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Important Current Affairs 30th August 2020

National

Assam Government to set up Skill University worth Rs 900 Crore at Darrang district

• The Assam Cabinet has approved the Assam Skill Development University Bill which allows for setting up a state-of-the-art skill University at Mangaldoi in Darrang district of Assam.

• The University at Mangaldoi will be the Centre of Excellence and first ever Skill University in north eastern states of the country. It will be spread over 100-bigha plot.

• The total cost of setting up the University is estimated at Rs 900 crore with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

Kerala to set up India’s First International Women’s Trade Centre

• Biju Prabhakar, IAS, Secretary, Department of Social Justice, Women & Child Development announced that Kerala will set up India’s First International Women Trade Centre(IWTC) in accord with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations(UN) at Angamaly, Kochi, Kerala.

• This announcement was made during the webinar on “Scaling up Opportunities for MSME women Entrepreneurs in Kerala” organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI) Kerala State Council.

International

World War II Spy Becomes First Indian-origin Woman to Get Memorial Plaque in London

• Britain’s World War II spy, Noor Inayat Khan, became the first Indian-origin woman to be honoured with a memorial Blue Plaque at her former family home in central London.

• The Blue Plaque scheme, run by the English Heritage charity, honours notable people and organisations who were connected with particular buildings across London.

Banking and Economy

SBI gets global recognition for HR initiative ‘Nayi Disha’

• State Bank of India (SBI) has got global recognition for its HR initiative ”Nayi Disha” which over the course of 1.5 years has touched more than 2.40 lakh employees.

• The bank has won three Brandon Hall Excellence Awards, also known as the Academy Awards of Learning & Development in three categories viz. Best Learning Program supporting a Change Transformation Business Strategy, Best Use of Blended Learning and Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program.

• It recognizes the best organizations that have successfully deployed programs, strategies, modalities, processes, systems, and tools to achieve measurable results.

Awards

Punjab University wins prestigious Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for second consecutive year

• The Panjab University has been conferred with the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad(MAKA) Trophy for the year 2019.

• This is the second consecutive year in a row that Panjab University has won this coveted trophy, which is given to overall top performing University in Inter-University Tournaments.

Obituary

Veteran Athletics coach Purshottam Rai passes away at 79

• The veteran athletics coach Purshottam Rai has passed away due to a cardiac arrest on 28 August 2020. He was 79.

• Rai was to be conferred the prestigious Dronacharya Award in the lifetime category on 29 August 2020, on the ocassion of the National Sports Day.

• Rai is known for providing coaching top athletes such as Olympian quarter miler Vandana Rao, hept athlete Pramila Aiyappa, Ashwini Nachappa, Murali Kuttan, MK Asha, EB Shyla, Rosa Kutty and GG Pramila.

Writer-journalist Gail Sheehy, author of bestselling book ‘Passages,’ passes away

• Gail Sheehy, the journalist, commentator and pop sociologist whose best-selling Passages helped millions navigate their lives from early adulthood to middle age and beyond, has died in Southampton, New York. She was 83.

• She has written nearly 17 books, the most prominent and influential was “Passages” (1976), which examined the predictable crises of adult life and how to use them as opportunities for creative change.

Former Supreme Court Judge Justice A.R. Lakshmanan passes away

• Former Supreme Court judge Justice, A.R. Lakshmanan passed away. He was born in Devakottai in Sivaganga district, Tamil Nadu on March 22, 1942.

• He was appointed as the supreme court judge on December 20, 2002 and retired on March 22, 2007.

•  Currently he was the sitting representative of Tamil Nadu in the Mullai Periyar Panel headed by Justice A.S.Anand.

Sports

Sri Lankan cricketer Tharanga Paranavitana retire from International Cricket

• Sri Lankan Opening batsman Nishad Tharanga Paranavitana announced retirement from all forms of International Cricket at the age of 38.

• He has represented Sri Lanka in 32 Test Matches scoring 1792 runs including two hundreds and 11 fifties.

Days

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances : 30 August

• The International Day of the Disappeared is held on August 30 each year to draw attention towards increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances of individuals in various regions of the world, including arrest, detention and abduction unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives.

• The day was adopted by UN General Assembly on 21 December 2010 and was first observed in 2011.

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Important Current Affairs 18th August 2020

National

Ministry of Tribal Affairs launches Tribal Health & Nutrition Portal – ‘Swasthya’

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs has launched the e-portal on tribal health and nutrition named ‘Swasthya’. It is a first of its kind e-portal, providing all health and nutrition-related information of the tribal population of India in a single platform.
  • Apart from this, an e-newsletter on health and nutrition ALEKH was also announced. It is a quarterly newsletter.
  • Opening of National Overseas Portal and National Tribal Fellowship Portal (for inviting online applications for the academic year 2020-21) was another important announcement that was made.

Ministry of AYUSH launches campaign “Ayush for Immunity”

  • The Ministry of AYUSH launched a campaign on “Ayush for Immunity”. It is a three-month campaign and aims to promote Ayush solutions in the entire world for a healthier and happier life.
  • The theme of the event is: accessible and affordable health for all, through Ayush solutions
  • The campaign was rolled out during a webinar that featured the participation of More than 50 thousand people. The webinar was streamed by the Ministry of AYUSH on its new digital communication platform Ayush Virtual Convention Centre (AVCC).

Banking and Economy

MCX to launch India’s first bullion index named “Bulldex”

  • Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX), India’s largest commodity derivatives exchange, will launch India’s first bullion index named “Bulldex”, on August 24, 2020. Bullions, viz. gold and silver are already being traded as individual commodities on the country’s premier commodity exchange. 
  • With gold and silver as underlying, Bulldex will have a market lot size of 50 and be a cash-settled futures contract. MCX had tested bullion index futures trade in mock trading exercises in July.

HDFC Bank launches Shaurya KGC Card

  • The largest private sector bank in the country, HDFC Bank, launched ‘Shaurya KGC (Kisan Gold Credit) Card, a loan product for the armed forces.
  • This is the first-of-its-kind scheme meant for the army personnel in the country and is based on the Kisan Credit Card guidelines of the government. This credit card comes with a life cover of Rs 10 lakhs.

Obituary

Renowned classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj passes away

  • Indian classical vocalist, Pandit Jasraj passed away. He was born in Haryana in 1930, his musical career spanned eight decades. His performances of classical and semi-classical vocals have become albums and film soundtracks.
  •  Jasraj has taught music in India, Canada, and the US. Pandit Jasraj was an Indian classical vocalist, belonging to the Mewati Gharana. His musical career spanned for more than eight decades. Many of his performances of classical and semi-classical vocals have now become albums and film soundtracks.
  •  Pandit Jasraj was a recipient of India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri in 1975; Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987 and Padma Bhushan in 1999. In the year 2000, the government of India conferred him with Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian honor in the country. 
  • In 2019, the International Astronomical Union had named a minor planet after Pandit Jasraj. The minor planet is located between Mars and Jupiter.

Filmmaker Nishikant Kamat passes away

  • Director-actor Nishikant Kamat passed away. He made his directorial debut in 2005 with Marathi movie Dombivali Fast, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi. 
  • Nishikant had directed some popular Bollywood movies like Force, Drishyam, and Madaari. He made his silver screen debut in 2004 with the Hindi movie Hava Aney Dey. In 2008, Kamat helmed his first Bollywood film Mumbai Meri Jaan. 
  • As an actor, he was known for his performances in Daddy, Rocky Handsome, Julie 2, and Bhavesh Joshi.

Appointments and Resignations

Rakesh Asthana becomes new DG of BSF

  • The government of India has appointed Rakesh Asthana as the new director-general of the Border Security Force (BSF). Currently, DG Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) chief S S Deswal was holding the additional charge of BSF since March this year.
  • Asthana is currently heading the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) with an additional charge of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

The central bank of India appoints Ashwini Kumar Shukla as Chief Risk Officer

  • The central bank of India has appointed Mr. Ashwini Kumar Shukla as Chief Risk Officer.
  • As part of the reform agenda announced by the Ministry of Finance last year in August 2019, the Central bank of India is the first one to appoint a CRO from the market.
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Important Current Affairs 5th August 2020

National

Government forms draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020

• The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020), with the objective to make India self-reliance in defence manufacturing and to position the country amongst the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors.

• The new policy is a part of the announcements made under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Package’ to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The policy framework aims to position India among the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors.

• The Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 has laid out the following goals and objectives:

I. To achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000Crores (USD 25 Billion) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore (USD 5 Billion) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.

II. To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.

III. To reduce dependence on imports and take forward “Make in India” initiatives through domestic design and development.

IV. To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.

V. To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.

National Programme ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan 2020-21’ launched

• Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan, 2020-21’. It is a national programme which has been launched to popularize science among school students of Class 6th to 11th.

• The programme has been designed to identify the talent in the field of science and to promote the scientfic acumen among the students.

Andhra Pradesh government launches ‘E-RakshaBandhan’

• Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has launched a one month-long innovative virtual cybercrime awareness programme ‘E-Rakshabandhan’ on 3 August 2020

• The campaign organised by the Andhra Pradesh CID and the police, aims to bring awareness among the public in cyberspace, especially women, youth and children.

• The slogan for the campaign is “Let us make August a month of e freedom and e-safety.”Cybercrime experts will speak on different types of cyber crimes and create awareness among the public.

Obituary

Theatre maestro Ebrahim Alkazi passes away

• Indian theatre director and drama teacher, Ebrahim Alkazi, has passed  away. He was 94. He was the first and longest serving Director of the National School of Drama (NSD), and held the position from 1962-77.

• Ebrahim was considered as the father of modern Indian theatre and has mentored generations of actors, including Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Rohini Hattangadi, Surekha Sikri and Pankaj Kapoor.

• The thespian has a lot of accolades to his name and has won many of India’s most prestigious awards, such as Padma Shri (1966), the Padma Bhushan (1991), and India’s second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan in 2010.SangeetNatakAkademi Award in Direction in 1962, and the Akademi’s highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre.

Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume passes away

• The prominent Northern Ireland politician and former Nobel Peace Prize winner, John Hume passed away. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998, along with David Trimble, for his role in ending the conflict in Northern Ireland.

• He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1970 and led the party from 1979 until 2001.

Sports

World Cup winner Benedikt Howedes retires from soccer

• The professional German footballer, Benedikt Howedes, who helped Germany win the World Cup title in 2014, has announced his retirement from soccer, citing family reasons.

• The 32-year-old defender, represented the Germany national football team from 2011 to 2017 during which he played 44 matches.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI approves Sashidhar Jagdishan as HDFC Bank CEO and MD

• The Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of HDFC Bank. Mr. Jagdishan will take charge of the outgoing MD Aditya Puri on October 27, 2020 and will remain on the position for three years.

• HDFC Bank mentioned that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank will be held in due course to approve the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as the new MD and CEO of the bank.

• Along with Sashidhar Jagdishan, HDFC Bank had also submitted the names of Sunil Garg, Global CEO of Citi Commercial Bank, and Kaizad Bharucha (ED at HDFC Bank) for the RBI’s consideration.

• Sashidhar Jagdishan had joined HDFC Bank in 1996 as a manager in the finance function and later became a business head-finance in 1999.

Mark Phillips sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana

• Former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Brigadier (retired), Mark Anthony Phillips has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana. Additionally, former President Bharrat Jagdeo was named Vice President.

• Mohamed Irfaan Ali, a former member of parliament and housing minister, has been sworn in as the President of Guyana on 2 August 2020.

• The 40-year-old People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate has taken over as the 10th President of the country. He succeeds David A. Granger.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Vishesh: Code To Win” authored by Nirupama Yadav

• The book, titled “Vishesh: Code To Win”, has been written by sportswoman-turned-author Nirupama Yadav and published by the publishing house Bluerose.

• The inspirational story on the life of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, India’s youngest basketball team captain, is set to be released on August 29, the National Sports Day.

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Important Current Affairs 1st August 2020

National

Central government to set up single-window clearance for business

• The central government is working on a single window portal which will reduce the time for businesses to get clearances; further increasing India’s ranking in the ease of doing business.Single Window System is completely digital and provides for unified and integrated business procedures.

• With six states on board, it will showcase five lakh hectares of land that has already been identified.This will allow online viewing of land available for companies, from their distant offices, precluding the need to frequently visit the offices of land-owning agencies.

International

Russia chaired 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting

• The 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting was held under the presidency of Russia. The Environment Ministers of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa participated in the meeting held via the video conference.

• The meeting was preceded by the BRICS Working Group meeting. India will host the next meeting in 2021.

Banking and Economy

SIDBI, TransUnion CIBIL launched financial knowledge platform ”MSMESaksham” for MSMEs

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in association with TransUnion CIBIL has launched a comprehensive financial education and one-stop knowledge platform for micro, small and medium enterprises “MSMESaksham”, which will guide MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) seeking quick access to finance and will also support them in managing their credit obligations.

• The portal will have a consolidated list of all the schemes launched by the Centre and state governments for MSMEs.

MobiKwik Launched mpay.me, a Personalized UPI Payment Link

• Digital wallet company, MobiKwik has launched “mpay.me” UPI link service that allows users to send and receive money from any UPI payment app. Users can share it with anyone over chat, SMS, email, etc to collect payments.

• This single link created using mpay.me can be shared anywhere to send and receive money and will work seamlessly on mobile as well as desktop.Through mpay.me, users will now be able to generate their own mini personal payment gateways using their phone numbers.

Obituary

Padma Shri awardee Sonam Tshering Lepcha passes away

• Folk musician and Padma Shri awardee, Sonam Tshering Lepcha passed away. He was 92.He started his career as a soldier.He travelled to various parts of Sikkim and complied a wide range of Indian folk and traditional Lepcha songs and played folk music on All India Radio in 1960.

• He was highly reverred in Sikkim, where he spent much of his time for his role in the revival of Lepcha culture, which is an indigenous one in Sikkim. He was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of folk music.

Malayalam actor Anil Murali passes away

Malayalam actor, Anil Murali passed away.He made his silver screen debut with Kanyakumariyil Oru Kavitha in 1993.He went on to star in over 200 movies across Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu film industries.

Sports

Stuart Broad becomes 7th bowler to take 500 Test wickets

• Stuart Broad joined one of cricket’s most exclusive clubs when he took his 500th Test wicket as England completed a series-clinching win over the West Indies at Old Trafford.

• The 34-year-old became fourth pacemen to reach the landmark when he had opener Kraigg Brathwaite plumb lbw for 19 on the fifth day of the third Test.

Appointments and Resignations

Kavita Devi, Babita Phogat appointed as Haryana Sports Deputy Directors

Babita Phogat and Kavita Devi have been appointed as Deputy Directors in the Haryana's Department of Sports and Youth Affairs. Babita Phogat stated that she will work to make sure that players in the state get all the facilities required by them.

Days

World Ranger Day 2020

• World Ranger Day is celebrated annually on July 31 around the world and it is promoted by the 54-member Association of the International Ranger Federation (IRF).

• The day celebrates the accomplishments done by rangers around the world and honors those who have died in the course of their duties.

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Important Current Affairs 27th July 2020

National

India’s first honey testing laboratory set up at NDDB in Anand district of Gujarat

• India’s first dedicated honey testing laboratory has been set up at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Anand district of Gujarat.

• The ‘World Class State of Art Honey Testing Laboratory’ was inaugurated virtually by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on 24 July 2020, with the aim to boost exports and ensure better rates to farmers.

• The facility has been established by NDDB with support of National Bee Board (NBB).The new lab will test honey as per the norms specified by the food safety regulator FSSAI.

J&K LG announces launch of ‘Macadamisation Program’

• Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu has announced the launch of a ‘Macadamisation Program’ for the improvement of roads across Jammu and Kashmir.

•  Murmu has approved a program for 100 percent Macadamisation of all roads in the Union Territory including 11,000 km of fair-weather roads.

Indian Railways Constructing World’s first electrified double-stack container tunnel near Haryana

• The Indian Railways is constructing the world’s first electrified double-stack container tunnel, between the Aravalli hills, on the railway’s Western Dedicated Freight Corridor near Haryana’s Sohna

• The D-shaped tunnel is one of the biggest Railway tunnels in India in terms of cross-sectional area, measuring 150 square metres.One end of the tunnel is near Rewari while the other end of the tunnel is at Dadri.The tunnel connects the Mewat and Gurugram district of Haryana.

• Once operational, a double-stack container goods train will be able to run at a speed of more than 100 km from within this one-km-tunnel.The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is the implementing agency of the project.

International

India extends medical assistance worth USD 1 million to North Korea

• India has extended anti-tuberculosis medical assistance worth about USD 1 million to North Korea in response to a request received from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

• The medical assistance is given under the aegis of an ongoing WHO anti-tuberculosis programme in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Banking and Economy

RBI signs $400 mn currency swap with Sri Lanka

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed an agreement for extending a $400-million currency swap facility to Sri Lanka. This currency swap is used to boost the foreign reserves and ensure the financial stability of the country.

• Sri Lanka was set to enter into an agreement with the RBI for a currency swap worth $400 million under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) framework.

• The currency swap arrangement will remain available till November 2022.

Obituary

Veteran Odia actor Bijay Mohanty passes away at 70

• Veteran Odia actor Bijay Mohanty has passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 70.

• Mohanty had started his career in Odia cinema in 1977.He was also honoured with National Award for his contribution to art and literature.

Sports

Haryana to host Khelo India Youth Games 2021

• Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, and the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju announced that Haryana will host the 4th edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG). The Games will be held in Panchkula. The games are currently scheduled to take place after Tokyo Olympics.

• Haryana has a history of producing of many elite athletes, such as, BajrangPunia, Yogeshwar Dutt, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, papa-athlete Deepak Malik, Boxer Amit Panghal and shooters Manu Bhakar, Sanjeev Rajput, Anish Bhanwala, who has represented and won medals for India at International Platform.

• Haryana has done well in all three editions of KIYG. While they came second in both 2019 and 2020 editions (200 medals in 2020 and 159 medals in 2019) Haryana won it in 2018 with 102 podium finishes.

Ranking

Hyderabad Ranked 16th in World’s most Surveilled Cities

• As per the new analysis by Comparitech on the World’s Most Surveilled Cities, in 150 major cities across the globe, Hyderabad has positioned in 16th rank among  the list of top 20 cities with the maximum number of Closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras. The research is based on the number of cameras per 1,000 people.

• It has most CCTV surveillance in India. The List was topped by Taiyuan, China.Chennai(21st rank) and Delhi (33rd rank)  made into the top 50 list. Delhi ranked 2nd, Tokyo tops in the 20 most populated cities in the world.

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Important Current Affairs 26th July 2020

National

PM Modi addresses India Ideas Summit 2020 organised by USIBC

• The India Ideas Summit was organised on 21-22 July 2020 by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).The theme for 2020 India Idea Summit was ‘Building a Better Future’.

• 2020 marks the 45th anniversary of the formation of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually delivered a keynote address at the India Ideas Summit on 22 July 2020.

• The Prime Minister has also invited American firms to invest in sectors like healthcare, energy, infrastructure, civil aviation, defence, finance and insurance, space, among others.

Adani Ports signs up for Science-Based Targets initiative

• Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has become the first Indian port to sign the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi). After signing up for the SBTi, APSEZ has committed to set up science-based emissions reduction targets across their entire value chain.

•  These targets would be consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Banking and Economy

RBI releases the Financial Stability Report, July 2020

• The Reserve Bank of India has released the 21st Issue of the Financial Stability Report (FSR). The FSR reflects the collective assessment of the Sub-Committee of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) on risks to financial stability and the resilience of the financial system.

• The Report also discusses the issues relating to the development and regulation of the financial sector.

Awards

Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson wins 2020 FWA Footballer of the Year award

• Jordan Henderson, the captain of Premier League club Liverpool has been named the 2019-20 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA).

• The Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year is an annual award given since the 1947–48 season, to the player who is adjudged to have been the best of the season in English football.

• The 30-year-old Henderson has played in 30 of Liverpool’s league matches so far this season and scored four goals.

Appointments and Resignations

Riva Ganguly Das appointed as Secretary East in MEA

• India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Riva Ganguly Das is appointed by the Government as the Secretary East, in the Ministry of External Affairs. She will succeed Vijay Thakur Singh after her retirement on 30th September this year.

Ranking

India Ranks 3rd among top 10 countries gaining forest area in the world

• India has been ranked third among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas in the last decade (2010-2020) as per the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

• FRA is a comprehensive assessment brought out by FAO after every five years since 1990 to assess the state of forests, their conditions and management for all member countries.

Days

Kargil Vijay Diwas

• Kargil Vijay Diwas 2020: It is celebrated on 26 July to commemorate the victory of the Indian soldiers over the infiltrating Pakistani troops. This year is the 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas.

• The day is dedicated to our Kargil War’s Heroes and is named after the successful Operation Vijay. It is celebrated to in view of Operation Vijay and Kargil War that ended on July 26, 1999. After this, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistan.

• ‘Operation Vijay’, was the code name given to India’s offensive against Pakistan to flush out the Pakistani infiltrators from the Indian territory in Kargil.

National Parent’s Day 2020

• National Parent's Day is celebrated to promote the responsible parenting and to recognise positive parental role models. No doubt this day also observe the special bond of love and care between parents and their children.

• President Bill Clinton in 1994 signed a law and a resolution was adopted by the US Congress to establish fourth Sunday of every July as parent's Day. This day is similar to Mother's day and Father's day.

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Important Current Affairs 24th July 2020

National

Government grants permission for permanent commission of women in Indian Army

• Central government has given its approval for permanent commission of women officers in Indian Army, empowering women to carry out larger roles in the armed force.

• The Government order specifies that the grant of permanent commission will be available for Short Service Commissioned (SSC) female officers in all 10 streams of the army.

• It will direct the Indian Army to work on its existing policies which will bring an equilibrium in the service conditions for both the female and male officers.

Home Minister to launch “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” in New Delhi

• “Vriksharopan Abhiyan” will be launched by the Union Home Minister ShriAmit Shah in New Delhi. Ministry of Coal will organize the abhiyan along with all Coal/Lignite PSUs.

• During the launch of “Vriksharopan Abhiyan”, the Union Home Minister will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of 6 Ecoparks/ Tourism sites which will offer avenues for recreation, adventure, water sport, bird watching etc for the people residing in nearby area.

• Under the “Vriksharopan Abhiyan”, large scale plantation would be carried out in mines, colonies, offices and other suitable areas of Coal/Lignite PSUs in order to promote “plantation by the society”.

International

UN General Assembly to go virtual for first time in 75 years

• The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will go virtual for the first time in 75 years for its session scheduled to be held in September 2020. The world leaders of UN member countries have been asked to submit their pre-recorded videos for the session.

• The UN Assembly will hold its 75th session on September 15, 2020.

China launches its 1st independent mission to Mars

• China has successfully launched “Tianwen-1” its first independent mission to Mars. A Long March 5 rocket carrying the spacecraft ignited at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in south China’s tropical Hainan province.

• China had launched an orbiter destined for Mars on a Russian rocket in 2011, but the mission failed because the rocket malfunctioned.

Banking and Economy

Nomura estimates India’s GDP to contract by 6.1% in FY21

• The Indian economy is expected to contract by 6.1 percent in the current fiscal (2020-21), as per the Japanese financial services firm Nomura.

• The contraction in the GDP is due to the C-19 C-19, which has impacted both supply and demand forces in the economy since March 2020.

EPFO registers 3.18 lakh new subscribers in May 2020

• The subscriber base for Employees’ Provident Fund Organization- EPFO has grown by 3.18 lakh new net members during May 2020. It has registered 218 per cent month on month growth.

• The subscriber base growth is on account of increased number of new subscribers, lower exits and higher re-joining by exited members.

• The new subscriber joining increased by 66 per cent from 1.67 lakh in April to 2.79 lakh in May 2020.

Summits and Mou’s

Flipkart announced the acquisition of Walmart India.

• Flipkart announced on July 23, 2020 that it has acquired parent company, Walmart Inc’s Best Price wholesale cash-and-carry business in India.

• The move will allow Flipkart to launch a digital marketplace called Flipkart Wholesale next months the home grown e-commerce major looks to tap into the USD 650 billion B2B retail market in India.

• Walmart India runs 28 Best Price wholesale stores in the country. Flipkart Wholesale is a new digital marketplace focusing on addressing the business-to-business (B2B) segment in India.

• This will also strengthen the e-commerce firm’s wholesale offerings, to compete better with Amazon.

Awards

Greta Thunberg named winner of Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity

• The 17 year old climate activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg has been named winner of the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. She will receive a prize money of 1 million euro. She has been awarded for her efforts to mobilise younger generations to tackle climate change.

• She commenced a protest outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 and risen to global prominence, becoming the figurehead for a series of school strikes by children around the world.

Appointments and Resignations

Alok Misra becomes new CEO & Director of MFIN

• Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) has appointed Alok Misra as its new Chief Executive Officer & Director. The appointment will be effective from 1st August 2020.

•  Dr Misra takes over from the present CEO, Harsh Shrivastava, who has put down his papers after spending over 2 years at MFIN.

Arun Kumar nominated as Vice-Chairman of UIC

• The Director General of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Arun Kumar has been nominated as the Vice-Chairman of UIC (Union International Des Chemins/International Union of Railways), Security Platform from July 2020 to July 2022.

• He will take over as Chairman of the Security Platform from July 2022 to July 2024.

Days

National Thermal Engineer Day

• National Thermal Engineer Day is observed every year on 24 July to show the importance of advancing the thermal engineering industry and is provide the electronics industry with innovative, high-quality, and cost-effective thermal management and its packaging solutions.

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Important Current Affairs 21st July 2020

National

Consumer Protection Act, 2019 Comes into Force from 20 July 2020

• The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has come into force from July 20, 2020, as the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan stated that the new law will empower the consumers.

• The new law will protect the rights of the consumers through its notified rules and provisions like consumer disputes redressal commissions, consumer protection councils, product liability, mediation, and punishment for the manufacture or sale of products that contain adulterant goods.

Salient Features of Consumer Protection Act 2019

•  Establishment of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

• Establishment of Consumer Protection Councils

• Simplified Dispute Resolution Process

• Ease of approaching Consumer Commissions

• Filing from place of residence/work

• Videoconferencing for hearing

• No fee for filing cases upto Rs. 5 lakh

• Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation

• Introduction to the concept of Product Liability

• A manufacturer or product service provider or product seller to be responsible to compensate for injury or damage caused by defective product or deficiency in services

• Rules on e-commerce and direct selling

• Penalty for adulteration of products/spurious goods

AIIMS Delhi begins registration for conducting human trials of COVAXIN

• AIIMS Delhi has begun the registration process for conducting human trials of the indigenously developed Chinese virus vaccine- COVAXIN

• AIIMS-Delhi is one of the 12 institutes chosen by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct phase I and phase II human trials of COVAXIN. The phase I human trials is likely to involve around 375 volunteers, among whom about 100 would be from AIIMs.

Indian direct selling industry records USD 2.477 bn sales in 2019, ranked 15th globally

• In accordance with the report of “The Global Direct Selling – 2019 Retail Sales” by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), India was ranked 15th in global direct selling industry with sales of USD 2.477 billion in 2019.

• This has shown a growth of 12.1% in comparison to the 19th rank in 2018. The ranking has been topped by the United States (US) which contributed 20% of the global direct selling industry with sales of USD 35.21 billion, followed by China with 13% contribution at 2nd rank, and Korea and Germany with 10% contribution each at 3rd position.

• In terms of the number of direct sellers, India has been ranked at 6th position, proving employment to 57.50 lakh people.In Asia Pacific region, India was ranked 4th which has been topped by Australia and followed by China and Hong Kong at 2nd and 3rd rank.

Awards

Morissana Kouyate and Marianna Vardinoyanniswins 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize

• Guinean doctor Morissana Kouyate and Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece are the winners of the 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize. The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande has made the announcement of the winners of the award which recognizes persons who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity.

• The Nelson Mandela Prize, which is awarded every five years and recognizes those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity, by promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations, while honouring Nelson Mandela’s life, and legacy of reconciliation, political transition, and social transformation. The Mandela Prize was established by a UN General Assembly resolution in June 2014.

Obituary

MP Governor Lalji Tandon passes away

• Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon passed away. He was undergoing treatment since June 11 and passed away after a prolonged illness.

• Due to MP Governor Lalji Tondon illness and his subsequent hospitalization, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has been given additional charge of Madhya Pradesh as well as interim Governor.

Sports

Ballon d'Or 2020 cancelled for first-ever time

• Ballon d'Or will not be awarded this year due to lack of sufficient fair conditions amid C-19, announced France Football on July 20, 2020.

• France Football released an official statement, which read that the Ballon d'Or France Football will not be awarded in 2020 for the first time in its history due to lack of sufficient fair conditions under exceptional circumstances and exceptional provisions.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2020 postponed

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) officially confirmed on July 20, 2020 that the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to be held Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing C-19. The T20 World Cup is now likely to be held in October 2021.

• The ICC also decided to postpone two other ICC Men's events to support the current rescheduling, including Men's T20 World Cup 2022 and World Cup 2023.

Appointments and Resignations

SBI Cards Appoints Ashwini Tewari as new MD, CEO

• SBI Cards and Payment Services has appointed Ashwini Kumar Tewari as its new Managing Director and chief executive officer. The new appointment will be valid for two years and his appointment will come into effect from August 1, 2020.

• He was nominated by parent State Bank of India for the position.

Books and Authors

“The Endgame”- Authored by S Hussain Zaidi

• Veteran Crime and Terror writer S Hussain Zaidi has penned a new novel titled “The Endgame” which talks of politics, betrayal and unimaginable terror.

• The book explores the challenges that the security of a country faces from within and without at the same time.“The Endgame” has been published by HarperCollins India.

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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 15th July 2020

National

Government to increase public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025

•  The Union Health Ministry has called for increased expenditure on public health. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted during a meeting with the 15th Finance Commission that the government aims to gradually increase the public health expenditure to 2.5 percent of the nation's GDP by 2025.

•  The Minister asserted that the outlay for primary health expenditure will also be made nearly 2/3rd of the total public health expenditure in the country. The Health Minister further emphasized on the importance of increasing the state’s health sector spending to nearly 8 percent of their total budget.

•  The Health Ministry has also revised its requirement of around 4.9 lakh crores to 6.04 lakh crores in the wake of the C-19. The Ministry has asked for additional resources for the states that will be utilized for the achievement of the National Health Policy targets.

Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project

• Iran has dropped India from Chabahar rail project which comprises rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the border with Afghanistan. The Iranian government cited delays from the Indian side in funding and starting the project, for its decision of dropping India from the project.

• Now, Iranian Railways will go ahead without India’s assistance and utilize around $400 million from the Iranian National Development Fund.

International

Singapore enters into recession, GDP falls by 41.2 percent

• Singapore has entered into the phase of economic recession after the country's GDP contracted by around 41.2 percent in last 3 months.

• The extended C-19 amid has adversely impacted the economy of the nation. The announcement was made by Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore.

Banking and Economy

Reliance Industries becomes first Indian company to hit Rs. 12 lakh crore market cap

• Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has become the first Indian firm to hit a market capitalisation mark of Rs. 12 lakh crore. The shares price of the company surged to a record high of Rs. 1,947 on 13 July 2020, after which the Market cap of the firm rose to Rs 12.32 lakh crore.

• The increase in Reliance Industries m-cap comes after it secured deal with Qualcomm Ventures to invest in Jio Platforms for a 0.15 percent equity stake.This is the 13th deal secured by Jio Platforms in a span of 12 weeks, bringing the total funds raised by the company to Rs 1.18 lakh crore.

NABARD organised ‘Digital Choupal’ to mark its 39th foundation day

• National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) organised its first ‘Digital Choupal’ to mark its 39th foundation day. During the ‘Digital Choupal’ session, NABARD also announced Rs 5,000 crore of refinance scheme for banks and financial institutions.

•  “Digital Choupal” was conducted in the form of a video conference which was attended by participants of different projects initiated by NABARD, to share their experiences about the projects they are involved in.

Awards

ISRO Chief K Sivan named for Von Karman Award 2020

• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chief, Kailasavadivoo Sivan has named for Von Karman Award 2020 by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

• The Von Karman Award is known as the highest distinction of the IAA. Dr K. Sivan is going to receive an award in March 2021 at Paris France.

• Udupi Ramachandra Rao was the first Indian to receive the von Karman award.The award was presented to him in 2005 and Dr Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan received the Von Karman award in 2007.

Appointments and Resignations

Hemang Amin appointed as interim CEO of BCCI

• The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Hemang Amin as its interim chief executive officer (CEO).

• He will replace Rahul Johri who recently resigned as the chief executive officer (CEO) of BCCI and his resignation was accepted by the BCCI office-bearers.

Days

World Youth Skills Day

• United Nations celebrates World Youth Skills Day globally on 15 July every year. The theme of World Youth Skills Day 2020 is “Skills for a Resilient Youth“.

• The day is celebrated as an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge as well as celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

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