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Important Current Affairs 26th May 2020

National

Fintech startup Zaggle joins hands with Visa to launch payment solutions for SMEs, startups

• In order to launch innovative payment solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups, a Fintech startup Zaggle has partnered with payments technology major “Visa”.

• Both the companies will work towards enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the SMEs and startups. They will also automate the processes and reduce the costs simultaneously focusing on easy and faster credit.

India hands over war game centre named as “INDIA” to UPDF

• The Indian Association Uganda (IAU) and Indian Military Advisory and Training Team for Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) have jointly set up military war game centre called ‘INDIA’ at the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka in Jinja District of Uganda with a cost of over 1 billion Ugandan shillings or $2,65,000.

• The centre was inaugurated by the Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Sports

Italy beat Serbia to win the inaugural UEFA eEURO 2020

• Italy has won UEFA eEURO 2020, beating Serbia in the final to clinch the inaugural virtual European Championship.

• Italy emerged triumphant by defeating Serbia 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

• The UEFA EURO 2020 eTournament was the biggest ever national team efootball competition, featuring all 55 UEFA national associations.

American tennis star Jamie Hampton announces retirement

• American tennis player and former world number 24 Jamie Hampton has officially announced her retirement from professional tennis, bringing a sudden halt to her career.

• The right hander player then suffered numerous injuries and was unable to play against Venus Williams in the semi finals of ASB Classic in Auckland in 2014.

Days

World Thyroid Day

• World Thyroid Day is observed globally on 25 May every year. The main purpose of the WTD is to aware of the importance of Thyroid and the prevention and treatment of thyroid diseases.

• The World Thyroid Day was established in 2008 by the European Thyroid Association and the American Thyroid Association.

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Important Current Affairs 24th May 2020

National

LokSabha Passed Mineral Law Amendment Bill

• LokSabha has passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which aims to amend Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 along with Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015.

• Commercial mining will completely be open up in the coal sector by this bill. Another important feature of this bill is that it intends to remove end-use restrictions to participate in coal mine auction.

Banking and Economy

KKR invests in Reliance Jio for 2.32% stake

• KKR invests Rs 11367 crore in Reliance Jio Platforms to buy a stake of 2.32 percent in a fully diluted basis. The deal is subject to regulatory and customary approvals. This is fifth global investment deal in last one month.

• Earlier, Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity and General Atlantic invested in the Jio Platforms. Know all about KKR-Jio deal here.

Acquisitions and Mergers

IRDAI approves Union Bank to continue with its 30% holding in India First Life Insurance

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI) has approved the proposal of the state owned lender Union Bank of India-UBI(which holds 25.1% stake in Star Union Dai-Chi Life) to continue with its 30% holding in IndiaFirst Life Insurance.

Appointments and Resignations

Indian economist, AbhasJha appointed to key World Bank position in South Asia

• Indian economist, AbhasJha has been appointed as the Practice Manager for Climate Change and  Risk Management for South Asia at World Bank.

• AbhasJha’s appointment comes at a time when Cyclone Amphan has badly hit West Bengal, Orissa in India and Bangladesh.

Ranking

India Became Second Largest Manufacturer Of PPE In The World

• India has become the second-largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment in the world following China which is currently leading producer of PPE in the world.

• At present, India is producing 2.06 lakh PPE kits every day which is the maximum capacity of the country. A PPE kit basically consists of shoe cover, gloves, eye shield, mask, and gown.

Days

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

• International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) is observed on 23 May. The day is celebrated by the United Nations.

• In 2003, the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and its partners had launched a global campaign to End Obstetric Fistula.

• The theme for 2020 IDEOF is “End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!”.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd May 2020

National

UP Government Signs MoU with SIDBI for ‘UP Start-up Fund’ to Boost Employment

• The Uttar Pradesh government under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched the ‘UP Start-up Fund’ on 20 May 2020, to boost job creation in the state.

• The fund will motivate more and more youths to establish their own startups in the state as well as provide employment opportunity to large number of migrant, coming to the state, as per their skill.

• The fund has been set up under the UP Information Technology and Start-up Policy 2017.The ‘UP Start-up Fund’ will be in the form of Fund of Funds.CM Adityanath handed over cheque of the initial contribution of Rs 15 crore towards the Fund, while signing the MoU with SIDBI.

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will be the fund manager.

Banking and Economy

NTPC, ONGC to set up Joint Venture Company for Renewable Energy Business

•National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) to set up a joint venture company for the renewable energy business.

•The agreement will enable both companies to increase their presence in the renewable energy sector. Under the MoU, NTPC and ONGC will jointly explore the setting up of offshore wind and other Renewable Energy Projects in India and overseas.

•The two companies will also explore opportunities in the field of E-mobility and ES (Environmental, Social and Governance), storage and sustainability projects.

RBI reduces Repo Rate by 40 bps to 4.0% in Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

The Reserve Bank of India in its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on May 22, 2020 has decided to:

• Reduce Repo Rate by 40 bps to 4.00% from 4.40% earlier.

• Reverse repo rate has been reduced to 3.35%

• The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate stands at 4.25%

• The MPC decided to continue with the accommodative stance.

Obituary

Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Ashley Cooper passes away

•Former world no. 1 and four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Ashley Cooper passed away recently at the age of 83 after a prolonged illness. Cooper had won three of the four majors -the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US championships in 1958.

•Cooper had also won four doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments. He achieved the top rank in 1957. The Australian was recognised as the world's best amateur player during the years of 1957 and 1958.

Appointments and Resignations

Assam’s Jahnabi Phookan Takes Charge as FICCI FLO National President

• Assam-based entrepreneur Jahnabi Phookan has been appointed as the new National President of FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) on 22 May 2020.

• FICCI FLO is the women wing of the leading industry chamber, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

• Phookan is the 37th National President of FICCI FLO. She succeeds Harjinder Kaur Talwar.

Days

World Turtle Day

The World Turtle Day is observed on May 23 every year to raise awareness among people to protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

International Day for Biological Diversity

The United Nations celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May every year to raise awareness about the issue of significant reduction in biological diversity due to certain human activities.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd May 2020

National

Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana launched in Chhattisgarh

• Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has launched the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana to mark the 29th anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi. The scheme launched with financial outlay of Rs. 5,700 crore aims to stimulate the economy of rural areas of the state amid the situation.

• The scheme was announced in the Chhattisgarh Budget 2020-21.

Beneficiaries under Ayushman Bharat crosses 1 crore mark

• The number of beneficiaries under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme has crossed the one crore mark. This was informed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

• Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana-Ayushman Bharat was launched in 2018 by PM Modi as the biggest government-sponsored healthcare scheme in the world.

Science and Technology

Sun goes into ‘Solar Minimum’ state

• Space agencies recently reported that the sun has entered the ‘Solar Minimum’ state and is soon going to make entry into the deepest period of sunshine recession.

• The Solar minimum is currently underway and is a deep one.

Sports

NADA Suspends Power lifters Savita Kumari and Ankit Shishodia for violating anti-doping rules

The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has provisionally suspended Power lifters Savita Kumari and Ankit Shishodia for violating anti-doping rules.

Appointments and Resignations

Crisis expert Carmen Reinhart appointed World Bank Chief Economist

• World Bank Group has appointed Carmen Reinhart as its new Vice President and Chief Economist. Her appointment will be effective from June 15, 2020. She was a Senior Policy Advisor and Deputy Director at the IMF and Vice President and Chief Economist of the investment bank Bear Stearns.

• She has been listed among Bloomberg Markets Most Influential 50 in Finance, Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, and Thomson Reuters’ The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.

Govinda Rajulu Chintala appointed NABARD chairman, Shaji KV and PVS Surya kumar appointed as DMD of NABARD

• The appointments committee of the union cabinet appointed Govinda Rajulu Chintala as Chairman of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). He was the successor of Harsh Kumar Bhanwala.

• P V S Suryakumar: Suryakumar served as the chief general manager (CGM) of the NABARD, will hold the postof DMD of NABARD till his superannuation on July 31, 2023.

• Presently, Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala is serving as the Chairman of NABARD.

Days

Anti Terrorism Day 2020

• Anti Terrorism Day 2020 is observed on 21st May every year in India. The day marks the death anniversary of India’s seventh Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on 21 May 1991.

• He was killed in Tamil Nadu in a campaign by the Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE) a terrorist group. After this assassination, V.P. Singh government has decided to observe 21st May as Anti Terrorism Day.

World Metrology Day

• World Metrology Day is observed globally on 20th May every year. Many nations on this day, internationally collaborate to create awareness about metrology and its advancement in the respective field.

• This year theme for World Metrology Day: Measurements for global trade. This theme was chosen to create awareness of the important role measurement plays in facilitating fair global trade, ensuring products meet standards and regulations, and satisfying customer quality expectations.

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Important Current Affairs 20th May 2020

National

Government declares six cities as 5-star garbage-free cities

•  The central government has declared six cities- Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysore, Indore and Navi Mumbai as five-star garbage-free cities.

•  The star rating of garbage-free cities was announced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on May 19, 2020. Overall, six cities were rated 5-star, 65 cities were rates 3-star and 70 cities were rated with one star.

•  The Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri also launched the revised protocol for the star rating of garbage free cities. The Ministry has now brought importance of sanitation and effective solid waste management to the forefront due to the situation.

•  The star rating protocol was launched by the Ministry in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve garbage free status and motivate other cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.

SCR develops ‘Rail-Bot’ to provide better health care

• South Central Railway zone has developed a robotic device, “RAIL-BOT” (R-BOT) to assist in the functions of hospital management to provide better health care to the patients.

• The R-BOT can be operated by using Android mobile app and radio frequency (RF) remote control. R-BOT is being used to provide medicines, medical accessories, and to serve food to the patients, taking away the need for human contact in such activities.

International

Thomas Thabane resigns as Lesotho's prime minister

• Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has formally resigned more than a week after his coalition government fell apart, in a move that could help end a long-running political crisis in the country.

• Lesotho’s Finance Minister MoeketsiMajoro has been named by parliament as the interim PM of the country.

Japan launches new unit to boost defense in space named Space Operations Squadron

• Japan launched a new space defense unit that will monitor and counter threats to the satellites of Japan.

• The unit is named Space Operations Squadron and is a part of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force. It has started will 20 members and will become fully operational by the year 2023.

• The role of Space Operations Squadron is to monitor and protect Japanese satellites from enemy attacks or space debris.

Banking and Economy

Investment firm Bernstein projects India’s GDP growth for FY21 at -7%

• Bernstein, an investment management firm based in the United States, has projected India’s GDP growth rate for FY21 at -7.0%.

• This means India’s GDP will contract by 7% in FY21 as per Bernstein.

BSE, NSE cut annual listing fee for SMEs by 25%

• Stock exchanges BSE and NSE have announced to reduce the listing fee for their SME platforms by 25 per cent.

• BSE and NSE had launched their respective SME platforms in 2012 and since then have been facilitating SMEs for raising funds, listing and trading on the exchanges.

Goldman Sachs projects India’s GDP growth rate for FY21 at -5%

• The global investment banking group, Goldman Sachs has predicted India’s GDP growth for FY21 at -5.0%. Earlier it has predicted the same at -0.4%.

• It means as per Goldman Sachs the GDP of India will contract by 5.0% in FY21.

RBI extends KYC norms to Housing Finance Companies

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced that the Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines/norms will now be applicable to Housing Finance Companies also.

• It must be noted that the Regulation of Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) was transferred from the National Housing Bank to RBI in August 2019.

• And KYC norms are applicable to all Regulated Entities of the RBI and hence it has now been made applicable on Housing Finance Companies also.

Days

World Bee Day

• World Bee Day is observed globally on 20th May every year. On this date, 20 May, the pioneer of beekeeping Anton Janša was born in 1734 in Slovenia. The purpose of the bee day is to acknowledge the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem.

• About 33% of the world’s food production depends on bees thus they are vital for the preservation of biodiversity, ecological balance in nature and helpful in reducing pollution.

Books and Authors

New book released to mark Ruskin Bond's 86th birthday

• Ruskin Bond’s new book titled ‘Hop On: My Adventures on Boats, Trains and Planes’ was released on his 86th Birthday in an e-book format. The book narrates some of his memorable travel adventures on boats, trains and planes from his childhood.

• The book presents its readers with a number of the author’s hilarious journeys and travel adventures. The illustrations for Ruskin Bond’s new book has been done by SamratHalder.

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Important Current Affairs 19th May 2020

National

National Migrant Information System launched to track movement of migrants

• The central government has launched the ‘National Migration Information System’  to track the movement of migrant workers in India. The portal will ensure smooth movement of migrants who have been stranded in different states/UTs.

• The system has been developed by the National  Management Authority (NDMA).

Madhya Pradesh launches Charan Paduka initiative for migrant labourers

• In Madhya Pradesh, in a first of its kind of initiative, Charan Paduka campaign has been started for the migrant labourers passing through the state.

• Under this campaign, the migrant labourers going barefoot are being providing shoes and slippers to reduce their pain.

International

PM of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu sworn-in for the 5th time

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally swore in his new government on 17 May for the fifth time.

• The ceremony of the swearing-in of Israel’s new government, the Knesset, was held in accordance with directives.

• Netanyahu will be in power until 13 November 2021. This ended the 18-month political crisis in the country.

• Benny Gantz will serve in the specially created role of alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister.

Cyclonic Amphan (Um-Pun) intensifies into a very severe cyclonic storm

• Severe Cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ over southeast bay and adjoining southwest bay has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm as it moved northwards.

• It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-northwesterly direction before turning towards Bangladesh. It may cross Bangladesh coast between Khulna-Chattogram.

Science and Technology

ISRO directs start-ups to build local tech for Gaganyaan mission

• India’s space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has directed the startups to develop tools and machines for its maiden human space flight Gaganyaan-1 mission.

• ISRO focuses to potentially help them build products and solutions that they can exploit commercially.ISRO has identified a set of 17 technologies that to develop locally at lower costs for use in its Gaganyaan missions.

ARCI & SCTIMST jointly develops biodegradable metal implants

International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) and Sree ChitraTirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Thiruvananthapuram have jointly developed new generation Iron-Manganese based alloys for biodegradable metal implants for use in humans.

Appointments and Resignations

Jack Ma resigns from the Board of SoftBank

• Alibaba's Jack Ma has resigned from the Softbank's Board of Directors. The official reason of Ma's resignation has not been revealed yet. 

• Ma's resignation will come into effect on June 25, 2020, on the day of annual shareholder meeting of the Softbank. He served the group for nearly 13 years.

Rajesh Goel becomes new DG of NAREDCO

• Rajesh Goel becomes new director-general (DG) of the Realtors body National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO). Prior to this, he was serving as the chairman and managing director, Hindustan Prefab Ltd.

• He is a professional with over 37 years of experience in leading PSUs under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Books and Authors

A Book titled “Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City” authored by Fang Fang

• The book titled as “Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City” authored by Chinese literary writer Fang Fang is a compilation of online diary entries and social media posts, captures the challenges of daily life and the changing moods and emotions of being quarantined without reliable information & is a remarkable record of the extraordinary time.

• The book was released in India in an ebook format on May 15, 2020, published by Harper NonFiction, the audio will follow on May 26.The book will be translated into 15 languages.

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Important Current Affairs 17th May 2020

National

FM announces 4th tranche of economic support under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan

The announcement focusses on reforming 8 sectors which are (1) coal, (2) minerals, (3) defence production, (4) airports and airspace management, (5) MRO, (6) power distribution of companies in UTs, (7) space and (8) atomic energy.

• Coal- Commercial mining of coal on a revenue-sharing basis is being introduced.  Government will introduce competition, transparency and private sector participation through revenue sharing mechanism instead of the current fixed rupee per tonne. Coal Bed Methane will also be auctioned.

• Mineral- To enhance private investments in the mineral sector, a seamless composite exploration -cum-mining – cum production regime will be introduced. 500 mining blocks will be offered through an open and transparent auction process immediately.

• Make in India for  Defence Production- Foreign Direct Investment limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route is being raised from 49% to 74% to boost indigenous defence production.

• Airports and airspace- 6 airports will be put up for bidding by the Airports Authority of India for operation and maintenance on PPP mode.

• Maintenance- Repairs and Operations (MRO)- Tax regime for MRO ecosystem has been rationalised. Convergence between defence sector and the civil MROs will be established to create economies of scale

• Power Sector- Power distribution companies in Union Territories will be privatised.

• Social Infrastructure Projects- Boosting private sector investment in social infrastructure projects through revamped viability gap funding scheme of Rs 8,100 crore. The govt will enhance the quantum of viability gap funding up to 30 per cent each of total project cost as VGF by Centre and state

• Space & Atomic Energy- Private sector will be allowed to use ISRO facilities and other relevant assets to improve their capacities. India to establish a research reactor in PPP mode for production of medical isotopes.

Government of India & AIIB signs agreement to improve irrigation services in West Bengal

• The Government of India, the Government of West Bengal and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has inked a loan agreement worth US$145 million to improve irrigation services and flood management in the Damodar Valley Command Area (DVCA) in West Bengal.

• The loan sanctioned under West Bengal Major Irrigation and Flood Management Project will benefit about 2.7 million farmers from five districts of West Bengal across 393,964 ha area.

• It will provide better irrigation services and improved protection against annual flooding to mitigate the impact of climate change.

AYUSH ministry & CSIR India to Begin Clinical Trial for 4 Ayurvedic Drugs

Minister of State(Independent/Charge) for ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy(AYUSH), Shripad Yesso(Y) Naik has announced that AYUSH ministry & Council of Scientific & Industrial Research(CSIR) are working together to validate 4 Ayush formulations Ashwagandha, Yashtimadhu (Mulethi), Guduchi Pippali(Giloy) and AYUSH-64(poly herbal formulation).

Acquisitions and Mergers

Facebook acquires animated graphics startup GIPHY

• Facebook has announced that it has acquired the animated graphics startup GIPHY. Facebook will now integrate GIPHY in its Instagram visual social network.

• GIPHY is known for its use of stickers and other products using the graphics interchange format or GIFs.

Obituary

Sahitya Akademi winning Bengali author Debesh Roy passes away

• Veteran Bengali author Debesh Roy, who had five decades of career as a writer, passed away.

• He was awarded with the Sahitya Akademi award for his novel ‘Teesta Parer Brittanto’.

Days

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

• The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is observed every year on 17 May since 1969, to commemorate the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

• The theme of 2020 is “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”

• The ITU was founded on 17 May 1865, when the first International Telegraph Convention was signed in Paris.

World Hypertension Day

• The World Hypertension Day (WHD) is celebrated on 17 May worldwide to promote public awareness of increasing high blood pressure (BP) and to encourage citizens of all countries to prevent and control this silent killer.

• The day was held for the first time in May 2005.

• World Hypertension Day (WHD) is an initiative of the World Hypertension League (WHL), an affiliated section of the International Society of Hypertension.

• The theme for World Hypertension Day 2020 is Measure Your Blood Pressure, Control It, Live Longer.

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Important Current Affairs 15th May 2020

National

FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces second tranche of economic stimulus for farmers, migrant workers, traders under Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

In continuation to PM Modi’s announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore boost to the economy, and the announcement made by her on May 13, 2020  the Finance Minister of India, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has made the announcement of the second tranche of economic support the Indian

Economy

These are the announcements made on May 14, 2020

• The announcement focusses on short term and long-term measures for supporting the poor, including migrants, farmers, tiny businesses and street vendors.

• 2% Interest Subvention for 12 months for Shishu MUDRA loanees- Relief of Rs. 1,500 crore- Government of India will provide Interest subvention of 2% for prompt payees for a period of 12 months to MUDRA Shishu loanees, who have loans below Rs 50,000.The current portfolio of MUDRA Shishu loans is around Rs 1.62 Lakh crore. This will provide relief of about Rs 1,500 crore to Shishu MUDRA loanee.

• Free food grains supply to migrants for 2 months (i.e. May and June, 2020)

• Scheme for Affordable Rental Housing Complexes for Migrant Workers and Urban Poor to be launched

• Technology system to be used enabling Migrants to access PDS (Ration) from any Fair Price Shops in India by March,2021-One Nation one Ration Card

• Rs 5,000 crore Credit facility for Street Vendors- Under this scheme, bank credit facility for initial working capital up to Rs. 10,000 for each enterprise.

• Rs 70,000 crore boost to housing sector and middle income group through extension of  Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for MIG under PMAY(Urban)- The Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for Middle Income Group (annual Income between Rs 6 and 18 lakhs) will be extended up to March 2021.

• Rs 6,000 crore for Creating employment using CAMPA funds- Compensatory Afforestation Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA)

• Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital for farmers through NABARD- NABARD will extend additional re-finance support of Rs 30,000 crore for meeting crop loan requirement of Rural Cooperative Banks and RRBs. This refinance will be front-loaded and available on tap. This is over and above Rs 90,000 crore that will be provided by NABARD to this sector in the normal course.

• Rs 2 lakh crore credit boost to 2.5 crorefarmers  underKisan Credit Card Scheme- A special drive to provide concessional credit to PM-KISAN beneficiaries through Kisan Credit Cards. 2.5 crore farmers will be covered.

ICCR launches song “United we Fight” to Strengthen India’s Fight

• The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), an autonomous body under MEA,  has unveiled a new song titled “United we Fight” to motivate people to be united, think positive and have never say die attitude in our collective fight.

• The musical creation has been dedicated to world by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India, to spread India’s message of hope, resilience and ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’  (the world is one family).

• The 3.33 minutes long song ‘United We Fight’ is written and composed by Joe Alvares.

International

Rate of Forest Loss Globally Declined Between 2015 and 2020: FAO report

• The Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020) was released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 13 May 2020.

• As per the report, the rate of forest loss during 2015-2020 declined to an estimated 10 million hectares (mha), compared to 12 million hectares (mha) loss in 2010-2015.

• The FRA 2020 report is based on more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.

US CDC Commits USD3.6 mn to Assist India’s fight

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has committed $3.6 million to the Government of India to support the country in prevention, preparedness, and response activities.

The first tranche of funding will be utilised to further strengthen and support the Government of India’s efforts to increase laboratory capacity for SARS-COV-2 testing, including molecular diagnostics and serology

Appointments and Resignations

WTO chief Roberto Azevedo resigns from post

•  Brazilian Roberto Azevedo, the head of the World Trade Organization is likely to step down earlier than planned. Azevedo has summoned a virtual meeting to inform national members on May 14, 2020.

•  The 62-year-old has been the Director-General at the Geneva-based WTO since 2013. His second term of office was due to conclude at the end of August 2021.

•  The heads of delegations of the WTO's 164 members have been called for a special meeting to inform them about "pressing WTO administrative issues".

Ranking

India up at 74th place on WEF’s global energy transition index

• India has been ranked at 74th position on the Global ‘Energy Transition Index’ by the World Economic Forum (WEF). India has moved up two positions with improvements on all key parameters of economic growth, energy security and environmental sustainability.

• India is one of the few countries in the world to have made consistent year-on-year progress since 2015.

Days

International Family Day

• International Family Day observed globally on 15th May every year. This day is spread awareness about the importance of families and the role of the international community in the development of the families.

• The United Nation General Assembly proclaimed the International Year of the Families in its resolution 44/82 of 9 December 1989.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2020

National

PravasiRahatMitra app launched in UP

• Uttar Pradesh Government recently launched the ‘PravasiRahatMitra’ app to help migrant workers return safely. The app has been developed by UP Revenue Department in collaboration with UNDP - United Nations Development Programme.

• The App was launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

NIV Pune Develops India's First Anti-body Test Kit ELISA

• India’s first indigenous antibody testing kit “ELISA” has been successfully developed by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. This antibody testing kit will help in surveillance of proportion of the population exposed to SARSCoV2 infection.

• For mass scale production of the ELISA test kits, ICMR has tied-up with ZYDUS CADILA.

HRD Minister launches Central Univ. of Odisha Helpline “Bharosa”

• Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has launched Central University of Odisha Helpline “Bharosa”. This helpline has been launched with an objective of relieving the student community from the distress caused during the troubled time.

• All University Students of Odisha will be offered Cognitive Emotional Rehabilitation Services via this helpline.

International

WHO & UN’s Postal Agency Release Commemorative Stamp on 40th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication

• The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Postal Administration – the postal agency of UN, have released a commemorative postage stamp to mark the 40th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox on 9th May 2020.

• The stamp recognises the global solidarity in fighting smallpox and honours millions of people working together to eradicate smallpox.

Saudi Arabia triples taxes

•  Saudi Arabia announced on May 11, 2020 that it was tripling the taxes levied on basic goods, raising them to 15 percent and cutting spending on major projects by around $26 billion.

•  The Gulf Nation is reeling with the blow on its economy due to low oil prices as a result of the imposed across the world.

Science and Technology

DRDO develops “UV systems” to sanitise electronic gadgets

• DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) lab, Hyderabad has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet named defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS).

• It has been designed to sanitise mobile phones, iPods, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc.

Obituary

Founding father of rock-and-roll Little Richard dies at 87

• Founding father of Rock ‘n’ roll, Little Richard passed away. His full name Richard Wayne Pennima, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986 and he picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 from the Recording Academy.

Ranking

Bengaluru airport voted as best regional airport in India & Central Asia

• Kempegowda International Airport of Bengaluru has been voted by customers as the best regional airport in India & Central Asia at the 2020 World Airport Awards.

• Bengaluru Airport has won this award for the third time in four years.

Days

International Nurses Day

• The International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, to mark the contributions and hard work of nursing staff around the world.

• The day was created by the International Council of Nurses, and is celebrated globally since January 1974.This day also marks the birth anniversary of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

• The theme of 2020 International Nurses Day is Nurses: A voice to lead – Nursing the World to Health.

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Important Current Affairs 10th May 2020

National

ICMR, Bharat Biotech tie up to develop a fully indigenous vaccine

• The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited to develop India’s first fully indigenous vaccine. Bharat Biotech is a Hyderabad-based leading Vaccine manufacturing company.

• The Indian vaccine will be developed using the virus strain, which has been isolated at ICMR's National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The details of the virus strain have been successfully transferred from NIV to Bharat Biotech.

Vista Equity Partners Buys 2.32% Stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 Crore

• US-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has become the third company to buy a stake in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s digital unit, Jio Platforms.

• It has bought 2.32 percent stake for Rs 11,367 crore in the company.

• This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore.

Banking and Economy

Mahindra & Mahindra launches digital sales platform ‘Own-Online’

• Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has announced the launch of an online vehicle ownership platform named “Own-Online’.

• The portal will offer an end-to-end sales experience for prospective buyers. It will also help customers to finance, insure, exchange, accessorize, and own a Mahindra vehicle from home.

Obituary

KFH Tournament founder Pandanda Kuttappa passes away

• Founder of Kodava Family Hockey Tournament, Pandanda Kuttappa passed away. Kuttappa conceived the idea of Kodava family hockey festival in 1997.

• He was a former State Bank of India employee and an ex-first division hockey referee, Pandanda Kuttappa has bestowed the Karnataka Rajyothsava award in 2015.

Days

Nation celebrates 480th birth anniversary of MaharanaPratap

• Nation celebrates 480th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap on 9 May. He was Born on 9 May 1540. To honour of the brave king, Maharana Pratap Jayanti is celebrated every year on 9 May.

• Pratap Singh I, popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was born to King Udai Singh II and Queen JaiwantaBai of Mewar. Udai Singh II died in 1572 in Gogunda and following his death, Maharana Pratap ascended the throne on 1 March 1572.

Books and Authors

Book titled “Fear of God” authored by Vadhan

• A book titled “Fear of God” has been authored by Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan. He is popularly known as Vadhan.

• It is a book based on the lack of respect or fear of law in India.

• This is Vadhan’s third novel after “Agniputr: When Agni First Spoke” and “Shatru”.

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