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Important Current Affairs 1st August 2020

National

Central government to set up single-window clearance for business

• The central government is working on a single window portal which will reduce the time for businesses to get clearances; further increasing India’s ranking in the ease of doing business.Single Window System is completely digital and provides for unified and integrated business procedures.

• With six states on board, it will showcase five lakh hectares of land that has already been identified.This will allow online viewing of land available for companies, from their distant offices, precluding the need to frequently visit the offices of land-owning agencies.

International

Russia chaired 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting

• The 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting was held under the presidency of Russia. The Environment Ministers of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa participated in the meeting held via the video conference.

• The meeting was preceded by the BRICS Working Group meeting. India will host the next meeting in 2021.

Banking and Economy

SIDBI, TransUnion CIBIL launched financial knowledge platform ”MSMESaksham” for MSMEs

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in association with TransUnion CIBIL has launched a comprehensive financial education and one-stop knowledge platform for micro, small and medium enterprises “MSMESaksham”, which will guide MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) seeking quick access to finance and will also support them in managing their credit obligations.

• The portal will have a consolidated list of all the schemes launched by the Centre and state governments for MSMEs.

MobiKwik Launched mpay.me, a Personalized UPI Payment Link

• Digital wallet company, MobiKwik has launched “mpay.me” UPI link service that allows users to send and receive money from any UPI payment app. Users can share it with anyone over chat, SMS, email, etc to collect payments.

• This single link created using mpay.me can be shared anywhere to send and receive money and will work seamlessly on mobile as well as desktop.Through mpay.me, users will now be able to generate their own mini personal payment gateways using their phone numbers.

Obituary

Padma Shri awardee Sonam Tshering Lepcha passes away

• Folk musician and Padma Shri awardee, Sonam Tshering Lepcha passed away. He was 92.He started his career as a soldier.He travelled to various parts of Sikkim and complied a wide range of Indian folk and traditional Lepcha songs and played folk music on All India Radio in 1960.

• He was highly reverred in Sikkim, where he spent much of his time for his role in the revival of Lepcha culture, which is an indigenous one in Sikkim. He was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of folk music.

Malayalam actor Anil Murali passes away

Malayalam actor, Anil Murali passed away.He made his silver screen debut with Kanyakumariyil Oru Kavitha in 1993.He went on to star in over 200 movies across Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu film industries.

Sports

Stuart Broad becomes 7th bowler to take 500 Test wickets

• Stuart Broad joined one of cricket’s most exclusive clubs when he took his 500th Test wicket as England completed a series-clinching win over the West Indies at Old Trafford.

• The 34-year-old became fourth pacemen to reach the landmark when he had opener Kraigg Brathwaite plumb lbw for 19 on the fifth day of the third Test.

Appointments and Resignations

Kavita Devi, Babita Phogat appointed as Haryana Sports Deputy Directors

Babita Phogat and Kavita Devi have been appointed as Deputy Directors in the Haryana's Department of Sports and Youth Affairs. Babita Phogat stated that she will work to make sure that players in the state get all the facilities required by them.

Days

World Ranger Day 2020

• World Ranger Day is celebrated annually on July 31 around the world and it is promoted by the 54-member Association of the International Ranger Federation (IRF).

• The day celebrates the accomplishments done by rangers around the world and honors those who have died in the course of their duties.

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Important Current Affairs 30th July 2020

National

HRD Ministry to be renamed as Ministry of Education

• The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has been renamed as Ministry of Education. The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister.

• The HRD Ministry is currently headed by Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The name change was a key recommendation of the draft New Education Policy. The HRD ministry name was adopted in 1985.

Union Cabinet Approves National Education Policy 2020

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the National Education Policy 2020. The recently approved National Education Policy 2020 will replace the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.

• The National Education Policy 2020 comprises major reforms in the higher education sector including a target of 50% gross enrollment ratio by 2035 and a provision for multiple entry and exit.

• It is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is based on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.

• It seeks to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible & multidisciplinary, as per the requirements of 21st century.

Major Reforms

•  Enrollment: 50% gross enrollment ratio by 2035.

•  UGC-AICTE merged: The cabinet has approved merger of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission.

•  Flexibility of Subjects: Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education

•  Multiple entry/ exit

- UG Programme- 3 or 4 years

- PG Programme- 1 or 2 years

- Integrated 5 year Bachelor's/Master's

- M Phil to be discontinued

• Credit Transfer and Academic Bank of Credits

• HEIs: Research Intensive/ Teaching Intensive Universities and Autonomous Degree Granting Colleges

• Model Multidisciplinary Education and Research University (MERU)

• Graded Autonomy-  Under this, graded academic, administrative and financial autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation. There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in the country.

Five Rafale Fighter Jets land in India at Ambala air base

• A fleet of five French-manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets arrived in India. Rafale Jets landed at the Ambala Air Force base after covering a distance of 7,000 km from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux.

• The fleet, which comprises three single seater and two twin seater aircraft, would be inducted into the IAF as part of its Ambala-based No 17 Squadron, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows’. The addition of these fighter jets is expected to transform the capabilities of Air Force.

MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network launched

• Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched the “MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet)” under the Digital India initiative of Government of India. MoES has transformed the traditional libraries of the MoES system into a top-notch Knowledge Resource Centres (KRC). These KRCs will be linked with each other and integrated into the KRCNet portal. This portal would be a single point entry to the intellectual world of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

Awards

Ministry of Earth Sciences announces National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science

• The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has announced the National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science for the year 2020.The Awards are given every year on the occasion of Earth Sciences Foundation Day of the Ministry for the outstanding contribution of each winner in their respective field.

• The award is presented annually in the following three categories:

•  Life Time Excellence Award in the sphere of Earth System Sciences

•  National Awards in the field of:

Ocean Science & Technology

Atmospheric Science & Technology

Geoscience & Technology

Polar Science & Cryosphere

•  Young Researcher/Achiever Award in the field of Earth System Science

Winners for 2020

•  Life Time Excellence Award – Professor Ashok Sahni for his significant contribution in the field of Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Biostratigraphy.

•  National Awards

•  Ocean Science and Technology – Dr. V. V. S. S. Sarma and Dr. M. Ravichandran

•  Atmospheric Science and Technology – Dr. S. Suresh Babu

•  Geoscience & Technology – Dr. N. V. Chalpathi Rao

•  Polar Science & Cryosphere – Dr. Atmanand

•  Young Researcher/Achiever Award – Dr. Indra Sekhar Sen and Dr. Arvind Singh

Sunil ydv SS Honored with Karamveer Chakra Award of United Nations and ICONGO

• Sunil ydv SS, founder & CEO Of SS Motivation, which is the most Subscribed Motivational Channel on Telegram, has  been honoured with “Karamveer Chakra Award” instituted by United Nations and International Confederation of NGO (iCONGO).

• He received the award for his relentless contribution to society through his Telegram channel “SS Motivation.”

Appointments and Resignations

Archana Soreng named by UN chief to new advisory group

• Indian climate activist, Archana Soreng has been named by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to his new advisory group comprising young leaders who will provide perspectives and solutions to tackle the worsening climate crisis, as the global body mobilizes action as part of the C-19 recovery efforts.

Varun Sridhar appointed as CEO of Paytm Money

• The investment & wealth management subsidiary of Paytm- Paytm Money, has appointed Varun Sridhar as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company on 29 July 2020.

• Sridhar will replace former MD and CEO PravinJadhav who resigned from the startup due to differences with the management of Paytm.

Days

International Tigers day

• 29th of July observed as International Tiger Day.The Day is celebrated on every year across the globe to create awareness about tiger conservation.

• The day was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit to put in place a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.

• The Slogan for 2020 International Tiger Day celebration is “Their survival is in our hands”.

Books and Authors

Former RBI Deputy Governor pens book ‘Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India’

• The former Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Viral Acharya has come up with a book titled “Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India”, which is a collection of his comments, speeches, and research as a member of the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

• Through this book, Dr Acharya shares a feasible plan to address the recapitalization needs of public sector banks, offering solutions on how to improve credit allocation by credit intermediaries and establish viable and efficient capital markets.

• The book has been published by SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd.

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Important Current Affairs 29th July 2020

National

DRDO launched Dare to Dream 2.0 contest for innovators and startups

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched its innovation contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on 27 July 2020, the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

• The scheme has been aimed for emerging technologies to promote the individuals & startups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies in India.

Centre to go ahead with disinvestment of 23 PSUs cleared by the cabinet

• Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced on July 27 that the central government has been working on completing the stake sale process of about 23 public sector companies whose disinvestment has been cleared by the cabinet.

• For the fiscal year, 2020-21, the central government has set a disinvestment target of Rs. 2.10 lakh crore. Out of this, Rs. 1.20 lakh crore will come from the disinvestment of PSUs and another Rs. 90,000 crores from the stake sale in financial institutions.

• The Union Minister also mentioned that she will soon meet small finance firms and the non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in order to review the credit being extended by them to businesses.

• The central government as part of the Atmanirbhar Package had announced opening up of all the sectors for private participation. In those sectors which will be called strategic, the private will be allowed to come in but the public sectors will be limited to a maximum of 4 units.

BIS-Care mobile app launched

• The Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s (BIS) Mobile App BIS-Care on July 28, 2020. The Consumer Affairs Minister launched three portals on Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Training of e-BIS.

• The BIS-Care mobile app can be operated on any Android phone. Consumers will be able to check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products through this Application.

• The consumers can also lodge complaints using the app. The government has taken several steps to protect the interests of consumers in the country. Certification and surveillance are important aspects of BIS functioning.

Banking and Economy

ADB partnered with GCF to Boost Green Recovery

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) agreed to partner toward a ‘green recovery’ for members confronting the harsh economic impact of the Chinese virus C-19.

• Under Strategy 2030, ADB will ensure that 75 percent of its committed projects will support climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2030.

• Climate finance from ADB’s own resources will reach USD 80 billion cumulatively from 2019 to 2030.

IRCTC & SBI Card launches Co-branded Contactless Credit Card

• The IRCTC and SBI Card together have launched their new co-branded contactless Credit Card on RuPay Platform. The Railway Minister Piyush Goyal dedicated this new card to the Nation on July 28, 2020.

• The new RuPay credit card is equipped with Near Field Communication technology, using which the users can expedite their transactions at the POS machines by just tapping the card on the machines.

• The launch of the card is a part of the many ‘Make in India’ initiatives undertaken by the Railways.

Awards

India’s first solar ferry “Aditya” wins Gustave Trouve Award

• India’s first solar-powered ferry, Aditya has won the prestigious Gustave Trouve Award for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating. The ferry was adjudged the world’s best electric boat in the category of ferries designed for paid passenger service.

• The ferry belongs to the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) and has been plying on the Vaikkom-Thavanakkadavu route in Alappuzha district since January 2017.

Obituary

Child welfare activist Achyuta Rao passes away

• The founder and President of Balala Hakula Sangham, P Achyuta Rao passed away due to C-19. He was a well-known child rights activist and had founded Balala Hakula Sangham in 1984.

•  He is known to have helped prevent child marriages, incidents of child sexual abuse, and child labour.

Sports

Indian 4x400m relay squad’s Silver medal at 2018 Asian Games upgraded to Gold

• The silver medal which was won by the Indian 4×400 mixed relay quartet of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta has been upgraded to gold.

• This decision was taken following the disqualification of original winners Bahrain on account of a four-year doping ban handed to Kemi Adekoya by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for failing a dope test.

• Additionally, with Adekoya’s disqualification, India’s Anu Raghavan has moved from fourth position to bronze medal position in the 400m hurdles final. Now India has become the first winner of the 4x400m mixed relay event, which was introduced in the Asian Games in 2018.

Days

World Nature Conservation Day

• World Nature Conservation Day is observed on 28th July every year. World Conservation Day is celebrated internationally to increase awareness about the best practices to protect our natural resources.

•  The Earth is supplied a limited amount of properties that we all rely upon each day like water, air, soil and trees.

Books and Authors

“The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”

• The former diplomat, and current Minister of External Affairs in the Government of India, S. Jaishankar, is releasing his new book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”.

• The book was published under the HarperCollins India publications.

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Important Current Affairs 27th July 2020

National

India’s first honey testing laboratory set up at NDDB in Anand district of Gujarat

• India’s first dedicated honey testing laboratory has been set up at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Anand district of Gujarat.

• The ‘World Class State of Art Honey Testing Laboratory’ was inaugurated virtually by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on 24 July 2020, with the aim to boost exports and ensure better rates to farmers.

• The facility has been established by NDDB with support of National Bee Board (NBB).The new lab will test honey as per the norms specified by the food safety regulator FSSAI.

J&K LG announces launch of ‘Macadamisation Program’

• Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu has announced the launch of a ‘Macadamisation Program’ for the improvement of roads across Jammu and Kashmir.

•  Murmu has approved a program for 100 percent Macadamisation of all roads in the Union Territory including 11,000 km of fair-weather roads.

Indian Railways Constructing World’s first electrified double-stack container tunnel near Haryana

• The Indian Railways is constructing the world’s first electrified double-stack container tunnel, between the Aravalli hills, on the railway’s Western Dedicated Freight Corridor near Haryana’s Sohna

• The D-shaped tunnel is one of the biggest Railway tunnels in India in terms of cross-sectional area, measuring 150 square metres.One end of the tunnel is near Rewari while the other end of the tunnel is at Dadri.The tunnel connects the Mewat and Gurugram district of Haryana.

• Once operational, a double-stack container goods train will be able to run at a speed of more than 100 km from within this one-km-tunnel.The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is the implementing agency of the project.

International

India extends medical assistance worth USD 1 million to North Korea

• India has extended anti-tuberculosis medical assistance worth about USD 1 million to North Korea in response to a request received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

• The medical assistance is given under the aegis of an ongoing WHO anti-tuberculosis programme in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Banking and Economy

RBI signs $400 mn currency swap with Sri Lanka

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed an agreement for extending a $400-million currency swap facility to Sri Lanka. This currency swap is used to boost the foreign reserves and ensure the financial stability of the country.

• Sri Lanka was set to enter into an agreement with the RBI for a currency swap worth $400 million under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) framework.

• The currency swap arrangement will remain available till November 2022.

Obituary

Veteran Odia actor Bijay Mohanty passes away at 70

• Veteran Odia actor Bijay Mohanty has passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 70.

• Mohanty had started his career in Odia cinema in 1977.He was also honoured with National Award for his contribution to art and literature.

Sports

Haryana to host Khelo India Youth Games 2021

• Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, and the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju announced that Haryana will host the 4th edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG). The Games will be held in Panchkula. The games are currently scheduled to take place after Tokyo Olympics.

• Haryana has a history of producing of many elite athletes, such as, BajrangPunia, Yogeshwar Dutt, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, papa-athlete Deepak Malik, Boxer Amit Panghal and shooters Manu Bhakar, Sanjeev Rajput, Anish Bhanwala, who has represented and won medals for India at International Platform.

• Haryana has done well in all three editions of KIYG. While they came second in both 2019 and 2020 editions (200 medals in 2020 and 159 medals in 2019) Haryana won it in 2018 with 102 podium finishes.

Ranking

Hyderabad Ranked 16th in World’s most Surveilled Cities

• As per the new analysis by Comparitech on the World’s Most Surveilled Cities, in 150 major cities across the globe, Hyderabad has positioned in 16th rank among  the list of top 20 cities with the maximum number of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras. The research is based on the number of cameras per 1,000 people.

• It has most CCTV surveillance in India. The List was topped by Taiyuan, China.Chennai(21st rank) and Delhi (33rd rank)  made into the top 50 list. Delhi ranked 2nd, Tokyo tops in the 20 most populated cities in the world.

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Important Current Affairs 25th July 2020

National

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launches ‘RestartIndia’ advisory platform for MSME sector

• The Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs), Shri Nitin Gadkari launched a mentoring platform ‘www.restartindia.in’, on 23 July 2020, with the main objective to help the sector in restarting businesses across the country.

• This website has been developed jointly by Muthoot Fincorp and INKtalks as an open platform for advisory support, and is in sync with Atmanirbhar project.

• The objective of Restart India is to raise the self-confidence primarily of small businesses by creating an environment for the re-establishment and progress of their businesses.

Largest Solar Power Plant of Indian Navy Commissioned

• Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command commissioned a 3 MW Solar Power Plant at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala on July 22, 2020 through virtual conferencing.

• The solar plant is Indian Navy’s largest plant and has an estimated life of 25 years. Its launch is in line with the centre’s initiative of ‘National Solar Mission’ to achieve 100GW of solar power by 2022.

• All components of the plant were indigenously sourced including 9180 highly efficient monocrystalline solar panels employing the latest technology.

Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) Gujarat attains its first criticality

• The Unit 3 of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) in Gujarat achieved its ‘first criticality’ at 9.36 am on 22 July 2020.

• KAPP-3 is India’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) as well as biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

• A nuclear reactor attains criticality when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction.

International

India-UK affirm shared commitment towards Free Trade Agreement

• India and the United Kingdom affirmed their shared commitment towards a Free Trade Agreement during the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting on July 24, 2020.

• The virtual meeting was co-chaired by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss.

• The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and UK’s Minister of State for International Trade Ranil Jayawardena had also attended the meeting.

Sports

IPL 2020 Schedule announced: IPL to begin from September 19 & finals on November 8

• The schedule of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has been announced by IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel on July 24, 2020. As per the schedule, IPL will begin from September 19, 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The IPL finals will be held on 8th November 2020.

• The final details of the tournament will be finalised by IPL Governing Council next week.

Appointments and Resignations

Sahil Seth appointed as honorary adviser for BRICS CCI

• Sahil Seth has been appointed as an honorary adviser to the steering committee for the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) young leaders.

• He has been appointed for the period 2020-2023. Seth is presently serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Customs.

Tata AIA Life Ltd appoints Naveen Tahilyani as its MD & CEO

• Naveen Tahilyani has been appointed by Tata AIA Life Limited as its Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

• He will take over from the current CEO Rishi Srivastava, who has been appointed as chief executive officer, group agency distribution, AIA Group, Hong Kong.

Partha Pratim Sengupta becomes new MD & CEO of IOB

• Government of India has appointed Partha Pratim Sengupta as the new Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).

• He will replace Karnam Sekar, who retired from the post of the MD and CEO at IOB on June 30, 2020.

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Important Current Affairs 24th July 2020

National

Government grants permission for permanent commission of women in Indian Army

• Central government has given its approval for permanent commission of women officers in Indian Army, empowering women to carry out larger roles in the armed force.

• The Government order specifies that the grant of permanent commission will be available for Short Service Commissioned (SSC) female officers in all 10 streams of the army.

• It will direct the Indian Army to work on its existing policies which will bring an equilibrium in the service conditions for both the female and male officers.

Home Minister to launch “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” in New Delhi

• “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” will be launched by the Union Home Minister ShriAmit Shah in New Delhi. Ministry of Coal will organize the abhiyan along with all Coal/Lignite PSUs.

• During the launch of “Vriksharopan Abhiyan”, the Union Home Minister will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of 6 Ecoparks/ Tourism sites which will offer avenues for recreation, adventure, water sport, bird watching etc for the people residing in nearby area.

• Under the “Vriksharopan Abhiyan”, large scale plantation would be carried out in mines, colonies, offices and other suitable areas of Coal/Lignite PSUs in order to promote “plantation by the society”.

International

UN General Assembly to go virtual for first time in 75 years

• The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will go virtual for the first time in 75 years for its session scheduled to be held in September 2020. The world leaders of UN member countries have been asked to submit their pre-recorded videos for the session.

• The UN Assembly will hold its 75th session on September 15, 2020.

China launches its 1st independent mission to Mars

• China has successfully launched “Tianwen-1” its first independent mission to Mars. A Long March 5 rocket carrying the spacecraft ignited at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in south China’s tropical Hainan province.

• China had launched an orbiter destined for Mars on a Russian rocket in 2011, but the mission failed because the rocket malfunctioned.

Banking and Economy

Nomura estimates India’s GDP to contract by 6.1% in FY21

• The Indian economy is expected to contract by 6.1 percent in the current fiscal (2020-21), as per the Japanese financial services firm Nomura.

• The contraction in the GDP is due to the C-19 C-19, which has impacted both supply and demand forces in the economy since March 2020.

EPFO registers 3.18 lakh new subscribers in May 2020

• The subscriber base for Employees’ Provident Fund Organization- EPFO has grown by 3.18 lakh new net members during May 2020. It has registered 218 per cent month on month growth.

• The subscriber base growth is on account of increased number of new subscribers, lower exits and higher re-joining by exited members.

• The new subscriber joining increased by 66 per cent from 1.67 lakh in April to 2.79 lakh in May 2020.

Summits and Mou’s

Flipkart announced the acquisition of Walmart India.

• Flipkart announced on July 23, 2020 that it has acquired parent company, Walmart Inc’s Best Price wholesale cash-and-carry business in India.

• The move will allow Flipkart to launch a digital marketplace called Flipkart Wholesale next months the home grown e-commerce major looks to tap into the USD 650 billion B2B retail market in India.

• Walmart India runs 28 Best Price wholesale stores in the country. Flipkart Wholesale is a new digital marketplace focusing on addressing the business-to-business (B2B) segment in India.

• This will also strengthen the e-commerce firm’s wholesale offerings, to compete better with Amazon.

Awards

Greta Thunberg named winner of Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity

• The 17 year old climate activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg has been named winner of the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. She will receive a prize money of 1 million euro. She has been awarded for her efforts to mobilise younger generations to tackle climate change.

• She commenced a protest outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 and risen to global prominence, becoming the figurehead for a series of school strikes by children around the world.

Appointments and Resignations

Alok Misra becomes new CEO & Director of MFIN

• Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) has appointed Alok Misra as its new Chief Executive Officer & Director. The appointment will be effective from 1st August 2020.

•  Dr Misra takes over from the present CEO, Harsh Shrivastava, who has put down his papers after spending over 2 years at MFIN.

Arun Kumar nominated as Vice-Chairman of UIC

• The Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Arun Kumar has been nominated as the Vice-Chairman of UIC (Union International Des Chemins/International Union of Railways), Security Platform from July 2020 to July 2022.

• He will take over as Chairman of the Security Platform from July 2022 to July 2024.

Days

National Thermal Engineer Day

• National Thermal Engineer Day is observed every year on 24 July to show the importance of advancing the thermal engineering industry and is provide the electronics industry with innovative, high-quality, and cost-effective thermal management and its packaging solutions.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd July 2020

National

Union Power Minister inaugurated India’s first of its kind public EV Charging Plaza

• Union Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K Singh, inaugurated India’s first public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging plaza at Chelmsford Club in New Delhi on 20 July 2020.The initiatives focus on energy efficiency, promoting e-mobility, and improving indoor air quality.

• RAISE (Retrofit of Air-conditioning to improve Indoor Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency) is a joint initiative of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) MAITREE programme.

Odisha Government Includes Transgender Community under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana

• The official notification of The Department of Social security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) informed that, Odisha Government has included the transgender community under MadhuBabu Pension Yojana(MBPY), a social security scheme by amending to Rule 6 of the Madhu Babu Pension Rules 2008.

• In addition to transgenders women, those who are fighting divorce cases in courts are also included.

• Under this scheme, about 6,000 transgenders will receive Rs. 500, Rs. 700 and Rs. 900 per month as a pension under various categories depending on their age.

Summits and Mou’s

Defence Ministry signed contract with BEML for procurement of 1,512 Mine Plough for T-90 tanks

• Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) for procurement of 1,512 Mine Plough (MP) for Tank T-90 S/SK. The move comes as a major boost to the Make in India initiative of the Government of India.

• The contract was approved by the Acquisition Wing of MoD.The procurement will cost approximately Rs 557 crore. These mine ploughs when fitted on T-90 Tanks will provide individual mobility to Tanks while negotiating mine field.

Obituary

Veteran Odia Actor Bijay Mohanty passes away

• Veteran Odia Actor, Bijay Mohanty passed away. He started his career with theatre as a performer and directed many plays before venturing into movies. His performance in his debut film, Chilika Tire, earned him several accolades including the National Film Award.

Former Australia Test cricketer Barry Jarman passes away

• Former Australian test wicketkeeper and ex-International Cricket Council match referee, Barry Jarman passed away.

• He made his test debut in 1959. He became the first-choice wicketkeeper for Australia only after the retirement of Grout in 1966.

Appointments and Resignations

Karur Vysya Bank appoints Ramesh Babu Boddu as MD & CEO

• Board of Directors of the Karur Vysya Bank has appointed Ramesh Babu Boddu as a Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the bank.He will succeed PR Seshadri who resigned on 31st March 2020.

• He has also been co-opted as an Additional Director. Ramesh Babu Boddu has earlier served as Deputy Managing Director in State Bank of India and retired in April 2020.

SAP appoints Kulmeet Bawa as new India MD

• Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing (SAP) has announced the appointment of Kulmeet Bawa as President and Managing Director for SAP Indian Subcontinent.

• He will replace the incumbent Deb Deep Sengupta.

Days

Space Exploration Day

• Every year on July 20, the Space Exploration Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of man’s first historic landing on the moon.

• Neil Armstrong and Edwin Buzz became the first humans to land on moon’s surface. The Armstrong-Aldrin duo spent 21.5 hours on the surface of the moon. Also, they spent 2.5 hours outside of their capsules. The day is mainly celebrated in the United States.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Suraj Kade Marda Nahi” authored by Baldev Singh Sadaknama

• Sahitya Akademi Award winner, Baldev Singh Sadaknama has authored a book ‘Suraj Kade Marda Nahi’ (sun never dies). The book portrays many aspects of freedom fighter Udham Singh.

• The book is published by Unistarbooks. The book has been released and will be formally launched on July 31, 2020. Udham Singh 80th death anniversary will fall on July 31, 2020.

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Important Current Affairs 17th July 2020

National

UNICEF India Partners with FICCI to launch #Reimagine Campaign

• The UNICEF INDIA has entered into partnership with the Socio Economic Development Foundation (SEDF) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI),  to co-develop #Reimagine Campaign.

• The #Reimagine Campaign of UNICEF aims to support the most vulnerable populations and children during the C-19 response and its after-math in India.

IIT Kanpur develops UV sanitizing device ‘SHUDH’ to disinfect room in 15 mins

• A team of engineers at IIT Kanpur has developed an Ultraviolet (UV) sanitizing product named SHUDH, which is capable to disinfect a 10 sqft room in about 15 minutes.

• SHUDH stands for Smartphone operated Handy Ultraviolet Disinfection Helper. It has been jointly developed by J. Ramkumar, Amandeep Singh and ShivamSachan.

• SHUDH has six UV lights of 15 Watts each that can be individually monitored from a distance and can be rotated up to 360 degrees. Users can use the number of lights based upon the size of the room.

India launches World’s Most Affordable C-19 kit “COROSURE”

• The Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishnak launched world’s most affordable C-19 kit. The kit was developed by IIT Delhi.

• The test called “COROSURE” has been billed as the world’s most affordable RT-PCR based C-19 diagnostic kit. The base price of the kit is Rs 399.

DCGI approves India’s 1st homemade Pneumonia vaccine

• India’s first fully indigenously developed Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine (Pneumonia vaccine) has received the approval from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

• It will be utilized for active immunization against invasive disease and pneumonia caused by “Streptococcus pneumonia” among infants.

Summits and Mou’s

Shripad Naik e-inaugurates 5th Conference on Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies

• The Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik inaugurated the 5th edition of the conference on Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies on 15 July 2020 in New Delhi, via video conferencing.

• The theme of the conference was Empowering India with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Mission’.

Obituary

Maharashtra’s first woman Election Commissioner, Neela Satyanarayan, passes away

• Former 1972 batch IAS officer and Maharashtra’s first woman State Election Commissioner (SEC) Neela Satyanarayan has passed away after she was diagnosed with C-19.  She was 72.

• She was made the state election commissioner in 2009, and retired on July 5, 2014.

Ranking

India ranks among top ten nations in intellectual property filings

• India has emerged as the top tenth nation in the ranking of the total (resident and abroad) Intellectual Property (IP) filing activity, as per World Intellectual Property Indicators-2019 Report.

• The overall ranking has been topped by Chinawas followed by United States, Germany, Japan, and Republic of Korea as the top five nations in the list.

• The report released by Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization analyzes IP activity around the globe.

Days

World Emoji Day

• The World Emoji Day is celebrated every year on 17 July since 2014 to promote the use of emojis and spread the enjoyment that they bring to all of those around us.

• The Day was created by London-based founder of Emojipedia, Jeremy Burge.

World Day for International Justice

• The World Day for International Justice, (also known as Day of International Criminal Justice or International Justice Day), is celebrated globally on July 17 to support and recognize the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

• The day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on July 17, 1998, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.

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Important Current Affairs 16th July 2020

National

Madhya Pradesh Tops in the Implementation of PM SVANidhi

• Madhya Pradesh has topped in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) by sanctioning an interest-free loan of around Rs 15.50 crore to 15,500 street vendors in the state.

• PM SVANidhi is a central sector scheme to help and formalize the street vendors involved in small businesses across the country. The scheme is funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

DRDO develops P7 Heavy Drop System

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

• The system is fully indigenous and is being manufactured by L&T who makes the platform system, parachutes manufactured by Ordnance Factory.

International

UK bans companies from sourcing 5G equipment from Huawei

• The United Kingdom has imposed a ban on its telecom companies from sourcing 5G equipment from Chinese telecom company Huawei. The announcement was made by UK’s Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden after a meeting chaired by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

• UK’s Digital Secretary informed the British parliament that from the end of this year, telecom providers must not buy any 5G equipment from Huawei. Under the new guideline, the British telecom operators will be required to remove all 5G-related equipment, supplied by Huawei, from their infrastructure by 2027.

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigns

• Prime Minister of Tunisia, Elyes Fakhfakh has submitted his resignation to the President of Tunisia.

• His resignation has come after a campaign to oust him in a vote of no confidence gathered momentum and to avoid more conflicts between state institutions in the country.

Summits and Mou’s

Google-Jio partnership to 5G in India: Reliance Industries 43rd  AGM 2020

• Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh Ambani has confirmed the Google will be Reliance Industries' new strategic partner. The announcement was made during the 43rd Annual General Meeting on July 15, 2020.

• The new strategic partner was introduced by Mr. Ambani after he mentioned all the entities that have invested in Jio Platforms. He informed that Google will invest 33,737 crores for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms.

• Reliance Jio in partnership with Google will develop an android-based smartphone operating system to increase access to smartphones. The main objective is to accelerate India's digital economy.

Appointments and Resignations

ADB appoints Ashok Lavasa as new Vice President

• Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has been appointed as the Vice President of the Asian Development Bank. The development comes just a few months before Lavasa was scheduled to take over as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

• In his new position, Ashok Lavasa will be looking after the Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships. Ashok Lavasa has more than two years left in his term at the Election Commission of India. He would have retired as the CEC in October 2022.

Books and Authors

A book titled “If It Bleeds” authored by Stephen King released

• A new book titled “If It Bleeds”, a collection of four stories, authored by Stephen King has been released. The book published by Hachette India.

• The book has the story centres around a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School. It is a sequel to his bestselling work, “The Outsider”.

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Important Current Affairs 11th July 2020

National

Govt launches AI-based ASEEM digital platform

• The Ministry of Skilled Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on July 10 launched Aatamanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping (ASEEM) digital portal which will help skilled people find sustainable livelihood opportunities.

• The step will improve the information flow and will bridge the demand-supply gap in the skilled workforce market. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) based system apart from recruiting the skilled workforce will also help in exploring job opportunities.

• ASEEM is developed and managed by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with the Bangalore based company, Betterplace which specializes in blue-collar employee management.

Asia’s Largest and World’s Second Largest Data Centre Inaugurated In Mumbai

• Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray jointly inaugurated the second-largest Tier IV data centre of the world in Mumbai.

• The world-class ‘Yotta NM1 data centre’ building has been set up at Mumbai’s Panvel data center park, to cater to the needs of engineering and real estate businesses.

• It is the largest of its kind data centre in India and Asia, as well as the second largest in the world. The Yotta NM1 facility has been developed and owned by the Hiranandani Group through its fully owned subsidiary, the Yotta Infrastructure Group. The Yotta NM1 offers 7200 racks and 50MW of power with 48-hour backup.

Banking and Economy

India’s GDP to contract by 3% in FY21: BofA

• The US brokerage firm BofA Securities has projected the India’s GDP to contract by 3 percent in FY21 because of the C-19 C-19, assuming the economy is opened up fully from August 2020.

• The GDP is likely to grow at 9 percent in FY22, expects BofA, the multinational investment bank division under the auspices of Bank of America.

Summits and Mou’s

15th meeting of the India-European Union Summit

• The 15th meeting of the India-European Union Summit will be held in virtual mode. The summit will deliberate on India-EU cooperation by covering various aspects such as political and security relations, trade and investment and economic cooperation.

• Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and President of European Council Charles Michel will co-chair the 15th meeting of the India-European Union Summit to be held virtually.

Science and Technology

ISRO to Launch Brazil’s Amazonia-1 Earth Observation Satellite on PSLV

• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch the Amazonia – 1 onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) as a primary payload by August 2020. Amazonia -1 is Brazil’s first satellite for Earth observation – designed, assembled and tested in Brazil.

• Amazonia – 1 will help in observing and monitoring the deforestation in the region of Amazon through the satellite images.

Obituary

Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly passes away

• The incumbent Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, passed away on 8th July 2020. He was 61.

• Coulibaly was a candidate for president in a coming election, to be held in October. He took over as the 10th PM of the country in January 2017.

Legendary musician Charlie Daniels passes away

• Country Music Hall of Fame musician, Charlie Daniels passed away. He was country music and southern rock icon who entertained fans for decades with songs like “Long-Haired Country Boy,” “In America,” and his signature fiddle tune “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, who won his only Grammy Award in 1979.

• He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

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