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Important Current Affairs 25th July 2020

National

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launches ‘RestartIndia’ advisory platform for MSME sector

• The Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs), Shri Nitin Gadkari launched a mentoring platform ‘www.restartindia.in’, on 23 July 2020, with the main objective to help the sector in restarting businesses across the country.

• This website has been developed jointly by Muthoot Fincorp and INKtalks as an open platform for advisory support, and is in sync with Atmanirbhar project.

• The objective of Restart India is to raise the self-confidence primarily of small businesses by creating an environment for the re-establishment and progress of their businesses.

Largest Solar Power Plant of Indian Navy Commissioned

• Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, Commanding-in-Chief of Southern Naval Command commissioned a 3 MW Solar Power Plant at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala on July 22, 2020 through virtual conferencing.

• The solar plant is Indian Navy’s largest plant and has an estimated life of 25 years. Its launch is in line with the centre’s initiative of ‘National Solar Mission’ to achieve 100GW of solar power by 2022.

• All components of the plant were indigenously sourced including 9180 highly efficient monocrystalline solar panels employing the latest technology.

Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) Gujarat attains its first criticality

• The Unit 3 of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) in Gujarat achieved its ‘first criticality’ at 9.36 am on 22 July 2020.

• KAPP-3 is India’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) as well as biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

• A nuclear reactor attains criticality when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction.

International

India-UK affirm shared commitment towards Free Trade Agreement

• India and the United Kingdom affirmed their shared commitment towards a Free Trade Agreement during the 14th Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting on July 24, 2020.

• The virtual meeting was co-chaired by Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss.

• The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Hardeep Singh Puri and UK’s Minister of State for International Trade Ranil Jayawardena had also attended the meeting.

Sports

IPL 2020 Schedule announced: IPL to begin from September 19 & finals on November 8

• The schedule of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 has been announced by IPL Chairman Brijesh Patel on July 24, 2020. As per the schedule, IPL will begin from September 19, 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The IPL finals will be held on 8th November 2020.

• The final details of the tournament will be finalised by IPL Governing Council next week.

Appointments and Resignations

Sahil Seth appointed as honorary adviser for BRICS CCI

• Sahil Seth has been appointed as an honorary adviser to the steering committee for the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) young leaders.

• He has been appointed for the period 2020-2023. Seth is presently serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Customs.

Tata AIA Life Ltd appoints Naveen Tahilyani as its MD & CEO

• Naveen Tahilyani has been appointed by Tata AIA Life Limited as its Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

• He will take over from the current CEO Rishi Srivastava, who has been appointed as chief executive officer, group agency distribution, AIA Group, Hong Kong.

Partha Pratim Sengupta becomes new MD & CEO of IOB

• Government of India has appointed Partha Pratim Sengupta as the new Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).

• He will replace Karnam Sekar, who retired from the post of the MD and CEO at IOB on June 30, 2020.

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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 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 22nd July 2020

National

Union Power Minister inaugurated India’s first of its kind public EV Charging Plaza

• Union Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K Singh, inaugurated India’s first public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging plaza at Chelmsford Club in New Delhi on 20 July 2020.The initiatives focus on energy efficiency, promoting e-mobility, and improving indoor air quality.

• RAISE (Retrofit of Air-conditioning to improve Indoor Air Quality for Safety and Efficiency) is a joint initiative of Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) MAITREE programme.

Odisha Government Includes Transgender Community under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana

• The official notification of The Department of Social security and Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SSEPD) informed that, Odisha Government has included the transgender community under MadhuBabu Pension Yojana(MBPY), a social security scheme by amending to Rule 6 of the Madhu Babu Pension Rules 2008.

• In addition to transgenders women, those who are fighting divorce cases in courts are also included.

• Under this scheme, about 6,000 transgenders will receive Rs. 500, Rs. 700 and Rs. 900 per month as a pension under various categories depending on their age.

Summits and Mou’s

Defence Ministry signed contract with BEML for procurement of 1,512 Mine Plough for T-90 tanks

• Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) for procurement of 1,512 Mine Plough (MP) for Tank T-90 S/SK. The move comes as a major boost to the Make in India initiative of the Government of India.

• The contract was approved by the Acquisition Wing of MoD.The procurement will cost approximately Rs 557 crore. These mine ploughs when fitted on T-90 Tanks will provide individual mobility to Tanks while negotiating mine field.

Obituary

Veteran Odia Actor Bijay Mohanty passes away

• Veteran Odia Actor, Bijay Mohanty passed away. He started his career with theatre as a performer and directed many plays before venturing into movies. His performance in his debut film, Chilika Tire, earned him several accolades including the National Film Award.

Former Australia Test cricketer Barry Jarman passes away

• Former Australian test wicketkeeper and ex-International Cricket Council match referee, Barry Jarman passed away.

• He made his test debut in 1959. He became the first-choice wicketkeeper for Australia only after the retirement of Grout in 1966.

Appointments and Resignations

Karur Vysya Bank appoints Ramesh Babu Boddu as MD & CEO

• Board of Directors of the Karur Vysya Bank has appointed Ramesh Babu Boddu as a Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the bank.He will succeed PR Seshadri who resigned on 31st March 2020.

• He has also been co-opted as an Additional Director. Ramesh Babu Boddu has earlier served as Deputy Managing Director in State Bank of India and retired in April 2020.

SAP appoints Kulmeet Bawa as new India MD

• Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing (SAP) has announced the appointment of Kulmeet Bawa as President and Managing Director for SAP Indian Subcontinent.

• He will replace the incumbent Deb Deep Sengupta.

Days

Space Exploration Day

• Every year on July 20, the Space Exploration Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of man’s first historic landing on the moon.

• Neil Armstrong and Edwin Buzz became the first humans to land on moon’s surface. The Armstrong-Aldrin duo spent 21.5 hours on the surface of the moon. Also, they spent 2.5 hours outside of their capsules. The day is mainly celebrated in the United States.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Suraj Kade Marda Nahi” authored by Baldev Singh Sadaknama

• Sahitya Akademi Award winner, Baldev Singh Sadaknama has authored a book ‘Suraj Kade Marda Nahi’ (sun never dies). The book portrays many aspects of freedom fighter Udham Singh.

• The book is published by Unistarbooks. The book has been released and will be formally launched on July 31, 2020. Udham Singh 80th death anniversary will fall on July 31, 2020.

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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 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 17th July 2020

National

UNICEF India Partners with FICCI to launch #Reimagine Campaign

• The UNICEF INDIA has entered into partnership with the Socio Economic Development Foundation (SEDF) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI),  to co-develop #Reimagine Campaign.

• The #Reimagine Campaign of UNICEF aims to support the most vulnerable populations and children during the C-19 response and its after-math in India.

IIT Kanpur develops UV sanitizing device ‘SHUDH’ to disinfect room in 15 mins

• A team of engineers at IIT Kanpur has developed an Ultraviolet (UV) sanitizing product named SHUDH, which is capable to disinfect a 10 sqft room in about 15 minutes.

• SHUDH stands for Smartphone operated Handy Ultraviolet Disinfection Helper. It has been jointly developed by J. Ramkumar, Amandeep Singh and ShivamSachan.

• SHUDH has six UV lights of 15 Watts each that can be individually monitored from a distance and can be rotated up to 360 degrees. Users can use the number of lights based upon the size of the room.

India launches World’s Most Affordable C-19 kit “COROSURE”

• The Union Minister of Human Resource and Development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishnak launched world’s most affordable C-19 kit. The kit was developed by IIT Delhi.

• The test called “COROSURE” has been billed as the world’s most affordable RT-PCR based C-19 diagnostic kit. The base price of the kit is Rs 399.

DCGI approves India’s 1st homemade Pneumonia vaccine

• India’s first fully indigenously developed Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine (Pneumonia vaccine) has received the approval from Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).

• It will be utilized for active immunization against invasive disease and pneumonia caused by “Streptococcus pneumonia” among infants.

Summits and Mou’s

Shripad Naik e-inaugurates 5th Conference on Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies

• The Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik inaugurated the 5th edition of the conference on Aerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies on 15 July 2020 in New Delhi, via video conferencing.

• The theme of the conference was Empowering India with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Mission’.

Obituary

Maharashtra’s first woman Election Commissioner, Neela Satyanarayan, passes away

• Former 1972 batch IAS officer and Maharashtra’s first woman State Election Commissioner (SEC) Neela Satyanarayan has passed away after she was diagnosed with C-19.  She was 72.

• She was made the state election commissioner in 2009, and retired on July 5, 2014.

Ranking

India ranks among top ten nations in intellectual property filings

• India has emerged as the top tenth nation in the ranking of the total (resident and abroad) Intellectual Property (IP) filing activity, as per World Intellectual Property Indicators-2019 Report.

• The overall ranking has been topped by Chinawas followed by United States, Germany, Japan, and Republic of Korea as the top five nations in the list.

• The report released by Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization analyzes IP activity around the globe.

Days

World Emoji Day

• The World Emoji Day is celebrated every year on 17 July since 2014 to promote the use of emojis and spread the enjoyment that they bring to all of those around us.

• The Day was created by London-based founder of Emojipedia, Jeremy Burge.

World Day for International Justice

• The World Day for International Justice, (also known as Day of International Criminal Justice or International Justice Day), is celebrated globally on July 17 to support and recognize the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

• The day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute on July 17, 1998, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.

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Important Current Affairs 16th July 2020

National

Madhya Pradesh Tops in the Implementation of PM SVANidhi

• Madhya Pradesh has topped in implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) by sanctioning an interest-free loan of around Rs 15.50 crore to 15,500 street vendors in the state.

• PM SVANidhi is a central sector scheme to help and formalize the street vendors involved in small businesses across the country. The scheme is funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

DRDO develops P7 Heavy Drop System

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

• The system is fully indigenous and is being manufactured by L&T who makes the platform system, parachutes manufactured by Ordnance Factory.

International

UK bans companies from sourcing 5G equipment from Huawei

• The United Kingdom has imposed a ban on its telecom companies from sourcing 5G equipment from Chinese telecom company Huawei. The announcement was made by UK’s Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden after a meeting chaired by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

• UK’s Digital Secretary informed the British parliament that from the end of this year, telecom providers must not buy any 5G equipment from Huawei. Under the new guideline, the British telecom operators will be required to remove all 5G-related equipment, supplied by Huawei, from their infrastructure by 2027.

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigns

• Prime Minister of Tunisia, Elyes Fakhfakh has submitted his resignation to the President of Tunisia.

• His resignation has come after a campaign to oust him in a vote of no confidence gathered momentum and to avoid more conflicts between state institutions in the country.

Summits and Mou’s

Google-Jio partnership to 5G in India: Reliance Industries 43rd  AGM 2020

• Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh Ambani has confirmed the Google will be Reliance Industries' new strategic partner. The announcement was made during the 43rd Annual General Meeting on July 15, 2020.

• The new strategic partner was introduced by Mr. Ambani after he mentioned all the entities that have invested in Jio Platforms. He informed that Google will invest 33,737 crores for a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms.

• Reliance Jio in partnership with Google will develop an android-based smartphone operating system to increase access to smartphones. The main objective is to accelerate India's digital economy.

Appointments and Resignations

ADB appoints Ashok Lavasa as new Vice President

• Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa has been appointed as the Vice President of the Asian Development Bank. The development comes just a few months before Lavasa was scheduled to take over as the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).

• In his new position, Ashok Lavasa will be looking after the Private Sector Operations and Public-Private Partnerships. Ashok Lavasa has more than two years left in his term at the Election Commission of India. He would have retired as the CEC in October 2022.

Books and Authors

A book titled “If It Bleeds” authored by Stephen King released

• A new book titled “If It Bleeds”, a collection of four stories, authored by Stephen King has been released. The book published by Hachette India.

• The book has the story centres around a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School. It is a sequel to his bestselling work, “The Outsider”.

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