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Important Current Affairs 3rd August 2020

National

Government approves Khadi Agarbatti AtmaNirbhar Mission

• The Union Government approved Khadi Agarbatti AtmaNirbhar Mission on August 2, 2020 to generate employment and make India self-reliant in agarbatti production.

• Union Minister for MSME, Nitin Gadkari approved the unique employment generation scheme, which was proposed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to help India become Aatmanirbhar in Agarbatti production.

• The “Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission” will help create employment for a large number of unemployed and migrant workers in different parts of the country.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurated upstream carriageway of Mahatma Gandhi bridge in Bihar

• As a part of the renovation of the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge/Setu over river Ganga in Bihar, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) Nitin Jairam Gadkari virtually inaugurated its upstream carriageway. This means the two lanes are completed of the 4-lane bridge which is being renovated at a cost of Rs1,742 crore.

• During the inauguration ceremony, a new 5 km long, 4-lane Bridge over river Ganga in parallel to MG Setu, was also announced by Nitin Gadkari to facilitate movement of ships under it. With an outlay of Rs 2,926.42 crore, it will get completed by 2024.

International

UAE becomes first gulf nation to produce nuclear energy

• The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first country in the Arab world to produce nuclear energy. This was confirmed after it was announced on August 1, 2020 that Unit 1 of the Abu Dhabi-based Barakah nuclear power plant has now become operational. Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear power plant is now using nuclear fuel to produce energy as part of the ‘criticality’ phase. which was initiated on July 31st. The nuclear reactor will be connected to the power grid will provide electricity during the upcoming testing phase.

• The plant is powered by South Korean technology and is situated  in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi. It will produce 5.6 gigawatts of electricity and meet up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs.

Obituary

UP Cabinet Minister Kamal Rani Varun passes away

• Cabinet Minister in the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Kamal Rani Varun passed away due to C-19. She was the minister of technical education in the state government.

• Kamal Rani Varun had also served as an MP twice. Once in the Eleventh LokSabha and then Twelfth Lok Sabha. She was MLA from Ghatampur in Kanpur.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2020

• Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton has won the Formula One British Grand Prix 2020 held at the Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom.

•  Max Verstappen (Red bull) ended up second in this F1 race while Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) came third. This is the third win for Hamilton in this season of F1 races.

Days

World Sanskrit Day 2020

• World Sanskrit Day, (also known as Sanskrit Diwas), is celebrated every year on Shraavanapoornima, that is the Poornima day of the Shraavana month in the Hindu calendar, which is also marked as Raksha Bandhan.

• In 2020, this day is being observed on 3 August 2020.The day commemorates the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit and aims to promote its revival and maintenance.

• The Government of India decided to celebrate World Sanskrit Day in 1969, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan that falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana.

Books and Authors

‘Greenlights’ the debut book authored by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey

• ‘Greenlights’ the debut book authored by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey published by Crown Publishing Group is set to be released on 20th October 2020. The book was described as “not a traditional memoir but a playbook” based on the adventures and life experiences of McConaughey.

• McConaughey describes ‘Greenlights’ as an album, a record and the story of his life and he shared his anecdotes, poems and life lessons in this book.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd August 2020

National

‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme extended to 4 more states, taking total states to 24

• Four additional states, namely Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand have been  to the One Nation One Ration Card scheme have been integrated with the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ plan of the Central government.

• With this, now a total of 24 States/UTs are connected under One Nation One Ration Card effective from 01 August 2020.These 24 States/UTs includes: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

International

PM Modi inaugurates Supreme Court building of Mauritius

• Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravin Kumar Jugnauth on Thursday virtually inaugurated the new Supreme Court building at Port Louis.

• The building has been constructed with Indian assistance as India’s sign of cooperation with countries in the Indian Ocean Region.

• It has been completed with the grant assistance of S28.12 million from India.

Banking and Economy

SIDBI & Trans Union CIBIL launches portal “MSME Saksham”

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched one-stop knowledge portal named as “MSME Saksham” in association with Trans Union CIBIL.

• The platform has been launched for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). MSME Saksham is a comprehensive financial education and knowledge platform for MSMEs and will support them in managing their credit obligations.

Summits and Mou’s

R Power & JERA inks loan agreement for Bangladesh’s power plant

• Reliance Power and Japanese energy major JERA have signed an agreement with a group of banks for their new gas-fired thermal power generation project in Bangladesh.

• The signed agreement will provide full finance of about $642 million (approxRs 4,798 crore) for a new 745 MW natural gas combined-cycle power project in Meghnaghat in Bangladesh. This is one of the largest funding tie-ups for a project in Bangladesh’s power sector.

Obituary

Rajya Sabha MP & former SP leader Amar Singh passes away

• Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh passed away. He was undergoing treatment in Singapore since past few months.

• Amar Singh, who hailed from Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time from Uttar Pradesh in 1996 and got re-elected in 2003.

• Amar Singh was the general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and was later expelled from the party by chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on February 2, 2010.

Sports

Sport committee formed for National Sports Awards 2020

• The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports formed a selection committee for selecting awardees for various sports awards for the National Sports Awards 2020.

• The committee will be headed by Retired Justice of Supreme Court Justice Mukundakam Sharma along with Virendra Sehwag (Cricket), Sardar Singh (Hockey), Monalisa Baruah Mehta (Table Tennis), Deepa Malik (Para-athletics), Venkatesan Devarajan (Boxing) and Sports Commentator Manish Batavia and Sports Journalists Alok Sinha and Neeru Bhatia.

Ranking

Microsoft India most attractive employer brand

• According to Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR) 2020, Technology giant Microsoft India has emerged as the country’s most attractive employer brand, followed by Samsung India and Amazon India in the second and third place, respectively, says a survey.

• Microsoft India scored high on financial health, strong reputation and utilisation of the latest technologies.

• The REBR revealed that in 2020, work-life balance emerged as the top Employee Value Proposition (EVP) driver for the Indian workforce while choosing an employer as it was cited by 43% respondents, followed by attractive salary and employee benefits (41%) and job security (40%).

Apple dethrones Saudi Aramco to become world’s most valuable company

• Technology giant Apple Inc. has become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in the world on 31st July 2020, surpassing the state oil giant Saudi Aramco.

• The shares of Apple closed up 10.47% on 31 July, giving it a market valuation of $1.84 trillion.

• Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco, which had been the most valuable publicly listed company since its market debut in 2019, now trails at $1.76 trillion as of its last close.

Days

World Breastfeeding Week 2020

• The World Breastfeeding Week is marked every year in the first week of August, between 1 to 7 August to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants

• The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”

• The annual week is organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF since 1991.

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Important Current Affairs 31st July 2020

National

Govt establishes authority to protect and enforce consumer rights

• The government has set up the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), under Consumer Protection Act, 2019 with the objective to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

• The CCPA will begin its functioning in the premises of Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA).Smt. Nidhi Khare, the Additional Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs, has been appointed as the Chief Commissioner of CCPA.

• The CCPA has been set up under the section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which came into force on 20 July, 2020.

NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch AIM iCREST incubator program

• NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST, a first of its kind initiative, for advancing innovation to enable the incubation ecosystem, at scale in India. AIMiCREST is an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups.

• AIM has collaborated with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation, which will lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space.

• Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance.

Green-Ag project launched in Mizoram

• Green-Ag, a project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF), which aims to catalyze sustainable transformation of Indian agriculture sector without compromising the country’s food security and farmers’ income, has been launched in Mizoram.

• In Mizoram, the project will be implemented in Dampa Tiger Reserve in west Mizorams Mamit district and Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary in Lunglei district in the southern part of the state covering more than 30 villages.

• Mizoram is among five Indian states where the project will be implemented. The other four states are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

Banking and Economy

ADB approves USD 3 million grant to India

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 3 million (about Rs 22 crore) grant to India from its Asia Pacific C-19 Response Fund to further support the government’s emergency response to C-19.

• The grant will be used to procure thermal scanners and essential commodities to strengthen India’s C-19 response.

 Summits and Mou’s

PFC signs agreement with IIT-Kanpur in smart grid technology

• Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur for Training, Research, and Entrepreneurship Development in Smart Grid Technology.

• The agreement was on a virtual platform. The objective of the pact is to provide support to IIT-Kanpur in developing infrastructure for research and development on smart grid technology.

• Under the agreement, PFC will provide financial assistance of worth Rs 2, 38,97000 to IIT-Kanpur.

Science and Technology

NASA launches its Mars Mission; to reach Mars by February 2021

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has its Mars mission named Mars Perseverance Rover 2020 on July 30. The Mars Rover aims to reach the Red Planet by the year 2021.

• The rover was launched aboard Atlas V-541 in Florida. The Mars Perseverance rover is a robot that will deploy first-ever interplanetary helicopter.

Obituary

Veteran Bollywood actor Kumkum passes away

• Veteran Bollywood actor Kumkum passed away. Her real name was Zaibunnissa. She has featured in over 100 Hindi films like Mother India, Kohinoor, Ek Sapera Ek Lootera, Naya Daur, Ujala, Raja Aur Runk, Lalkar, Aankhen, Geet, among others.

Bollywood action director Parvez Khan passes away

• Bollywood action director, Parvez Khan passed away. He had been working in the film industry since 1986. Some of his well-known films include Andhadhun, Badlapur, Bullett Raja, Fukrey, Ra-One, Johnny Gaddaar etc.

Appointments and Resignations

Rating Agency ICRA appoints N. Sivaraman as MD and Group CEO

• The board of directors of Indian credit rating agency ICRA Ltd has appointed N Sivaraman as the Managing Director & CEO of the Company and CEO of ICRA Group for a period of three years with effect from August 10, 2020.

• He will replace Naresh Takkar, whose service was terminated in August 2019 and the post was lying vacant since last one year.

Days

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

• United Nations observes 30 July every year as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.The 2020 theme for the World Day against Trafficking: “Committed to the Cause – Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking”.

• In 2013, the General Assembly designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.

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Important Current Affairs 28th July 2020

National

IMD launches first weather app ‘Mausam’ for general public

• The Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched a Mobile app ‘Mausam’ to provide all current weather information and forecasts, among other warnings.This is the first app launched by the 145-year-old India Meteorological Department (IMD) that is meant for general public to communicate weather forecasts in a simple manner with no technical jargon.

• The mobile application, Mausam, has been designed and developed jointly by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderbad and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

• IMD already has another app, Meghdoot, meant only for farmers and those involved in agriculture.

India further bans 47 Chinese apps

• Indian Government has further banned 47 more Chinese apps in addition to earlier banned 59 apps. These 47 apps were like clones of the apps banned earlier by the government.

• The decision to ban the app was taken by Union Telecom Ministry. The list of all the banned Chinese apps will be released by government soon.

• The banned clone apps include TiktokLite, HeloLite, SHAREitLite, BIGO LIVE Lite and VFY Lite.

Delhi government launches portal “Rozgar Bazar”

• The Delhi state government has launched a portal named as “Rozgar Bazar”, to enable better coordination between job seekers and employers in the national capital. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020.

• The Chief Minister stated that the construction work has begun in the capital but workers are missing and the employees who lost their jobs are not able to find new ones.

• Hence, the Delhi government has decided to launch a job portal- jobs.delhi.gov.in- to provide a common platform for both job seekers and employers seeking to hire workers.

India to take up clinical trials of OXFORD Vaccine COVISHIELD

• University of Oxford and AstraZeneca have shown successful clinical trials on the C-19 vaccine, COVISHIELD.Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) also announced that it will conduct clinical trials of the C-19 vaccine, COVISHIELD.

• World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the first use of the vaccine is expected in early 2021.Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought permission from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduce phases II/III human clinical trials of the potential vaccine.

Obituary

Two-Time Oscar Winner Olivia de Havilland passes away

• Two-Time Oscar Winner, Olivia de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She was born on 1st July 1916, in Tokyo, Japan. The actress, who starred in blockbusters like Captain Blood (1935), The adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Snakepit, The Heiress.

• She unchained the Hollywoods contract system which was later called as “De Havilland Law”.

Tanzania’s former president Benjamin Mkapa passes away

• Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, has passed away, due to heart attack. He was 81.

• Mr Mkapa served as the third President of Tanzania and was in office for one decade from 1995 to 2005.

Appointments and Resignations

HichemMechichi becomes new Prime Minister of Tunisia

• Tunisia’s interior minister, Hichem Mechichi has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the country.

• He succeeded Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest.

Days

World Hepatitis Day

• The World Hepatitis Day is observed on 28 July every year to raise global awareness of the burden of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.

• The day 28 July was chosen for World Hepatitis Day because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered hepatitis B virus (HBV). He also developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus.

• Theme of World Hepatitis Day 2020:  ‘Find the Missing Millions’.

CRPF personnel celebrates its 82nd raising day of the paramilitary force on 27 July

• Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel celebrated its 82nd raising day of the paramilitary force on 27th July 2020.CRPF is at the forefront of keeping the nation safe.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, and others greeted the CRPF personnel.

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Important Current Affairs 26th July 2020

National

PM Modi addresses India Ideas Summit 2020 organised by USIBC

• The India Ideas Summit was organised on 21-22 July 2020 by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).The theme for 2020 India Idea Summit was ‘Building a Better Future’.

• 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the formation of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually delivered a keynote address at the India Ideas Summit on 22 July 2020.

• The Prime Minister has also invited American firms to invest in sectors like healthcare, energy, infrastructure, civil aviation, defence, finance and insurance, space, among others.

Adani Ports signs up for Science-Based Targets initiative

• Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has become the first Indian port to sign the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). After signing up for the SBTi, APSEZ has committed to set up science-based emissions reduction targets across their entire value chain.

•  These targets would be consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Banking and Economy

RBI releases the Financial Stability Report, July 2020

• The Reserve Bank of India has released the 21st Issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR). The FSR reflects the collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on risks to financial stability and the resilience of the financial system.

• The Report also discusses the issues relating to the development and regulation of the financial sector.

Awards

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson wins 2020 FWA Footballer of the Year award

• Jordan Henderson, the captain of Premier League club Liverpool has been named the 2019-20 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA).

• The Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is an annual award given since the 1947–48 season, to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football.

• The 30-year-old Henderson has played in 30 of Liverpool’s league matches so far this season and scored four goals.

Appointments and Resignations

Riva Ganguly Das appointed as Secretary East in MEA

• India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das is appointed by the Government as the Secretary East, in the Ministry of External Affairs. She will succeed Vijay Thakur Singh after her retirement on 30th September this year.

Ranking

India Ranks 3rd among top 10 countries gaining forest area in the world

• India has been ranked third among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas in the last decade (2010-2020) as per the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

• FRA is a comprehensive assessment brought out by FAO after every five years since 1990 to assess the state of forests, their conditions and management for all member countries.

Days

Kargil Vijay Diwas

• Kargil Vijay Diwas 2020: It is celebrated on 26 July to commemorate the victory of the Indian soldiers over the infiltrating Pakistani troops. This year is the 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas.

• The day is dedicated to our Kargil War’s Heroes and is named after the successful Operation Vijay. It is celebrated to in view of Operation Vijay and Kargil War that ended on July 26, 1999. After this, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistan.

• ‘Operation Vijay’, was the code name given to India’s offensive against Pakistan to flush out the Pakistani infiltrators from the Indian territory in Kargil.

National Parent’s Day 2020

• National Parent's Day is celebrated to promote the responsible parenting and to recognise positive parental role models. No doubt this day also observe the special bond of love and care between parents and their children.

• President Bill Clinton in 1994 signed a law and a resolution was adopted by the US Congress to establish fourth Sunday of every July as parent's Day. This day is similar to Mother's day and Father's day.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd July 2020

National

Indian Army gets ‘Bharat’ drones

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has provided drones named ‘Bharat’ to the Indian Army. The indigenously developed drones are sent in order to provide accurate surveillance along the Line of Actual Control in high altitude and mountainous terrains of Eastern Ladakh.

• It can also detect humans who are hidden in deep forests. Bharat drones are equipped with artificial intelligence which helps the drone to detect friends from foes and helps take any action accordingly.

• It has been made in a way that ensures its survival in extreme cold weather temperatures. Bharat Drones a series of drones that are one of the world’s lightest and agile drone

India successfully tests fires ATGM “Dhruvastra”

• The trials of Helicopter-launched Nag Missile anti-tank guided missile 'Dhruvastra' were conducted on July 15-16 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore, Odisha. The missile was earlier named as HELINA.

• ‘Dhruvastra’ is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is a helicopter version of ‘Nag Helina’.

International

South Korea launches its first military satellite ANASIS-II

• SpaceX has successfully launched South Korea’s first military satellite “ANASIS-II”. The satellite was deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) by a Falcon 9 rocket. It was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US of Florida.

• The satellite is expected to reach its orbit of 36,000 kilometres in 2 weeks. The Military of South Korea is likely to take over the satellite system in October 2020. The satellite has been launched with an aim to enhance Korea's ability to defend itself against the North Korea.

 Summits and Mou’s

CBIC signed MoU with CBDT to facilitate smoother bilateral exchange of data

• Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 21 July 2020 with immediate effect.

• According to the MoU, both the organisations will share data and information with each other on an automatic and regular basis. They will also share any information available in their respective databases which may be useful for the other organisation.

‘Ola Corporate’ ride service enters Australia, New Zealand, UK

• Ola has rolled out its enterprise offering ‘Ola Corporate’ to Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

• Ola Corporate offers enterprise customers reduced travel expenses, and centralised billing system that eliminates the need for paper-based reimbursement.

• The Bengaluru-based company operates in more than 250 cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Awards

Arnab Chaudhuri to receive Toonz Media Award

• The ‘Legend of Animation’ award instituted by the Toonz Media Group (TMG) as part of the Animation Masters Summit (AMS) 2020 – Digital Edition will be posthumously conferred to the legendary animation director Arnab Chaudhuri.

• The award is being presented for his invaluable contribution to the animation and entertainment industry of India.

Appointments and Resignations

PC Kandpal appointed as MD & CEO of SBI General Insurance

• SBI General Insurance – the non-life a subsidiary of State Bank of India has appointed Prakash Chandra Kandpal as its new managing director & chief executive officer.

• Kandpal has been with SBI General Insurance as the deputy CEO since June 2019.

Rahul Bajaj steps down as Chairman of Bajaj Finance

• Rahul Bajaj will step down as Non-Executive Chairman of Bajaj Finance on July 31, after being at the helm of the company for over three decades.

• He will be succeeded by Sanjiv Bajaj, currently Vice Chairman. Rahul Bajaj, however, will continue to serve the company as a non-executive non-independent director.

Sumit Deb appointed as CMD of NMDC Limited

• Sumit Deb has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). Deb is presently serving as Director (Personnel) in the NMDC.

Ranking

India Among 10 Worst Countries For Working People

• India has been ranked among the 10 worst countries for working people. It is rated with 5 on the scale. The ten worst countries for workers in 2020 are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

• The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has released its Global Rights Index for the year 2020, which ranks countries on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. This is the seventh edition of the annual report and ranks 144 countries.

• Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Uruguay are the best countries with rating of 1.

Days

National Broadcasting Day

• National Broadcasting day is celebrated on 23rd July since 1927.This day was recognized on when first ever radio broadcast went on air from Bombay Station under the Indian Broadcasting Company.

• It is observed to celebrate the first and last visit of the Mahatma Gandhi to the studio of All India Radio, Delhi in 1947.

• On June 8, 1936, the Indian State Broadcasting Service became All India Radio.At present, AIR is one of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world.

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Important Current Affairs 20th July 2020

National

ICAT launches an e-portal “ASPIRE”

• An e-Portal named “Automobile Solutions Portal for Industry, Research & Education (ASPIRE)” has been launched by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT). The portal can be accessed through https://aspire.icat.in.

• The portal has been launched to improve the technological capability of Indian automotive sector with the help of exchange of knowledge & expertise, to make them self-reliant and to enable the growth of automobile sector including overall socio-economic progress of the country.

• The portal is a part of strategy devised by the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Government of India, under the leadership of Secretary, Heavy Industries, to promote innovation, R&D and product development in India.

International

United Arab Emirates launches “Hope” mission to “Mars”

• A mission titled as “Hope” has been launched to “Mars” by the United Arab Emirates. With the help of mission, UAE aims to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes.

• An unmanned “Hope” Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 1:58 a.m. (UAE time) for a seven-month journey to the red planet and is expected to enter Mars orbit by February 2021, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates.

• While the objective of the Mars mission is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in the Red Planet’s atmosphere, the probe is a foundation for a much bigger goal -building a human settlement on Mars within the next 100 years.

Obituary

Eminent Mathematician Prof. C S Seshadri Passes away at 88

• One of the eminent Indian mathematician of the post-Independence era, Professor C S Seshadri, has passed away. He was 88.

• He was the founder and Director-Emeritus of the Chennai Mathematical Institute, an institute for the study of mathematics in India.

• Prof. Seshadri is known for his work in algebraic geometry. The Seshadri constant (in algebraic geometry) is named after him. He was a recipient of country’s third highest civilian honor, Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes’ – Great Britain) won the 2020 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix held on 19 July 2020.This is his straight second win of the season.

• Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 was the third race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship. Max Verstappen (Dutch-Red Bull) was second, followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes- Finland) at third spot.

Ranking

World Bank Retains India’s Classification as Lower-Middle Income Group Economy for 2020-21

• India has retained its position as lower-middle income group economy in the new World Bank Country Classifications by Income Level 2020-2021.India became a lower-middle-income nation from low-income in the fiscal year 2009.

• Every year, the World Bank classifies the world’s economies in four income groups, which includes low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countriesbased on the country’s GNI(Gross National Income) per capita in current USD.

• A country’s GNI per capita, changes with economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population, revisions to national accounts methods and data.Out of these total 218 economies, 83 are in the high-income group, 56 in the upper-middle group, 50 in the lower-middle income group and 29 in the low-income group..

• The GNI per capita range to classify countries in the four different groups are given below:

I. Low income – GNI per capita < $1,036 (means GNI per capita, of this group is $1,035 or less in 2019)

II. Lower-middle income – GNI per capita between $1,036 – $4,045

III. Upper-middle income – GNI per capita between $4,046 – $12,535

IV. High income – GNI per capita > $12,535

Days

World Chess Day

• The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, since 1966, to celebrate one of the most ancient and most popular games in history that promotes fairness, equality, mutual respect and understanding among nations.

• It was on this day that the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.The idea to celebrate the day as the international chess day was proposed by UNESCO.

• FIDE’s motto for 2020 celebrations is, “Teach someone how to play chess.”To celebrate the International Chess Day 2020 top chess personalities will participate in a high-level virtual event “Chess for Recovering Better”.

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Important Current Affairs 19th July 2020

National

All capitals cities of North-Eastern states to be connected with rail network by 2023

• The Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav has announced that Indian Railways has set the target to connect the capital cities of all the North-Eastern states of India to the rail network by 2023.

• In the present time, except Sikkim, all North-Eastern states have connectivity to the rail network. The capitals of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are already connected to the railway network.

• The capital connectivity work is in progress in Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya. Manipur will be connected in March 2022, Mizoram in March 2023, Nagaland in March 2023, Meghalaya in March 2022 and Sikkim in December 2022.

Mobile App of “PM Street Vendor Atma Nirbhar Nidhi” launched

• The mobile application of PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) has been launched. It aims to offer user friendly digital interface to the Lending Institutions (LIs) as well as to their field functionaries in order to source and process loan applications to the street vendors under the scheme.

• The launch of the mobile app is a step towards boosting the use of digital technology and will ensure maximum coverage of the scheme.

• The mobile app will promote paper-less digital accessing of micro-credit facilities by the Street Vendors and will give impetus to the implementation strategy of the PM SVA Nidhi scheme.

Uttarakhand govt to generate electricity from waste

• The Uttarakhand government has decided to convert waste generated in the state to electricity under an initiative titled ‘Waste to Energy’.

• According to Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB), this waste can generate up to 5 megawatts of electricity and curb pollution.

• The scheme also aims to solve the problem of unavailability of landfills to dispose of the solid waste across the hill state with has 10 out if 13 districts as hill areas.

India lifted record 273 million out of poverty in 10 years, says UN report

• About 273 million Indians were lifted out of multidimensional poverty, over a period of 10 years, between 2005-2006 and 2015-2016, according to a study conducted by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.

• The study titled ‘Charting pathways out of multidimensional poverty: Achieving the SDGs’ was based on a global multidimensional poverty index (MPI) which annually measures the complexities of poor people’s lives, individually and collectively.

• The report noted that, India has recorded the largest reduction in the number of people living in poverty, among the 75 countries studied in MPI.

Obituary

Ace para-badminton player and Arjuna Awardee Ramesh Tikaram passes away

• Ramesh Tikaram, a former star para-badminton player and an Arjuna awardee has passed away of C-19. He was 51.

• Ramesh was the first para-badminton player in India to be honoured with an Arjuna award in the year 2002.

Civil rights leader CordyTindell Vivian passes away

• A civil rights veteran, The Rev Cordy Tindell Vivian who worked alongside the Rev Martin Luther King Jr, passed away.

• He also led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and became its interim president in 2012.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI Approves reappointment of Shyam Srinivasan as MD & CEO of Federal Bank

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the reappointment of Shyam Srinivasan as the the managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of the Kerala-based private sector lender, Federal Bank, till September 22, 2021.

Ossouka Raponda appointed as 1st woman PM of Gabon

• Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda has been appointed as the first woman prime minister of Gabon. She is the 12th PM of the country and succeeds Julien Nkoghe Bekale.

• Prior to holding this position, Ossouka Raponda served as Defence Minister since February 2019.

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Important Current Affairs 18th July 2020

National

PM Modi to address ECOSOC on 75th anniversary of UN

• PM Narendra Modi will be virtually addressing the session of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 17th July on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

• This will be PM Modi's first speech at the UN after being elected  to the UN Security Council. Besides the Prime Minister, Norway PM Erna Solberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also be addressing the event.

• The theme of the High-Level Segment which is held annually by ECOSOC is “Multilateralism after C-19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary”.

DRDO developed fully indigenous P7 Heavy Drop System for IL 76 aircraft

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the P7 Heavy Drop System which is capable of para dropping military stores up to 7-ton weight class from IL 76 aircraft.

• The design of this fully indigenous system has been developed by Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), a pioneer Research & Development (R&D) lab of DRDO based in Agra, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

• It’s platform system manufactured by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) while parachutes manufactured by Ordnance Factory.

Indian Railways first cable-stayed bridge ‘AnjiKhad Bridge’ being set up in Jammu & Kashmir

• India’s first cable-stayed railway bridge ‘AnjiKhad bridge ‘is being constructed by the Indian Railways’ in Jammu & Kashmir to connect Katra and Reasi Section of Jammu–Baramulla line.

• The Rs. 458 crore railway bridge is being developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, a Government of India undertaking.

• The total length of the AnjiKhad Bridge is 473.25 metres, standing at a height of 331 metres above the Chenab river bed.

Banking and Economy

ICRA Predicts India’s GDP to Contract 9.5% in FY21

• Credit Rating agency ICRA has sharply revised the GDP forecast for India and expects the Indian economy to contract by 9.5% (-9.5%) in 2020-21. Earlier it had projected the GDP at -5% for FY21.

• The increasing C-19 infections, leading to localised C-19s in some states and cities, affecting the economic activities is the main reason for this sharp revision.

Awards

CPJ International Press Freedom Award 2020 announced

• The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has announced the recipients of the International Press Freedom Awards 2020 include Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh, Mohammad Mosaed from Iran, Dapo Olorunyomi from Nigeria and Svetlana Prokopyeva from Russia.

• All four journalists have faced arrests or criminal prosecution in reprisal for their reporting. In addition to them, lawyer Amal Clooney will be honoured with the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award 2020.

Sports

2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar

• The Federation International de Football Association announced that the 2022 World Cup is to be held in Qatar.

• The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first world cup to be held in Arab World and also the first in a muslim-majority country.

• Indian National Team ranks 108 in the latest FIFA rankings that were released in 2019.

Days

Nelson Mandela International Day

• The United Nations observes 18 July every year as Nelson Mandela International Day. The day acknowledges Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. Nelson Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.

• This day marks the contribution to peace through his active involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights, international democracy and reconciliation and in addressing racial issues.

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Important Current Affairs 14th July 2020

National

NITI Aayog presents India’s second Voluntary National Review at UN’s High-Level Political Forum

• NITI Aayog presented India’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, 2020.It is organised annually in July for eight days under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN.

• The India VNR 2020 report was titled Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local. The report was presented by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

• The HLPF is the foremost international platform for countries to present its follow-up and review of progress on achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

United States remains India’s top trading partner for 2nd consecutive year in 2019-20

• According to the data of the Union Ministry of Commerce, United States remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20. The recently released data shows increasing economic ties between the two nations.

• As per the data, the bilateral trade between the US and India has increased from $87.96 billion in 2018-19 to $88.75 billion in the fiscal year 2019-20. China was India’s top trading partner since 2013-14 to 2017-18.

International

Russia first nation to complete clinical trials of vaccine

• Russia has successfully completed the human trials of Chinese virus vaccine. With this, Russia has become the first country to complete the trials of C-19 vaccine.

• The volunteers who took part in the trials will be discharged soon. The trials were aimed at showing the safety of vaccine for human health.

Andrzej Duda wins Poland’s presidential election

• Andrzej Duda has been re-elected as the President of Poland. He won the presidential elections recently held in Poland after winning 51.21% of the votes, defeating the opposition candidate, liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski who got 48.79% votes.Voter turnout was a record high at 68.12 percent.

Banking and Economy

Google for India Digitization Fund of USD 10 billion launched

• Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the launch of ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’. Through this fund, Google will be investing USD 10 billion or Rs. 75,000 crore in India over next 5-7 years.

• The investment comes amid the C-19 crisis that has deeply impacted the economy of India. The investment will be made through a mix of partnerships and equity investments.

• Google Investment will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization

1. Enabling affordable access and information to every Indian in their own language.

2. Building new services and products that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs.

3. Empowering businesses as they continue on digital transformation.

4. Leveraging technology in AI- Artificial Intelligence for social good in areas like education, health, and agriculture.

FICCI survey predicts India’s GDP to contract by 4.5% in FY21

• Industry body FICCI has projected the Indian economy to contract by (-) 4.5 percent in 2020-21, as per its latest Economic Outlook Survey released on 12 July 2020.

• The minimum and maximum GDP growth estimate stood at (-) 6.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, for FY21.

Summits and Mou’s

Visa Partners With Federal Bank For Rolling Out Visa Secure For E-Commerce

• Visa, a global leader in payments technology has tied-up with Federal Bank to launch “Visa Secure” to the bank's cardholders.The upgraded technology provides a quicker and frictionless checkout experience to consumers.

• “Visa Secure ‘is a global authentication program that uses the latest standards of the EMV 3DS (3D Secure) protocol.

Obituary

Padma Shri award winning journalist Nagindas Sanghvi passes away

• Padma Shri award winning veteran Gujarati journalist, columnist, writer and political analyst Nagindas Sanghvi passed away. Government of India conferred him Padma Shri award in the year 2019.

• He had written many books on Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat and other subjects. Besides writing in Gujarati language, Sangvi also wrote in English and Hindi languages.

Books and Authors

A book titled ‘A Song of India’ authored by Ruskin Bond to be released

• The book titled ‘A Song of India’ authored by Ruskin Bond to be released on July 20, 2020. This book will mark the 70th year of the author’s literary career. The book has been published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House India.

• The new book is the fourth instalment in his memoir series after “Looking for the Rainbow” (2017), “Till the Clouds Roll By” (2017) and “Coming Round the Mountain” (2019).

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