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Important Current Affairs 23rd July 2020

National

Indian Army gets ‘Bharat’ drones

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has provided drones named ‘Bharat’ to the Indian Army. The indigenously developed drones are sent in order to provide accurate surveillance along the Line of Actual Control in high altitude and mountainous terrains of Eastern Ladakh.

• It can also detect humans who are hidden in deep forests. Bharat drones are equipped with artificial intelligence which helps the drone to detect friends from foes and helps take any action accordingly.

• It has been made in a way that ensures its survival in extreme cold weather temperatures. Bharat Drones a series of drones that are one of the world’s lightest and agile drone

India successfully tests fires ATGM “Dhruvastra”

• The trials of Helicopter-launched Nag Missile anti-tank guided missile 'Dhruvastra' were conducted on July 15-16 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Balasore, Odisha. The missile was earlier named as HELINA.

• ‘Dhruvastra’ is an anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is a helicopter version of ‘Nag Helina’.

International

South Korea launches its first military satellite ANASIS-II

• SpaceX has successfully launched South Korea’s first military satellite “ANASIS-II”. The satellite was deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) by a Falcon 9 rocket. It was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US of Florida.

• The satellite is expected to reach its orbit of 36,000 kilometres in 2 weeks. The Military of South Korea is likely to take over the satellite system in October 2020. The satellite has been launched with an aim to enhance Korea's ability to defend itself against the North Korea.

 Summits and Mou’s

CBIC signed MoU with CBDT to facilitate smoother bilateral exchange of data

• Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 21 July 2020 with immediate effect.

• According to the MoU, both the organisations will share data and information with each other on an automatic and regular basis. They will also share any information available in their respective databases which may be useful for the other organisation.

‘Ola Corporate’ ride service enters Australia, New Zealand, UK

• Ola has rolled out its enterprise offering ‘Ola Corporate’ to Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

• Ola Corporate offers enterprise customers reduced travel expenses, and centralised billing system that eliminates the need for paper-based reimbursement.

• The Bengaluru-based company operates in more than 250 cities across India, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Awards

Arnab Chaudhuri to receive Toonz Media Award

• The ‘Legend of Animation’ award instituted by the Toonz Media Group (TMG) as part of the Animation Masters Summit (AMS) 2020 – Digital Edition will be posthumously conferred to the legendary animation director Arnab Chaudhuri.

• The award is being presented for his invaluable contribution to the animation and entertainment industry of India.

Appointments and Resignations

PC Kandpal appointed as MD & CEO of SBI General Insurance

• SBI General Insurance – the non-life a subsidiary of State Bank of India has appointed Prakash Chandra Kandpal as its new managing director & chief executive officer.

• Kandpal has been with SBI General Insurance as the deputy CEO since June 2019.

Rahul Bajaj steps down as Chairman of Bajaj Finance

• Rahul Bajaj will step down as Non-Executive Chairman of Bajaj Finance on July 31, after being at the helm of the company for over three decades.

• He will be succeeded by Sanjiv Bajaj, currently Vice Chairman. Rahul Bajaj, however, will continue to serve the company as a non-executive non-independent director.

Sumit Deb appointed as CMD of NMDC Limited

• Sumit Deb has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC). Deb is presently serving as Director (Personnel) in the NMDC.

Ranking

India Among 10 Worst Countries For Working People

• India has been ranked among the 10 worst countries for working people. It is rated with 5 on the scale. The ten worst countries for workers in 2020 are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

• The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has released its Global Rights Index for the year 2020, which ranks countries on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. This is the seventh edition of the annual report and ranks 144 countries.

• Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Uruguay are the best countries with rating of 1.

Days

National Broadcasting Day

• National Broadcasting day is celebrated on 23rd July since 1927.This day was recognized on when first ever radio broadcast went on air from Bombay Station under the Indian Broadcasting Company.

• It is observed to celebrate the first and last visit of the Mahatma Gandhi to the studio of All India Radio, Delhi in 1947.

• On June 8, 1936, the Indian State Broadcasting Service became All India Radio.At present, AIR is one of the largest broadcasting organisations in the world.

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Important Current Affairs 20th July 2020

National

ICAT launches an e-portal “ASPIRE”

• An e-Portal named “Automobile Solutions Portal for Industry, Research & Education (ASPIRE)” has been launched by the International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT). The portal can be accessed through https://aspire.icat.in.

• The portal has been launched to improve the technological capability of Indian automotive sector with the help of exchange of knowledge & expertise, to make them self-reliant and to enable the growth of automobile sector including overall socio-economic progress of the country.

• The portal is a part of strategy devised by the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Government of India, under the leadership of Secretary, Heavy Industries, to promote innovation, R&D and product development in India.

International

United Arab Emirates launches “Hope” mission to “Mars”

• A mission titled as “Hope” has been launched to “Mars” by the United Arab Emirates. With the help of mission, UAE aims to provide a complete picture of the Martian atmosphere for the first time, studying daily and seasonal changes.

• An unmanned “Hope” Probe blasted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center at 1:58 a.m. (UAE time) for a seven-month journey to the red planet and is expected to enter Mars orbit by February 2021, which also marks the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, an alliance of seven emirates.

• While the objective of the Mars mission is to provide a comprehensive image of the weather dynamics in the Red Planet’s atmosphere, the probe is a foundation for a much bigger goal -building a human settlement on Mars within the next 100 years.

Obituary

Eminent Mathematician Prof. C S Seshadri Passes away at 88

• One of the eminent Indian mathematician of the post-Independence era, Professor C S Seshadri, has passed away. He was 88.

• He was the founder and Director-Emeritus of the Chennai Mathematical Institute, an institute for the study of mathematics in India.

• Prof. Seshadri is known for his work in algebraic geometry. The Seshadri constant (in algebraic geometry) is named after him. He was a recipient of country’s third highest civilian honor, Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes’ – Great Britain) won the 2020 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix held on 19 July 2020.This is his straight second win of the season.

• Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 was the third race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship. Max Verstappen (Dutch-Red Bull) was second, followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes- Finland) at third spot.

Ranking

World Bank Retains India’s Classification as Lower-Middle Income Group Economy for 2020-21

• India has retained its position as lower-middle income group economy in the new World Bank Country Classifications by Income Level 2020-2021.India became a lower-middle-income nation from low-income in the fiscal year 2009.

• Every year, the World Bank classifies the world’s economies in four income groups, which includes low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high-income countriesbased on the country’s GNI(Gross National Income) per capita in current USD.

• A country’s GNI per capita, changes with economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, and population, revisions to national accounts methods and data.Out of these total 218 economies, 83 are in the high-income group, 56 in the upper-middle group, 50 in the lower-middle income group and 29 in the low-income group..

• The GNI per capita range to classify countries in the four different groups are given below:

I. Low income – GNI per capita < $1,036 (means GNI per capita, of this group is $1,035 or less in 2019)

II. Lower-middle income – GNI per capita between $1,036 – $4,045

III. Upper-middle income – GNI per capita between $4,046 – $12,535

IV. High income – GNI per capita > $12,535

Days

World Chess Day

• The International Chess Day is celebrated annually on July 20, since 1966, to celebrate one of the most ancient and most popular games in history that promotes fairness, equality, mutual respect and understanding among nations.

• It was on this day that the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.The idea to celebrate the day as the international chess day was proposed by UNESCO.

• FIDE’s motto for 2020 celebrations is, “Teach someone how to play chess.”To celebrate the International Chess Day 2020 top chess personalities will participate in a high-level virtual event “Chess for Recovering Better”.

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Important Current Affairs 19th July 2020

National

All capitals cities of North-Eastern states to be connected with rail network by 2023

• The Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav has announced that Indian Railways has set the target to connect the capital cities of all the North-Eastern states of India to the rail network by 2023.

• In the present time, except Sikkim, all North-Eastern states have connectivity to the rail network. The capitals of Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are already connected to the railway network.

• The capital connectivity work is in progress in Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya. Manipur will be connected in March 2022, Mizoram in March 2023, Nagaland in March 2023, Meghalaya in March 2022 and Sikkim in December 2022.

Mobile App of “PM Street Vendor Atma Nirbhar Nidhi” launched

• The mobile application of PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) has been launched. It aims to offer user friendly digital interface to the Lending Institutions (LIs) as well as to their field functionaries in order to source and process loan applications to the street vendors under the scheme.

• The launch of the mobile app is a step towards boosting the use of digital technology and will ensure maximum coverage of the scheme.

• The mobile app will promote paper-less digital accessing of micro-credit facilities by the Street Vendors and will give impetus to the implementation strategy of the PM SVA Nidhi scheme.

Uttarakhand govt to generate electricity from waste

• The Uttarakhand government has decided to convert waste generated in the state to electricity under an initiative titled ‘Waste to Energy’.

• According to Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB), this waste can generate up to 5 megawatts of electricity and curb pollution.

• The scheme also aims to solve the problem of unavailability of landfills to dispose of the solid waste across the hill state with has 10 out if 13 districts as hill areas.

India lifted record 273 million out of poverty in 10 years, says UN report

• About 273 million Indians were lifted out of multidimensional poverty, over a period of 10 years, between 2005-2006 and 2015-2016, according to a study conducted by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme.

• The study titled ‘Charting pathways out of multidimensional poverty: Achieving the SDGs’ was based on a global multidimensional poverty index (MPI) which annually measures the complexities of poor people’s lives, individually and collectively.

• The report noted that, India has recorded the largest reduction in the number of people living in poverty, among the 75 countries studied in MPI.

Obituary

Ace para-badminton player and Arjuna Awardee Ramesh Tikaram passes away

• Ramesh Tikaram, a former star para-badminton player and an Arjuna awardee has passed away of C-19. He was 51.

• Ramesh was the first para-badminton player in India to be honoured with an Arjuna award in the year 2002.

Civil rights leader CordyTindell Vivian passes away

• A civil rights veteran, The Rev Cordy Tindell Vivian who worked alongside the Rev Martin Luther King Jr, passed away.

• He also led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and became its interim president in 2012.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI Approves reappointment of Shyam Srinivasan as MD & CEO of Federal Bank

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the reappointment of Shyam Srinivasan as the the managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of the Kerala-based private sector lender, Federal Bank, till September 22, 2021.

Ossouka Raponda appointed as 1st woman PM of Gabon

• Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda has been appointed as the first woman prime minister of Gabon. She is the 12th PM of the country and succeeds Julien Nkoghe Bekale.

• Prior to holding this position, Ossouka Raponda served as Defence Minister since February 2019.

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Important Current Affairs 18th July 2020

National

PM Modi to address ECOSOC on 75th anniversary of UN

• PM Narendra Modi will be virtually addressing the session of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 17th July on the occasion of 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

• This will be PM Modi's first speech at the UN after being elected  to the UN Security Council. Besides the Prime Minister, Norway PM Erna Solberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will also be addressing the event.

• The theme of the High-Level Segment which is held annually by ECOSOC is “Multilateralism after C-19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary”.

DRDO developed fully indigenous P7 Heavy Drop System for IL 76 aircraft

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the P7 Heavy Drop System which is capable of para dropping military stores up to 7-ton weight class from IL 76 aircraft.

• The design of this fully indigenous system has been developed by Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), a pioneer Research & Development (R&D) lab of DRDO based in Agra, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

• It’s platform system manufactured by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) while parachutes manufactured by Ordnance Factory.

Indian Railways first cable-stayed bridge ‘AnjiKhad Bridge’ being set up in Jammu & Kashmir

• India’s first cable-stayed railway bridge ‘AnjiKhad bridge ‘is being constructed by the Indian Railways’ in Jammu & Kashmir to connect Katra and Reasi Section of Jammu–Baramulla line.

• The Rs. 458 crore railway bridge is being developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, a Government of India undertaking.

• The total length of the AnjiKhad Bridge is 473.25 metres, standing at a height of 331 metres above the Chenab river bed.

Banking and Economy

ICRA Predicts India’s GDP to Contract 9.5% in FY21

• Credit Rating agency ICRA has sharply revised the GDP forecast for India and expects the Indian economy to contract by 9.5% (-9.5%) in 2020-21. Earlier it had projected the GDP at -5% for FY21.

• The increasing C-19 infections, leading to localised C-19s in some states and cities, affecting the economic activities is the main reason for this sharp revision.

Awards

CPJ International Press Freedom Award 2020 announced

• The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has announced the recipients of the International Press Freedom Awards 2020 include Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh, Mohammad Mosaed from Iran, Dapo Olorunyomi from Nigeria and Svetlana Prokopyeva from Russia.

• All four journalists have faced arrests or criminal prosecution in reprisal for their reporting. In addition to them, lawyer Amal Clooney will be honoured with the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award 2020.

Sports

2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar

• The Federation International de Football Association announced that the 2022 World Cup is to be held in Qatar.

• The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be the first world cup to be held in Arab World and also the first in a muslim-majority country.

• Indian National Team ranks 108 in the latest FIFA rankings that were released in 2019.

Days

Nelson Mandela International Day

• The United Nations observes 18 July every year as Nelson Mandela International Day. The day acknowledges Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. Nelson Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.

• This day marks the contribution to peace through his active involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights, international democracy and reconciliation and in addressing racial issues.

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Important Current Affairs 14th July 2020

National

NITI Aayog presents India’s second Voluntary National Review at UN’s High-Level Political Forum

• NITI Aayog presented India’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at the United Nations High-level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, 2020.It is organised annually in July for eight days under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN.

• The India VNR 2020 report was titled Decade of Action: Taking SDGs from Global to Local. The report was presented by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog.

• The HLPF is the foremost international platform for countries to present its follow-up and review of progress on achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

United States remains India’s top trading partner for 2nd consecutive year in 2019-20

• According to the data of the Union Ministry of Commerce, United States remained India’s top trading partner for the second consecutive fiscal in 2019-20. The recently released data shows increasing economic ties between the two nations.

• As per the data, the bilateral trade between the US and India has increased from $87.96 billion in 2018-19 to $88.75 billion in the fiscal year 2019-20. China was India’s top trading partner since 2013-14 to 2017-18.

International

Russia first nation to complete clinical trials of vaccine

• Russia has successfully completed the human trials of Chinese virus vaccine. With this, Russia has become the first country to complete the trials of C-19 vaccine.

• The volunteers who took part in the trials will be discharged soon. The trials were aimed at showing the safety of vaccine for human health.

Andrzej Duda wins Poland’s presidential election

• Andrzej Duda has been re-elected as the President of Poland. He won the presidential elections recently held in Poland after winning 51.21% of the votes, defeating the opposition candidate, liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski who got 48.79% votes.Voter turnout was a record high at 68.12 percent.

Banking and Economy

Google for India Digitization Fund of USD 10 billion launched

• Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the launch of ‘Google for India Digitization Fund’. Through this fund, Google will be investing USD 10 billion or Rs. 75,000 crore in India over next 5-7 years.

• The investment comes amid the C-19 crisis that has deeply impacted the economy of India. The investment will be made through a mix of partnerships and equity investments.

• Google Investment will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization

1. Enabling affordable access and information to every Indian in their own language.

2. Building new services and products that are deeply relevant to India’s unique needs.

3. Empowering businesses as they continue on digital transformation.

4. Leveraging technology in AI- Artificial Intelligence for social good in areas like education, health, and agriculture.

FICCI survey predicts India’s GDP to contract by 4.5% in FY21

• Industry body FICCI has projected the Indian economy to contract by (-) 4.5 percent in 2020-21, as per its latest Economic Outlook Survey released on 12 July 2020.

• The minimum and maximum GDP growth estimate stood at (-) 6.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, for FY21.

Summits and Mou’s

Visa Partners With Federal Bank For Rolling Out Visa Secure For E-Commerce

• Visa, a global leader in payments technology has tied-up with Federal Bank to launch “Visa Secure” to the bank's cardholders.The upgraded technology provides a quicker and frictionless checkout experience to consumers.

• “Visa Secure ‘is a global authentication program that uses the latest standards of the EMV 3DS (3D Secure) protocol.

Obituary

Padma Shri award winning journalist Nagindas Sanghvi passes away

• Padma Shri award winning veteran Gujarati journalist, columnist, writer and political analyst Nagindas Sanghvi passed away. Government of India conferred him Padma Shri award in the year 2019.

• He had written many books on Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat and other subjects. Besides writing in Gujarati language, Sangvi also wrote in English and Hindi languages.

Books and Authors

A book titled ‘A Song of India’ authored by Ruskin Bond to be released

• The book titled ‘A Song of India’ authored by Ruskin Bond to be released on July 20, 2020. This book will mark the 70th year of the author’s literary career. The book has been published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House India.

• The new book is the fourth instalment in his memoir series after “Looking for the Rainbow” (2017), “Till the Clouds Roll By” (2017) and “Coming Round the Mountain” (2019).

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Important Current Affairs 13th July 2020

National

Chhattisgarh Government organises India’s first e-Lok Adalat

• Chhattisgarh government has organised the first e-LokAdalat of India amid the C-19 C-19. The virtual hearings were conducted through video conferencing under the e-Lok Adalat along with its live streaming.

• The “e-Lok Adalat” was organized by the High Court and Chhattisgarh State Legal Services Authority and was inaugurated by P R Ramchandra Menon, the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court.

NITI Aayog Atal Innovation Mission launches ATL App Development Module for school children

• The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of NITI Aayog has launched the ATL App Development Module for school children across the country, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of AtmaNirbhar Bharat.

• The ATL App is an online course by AIM and is completely Free.The course has been jointly developed by AIM and Indian startup, Plezmo.

• The innovative course will have six project-based learning modules and online mentoring sessions to enable the young innovators learn how to build mobile apps in various Indian languages and showcase their talent.

Awards

Kezang D Thongdok bags Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2020

• Arunachal Pradesh filmmaker Kezang D Thongdok has bagged the Dada SahebPhalke Award 2020 for a short documentary “Chi Lupo“. Chi Lupo, documented by Kezang D Thongdok is a short documentary on honey hunting.

• Chi Lupo sketches the tradition of honey hunting practised in the Shertukpen community in which “Chi” means honey while “Lipo” means hunters.

NTPC Limited wins prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019

• The centrally-owned, National Thermal Power Corporation, (NTPC) Limited, under the Ministry of Power has won the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019, under Outstanding Accomplishment in Corporate Excellence Category.

• The company has also received Commendation for Significant Achievement in the category of CSR in the 15th CII-ITC Sustainability Award.

• The CII-ITC Sustainability Awards recognise and reward excellence in businesses that are seeking ways to be more sustainable and inclusive in their business.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Qualcomm Ventures to invest Rs. 730 crore in Jio Platforms

• Qualcomm Ventures announced on July 12 that it has decided to invest Rs. 730 crore in Jio Platforms. Qualcomm Ventures which is an investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated will make an investment for a 0.15% stake.

• With an announced investment, Qualcomm Ventures has become a 12th investor in Reliance Industries Ltd’s digital and telecom business in less than a time period of two months.

• The new investment by Qualcomm Ventures will take the total investments in Jio Platforms to Rs. 1,18,318.45 crore for a combined 25.24% holding.

Obituary

Renowned Gujarati Cartoonist Avad Bin Hassan Jami passes away

• One of the most senior and popular cartoonist of Gujarat, Avad Bin Hassan Jami, has passed away in Jamnagar. He was 77.

• He was popularly known as “Jami”. His cartoons were regularly published in leading Gujarati daily newspapers and news magazines for more than two decades.

Sports

Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton won Styrian Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Britain) has won the Styrian Grand Prix 2020 at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria. ValtteriBottas (Mercedes-Finland) finished second while Max Verstappen( Red Bull- Belgium) was third.

• It was the second race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship and the first running of the Styrian Grand Prix.

Ranking

Mukesh Ambani becomes world's seventh richest, overtakes investor tycoon Warren Buffett

• Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has become the world's 7th richest person after overtaking legendary investor tycoon Warren Buffett in terms of net worth.

• The Indian billionaire's net worth currently stands at $69.9 billion, while Warren Buffer's net worth stands at $69.1 billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is ranked at the top of the world's richest individuals list with a net worth of $189.2 billion.

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Important Current Affairs 12th July 2020

National

All India Tiger Census 2018 sets new Guinness World Record for largest camera-trap wildlife survey

• The fourth edition of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 has created the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey.

• The All India Tiger Estimation is conducted every four year since 2006, by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical support from the Wildlife Institute of India.

• These cameras surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres (46,848 square miles).A total of 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife were captured by the 26,838 camera traps installed. Of the total photographs 76,651 were tigers and 51,777 were leopards while the remaining were other native fauna.

White Paper launched for Recommendations on Immediate Technology and Policy Impetus to Make India ATMANIRBHAR

• At a virtual event, White Papers prepared by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) was launched by Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare) on 10th July 2020.

• India has set the target of achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)’ by adopting appropriate technology and policy reforms that will provide a thrust to the ‘Make in India’ initiative in the post-C-19 era.

• The White Papers are on:

a) Focused Interventions for Make in India: Post C-19 19

b) Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients: Status, Issues, Technology Readiness and Challenges

Banking and Economy

Global economy to contract by 5.2 pc in 2020: D&B Report

• The global economy is likely to contract by 5.2 percent in 2020, according to Dun and Bradstreet’s (DNB) Country Risk and Global Outlook Report that covered 132 countries.

• The reason behind this decline is the C-19, which is still spreading, and the economic prospects of countries across the world are uncertain.

SEBI Revamps advisory committee on mutual funds; Usha Thorat new head

• The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has re-constituted its advisory committee on mutual funds that advises the capital markets regulator on matters related to regulation and development of mutual fund industry.

• The revamped advisory committee on mutual funds has 20-member and will be headed Usha Thorat, former deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Appointments and Resignations

Lee HsienLoong became Prime Minister of Singapore

• Lee HsienLoong has become the Prime Minister of Singapore after the ruling People’s Action Party won the General Elections held in the country. PAP won 83 of the 93 seats contested in General Election.

• With this, Lee HsienLoong has won a fourth term as the Prime Minister of Singapore.

Days

World Population Day

• World Population Day is observed globally on 11th July every year. Objective is to raise awareness among people about the impact of a growing population and issues including gender equality, the importance of family planning, poverty, maternal health, human rights, etc.

• This year theme of World Population Day 2020: Putting the brakes on C-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls.

Malala Day Observed

• July 12 was declared by the United Nations as World Malala Day on July 12, 2013 to honour the young activist, Malala Yousafzai.

• July 12 also marks the birth anniversary of Yousafzai, the Pakistani human rights activist, and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.

Books and Authors

A book on Dalai Lama's biography to release in 2020

• The biography of the current Dalai Lama titled “His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama: An Illustrated Biography”, is set to hit the stands in October 2020.

• The 352-page book has been written by Tenzin Geyche Tethong, one of the Dalai Lama’s closest aides and advisor of over 40 years. The book is published by Roli Books.

• The book features nearly 400 never seen before photographs and documents from the life and times of the Tibetan spiritual leader. It also has a personal message by the spiritual leader, along with a foreword by his younger brother, Tenzin Choegal.

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Important Current Affairs 1st July 2020

National

PM extends “Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana” till November 2020

• PM Narendra Modi on June 30, 2020 addressed the nation in the context of Unlock 2.0 that will be effective from July 1.

• Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended till the end of November, an extension to cost over Rs 90 thousand crores. Over 80 cr people to get free food grain till Diwali and Chhathpooja.

• Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 20 crore accounts have received 31,000 crores in their Jan Dhan Accounts.

• PM urges the citizens to take the pledge of Vocal for Local and work for the betterment of the society and country at large.

• One Nation One Ration Card will be implemented on whole India. This will especially benefit those people who leave their native-place, native-state to find work in some other state.

DGCI approves Bharat Biotech’s vaccine for clinical trials

• The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) has given its approval to the Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech’s vaccine. Bharat Biotech can now initiate phase-I and Phase-II human clinical trials for the C-19 vaccine candidate.

• The vaccine has been developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology which is a part of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

Maharashtra launches largest plasma therapy trial “Project Platina”

• Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched the world’s largest plasma therapy trials “Project Platina” for C-19 patients. The state government has approved Rs 16.65 crore for the project from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

• There are 21 centres have been picked for the trial, including 17 medical colleges under the department of medical education and drugs, the government of Maharashtra and four BMC medical colleges in Mumbai.

International

China passes national security law for Hong Kong

• China has passed the controversial Hong Kong National Security Law. The law will come into effect from July 1, 2020 and carries maximum penalty of life term in jail. The law has been passed on the day that is commemorated as 23rd anniversary of the day when the British passed Hong Kong to China.

• Earlier, the law received unanimous approval of National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Awards

Popstar Beyonce honored with BET 2020 Humanitarian Award

• PopstarBeyonce has been honored with the BET 2020 Humanitarian Award for her longstanding philanthropic work with her BeyGOOD Foundation, including her recent C-19 relief efforts such as #IDIDMYPART, a mobile testing initiative.

• The award was presented by the former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Appointments and Resignations

KK Venugopal reappointed as Attorney General of India

• KK Venugopal has been reappointed as the Attorney General of India by President Ram Nath Kovind.  Venugopal appointment has been extended for one year with effect from July 1, 2020.

• He was appointed as the Attorney General in July 2017 following the resignation of Mukul Rohatgi. Venugopal himself made the request for his reappointment.

Days

National Doctor’s Day 2020

• National Doctor's Day 2020 will be celebrated on July 1st to thank physicians and doctors for their dedicated services to patients.Doctor’s Day 2020 is being celebrated for acknowledging the services of doctors and their huge contribution to the medical advancement in India.

• Every year, the theme for Doctor's day is announced by Indian Medical Association. Last year it was 'Zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishments.' The theme of National Doctor's Day 2020 is not announced yet.

• National Doctors' Day is celebrated on July 1 all across India to honour the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.

National Charted Accountants Day

• National Charted Accountants Day or CA Day is celebrated on July 1 every year. This day is celebrated to commemorate the finding of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by the parliament of India in 1949.

•  Every year on the day of the establishment of the ICAI, CA Day is celebrated to honour the Chartered Accountant.

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Important Current Affairs 24th June 2020

National

Patanjali launches Ayurvedic medicine, claims 100 pc recovery within 3-7 days

•  Patanjali on June 23, 2020 launched 'Coronil and Swasari', its Ayurvedic medicine, which it claims can treat C-19. There is no official confirmation on the same by any scientific or government authority.

•  Patanjali stated that the medicines showed 100 percent favourable results during clinical trials on the confirmed  patients. Two clinical trials were conducted, the first clinical controlled study that took place in Delhi and Ahmedabad and many other cities.

•  Around 280 patients were included in the trial and as per Patanjali, 100 percent of those recovered.

•  However, the efficacy of Patanjali’s medicines has not received any backing from any medical body as yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that though many drug trials are going on, there is currently no proof that any drug can cure or prevent C-19.

Rajasthan Government to launch “Indira Rasoi Yojana”

Rajasthan state government will soon launch Indira Rasoi Yojana for the poor. This scheme will start to ensure that “no one sleeps hungry” in the state. Under this scheme, pure and nutritious food on concessional rates is going to be provided to the needy twice each day. The State government will spend Rs.100 crores every year on the scheme.

Banking and Economy

Moody’s Projects India’s GDP at -3.1% for Calendar Year 2020 and 6.9% in 2021

•   Moody’s Investors Service has sharply revised its forecast for India’s annual GDP growth and has projected the Indian economy to shrink 3.1 percent in the Calendar year 2020, caused by the disruptions due to the C -19.

•    Moody’s released its June update to Global Macro Outlook (2020-21) on 22 June 2020.

Awards

Nobel-laureate Indian economist Amartya Sen wins 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

• Nobel-laureate Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen has been selected for the 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for his decades-long work around issues of global justice.

• The 86-year-old Harvard professor and past Nobel prize winner will be awarded during a ceremony on 18 October 2020 in Frankfurt. The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade comes with a cash prize of €25,000 euros ($28,000).

• He has been chosen for the prestigious prize for his pioneering work addressing issues of global justice, social inequality in education and healthcare.

Science and Technology

ISRO receives patent for “Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment”

• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received a patent for its Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG). Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG) is a protective garment for human spaceflight. It is a close fitting long garment that covers the torso as well as the limbs from neck to toe as a single piece lightweight comfort inner wear.

• The flight suit has to be worn by the astronauts over the LCHG. The garment permits the long term use without any impact on the wearer in terms of skin irritation or infection.

Obituary

Former Indian shooter Pournima Zanane passes away

• Former Indian shooter and coach Pournima Zanane passed away due to cancer. She represented India at multiple ISSF World Cups, Asian Championships, Commonwealth Championships, amongst other tournaments.

• Pournima Zanane was a national record holder in 10m Air Rifle event.

Appointments and Resignations

T. Rabi Sankar becomes new Chairman of IFTAS

• Indian Financial Technology & Allied Services (IFTAS) has announced the appointments of T Rabi Sankar as the Chairman of the organization. IFTAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India.

• T Rabi Sankar, currently serving as Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India for Payment Systems, Information Technology, Risk Management and Fintech has taken over concurrent charge, ex officio, as the Chairman of IFTAS.

Days

United Nations Public Service Day

• The United Nations Public Service Day is celebrated on June 23 every year, as a tribute to the people who are associated with public service in all the counties of the world.

• The Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community.

• Theme of 2020 is ‘On the frontlines: honouring public servants in the C-19  response.’

International Olympic Day

• The Olympic Day is celebrated globally on 23rd June every year. This year the Olympic Movement will celebrate Olympic Day 2020 by creating the world’s largest 24 hour digital-first Olympic workout.

• For this, the Olympic Channel is making a brand new home workout video made by Olympic athletes.The Olympic Day 2020 theme is “Move, learn and discover”

Books and Authors

Amish Tripathi launches his new fiction book – ‘Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India’

• The author of The Immortals of Meluha has announced the launch of his new book, Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India. Published by Westland Publications Pvt Ltd, his latest fiction is set in 11th-century, India.

• The book begins with Mahmud of Ghazni's invasion and the massacre of the holy Somnath Temple. The book has been published by Westland Publications.

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Important Current Affairs 19th June 2020

National

PM Modi to launch Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan on 20 June

• “Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan” will be launched by the Government of India from Village Telihar, Block Beldaur of Khagaria District of Bihar. It is a massive rural public works scheme that will empower and offer livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers as well as rural citizens.

• The programme will be joined by the villages across 116 districts in the six States through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The six states are: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Harsh Vardhan launched India’s 1st Mobile Lab

• Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan has launched India’s first mobile lab for C-19 testing. The Rapid Response Mobile Laboratory has been developed with the support from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology and Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) under DBT-AMTZ COMManD (COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development) Consortia.

•  The mobile lab which is also called Infectious Disease Diagnostic Lab or I-Lab will be able to run 25 RT-PCR and about 300 ELISA tests in a day. The lab can also take additional tests for TB, HIV as per CGHS rates.

Two Indian Companies – ZestMoney and Stellapps – Named in WEF’s Technology Pioneers of 2020

• Two Indian firms namely ZestMoney and Stellapps have figured in the 2020 Technology Pioneers list released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on 16 June 2020.

• 2020 Technology Pioneers is the 20th edition of the annual list and comprises the names of companies from around the world that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society by addresing global issues with cutting-edge technology.

• Of the 100 companies in the 2020 class, one-fourth are led by female founders.

International

India elected as non-permanent member of UN Security Council for a two-year term

• India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term during the 2020 UNSC elections held on 17 June 2020.India’s two year term for the 2021-22 will begin on January 1, 2021.

• The country won 184 votes out of 192 valid votes polled in 193 member UN General Assembly. India was the sole candidate from the Asia-Pacific category.

• This is the eighth time that India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council. Its previous terms are 1950—1951, 1967—1968, 1972—1973, 1977—1978, 1984—1985, 1991—1992 and 2011—2012.

• Along with India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway were the other countries that also won the 2020 Security Council election.

Banking and Economy

AIIB Approves $750 million loan to India

• Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved USD 750 million as a loan to India to help government to strengthen its response to the effect of the Chinese virus on millions of poor households.

• AIIB is co-financing the loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).This is the second loan for India under AIIB’s C-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF).Earlier, the bank had provided USD 500 million C-19 emergency response to India.

• With this, AIIB’s total sovereign loans to India that have already been approved amount to USD 3.06 billion.

Fitch revises India’s outlook to negative from stable

• Fitch Ratings has revised India’s long-term outlook to negative from stable, citing risks due to continued acceleration in the number of new C-19 cases as the lockdown is eased gradually in the country.

• The global credit rating agency has affirmed the country’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB-’, the lowest investment grade.

• Fitch expects Indian economic to contract by 5% (-5 percent) in the fiscal year ending March 2021 (FY21).

ADB Forecast India’s GDP at -4% for FY’21; 5% for FY’22

• India’s economy is forecast to contract by 4 percent in 2020-21, as per the latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) report of the Asian Development Bank released on 18 June 2020, due to the adverse effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

• For FY2021, ending March 2022, India’s GDP is projected to grow at 5%.

 GDP for 2020-21 : -4%

 GDP for 2021-22 : 5%

Appointments and Resignations

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir Elected President of 75th UN General Assembly

• Volkan Bozkır, a veteran Turkish diplomat and parliamentarian was elected as the President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on June 17. He was the sole candidate for the post.

• Bozkır is the first Turkish national who has become the President of the General Assembly.

Days

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

• International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed globally on 19th June every year.

• This day is seen to bring issues to light of the need to stop strife related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all or any those that have fearlessly dedicated their lives to and lost their lives in going to bat for the annihilation of those violations.

Autistic Pride Day

• Every year, Autistic Pride Day is observed on June 18 globally to create awareness about autism among people and recognise the importance of pride for autistic people and its role in bringing about positive changes in the broader society.

• The day is represented by a rainbow infinity symbol which denotes the infinite possibilities that autistic people have.

• Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in Brazil in 2005, at the initiative of an organisation named Aspies for Freedom.

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