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Important Current Affairs 1st September 2020

National

India withdraws from multilateral military exercise, Kavkaz 2020, in Russia

• The reason for this has been cited as the C-19 Pandemic and consequent difficulties in exercise, including arrangements of logistics.

• Kavkaz 2020 would be held in Astrakhan province of Southern Russia where member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Central Asian countries would be participating.

• Other countries that would participate in this exercise are- China, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Belarus, Turkey, Armenia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

International

UAE’s DMCC launches “Agriota E-Marketplace”

• Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has rolled out a technology-driven agri-commodity trading and sourcing platform “Agriota E-Marketplace”.

•  The platform which uses blockchain will help in bridging the gap between millions of rural farmers in India and the UAE’s food industry.

Banking and Economy

India’s GDP contracts by 23.9% in Q1 of FY21: NSO data

• As per the official data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), India’s GDP has contracted by 23.9% in the first quarter (April-June 2020) for FY21.

• This is the first instance of an economic contraction for India in at least four decades. It is also the first GDP decline since India began publishing quarterly numbers in 1996.

• Gross value added (GVA) for India declined by 22.8%. All the sectors except agriculture witnessed contractions during the April-June quarter of 2020-21. The highest drop was witnessed by the construction industry of 50.3%.

India’s fiscal deficit to touch 7 per cent in FY21: Brickwork Ratings

• India’s fiscal deficit is expected to touch 7 per cent of GDP in 2020-21 fiscal as against budget estimate of 3.5 per cent, according to Brickwork Ratings.

• The impact of the C-19 on economic activity shows up starkly in the trends in the central government revenue collection during the first three months of fiscal 2020-21.

India’s foreign exchange reserves surge by USD 2.296 bn to USD 537.548 bn

• India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by 2.296 billion US dollar to reach 537.548 billion US dollar in the week to August 21.

• Foreign Currency Assets rose by 2.618 billion dollar to 494.168 billion US dollar in the reporting week.

• The country’s reserve position with the IMF also increased by 6 million to 4.634 billion US dollar during the reporting week.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Adani Group buys 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport

• Adani Group has acquired 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) that operates Mumbai Airport. Mumbai Airport is the second largest airport in India.

• Under this, Adani Group will acquire 50.5% stake of GVK group. Additionally, Adani will also acquire 23.5% stake of minority partners Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA) and Bidvest.

• The acquisition will also give Adani’s ownership of the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport in which MIAL holds 74% stake.

Obituary

Former President, Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee dies at 84

• The former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, passed away at the age of 84 years. He had been in coma since a brain surgery earlier this month.He had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection. He developed a lung infection and renal dysfunction over the past few days.

• Pranab Mukherjee was the President of India from 2012 to 2017. He was the 13th President of India.

• He was Minister of Finance between 2009 and 2012, Minister of Defence (2004-2006), Minister of External Affairs (2006-2009). He was from Congress

• Pranab Mukherjee was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Bharat Ratna in 2019.

Dr S. Padmavati, India’s First Female Cardiologist, Passes Away

• Noted cardiologist Dr S Padmavati has died due to C-19. She was 103. Recipient of both Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Dr S Padmavati popularly known as ‘God Mother of Cardiology’.

• In 1962, Dr Padmavati founded the All India Heart Foundation and went on to set up National Heart Institute in 1981 as a tertiary care modern heart hospital in Delhi with first cardiac catheterisation laboratory in the private sector in the Southern Hemisphere.

• For her achievements and contributions to development of cardiology in India, she was awarded Fellowship of the American College of Cardiology and FAMS.

K Shankar Bajpai, India’s Former Envoy For US, China and Pakistan Passes Away

• Katyayani Shankar Bajpai, a career diplomat who served as India’s ambassador to the US, China, and Pakistan, passed away. He was 92.

• The former diplomat was also the Indian government’s political officer in Sikkim from 1970 to 1974 and was involved in the integration of the state into the Indian Union.

• He become the first professor of Non-Western Studies, Brandeis University, in 1992 and 1993.He served as chairman of the National Security Advisory Board from 2008 to 2010.

Appointments and Resignations

Usha Padhee becomes first woman DG of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

• Usha Padhee, joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has been given additional charge as director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

• Padhee is the first woman and third IAS officer to have been appointed to the post.

• Earlier, IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was given charge of the BCAS. He has now been moved to the Border Security Force (BSF) as director general.

Aveek Sarkar elected new Chairman of Press Trust of India

• Aveek Sarkar has been elected as the Chairman of the Press Trust of India.He replaces Vijay Kumar Chopra, Chief Editor of the Punjab Kesari Group of newspapers.

• Aveek Sarkar is the Vice Chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications. He was also the founding Managing Director of Penguin India.

Books and Authors

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha releases coffee table Books

• In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today released two Coffee Table Books, one for Labour & Employment Department and another for J&K Entrepreneurship Development (JKEDI) Institute at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.

Gurcharan Singh co-authors his memoir, ‘pitching it straight’ at 85

• The book titled ”pitching it straight” was released recently, which has been co-authored by Indian Cricket Coach Gurcharan Singh and senior journalist MS Unnikrishnan.

• In 186-page book, renowned coach Gurcharan offers priceless tips to the current generation with anecdotes.

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