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Important Current Affairs 29th September 2020

National

Defence Minister unveils Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020 in New Delhi on September 28, 2020. The Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 will be applicable with effect from October 1, 2020.

• The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was first promulgated in 2002. Since then, the procedure has been revised periodically to provide a boost to the growing domestic industry and achieve enhanced self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

• The Defence Minister had approved the constitution of the Main Review Committee under Chairmanship of DG (Acquisition) Apurva Chandra in August 2019 for preparation of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP).

ICMR Vaccine web portal & C-19 National Clinical Registry launched

• The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the first-of-its-kind national vaccine portal for C-19 on 28 September 2020, created by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

• The vaccine web portal will act as a repository for all information related to C-19 vaccine development in India and abroad. Currently, 3 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India for C-19.

• The portal will also provide information related to C-19 vaccine data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).You can access the website at https://vaccine.icmr.org.in/.

Banking and Economy

SBI Card launches new brand campaign ‘Contactless Connections’

• SBI Card announced the launch of its new brand campaign, Contactless Connections that spreads the message that love and care can be shared even during this difficult period where social distancing is the norm.

• The campaign endeavours to bring a fresh breath of positivity by demonstrating that people can connect emotionally and spread joy despite the social distancing practices by which we are bound.

Awards

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sanju Yadav win AIFF Player of the Year Awards for 2019-20 season

• Indian men’s team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and women’s squad’s mid-fielder Sanju were declared the winners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Footballer of the Year awards for the 2019-20 season.

• This is the first time Gurpreet has received the award, and in the process, he became the second goalkeeper after Subrata Paul in 2009 to be named the AIFF Player of the Year.

• Meanwhile, national women’s team mid-fielder Sanju was selected the winner after an excellent season, while Ratanbala Devi won the 2019-20 Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year Award.

Sattra Basishta Deva Sarma Conferred Srimanta Sankaradeva Award

• Assam’s Srimanta Sankaradeva Award 2017 was conferred on eminent Vaishnavite scholar, writer and ‘Satradhikar of Barpeta’ Sattra Basishta Deva Sarma.

• The award carries a citation, a ‘sarai’ (traditional Assamese bell metal item), ‘angabastra’ (scarf), a gold memento and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh.

Science and Technology

India’s first RRTS train with design speed of 180 kmph unveiled

• The Centre on Friday unveiled the first look of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train that can attain a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor.

• The design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic Lotus Temple and is aligned with PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ policy.

Appointments and Resignations

Mali’s Former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane appointed as new Prime Minister

• The interim President of Mali, Bah Ndaw, has named former Malian Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as the prime minister West African nation.

• The 64-year-old served as foreign minister between 2004 and 2011 during Amadou Toumani Toure’s presidency.

Days

World Heart Day

• World Heart Day is observed on 29th September annually to draw people’s attention to heart illness and the range of associated health issues.

• The day which is celebrated annually creates awareness of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) including heart disease & stroke and highlights the preventive and control measures.

•  The theme for World Heart Day 2020: “Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease”.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

• The International Day for the Universal Access to Information (commonly known as Access to Information Day) is held on 28 September ever year. Theme 2020: Access to Information – Saving lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope!

• Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information for healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

• Initially the day was designated by the UNESCO in November 2015 and was first held on 28 September 2016.It was later proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly.

Books and Authors

‘The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales’ for Kids by Neelakantan

• “Baahubali” series author Anand Neelakantan has written his debut book in the children’s space which tells some of the most hilarious stories about child asuras and their antics.

• The book titled ‘The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales’ has full-colour illustrations accompanying the narrative. It was put by Puffin.

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Important Current Affairs 28th September 2020

National

PM Modi's address at 75th UN General Assembly

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 75th United Nations General Assembly session on September 26, 2020 through a pre-recorded video statement, which was broadcasted at the UN General Assembly hall in New York.

• The Indian Prime Minister began his statement by congratulating each and every member country on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations on behalf of 1.3 billion people of India. He stated that India is proud of the fact that it is one of the founding members of the United Nations.

• The theme of the 75th UN General Assembly session is - "The Future we want, the United Nations we need, reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism - confronting the C-19 through effective multilateral action."

Banking and Economy

Positive Pay System for Cheque Payments to Come into Effect from January 1: RBI

• In order to check banking fraud, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to introduce from January 1, 2021, the ‘positive pay system’ for cheque, under which re-confirmation of key details may be needed for payments beyond Rs 50,000.

• Availing of this facility would be at the discretion of the account holder. However, banks may consider making it mandatory in case of cheques for amounts of Rs 5 lakh and above.

• Under the positive pay system, the issuer of the cheque will be required to submit electronically, through SMS, mobile app, internet banking or ATM certain minimum details of that cheque like date, name of the beneficiary, payee, amount to the drawee bank. These details will be cross-checked before the cheque is presented for payment. In case any discrepancy is flagged by cheque truncation system (CTS) to the drawee bank and presenting bank, redressal measures would be undertaken.

IRDAI Identifies LIC, GIC, New India Assurance Systemically Important Insurers

• Regulator IRDAI has identified LIC, GIC and New India Assurance as domestic systemically important insurers (D-SIIs) and subsequently decided to subject them to enhanced regulatory supervision.

• The three insurers have also been asked to raise the level of corporate governance, identify all relevant risks and promote a sound risk management culture.

Science and Technology

IIT Madras Develops ‘MOUSHIK’ Microprocessor For IoT Devices

• Indian Institute of Technology Madras Researchers have successfully booted up MOUSHIK, an indigenously-made Microprocessor.

• MOUSHIK is a processor cum system on chip that can cater to the rapidly-growing IoT devices, an integral part of Smart Cities of a Digital India.

• There are three steps involved in the making of a microprocessor, namely design, fabrication and post-silicon boot-up,” Kamakoti Veezhinathan, Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems Engineering (RISE) Group.

Obituary

Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh Passes Away

• The former Union Minister Jaswant Singh has passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 82.

• Jaswant Singh had served as the external affairs minister, defense minister and finance minister of India, during the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet.

• Prior to pursuing career in politics with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr. Singh was an officer in the Indian Army in the 1950s and 60s.

Noted Padma Bhusan Economist Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia passes away

• Renowned economist Dr.  Isher Judge Ahluwalia has passed away after a 10-month-long battle with brain cancer. She was 74.

• Dr Ahluwalia was awarded with the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature.

• Ahluwalia served as the director and then the chairperson of Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) for a total of 15 years and built ICRIER into a leading global think tank.

Sports

Valtteri Bottas wins Russian Grand Prix 2020

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) has won the Formula One Russian Grand Prix 2020 held on 27 September 2020. This is his second win of the season.

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) came second followed by the 6-time world-champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), who stood third because of penalties.

Days

World Rabies Day

• World Rabies Day is observed on 28 September every year to make people aware of the prevention regarding rabies and to highlight the progress in defeating this horrifying disease.

• The theme for the 14th World Rabies Day in 2020 is ‘End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate’.

• The day also marks the death anniversary of the French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur’, who developed the first rabies vaccine.

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Important Current Affairs 27th September 2020

National

Country’s apex regulator of medical education ‘National Medical Commission’ comes into existence

• The National Medical Commission (NMC), in place of the Medical Council of India (MCI), as the country’s apex regulator of medical education and profession has come into existence.

• With the NMC coming into being, the Board of Governors (BoG) which superseded the MCI on September 26th, 2018, to perform its functions, has been dissolved and the nearly 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act abolished. 

• The NMC comprises a chairman, 10 ex-officio members and 22 part-time members

Govt sanctions 670 electric buses, 241 charging stations to boost electric mobility

• The government has sanctioned 670 electric buses and 241 charging stations to boost the electric mobility in the country.

• The buses have been sanctioned in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Chandigarh whereas charging stations in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Port Blair under Phase-II of FAME India Scheme.

• The second phase of this scheme has been implemented from last year with a total budgetary support of 10 thousand crore rupees.

Banking and Economy

NCAER predicts India GDP for FY21 at -12.6%; For FY22 +7%

• The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has projected the GDP growth for the Indian economy at -12.6% For 2020-21 (FY21).

• For 2021-22, NCAER projects the GDP of India to grow by 7%.

ADB approves Rs 2,200 crore loan for secondary towns of Rajasthan

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of Rs 2,200 crore (USD 300 million) to finance inclusive water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in secondary towns of Rajasthan.

• The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of local governments and Rajasthan Urban Drinking Water, Sewerage, and Infrastructure Corporation Ltd.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Microsoft acquires video game company ZeniMax

• Microsoft announced that it will buy ZeniMax Media, the company that owns well-known video game publisher Bethesda, for $7.5 billion in cash.

• The deal gives Microsoft access to a raft of successful game franchises, including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Doom.

• It’s the biggest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history, after the company bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014

Obituary

PadmaShri Awardee Sekhar Basu passes away

• Veteran Atomic Scientist and Former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission(AEC), Sekhar Basu passed away due to C-19. He served as the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and as director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

• He developed the highly complex reactor for INS Arihant, India’s 1st nuclear-powered submarine.He was the key person behind the design, construction and operation of nuclear recycle plants in Tarapur and Kalpakkam.

Appointments and Resignations

Acer India appoints Sonu Sood as brand ambassador

• Personal computers brand Acer India has roped in actor Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador.

• The actor will endorse the brand’s innovative range of products to improving people’s lives through technology.

• The actor has been selected due to his contribution to empowering people which is in line with Acer India’s brand mantra of empowering people through technology.

Ranking

India ranked 89th in World Risk Report 2020

• According to the World Risk Index (WRI) 2020, India has been ranked at the 89th spot among 181 Countries. WRI has been developed in cooperation with the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNUEHS) and calculated by the International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV).

• As per the World Risk Report 2020, India (6.62) was ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality’, due to which it was more vulnerable to extreme natural disasters.

• The Pacific island state of Vanuatu leads the index as the country with the highest disaster risk (49.74).Qatar has the lowest risk (0.31).In terms of the continents, Oceania ranks first in terms of highest disaster risk, followed by the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Days

World Tourism Day

• The World Tourism Day is observed worldwide on September 27 since 1980.

• This date was chosen by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.

• In 2020 the theme of World Tourism Day is “Tourism and Rural Development”.

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Important Current Affairs 26th September 2020

National

UP govt launches unified portal ‘U-Rise’ to guide students in learning, career counselling, employment

• The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a unified portal called ‘U-Rise’ to guide students in learning, career counselling, and getting employment in the state. Uttar Pradesh was the first state to launch a unified portal along with the implementation of NEP.

• It is the biggest reform programme in the education sector after the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.

• The programme would connect students with practical and technical knowledge.

Banking and Economy

RBI publishes “’Technology Vision for Cyber Security’ for UCBs

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will implement the “Technology Vision for Cyber Security’ for Urban Co-operative Banks (2020-2023) to enhance the IT security system of Urban Co-operative banking to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from cyber-attacks.

• The Technology Vision Document aims at enhancing the cybersecurity posture of the Urban Co-operative banking sector against evolving IT and cyber threat environment. RBI will achieve this objective using its five-pillared strategic approach ‘GUARD’. GUARD denotes:

G – Governance Oversight,

U – Utile Technology Investment,

A – Appropriate Regulation and Supervision,

R – Robust Collaboration

D – Developing necessary IT, cybersecurity skills set.

To accomplish the five pillared approach, RBI has established 12 specific action points spires to:

• Involve more Board Oversight over Cybersecurity.

• Enable UCBs to better manage and secure their IT Assets.

• Implement an offsite supervisory mechanism framework for UCBs on cybersecurity-related controls.

• Develop a forum for UCBs so that they can share best practices and discuss practical issues and challenges.

• Implement a framework for providing awareness/ training for all UCBs.

Awards

Kerala wins UNIATF award for prevention and control of NCD 2020

• Kerala bagged a United Nations award ‘United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force’ for its “outstanding contribution” towards the non-communicable diseases-related sustainable development goals.

• The award recognises achievements during 2019 on the multisectoral action in the prevention and control of NCDs, mental health and the wider NCD-related sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Science and Technology

India successfully conducts testing of Prithvi II missile

• India recently conducted the test fire of Prithvi II missile, developed indigenously and was successful.

• The test was conducted at Chandipur Integrated Test Range, Odisha.

Obituary

Music legend S. P . Balasubramaniam passes away

• Veteran playback singer SP Balasubramaniam passed away in Chennai hospital. He was 74.

• Balasubramaniam won numerous awards over the span of his 50-year career. He sang more than 40,000 songs, a Guinness World Record, in 16 languages, including Tamil, Telegu and Hindi.

• He was a recipient of six national awards, including the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri, India’s third and fourth-highest civilian awards.

Appointments and Resignations

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed appointed new PM of Somalia

• Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has appointed political newcomer Mohamed Hussein Roble as the country’s prime minister, hours after brokering an agreement with regional leaders for elections next year that abandons a promised one-person, one-vote model.

• He will replace former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who was voted out of office by parliament in July for failing to pave the way for fully democratic elections due before February 2021.

EESL appoints Rajat Sud as new Managing Director

• Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) announced the appointment of Rajat Sud as its managing director from immediate effect.

• Sud takes over from S Gopal, director (commercial), who had taken on the additional charge of interim managing director.

• Before joining EESL, he served as executive vice president at Sterlite Power Transmission Ltd. He has also served in leadership positions at Siemens IT Solutions and PwC.

Days

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

• Every year, September 26 is observed as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

• The aims of the day are to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.

World Environmental Health Day

• World Environmental Health day is celebrated on 26th September every year to shed the light on important work of environmental health around the world.

• The Theme for the 2020 World Environmental Health Day is “Environmental health, a key public health intervention in disease pandemic prevention”.

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Important Current Affairs 25th September 2020

National

Labour Codes passed by Parliament to reform labour laws

• In a historic move, the Parliament has passed three labour codes on September 23, 2020 to reform the Labour Laws. These labour codes are Industrial Relations Code, 2020; Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSH Code) and Social Security Code, 2020.

•  These labour codes aim to introduce transparency in the changing business environment.

Railways target to complete 100% electrification of broad gauge routes by 2023

• Railways has planned for 100 per cent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023 said by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

• Around 63 per cent broad gauge lines have already been electrified out of a total 63,631 route kilometers as on 1st of April this year. A total of 23,765 route kilometre lines are yet to be electrified in the country.

EAM Dr S Jaishankar attends Special Ministerial Meeting of FMs of CICA

• The Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar participated in the Special Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the CICA on 24 September 2020.

• CICA is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. CICA stands for the ‘Conference on Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia’.

• The Secretariat of CICA is based at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.It has 27 member states including India; 8 observer states and 5 observer organizations.

International

Alexander Lukashenko sworn in as President of Belarus for 6th term

• President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in for a sixth term on 23 September 2020.

• The 66 year-old authoritarian leader won 80% of the vote in the presidential election to gain another 5 year term.

• Lukashenko is serving as the President of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.

Acquisitions and Mergers

CCI approves merger of Medlife with PharmEasy

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed combination of Medlife and API Holdings.

• The deal pertains to the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent equity shares of Medlife by API Holdings. Medlife shareholders are to get up to 19.59 per cent equity share capital of API Holdings.

• Medlife, a Patna-based company, was valued at $375 million as of January 31, 2020.

Obituary

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passes away at 65

• Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi has passed away after he contracted Chinese virus disease. He was 65-years-old.

• Suresh Angadi was a four-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka’s Belagavi constituency. He was elected in 2004, 2014 and 2019.

Former Australian Cricketer Dean Jones passes away

• Former Australian cricketer and renowned commentator, Dean Jones passed away. He made his debut for Australia in a Test match in the West Indies in 1984.

•  He played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia between 1984 and 1994 before venturing into the commentary.  He scored almost 9500 international runs.

Appointments and Resignations

17-Year-Old Khushi Chindaliya Appointed As UNEP’s Indian Green Ambassador

• A 17-year-old girl from Surat, Khushi Chindaliya has been appointed as the Regional Ambassador for India for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tunza Eco-Generation, a recurring event with monthly goals.

• Khushi, who has been named India’s ‘Green Ambassador’ for her contribution to the conservation of the environment.

• Khushi will work with TEG on various awareness programs till February 2021. Crucially, Khushi is one of the 100 youths in India whose essays will be featured in a UNESCO book.

Govt extends term of Uday Kotak as Chairman of Debt-ridden IL&FS by One Year

• The government extended the term of Uday Kotak as non-executive chairman of debt-ridden IL&FS group by one year with effect from the 3rd day of October 2020.

• Kotak was appointed by the Government as the head of the lender”s board in 2018 to help the troubled company come out of difficulties, after the state took over the board.

Ranking

Shivangi Singh becomes first woman pilot to fly Rafale aircraft

• Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh makes history by becoming the first woman fighter pilot to fly the recently inducted Rafale aircraft. The Rafale was officially inducted on September 10, 2020 in the Indian Air Force.

• Singh is currently receiving the training to fly the Rafale, which is based in Ambala.

Days

World Pharmacist Day

• The World Pharmacist Day is observed on September 25 annually to create awareness about the role of a pharmacist in improving health.

• 2020 theme: “Transforming global health“.

• The day was designated in 2009 by the FIP Council (International Pharmaceutical Federation or Federation International Pharmaceutique) at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey.

World Maritime Day 2020

• World Maritime Day 2020 is observed globally on 24th September in the form of an online event. The exact date of celebrating World Maritime Day is left to the individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

• The theme of World Maritime Day 2020 is “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”.

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Important Current Affairs 24th September 2020

National 

Government implements O-SMART Scheme
• The Ministry of Earth Sciences has implemented the Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources, and Technology(O-SMART) Scheme. 
• The scheme covers 16 sub-projects related to the Ocean development activities including resources, services, technology, observations, and sciences. The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre is also working under the O-SMART Scheme.
• The Scheme generates and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Government to set up Neutrino Observatory in the country
• The central government is planning to set up a Neutrino Observatory in the country. This was informed by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh on September 21, 2020 in a written reply in the lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha.
• The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) will be a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover that will study the neutrinos produced in the atmosphere of the Earth.

Railway plans to complete 100 % electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023
• The Indian Railways have set the target to achieve 100 percent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023.
• This information was stated by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 23 September 2020.

Banking and Economy

Sebi constitutes technical group on social stock exchange
• Sebi set up a technical group on social stock exchange to develop a framework for onboarding non-profit organisations and for-profit enterprises as well as prescribe disclosure requirements on financials and governance.
• The regulator has constituted the technical group under the chairmanship of Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, former chairman of Nabard.
• Other members of the group include Ingrid Srinath, founder-director, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University; Pushpa Aman Singh CEO of Guidestar; and Santhosh Jayaram, Partner and Head- Sustainability and CSR Advisory at KPMG.

HDFC Life enters into partnership with YES Bank to sell insurance policies
• HDFC Life said it has entered into a partnership with YES Bank to sell policies to the bank’s customers.
• This CA arrangement will enable customers of YES Bank to avail HDFC Life’s wide range of life insurance products, which include solutions for protection, savings and investment, retirement and critical illness.

UNCTAD sees India growth moderating at -5.9% in 2020
• United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has predicted that the GDP of India will contract by 5.9% in the year 2020.
• For the year 2021, UNCTAD projects the Indian economy to grow by 3.9%.The projection was made in its Trade and Development Report 2020.

Acquisitions and Mergers

KKR to invest in Reliance Retail for 1.28% stake
• Global investment firm KKR is going to invest in the Reliance Retail ventures Limited (RRVL). With investment of Rs 5,550 crore, KKR will be acquiring 1.28% equity stake in the RRVL on a fully diluted basis.
•  This is the second such investment deal with Reliance Retail in past one month after American private firm Silver Lake invested Rs 7,500 cr into the company for a 1.75% Stake.
• This is also KKR’s second investment in a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, as earlier this year, the firm had invested Rs 11,367 crore in Jio Platforms for a 2.32 percent stake.

Science and Technology

DRDO successfully test fires high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT)- ABHYAS
• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested an indigenously-developed unmanned aerial vehicle, Abhyas, that can be used as target for evaluation of various missile systems.
• Two Abhyas vehicles, developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), were flight tested from a test range off Odisha coast.
• The High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was launched using twin underslung booster.

Sports

Former cricketer Ash Barty wins Golf Club Championship
• Ashleigh Barty, who is the top-ranked WTA player in the world, and a former professional cricket player, has now added another feat in her sporting list by winning golf club championship.
• The 24-year-old, world number one Australian, has won the Brookwater Golf Club women’s championship.
• Ash Barty had withdrawn from participating in US Open and French Open due to C-19 pandemic.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI appoints AK Das as the new administrator of PMC Bank
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed AK Das (ex-general manager at Union Bank of India), as the new administrator of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank.
• He has replaced JB Bhoria who has stepped down from his role as the administrator of the bank due to health reasons.
• In September 2019, the RBI had superseded the board of PMC bank due to fraud and financial irregularities in the PMC bank.

Bah Ndaw named Mali’s interim president
• Former Mali defense minister and retired colonel Bah Ndaw has been named the president of the country’s new transition government, while the leader of the junta that seized power last month. 
• Colonel Assimi Goita, was appointed vice president of the country.
• He will be in power for 18 months before holding elections and returning Mali to civilian rule.

Simanchala Dash appointed as advisor to IMF Executive Director
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the proposal to appoint Simanchala Dash as an advisor to Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Voices of Dissent” authored by Romila Thapar
• A new book titled “Voices of Dissent” authored by Historian Romila Thapar will be jointly published by Penguin Random House India and Seagull Books. 
• The book is a historical essay that explores dissent, including its articulation and public response to its forms, with a focus on the recent protest in India against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens.

 

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2020

National

Women officers to join Indian Navy's helicopter stream for first time ever

• For the first time ever, two women officers will be joining the helicopter stream of the Indian Navy as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians).

• These women officers will be first batch of women airborne combatants to operate from warships. The entry of women officers was earlier restricted to fixed-wing aircraft of Indian Navy.

Govt launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in 272 most affected districts

• Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

• The Plan aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy.

• The activities under the NAPDDR include awareness generation programmes in schools, colleges, Universities, workshop and provisioning of treatment facilities and capacity building of service providers.

International

India extends soft loan of $250 million to Maldives in largest bilateral financial aid

• India has extended financial assistance of USD 250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the C-19 pandemic.

• The budgetary support of USD 250 million has been extended without conditions.

• This financial assistance is being routed through the State Bank of India (SBI), Male so that it does not reflect in the external borrowings of the Maldives.

Summits and Mou’s

MoU signed between AYUSH Ministry and WCD Ministry for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan

• A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

• The MoU will see some time-tested and scientifically proven Ayush-based solutions being adopted for controlling malnutrition in the country.

Acquisitions and Mergers

HCL Technologies to acquire Australian IT solutions company DWS

• Noida-based IT company HCL Technologies (HCL) announced that it would acquire DWS Limited, an Australian IT, business and management consulting group.

• The acquisition of DWS will enhance HCL’s contribution to digital initiatives in Australia and New Zealand while strengthening HCL’s client portfolio across key industries.

Science and Technology

FELUDA: First Gene based C-19 test approved in India

• The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently approved the gene-based C-19 test called Feluda.The test was indigenously developed and uses cutting edge CRISPR (Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology to detect the C-19 virus.

• The test was developed by scientists based in Council of scientific and Industrial Research Institute of genomics and integrative Biology CSIR-IDIB along with the TATA Group.

• FELUDA is the acronym of FNCAS9 editor linked uniform detection. It is a paper strip test

Obituary

Assam Musician Bibhuranjan Choudhury passes away

• Music composer, singer, lyricist and actor Bibhuranjan Choudhury passed away at the age of 71 years due to cancer. He was from Assam.

• Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condoled the demise of Bibhuranjan Choudhury.

Winston Groom, Author of ‘Forrest Gump,’ passes away

• Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop-cultural phenomenon, has died at age 77. He wrote 16 books, fiction and nonfiction.

• Groom served in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division from 1965 to 1969, the university said. His service included a tour in Vietnam – one of the settings for “Forrest Gump.”

Sports

Simona Halep & Novak Djokovic wins 2020 Italian Open title

• World number one Novak Djokovic beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman, 7-6, 5-3, to win 2020 Men’s Single Italian Open title and his fifth overall Rome title.

• In Women’s single, top seed Simona Halep defeated champion Karolina Pliskova, 6-0, 2-1, to win her first Italian Open title.

• Winners List

1. Men’s Single- Novak Djokovic

2. Women’s Single- Simona Halep

3. Men’s Double- Marcel Granollers /Horacio Zeballos

4. Women’s Double- Hsieh Su-wei / Barbora Strýcová

Appointments and Resignations

 Anil Dhasmana becomes new chief of NTRO 

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief, Anil Dhasmana, as the new Chief of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) for a period of two years with effect from 18 September 2020.

• NTRO is a technical intelligence Agency under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which looks after geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery.

• He will replace former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Satish Chandra Jha. Dhasmana, a 1981-batch officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, has been the chief of RAW from 31 January 2017 to 29 June 2019.

Ranking

World Largest Telescope to have IT controls built in India

• The square kilometre array also called the SKA, an international initiative building the world’s largest radio telescope is to have control systems designed and built by Tata Consultancy Services, an IT company based in India.

• Several other multiple leading Indian scientific Institutions are also contributing to the project under the leadership of TCS.

• The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) operating under Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the leading manager of the project.

Books and Authors

Chef Vikas Khanna’s Next Book To Give Insights Into His ‘Feed India’ Initiative

• Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna announced his next book titled “Kitchens of Gratitude”.In this book he will write about his Feed India initiative, one of the world’s largest food drives serving meals to the underprivileged amid the ongoing pandemic, said by publishing house Penguin Random House India.

• The book, “Kitchens of Gratitude”, will be released in 2021 under the ‘Ebury Press’ imprint.

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Important Current Affairs 20th September 2020

National

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announces 1350 crore relief package for traders

• In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced an economic package of Rs 1350 crore for Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to boost the business and the other ailing sectors that have suffered huge losses for several years in the newly formed Union Territory.

• This is additional to the benefits of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and other measures taken by the government to comfort the business community.

• The state government has been decided to give 5% interest subvention to every borrower from the business community, without any conditions for six months in the current financial year.

Government gives one-year extension to Company Law Committee

• The ministry of corporate affairs has extended the tenure of the Company Law Committee by one year to September 2021.

• The committee, constituted in September 2019, is now chaired by corporate affairs secretary Rajesh Verma.

• It was set up to suggest measures to de-clog and improve functioning of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and make recommendations on various issues pertaining to implementation of the Companies Act as well as the Limited Liability Partnership Act.

Banking and Economy

Canara Bank introduces i-Lead 2.0 to boost customer services

• Canara Bank has launched a lead management system(LMS) named as i-Lead 2.0(Inspiring Leads System version 2.0).

• The initiative aims that each and every customer gets their banking needs covered, irrespective of where they are based, urban or rural.

• Customers can use internet banking, mobile banking, call center, SMS and missed call services to enquire and get services rendered to them. They can also use the CANDI mobile app of Canara Bank.

Awards

Udit Singhal named in UN’s 2020 list of Young Leaders

• Indian teenager Udit Singhal has been named in the 2020 Class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has been named in the 2020 list of young leaders who promote sustainable development goals.

• Udit Singhal is the founder of Glass2Sand, an initiative that is based on a zero-waste ecosystem to tackle the challenge of glass waste in Delhi.

Margaret Atwood wins 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize

• Margaret Atwood (Canada) has won the 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s lifetime achievement award.

• The award celebrated the power of literature in fostering peace, social justice and global understanding. It is a United States literary award

• Margaret Atwood is famous for her novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Sports

ITF Renames Fed Cup as Billie Jean King Cup

• The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has renamed the Fed Cup, an annual team competition in women tennis, as the “Billie Jean King Cup.”

• Billie Jean King was a pioneer in women’s tennis who helped the United States win the inaugural event.

• The Billie Jean King Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

Days

International Coastal Cleanup Day

• The International Coastal Cleanup Day is being celebrated on 3rd Saturday of September of every Year. This year September 19 was celebrated as the International Coastal Cleanup Day to encourages people to clean beaches, remove the garbage plaguing it

• The theme of this year is “Achieving a trash free Coastline”.

Books and Authors

Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir, ‘A Promised Land,’ to hit stands in November 2020

• Former US President Barack Obama has announced his first presidential memoir titled  “A Promised Land.”

• A Promised Land is the first of two volumes of the book. This volume tells about his early political life, his presidential campaign in 2008, and ending with the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

• The 768-page book will be published in November 2020 by Penguin Random House and is scheduled to be released on November 17, 2020 in 25 languages.

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Important Current Affairs 19th September 2020

National

Union govt approves amendment in FDI policy in Defence Sector

• The Union Government has approved the amendment in Foreign Direct Investment Policy in Defence Sector. The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that for new licensees, FDI is allowed upto 74 percent through the automatic route and beyond 74 percent will be permitted through the government route.

• The Minister further said that for existing licensees, infusion of fresh foreign investment up to 49 percent will be allowed by making a declaration of change or transfer within 30 days.

• The move aims to enhance ease of doing business and contribute to the growth of investment, income and employment. The foreign investments in the defence sector shall be subject to scrutiny on grounds of national security.

Atal Tunnel, World’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, connecting Manali to Leh ready after 10 years

• World’s longest highway tunnel connecting Manali to Leh under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range of Himalayas on the Leh-Manali highway is now completed after 10 years.

• The Tunnel is named after late and former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It’s the world’s highest tunnel situated at an altitude above 10,000 metres. The Tunnel is 9 km long.The tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by up to 46 kms.It will also reduce the travel time by upto 4 hours

Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed in Rajya Sabha

• The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on September 18, 2020. The Bill amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973.

• The Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 sets up the Central Council of Homoeopathy which regulates homeopathic education and practice. The Bill replaces the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 that was promulgated on April 24, 2020.

PM inaugurates Kosi Rail mega bridge in Bihar through video conferencing

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the historical Kosi Rail Mega Bridge to the nation and also inaugurated 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities to benefit the people of Bihar in Bihar via video-conferencing.

• The bridge has strategic importance along the India-Nepal border, which connects the Mitihila and Kosi region. The historical project to build the bridge, which is 1.9 kilometres long and has been constructed at a cost of Rs 516 crore.

• With the construction of the bridge the rail distance between Nirmali and Saraigarh would come down from the present 298 kilometres to 22 kilometres.

India’s first exclusive private jet terminal inaugurated at International airport in Delhi

• The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on September 17, 2020, inaugurated India’s first exclusive private jet terminal at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

• The terminal will handle the flight operations of the private jets. The new terminal also has the capacity to handle over 50 passengers every hour.

• The private jet terminal will enable the smooth movement of the chartered aircraft and the business jets.

Fourth Global Ayurveda Summit organised virtually

• The fourth edition of the Global Ayurveda Summit, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) held virtually with the theme ‘Ayurveda For Immunity’. The summit was inaugurated by the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

• The objective of the summit is to showcase Ayurveda and herbal medicine to the world as a solution named ‘Health as One’ and ‘Immunity through Ayurveda’.

• The Global Ayurveda Summit 2020 will have 8-day International Conference, 30-day International Exhibition and Focused Business to Business Meetings.

International

New Zealand becomes first country to mandate climate risk disclosures

• New Zealand has become the first country to pass legislation requiring financial entities to declare their climate-related risks. The rule will apply to banks, insurers, all listed debt and equity issuers.

• Financial entities in New Zealand will have to comply with the framework laid down by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Science and Technology

Scientists Develop World’s Smallest Ultrasound Detector

• Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the world’s smallest ultrasound detector. It is based on miniaturized photonic circuits on top of a silicon chip.

• With a size 100 times smaller than an average human hair, the new detector can visualize features that are much smaller than previously possible, leading to what is known as super-resolution imaging.

Obituary

Former RBI governor Amitabha Ghosh passes away

• Amitabha Ghosh, the shortest-serving Governor of the Reserve Bank of India passed away at the age of 90.

• He had served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for 21 days between January 15, 1985 to February 4, 1985.

• It was a stop-gap arrangement when Amitabha Ghosh was serving as a deputy governor of RBI and waiting to hand over charge to the 17th RBI Governor R N Malhotra.

Veteran Ayurveda physician from Tamil Nadu PR Krishnakumar passes away

• Tamil Nadu based prominent Indian Ayurveda physician PR Krishnakumar has passed away. He was 69.

• Krishnakumar was the Founder and Managing Director of the iconic Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP) as well as the Chancellor of the renowned Avinashilingam University in Coimbatore.

• The Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri award in 2009 for his contribution to medicine.

Days

International Equal Pay Day

• International Equal Pay Day is observed globally for the first time on 18th September 2020. On the occasion of the first International Equal Pay Day, and in the midst of the fallout from the global C-19 pandemic.

• On November 15 2019, The third Committee at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted resolution (A/C37/74/L.49) proclaiming 18 September as International Equal Pay Day

World Bamboo Day

• World Bamboo Day is observed every year on 18 September to raise awareness of the benefits of bamboo and to promote its use in everyday products.

• WBD was officially declared by the World Bamboo Organization on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress held in Bangkok in 2009.

• The theme for 11th edition of WBD 2020 is ‘BAMBOO NOW.’

Books and Authors

A new book titled “Azadi” authored by Arundhati Roy

• Arundhati Roy’s new book titled “Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction” is published by Penguin Books Limited.

• The nonfiction book is a collection of essays that shows the meaning of Freedom in the world of increasing authoritarianism.

• The essay collection includes meditations on language and roles of fiction and alternative imaginations amid global pandemic due to C-19.

The End of an Era; India Exits Tibet by Claude Arpi

• French-born author, journalist, historian Claude Arpi has written fourth and final volume of his book titled End of an Era, India Exits Tibet.

• The book highlights India Tibet relation between 1947 and 1962. it also focuses on India losing all its influence in Tibet.

• It shows Nehru Memorial Library papers, de-classified Indian and Chinese documents and personal interviews.

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Important Current Affairs 15th September 2020

National

Govt moves ahead with Orientation and Training Programme of iRAD App

• Road Transport and Highways Ministry is in the process of implementing Integrated Road Accident Database Project (iRAD) which will be applicable across the country.

• In the first instance, it has been decided to implement the proposal in six states. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

• The basic iRAD app has been developed and will be customized as per the requirements of concerned states.

UP Government to set up a special security force that can arrest or search without a warrant

• The Uttar Pradesh State Government had announced on September 13, 2020, that a special security force will be constituted to protect airports, courts, administrative buildings, banks, metros, and other government offices.

• The Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) will be allowed to conduct searches and arrests without any warrants if it is sure about the crime.

• The information regarding the special security force was shared by UP’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi during a press briefing.

International

Yoshihide Suga wins Japan’s ruling party’s leadership vote, set to become PM

• Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga won the leadership vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan on September 14, 2020. Mr. Suga will soon secure the position of the new Prime Minister of the country as on September 16, 2020, the Japanese parliament will confirm Suga as the head of the government.

•  As per the final count, Mr. Suga had secured 377 votes of a total of 534 votes. Yoshihide Suga will be replacing the long-serving Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, who had resigned in August 2020 due to health problems.

Summits and Mou’s

HCL Technologies joins NVIDIA partner network, will pursue opportunities in AI space

• HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, announced it has joined NVIDIA Partner Network (NPN), the US-based technology company’s partner program, with plans to pursue expanded opportunities in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space.

• HCL also announced the launch of NEXT.ai, HCL’s AI Lab, focused on upskilling engineers and architects utilizing AI solutions across hardware and software technology stacks.

• This will enhance their capabilities to build AI-led solutions for multiple HCL clients across industry verticals.

Awards

Euromoney honours HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri with Lifetime Achievement Award

• Aditya Puri, MD of HDFC Bank has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020.

• He has been awarded for his skills in building a world-class bank in India at a time where there were no similar institutions in existence.

Sports

Japan’s Naomi Osaka beats Victoria Azarenka to win US Open Tennis Tournament

• In Tennis, Japan’s Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 1-6, ,6-3, 6-3,  to clinch the Women’s Singles title in the 2020 US Open Tennis tournament

• This is the third Grand Slam title for the fourth seed Osaka. The victory has moved up Osaka to number 3 in the world rankings.

• The 22-year old Osaka previously won the title at the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open.She is now the first Asian player to win three Grand Slam singles titles.

Dominic Thiem wins US Open Men’s Tennis Tournament 2020

• Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev to win the men’s singles title at the 2020 US Open tournament.

• It was Thiem’s first Grand Slam title, and he becomes the first player in the Open Era to rally from two sets down in a US Open final.

Appointments and Resignations

Sameer Kumar Khare appointed Executive Director at ADB

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Sameer Kumar Khare as new Executive Director of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila.

• Khare is a 1989-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Assam cadre. He is currently serving as Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs under Ministry of Finance.

Rajesh Khullar appointed Executive Director at World Bank

• A 1988 batch IAS officer, Rajesh Khullar has been appointed as Executive Director at World Bank in Washington DC. The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Rajesh Khulla for a tenure of three years from the date of assumption of charge or till the date of his superannuation (August 23, 2023).

• Khullar is currently posted as principal secretary to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Ranking

TCS Becomes Second Indian Firm to Cross Rs 9 Lakh Crore-market Valuation Mark

• Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became the second Indian firm to attain a market valuation of over Rs 9 lakh crore after Reliance Industries Limited.

• The company’s market valuation went past Rs 9 lakh crore in early trade helped by a rally in its share price.

• The stock of the software services firm gained 2.91 per cent to Rs 2,442.80- its record high on the BSE.

Days

International Day of Democracy

• International Day of Democracy is observed globally on 15th September every year. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

• The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through a resolution in 2007 to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. The day was observed for the first time in 2008.

National Engineer’s Day

• In India, the Engineer’s Day is celebrated on September 15 every year, since 1968, to recognise the contribution of engineers’ in the development of the nation.

• The day marks the birth anniversary of the engineering pioneer of India, Sir Mokshagundam Vishweshvaraya, (popularly known as Sir MV).Sir MV was regarded as the “Father of Modern Mysore”.

• He was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his exceptional contribution to the building of India in 1955.

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