COVID-19’. So far, the deadly coronavirus has caused over 1000 deaths in China, which is more than the number of deaths caused by the SARs outbreak of 2003. Coronavirus originated in China; however, the virus has now spread in various countries. India has also reported 3 cases of Coronavirus from Kerala.

About WHO:

• Head: Tedros Adhanom

• Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

• Founded: 7 April 1948

Banking and Economy

Government to introduce new One Rupee Currency Note

The Central Government recently announced to introduce new Re 1 currency note with security features. The all-new one rupee note will have several watermarks. The value of the currency note will be mentioned in 15 different Indian languages. The note will contain an image of ‘Sagar Samrat’, the oil exploration platform.

Facebook to provide digital literacy training to one lakh women in seven Indian states

• Facebook launched its ‘We Think Digital’ programme, under which the social media giant will provide digital literacy training to 1 lakh women across seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.

• In partnership with National Commission for Women (NCW) and Cyber Peace Foundation, the program aims to provide digital literacy training to one lakh women across seven states through the year. The programme will start with the state of Uttar Pradesh and expand to other states including Assam, West Bengal Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Bihar, it added.

Infosys to acquire US-based Simplus for $250 million to step up cloud biz

• Bengaluru-based IT services major Infosys stated it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-headquartered Simplus, a major Salesforce platinum partner, in a bid to strengthen its cloud business.

• The acquisition, expected to be complete within a month, will incur a cost of up to $250 million, Infosys said in a filing with stock exchanges.$200 million, including contingent consideration to be paid for the acquisition of shares, subject to closing adjustments.

Appointment

Arvind Kejriwal to take oath as Delhi CM on February 16 at Ramlila Maidan

• After resounding victory in Delhi assembly elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will take oath for the third time on February 16.

• The swearing-in ceremony will take place at the historic Ramlila Maidan — similar to that of last two times.

Ducati appoints Bipul Chandra as new head of Indian operations

• Italian super bike maker Ducati stated it has appointed Bipul Chandra as the new Managing Director of its India operations.

• Chandra replaces Sergi Canovas who is moving to an international role within the company.

About Ducati:

• Parent organization: Lamborghini

• Founded: 4 July 1926, Bologna, Italy

• CEO: Claudio Domenicali

Ranking

India ranks 17th among countries at risk of coronavirus import

• Of the countries most at risk of importing coronavirus cases, India ranks 17th, researchers have found on the basis of a mathematical model for the expected global spread of the virus that originated in China’s Wuhan area in December 2019.

• The top 10 countries and regions at risk of importing coronavirus cases are: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia, according to the model.

• While Thailand’s national import risk is 2.1 per cent, it is 0.2 per cent for India, found the research.

Days

National Productivity Day observed globally on 12 February

• National Productivity Day is observed on 12 February. The day is celebrated by the National Productivity Council (NPC) to promote productivity culture in India. Also, National Productivity Week is celebrated from 12-18 February 2020. The day aims to propagate productivity, quality, competitiveness, and efficiency.

• NPC was established in 1958. The autonomous organization functions under the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

• Chairman of National Productivity Council: Guruprasad Mohapatra.

• Director-General of National Productivity Council: Arun Kumar Jha.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

• The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/70/212 on December 2015, declaring Feb.11 as the International Day of Women & Girls in Science.

• Theme:“Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth”.

World Unani Day

• The World Unani Day is observed every year on February 11.

• The day commemorates the birth anniversary of great Unani scholar and social reformer Hakim Ajmal Khan.

• Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh was the chief guest of the 4th Unani day function organized by AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Ministry, New Delhi, India.

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Important Current Affairs 9th February 2020

National

National Conference on e-Governance 2020 Held in Mumbai

• The 23rd edition of the National Conference on e-Governance was held at Mumbai, Maharashtra on 7-8 February 2020.

• The theme of the conference was: India 2020: Digital Transformation.

BBIN nations deliberate on MoU for implementation of motor vehicle agreement

• A meeting of the BBIN nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) was held in New Delhi on 8 February 2020 to deliberate on a proposed MoU, to be signed by Bangladesh, India and Nepal, for implementation of the Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) in these countries.

• Representatives of Bhutan participated in the meeting in an observer capacity. The Indian delegation was led by Vikram Doraiswami, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs.

DefExpo 2020 Concludes With Over 200 Partnerships at Bandhan Ceremony

• The 11th edition of the biennial DefExpo 2020, concluded in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on 8 February 2020.

• The theme of the 11th Edition was “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”.

• More than 1,000 companies, including 165 offshore enterprises participated in the event.

• Over 200 partnerships involving Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs), Transfer of Technology (ToTs) , Product launches were concluded during a ceremony titled “Bandhan” at DefExpo 2020.

• Bandhan ceremony witnessed more than 13 product launches, 124 MoUs between Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), private and global defence manufacturing companies.

International

US India’s preferred trade partner in journey to be $5 trn economy: Envoy

• America is India’s preferred trade and business partner in its journey to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, the country’s new envoy to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has stated.

• Addressing a gathering of American business community at a reception hosted in his honour by US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum, Sandhu stated that the potential for cooperation between the United States and India is limitless.

• He futher added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the goal for India to grow from a USD 3 trillion economy to a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 and a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030.

Philip Barton appointed Britain’s new High Commissioner to India

• Britain appointed career diplomat Philip Barton as its High Commissioner to India to succeed Dominic Asquith.

• Barton will take up his appointment during Spring 2020, a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated

Obituary

Padma Shri Winning Indian Author Giriraj Kishore Passes Away

Veteran writer and academician Giriraj Kishore passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 82-years-old.

Giriraj was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India in the year 2007, for his work Pahla Girmitiya (The Girmitiya Saga).

P Parameswaran passes away in Kerala

• Renowned thinker, writer and the founder-director of Bharatiya Vichara Kendram P Parameswaran has passed away in Ottapalam, Kerala. He was 91.

• Kendram P Parameswaran was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.

Sports

Bangladesh wins ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020

• Bangladesh has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 held in South Africa. Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team defeated India Under-19 team by 3 wickets to win the final of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 held at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

• This was the 13th edition of the tournament in which 16 teams participated from all over the world.

• Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup for the first time in the tournament history.

Swedish Vaulter Armand Duplantis Breaks World Pole Vault Record

On 8 February 2020, Armand Duplantis, who plays for Sweden, broke the world pole vault record with a jump of 6.17 metres at an indoor meeting in Poland.

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Important Current Affairs 8th February 2020

National

NPCI approves WhatsApp to expand its UPI project 10 million users

• Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has received the approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to expand its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services to 10 million users.

• WhatsApp’s payment feature, named WhatsApp Pay, has developed by the NPCI to run on UPI. It allows users to pay others or do business transactions through their bank accounts.

PFRDA increases minimum net worth for pension fund managers to Rs 50 cr

• The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the regulator of the National Pension System (NPS), has made certain amendments in the pension guidelines. These are as follows.

• Minimum Net Worth: The regulator has doubled the minimum net worth requirement for pension fund managers to Rs 50 crore from the Rs 25 crore stipulated earlier.

• Validity of License: Provision has also been made for licenses to have indefinite validity. Earlier, the licenses of pension fund managers was granted for a period of five years.

• Equity Acquisition: A pension fund or its sponsor cannot acquire equity stake in another pension fund.

Disha Police Station inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh’s Rajamahendravaram

• The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on inaugurated the first ‘Disha Police Station’ in Rajamahendravaram city on 8 February 2020, which will exclusively handle cases of crime against women and children.

• In all 18 Disha Police Stations will be set up in all 13 districts of the state, under the Disha Act, enacted by the state government in 2019, to ensure speedy investigation and trial of sexual assault cases.

• The state government has allocated a budget of Rs 21.10 crore for the setting up of these police stations.Each Disha Police station will be headed by a deputy superintendent of police.

International

Astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth after record stay in space

• Christina Koch, US-astronaut who made record for the longest continuous spaceflight ever undertaken by a female astronaut, returned from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth on 6th February 2020.

• Koch was accompanied by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov on the way to Earth.

• The three boarded a Soyuz capsule docked at the ISS at around 12:50 AM EST, and had a safe landing at around 4:12 AM EST (3:12 PM local time) in Kazakhstan.

• American astronaut Christina Koch joined the NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013 and also led the first ever all-female spacewalk in 2019.

Science & Technology

Indian Army Major develops world's first bulletproof helmet

• Indian Army has developed first bulletproof helmet of the world which can stop an AK-47 bullet round fired from a distance of 10 meters.

• The Ballistic helmet is developed by An Indian Army Major Anoop Mishra.

• The helmet is developed under the Indian Army’s project “Abhedya“.

DRDO inks deal with Russian company for missiles propulsion

• Pune-based DRDO Laboratory, High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) has signed technology development contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia for development of Advanced Pyrotechnic Ignition Systems.

• The agreement was signed at the DefExpo2020 in Lucknow.The agreement will enable advancement in the field of energetic materials and pyrotechnic technology leading to the development of advanced ignition systems.

• HEMRL works in the development of spectrum of high energy materials required for missiles, rockets and guns.

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Important Current Affairs 7th February 2020

National

First Central Asia Business Council” launched in New Delhi

• The first ever India-Central Asia Business Council meeting was launched in New Delhi on 6th February 2020.

• The programme was organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).From India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the meeting.

• The aim of the meeting was to bring together business chambers of India and all five Central Asian states, namely Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to collaborate and strengthen trade and investment partnership.

Jaipur becomes certified UNESCO World Heritage City

• Jaipur “The Pink City” has been certified by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as the World Heritage site.

• The certification was done by the UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay during an event held in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

SAI & Hockey India to Launch 7 High Performance Centres Across the Country

• Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India have decided to establish High Performance Centres in seven places across the country to provide state-of-the-art facilities to Junior and Sub-Junior players.

• The move is taken in view of 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games, so as to groom the young talent.

• The seven High Performance Hockey Centres will be installed at the following places:

• 1. SAI Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka (South Zone)

2. Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi (North Zone)

3. SAI Sundergarh, Odisha (East Zone)

4. SAI UDMCC, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (Central Zone)

5. SAI NS NEC, Takyel, Imphal, Manipur (North-East Zone)

6. Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune, Maharashtra (West Zone)

7. SAI Centre, Ranchi and Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium (East Zone II)

 India’s First Glass Floor Suspension Bridge to Come up in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh

• The Uttarakhand Government has approved the design of a glass floor suspension bridge, the first of its kind in the country, which will be built across the River Ganga in Rishikesh.

• The bridge is as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula, almost 94 years old, which was closed in 2019 due to safety reasons

Madhya Pradesh to deploy drones to map villages

• The Madhya Pradesh state government has decided to deploy drones to map villages. This will be the first time that drone technology is used to make maps in the state.

• Till now, all the land survey work in the satet was either done manually or with the help of satellite images.

• The map of the population area will be created on a scale of 1: 500, which will help a clearer picture of the population area. Around 55000 villages have been selected for mapping.

Banking and Economy

RBI to conduct “Financial Literacy Week 2020”

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be organizing Financial Literacy Week (FLW) from February 10 to February 14, 2020.

• The theme for 2020 FLW is “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),”

• RBI conducts Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year since 2016 to propagate financial education messages on a particular theme every year across the country, through a focused campaign.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

IOC signs First Term contract for Russian crude oil

• State-owned Indian Oil Corp has signed a deal with Russian oil and gas company Rosneft for the annual purchase of 2 million metric tonnes of crude oil

• This is the first ever annual oil purchase deal between India and Russia.

• Under the deal India will import up to 2 million tonne of Urals grade crude oil from Rosneft of Russia.

• India is world’s third largest energy consumer. It is 83 percent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

• Two-thirds of the imports come from the Middle East, with Iraq being the biggest supplier followed by Saudi Arabia.

• Headquarters of Indian Oil Corp: New Delhi, Mumbai (Registered Office)

• Founded of Indian Oil Corp: 1959.

• Chairman of Indian Oil Corp: Sanjiv Singh.

Resignation

Microsoft-Owned LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner resigns as CEO

• Jeff Weiner has recently resigned as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn.

• Jeff Weiner will become Executive Chairman of the company, while Ryan Roslansky who is currently the senior vice-president of product, will become CEO with effect from 1st June 2020.

• LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps.

• LinkedIn Corp: Founded: 2002.

• LinkedIn Corp: Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, United States.

World Bank chief economist Pinelopi Koujianou resigns

• World Bank Chief Eeconomist Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg has announced to step down from the post with effect from 1st March 2020.

• She is resigning to return to teaching at Yale University and create opportunities for the poor young talented economists to the bank.

• The World Bank President David Malpass has announced that the organisation’s research director Aart Kraay would take over as the Chief Economist in place of Goldberg until a new permanent chief economist is hired.

• President of World Bank: David Robert Malpass.

• Managing Director(MD) and Chief Financial Officer(CFO): Anshula Kant.

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Important Current Affairs 6th February 2020

National

Prime Minister inaugurates DefExpo in Lucknow

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 11th edition of the ‘DefExpo’, India’s biennial military exhibition, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on February 5, 2020. It will culminate on February 8.

• The Theme of the Expo is ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ with main focus on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’

• Delegates from 70 countries and 172 foreign military manufacturers and as many as 856 Indian defence firms will attend the exhibition to showcase their products on new technologies and solutions on a single platform.

President Kovind inaugurates Annual Rashtrapati Bhavan Udyanotsav 2020

• President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the annual ‘Udyanotsav’ at the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan on 4th February 2020.

• The 15-acre Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be opened for the general public from February 5 to March 8, 2020 between 10 am to 4 pm.

Reliance General launches health insurance plan "Infinity"

• Reliance General Insurance Company Limited has launched a comprehensive health insurance plan named "Reliance Health Infinity".

• The policy offers 90 days pre and 180 days post hospitalization cover, along with sum insured ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 1 crore, and free restore benefits.

India’s HAL & Dynamatics Technologies To Build Israel Aerospace Drones

• Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the 1st time, will sign a partnership pact with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

• This pact is signed for manufacture advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in India.

Five more IIITs to receive Institute of National Importance status

• The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to confer five of the Indian Institute of Information Technology with the Institute of National Importance status.

• The IIIT’s which will be given the Institute of National Importance status include the Indian Institute of Information Technology Surat Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur.

• These institutions will now be able to use the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) or the Master of Technology (M.Tech) or the Ph.D degree.

Cabinet approves setting-up country’s 13th major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for setting up a new Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra.

• The projected cost of the Vadhavan Port is over Rs 65,000 crore. The new Major Port will be established on the basis of land lord model. 

• After the development of this new Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra, India is expected to enter the list of countries with top 10 container ports in the world.

International

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

• International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day that takes place on February 6 every year since 2003 to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM).

• 2020 Theme: Unleashing Youth Power.

Banking and Economy

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 5.15%

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee has released its 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20. The Reserve Bank of India’s MPC has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged to 5.15%.

The key decisions taken in the 6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:

• The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) left unchanged to 5.15%.

• The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands same i.e. 4.90%.

• The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate also remains same i.e. 5.40%.

• RBI has increased the real GDP growth for fiscal year 2020-21 from 5% to 6%.

Moody’s Projects India’s growth at 4.9% in FY20, 5.5% in FY21

• Moody’s Investors Service has projected India’s GDP growth during the current fiscal ending 31 March 2020 at 4.9 percent (unchanged).

• For the fiscal 2020-21, GDP growth is estimated at 5.5 percent compared to December 2019 estimate of 6.3 percent.

• And for 2021-22 fiscal, GDP growth is estimated at 6 percent from 6.7 percent projected earlier.

Ranking

India slips to 40th position in Intellectual Property Index

• India slips to 40th position in International Intellectual Property (IP) Index. This information has been given in the report of the Global Innovation Policy Centre of the American Chamber of Commerce.

• This index measures the intellectual property environment of 53 economies of the world. Last year, India was ranked 36th.

• The United States, Britain, Sweden, France and Germany are present on the first five positions.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd February 2020

International

Bangladesh’s PM Sheikh Hasina inaugurates “Ekushey Book Fair”

• Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the annual Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka on 1st February 2020.

• Ekushey Book Fair is a month-long biggest and longest book fair of Bangladesh organised every year by Bangla Academy from February 1 to 28.

• This event commemorates the martyrs, of the language movement, who laid down their lives on 21 February 1952 for establishing Bangla as the official language of the then East Pakistan.

Maldives rejoins Commonwealth

• The Maldives has once again joined the Commonwealth. The Maldives was officially inducted into the Commonwealth recently.

• Maldives separated from the Commonwealth about three years ago due to the issues of Human Rights.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Predicts India’s GDP Growth for FY20 at 4.6 pc and FY21 at 5.6 pc

• US-based rating agency Fitch Ratings Inc. has projected GDP growth of India for the next financial year 2020-21 at 5.6 percent.

• For the current fiscal 2019-20, GDP is projected at 4.6 percent.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India and Maldives sign four MoUs to establish Addu Tourism Zone

• India and Maldives signed 6 MoUs, which included 5 MoUs in the field of tourism and 1 MoU for setting up bottled water plant in Maldives.

• The MOUs were signed between the High Commissioner of India Sunjay Sudhir, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Addu City Council.

• Under the Tourism sector, USD 2.49 million MoUs were signed for establishing the Addu Tourism zone in five islands of Addu atoll.

Awards

Madhya Pradesh wins award for implementation of PMMVY

• Madhya Pradesh has bagged the first position for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY).

• The Madhya Pradesh Minister for Women and Child Development Imarti Devi and Principal Secretary Anupam Rajan received the award from the Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on 3rd February 2020 in New Delhi.

• Also, Indore district of Madhya Pradesh has bagged the first place for better performance of the scheme.

Appointment

Pramod Agrawal Takes Charge as Chairman of Coal India Ltd.

• A 1991 batch IAS officer Pramod Agrawal assumed charge as the new Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Ltd (CIL) on 1st February 2020.

• He succeeds A K Jha who on January 31, 2020.

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