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Important Current Affairs 19th March 2020

National

Ranjan Gogoi takes oath as Member of Rajya Sabha

• Ranjan Gogoi has served as the 46th Chief Justice of India. During his 13-month long tenure as the Chief Justice of India, various landmark decisions were delivered by the Supreme Court including the Ayodhya case, on the decriminalisation of homosexuality, the entry of women into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple and the Rafale jet deal along with Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC).

International

Banking and Economy

Appointments and Resignations

Arundhati Bhattacharya appointed Salesforce India CEO

• Former SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya will be the CEO of Salesforce India. Arundhati Bhattacharya will take over as Chairman and CEO of Salesforce India in April 2020.

• Salesforce India is among the top companies of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software worldwide. Arundhati Bhattacharya is also currently working as an independent director at Wipro.

Noel Quinn Appointed as the permanent chief executive of HSBC

• HSBC Holdings Plc has appointed Noel Quinn as the permanent CEO of the bank on 17 March 2020.

• Quinn had been serving as interim CEO since August 2019, after the unexpected resignation of John Flint from the post.

• Mr Quinn had been working with the bank for over 30 years, after joining the lender in 1987.

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Important Current Affairs 10th March 2020

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ashraf Ghani Takes Oath as President of Afghanistan for Second Term:

• Afghanistan’s incumbent President Ashraf Ghani took oath of the post for a second term on 9 March 2020.

• He was elected for the first term on 21 September 2014.

• Capital of Afghanistan- Kabul, Currency- Afghan afghani

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

V Praveen Rao wins MS Swaminathan Award:

• Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor V Praveen Rao has won the 7th Dr MS Swaminathan Award for the period 2017-2019.

• The Selection Committee has decided to select Praveen Rao for the award recognising his contributions in the fields of agricultural research, teaching, extension and administration.

• The award will be conferred on him in June 2020. Praveen Rao handled 13 research & 6 consultancy projects on micro-irrigation in India, Israel and South Africa.

SCIENCE AMD TECHNOLOGY

NASA named Mars 2020 rover as “Perseverance”:

• NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced the name of the 5th Mars (red planet) rover as Perseverance. Previously the rover was known by its codename as Mars 2020.

• The name was suggested by Alexander Mather, 7th standard student and was announced by Nasa’s director of science, Thomas Zurbuchen at an event in Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia.

RANKING

Gujarat ranks 1st in domestic solar rooftop installations:

• Gujarat ranks first in the list for domestic solar rooftop installations with 64% of domestic solar installations. Nearly 50,915 systems being fixed on domestic rooftops in the State as on March 2, 2020.

• The State government of Gujarat has adopted a solar rooftop scheme “Surya Gujarat” to cover about eight lakh domestic electricity consumers under the scheme by 2022.

• Maharashtra ranks second in the list with 5,513 installations as on the same date. About 79,950 systems have been installed throughout the country has a capacity of 322 MW.

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Important Current Affairs 6th March 2020

NATIONAL NEWS

4th Global Ayurveda Festival 2020 to be held in Kochi:

• The Fourth Global Ayurveda Festival (GAF) is scheduled to be held at Kochi, Kerala from 16 to 20 May, 2020.

• The theme for the five-day event is “Ayurveda Medical Tourism: Actualizing India’s credibility”.

• GAF 2020 will be the largest Ayurvedic event ever to be held anywhere across the world

Govt announces one-time amnesty scheme for non-compliant LLPs:

• The Ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has launched a one-time amnesty scheme for Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) companies that have failed to file the requisite statutory documents such as annual statements, change in directors, etc.

• The move is aimed at promoting ease of doing business as well as to cleanse the system.It provides these companies a one-time relaxation in payment of additional fees and immunity from prosecution.

• The scheme, LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020, allows for a one-time condonation of delay in filing statutorily required documents with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

International Conference on Nano Science and Technology 2020 Begins in Kolkata:

• The International Conference on Nano Science and Technology 2020 (ICONSAT-2020) is being held at S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata from March 5-7, 2020

• ICONSAT is the series of biennial international conference held in India under the aegis of Nano Mission, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

• It provides a global platform of interactions among eminent scientists to bring to fore the recent advances in the area of nanoscience and technology.

Government nod to automated facial recognition system for identification of bodies, missing children, criminals:

• The Home Ministry has given approval to the automated facial recognition system (AFRS) for identification of unrecognised bodies, missing children and criminals by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

• AFRS will use police records and will be accessible only to law enforcement agencies.

• This will facilitate better identification of criminals, unidentified dead bodies and missing or found children and persons and will not violate privacy.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ukraine's Parliament approves Denis Shmygal as new PM:

• Ukraine's parliament approved the name of Denis Shmygal for the post of Prime Minister. Earlier, the former Prime Minister had to resign due to criticism of the President.

• Most of the Members of Parliament voted in favour of Denis Shmygal, nominated by President Volodymyr Zelensky. Earlier, Shmygal was the Deputy Prime Minister of the country.

University of British Columbia discovered 17 new planets:

• Michelle Kunimoto, a student of the University of British Columbia, has discovered 17 new planets. These planets have been discovered by the Kepler space telescope of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration.

• Nearly two million stars have been studied by NASA's four-year Kepler mission using the transit method for this discovery.

• These new planets have been discovered in the Gold-lock zone where the presence of water on the rocky surface of the planets is also being estimated. Among the discovered planets, KIC-7340288b is an extremely rare planet.

Janez Jansa Elected Prime Minister of Slovenia for Third Term:

• Slovenia’s parliament has elected Janez Jansa as the prime minister-designate of the country on 3 March 2020

• Mr Jansa takes over from centre-left premier Marjan Sarec, who resigned in January 2020.

• The  61-year-old leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), had also served as the prime minister of Slovenia from 2004 to 2008 and again from 2012 to 2013.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI imposes moratorium on Yes Bank; limits withdrawals to Rs 50,000:

• The troubled private lender YES Bank has been imposed with the moratorium by the Reserve Bank of India, RBI. The central bank has capped the withdrawal limit at Rs 50,000 per account.

• Moreover, the YES Bank’s Board has been suspended for a period of 30 days for not being able to raise funds for the bank to manage the mounting NPAs and loan losses.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NASA names Mars Rover ‘Perseverance’ for 2020 Mission:

• NASA recently named its Mars rover as ‘Perseverance’ for the scheduled Mars mission for July 2020.

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) organised a nationwide competition to decide the name of the Mars rover. Seventh-grade student Alexander Mather emerged as a winner in the competition.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Dentist’s Day: 6 March:

• National Dentist’s Day is observed annually every March 6.

• The day is also a day to remind everyone about the importance of regular dental checkups, and to encourage proper dental care.

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Important Current Affairs 5th March 2020

NATIONAL NEWS

Google to launch its second cloud infrastructure in Delhi by 2021:

• Google has planned to open its second cloud region in India in Delhi.

• The Delhi cloud region is expected to be launched in 2021, and will have three zones to protect against service disruptions.

• It will be the Google’s second cloud region in India. The first region was launched in Mumbai in 2017.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Luxembourg becomes first country to make all public transport free:

• In an attempt to reduce traffic jams, Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to make all public transport free from February 29. This is the first time that the decision to offer free public transport has covered an entire country, the transport ministry stated.

• The decision has been observed in Luxembourg so as to bring down the congestion on streets. As a result of this decision, every person will be able to save around 100 euros ($110) per year.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

EPFO lowers interest rate on PF deposits to 8.5 percent for 2019-20:

• Retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organization, (EPFO) has lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 8.5 percent for the current financial year 2019-20.Earlier it was 8.65 percent.

• This announcement was made by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi on 5 March 2020

India has 3rd highest trade-related illicit financial flow globally:

• India has the third highest trade-related illicit financial flow among 135 countries with 5 billion dollars (about Rs 6.08 lakh crore) or 3.05 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) escaping the government’s tax net, according to US-based think tank Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

• The GFI classifies as illicit flow funds that are illegally earned, transferred or utilised across an international border. The primary sources of illicit flows include grand corruption, commercial tax evasion and transnational crime.

Allahabad Bank to be merged with Indian Bank:

• The 10 state-run banks of the country will be converted into 4 banks from April 1 onwards. Allahabad Bank will be merged with the Indian Bank. The business of the new institute will be Rs 10 lakh crore in the coming two to three years after the merger of the two banks.

• As of December 31, 2019, Indian Bank has a turnover of Rs 4.5 lakh crore and has 2,887 branches across the country. Apart from this, the Allahabad Bank is worth Rs 3.94 lakh crore and has 3,175 branches.

• Chennai's Indian Bank and Kolkata's Allahabad Bank will emerge as the 7th largest bank in the banking sector of the country.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

PM Modi will be treated with highest honour during Bangladesh visit:

• Foreign Minister of Bangladesh A.K. Abdul Momen has stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be treated with the highest honour during his forthcoming visit to Bangladesh to attend the Mujib Centenary Celebrations.

• The Bangladesh govt has invited Prime Minister Modi as the premier of India, which was its closest ally during the liberation war.

OBITUARY

Former UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar passes away:

• Peruvian two-term UN secretary-general, Javier Perez de Cuellar died on March 04, 2020 at the age of 100. He played a key role in a historic ceasefire between Iran and Iraq in 1988.

• He took over the role of UN secretary-general in January 1982 and had served the post for term terms till 1991. He had also served as Peru’s Ambassador to France.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Amrish Rau appointed as CEO of Pine Labs:

• Amrish Rau has been appointed as CEO of Pine Labs, a leading merchant commerce platform company.

• Rau founded the start up Citrus Pay, which was sold off to Pay U, replaces Vicky Bindra who after a two-year stint as CEO is moving back to San Francisco, the company stated in a statement.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd March 2020

NATIONAL NEWS

Punjab bans online food orders without hygiene rating:

• The Punjab government has decided to ban online food supply from all hotels, dhabas, and eateries etc which do not follow the hygiene rating rules under the Food Standards and Safety Act, Punjab.

• The government has also issued instructions to online food supply companies (OFSAs) not to take food from shops that do not follow government rules.

• The order states that Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Panda any many other food business operators in Punjab deliver food online. This is a new way of delivering food through an IT-based platform, which provides food at home.

Yog mahotsav begins in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand:

• Antar rashtriya yog mahotsav has been inaugurated in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

• Yoga teachers and practitioners from eleven countries are taking part in this week-long event.

• The ‘yog mahotsav’ is held in Rishikesh every year from March 1 to March 7.

3-day Krishi Vigyan Mela organised in New Delhi:

• 3-day Krishi Vigyan Mela has been organised in New Delhi from March 1-3, 2020 by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

• Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the event and called for retention of talent in agriculture.

• The event will showcase the latest crop seed varieties, technology and products developed by both government and private companies.

Government Launches “Fuel Humsafar” Mobile App For Doorstep Diesel Delivery:

• Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has launched a mobile application named ‘Fuel Humsafar’ for delivery of diesel at doorsteps of Housing societies, hotels and hospitals in the national capital region.

• The app will be used for the fuel delivery services to housing societies, hotels, hospitals, malls, construction sites, industries, banquets and other bulk buyers of diesel in various NCR cities, including Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Hapur, Kundli, Manesar, and Bahadurgarh.

• Humsafar has 12 bowser tankers in varying capacity from 4 kilolitres to 6 kilolitres and an experienced team of 35 people.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Muhyiddin Yassin sworn in as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister:

• In Malaysia, newly appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yasin took the oath of office. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.

• Muhyiddin Yasin heads a coalition dominated by the country’s ethnic Malay Muslim majority.

• Malaysia has plunged into turmoil as Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance collapsed after a bid to force out leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Fitch cuts India’s FY20 GDP forecast to 4.9% and for FY21 to 5.4%:

• Fitch Solutions has cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth rate for FY20 to 4.9% from previous 5.1%.

• For FY21, Fitch Solution has predicted India’s GDP growth at 5.4%.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Captain Amarinder Singh honoured with ‘ideal’ CM award:

• The Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad (BCS) conferred ‘Adarsh Mukhya Mantri Puraskar’ (Ideal Chief Minister Award) upon Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his “path breaking initiatives to ensure good governance and holistic development in the state”.

• The award was presented to Capt Amarinder Singh by former President Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi at Vigyan Bhawan during the valedictory function of 10th edition of four-day national conclave of BCS.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DRDO launches new explosive detection device RaIDer-X:

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently launched RaIDer-X, the explosive detection device.

• The device was launched in collaboration with the IISC Bangalore. The RaIDer-X can detect explosives in their pure form as well as in the form of contaminated objects.

OBITUARY

Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passes away

• Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passed away. He was a part of the 1968 Olympics bronze-winning team. He was born at Sansarpur village of Jalandhar district in Punjab. He made his India debut in 1963 in Lyon, France.

• He was also a member of the Indian team that won the Asian Games gold in 1966 at Bangkok and the Olympic Bronze in 1968 in Mexico. He also served as an Indian national team selector.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Rajeev Suri to step down as Nokia CEO:

• Nokia President and CEO Rajiv Suri will step down from his current position on August 31, 2020. However, Suri will continue to serve as an advisor to the Nokia board until 1 January 2021. Pekka Lundmark will take over his position in the place of Suri.

RANKING

Indian chess Grand Master Humpy ranked World No.2:

• Women’s World Rapid Chess Champion and Indian chess Grand Master (GM) Koneru Humpy jumped to second spot leaving behind World Women’s Chess Champion Ju Wenjun in global chess body FIDE’s March month’s overall ranking. Humpy won the prestigious Cairns Cup last month.

• Meanwhile Indian female chess players are keeping the nation’s flag flying high with GM Harika Dronavalli maintaining her ninth rank and in the girl’s section R. Vaishali moving up to ninth place from 10th rank in February.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd February 2020

National

Department of Telecommunications launches '5G Hackathon'

• The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched the ‘5G Hackathon’ in association with the government of India, academia and industry stakeholders.

• The aim of 5G Hackathon is shortlisting India’s focused cutting edge ideas that can be converted into workable 5G products and solutions.

• The 5G technology provides quantum leap over 4G in terms of speed, peak data rate, latency, spectrum efficiency, and connection density. The Hackathon will convert innovating ideas into products and solutions in different verticals and develop India specific use cases around 5G.

• The 5G Hackathon is open to developers, students, start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions and registered companies in India and Non-resident Indians (NRIs). All Stakeholders can participate as individuals or as a team to present use cases for the 5G network in the Indian context.

Swachh Bharat Mission II phase to cost Rs 52,000 crore, gets cabinet nod

• The Centre has approved the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), which will be implemented on a mission mode between 2020-21 and 2024-25.

• An estimated budget of Rs 52,497 crore has been allocated for the project, to be shared between the centre and the state.

• The Phase II will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and solid and liquid waste management (SLWM).

• Fund sharing pattern between the Centre and States will be respectively as given below:

o 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and UT of J&K

o 60:40 for other States

o 100:0 for other Union Territories

Union Cabinet Approves Constitution of 22nd Law Commission of India

• The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years, from its date of official constitution.

• Role and Responsibility of the Law Commission:Undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.

Banking and Economy

RBI Approves Appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as MD and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as Managing Director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.

• Sunil Gurbaxani will be appointed for a period of three years from the date of taking charge. Currently Gurbaxani is working with Axis Bank.

Summits and Mou’s

HDFC Bank, Mastercard & SAP concur associate for T&E Tech

• HDFC Bank, Mastercard and SAP Concur have joined hands for spending management services for the corporate sector.

• HDFC Bank will offer a corporate credit card for business travellers, providing a one-stop solution for payment and expense management during business trips.

• The card is supported by Mastercard. SAP Concur is a travel, expense, and invoice management solutions provider.

• The corporate credit card will enable the seamless integration of all business-related to spend into SAP Concur offerings, enhancing the employee experience, increasing visibility, saving money, and improving corporate efficiency.

Awards

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw wins EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2019

• Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon, has been named as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 on 19 February 2020, at the 21st edition of the EY Entrepreneur of The Year India awards.

• Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award.

• She will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo from 4–6 June 2020.

Sports

Ross Taylor becomes first player to play 100 matches in all three formats

• Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor today became the first player in the world to play 100 matches in all three formats of cricket.

• The landmark achievement came as he took the field against India in the opening Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington. The ongoing match is also his 100th Test.

Appointments and Resignations

Former IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe, Amarjeet Sinha appointed advisors to PM

• Retired IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe and Amarjeet Sinha have been appointed as Advisors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointments in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the rank and scale of Secretary

Ranking

India ranks 35th in 2019 WEFFI list

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019. India jumped five ranks and secured 35th rank in the list.

Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019:

♦ WEFFI ranked countries that are based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education.

♦ It analyzed the education system from the perspective of skill-based education in areas like problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship, and digital and technical skills.

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Important Current Affairs 20th February 2020

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

 “Bezos Earth Fund” : to combat climate change launched by Jeff Bezos:

• Through this fund, Jeff Bezos has committed to contribute $10 billion to help preserve and protect the natural world against the climate change.

• The Bezos Earth Fund will fund the scientists, activists, NGOs to save Earth to tackle the issue of climate change.

• Key points:

CEO of Amazon: Jeff Bezos.

Amazon was established on 5th July 1994.

 Headquarters: Washington, USA.

Nepal’s  70th National Democracy Day:

• Nepal celebrates the National Democracy Day every year on Falgun 7 to commemorate the attainment of democracy after the abolition of the 104-year long autocratic Rana Regime.

• In 2007 Bikram Sambat, on this day, democracy was established in the Himalayan nation ending over a century old autocratic Rana regime.

• Prime minister of Nepal: KP Sharma Oli.

• President of Nepal: Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

• Capital of Nepal: Kathmandu; Currency of Nepal: Nepalese rupee.

NATIONAL NEWS

Delhi's IGI Airport becomes single-use plastic free airport:

• The Delhi International Airport Ltd has declared “Indira Gandhi International Airport” of Delhi as India’s first single-use plastic-free airport.

• The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development has certified Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) as single-use plastic-free airport.

Kala Kumbh exhibition,  New Delhi : Organized by Ministry of Textiles:

• The Ministry of Textiles organized “Kala Kumbh” exhibition in New Delhi. It is an exhibition to promote Geographical Indication (GI) craft and heritage of India.

• The exhibitions are planned in various major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The exhibitions are sponsored by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

• The GI tag is used on handicrafts which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin (e.g., a town, region, or country). As of August 2019, 178 GI handicraft products were registered from all over India.

• Union Minister of Textiles: Smriti Zubin Irani.

Cabinet approves formation of non-statutory body for a term of three years:

• The government constitutes a 22nd law commission as per the requirement.

• It was originally formed in 1955.The commission is reorganized for three years.

• The term of the 21st Law Commission ended on August 31, 2018.The Law Commission is a non-statutory body.

• Responsibilities of 22nd Law Commission

• It will identify laws that are no longer needed or are irrelevant and can be repealed immediately.

• The 22nd Law Commission will examine the existing laws and suggest ways for reforms. It will also suggest the necessary laws to implement the Directive Principles mentioned in the Preamble of the Constitution.

• It will take all necessary measures to use law and legal processes in the service of poor people.

• The law commission will revise the laws of general importance to simplify them and remove anomalies, ambiguities, and inequities.

Central Consumer Protection Authority to be set up by Govt by first week of April:

• Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has stated the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set up by the first week of April this year.

• The CCPA to be set up under Consumer Protection Act 2019, will address issues related to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and impose penalties for selling spurious and adulterated products.

Phase two of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen approved:

• Union Cabinet has approved the 2nd Phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen till 2024-25.

• The program will work towards ensuring that no one is left behind and everyone uses a toilet.

• The 2nd phase of the mission will be implemented in a mission mode with a total estimated budgeted financial implication of 52 thousand 497 crore rupees.

• The 2nd phase of the mission will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM).

 Symposium on Emerging Opportunities for Indian Textiles and Crafts:

• Symposium on Emerging Opportunities for Indian Textiles and Crafts was held in New Delhi.

• The symposium was chaired by Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani.

• Senior officers of the Ministries of Commerce & Industry and Textiles, representatives of Export Promotion Council (EPCs), buying offices and buying agents participated in the symposium.

• The symposium was organized by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts under the aegis of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

BS-VI Fuel: India To Switch To World’s Cleanest Petrol, Diesel From April 1:

• India will switch to the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to Euro-VI emission compliant fuels from Euro-IV grades now.

• This has been achieved in just three years and not seen in any of the large economies around the globe.

• India will join the select league of nations using petrol and diesel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it looks to cut vehicular emissions that are said to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in major cities.

• State-owned oil refineries spent about 35,000 crore rupees to upgrade plants that could produce ultra-low sulphurBS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG..

BANKING, ECONOMICS AND MOU’S

SEZs continue to take lead in expanding exports:

• The Special Economic Zones, SEZ continue to take the lead in expanding the exports for the country.

• Ev

en in the midst of a volatile global economy, SEZs in India have shown resilience and have achieved 100 billion dollar worth of exports so far.

• Sectors that saw healthy growth in this financial year include gems and jewelry, trading and Logistics, leather and footwear, non-conventional energy, textiles and garments.

• Petrochemicals constitute a major segment of SEZ exports, however, growth was muted in this segment this year which may be attributed to the softening of global crude prices.

• There are 241 SEZs operational in the country.

MSME loan: Gujarat govt partners with SBI to facilitate MSME:

• The Gujarat government signed an MoU with State Bank of India (SBI) to facilitate approval of loans to entrepreneurs in the MSME sector with ease and within a short time-frame.

• As per the MoU, the top public sector lender will provide working capital to entrepreneurs seeking to start new micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) within a short time -frame after providing theoretical approval within 15 days of making an application.

• The MoU was signed between principal secretary M K Das and SBI Ahmedabad circle general manager Ramesh Kumar Agarwal.

• The SBI decided to help MSME entrepreneurs in Gujarat looking at their high recovery rate.

• About State Bank of India(SBI):

• Chairperson– Rajnish Kumar.

• Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.

• Former name– Imperial Bank of India.

• Tagline– The Banker to Every Indian; With you all the way; Purely Banking Nothing Else; The Nation Banks on Us.

Sports

India will host AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2022:

• India has been selected to host the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

• This was announced by the Women’s Committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)  in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 19 February 2020.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Nritya Gopal Das elected as the president of Ram Mandir Trust:

• Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was elected as the president of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust. 

• Champat Rai would be the general secretary of the trust.

• The first meeting of the Ram Mandir Trust to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was held in New Delhi.

• The meeting also decided that Nripendra Mishra, former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will head a committee to make decisions regarding the actual construction of the temple.

Ranking

India Ranks 77th on Sustainability Index and 131st in Child Flourishing Index rankings: UN report:

• India has been ranked at 77th position in the Sustainability Index 2020 and 131st on the Flourishing Index 2020, according to a UN-backed report.

• The report released on 19 February 2020 commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The Lancet medical journal.

• The Sustainability Index 2020 takes into account per capita carbon emissions and ability of children in a nation to live healthy lives. It ranks countries on excess carbon emissions compared with the 2030 target.

Days

World Day of Social Justice observed:

• The World Social Justice Day is celebrated on February 20 every year. It aims to face the problem of poverty, unemployment, and abandonment. This year’s theme is - Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice.

• This day highlights that gender equality, social security and the rights of migrants are essential for social justice.

• United Nation believes that social justice can be ensured only when people do not face problems due to gender, age, race, religion or culture.

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Important Current Affairs 4th February 2020

National 


14-day joint military exercise by Indian, Bangladesh armies begin
•    The 9th edition of the annual joint military training exercise by Indian and Bangladesh armies named ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ was flagged off on 3rd February 2020 in Umroi in Meghalaya.
•    The 14-day log exercise is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh, hosted alternately by the two countries, enabling both armies to familiarise each other in various tactical drills and procedures.

Coronavirus: Kerala declares 'state calamity'

Kerala government has declared ‘state calamity’ after 3 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the state. The Central Government recently constituted a High-Level Group of Ministers (GoM) to review the preparedness of concerned authorities to deal with Coronavirus in India. Till date, Coronavirus has led to the death of over 400 people in China.

Banking and Economy


Paytm launches Android POS device for SMEs & merchant partners

•    Paytm has launched an Android POS device for small and medium businesses (SMEs) & merchant partners. The android based device will enable the merchants to accept payments in various ways like debit and credit cards, Paytm Wallet, UPI-based apps and cash. 
•    The device provides the merchants with the facility of producing GST compliant bills, to manage transactions and settlements through ‘Paytm for Business’ app. 
•    These services will increase the importance of digital payments in the business of small and medium businesses (SMEs) & merchant partners and will also bring to them the advantages of the digital economy.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das Named Central Banker of the Year 2020
•    The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, has been named as the ‘Central Banker of the Year 2020 for the Asia-Pacific region’ by ‘The Banker’ magazine, owned by London-based Financial Times (FT).
•    The Banker‘s Central Banker of the Year 2020 awards celebrate the officials that have best managed to stimulate growth and stabilise their economy.

Awards


21st IIFA Awards to be held in Indore in March 2020
•    The 21st edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards) 2020 will be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh from March 27-29, 2020.
•    This will be the second consecutive year that the event is being organised in India. Last year it was held in Mumbai.
•    Till 2019, the events were organised in cities outside the country.
•    The IIFA awards are presented annually since 2000 for Excellence in cinematic achievements for Bollywood.


BAFTA 2020 Film Awards
•    The 73rd edition of the annual British Academy Film Awards, also known as BAFTA, was held on 2 February 2020 in London,
•    The award is presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, to honor the best national and foreign films of 2019 of any nationality that were screened at British cinemas in 2019.
•    The Film ‘1917’ received the highest number of awards at 7 with nominations in 9 categories.

Obituary

Former Karnataka Minister D Manjunath Passes Away
•    Former Karnataka Minister D Manjunath passed away at the age of 93 after prolonged illness.
•    Manjunath joined the Janata Party in 1977 and had served in different capacities including as Chairperson of Legislative Council and Minister in various governments.


Appointment


Ajay Bisaria Appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada
•    Ajay Bisaria, a 1987 batch IFS officer, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada.
•    Currently, he is India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Albin Kurti Appointed New Prime Minister of Kosovo
•    Kosovo’s parliament has approved Albin Kurti as the new prime minister of the country on 3rd February 2020.
•    Albin Kurti, leader of the political party Vetëvendosje, will serve as the fourth Prime Minister of Kosovo.

Days


World Cancer Day: February 4
•    World Cancer Day is organized every year on 4 February by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
•    World Cancer Day 2019-21 theme: ‘I Am And I Will’
 

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Important Current Affairs 1st February 2020

Union Budget 2020-21 is being presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Budget 2020 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to revive economic growth and boost people's income. The Budget is based on three themes :
Aspirational India
Economic development
Caring society

Union Budget 2020 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanin, a bid to revive economic growth and boost people's income. The Budget is based on three themes - aspirational India, economic development for all, and caring society. The Finance Minister began her speech by saying that the Budget 2020-21 is for boosting income and improving the purchasing power of people. The fiscal deficit is estimated at 3.8 percent(revised estimate for 2019-20)of the gross domestic product in the current financial year, and the government aims to lower it to 3.5 percent (budget estimate for 2020-21) in the fiscal year ending March 2021. She proposed Rs 69,000 crore to the healthcare sector and Rs 12,300 crore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship cleanliness program Swachh Bharat Mission. Finance Minister earmarked another Rs 3.6 lakh crore towards the supply of piped water to households.

Highlights Of Union Budget 2020:
The income tax for those earning between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh will be cut to 10 percent from 20 percent. The income tax for those earning between Rs 7.5 and Rs 10 lakh will be cut to 15 percent from 20 percent. The income tax for those earning between Rs 10 and Rs 12.5 lakh will be cut to 20 percent from 30 percent.The income tax for those earning between Rs 12.5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh will be cut to 25 percent from 30 percent. 30 percent tax rate will still be applicable for those earning above Rs 15 lakh. There will be no tax for those earning Rs 5 lakh and Rs 690 billion will be spent on healthcare spending.


Village Storage Scheme
•    Women, SHGs to regain their position as Dhaanya Lakshmi.NABARD to map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities, etc.
•    Warehousing in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms:
•    State governments who undertake the implementation of model laws (issued by the Central government) to be encouraged.
•    Livestock:
o    Doubling of milk processing capacity to 108 million MT from 53.5 million MT by 2025.
o    Artificial insemination to be increased to 70% from the present 30%.
o    MNREGS to be dovetailed to develop fodder farms.
o    Foot and Mouth Disease, Brucellosis in cattle and Peste Des Petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goat to be eliminated by 2025.


Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana 
Around 0.5 crore households mobilized with 58 lakh SHGs for poverty alleviation.

Education and Skills
•    New Education Policy to be announced soon.
•    National Police University and National Forensic Science University proposed for policing science, forensic science, and cyber-forensics.
•    Degree level full-fledged online education program by Top-100 institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
•    Up to 1-year internship to fresh engineers to be provided by Urban Local Bodies.
•    The budget proposes to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPP mode.
•    Special bridge courses to be designed by the Ministries of Health, and Skill Development

TRANSPORT
•    100 more airports are planned by 2024
•    Over 6,000 km of highways in 12 lots will be monetized by 2024
•    One major airport will be privatized


16-POINT ACTION PLAN FOR FARMERS
The government is committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022 to allocate Rs 2.83 lakh crore for agriculture and rural sectors such as irrigation.
•    Schemes that encourage manufacturing of mobile phones, electronic equipment, and semiconductor packaging be introduced
•    Private sector to build Data Centre Parks throughout the country will be encouraged
•    80 billion rupees over five years to be provided for quantum technologies and applications
•    Milk processing capacity to be doubled by 2025.

National 

ISRO readying for low cost satellite launch vehicles

•    The Indian Space Research Organisation is readying low-cost satellite launch vehicles costing about Rs 30-35 crore each, which can put into orbit satellites weighing 500 kg.
•    The first such launch from the country is expected to take place in the next four months.
Flame-Throated Bulbul ‘Rubigula’ Unveiled as Official mascot for National Games 2020 in Goa
•    The 36th edition of the National Games of India will be held from 20 October to 4 November 2020 in Goa.
•    The official mascot for the Goa 2020 National Games was unveiled on 01 February 2020 by the Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant in the presence of Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju.
•    The Flame-Throated Bulbul under the name ‘Rubigula’ has been unveiled as the mascot for the event.
•    The Flame-Throated Bulbul is the state bird of Goa.


Appointment

M Ajit Kumar Appointed as New Chairman of CBIC
•    The Central government has appointed M Ajit Kumar as the Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on 31 January 2020. Mohammad Allawi Named as new PM of Iraq
•    The President of Iraq Barham Saleh has named former Communication Minister,

Mohammad Allawi as the country’s new Prime Minister on 1st February 2020.

Abidali Neemuchwala Steps Down as CEO and MD of Wipro
•    The chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Wipro, Abidali Z Neemuchwala has quit the post, giving “family commitments” as the reason behind the decision. Indian-origin Arvind Krishna to Succeed Ginni Rometty as IBM Chief

Indian-origin Arvind Krishna has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American multinational IT company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
•    The 57-year-old will succeed long time CEO Ginni Rometty.
 

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Important Current Affairs 20th January 2020

National 


Printing process for Union Budget 2020-21 begins

• The Printing process for the Union Budget 2020-21 began with the Halwa ceremony in North Block on January 20, 2020.
• The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 on February 1, 2020. 
• At present, all the officials involved in the preparation of Union Budget 2020 have been subject to “Lock-in” to avoid any prospective leak of information. 

PM Modi interacts with students at Pariksha Pe Charcha 2020

• The 3rd Edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha was held on January 20, 2020 at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. 
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with over 2000 students who would appear for the Board Exams 2020. 
• PM Modi shared interesting tips for exam preparations and also talked about the ways to handle stress and anxiety.

First squadron of Sukhoi-30 aircraft inducted into Indian Air Force

• The first squadron of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft was inducted into the Indian Air Force at its Thanjavur base, Tamil Nadu on January 20, 2020. 
• The Sukhoi-30 aircraft has been integrated with the supersonic BrahMos missiles.
• This 222-squadron known as the Tigersharks will serve as a platform for conducting aerial and maritime missions in the Indian Ocean Region.

NDRF Celebrates its 15th Raising Day

•    The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) celebrated its 15th Raising Day on 19th January. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a specialized multi-skilled, humanitarian force of the country, came into existence on January 19th, 2006 has been playing a vital role in Disaster Management and Community awareness for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the country.
•    The NDRF has earned good name and fame nationally and internationally with its selfless service and unmatched professionalism in disaster management. NDRF has saved more than One lakh lives in its 3100 operations and rescued/evacuated over 6.7 lakh people during disasters. A workshop was also be conducted on ‘Urban flooding & challenges’ and ‘Biological Emergencies & New Technology in Disaster Management’.

International

Coronavirus in China: 139 new cases reported so far

• The outbreak of deadly novel coronavirus has now spread to Beijing and Shenzhen cities of China.
• So far, the authorities have reported a total of 198 confirmed cases of coronavirus containment and death of 3 people.
• A few cases of coronavirus infection have been reported from Thailand and Japan as well. 

Awards

‘Castle of Dreams’ gets Best Film Award at DIFF
•    The Iranian film ‘Castle of Dreams’ directed by Reza Mirakarimi won the Best Film Award in Asian Competition section of the 18th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF). The film also won the Best Director Award.
•    Indian film ‘Finally Love’ directed by Anjan Dutt bagged Best Audience Award in Cinema of the World Category. Sri Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage’s film ‘Children of the Sun’ won Special Jury Award.

SAG Awards 2020 winners list


The winners of the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards were awarded at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, the US on 19 January. The award honours the biggest achievements in TV and film for the year 2019.

Winners' List:
Television Awards:
Television Movie/Miniseries (Male): Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon 
Television Movie/Miniseries (Female): Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Drama Series (Male): Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Drama Series (Female): Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Comedy Series (Male): Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Comedy Series (Female): Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Ensemble in a Drama Series: The Crown
Ensemble in a Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series: Game of Thrones

Motion Picture Awards:
Leading Role (Male): Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Leading Role (Female): Renée Zellweger, Judy
Supporting Role(Male): Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Supporting Role (Female): Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Cast in a Motion Picture: Parasite
Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture: Avengers: Endgame

Science & Technology

APEDA sets up 186 Agri products testing laboratories

•    20 January 2020 Current Affairs:Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has added 135 laboratories to existing 51 recognized laboratories. With this addition of laboratories, APEDA recognition of laboratories has reached 186 laboratories in India. 
•    The move is significant as the Laboratory testing requirements are crucial in the Agri export supply chain. The number of laboratories added includes 35 in Maharashtra, 23 in Gujarat, 10 in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, 23 in Tamil Nadu 17 in and Karnataka. 

•    APEDA introduced a policy decision for the simplification of APEDA recognition of laboratories to increase the laboratory network further. It has been decided that the laboratories which are National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited will be recognized by APEDA. These laboratories will be added in the network of APEDA recognition laboratories.

Appointment


Union Minister Arjun Munda was elected as the President of AAI

•    Union Minister Arjun Munda was elected as the President of the Archery Association of India (AAI) elections. Arjun Munda defeated his rival BVP Rao by a margin of 34-18 votes. 
•    Munda was elected for a full tenure of four years. The AAI elections were held according to the Delhi High Court order. 
•    The election was held in the presence of an observer each from World Archery (WA), Sports Ministry and Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

GoI appoints Nripendra Misra as chairman of NMML

•    Nripendra Misra has been appointed chairperson of the executive council of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML). The Executive Council of the NMML has been reconstituted and it will be now chaired by Mr Misra. Dr A Surya Prakash, chairperson of the Prasar Bharati board, will be the council’s vice-chairperson.

•    The Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) established in the memory of Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

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