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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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