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Important Current Affairs 20th May 2020

National

Government declares six cities as 5-star garbage-free cities

•  The central government has declared six cities- Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysore, Indore and Navi Mumbai as five-star garbage-free cities.

•  The star rating of garbage-free cities was announced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on May 19, 2020. Overall, six cities were rated 5-star, 65 cities were rates 3-star and 70 cities were rated with one star.

•  The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri also launched the revised protocol for the star rating of garbage free cities. The Ministry has now brought importance of sanitation and effective solid waste management to the forefront due to the situation.

•  The star rating protocol was launched by the Ministry in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve garbage free status and motivate other cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.

SCR develops ‘Rail-Bot’ to provide better health care

• South Central Railway zone has developed a robotic device, “RAIL-BOT” (R-BOT) to assist in the functions of hospital management to provide better health care to the patients.

• The R-BOT can be operated by using Android mobile app and radio frequency (RF) remote control. R-BOT is being used to provide medicines, medical accessories, and to serve food to the patients, taking away the need for human contact in such activities.

International

Thomas Thabane resigns as Lesotho's prime minister

• Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has formally resigned more than a week after his coalition government fell apart, in a move that could help end a long-running political crisis in the country.

• Lesotho’s Finance Minister MoeketsiMajoro has been named by parliament as the interim PM of the country.

Japan launches new unit to boost defense in space named Space Operations Squadron

• Japan launched a new space defense unit that will monitor and counter threats to the satellites of Japan.

• The unit is named Space Operations Squadron and is a part of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force. It has started will 20 members and will become fully operational by the year 2023.

• The role of Space Operations Squadron is to monitor and protect Japanese satellites from enemy attacks or space debris.

Banking and Economy

Investment firm Bernstein projects India’s GDP growth for FY21 at -7%

• Bernstein, an investment management firm based in the United States, has projected India’s GDP growth rate for FY21 at -7.0%.

• This means India’s GDP will contract by 7% in FY21 as per Bernstein.

BSE, NSE cut annual listing fee for SMEs by 25%

• Stock exchanges BSE and NSE have announced to reduce the listing fee for their SME platforms by 25 per cent.

• BSE and NSE had launched their respective SME platforms in 2012 and since then have been facilitating SMEs for raising funds, listing and trading on the exchanges.

Goldman Sachs projects India’s GDP growth rate for FY21 at -5%

• The global investment banking group, Goldman Sachs has predicted India’s GDP growth for FY21 at -5.0%. Earlier it has predicted the same at -0.4%.

• It means as per Goldman Sachs the GDP of India will contract by 5.0% in FY21.

RBI extends KYC norms to Housing Finance Companies

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced that the Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines/norms will now be applicable to Housing Finance Companies also.

• It must be noted that the Regulation of Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) was transferred from the National Housing Bank to RBI in August 2019.

• And KYC norms are applicable to all Regulated Entities of the RBI and hence it has now been made applicable on Housing Finance Companies also.

Days

World Bee Day

• World Bee Day is observed globally on 20th May every year. On this date, 20 May, the pioneer of beekeeping Anton Janša was born in 1734 in Slovenia. The purpose of the bee day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.

• About 33% of the world’s food production depends on bees thus they are vital for the preservation of biodiversity, ecological balance in nature and helpful in reducing pollution.

Books and Authors

New book released to mark Ruskin Bond's 86th birthday

• Ruskin Bond’s new book titled ‘Hop On: My Adventures on Boats, Trains and Planes’ was released on his 86th Birthday in an e-book format. The book narrates some of his memorable travel adventures on boats, trains and planes from his childhood.

• The book presents its readers with a number of the author’s hilarious journeys and travel adventures. The illustrations for Ruskin Bond’s new book has been done by SamratHalder.

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