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Important Current Affairs 11th August 2020

National

PM releases financing facility of Rs. 17,000 crores for farmers

• Prime Minister on August 9 launched a financing facility of Rs. 1 lakh crores under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for agri-startups, entrepreneurs, farmer groups, agri-tech players for the post-harvest management and nurturing farm assets.

• Under the government launched PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, Prime Minister transferred Rs. 17,000 crores into the bank accounts of 8.5 crores farmers. It was also informed that the amount went straight to farmers without any middlemen and commission.

• The new Agriculture Infrastructure Fund was launched via a video conference by PM Modi. Agriculture Minister  Narendra Singh Tomar and other senior ministry officials were also present at the occasion. 

• Under the scheme, around Rs. 1 lakh crores will be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with the multiple lending institutions as loans to farmer groups, primary agri-credit societies, agri-entrepreneurs, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), agri-tech players and startups.

NPCI launches omni-channel loyalty platform ‘nth Rewards’

• The National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched a loyalty platform named ‘nth Rewards’. Here nth represents “infinite possibilities”.

• It is an analytics-enabled omni-channel multi-branded loyalty platform. It allows users to earn “nth” (infinite) loyalty points through various bank transactions. These rewards point can be redeemed for various purposes including online shopping.

• Customers will earn loyalty points on almost every transaction made digitally, especially while using the credit and debit cards. ‘nth Rewards’ platform has a smart dashboard for users where they can see their points accumulation.

Andhra Pradesh launches state Industrial Development Policy 2020-23

• The Andhra Pradesh government launched state Industrial Development Policy 2020-23 on August 10, 2020. The State Industries Minister Gautam Reddy unveiled the much-awaited policy.

• While speaking at the launch, Reddy said that the state Industrial Development Policy 2020-23 envisages all-round and holistic development with the idea of empowerment being crucial.

• It will also enable the development of specific industrial parks as per local needs. The Industrial zoning will be a key focus area to ensure planned Industrial development.

• The policy will further aim to provide a ‘risk-free’ investment-friendly environment for industries in the state. It will also ensure minimised impact on the environment.

Gujarat launches Industrial Policy 2020

• Gujarat Industrial Policy 2020 has been unveiled by the state that aims to provide an estimated Rs 40000 crores as subsidies to the industries within the next five years.

• The aim of this policy is to lease out government land to industrialists, provide incentives to private industrial parks and also provide relocation incentives to units intending to relocate in wake of C-19.

International

Walter Roger Martos Ruiz Becomes New Prime Minister of Peru

• President of Peru(Republic of Peru) Martin Vizcarra appointed Walter Roger Martos Ruiz, the former defense minister and retired army general, as the country’s new Prime Minister.

•  He succeeds Pedro Álvaro Cateriano Bellido . The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Government Palace in Lima. The president also appointed attorney Luis Inchishategui as head of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Banking and Economy

Centre Constitutes Panel to fix ceiling rates under Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme

• The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has constituted a three-member committee to determine the ceiling rates for reimbursement of taxes and duties to exporters under the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme.

• The committee would comprise of former Home Secretary G K Pillai as Chairman. The committee shall interact with the administrative ministries, export promotion councils, commodity boards, trade bodies and other stakeholders so as to take their views on the ceiling rates under RoDTEP scheme.

• The Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme for reimbursement of taxes was announced by the government to replace Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and make Indian products competitive in global markets..

• The RoDTEP scheme aims to reimburse the taxes and duties incurred by exporters such as duty on power charges, VAT on fuel in transportation, farm sector, captive power generation, mandi tax, stamp duty and central excise duty on fuel used in transportation, which are not exempted or refunded under any other existing scheme.

Obituary

Wrestling legend 'Kamala' passes away

• Wrestling legend James 'Kamala' Harris passed away at the age of 70 on August 9, 2020. The news was confirmed by WWE.

• The WWE released an official statement saying that it was "saddened" to learn about the death of the former wrestler. He was 70.

• James Harris, known popularly as Kamala in WWE, made his pro wrestling debut in 1978,. He was best known for his appearances with WWE (formerly named WWF) from 1984 to 2006.

Former Congress leader and eight-time MP, Nandi Yellaiah, passes away

• A senior Congress leader and eight-time Member of Parliament from Telangana, Nandi Yellaiah has passed away due to C-19. He was 78.

• Yellaiah was the vice-president of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee. (TPCC).He was a six-term member of LokSabha and two-time Rajya Sabha member.

Sports

Max Verstappen wins 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

• Red Bull's Max Verstappen took a sensational surprise victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix to bring Mercedes' domination to an end. This race was officially called as Emirates Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020.

• The race was the fifth round of the rescheduled 2020 Formula One World Championship. Lewis Hamilton finished second and Valtteri Bottas finished third.

• Max Emilian Verstappen from Netherland had won at the Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, United Kingdom and became the first non-Mercedes driver to win a race in the 2020.

Ranking

Mukesh Ambani now Fourth-Richest Person in the World

• According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries, has become the fourth wealthiest person in the world.

• Ambani is now worth $ 80.6 billion after adding $22 billion in 2020.

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Important Current Affairs 10th August 2020

National

India bans import of 101 Defence items, gives big push for ‘Make in India’

• The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has announced that the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence (MoD) has prepared a list of 101 defence items for which there would be restriction on the import, beyond the timeline indicated against them.

• This step has been taken to boost indigenisation of defence production in India and push the country towards becoming Aatmanirbhar Bharat. The embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 and 2024.

• The list includes high technology weapon systems such as assault rifles, artillery guns, sonar systems, corvettes, light combat helicopters, transport aircraft, radars, and many other items.

• As per the Defence Ministry, the list also includes wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) with an embargo date of December 2021, of which the Indian Army is expected to contract almost 200 AFVs at an approximate cost of over Rs. 5,000 crores.

• In addition to this, the defence ministry has also bifurcated the capital procurement budget for the financial year 2020-21 between domestic and foreign capital procurement routes.

International

Mauritius declares a state of environmental emergency after massive oil spill

• Mauritius' Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency on August 7, 2020 after a shipreck caused massive fuel spill.

• A Japanese-owned ship, which ran aground on July 25, has been leaking tons of oil into the Indian Ocean. The ship is reportedly carrying nearly 4000 tons of fuel oil and 200 tons of diesel on board.

• The Mauritius PM made the brief statement by tweeting that Mauritius does not have the skills and expertise to refloat stranded ships, so he has asked for help from France.

Banking and Economy

Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies by RBI in August 2020

• The Reserve Bank of India has released the Monetary Policy Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies 2020-21.The major points that are important from exam point of view is mentioned below:

• Additional standing liquidity facility (ASLF)- National Housing Bank (NHB) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will be provided with an additional standing liquidity facility (ASLF) of Rs 5,000 crore each.

• Advances against Gold Ornaments and Jewellery– Presently, loans sanctioned by banks against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery for non-agricultural purposes should not exceed 75 per cent of the value of gold ornaments and jewellery.  RBI has increased the permissible loan to value ratio (LTV) for loans against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery for non-agricultural purposes from 75 per cent to 90 per cent. This relaxation shall be available till March 31, 2021.

• Positive Pay Mechanism for Cheques– The RBI shall soon launched a mechanism named Positive Pay for all cheques of value ₹50,000 and above to further augment customer safety in cheque payments and reduce instances of fraud occurring on account of tampering of cheque leaves

RBI introduces Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) System for Digital Payments

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced the introduction of an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) system for resolving customer disputes and grievances pertaining to digital payments.

• This ODR shall be a system-driven and rule-based mechanism with zero or minimal manual intervention.Subsequently, the ODR arrangement would be extended to cover disputes and grievances other than those related to failed transactions.

IndusInd Bank acquires 7.82% stake in Eveready by invoking pledged shares

• Private sector lender IndusInd Bank has acquired 7.82 percent stake in battery maker Eveready Industries by invoking pledged shares following loan default.

• The bank invoked pledge on 56,83,320 shares which constituted 7.82 percent of paid-up equity share capital of Eveready Industries.

• As per the information, the equity shares of Eveready Industries India Ltd. held by Williamson Magor and Co. Ltd were pledged with the IndusInd bank for securing the outstanding dues of Seajuli Developers & Finance Limited (Seajuli), the borrower company.

RBI constitutes committee for financial parameters to be factored in Resolution Framework for C-19 related Stress

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced the constitution of an Expert Committee to make recommendations on the required financial parameters to be factored in the Resolution Framework for C-19 related Stress’.

• The committee will be headed by Shri K.V. Kamath. (President of New Development Bank.

Summits and Mou’s

Flipkart partners with the U.P. Government’s ODOP scheme

• India’s homegrown e-commerce marketplace, Flipkart has signed an MoU with One District, One Product (ODOP) scheme of the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The MoU will bring the artisans, weavers and craftsmen under the ODOP scheme into the scope of the “Flipkart Samarth” initiative.

• This will provide artisans, weavers and craftsmen under the ODOP scheme a momentum to expand their business online as they face social and economic challenges.

Days

World Biofuel Day

• The International Biofuel Day (World Biofuel Day) is observed every year on August 10 to raise awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels and highlight the various efforts made by Government in the biofuel sector.

• The theme for 2020 World Biofuel Day is ‘Biofuels Towards Atmanirbhar Bharat’. The Day is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas since 2015.

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Important Current Affairs 7th August 2020

National

First ‘Kisan Rail’ to run from 7 August between Maharashtra, Bihar

• Railways Ministry will run India's first ‘Kisan Rail’ from August 7, 2020 between Maharashtra and Bihar. The train will begin from Devlali, in Maharashtra at 11 am and its last stop will be at Danapur, Bihar.

• The train will be making several stoppages at stations carrying fruits and vegetables. It will not carry regular passengers.

First Mobile RT-PCR lab of India developed by IISc launched in Karnataka

• The State Government of Karnataka launched India’s first mobile RT-PCR lab in Bengaluru. The lab was developed by Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

• The lab has been named Mobile Infection Testing and Reporting (MITR) lab. It is capable of conducting 9000 tests per month. Apart from testing C-19, the lab can also be utilised to test HCV, H1N1, TB, HIV, HPV, etc.

• The main advantage of the lab is that it can be used for molecular diagnostic testing in C-19 hotspots quickly.

International

Tick-borne SFTS virus re-emerges in China; 7 dead so far

• Tick-borne SFTS virus re-emerges in China, claiming 7 lives so far and infecting around 60. The spread of virus has raised the warning of chances of human-to-human transmission

• . The cases of the virus have been reported from East China.

Banking and Economy

RBI 7th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy

• The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of Reserve Bank of India held its meeting in New Delhi. The committee was headed by RBI Governor Shakti kanta Das.

• The repo rate was kept the same at 4%.The reverse repo rate was kept at 3.35%

• The members decided to provide Rs 10,000 crore additional liquidity facility to National Housing Bank (NHB), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). In order to mitigate C-19 impact on households, loans against gold have been enhanced to 90% of the value as against the current 75%

• In June, the retail inflation was 6.09%.This includes food items such as meat, cereals, fish and pulses.

Awards

DIAT wins 1st prize in Smart India Hackathon 2020

• The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) won the first prize in the Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2020. The SIH grand finale was held between August 1-3, 2020 at the Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology, Uttar Pradesh.

• This 36- hour non-stop digital product building competition was a national level competition for software edition, which was organized jointly by the Ministry of Human Resource Development and All India Council for Technical Education.

Obituary

Renowned TV actor Sameer Sharma passes away due to suicide

• Veteran Television actor Sameer Sharma is no more. The 44-year-old actor committed suicide on 5 August 2020, by hanging from the kitchen ceiling of his home.

• Sharma has been part of some renowned TV serials like ‘Geet – Hui Sabse Parayi’, ‘Left Right Left’, ‘Kahaani Gha rGhar Kii’, ‘Four’ and ‘Ssshhhh….Koi Hai’.

• He was also seen in Sidharth Malhotra’s movies ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ and ‘Ittefaq’.

Appointments and Resignations

Girish Chandra Murmu appointed as new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India

• Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Girish Chandra Murmu has been appointed as the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. He will assume office on 8 August 2020.

• Murmu is the 14th CAG of India. He will replace Rajiv Mehrishi, a 1978 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre, as the CAG.

• Murmu, a 1985 batch IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, was the first Lt Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

Ajay Tyagi gets 18 Months extension as SEBI Chairman

• According to a Personnel Ministry, Ajay Tyagi has been given an 18-month extension, as the chairman of markets regulator SEBI.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the extension of Tyagi’s term for 18 months, with effect from September 1, 2020 up to February 28, 2022.

• Mr Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS (retired) officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, was appointed as the SEBI chairman in March 2017 for three years.

Ranking

Reliance Industries ranked No 2 globally after Apple

• Reliance Industries has been ranked second biggest brand after Apple on the Future Brand Index 2020.

• The 2020 list is topped by Apple, while Samsung is ranked third, followed by Nvidia, Moutai, Nike, Microsoft, ASML, PayPal and Netflix.Reliance ranks 91st on PWC 2020 list

• The Future Brand Index is a global perception study that reorders PwC’s Global Top 100 Companies by Market Cap on perception strength rather than financial strength.

Days

World Lung Cancer Day

• Every year, the World Lung Cancer Day is observed on August 1 to raise awareness about the causes and treatment of lung cancer and highlight the issues of lack of sufficient research funding for the ailment.

• The campaign was first organised in 2012 by the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) , in collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and also the American College of Chest Physicians.

• The IASLC is the largest organisation in the world of its kind that only deals with lung cancer.

National Handloom Day

• National Handloom Day will be celebrated on August 7, 2020 to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on the same date in 1905.

• This year, the Union Ministry of Textiles will organise a virtual programme, which will have Textiles Minister Smriti Irani as the Chief Guest.

• The function will connect handloom clusters across India, NIFT campuses and all the 28 Weaver Service Centres and National Handloom Development Corporation.

• The main objective behind celebrating the day is to generate awareness about the Handloom Industry among the public and its contribution to socio-economic development.

Books and Authors

‘RAW: A History of India’s Covert Operations’ authored by Yatish Yadav

• The book, titled “RAW: A History of India’s Covert Operations” has authored by investigative journalist and author Yatish Yadav.

• A new book gives a peep into the heroic covert operations carried by India’s external spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and thereby narrates a gripping account of what actually happens behind the grey walls of the secret society.

Union Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Smriti Irani launch the book Swachh Bharat Kranti

• The book “The Swachh Bharat Kranti” was officially launched by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development Smt. Smriti Irani in New Delhi.

• The book was edited by Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary of Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has been translated into Hindi and published as the Swachh Bharat Kranti.

• The translation of the book Swachh Bharat Kranti is “The Swachh Bharat Revolution”.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd August 2020

National

Government approves Khadi Agarbatti AtmaNirbhar Mission

• The Union Government approved Khadi Agarbatti AtmaNirbhar Mission on August 2, 2020 to generate employment and make India self-reliant in agarbatti production.

• Union Minister for MSME, Nitin Gadkari approved the unique employment generation scheme, which was proposed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to help India become Aatmanirbhar in Agarbatti production.

• The “Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission” will help create employment for a large number of unemployed and migrant workers in different parts of the country.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurated upstream carriageway of Mahatma Gandhi bridge in Bihar

• As a part of the renovation of the Mahatma Gandhi Bridge/Setu over river Ganga in Bihar, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) Nitin Jairam Gadkari virtually inaugurated its upstream carriageway. This means the two lanes are completed of the 4-lane bridge which is being renovated at a cost of Rs1,742 crore.

• During the inauguration ceremony, a new 5 km long, 4-lane Bridge over river Ganga in parallel to MG Setu, was also announced by Nitin Gadkari to facilitate movement of ships under it. With an outlay of Rs 2,926.42 crore, it will get completed by 2024.

International

UAE becomes first gulf nation to produce nuclear energy

• The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first country in the Arab world to produce nuclear energy. This was confirmed after it was announced on August 1, 2020 that Unit 1 of the Abu Dhabi-based Barakah nuclear power plant has now become operational. Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear power plant is now using nuclear fuel to produce energy as part of the ‘criticality’ phase. which was initiated on July 31st. The nuclear reactor will be connected to the power grid will provide electricity during the upcoming testing phase.

• The plant is powered by South Korean technology and is situated  in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi. It will produce 5.6 gigawatts of electricity and meet up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs.

Obituary

UP Cabinet Minister Kamal Rani Varun passes away

• Cabinet Minister in the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Kamal Rani Varun passed away due to C-19. She was the minister of technical education in the state government.

• Kamal Rani Varun had also served as an MP twice. Once in the Eleventh LokSabha and then Twelfth Lok Sabha. She was MLA from Ghatampur in Kanpur.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2020

• Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton has won the Formula One British Grand Prix 2020 held at the Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom.

•  Max Verstappen (Red bull) ended up second in this F1 race while Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) came third. This is the third win for Hamilton in this season of F1 races.

Days

World Sanskrit Day 2020

• World Sanskrit Day, (also known as Sanskrit Diwas), is celebrated every year on Shraavanapoornima, that is the Poornima day of the Shraavana month in the Hindu calendar, which is also marked as Raksha Bandhan.

• In 2020, this day is being observed on 3 August 2020.The day commemorates the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit and aims to promote its revival and maintenance.

• The Government of India decided to celebrate World Sanskrit Day in 1969, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan that falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravana.

Books and Authors

‘Greenlights’ the debut book authored by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey

• ‘Greenlights’ the debut book authored by Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey published by Crown Publishing Group is set to be released on 20th October 2020. The book was described as “not a traditional memoir but a playbook” based on the adventures and life experiences of McConaughey.

• McConaughey describes ‘Greenlights’ as an album, a record and the story of his life and he shared his anecdotes, poems and life lessons in this book.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd August 2020

National

‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ scheme extended to 4 more states, taking total states to 24

• Four additional states, namely Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand have been  to the One Nation One Ration Card scheme have been integrated with the ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ plan of the Central government.

• With this, now a total of 24 States/UTs are connected under One Nation One Ration Card effective from 01 August 2020.These 24 States/UTs includes: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

International

PM Modi inaugurates Supreme Court building of Mauritius

• Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravin Kumar Jugnauth on Thursday virtually inaugurated the new Supreme Court building at Port Louis.

• The building has been constructed with Indian assistance as India’s sign of cooperation with countries in the Indian Ocean Region.

• It has been completed with the grant assistance of S28.12 million from India.

Banking and Economy

SIDBI & Trans Union CIBIL launches portal “MSME Saksham”

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has launched one-stop knowledge portal named as “MSME Saksham” in association with Trans Union CIBIL.

• The platform has been launched for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). MSME Saksham is a comprehensive financial education and knowledge platform for MSMEs and will support them in managing their credit obligations.

Summits and Mou’s

R Power & JERA inks loan agreement for Bangladesh’s power plant

• Reliance Power and Japanese energy major JERA have signed an agreement with a group of banks for their new gas-fired thermal power generation project in Bangladesh.

• The signed agreement will provide full finance of about $642 million (approxRs 4,798 crore) for a new 745 MW natural gas combined-cycle power project in Meghnaghat in Bangladesh. This is one of the largest funding tie-ups for a project in Bangladesh’s power sector.

Obituary

Rajya Sabha MP & former SP leader Amar Singh passes away

• Rajya Sabha MP and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh passed away. He was undergoing treatment in Singapore since past few months.

• Amar Singh, who hailed from Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, was elected to the Rajya Sabha for the first time from Uttar Pradesh in 1996 and got re-elected in 2003.

• Amar Singh was the general secretary of the Samajwadi Party and was later expelled from the party by chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on February 2, 2010.

Sports

Sport committee formed for National Sports Awards 2020

• The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports formed a selection committee for selecting awardees for various sports awards for the National Sports Awards 2020.

• The committee will be headed by Retired Justice of Supreme Court Justice Mukundakam Sharma along with Virendra Sehwag (Cricket), Sardar Singh (Hockey), Monalisa Baruah Mehta (Table Tennis), Deepa Malik (Para-athletics), Venkatesan Devarajan (Boxing) and Sports Commentator Manish Batavia and Sports Journalists Alok Sinha and Neeru Bhatia.

Ranking

Microsoft India most attractive employer brand

• According to Randstad Employer Brand Research (REBR) 2020, Technology giant Microsoft India has emerged as the country’s most attractive employer brand, followed by Samsung India and Amazon India in the second and third place, respectively, says a survey.

• Microsoft India scored high on financial health, strong reputation and utilisation of the latest technologies.

• The REBR revealed that in 2020, work-life balance emerged as the top Employee Value Proposition (EVP) driver for the Indian workforce while choosing an employer as it was cited by 43% respondents, followed by attractive salary and employee benefits (41%) and job security (40%).

Apple dethrones Saudi Aramco to become world’s most valuable company

• Technology giant Apple Inc. has become the world’s most valuable publicly traded company in the world on 31st July 2020, surpassing the state oil giant Saudi Aramco.

• The shares of Apple closed up 10.47% on 31 July, giving it a market valuation of $1.84 trillion.

• Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco, which had been the most valuable publicly listed company since its market debut in 2019, now trails at $1.76 trillion as of its last close.

Days

World Breastfeeding Week 2020

• The World Breastfeeding Week is marked every year in the first week of August, between 1 to 7 August to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants

• The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”

• The annual week is organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF since 1991.

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Important Current Affairs 31st July 2020

National

Govt establishes authority to protect and enforce consumer rights

• The government has set up the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), under Consumer Protection Act, 2019 with the objective to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

• The CCPA will begin its functioning in the premises of Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA).Smt. Nidhi Khare, the Additional Secretary in the Department of Consumer Affairs, has been appointed as the Chief Commissioner of CCPA.

• The CCPA has been set up under the section 10 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which came into force on 20 July, 2020.

NITI Aayog, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch AIM iCREST incubator program

• NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), has launched AIM iCREST, a first of its kind initiative, for advancing innovation to enable the incubation ecosystem, at scale in India. AIMiCREST is an Incubator Capabilities enhancement program for a Robust Ecosystem focused on creating high performing Startups.

• AIM has collaborated with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wadhwani Foundation, which will lend credible support and expertise in the entrepreneurship and innovation space.

• Under the initiative, the AIM’s incubators are set to be upscaled and provided requisite support to foster the incubation enterprise economy, that will help them to significantly enhance their performance.

Green-Ag project launched in Mizoram

• Green-Ag, a project funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF), which aims to catalyze sustainable transformation of Indian agriculture sector without compromising the country’s food security and farmers’ income, has been launched in Mizoram.

• In Mizoram, the project will be implemented in Dampa Tiger Reserve in west Mizorams Mamit district and Thorangtlang Wildlife Sanctuary in Lunglei district in the southern part of the state covering more than 30 villages.

• Mizoram is among five Indian states where the project will be implemented. The other four states are Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

Banking and Economy

ADB approves USD 3 million grant to India

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved USD 3 million (about Rs 22 crore) grant to India from its Asia Pacific C-19 Response Fund to further support the government’s emergency response to C-19.

• The grant will be used to procure thermal scanners and essential commodities to strengthen India’s C-19 response.

 Summits and Mou’s

PFC signs agreement with IIT-Kanpur in smart grid technology

• Power Finance Corporation (PFC) has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology- Kanpur for Training, Research, and Entrepreneurship Development in Smart Grid Technology.

• The agreement was on a virtual platform. The objective of the pact is to provide support to IIT-Kanpur in developing infrastructure for research and development on smart grid technology.

• Under the agreement, PFC will provide financial assistance of worth Rs 2, 38,97000 to IIT-Kanpur.

Science and Technology

NASA launches its Mars Mission; to reach Mars by February 2021

• The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has its Mars mission named Mars Perseverance Rover 2020 on July 30. The Mars Rover aims to reach the Red Planet by the year 2021.

• The rover was launched aboard Atlas V-541 in Florida. The Mars Perseverance rover is a robot that will deploy first-ever interplanetary helicopter.

Obituary

Veteran Bollywood actor Kumkum passes away

• Veteran Bollywood actor Kumkum passed away. Her real name was Zaibunnissa. She has featured in over 100 Hindi films like Mother India, Kohinoor, Ek Sapera Ek Lootera, Naya Daur, Ujala, Raja Aur Runk, Lalkar, Aankhen, Geet, among others.

Bollywood action director Parvez Khan passes away

• Bollywood action director, Parvez Khan passed away. He had been working in the film industry since 1986. Some of his well-known films include Andhadhun, Badlapur, Bullett Raja, Fukrey, Ra-One, Johnny Gaddaar etc.

Appointments and Resignations

Rating Agency ICRA appoints N. Sivaraman as MD and Group CEO

• The board of directors of Indian credit rating agency ICRA Ltd has appointed N Sivaraman as the Managing Director & CEO of the Company and CEO of ICRA Group for a period of three years with effect from August 10, 2020.

• He will replace Naresh Takkar, whose service was terminated in August 2019 and the post was lying vacant since last one year.

Days

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

• United Nations observes 30 July every year as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.The 2020 theme for the World Day against Trafficking: “Committed to the Cause – Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking”.

• In 2013, the General Assembly designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.

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Important Current Affairs 28th July 2020

National

IMD launches first weather app ‘Mausam’ for general public

• The Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched a Mobile app ‘Mausam’ to provide all current weather information and forecasts, among other warnings.This is the first app launched by the 145-year-old India Meteorological Department (IMD) that is meant for general public to communicate weather forecasts in a simple manner with no technical jargon.

• The mobile application, Mausam, has been designed and developed jointly by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderbad and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune.

• IMD already has another app, Meghdoot, meant only for farmers and those involved in agriculture.

India further bans 47 Chinese apps

• Indian Government has further banned 47 more Chinese apps in addition to earlier banned 59 apps. These 47 apps were like clones of the apps banned earlier by the government.

• The decision to ban the app was taken by Union Telecom Ministry. The list of all the banned Chinese apps will be released by government soon.

• The banned clone apps include TiktokLite, HeloLite, SHAREitLite, BIGO LIVE Lite and VFY Lite.

Delhi government launches portal “Rozgar Bazar”

• The Delhi state government has launched a portal named as “Rozgar Bazar”, to enable better coordination between job seekers and employers in the national capital. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020.

• The Chief Minister stated that the construction work has begun in the capital but workers are missing and the employees who lost their jobs are not able to find new ones.

• Hence, the Delhi government has decided to launch a job portal- jobs.delhi.gov.in- to provide a common platform for both job seekers and employers seeking to hire workers.

India to take up clinical trials of OXFORD Vaccine COVISHIELD

• University of Oxford and AstraZeneca have shown successful clinical trials on the C-19 vaccine, COVISHIELD.Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) also announced that it will conduct clinical trials of the C-19 vaccine, COVISHIELD.

• World Health Organization (WHO) stated that the first use of the vaccine is expected in early 2021.Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought permission from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduce phases II/III human clinical trials of the potential vaccine.

Obituary

Two-Time Oscar Winner Olivia de Havilland passes away

• Two-Time Oscar Winner, Olivia de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She was born on 1st July 1916, in Tokyo, Japan. The actress, who starred in blockbusters like Captain Blood (1935), The adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Snakepit, The Heiress.

• She unchained the Hollywoods contract system which was later called as “De Havilland Law”.

Tanzania’s former president Benjamin Mkapa passes away

• Former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, has passed away, due to heart attack. He was 81.

• Mr Mkapa served as the third President of Tanzania and was in office for one decade from 1995 to 2005.

Appointments and Resignations

HichemMechichi becomes new Prime Minister of Tunisia

• Tunisia’s interior minister, Hichem Mechichi has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the country.

• He succeeded Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest.

Days

World Hepatitis Day

• The World Hepatitis Day is observed on 28 July every year to raise global awareness of the burden of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.

• The day 28 July was chosen for World Hepatitis Day because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered hepatitis B virus (HBV). He also developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus.

• Theme of World Hepatitis Day 2020:  ‘Find the Missing Millions’.

CRPF personnel celebrates its 82nd raising day of the paramilitary force on 27 July

• Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel celebrated its 82nd raising day of the paramilitary force on 27th July 2020.CRPF is at the forefront of keeping the nation safe.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, and others greeted the CRPF personnel.

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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 23rd July 2020

National

Indian Army gets ‘Bharat’ drones

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

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

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

India successfully tests fires ATGM “Dhruvastra”

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

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

International

South Korea launches its first military satellite ANASIS-II

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

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

 Summits and Mou’s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awards

Arnab Chaudhuri to receive Toonz Media Award

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

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

Appointments and Resignations

PC Kandpal appointed as MD & CEO of SBI General Insurance

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

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

Rahul Bajaj steps down as Chairman of Bajaj Finance

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

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

Sumit Deb appointed as CMD of NMDC Limited

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

Ranking

India Among 10 Worst Countries For Working People

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

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

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

Days

National Broadcasting Day

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 20th July 2020

National

ICAT launches an e-portal “ASPIRE”

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

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

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

International

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

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

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

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

Obituary

Eminent Mathematician Prof. C S Seshadri Passes away at 88

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

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

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

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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

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

Ranking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days

World Chess Day

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

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

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

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