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Important Current Affairs 7th April 2020

National

PM, President and MPs Salary Cut by 30% , MPLAD funds suspended for 2 years

• The Union Cabinet approved an ordinance amending the salary, allowances and pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, to reduce the allowances and pension by 30% starting April 1, 2020, for a year.

• All Members of Parliament (MPs), including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers, would be taking a 30 per cent salary cut.

• The cabinet also approved temporary suspension of MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) fund scheme during 2020-21 and 2021-22, and the funds will be used for managing health services.

International

US announces $2.9 million package for India

• The United States recently announced a donation package of USD 2.9 million for India. The announcement regarding the donation was made by US Agency for International Development.

•  The aid is a part of the American Global Response Package, wherein the US is providing financial assistance of USD 174 million to over 60 countries.

Banking and Economy

Madhabi Puri Buch gets 6-month extension as WTM at SEBI

• The term of Madhabi Puri Buch as a Whole Time Member (WTM) at Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has been extended by 6 months.

• Madhabi Puri Buch is the first woman Whole Time Member (WTM) of SEBI and also the first from the private sector to be appointed as a board member in SEBI.

Sports

Kobe Bryant inducted into NBA’s Hall of Fame (Basketball)

• Late basketball player, Kobe Bryant, has been inducted into the NBA’s Hall of Fame 2020. He was an American Basketball Player.

• Kobe Bryant, 41 was killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020 in which total of 9 people died.

• A total of 9 people have been inducted into the 2020 NBA’s Hall of Fame. The other eight are: MVP Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann.

Science and Technology

NASA to land human on moon by 2024

• US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced to land human on moon by the year 2024 under its ambitious ‘Artemis Program’.

• The NASA has been constantly working on this program to build a Artemis Base Camp.

Ranking

Tamil Nadu Tops in micro-irrigation coverage under PMKSY in 2019-20

• The Tamil Nadu state has finished on top at the all-India level for micro-irrigation coverage in the financial year 2019-20, as part of implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

• Karnataka is at second place with 1,41,103.56 ha area under micro-irrigation while Gujarat is at third spot with 1,08,322.00 ha under micro-irrigation.

• During 2019-20, the overall coverage of the state under micro-irrigation stood at 2,06,853.25 hectares (ha). The total area brought under micro irrigation at the all-India level in 2019-20 stands at 7,72,350.63 ha.

• PMKSY is a programme aimed at promoting the “more crop per drop” concept by focussing on water-saving technologies.

Days

World Health Day

• World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April each year since 1950, to draw worldwide attention to a specific theme of major importance to global health each year.

• The Theme of 2020 World Health Day is Support Nurses and Midwives.

• The World Health Day also marks the establishment of the World Health Organization (WHO) on 7 April 1948.

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Important Current Affairs 6th April 2020

National

Government plans to link 22000 mandis with e-NAM platform by 2022

• The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar has launched three new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform to enable farmers to sell their harvested produce directly from warehouse.

• Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the lead agency for implementing eNAM under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.

 Geo-fencing app to locate quarantine violators

• The government has tested an application named, Geo-fencing app to trigger emails and SMS alerts to an authorised government agency, if a person has jumped quarantine or has escaped from isolation, based on the person’s mobile phone’s cell tower location.

• The Centre under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, uses powers to “fetch information” from telecom companies every 15 minutes.

Northern Railways develops PPE coverall

• The Northern Railways has developed a PPE coverall. This is in addition to the personal protective equipment coveralls and the N99 masks that have been developed by DRDO.

• The initiative is to meet the demand of these equipments and ensure proper safety and security of the healthcare workers who are in the frontline.

• With rising coronavirus cases in the country, there is a shortage of PPE kits. Hence, efforts are being made to start mass production of these products. The existing N95 mask producers have also increased their capacity and are producing about 80,000 masks per day.

Indian Railways develops low-cost ventilator prototype named “Jeevan”

• Indian Railway’s Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala, Punjab has developed a low-cost ventilator prototype named “Jeevan” that is much cheaper than regular ventilators.

• The ventilators can be put to use after it receives approvals from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

• The cost of these ventilators is expected to be Rs. 10,000 without compressors. RCF Kapurthala has developed the prototype after the government instructed the Indian Railways to explore the possibility of manufacturing ventilators.

Obituary

Former Honduras President Rafael Callejas, Disgraced by FIFAgate Scandal, Passes Away at 76

• The former President of Honduras, Rafael Callejas, has passed away of heart attack. He was 76.

• Callejas served the country from 27 January 1990 to 27 January 1994, representing the National Party of Honduras (PNH).

• He was the head of country’s football federation from 2002 to 2015 and was also accused of the vast football corruption scandal known as FIFAgate.

Appointments and Resignations

Nasscom appoints Infosys' COO Pravin Rao as chairman

• Vice-Chairperson Infosys’ chief operating officer, UB Pravin Rao, has been appointed as the new chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) for the year 2020-21. He was appointed Rekha Menon of Accenture.

• Rekha M Menon is the Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture in India. Menon will be the Vice-Chairperson for Nasscom. Pravin Rao, along with President Debjani Ghosh, will help Nasscom to achieve its 2025 vision for the industry.

Days

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

• The United Nations celebrates 6th of April every year as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

• Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play.

• Sports also presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system.

International Day of Conscience is observed on 5 April

• International Day of Conscience is observed on 5 April.

• The day aims to promote a culture of peace with love and conscience.

• The day reminds the people to self-reflect, follow their conscience, and do the right things.

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Important Current Affairs 4th April 2020

International

Domino’s Pizza launches ‘Domino’s Essentials’ service

• Domino’s Pizza has partnered with ITC Foods to launch “Domino’s Essentials”.

Highlights of this Partnership:

• Through “Domino’s Essentials” service, everyday grocery essentials offered by ITC Foods will be delivered while leveraging the delivery infrastructure of Domino’s.

• This partnership aims to serve the community by ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential items at their doorsteps, without them having to step outside of their homes.

• The “Domino’s Essentials” service will be available for consumers via “Domino’s Essentials” section on the Domino’s app.

• Domino’s Pizza will leverage its supply chain and delivery network to deliver essential goods to the customers at their home.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Ratings cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 2% for FY21

• Fitch Ratings has cut its GDP growth forecast for India to 2% for the fiscal year 2021.

• This will be the slowest growth in India over the past 30 years.

ADB Estimates India’s GDP for FY’21 at 4 Percent; 6.2% for FY’22

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released its latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 for financial year 2020-21 on 3rd April 2020.

• As per ADB, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in India is likely to slow down to 4 percent in FY21 (2020-21) on the back of the current global health emergency.

• However, ADB expects the Indian economy to further strengthen to 6.2 percent in the FY22 fiscal (2021-22).

Sports

Asian Games 2022 "smart triplets" mascots unveiled in digital ceremony

• The Olympic Council of Asia has announced the official mascots of the 19th Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou in 2022. The three robots namely Congcong, Lianlian and Chenchen which are collectively known as “The Smart Triplets” will be the official mascots of the 19th Asian Games.

• The robot ‘Congcong’ represents the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City. It derives its name from the Cong jade pendant — the quintessential relic unearthed from the ruins dating back 5,000 years. ‘Lianlian’ represents the West Lake and the name signifies a lake full of lush lotus leaves. Green stands for life and nature.The third mascot is ‘Chenchen’, which represents the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

Days

International Mine Awareness Day observed globally on 4 April

• International Mine Awareness Day observed globally on 4 April every year. On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

• It was first observed on 4 April 2006.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd April 2020

Summits and Mou’s

UN Cop26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow Postponed until 2021

• The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP26), which was scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from 9 to 20 November 2020 under the presidency of the UK government, has been postponed.

• The Cop26 Climate Change Summit has now be pushed back to 2021 and the new dates for the conference would be decided in due course.

• The announcement was made by the Cop26 president-designate and UK Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma.

Obituary

Gurbani maestro Nirmal Singh Khalsa passes away

• Nirmal Singh Khalsa, a noted singer of Sikh 'Gurbani' hymns, passed away on April 2, 2020. He was detected with the infection just a day before his death. He was 62.

• Nirmal Singh Khalsa was a former priest at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He was known to have the knowledge of the 31 'raags' in the Gurbani of the Guru Granth Sahib.

• He was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to the field of Gurbani music.

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Important Current Affairs 1st April 2020

National

GoI extends validity of expired Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration till 30 June

• The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced an extension on the validity of documents like driving licenses, permits and registration that are expired since 1 February.

• The Ministry has directed all states and Union Territories (UT) to treat the documents as valid till 30 June.

Banking and Economy

Mega merger of 10 PSU Banks comes into effect

• The mega merger of 10 PSU banks into 4 comes into effect from April 1, 2020. As per the merger, the Oriental Bank of Commerce and the United Bank of India have now be merged with the Punjab National Bank with the latter being the Head Bank.

• In another merger, Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank are merged into Union Bank of India. The branches of the merged banks will work as the branches of Head or Anchor bank.

As per the consolidation scheme, the details of 10 state-run banks into 4 are mentioned below-

• United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce will merge into Punjab National Bank

• Syndicate Bank will merge into Canara Bank

• Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank

• Corporation and Andhra Banks will be merged in Union Bank of India

The objective behind the merger:

The major objectives of the merger are:

• To help India make a USD 5 trillion economy

• Reducing the lending cost

• Enhancing the capacity in order to increase credit

• To bring next-generation technology for the banking sector

• Banks that have strong national and international reach

• To improve the ability to raise market resources.

Government cuts Interest Rates on Small Saving Schemes

• The Central Government recently slashed the interest rates on small saving schemes such as PPF for the April-June quarter of 2020-2021.

• The Small Saving Schemes include Public Provident Fund (PPF), Kisan Vikas Patra, Senior Citizen Saving schemes (SCSS) and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.

Obituary

Legendary historian Arjun Dev passes away

• The legendary historian and educationist, Professor Arjun Dev passed away. He was born on November 12, 1938, in Leiah, West Punjab (now in Pakistan).

•  He served as a historian at the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT).

Days

International Transgender Day of Visibility

• International Transgender Day of Visibility observed globally on 31st March every year.

• The day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

Utkal Divas or Odisha Day is celebrated on 1 April

• Utkal Divas (Odisha Day) is celebrated every year on 1st April all over Odisha. Odisha Day is celebrated in the memory of the formation of the state as a separate province on 1 April 1936.

•  This year marks the 83rd Utkal Divas or the foundation day of Odisha. Odisha was born as a separate state on April 1, 1936, on a linguistic basis.

•  The state was carved out of the combined Bengal-Bihar-Orissa province.

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Important Current Affairs 31st March 2020

Summits and Mou’s

Tata Power JV starts Shuakhevi HPP in Georgia

• Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC, a Joint Venture between Tata Power, Norway’s Clean Energy Invest (CEI), and International Financial Corporation (IFC) has announced the start of commercial operation of the 178 MW Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (Shuakhevi HPP) located in southwest Georgia.

• The project will generate around 450 GWh of clean energy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by more than 200,000 tonnes a year.

Books and Authors

Book titled “The Death of Jesus” by Nobel laureate J M Coetzee released

• The book titled “The Death of Jesus” authored by Nobel laureate J M Coetzee has been released. It is the third book of the series.

• The earlier two book were, “The Childhood of Jesus”, published in 2014 and The Schooldays of Jesus, in 2018.

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Important Current Affairs 30th March 2020

Banking and Economy

SBI raises $100 million via green bonds

• State Bank of India has raised USD 100 million green bonds, the first such bond by any state-owned bank in this fiscal.

• The bonds were priced at 3M Libor + 80 basis points. This is the third set of green bond issue by SBI, aggregating USD 700 million.

• The proceeds will be used to fund the non-convention energy sector. These bonds will be issued through SBI’s London branch and shall be listed on Singapore Exchange (SGX).

Science and Technology

SpaceX wins NASA award for planned lunar space station

• A new space capsule from SpaceX has been picked up by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to ferry cargo and supplies to the agency’s planned lunar space station.

• Hence, with a $7 billion NASA contract, SpaceX will use its biggest rocket, Falcon Heavy to send spacecraft named as “Dragon XL” to the Lunar Gateway.

• This is an outpost that NASA is planning to build and that will orbit the moon sometime within the next decade.

Obituary

Air Vice-Marshal Chandan Singh Rathore passed away

• Air Vice Marshall Chandan Singh Rathore passed away at his Jodhpur residence on March 29, 2020. He had served in the Indian Air Force at the time of the 1962 Indo-China war and the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

• The Air Vice Marshall had planned and executed helicopter operations during India’s 1971 war with Pakistan for the liberation of Bangladesh.

• He had flown 8 missions into the enemy territory during the war to supervise the progress of lifting two companies of troops in the Sylhet area by the Indian Air Force.

• He will be awarded the Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest military award, posthumously for his acts of bravery in the presence of the enemy.

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Important Current Affairs 29th March 2020

Mega merger of 10 state-run banks into four lenders will come into force from April 1

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced that the schemes for the merger of ten state-run banks into four banks will take effect from 1 April 2020.

• The banking regulator has also announced that the branches of merging banks will operate as the branch of the banks in which these have been amalgamated, from the beginning of next fiscal year 2020-21.

• After the merger, the total number of PSBs will be reduced to 12 from 27 PSBs, including 7 large PSBs and 5 small PSBs.

• Also, the anchor bank Punjab National Bank will become the country’s second largest bank with asset size of Rs 17.94 lakh crore, after SBI (over Rs 52 lakh crore).

• The amalgamation is the part of RBI’s consolidation plan to create bigger size stronger banks in the public sector.

• The following amalgamation will take place:

1. Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India will merge with Punjab National Bank (PNB) branches

2. Syndicate Bank will merge with Canara Bank

3. Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank will merge into Union Bank of India

4. Allahabad Bank will merge into Indian Bank.

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Important Current Affairs 28th March 2020

International

Summits and Mou’s

NTPC concludes acquisition of govt’s stake in THDC, NEEPCO at Rs 11,500 cr

• National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) concluded the acquisition of Centre’s entire stake in two hydropower generating firms, Tehri Hydro Power Complex (THDC) India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), at Rs 11,500 crore.

• Under the deal, NTPC acquired the latter’s 74.496 % equity stake in THDC India Ltd (THDCIL) for Rs 7,500 crore & its 100% equity in North-Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPC) for Rs 4,000 crore respectively.

Obituary

Samajwadi Party founding member Beni Prasad passes away

• Former Union Minister and founding member of the Samajwadi party, Beni Prasad Verma passed away on March 27, 2020. He was 79.

• The Samajwadi Party tweeted condoling the death of the senior party leader saying that the demise of the leader is an irreparable loss.

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Important Current Affairs 27th March 2020

National

Jana SFB rolls out UPI QR-based loan instalment payment facility

• Jana Small Finance Bank has rolled out a Unified Payments Interface (UPI) QR-based loan installment payment facility along with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) for its customers.

• Initially the UPI QR-based loan installment payment facility will be only available to over 40 lakh customers of the Jana Small Finance Bank.

Days

World Theatre Day

• The World Theatre Day is celebrated all over the world on the 27th of March since 1962 to promote the art form “theatre” accross the world.

• The day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute (ITI).

• Every year the Executive Council of ITI choses an outstanding theatre personality to write the message for World Theatre Day.

• The author of the Message of World Theatre Day 2020 is: Shahid NADEEM (Playwright), Pakistan.

Books and Authors

Senior Journalist Chander Suta Dogra Pens Book ‘Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back’

• Chander Suta Dogra, a senior Indian journalist has come up with her meticulously-researched new book titled Missing in Action: The Prisoners Who Never Came Back.

• The book is a story of India’s soldiers who went missing during the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak wars.

• They are called “the missing 54” Indian soldiers, who have been forgotten in the fog of past wars with Pakistan.

• With the help of the book, the author tries to answer the key question: what happened to these men?

• Chander Suta Dogra is a journalist and author and has worked for various publications, including Outlook, Indian Express, Hindu and Hindustan Times.

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