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Important Current Affairs 26th August 2020

National

GoI and AIIB sign MoU for $500 million for Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III

• The Government of India, the Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has signed a loan agreement for a $500 million Mumbai Urban Transport Project-III.

• The aim of the project is to improve the network capacity, service quality and safety of the suburban railway system in Mumbai.

20-year old Indian wins ‘World's Fastest Human Calculator' title

• India’s Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash has won the ‘World's Fastest Human Calculator' title. The 20-year-old won the first-ever gold for India in Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sports Olympiad (MSO) held in London recently.

• Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash belongs to Hyderabad and he is currently pursuing Mathematics (Hons.) at Delhi University's St Stephen College. He is the proud owner of four world records and 50 Limca records for being the fastest human calculator in the world.

• Prakash’s brain can reportedly calculate quicker than the speed of a calculator. He has broked the records once held by Math maestros like Scott Flansburg and Shakuntala Devi.

Kerala’s 1st-ever Dragonfly Festival

• WWF-India Kerala State Office is joining hands with the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam for the first-ever state “Dragonfly Festival” in Kerala, christened ‘Thumbimahotsavam 2020’.

• Dragonfly Festival, a series of events will be rolled out in the coming months to reach out to various sections of the society.

•  This is part of the National Dragonfly Festival organised by WWF India, Bombay Natural History Society and Indian Dragonfly Society in association with National Biodiversity Board, UN Environmental Programme, UN Development Programme and IUCN-CEC.

Banking and Economy

ICICI Bank uses satellite data to assess creditworthiness of farmers

• Private lender ICICI Bank makes use of satellite data, imagery from Earth observation satellites, to assess credit worthiness of farmers.

• ICICI Bank has become the 1st bank in India to use such a technique to measure an array of parameters related to the land, irrigation and crop patterns and use it in combination with demographic and financial parameters to make quick lending decisions for farmers.

Rs.8,594 cr to be disbursed to stressed NBFCs and HFCs

• The Finance Ministry said 24 proposals by stressed non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and housing finance companies (HFCs) worth ₹8,594 crore have been sanctioned under the special liquidity scheme.

• The scheme was announced in July, as part of the ₹20.97 lakh crore ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ package.

Centre announces Tax exemptions for businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh

• The Ministry of Finance has announced that the businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are now GST exempt. Earlier, this limit was Rs 20 lakh.

• The Ministry has also informed that those businesses with an annual turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only 1 percent tax.

Awards

Tomyas Award for Reshma Mohandas

• Reshma Mohandas, a nurse with the Government Medical College (MCH), Kottayam, has been selected for the Tomyas Award worth ₹1 lakh for the best nurse in Kerala.

• The award was instituted in memory of Treesa Ignatius, mother of Thomas Pavaratti, owner of Thrissur-based Tomyas Advertising Agency.

• The Award will be presented by Bobby Paul and Antio Paul, directors of Star Plastics, at Tomyas Garden, Peramangalam, on October 2.

Acquisitions and Mergers

CCI approves Siemens’ acquisition of C&S Electric

• Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it approved the proposed acquisition of C&S Electric by Siemens.

• As per a statement issued by Siemens in January, it had inked an agreement to acquire 99 per cent equity in New Delhi-based C&S Electric for around Rs 2,100 crore.

Science and Technology

Indian Satellite ‘AstroSat’ Detects UV Light From Galaxy 9 Billion Light Years Away

• India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, AstroSat, has detected an extreme ultraviolet (UV) light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01.This galaxy is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth, in the Hubble Extreme Deep field.

• AstroSat is India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, which has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem.The discovery was made by an international team of astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha, associate professor of astronomy at the Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).

• This research was published on August 24, 2020, by Nature Astronomy.

Obituary

Former Congo President Pascal Lissouba passes away

• Former President of the Republic of Congo, Pascal Lissouba passed away. He became the minister of agriculture in 1960 after Congo became an independent country.

•  He served as the president from 1992 to 1997. He served as the Prime minister under the Presidency of Alphonse Massamba Debat.

Appointments and Resignations

DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy gets two-year extension

• Renowned Indian scientist, G Satheesh Reddy was given a two-year extension as the chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

• He was appointed to the post in August 2018 for two years.

Days

Women's Equality Day

• This day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which granted the women right to vote. In 1971, the U.S. Congress officially recognized August 26 as Women's Equality Day.

• A day which holds a lot of political significance in world history.

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