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Important Current Affairs 21st September 2020

National

PM to inaugurate VAIBHAV Summit on 2nd October 2020

• Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit on 2nd October’2020 through videoconferencing.

• The VAIBHAV Summit is a joint initiative of all S&T and Academic Organisations of India (working in Research, Academic and Scientific fields) to enable deliberations on thought processes, practices and R&D culture with a problem-solving approach for well-defined objectives.

• The month-long Summit will provide a platform to leverage the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for solving emerging challenges and create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global outreach.

10th Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors

• 10th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Security was held virtually. The 10th meeting of the NSAs was hosted by the current chair of BRICS i.e. Russia.

• The National Security Advisors of the BRICS nations met to deliberate upon the issues related to strengthening political security and cooperation among the five countries.

• National Security Advisor Ajit Doval represented India in a virtual meet of top security officials from Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping.

Tamil Nadu becomes first state to unveil ethical AI, blockchain, cybersecurity policies in country

• Tamil Nadu has become the first state in India to launch policies on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Cybersecurity policies.

• Chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami unveiled the Tamil Nadu Cyber Security Policy, 2020, Tamil Nadu Blockchain Policy, 2020, and Tamil Nadu Safe and Ethical Artificial Intelligence Policy, 2020 at Connect 2020.

• The project will be implemented by establishing and leveraging the State Family Data Base (SFDB) and Block-Chain Backbone infrastructure.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Solutions projects India’s GDP growth at -8.6% in 2020-21

• Fitch Solutions has revised downward its forecast for Indian economic growth and now estimates that India’s GDP will contract by 8.6% in 2020-21 (FY21).Earlier this was estimated at -4.5%.

• It has also forecasted a 5 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in 2021 and 2022.

Obituary

Renowned US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away at 87

• Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has passed away due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87.

• She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and served until her death in 2020.She was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande passes away

• Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande died at her residence in Mumbai due to old age. She was 91. Deshpande, was the daughter of Shripad Amrit Dange, one of the founders of the Communist Party of India.

• Deshpande had taken part in the Sanyukta Maharashtra Movement (the movement for the creation of the State of Maharashtra) and the Goa liberation struggle as a Member of the All India Students’ Federation. In 1974, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Bombay South Central constituency.

Ranking

HDFC Bank leads ‘BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands’ ranking

• HDFC Bank has topped the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2020 Rankings. HDFC Bank has topped this ranking for the 7th consecutive year. It has a total brand value of more than $20.2 billion

• LIC is ranked second while Tata Consulting Services has been ranked at no.3.

Days

International Day of Peace

• The International Day of Peace (or World Peace Day) is observed annually on 21 September to spread awareness and preach peace and harmony all across the globe.

• The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.”

• The Day established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is also known as World Peace Day.

World Alzheimer's Day

• World Alzheimer's Day is observed on 21 September every year to spread awareness about Alzheimer and Dementia disease.

• The theme for World Alzheimer Day 2020 is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’.

• In Alzheimer’s disease loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain occurs. Progressively brain disorder which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills etc. In older adults it is the most common cause of dementia.

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Important Current Affairs 18th September 2020

National

Tata Groups win new Parliament Building Contract under Central Vista Project

• Tata Group has won the contract for the construction of the new Parliament Building with a bid of Rs. 861.90 crores. Tata has beaten Larsen & Toubro whose bid was at Rs. 865 crores.

• The Central Public Works Department had opened the financial bid for the new Parliament Building on September 16, 2020. In total, 7 companies had placed the pre-qualification technical bids for the construction of the new Parliament Building.

Lok Sabha passes bill to bring Cooperative Banks under Reserve Bank of India

• The Lok Sabha has passed an amendment bill to the Banking Regulation Act on September 16, 2020, to bring Cooperative Banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India.

• The amendment bill has replaced an ordinance that was issued on June 26, 2020. The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clarified that the powers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies have not been encroached upon but the banking activities of the Cooperatives will not be regulated by RBI.

International

Brazil, India, and South Africa jointly call for comprehensive reforms in UNSC

• India South Africa and Brazil have jointly called for the comprehensive reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the virtual meeting of IBSA Foreign Ministers on September 16, 2020.

• The meeting was chaired by the Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and was attended by his South African Counterpart Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor and Brazilian Counterpart Fabio Marzano.

• The three ministers adopted a joint statement on the reform of the UNSC and emphasized the expansion of its membership by including the representation from developing and emerging countries.

Banking and Economy

UBS Securities projects India’s GDP to contract by 8.6% in FY21; For FY22=+10%

• UBS Securities has projected India’s GDP  for 2020-21 (FY21) to contact by 8.6%. (Earlier it was -5.8%).For FY22, UBS Securities projects India’s GDP to grow by 10%.

• UBS Securities is a Chinese investment bank and brokerage firm headquartered in Beijing, China.

Govt to infuse ₹20,000 cr into PSBs via recap bonds

• State-run banks are poised to get ₹20,000 crore through recapitalization bonds this financial year, at a time the C-19 crisis threatens to bump up bad loans across the banking system.

• Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the first batch of supplementary demand for grants in the Parliament, reflecting additional expenses sought by various ministries beyond the budget allocations.

• The government has sought the Parliament’s nod for additional cash expenditure of Rs 1.67 lakh crore, less than 1 percent of GDP, in the first supplementary demand for grants for FY21 tabled in the Parliament.

Titan ties up with SBI to launch contactless payment watches

• Titan Company has partnered with the State Bank of India (SBI) to launch India’s first contactless payment watches named “Titan Pay”.

• Using these watches, the account holders of SBI can tap their Titan Pay watch on the contactless payment POS machines for making payments. It is powered by YONO SBI.

• Under this mechanism, payments of up to Rs. 2,000 can be made without entering a PIN, as per the RBI guidelines.

Awards

Chef Vikas Khanna Named for 2020 Asia Game Changer Award

• New York-based Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been chosen to be honoured with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the C-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive ‘FeedIndia’.

• The Asia Game Changer Awards was launched by the Asia Society, a US-based non-profit organization, in 2014, to identify and honor true leaders who make a positive contribution to the future of Asia.

• Khanna is the only Indian among the six honourees named by the leading organisation.

Obituary

Legendary scholar of Indian classical dance & arts, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, passes away at 92

• Veteran scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture and art history, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan has passed away. She was 92-year-old.

• Dr. Vatsyayan was the former Member of Parliament and had served as Education Secretary. She was the founding Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

• Some of the prestigious honors received by Dr Kapila Vatsyayan inlcudes, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship,  the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, and the Padma Vibhushan.

Mali’s former president Moussa Traore passes away

• Former President of Republic of Mali, who was in power from 1968 to 1991, General Moussa Traore passed away. He was born in 1936 in Kayes, Mali.

• He was a former military leader, forcibly took over the reign from Modibo Keita (known as the ‘father of independence’).

Ranking

India ranks 116 in World Bank’s 2020 Human Capital Index

• India has been ranked at 116 positions among 174 countries in the latest edition of the World Bank’s annual Human Capital Index. The Index benchmarks the key components of the human capital across all over the countries.

•  The 2020 Human Capital Index has included education and health data for 174 countries- up to March 2020.

•  As per the analysis by the World Bank, pre-pandemic most of the countries had made steady progress in building the human capital of children and the biggest strides were made in low-income countries.

India’s four major cities drop in ranking in Global Smart City Index

• India’s four major cities- New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad witnessed a drop in their rankings in the Global Smart City Index. The index was topped by Singapore.

• The Smart City Index 2020 was released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD). The index is based on key findings on how technology is playing a role in the C-19 era.

• While New Delhi was ranked 86th on the 2020 Smart City Index, down from 68 in 2019, Hyderabad was placed 85th position (down from 67 in 2019), Bengaluru at 95th (79 in 2019) and Mumbai was at 93rd rank (down from 78 in 2019).

Days

World Water Monitoring Day

• The World Water Monitoring Day is observed every year on September 18 since 2003 to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world. Theme for 2020 WWMD is ‘Solve Water.’

• The day was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) as a global educational outreach program by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

World Patient Safety Day

• The World Patient Safety Day is observed on September 17 to create global awareness for patient safety and urge people to show their commitment to make healthcare safer.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) observed the first WPSD in 2019.It was adopted at the 72nd World Health Assembly on 25 May 2019. The theme for 2020 WPSD is ‘Safe health workers, Safe patients.

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Important Current Affairs 13th September 2020

National

MoHUA launches Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF 2.0)

• The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has launched the Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework (CSCAF) 2.0.To provide a clear roadmap for cities towards combating Climate Change while planning and implementing their actions, including investments.

• The initiative was launched by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing and Urban Affairs on 11 September in a virtual event organised by the Smart Cities Mission.The framework comprise of 28 indicators across five categories. They are:

1. Energy and Green Buildings,

2. Urban Planning, Green Cover and Biodiversity,

3. Mobility and Air Quality,

4. Water Management and

5. Waste Management.

• The CSCAF 2.0 initiative will be implemented by the MoHUA, with support from the Climate Centre for Cities under National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).CSCAF initiative will inculcate a climate-sensitive approach to urban planning and development in India.

Govt Releases Rs 6,195 crore to 14 States As Revenue Deficit Grant

• The government released Rs 6,195.08 crore to 14 states as the sixth equated monthly instalment of the Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Grant as recommended by the 15th Finance Commission. This would provide them additional resources during the C-19 crisis.

• Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal are the 14 states to whom the grant has been released.

India announces the states’ startup ranking list – Gujarat gets the best performer, while Karnataka and Kerala are top performers

• Karnataka and Kerala have emerged as the top performers, while Gujarat was ranked as the best performer in second edition of States’ Startup Ranking 2019, as per the results announced by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

• The states in the leader category are Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Chandigarh.

• In the aspiring leaders category, states like Telangana, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab, and Nagaland were included.

• In the Emerging Startup Ecosystem category, states included are Andra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh.

• In the Best Performers category – Andaman and Nicobar Islands (among UTs and north eastern states)Gujarat (among all other states).

Asian Development Bank and Suguna Foods Sign $15 Million Financing Deal

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it has signed a pact for a USD 15-million debt financing through the subscription of non-convertible debentures for Suguna Foods, to help sustain poultry farming operations, rural livelihoods and food security in India during the C-19 pandemic.

• DB’s assistance will provide essential liquidity support to Suguna’s operations during this C-19 crisis, help the company build inventory buffers and make timely payments to contract farmers and suppliers.

• The Bank’s assistance comprises two-year amortising senior secured non-convertible debentures in three tranches.

ADB, ENGIE sign Rs.466-crore loan for developing solar project in Gujarat

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and France’s ENGIE group have signed a long-term loan of up to ₹ 466 crore for setting up a 200-MW solar power project in Gujarat.

• The project will be developed in the Raghanesda Solar Park. Electro Solaire Private Limited (ESPL), a special purpose vehicle owned by the ENGIE group, will implement the project.

• ESPL is collaborating with the Gujarat government to construct the project and has signed a power purchase agreement for 25 years with the State government.

Banking and Economy

RBI defines Role and selection criteria of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) in Banks

• The Reserve Bank of India has released the guidelines to be followed by commercial banks for the appointment of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).

• Scheduled Commercial Banks (Excluding RRBs), Local Area Banks, Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) to have an effective compliance culture, independent corporate compliance function and a strong compliance risk management programme at bank and group level.

• The CCO shall have an overall experience of at least 15 years in the banking or financial services, out of which minimum 5 years shall be in the Audit / Finance / Compliance / Legal / Risk Management functions.

CARE Ratings projects India’s GDP to contact between 8-8.2% in FY21

• Indian rating agency, CARE Ratings has projected the GDP of India to contract in the range 8 to 8.2% for 2020-21 (FY21).

• This is more than its earlier projection of -6.4%. The forecast for GVA growth in FY21 is -7.7%.

Obituary

Arya Samaj leader, Social activist Swami Agnivesh passes away

• Arya Samaj leader and social activist Swami Agnivesh passed away at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, ILBS in New Delhi. He was 80.

• Agnivesh was elected to Haryana Legislative Assembly in 1977 and served as a Cabinet Minister for Education in the state in 1979.

• He founded Bonded Labour Liberation Front in 1981 and worked against bonded labour. He also led numerous movements against alcoholism.

• Swami Agnivesh also served as president of the Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, World Council of Arya Samaj.

‘Game of Thrones’ & Bond star Diana Rigg passes away at 82

• Actress Dame Diana Rigg, famous for roles including Emma Peel in TV series The Avengers and Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones, has died at the age of 82.Dame Diana also played the only woman who became Mrs James Bond.

• She played Tracy, who married George Lazenby’s 007 in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. She has won Emmy, Tony and Bafta awards.

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Important Current Affairs 8th September 2020

National

Centre releases draft guidelines on advertising, to treat non-legible disclaimers as misleading ads

• The Central Government has released a draft of the advertising code according to which celebrity endorsements through posts, personal tweets, blogs, or other testimonials must be based on either adequate information about or experience with the service or product being endorsed.

• As per the code, any disclaimers in small font sizes in advertisements and comparative advertising which is not factual will treated as misleading ads and can be penalized.

• The guidelines on advertising have been prepared by the Consumers Affairs Ministry under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

Agriculture ministry approves Rs. 4 crore for up-gradation of soil testing labs in Kashmir

• Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare ministry has approved four crore rupees for up-gradation of Soil Testing labs across the Kashmir valley.

• For the quality control laboratory upgradation, 40 lakh rupees have been earmarked during the current year, which will facilitate upgradation and strengthening of fertilizer quality control lab.

J-K LG launches SPARROW system for J-K Administrative Service officers

• Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) system for Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service officers, at Raj Bhavan.

• The SPARROW system is aimed at bringing more transparency, avoiding loss of Appraisal Reports during the transition, ensuring better monitoring and timely completion of performance appraisals.

Union Minister of Education launches mobile app “EnglishPro”

• Union Minister of Education has launched a free mobile app named as “EnglishPro“.The mobile application has been developed by the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad under University Social Responsibility (USR).

• The mobile application “EnglishPro” will help learners in developing Indian English Pronunciation in the unique “Indian” way.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Vodafone Idea rebranded as 'Vi'

• Vodafone and Idea brands re-branded themselves under a new brand identify 'Vi' was launched by Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) on September 7, 2020. The new brand identity has been adopted keeping in mind the future, which is built for and around customers.

• The announcement was made by company’s MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar on 7th September 2020.Now all the products of the company will be available under the new unified brand identity and logo “VI”.

• The integration of Vodafone and Idea marks the culmination of the largest telecom integration in the world.

• In an official statement, VIL stated that two of India's most loved brands "Vodafone and Idea"are now 'together for tomorrow' giving birth to a new brand called 'Vi',  which is read as 'We'.

Science and Technology

India successfully test fires Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle at 11 am on September 7, 2020 from the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.

• The successful flight test of the indigenously-developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) enabled the successful demonstration of the Hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology, which is a major technological breakthrough for India.

• The Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle powers cruise missiles and operate on scramjet engines that can attain the speed of around Mach 6, which is far more advanced than ramjet engines that are used currently.

• India has thus become the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.

SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites for faster internet

• SpaceX has successfully sent 60 Starlink internet satellites aboard the Falcon 9 which is lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

• The launch was Starlink’s first mission of the month. The Elon-musk owned space tech company has conducted sixteen missions this year.

• The satellites are meant to provide ‘cheaper and faster’ internet to inaccessible areas. The satellites in its initial tests had provided over 100 Mbps speeds.

Obituary

Oscar winning Czech Director Jiri Menzel passes away

• Oscar-winning Czech film director, Jiri Menzel passed away. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on 23 February 1938.

• His 1st feature film, ‘Closely Watched Trains’ won an Academy Award (Oscars) for Best Foreign Language film in 1968.

Sports

US Open 2020: Indo-Canadian pair of Bopanna-Shapovalov enter men’s doubles quarterfinals

• The Indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov have reached the quarterfinals of the ongoing US Open tennis.

• They defeated the German pair Kevin Krawietz and Andrea Mies in the second-round clash that had lasted for an hour and 47 minutes.

Novak Djokovic disqualified from US Open

• The current world no. 1, Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open in the most unexpected manner. Djokovic defaulted after a ball hit by him hit the line judge in the throat.

• Djokovic had struck the ball unintentionally but the official was down. The incident happened during Djokovic’s match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

Appointments and Resignations

Vinkesh Gulati appointed as new President of FADA

• Vinkesh Gulati, has been appointed as the 35th President of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).

• He succeeds Ashish Harsharaj Kale and will serve the role of president from 2020 to 2022.

• The FADA is an apex national body representing automobile dealers of India.

Ranking

‘The State of Young Child in India’ report released, Kerala tops

• Kerala, Goa, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram are among the top five States for well-being of children, according to a report brought out by non-governmental organisation Mobile Creches and launched by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu.

• It identifies eight States that have scores below the country’s average: they are Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

• The index is part of the ‘State of the Young Child’ in India report released the 50-year-old NGO.

• The report has also developed another index called the young child environment index to understand the policy and environment enablers that influence a child’s well-being.

Days

International Literacy Day 2020

• International Literacy Day is observed annually on September 8 across the world to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

• The theme of International Literacy Day 2020 according to the UN is "Literacy teaching and learning in the C-19 crisis and beyond." The theme highlights literacy learning from a lifelong learning perspective and therefore focuses on youth and adults.

• The day was declared by UNESCO on 26 October 1966 at 14th session of UNESCO’s General conference. It was celebrated for the first time in 1967.

Books and Authors

‘Breaking The Cocoon @ 40’ book authored by Radha Nair

• The book titled “Breaking The Cocoon @ 40″ authored by Radha Nair has been released recently.

• “Breaking The Cocoon @ 40” is a delightful collection of select events from her life, which also holds a mirror to the time the incidents are set in.

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Important Current Affairs 6th September 2020

National

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme: Goa paired with Jharkhand

• Under Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat, Goa is paired with Jharkhand. Lot of exchange activities are happening on this front.

• Lokotsav programmes held earlier in Goa in Panaji evoked good response. Stalls of Jharkhand displayed delicacies from that state and Goans enjoyed savouring the same.

• Folk dances presented by Jharkhand artistes also were appreciated by Goan artistes. Later Goan artistes also visited Jharkhand and presented Goan folk dances

Sikkim & Delhi paired for cultural exchanges under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme

• Sikkim is paired with Delhi under Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat for promoting greater mutual understanding amongst them.

• The Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme aims to actively enhance interaction between people of diverse cultures living in different States and Union Territories in India.

Madhya Pradesh paired with Manipur and Nagaland under ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Abhiyan’

• Madhya Pradesh have been paired with Manipur and Nagaland for implementing the Centre’s ambitious scheme Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Abhiyan.

• The people of three States are involved in various activities for understanding art and culture, education, literature and traditions of each other.

• The ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ programme aims to actively enhance interaction between people of diverse cultures living in different States and Union Territories in India, with the objective of promoting greater mutual understanding amongst them.

International

Wilmington as the first World War II Heritage City

• Donald Trump, President of the USA has announced Wilmington (located in southern US state North Carolina) as the first World War II Heritage City.

• The announcement was made at a ceremony held to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. September 2, 2020 marks the 75th Commemoration of the End of World War II.

Saudi Arabia chairs G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting

• The G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting was held under the current Chair, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the backdrop of the C-19 pandemic crisis.

• The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud, chaired the virtual meeting.From India External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar represented the meeting.

• The discussions were held on strengthening international cooperation across borders in wake of C-19 crisis.

Banking and Economy

CII to create a ‘National strategy for future business’ along with DPIIT

• Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will create a ‘national strategy for future businesses’ together with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

• The group will also provide policy inputs, identify new growth segments and establish international partnerships with a focus on growing such businesses.

RBI ceased the Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank to be act as a banking company

• The Reserve Bank of India has issued a notification to all banks on September 03, 2020 stating that “Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Limited” has ceased to be a banking company within the meaning of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with effect from July 28, 2020.

• Apart from this, “Westpac Banking Corporation” also ceases to be a banking company as announced by RBI.

Awards

NTPC wins National Management Games 2020

• Team of NTPC Limited, the Central PSU under Ministry of Power, has won the All India Management Association (AIMA) Chanakya (Business Simulation Game) National Management Games (NMG) 2020.

•  The team from NTPC Vallur, Tamil Nadu won the championship which featured the participation of teams from 112 organisations from different parts of the country.

• AIMA Chanakya National Management Games is an online Business Simulation Game which is conducted every year. The championship aims to ensure that executives participating in the event get the on board experience about the complexities of running an organisation and gain expertise and skills from this event.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Infosys acquires US-based Kaleidoscope Innovation for $42 million

• Infosys acquires US-based product design and development firm, Kaleidoscope Innovation, for $42 million.

• With this acquisition, the company will be able to expand its engineering services portfolio, especially in medical devices, consumer and industrial markets across the US.

Appointments and Resignations

Rajiv Lall resigns as chairman of IDFC First Bank

• Dr. Rajiv B. Lall has resigned from his post of Part-Time Non-Executive Chairman of IDFC First Bank.

• He has cited prolonged personal health issues as the reason for resignation.Lall was the founder MD of the erstwhile IDFC Bank.

Books and Authors

Goonmeet Singh Chauhan’s New Book ‘Invertonomics’ Talks about Transforming India

• The book titled ‘Invertonomics’ authored by Mr. Goonmeet Singh Chauhan, and published by HarperCollins Publishers India, is a new way of looking at problem-solving.

• This book is a compilation of methodologies that invert problems into economic opportunities.

Memoir to authorised biography: Two books on Ma Anand Sheela to be published later this year

• Two books on Sheela Birnstiel, popularly known as Ma Anand Sheela, are set to be pubslihed.One of the books is an authorised biography, Nothing To Lose by Manbeena Sandhu which will acquaint readers with the woman behind the strong persona. This will be published by Harper Collins, India in October.

• In November, Penguin Random House will come out with Ma Anand Sheela’s memoir titled, My Story in My Own Words. Ma Anand Sheela’s life has been rife with controversies and enigma.

• She was the spokeswoman of the Rajneesh movement and later headlined the Rajneesh commune in Wasco County, Oregon, USA till she was imprisoned for four and a half years.

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Important Current Affairs 5th September 2020

National

India to host Quad meet and 2+2 dialogue

• India will soon be hosting the Quad meet involving Australia, Japan and the United States and the 2+2 dialogue with the United States. The details are being worked out for the same. 

• The information regarding the diplomatic engagements was shared by the Ministry of External Affairs at the regular weekly briefing on September 3, 2020.

• The Quad or quadrilateral security dialogue is a grouping of four democracies - India, Australia, Japan and the United States. Two of the quad countries- Australia and Japan have assured huge investments in India's infrastructure technology and supply chain.

India’s First Regional Voters’ Awareness Centre to Come Up in Jaipur

• Election Commission of India (ECI) will set up the country’s first regional voters’ awareness centre in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

• It will cater to four states — Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

• The centre will carry out various awareness activities under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme. Sunil Arora is the present Chief Election Commissioner.

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel virtually attends 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet

• The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting was held under the chairpersonship of Russian Federation. India was represented by Union Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in the 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet.

• The participants of the meeting deliberated on the impact of the epidemiological situation on the cultural sphere in the BRICS countries. It also reviewed the possible implementation of joint cultural online-projects within BRICS.

• The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting featured the participation of delegates from Culture Ministries of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of South Africa.

Banking and Economy

RBI releases revised Priority Sector Lending Guidelines

• The Priority Sector Lending (PSL) Guidelines have been reviewed by the Reserve Bank of India. The review was executed to align the PSL Guidelines with evolving national priorities.

• In the revised PSL Guidelines, the Reserve Bank of India has included some fresh categories eligible for finance under priority sector. These include loans to farmers for installation of solar power plants; loans for establishment of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) plants; and bank finance to start-ups of up to Rs 50 crore.

• The new guidelines will make better credit penetration into credit deficient areas and increase the lending to small as well as marginal farmers and weaker sections. It will also enhance credit to renewable energy, and health infrastructure.

Summits and Mou’s

SIDBI, Maharashtra Govt ink pact to develop MSME ecosystem

• Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maharashtra Government to develop the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) ecosystem in the state.

• Under the agreement, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will be deployed by SIDBI with the Government of Maharashtra.

• The role of the PMU will be to design schemes/programmes in the areas of equity support, interest subvention, resolution of stressed MSMEs, supporting MSME entrepreneurs and facilitate other need-based intervention based on evaluation of the existing status of MSMEs.

Andhra Pradesh signs MoU with CSIR for a bulk drug pharma park in the state

• The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (APIIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) to establish a bulk drug park in the state.

• CSIR-IICT is the knowledge partner and will offer needed technical backing to make the proposal which will be submitted by the Andhra Pradesh government to the Department of Pharmaceuticals to seek financial assistance from the Centre.

Science and Technology

IIT Delhi incubated startup launches ‘‘Chakr DeCoV’’ to decontaminate N95 masks

• In our series on Atmanirbhar Bharat, IIT Delhi incubated startup Chakr Innovation has launched ‘Chakr DeCoV’ to decontaminate N95 masks.

• Designed in the shape of a cabinet, Chakr DeCoV is built with an innovative decontamination mechanism, which utilises the high penetrability of Ozone gas for cleaning the pores of the N95 mask, ensuring complete decontamination of its intricate layers.

Sports

India’s P Iniyan wins World Open Online Chess Tournament

• Indian Grandmaster P Iniyan has won the prestigious 48th Annual World Open online chess tournament.

• He scored 7.5 points out of a possible 9 with six victories and three draws to finish on top.

• A total number of 120 players from 16 countries participated in the event which included more than 30 Grandmasters.

Ranking

Oxford University tops THE World University Rankings 2021; IISc top Indian

• Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021 has been released and under the overall category, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, has topped the list. It has retained the top spot for the fifth consecutive year.

• The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, is the top-ranked University from India and is ranked in the 301-350 band. A total of 63 universities from India qualified for the ranking.

• Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar and IIT Indore are the next best-ranked University/college from India.

India ranked 3rd in largest solar market in 2019: Mercom global listing; Top- China

• India has been ranked third in terms of the largest solar market in 2019 as per Mercer Global listing for 2019. India had 9% of the world’s installed capacity.

• China has topped the ranking with 30 Gw (26% of world capacity). The US is on the second rank.

• Adani Green Energy has emerged as the top Solar Developer in 2019 with 12.3 Gw capacity.

Days

Teachers Day 2020

• In India, Teachers Day is celebrated on 5 September every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - First Vice President of India and the Second President of India and an educationist at heart.

• Globally, Teachers Day is celebrated on 5th October. Teachers Day is important for the students as it gives them a chance to understand the efforts put in by their teachers to ensure that they get a proper education.

International Day of Charity

• International Day of Charity is celebrated on 5 September every year to commemorate the death anniversary of Mother Teresa and to make people understand about the importance of charity.

• The International Day of Charity officially was declared by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Also, this day was created by the Hungarian Civil society initiative in 2011 with the support of the Hungarian parliament and Government.

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Important Current Affairs 4th September 2020

National

Andhra Pradesh to set up crop insurance firm

• Andhra Pradesh, which is among the few States that have chosen to have their own crop insurance schemes, is in the process of establishing AP General Insurance Company (APGIC) to run the scheme. The State had begun implementing its own scheme from the rabi season.

• The farmers have been asked to enroll for the scheme by September 5 by paying a nominal premium fee of ₹1.

• The authorised share capital of the company is pegged at ₹101 crore divided into 10.10 crore equity shares of ₹10 each.

Jal Shakti Ministry launches Water Heroes Contest 2.0

• Union Jal Shakti Ministry launched the ‘Water Heroes – Share Your Stories’ Contest to spread awareness on water conservation and management. The Water Heroes Contest 2.0 will be conducted from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

•  Under this contest, the Ministry will consider up to 10 entries for awards every month.

International

Chinese Navy becomes largest navy of the world

• Chinese Navy has become the world's largest navy. The country looks forward to set up its new PLA bases in the Indo-Pacific region. This announcement was made by Pentagon in its report to the US Congress.

• The Pentagon also reported that China is planning to establish PLA facilities in over 12 countries.

Banking and Economy

Nomura Slashes India’s GDP at -10.8% in 2020-21

• Nomura has downgraded India’s economic growth rate for current financial year and now expects the GDP to contract by 10.8% in 2020-21.

• Earlier it had estimated the GDP to contract by 6.1%.

Obituary

Former England Cricketer David Capel passes away

• Former England all-rounder and legendary cricketer, David Capel passed away. He had played around 15 tests and 23 One Day internationals(ODIs) representing England from 1987 to 1990.

•  He made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1987.

Sports

Olympic giant slalom champion Rebensburg retired

• Olympic ski champion Viktoria Rebensburg retired from the sport, saying an injury from last season was keeping her from performing at her best.

• The 30-year-old German, who won the gold medal in giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She also won the season-long World Cup giant slalom title in 2011, 2012 and 2018, and won world championship silver in giant slalom in 2015 and 2019. She finishes with 19 career World Cup wins and 49 podium finishes.

Appointments and Resignations

BPCL Additional Charge of CMD K Padmakar

• Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has been given additional charge to K Padmakar, Director (HR) as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).

• He succeeds D Rajkumar who superannuated after attaining 60 years on August 31, 2020.

Murali Ramakrishnan becomes new MD & CEO of South Indian Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Murali Ramakrishnan as Managing Director and CEO of the South Indian Bank for a period of three years with effect from October 1, 2020.

• He represented the bank in the board of CIBIL and the risk advisory board of VISA for the Asia Pacific.

ACC approves appointment of V K Yadav as Railway Board’s first ever CEO

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of the current chairman of the Railway Board VK Yadav as the CEO, making him the first to hold such a post in the railway’s history.

• While Yadav has been appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pradeep Kumar has been appointed Member, Infrastructure, PC Sharma has been appointed Member, Traction and Rolling Stock, PS Mishara has been made Member, Operations and Business Development, Manjula Rangarajan has been appointed Member, Finance

S Krishnan becomes new MD & CEO of Punjab & Sind Bank

• Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of S Krishnan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Punjab & Sind Bank. He will replace S Harishankar.

Books and Authors

Ramachandra Guha to come out with new book on cricket

• Historian Ramachandra Guha will come out with a book on cricket in November, which will trace the entire arc of the game in India, across all levels at which it is played and also present vivid portraits of local heroes, provincial icons, and international stars.

• The book titled “The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind” will be co-published by HarperCollins India and William Collins UK.

A new book titled “Let Us Dream” by Pope Francis

• Pope Francis is set to release the book “Let Us Dream” in December 2020. In the book, Pope Francis explains how a crisis can teach an individual to deal with problems they face in their lives. He cites three major crises from his own personal life.

• The book will be an outcome of numerous exchanges between Pope Francis and his Biographer Austen Ivereigh in the weeks following the outbreak around the world. The book is being published by Simon & Schuster and will be released in English and Spanish Editions simultaneously.

The One and Only Sparkella by Channing Tatum

• American actor Channing Tatum is a proud dad and wants to honor his 7-year-old daughter by writing his first children’s book titled. ‘The One and Only Sparkella” (Feiwel & Friends).

• The One and Only Sparkella was illustrated by Kim Barnes, and will be the first in a series of picture books.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd September 2020

National

Government of India Blocks 118 Mobile Apps

• The Union Ministry of Information and Technology has on September 2, 2020 imposed a ban on PUBG and 118 other mobile applications by invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.

• These applications have been blocked as there was information that these apps are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state as well as public order.

• This is the third such announcement by Indian Government to ban apps. Earlier, the government banned Tik Tok and other Chinese apps.

India Targets 100 MT Coal Gasification By 2030

• The Government of India has set the target to achieve 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by the year 2030.

• This will be achieved with an estimated investments of over Rs. 4 lakh crores.

• The announcement was made by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Coal and Mine, while addressing a webinar on Coal Gasification and Liquefaction on 31 August 2020.

European Investment Bank to Invest € 650 Million in Kanpur’s 1st City Metro Line

• The European Investment Bank (EIB) will invest 650 million euro(€) in the construction of Kanpur’s(Uttar Pradesh) 1st city metro line.

• The 32.4 km urban rail line, with 18 elevated and 12 underground stations is EIB’s 2nd biggest operation outside the European Union (EU) till date.

• It is the 2nd metro rail project supported by the EIB in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Union Cabinet approves J&K official languages Bill 2020

• The Union Cabinet has approved J&K official languages Bill 2020 and will be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session..

•  According to the J&K official languages Bill 2020, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi along with Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mission Karmayogi approved by Union Cabinet

• Union Cabinet has approved Mission Karmayogi for Capacity Building of Civil Servants in India. Mission Karmayogi is a national initiative for civil services capacity building so that Indian bureaucrats remain be rooted in Indian culture while learning the best practices.

• Mission Karmayogi is a national programme for civil services capacity building to lay the foundation for the capacity building for civil servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian culture while learning from best practices across the world.

Coal India decides to invest over Rs. 1.22 lakh crores on 500 projects by 2023-24

• Coal India Ltd. (CIL) has decided to invest over Rs. 1.22 lakh crores on the development of nearly 500 projects that are related to infrastructure, coal evacuation, project development, clean coal technologies, and exploration in the country.

• The major investment aims at making India self-reliant in terms of coal as well as achieve the production target of 1 billion tonnes by 2023-2024.

• Coal Mines minister, Prahlad Joshi, while addressing stakeholders' meeting informed that the involvement of all the stakeholders in the company’s affairs will uncover and reduce the project risks.

CFI all set to host First-Ever Cycling Summit in 2021

• The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) is all set to host the first-ever Cycling Summit in 2021, with an aim to promote the culture of cycling in the country.

• The CFI said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a marketing exploration firm, Contarctica, for the summit.

• The Cycling Summit 2021 will be hosted in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore and is expected to be a unique confluence of cycling enthusiasts, renowned athletes, and businesses from all over the country.    

International

Mustapha Adib becomes new Prime Minister of Lebanon

• Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany, Mustapha Adib was appointed prime minister in crisis-hit Lebanon. Adib, who has been Beirut’s Berlin envoy since 2013, is affiliated with a small Sunni party headed by former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Banking and Economy

Real GDP likely to contract by 10.9% in FY21: SBI Ecowrap

• After the country’s economy contracted by a record 23.9 per cent in April-June quarter, real GDP for FY21 is expected to shrink by 10.9 per cent, according to State Bank of India’s research report – Ecowrap.

• It had earlier estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) at (-) 6.8 per cent for the current fiscal.

• According to the research report, there is a need to revive sectors such as construction, trade and hotels, aviation.

Science and Technology

Indian astronomers discover one of the farthest Star galaxies in universe

• Indian astronomers have discovered one of the farthest Star galaxies in the universe in a landmark achievement. India’s first Multi-Wavelength Space Observatory ‘AstroSat’ has detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy located 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.

• The galaxy called AUDFs01 was discovered by a team of Astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune.

Sports

Sumit Nagpal becomes first Indian in 7 years to enter the second round of Grand Slam Singles event

• Sumit Nagpal on September 1, 2020, created history by becoming the first Indian to win a singles' main draw match at a grand slam in the last 7 years. The 23 years old successfully stormed into the second round of the ongoing US Open.

• Sumit Nagpal defeated Bradley Klahn of USA 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round of the US Open in order to progress further into the tournament.

• Earlier in 2013, Somdev Devvarman had reached the second round of the Australian Open, US Open, and French Open. Sumit Nagpal who is world number 122 will now be facing either Spain’s Jaume Munar or Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

Appointments and Resignations

Vice Admiral S R Sarma assumes charge as Chief of Materiel of the Indian Navy

• Vice Admiral S R Sarma assumed charge as the Chief of Materiel of the Indian Navy.

• Admiral Sarma during his illustrious career spanning over three and a half decades has served onboard Indian Naval ships Vindhyagiri, Rana, Krishna and Mysore in various capacities.

Hemant Khatri assumed charge as CMD of Hindustan Shipyard Limited

• Retired Commodore Hemant Khatri succeeds Rear Admiral L V Sarat Babu (Retd) and assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing director (CMD) of Hindustan Shipyard limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

• Previously he was serving as the Director of Strategic Projects HSL.

Ranking

India's Adani Green ranked as world’s No. 1 solar firm

• Indian renewable energy company, Adani Green has been ranked as the world's number 1 solar energy company in terms of capacity. The company is currently the world's top solar developer with around 2.3 GW of operational projects.

• Adani Green Energy Limited has another 2 GW projects under construction and 8 GW of awarded projects (with contracted PPAs) for a total capacity of 12.3 GW. The solar capacity of the company exceeds the total installed capacity of the United States as of 2019.

Days

Skyscraper Day

• Skyscraper Day is observed on 3rd September every year to commemorate the birthday of the famous architect William Can Aien who is genius in constructing the Chrysler Building which is one of the iconic landmark in New York city.

• This day marks the ability of the man to construct industrial masterpiece.

World Coconut Day

• World Coconut Day is observed on September 02 every year since 2009.

• It is observed to tell people about the benefits of the coconut fruit.

• The theme of World Coconut Day 2020 is ‘Invest in coconut to save the world’.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd September 2020

National

Defence Ministry signs ₹2,580-cr deal for 6 Pinaka rocket regiments

• The Defence Ministry has signed a ₹2,580-crore contract with Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), Tata Power Company Ltd (TPCL) and Larsen & Toubro to equip the Army with six Pinaka rocket regiments.

• It will consist of 114 launchers with automated gun aiming and positioning system, 45 command posts and 330 vehicles.

• The new regiments will likely be operational by 2024.

India plans to release forensic accounting and investigation standards

• Indian government plans on coming up with forensic accounting and investigation standards (FAIS) as it aims at setting the basic quality parameters for conducting investigations.

• A committee has been constituted by The Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) to deliberate on FAIS, which can be expected to be framed by the end of 2020. Atul Kumar Gupta, President of the Chartered Accountants body informed during a virtual conference.

• As per the ICAI, the decision of setting up the forensic accounting and investigation standards (FAIS) will make India the first country in the world to release the standards.

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated a forensic audit for the transactions of over Rs. 200 crores while the companies or lenders individually call for such investigations or audits upon the suspected fraud.

Air India’s privatization process to be completed within 2020

• The Union Civil Aviation Minister, HS Puri on August 30, 2020, informed that he is hopeful of completing Air India’s Privatization process within 2020.

• The government has now initiated the process of divesting its share from Air India airlines and is now looking for suitable bidders.

World’s Largest Solar Tree set up at Durgapur

• World’s Largest Solar Tree has been developed by the CSIR-CMERI. The solar tree has been installed at the Residential Colony of CSIR-CMERI in Durgapur, West Bengal.

• The solar tree has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power while its installed capacity is above 11.5 kWp.

• The Solar Tree has been designed in such a way that it ensures maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight. A single solar tree comprises of 35 Solar PV Panels each having a capacity of 330 wp each.

India’s first toy cluster to come up in Karnataka

• India’s first toy manufacturing cluster to come up at Koppal, Karnataka, has the potential to create 40,000 jobs in five years and attract over Rs 5,000 crore investment, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, said.

• With the eco-system to support toy cluster in place, this 400 acres SEZ will have top-class infra and generate 40,000 jobs in 5 years.

International

India to receive development assistance loan worth Rs 3,500 Cr from Japan to fight C-19

• Japan has committed an official Development Assistance loan of 3 thousand 500 crore rupees for the C-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support.

• This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts in fighting C-19 and to prepare the health system to manage future epidemics and also to improve the resilience of India’s health systems against infectious diseases.

Banking and Economy

RBI Announces Steps to Ease Pressure on Liquidity

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced the following measures to ensure the orderly functioning of financial markets in India:

• Additional special open market operation of Rs 20,000 crore: The Reserve Bank will conduct additional special open market operation involving the simultaneous purchase and sale of Government securities for an aggregate amount of Rs. 20,000 crore in two tranches of Rs. 10,000 crore each.

• Term repo operations for an aggregate amount of Rs. 100,000 crore: The Reserve Bank will conduct term repo operations for an aggregate amount of ₹100,000 crore at floating rates (i.e., at the prevailing repo rate) in the middle of September 2020 to assuage pressures on the market on account of advance tax outflows. The banks which had availed of funds under the previous long-term repo operations (LTROs) may reduce their interest liability by returning funds taken at the repo rate prevailing at that time (5.15 per cent) and availing funds at the current repo rate of 4 per cent.

• Increase of HTM up to an overall limit of 22 per cent of NDTL: Currently, banks are required to maintain 18 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in SLR securities. The extant limit for investments that can be held in HTM category is 25 per cent of total investment. Banks are allowed to exceed this limit provided the excess is invested in SLR securities within an overall limit of 19.5 per cent of NDTL. RBI has decided to allow banks to hold fresh acquisitions of SLR securities acquired from September 1, 2020 under HTM up to an overall limit of 22 per cent of NDTL up to March 31, 2021.

Summits and Mou’s

Vedanta Tied Up with SBI for Long Term Syndicated Loan of Rs.10000 Crore

• Vedanta announced it tie up for a long-term syndicated loan facility for Rs.10000 crore with State bank of India (SBI).

• This loan increases the average debt maturity profile of Vedanta limited and also improves the liquidity ratios as the near-term maturities are replaced by a long-term loan.

Science and Technology

India, France discuss to provide Mission Alpha-like equipment for Gaganyaan Mission

• India and France are in discussions to provide Mission Alpha-like equipment to astronauts involved in the ‘Gaganyaan' mission. As per the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) of France, the discussions are in the final stage.

• Mission Alpha is the name of French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s mission wherein he will be sent to International Space Station (ISS) on Crew Dragon spacecraft next year.

Appointments and Resignations

In a first, female IPS officer appointed CRPF Inspector General in terror-hit Srinagar

• Charu Sinha has become the first female IPS officer to get appointed as the Inspector General (IG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the terrorist-hit Srinagar sector.

• Charu Sinha is a 1996-batch IPS officer from Telangana cadre. She will now be heading the Srinagar sector for CRPF as the Inspector General.

• However, this is not the first time that Sinha has been assigned such a tough task. Earlier as well, she has worked as Inspector General of CRPF in the Bihar sector and has dealt with Naxals. Under her leadership, several anti-Naxal operations were carried out.

CBDT chairman Pramod Chandra Mody gets six-month extension

• Pramod Chandra Mody was on Monday given a six-month extension till February next year as the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

• Mody, a 1982 batch Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre) officer, was appointed the CBDT chief in February 2019.

• He was in August last year re-appointed on the post for one year, till August 31, 2020, beyond the date of his superannuation on August 31, 2019.

Days

September to be observed as ‘Nutrition Month’

• Prime Minister has announced that the month of September will be observed as “Nutrition Month” in the entire nation.

• During nutrition month, a food and nutrition quiz will be organized on MyGov portal and there will be a meme competition.

• PM has appealed to the public to participate and motivate others too to take part in it.

Books and Authors

A book title “The Big Thoughts of Little Luv” authored by Karan Johar

• Bollywood Filmmaker, Karan Johar authored a children’s picture book titled “The Big Thoughts of Little Luv” inspired by his Twins Yash and Roohi. The book will be published by Juggernaut Books.

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Important Current Affairs 30th August 2020

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

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

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

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

Banking and Economy

SBI gets global recognition for HR initiative ‘Nayi Disha’

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

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

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

Awards

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

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

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

Obituary

Veteran Athletics coach Purshottam Rai passes away at 79

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sports

Sri Lankan cricketer Tharanga Paranavitana retire from International Cricket

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

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

Days

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances : 30 August

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

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

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