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Important Current Affairs 3rd April 2020


GoI launches “AarogyaSetu” app to track Covid-19

• “AarogyaSetu” is the official COVID-19 tracking app that has been launched by the Government of India. The “AarogyaSetu” app has been developed by the National e-Governance Division of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in association with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

• The mobile application aims to inform the users of the app regarding the risks, best practices along with the relevant advisories related to the containment of COVID-19.

Banking and Economy

S&P Further Slashes India’s GDP Forecast to 3.5% from 5.2% for FY21

• S&P Global Ratings has further slashed India’s growth forecast to 3.5% from a previous downgrade to 5.2% for the fiscal year 2020-21.

• The latest downgrade is due to the slump in demand, because of the Covid-19 outbreak, which is leading to declining credit quality and rising defaults particularly among non financial corporates with weaker credit profiles.

• For the Financial year 2019-20, the rating agency has estimated growth forecast of 5%.

• However the S&P expects the Indian economy to bounce back to 5% in FY20, 3.5% in FY21 and 7.3% in FY22.

PhonePe launches coronavirus hospitalisation insurance policy ‘Corona Care’

• PhonePe has launched a unique coronavirus hospitalization insurance policy named “Corona Care.”

• PhonePe has partnered with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for this “Corona Care”.

• “Corona Care” plan is priced at Rs 156 with an insurance cover of Rs 50,000 for a person aged under 55 years.

Summits and Mou’s

UN Cop26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow Postponed until 2021

• The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP26), which was scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from 9 to 20 November 2020 under the presidency of the UK government, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

• The Cop26 Climate Change Summit has now be pushed back to 2021 and the new dates for the conference would be decided in due course.

• The announcement was made by the Cop26 president-designate and UK Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma.


Wimbledon Championship canceled due to Coronavirus pandemic

• The Wimbledon Tennis Championship 2020 has been cancelled due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The announcement regarding the cancellation of championship was made by the All England lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC). The tennis tournament was scheduled to begin from June 29, 2020 in the United Kingdom.

• It marks the first time that the Wimbledon tournament had been called off since World War II.

• Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the others being the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. Wimbledon is the only major still played on grass-court.


Gurbani maestro Nirmal Singh Khalsa passes away

• Nirmal Singh Khalsa, a noted singer of Sikh 'Gurbani' hymns, passed away on April 2, 2020 due to coronavirus. He was detected with the infection just a day before his death. He was 62.

• Nirmal Singh Khalsa was a former priest at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He was known to have the knowledge of the 31 'raags' in the Gurbani of the Guru Granth Sahib.

• He was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to the field of Gurbani music.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd April 2020


DGCA allows cargo operations using passenger category aircraft

• The Director General of Civil Aviation on April 1, 2020 granted special permission to conduct cargo operations using passenger category aircraft in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

• The decision was taken to meet the increasing demand for cargo operations for transportation of essential goods and medical equipment during the lockdown period.

IIT Kanpur to develop low-cost portable ventilator

• Amidst the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur is developing portable ventilators which will be significantly cheaper than the ones available in the market.

• The prototype of this ventilator will be ready very soon and just after assembling, it can be used as a life support system.

• The ventilator is a very important medical equipment for COVID-19 Patients, especially those who are old and the virus can prove fatal to them.

COVID Quarantine Alert System developed

• The Department of Telecommunication and C-DOT has developed and tested a COVID Quarantine Alert System in coordination with the Telecom service providers. 
• The application will automatically trigger an email or SMS if any identified coronavirus case moves away from their quarantine location. 
• The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has encouraged the state governments to use the COVID Quarantine Alert system to keep a track of those in home quarantine.

World Bank offers $1 billion for proposed India COVID-19 emergency

• The World Bank has offered $1 billion to the Indian government for a proposed India COVID-19 emergency response and health systems preparedness project.

• This four-year project aims to develop the preparedness of India’s health care systems in the time of the pandemic.

• The idea of the project will be to respond and mitigate the COVID-19 threat and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in India, as per the project document.

• The World Bank funding is from its COVID-19 fast-track facility where both the entities (World Bank and the government of India) will work on following the best international practice.

Banking and Economy

Nomura lowers India’s 2020 GDP growth forecast to -0.5%

• Nomura has predicted India’s GDP growth rate for the year 2020 at -0.5%. The earlier prediction was 4.5%.

• The announcement was made by Sonal Varma, MD and chief India economist at Nomura.

BhartPe & ICICI lombard tie up to launch COVID-19 insurance

• BharatPe inks partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited to introduce ‘COVID-19 Protection Insurance Cover’.

• This Insurance cover for shopkeepers, who are most affected financially due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Centre Extends Foreign Trade Policy for One Year till March 2021

• The government has extended the existing foreign trade policy (2015-20) for one year till March 2021.

• The foreign trade policy 2015-20 was earlier valid up to March 31, 2020.

• The extension has been given amid coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown to contain the virus spread.

RBI sets WMA for Central Government at Rs 1,20,000 crore for first half of FY21

•    The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for Central Government for the first half of the financial year 2020-21 (April 2020 to September 2020) at Rs. 1,20,000 crore.
•    The Reserve Bank may trigger fresh floatation of market loans when the Government of India utilizes 75% of the WMA limit.
•    Apart from this, for State Government’s WMA, RBI has increased the WMA limit by 30 percent from the existing limit for all States/UTs. It must be noted that every state government has a different WMA limit.  The revised limits will come into force with effect from April 1, 2020 and will be valid till September 30, 2020.

Science and Technology

NASA Announces Mission SunRISE to Study Causes of Giant Solar Particle Storms
•    US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected a new mission called the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) to study how the Sun generates and releases giant space weather storms, known as solar particle storms, into planetary space.
•    SunRise is an array of six CubeSats operating as one very large radio telescope.
•    NASA has sanctioned USD 62.6 million to design, build and launch SunRISE.It will be launched after July 1, 2023.


2021 World Athletics Championships Being Moved to 2022

• The World Athletics has informed that the 2021 world athletics championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States, is now being shifted to 2022 to accommodate the re-arranged Tokyo Olympics.

• The 2020 Tokyo Games has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and will now take place on July 23-August 8, 2021.

• The world athletics championships was earlier scheduled to take place in Eugene on August 6-15, 2021. It will now take place in August 2022.


World Autism Awareness Day is observed on 2 April

•    World Autism Awareness Day is observed on 2 April.
•    The day aims to recognize and celebrate the rights of persons with autism.
•    The day makes people understand, recognize, and accept people with autism.
•    This year the day is commemorated by the Department of Community Development, Abu Dhabi, the UAE.

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Important Current Affairs 27th March 2020


High-level committee approves Rs. 5,751 crore worth fund for 8 states

• A high-level committee, chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah has approved funds worth Rs 5,751 crore to eight states for calamity damage relief.

• The additional centre assistanmce has been approved under the National Disaster Response Fund.

• They will be given to eight states that were affected by drought, floods, landslides and cyclones in 2019.

• The states include Kerala, Bihar, Nagaland, Odisha, Maharashtr, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Karnataka.

India’s largest COVID-19 hospital to be set up in Odisha

• India’s largest COVID-19 hospital is all set to come up in Odisha, to treat patients tested positive for the novel Coronavirus exclusively.

• The 1,000 beds hospital will be completely functional in the next 15 days.

• With this, Odisha will be the first state in the country to set up such a large-scale hospital exclusively to treat Covid-19 patients.

• For this, a tripartite agreement has been signed between the state government of Odisha, medical colleges as well as corporates that will help put all the 1,000 beds required to treat COVID-19 infected patients..

Jana SFB rolls out UPI QR-based loan instalment payment facility

• Jana Small Finance Bank has rolled out a Unified Payments Interface (UPI) QR-based loan installment payment facility along with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) for its customers.

• Initially the UPI QR-based loan installment payment facility will be only available to over 40 lakh customers of the Jana Small Finance Bank.

CII sets up “CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund”

• The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has set up a CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund (CRR) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to tackle Covid-19.

• The CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund (CRR) will assist small enterprises or MSME in rehabilitation. The setting up of Relief Fund is expected to curtail the impact of Coronavirus on the MSME sector.

DST sets up COVID-19 task force for mapping of technologies

• Department of Science and Technology (DST) has set up a COVID-19 Task Force for mapping of technologies from Research and Development labs, academic institutions, start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The Department of Science & Technology plays a pivotal role in the promotion of science & technology in the country.

• It aims to fund nearly market-ready solutions in the area of diagnostics, testing, health care delivery solutions, equipment supplies.

Banking and Economy

India’s GDP growth slashed to 2.5 percent in 2020

• Moody's Investors Service on March 27, 2020 reduced India’s GDP growth in 2020 to 2.5 percent from the earlier estimate of 5.3 percent.

• Moody’s said that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause unprecedented shock to the global economy including the Indian economy.

• It said in its Global Macro Outlook 2020-21 that India will see a sharp fall in incomes at an estimated 2.5 percent growth rate.

RBI’s 7th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2019-20

• In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to advance the Bi-monthly Monetary Policy meet which was scheduled to be held on 31st March 2020 and the announcement was meant to be made on 3rd April.

• The meeting was advanced to 24th, 26th and 27th March 2020. During the seventh Bi-monthly Monetary Policy meet, the MPC analysed the current & evolving macroeconomic and financial conditions and has decided to take a accommodative stance and hence reduced the policy repo rate to revive growth as well as to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.


World Theatre Day

• The World Theatre Day is celebrated all over the world on the 27th of March since 1962 to promote the art form “theatre” accross the world.

• The day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI).

• Every year the Executive Council of ITI choses an outstanding theatre personality to write the message for World Theatre Day.

• The author of the Message of World Theatre Day 2020 is: Shahid NADEEM (Playwright), Pakistan.

Books and Authors

Senior Journalist Chander Suta Dogra Pens Book ‘Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back’

• Chander Suta Dogra, a senior Indian journalist has come up with her meticulously-researched new book titled Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back.

• The book is a story of India’s soldiers who went missing during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.

• They are called “the missing 54” Indian soldiers, who have been forgotten in the fog of past wars with Pakistan.

• With the help of the book, the author tries to answer the key question: what happened to these men?

• Chander Suta Dogra is a journalist and author and has worked for various publications, including Outlook, Indian Express, Hindu and Hindustan Times.

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Important Current Affairs 19th March 2020


Ranjan Gogoi takes oath as Member of Rajya Sabha

• Ranjan Gogoi has served as the 46th Chief Justice of India. During his 13-month long tenure as the Chief Justice of India, various landmark decisions were delivered by the Supreme Court including the Ayodhya case, on the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the entry of women into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple and the Rafale jet deal along with Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC).


$100 Billion coronavirus relief package signed by Donald Trump

• To ensure sick leave to Americans workers who fall ill from the new coronavirus, President of the United States, Donald Trump has signed a $100-billion emergency aid package.

• The $100 Billion coronavirus relief package aims to strengthen the protective measures against the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

Banking and Economy

ADB announces USD 6.5 bn package for developing countries

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on March 18, 2020, announced a USD 6.5 billion package for its developing member countries to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic.

• A preliminary package has been announced for immediate assistance to developing member countries because of the Coronavirus pandemics. The Asian Development Bank is headquartered in Manila.

S&P Slashes India’s GDP growth at 5.2% for 2020

• Global credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has lowered India’s  GDP forecasts for the calendar year 2020 to 5.2 percent from the earlier 5.7 percent, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak..

• S&P said that the timing of a recovery depends on progress in containing Coronavirus spread.

Appointments and Resignations

Arundhati Bhattacharya appointed Salesforce India CEO

• Former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya will be the CEO of Salesforce India. Arundhati Bhattacharya will take over as Chairman and CEO of Salesforce India in April 2020.

• Salesforce India is among the top companies of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software worldwide. Arundhati Bhattacharya is also currently working as an independent director at Wipro.

Noel Quinn Appointed as the permanent chief executive of HSBC

• HSBC Holdings Plc has appointed Noel Quinn as the permanent CEO of the bank on 17 March 2020.

• Quinn had been serving as interim CEO since August 2019, after the unexpected resignation of John Flint from the post.

• Mr Quinn had been working with the bank for over 30 years, after joining the lender in 1987.

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Important Current Affairs 10th March 2020


‘COVA Punjab’ mobile app launched by Punjab Govt.:

• Chief Secretary of Punjab, Karan Avtar Singh has launched a mobile application, COVA Punjab. COVA stands for Corona Virus Alert.

• This app has been developed by the Department of Government Reforms and Public Grievances in consultation with the Health and Family Welfare Department to spread awareness by sharing various travel and preventive care advisories.

• The app would inform people to check out for symptoms as provided by the government from time to time and follow the advisory given thereafter.

Government Reconstitutes National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR):

• The government has reconstituted the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR).

• The Union Home Minister Amit Shah is the chairperson of this NPDRR, which is a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral decision making body on disaster management.


Ashraf Ghani Takes Oath as President of Afghanistan for Second Term:

• Afghanistan’s incumbent President Ashraf Ghani took oath of the post for a second term on 9 March 2020.

• He was elected for the first term on 21 September 2014.

• Capital of Afghanistan- Kabul, Currency- Afghan afghani


V Praveen Rao wins MS Swaminathan Award:

• Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor V Praveen Rao has won the 7th Dr MS Swaminathan Award for the period 2017-2019.

• The Selection Committee has decided to select Praveen Rao for the award recognising his contributions in the fields of agricultural research, teaching, extension and administration.

• The award will be conferred on him in June 2020. Praveen Rao handled 13 research & 6 consultancy projects on micro-irrigation in India, Israel and South Africa.


NASA named Mars 2020 rover as “Perseverance”:

• NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced the name of the 5th Mars (red planet) rover as Perseverance. Previously the rover was known by its codename as Mars 2020.

• The name was suggested by Alexander Mather, 7th standard student and was announced by Nasa’s director of science, Thomas Zurbuchen at an event in Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.


Gujarat ranks 1st in domestic solar rooftop installations:

• Gujarat ranks first in the list for domestic solar rooftop installations with 64% of domestic solar installations. Nearly 50,915 systems being fixed on domestic rooftops in the State as on March 2, 2020.

• The State government of Gujarat has adopted a solar rooftop scheme “Surya Gujarat” to cover about eight lakh domestic electricity consumers under the scheme by 2022.

• Maharashtra ranks second in the list with 5,513 installations as on the same date. About 79,950 systems have been installed throughout the country has a capacity of 322 MW.

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Important Current Affairs 6th March 2020


4th Global Ayurveda Festival 2020 to be held in Kochi:

• The Fourth Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF) is scheduled to be held at Kochi, Kerala from 16 to 20 May, 2020.

• The theme for the five-day event is “Ayurveda Medical Tourism: Actualizing India’s credibility”.

• GAF 2020 will be the largest Ayurvedic event ever to be held anywhere across the world

Govt announces one-time amnesty scheme for non-compliant LLPs:

• The Ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has launched a one-time amnesty scheme for Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) companies that have failed to file the requisite statutory documents such as annual statements, change in directors, etc.

• The move is aimed at promoting ease of doing business as well as to cleanse the system.It provides these companies a one-time relaxation in payment of additional fees and immunity from prosecution.

• The scheme, LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020, allows for a one-time condonation of delay in filing statutorily required documents with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

International Conference on Nano Science and Technology 2020 Begins in Kolkata:

• The International Conference on Nano Science and Technology 2020 (ICONSAT-2020) is being held at S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata from March 5-7, 2020

• ICONSAT is the series of biennial international conference held in India under the aegis of Nano Mission, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

• It provides a global platform of interactions among eminent scientists to bring to fore the recent advances in the area of nanoscience and technology.

Government nod to automated facial recognition system for identification of bodies, missing children, criminals:

• The Home Ministry has given approval to the automated facial recognition system (AFRS) for identification of unrecognised bodies, missing children and criminals by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

• AFRS will use police records and will be accessible only to law enforcement agencies.

• This will facilitate better identification of criminals, unidentified dead bodies and missing or found children and persons and will not violate privacy.


Ukraine's Parliament approves Denis Shmygal as new PM:

• Ukraine's parliament approved the name of Denis Shmygal for the post of Prime Minister. Earlier, the former Prime Minister had to resign due to criticism of the President.

• Most of the Members of Parliament voted in favour of Denis Shmygal, nominated by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Earlier, Shmygal was the Deputy Prime Minister of the country.

University of British Columbia discovered 17 new planets:

• Michelle Kunimoto, a student of the University of British Columbia, has discovered 17 new planets. These planets have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration.

• Nearly two million stars have been studied by NASA's four-year Kepler mission using the transit method for this discovery.

• These new planets have been discovered in the Gold-lock zone where the presence of water on the rocky surface of the planets is also being estimated. Among the discovered planets, KIC-7340288b is an extremely rare planet.

Janez Jansa Elected Prime Minister of Slovenia for Third Term:

• Slovenia’s parliament has elected Janez Jansa as the prime minister-designate of the country on 3 March 2020

• Mr Jansa takes over from centre-left premier Marjan Sarec, who resigned in January 2020.

• The  61-year-old leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), had also served as the prime minister of Slovenia from 2004 to 2008 and again from 2012 to 2013.


RBI imposes moratorium on Yes Bank; limits withdrawals to Rs 50,000:

• The troubled private lender YES Bank has been imposed with the moratorium by the Reserve Bank of India, RBI. The central bank has capped the withdrawal limit at Rs 50,000 per account.

• Moreover, the YES Bank’s Board has been suspended for a period of 30 days for not being able to raise funds for the bank to manage the mounting NPAs and loan losses.


NASA names Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’ for 2020 Mission:

• NASA recently named its Mars rover as ‘Perseverance’ for the scheduled Mars mission for July 2020.

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) organised a nationwide competition to decide the name of the Mars rover. Seventh-grade student Alexander Mather emerged as a winner in the competition.


National Dentist’s Day: 6 March:

• National Dentist’s Day is observed annually every March 6.

• The day is also a day to remind everyone about the importance of regular dental checkups, and to encourage proper dental care.

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Important Current Affairs 5th March 2020


Google to launch its second cloud infrastructure in Delhi by 2021:

• Google has planned to open its second cloud region in India in Delhi.

• The Delhi cloud region is expected to be launched in 2021, and will have three zones to protect against service disruptions.

• It will be the Google’s second cloud region in India. The first region was launched in Mumbai in 2017.


Luxembourg becomes first country to make all public transport free:

• In an attempt to reduce traffic jams, Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to make all public transport free from February 29. This is the first time that the decision to offer free public transport has covered an entire country, the transport ministry stated.

• The decision has been observed in Luxembourg so as to bring down the congestion on streets. As a result of this decision, every person will be able to save around 100 euros ($110) per year.

US-Israel Joint military Exercise Juniper Cobra 20 Cancels over coronavirus:

• The Israel Defense Forces and United States military launched the 10-day long joint missile defense drill Exercise Juniper Cobra 20 (JC20) on March 3, 2020.

• However, the remaining part of Juniper Cobra 20 has been scraped over the coronavirus outbreak. The exercise was scheduled to be held between March 3-13, 2020.

• Exercise Juniper Cobra 20 (JC20) is the tenth edition of the biennial exercise series conducted in Israel every two years since 2001 between the two country.


EPFO lowers interest rate on PF deposits to 8.5 percent for 2019-20:

• Retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organization, (EPFO) has lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.5 percent for the current financial year 2019-20.Earlier it was 8.65 percent.

• This announcement was made by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi on 5 March 2020

India has 3rd highest trade-related illicit financial flow globally:

• India has the third highest trade-related illicit financial flow among 135 countries with 5 billion dollars (about Rs 6.08 lakh crore) or 3.05 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) escaping the government’s tax net, according to US-based think tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

• The GFI classifies as illicit flow funds that are illegally earned, transferred or utilised across an international border. The primary sources of illicit flows include grand corruption, commercial tax evasion and transnational crime.

Allahabad Bank to be merged with Indian Bank:

• The 10 state-run banks of the country will be converted into 4 banks from April 1 onwards. Allahabad Bank will be merged with the Indian Bank. The business of the new institute will be Rs 10 lakh crore in the coming two to three years after the merger of the two banks.

• As of December 31, 2019, Indian Bank has a turnover of Rs 4.5 lakh crore and has 2,887 branches across the country. Apart from this, the Allahabad Bank is worth Rs 3.94 lakh crore and has 3,175 branches.

• Chennai's Indian Bank and Kolkata's Allahabad Bank will emerge as the 7th largest bank in the banking sector of the country.


PM Modi will be treated with highest honour during Bangladesh visit:

• Foreign Minister of Bangladesh A.K. Abdul Momen has stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be treated with the highest honour during his forthcoming visit to Bangladesh to attend the Mujib Centenary Celebrations.

• The Bangladesh govt has invited Prime Minister Modi as the premier of India, which was its closest ally during the liberation war.


Former UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar passes away:

• Peruvian two-term UN secretary-general, Javier Perez de Cuellar died on March 04, 2020 at the age of 100. He played a key role in a historic ceasefire between Iran and Iraq in 1988.

• He took over the role of UN secretary-general in January 1982 and had served the post for term terms till 1991. He had also served as Peru’s Ambassador to France.


Amrish Rau appointed as CEO of Pine Labs:

• Amrish Rau has been appointed as CEO of Pine Labs, a leading merchant commerce platform company.

• Rau founded the start up Citrus Pay, which was sold off to Pay U, replaces Vicky Bindra who after a two-year stint as CEO is moving back to San Francisco, the company stated in a statement.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd March 2020


Punjab bans online food orders without hygiene rating:

• The Punjab government has decided to ban online food supply from all hotels, dhabas, and eateries etc which do not follow the hygiene rating rules under the Food Standards and Safety Act, Punjab.

• The government has also issued instructions to online food supply companies (OFSAs) not to take food from shops that do not follow government rules.

• The order states that Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Panda any many other food business operators in Punjab deliver food online. This is a new way of delivering food through an IT-based platform, which provides food at home.

Yog mahotsav begins in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand:

• Antar rashtriya yog mahotsav has been inaugurated in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

• Yoga teachers and practitioners from eleven countries are taking part in this week-long event.

• The ‘yog mahotsav’ is held in Rishikesh every year from March 1 to March 7.

3-day Krishi Vigyan Mela organised in New Delhi:

• 3-day Krishi Vigyan Mela has been organised in New Delhi from March 1-3, 2020 by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

• Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the event and called for retention of talent in agriculture.

• The event will showcase the latest crop seed varieties, technology and products developed by both government and private companies.

Government Launches “Fuel Humsafar” Mobile App For Doorstep Diesel Delivery:

• Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has launched a mobile application named ‘Fuel Humsafar’ for delivery of diesel at doorsteps of Housing societies, hotels and hospitals in the national capital region.

• The app will be used for the fuel delivery services to housing societies, hotels, hospitals, malls, construction sites, industries, banquets and other bulk buyers of diesel in various NCR cities, including Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Hapur, Kundli, Manesar, and Bahadurgarh.

• Humsafar has 12 bowser tankers in varying capacity from 4 kilolitres to 6 kilolitres and an experienced team of 35 people.


Muhyiddin Yassin sworn in as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister:

• In Malaysia, newly appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yasin took the oath of office. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.

• Muhyiddin Yasin heads a coalition dominated by the country’s ethnic Malay Muslim majority.

• Malaysia has plunged into turmoil as Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance collapsed after a bid to force out leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.


Fitch cuts India’s FY20 GDP forecast to 4.9% and for FY21 to 5.4%:

• Fitch Solutions has cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth rate for FY20 to 4.9% from previous 5.1%.

• For FY21, Fitch Solution has predicted India’s GDP growth at 5.4%.


Captain Amarinder Singh honoured with ‘ideal’ CM award:

• The Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad (BCS) conferred ‘Adarsh Mukhya Mantri Puraskar’ (Ideal Chief Minister Award) upon Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his “path breaking initiatives to ensure good governance and holistic development in the state”.

• The award was presented to Capt Amarinder Singh by former President Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi at Vigyan Bhawan during the valedictory function of 10th edition of four-day national conclave of BCS.


DRDO launches new explosive detection device RaIDer-X:

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently launched RaIDer-X, the explosive detection device.

• The device was launched in collaboration with the IISC Bangalore. The RaIDer-X can detect explosives in their pure form as well as in the form of contaminated objects.


Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passes away

• Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passed away. He was a part of the 1968 Olympics bronze-winning team. He was born at Sansarpur village of Jalandhar district in Punjab. He made his India debut in 1963 in Lyon, France.

• He was also a member of the Indian team that won the Asian Games gold in 1966 at Bangkok and the Olympic Bronze in 1968 in Mexico. He also served as an Indian national team selector.


Rajeev Suri to step down as Nokia CEO:

• Nokia President and CEO Rajiv Suri will step down from his current position on August 31, 2020. However, Suri will continue to serve as an advisor to the Nokia board until 1 January 2021. Pekka Lundmark will take over his position in the place of Suri.


Indian chess Grand Master Humpy ranked World No.2:

• Women’s World Rapid Chess Champion and Indian chess Grand Master (GM) Koneru Humpy jumped to second spot leaving behind World Women’s Chess Champion Ju Wenjun in global chess body FIDE’s March month’s overall ranking. Humpy won the prestigious Cairns Cup last month.

• Meanwhile Indian female chess players are keeping the nation’s flag flying high with GM Harika Dronavalli maintaining her ninth rank and in the girl’s section R. Vaishali moving up to ninth place from 10th rank in February.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd February 2020


Department of Telecommunications launches '5G Hackathon'

• The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched the ‘5G Hackathon’ in association with the government of India, academia and industry stakeholders.

• The aim of 5G Hackathon is shortlisting India’s focused cutting edge ideas that can be converted into workable 5G products and solutions.

• The 5G technology provides quantum leap over 4G in terms of speed, peak data rate, latency, spectrum efficiency, and connection density. The Hackathon will convert innovating ideas into products and solutions in different verticals and develop India specific use cases around 5G.

• The 5G Hackathon is open to developers, students, start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions and registered companies in India and Non-resident Indians (NRIs). All Stakeholders can participate as individuals or as a team to present use cases for the 5G network in the Indian context.

Swachh Bharat Mission II phase to cost Rs 52,000 crore, gets cabinet nod

• The Centre has approved the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), which will be implemented on a mission mode between 2020-21 and 2024-25.

• An estimated budget of Rs 52,497 crore has been allocated for the project, to be shared between the centre and the state.

• The Phase II will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and solid and liquid waste management (SLWM).

• Fund sharing pattern between the Centre and States will be respectively as given below:

o 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and UT of J&K

o 60:40 for other States

o 100:0 for other Union Territories

Union Cabinet Approves Constitution of 22nd Law Commission of India

• The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years, from its date of official constitution.

• Role and Responsibility of the Law Commission:Undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.

Banking and Economy

RBI Approves Appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as MD and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as Managing Director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.

• Sunil Gurbaxani will be appointed for a period of three years from the date of taking charge. Currently Gurbaxani is working with Axis Bank.

Summits and Mou’s

HDFC Bank, Mastercard & SAP concur associate for T&E Tech

• HDFC Bank, Mastercard and SAP Concur have joined hands for spending management services for the corporate sector.

• HDFC Bank will offer a corporate credit card for business travellers, providing a one-stop solution for payment and expense management during business trips.

• The card is supported by Mastercard. SAP Concur is a travel, expense, and invoice management solutions provider.

• The corporate credit card will enable the seamless integration of all business-related to spend into SAP Concur offerings, enhancing the employee experience, increasing visibility, saving money, and improving corporate efficiency.


Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw wins EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2019

• Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon, has been named as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 on 19 February 2020, at the 21st edition of the EY Entrepreneur of The Year India awards.

• Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award.

• She will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo from 4–6 June 2020.


Ross Taylor becomes first player to play 100 matches in all three formats

• Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor today became the first player in the world to play 100 matches in all three formats of cricket.

• The landmark achievement came as he took the field against India in the opening Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington. The ongoing match is also his 100th Test.

Appointments and Resignations

Former IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe, Amarjeet Sinha appointed advisors to PM

• Retired IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe and Amarjeet Sinha have been appointed as Advisors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointments in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the rank and scale of Secretary


India ranks 35th in 2019 WEFFI list

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019. India jumped five ranks and secured 35th rank in the list.

Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019:

♦ WEFFI ranked countries that are based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education.

♦ It analyzed the education system from the perspective of skill-based education in areas like problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship, and digital and technical skills.

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Important Current Affairs 20th February 2020


 “Bezos Earth Fund” : to combat climate change launched by Jeff Bezos:

• Through this fund, Jeff Bezos has committed to contribute $10 billion to help preserve and protect the natural world against the climate change.

• The Bezos Earth Fund will fund the scientists, activists, NGOs to save Earth to tackle the issue of climate change.

• Key points:

CEO of Amazon: Jeff Bezos.

Amazon was established on 5th July 1994.

 Headquarters: Washington, USA.

Nepal’s  70th National Democracy Day:

• Nepal celebrates the National Democracy Day every year on Falgun 7 to commemorate the attainment of democracy after the abolition of the 104-year long autocratic Rana Regime.

• In 2007 Bikram Sambat, on this day, democracy was established in the Himalayan nation ending over a century old autocratic Rana regime.

• Prime minister of Nepal: KP Sharma Oli.

• President of Nepal: Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

• Capital of Nepal: Kathmandu; Currency of Nepal: Nepalese rupee.


Delhi's IGI Airport becomes single-use plastic free airport:

• The Delhi International Airport Ltd has declared “Indira Gandhi International Airport” of Delhi as India’s first single-use plastic-free airport.

• The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development has certified Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) as single-use plastic-free airport.

Kala Kumbh exhibition,  New Delhi : Organized by Ministry of Textiles:

• The Ministry of Textiles organized “Kala Kumbh” exhibition in New Delhi. It is an exhibition to promote Geographical Indication (GI) craft and heritage of India.

• The exhibitions are planned in various major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The exhibitions are sponsored by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

• The GI tag is used on handicrafts which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). As of August 2019, 178 GI handicraft products were registered from all over India.

• Union Minister of Textiles: Smriti Zubin Irani.

Cabinet approves formation of non-statutory body for a term of three years:

• The government constitutes a 22nd law commission as per the requirement.

• It was originally formed in 1955.The commission is reorganized for three years.

• The term of the 21st Law Commission ended on August 31, 2018.The Law Commission is a non-statutory body.

• Responsibilities of 22nd Law Commission

• It will identify laws that are no longer needed or are irrelevant and can be repealed immediately.

• The 22nd Law Commission will examine the existing laws and suggest ways for reforms. It will also suggest the necessary laws to implement the Directive Principles mentioned in the Preamble of the Constitution.

• It will take all necessary measures to use law and legal processes in the service of poor people.

• The law commission will revise the laws of general importance to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities, and inequities.

Central Consumer Protection Authority to be set up by Govt by first week of April:

• Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has stated the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set up by the first week of April this year.

• The CCPA to be set up under Consumer Protection Act 2019, will address issues related to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and impose penalties for selling spurious and adulterated products.

Phase two of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen approved:

• Union Cabinet has approved the 2nd Phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen till 2024-25.

• The program will work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet.

• The 2nd phase of the mission will be implemented in a mission mode with a total estimated budgeted financial implication of 52 thousand 497 crore rupees.

• The 2nd phase of the mission will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM).

 Symposium on Emerging Opportunities for Indian Textiles and Crafts:

• Symposium on Emerging Opportunities for Indian Textiles and Crafts was held in New Delhi.

• The symposium was chaired by Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani.

• Senior officers of the Ministries of Commerce & Industry and Textiles, representatives of Export Promotion Council (EPCs), buying offices and buying agents participated in the symposium.

• They participated in the symposium to discuss the business opportunities emerging in view of the present scenario of ‘CORONA VIRUS” in China.

• The symposium was organized by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts under the aegis of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

BS-VI Fuel: India To Switch To World’s Cleanest Petrol, Diesel From April 1:

• India will switch to the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to Euro-VI emission compliant fuels from Euro-IV grades now.

• This has been achieved in just three years and not seen in any of the large economies around the globe.

• India will join the select league of nations using petrol and diesel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it looks to cut vehicular emissions that are said to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in major cities.

• State-owned oil refineries spent about 35,000 crore rupees to upgrade plants that could produce ultra-low sulphurBS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG..


SEZs continue to take lead in expanding exports:

• The Special Economic Zones, SEZ continue to take the lead in expanding the exports for the country.

• Ev

en in the midst of a volatile global economy, SEZs in India have shown resilience and have achieved 100 billion dollar worth of exports so far.

• Sectors that saw healthy growth in this financial year include gems and jewelry, trading and Logistics, leather and footwear, non-conventional energy, textiles and garments.

• Petrochemicals constitute a major segment of SEZ exports, however, growth was muted in this segment this year which may be attributed to the softening of global crude prices.

• There are 241 SEZs operational in the country.

MSME loan: Gujarat govt partners with SBI to facilitate MSME:

• The Gujarat government signed an MoU with State Bank of India (SBI) to facilitate approval of loans to entrepreneurs in the MSME sector with ease and within a short time-frame.

• As per the MoU, the top public sector lender will provide working capital to entrepreneurs seeking to start new micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) within a short time -frame after providing theoretical approval within 15 days of making an application.

• The MoU was signed between principal secretary M K Das and SBI Ahmedabad circle general manager Ramesh Kumar Agarwal.

• The SBI decided to help MSME entrepreneurs in Gujarat looking at their high recovery rate.

• About State Bank of India(SBI):

• Chairperson– Rajnish Kumar.

• Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.

• Former name– Imperial Bank of India.

• Tagline– The Banker to Every Indian; With you all the way; Purely Banking Nothing Else; The Nation Banks on Us.


India will host AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022:

• India has been selected to host the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

• This was announced by the Women’s Committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)  in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19 February 2020.


Nritya Gopal Das elected as the president of Ram Mandir Trust:

• Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was elected as the president of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust. 

• Champat Rai would be the general secretary of the trust.

• The first meeting of the Ram Mandir Trust to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was held in New Delhi.

• The meeting also decided that Nripendra Mishra, former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will head a committee to make decisions regarding the actual construction of the temple.


India Ranks 77th on Sustainability Index and 131st in Child Flourishing Index rankings: UN report:

• India has been ranked at 77th position in the Sustainability Index 2020 and 131st on the Flourishing Index 2020, according to a UN-backed report.

• The report released on 19 February 2020 commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The Lancet medical journal.

• The Sustainability Index 2020 takes into account per capita carbon emissions and ability of children in a nation to live healthy lives. It ranks countries on excess carbon emissions compared with the 2030 target.


World Day of Social Justice observed:

• The World Social Justice Day is celebrated on February 20 every year. It aims to face the problem of poverty, unemployment, and abandonment. This year’s theme is - Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice.

• This day highlights that gender equality, social security and the rights of migrants are essential for social justice.

• United Nation believes that social justice can be ensured only when people do not face problems due to gender, age, race, religion or culture.

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