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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 31st August 2020

National

NITI Aayog Launches Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) India Component

• NITI Aayog virtually launched the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) on 27 August 2020.

• The NDC–TIA is a joint programme supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam, and China.

Piyush Goyal Attends 8th East Asia Summit (Economic Ministers’ Meeting)

• 8th East Asia Summit Economic Ministers’ Meeting (EAS-EMM) was held virtually which was attended by Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and the United States.

• The Meeting was chaired by Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam. From Indian side it was attended by Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

• During the meet discussions were held to accelerate economic growth, maintain supply chains and market stability, and strengthen the economic resilience of the EAS region post C-19.

CISF launches Pension Corner mobile app

• The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has introduced the Pension Corner mobile app. the Pension Corner app will help to fulfil the needs of all its retired personnel.

• The app has been made as part of an e-office initiative and has been introduced in the wake of the C-19 disease.

Banking and Economy

Reliance Retail to acquire Future Group's retail, wholesale businesses for Rs 24,713 crore

• Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) announced on August 29, 200 that it is acquiring the retail, wholesale business, logistics and warehouse business of Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore.

• The announcement has come amid ongoing concerns on a slump sale basis for lumpsum aggregate consideration. Reliance Retail will be buying the businesses from the Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore, subject to adjustments as set out in the composite scheme of arrangement.

• The acquisition is a part of Future Group's decision of merging certain companies and carrying on the businesses into Future Enterprises Limited (FEL). Reliance Retail Ventures Limited is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited.

•  Under the new acquisition agreement, Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited will be taking over the retail and wholesale undertaking of Future Group.

Obituary

‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman passes away at 43

• American actor Chadwick Boseman, who became a global icon for his role as Black Panther in the hit Marvel superhero franchise, has passed away after battling cancer since past four years from 2016.He was 43.

• Chadwick made his Marvel superhero debut as T’Challa/Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, after which he became a household name.

• He made his big-screen debut in 2008 in the biopic The Express: The Ernie Davis Story where he played Floyd Little.

‘Scooby Doo’ Co-Creator Joe Ruby Passes Away at 87

• Joe Ruby, the co-creator of the cartoon series Scooby-Doo, has passed away due to natural cause. He was 87.

• Ruby, an American animator, television editor, writer, and producer, created the much-loved characters of beloved kids show Scooby-Doo, along with his creative partner Ken Spears.

• Together, the pair started their own production company Hanna-Barbera Productions and created other memorable cartoons as well.

Sports

India’s first: Joint champions in chess Olympiad

• India and Russia have been jointly annouced the winner of first-ever FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020. This was the first time FIDE was holding the Olympiad in an online format.

• India were initially declared to have lost the final round against Russia. Two Indian players (Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh) were declared to have lost on time in the final round after an apparent loss of internet connection for them.

• After this, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich had made a decision to give gold medals of to both teams.

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Belgian Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2020 held on August 30, 2020. This was his 5th win of the season.

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) at third place.

Appointments and Resignations

Banks Board Bureau recommends Dinesh Kumar Khara as next SBI chairman

• The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) recommended SBI’s senior-most managing director Dinesh Kumar Khara as the next chairman of the country’s largest lender.

• Khara will replace SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar, whose three-year term comes to an end on October 7.

Ranking

Amul (16th) becomes first Indian dairy company to be in Rabobank’s Global Top 20 list; Top- Nestle

• Amul, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has been ranked 16th in the Rabobank’s Global Top 20 Dairy Companies list. Amul has achieved an annual turnover of $5.5 billion.

• Switzerland’s Nestle topped the list with a turnover of US $22.1 billion. Amul is the first Indian company to enter the top 20 ranking of Rabobank’s Global Top 20 Dairy Companies list.

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Important Current Affairs 25th July 2020

National

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

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

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

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

Largest Solar Power Plant of Indian Navy Commissioned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International

India-UK affirm shared commitment towards Free Trade Agreement

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

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

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

Sports

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

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

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

Appointments and Resignations

Sahil Seth appointed as honorary adviser for BRICS CCI

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

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

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

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

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

Partha Pratim Sengupta becomes new MD & CEO of IOB

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 22nd July 2020

National

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

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

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

Odisha Government Includes Transgender Community under Madhu Babu Pension Yojana

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

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

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

Summits and Mou’s

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

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

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

Obituary

Veteran Odia Actor Bijay Mohanty passes away

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

Former Australia Test cricketer Barry Jarman passes away

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

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

Appointments and Resignations

Karur Vysya Bank appoints Ramesh Babu Boddu as MD & CEO

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

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

SAP appoints Kulmeet Bawa as new India MD

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

• He will replace the incumbent Deb Deep Sengupta.

Days

Space Exploration Day

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

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

Books and Authors

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 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 3rd March 2020

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China takes over Presidency of UN Security Council:

• China recently took over the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from Belgium for March 2020. The UNSC Presidency changes every month on a rotational basis among its members. The rotation is decided as per the English alphabetical order. In January 2020, Vietnam held the Presidency of UNSC and in February 2020, the Presidency was held by Belgium.

Saudi Arabia grants permanent premium residency permit to foreigners:

• As Saudi Arabia started the issuance of Permanent Premium Residency Permit to Foreigners, Indian investor Yosuffali M A, Chairman of the Lulu group became one of the first to be given the permanent residency permit by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

• The Premium Residency, informally known as Saudi Green Card, is a residence permit in Saudi Arabia that grants expatriates the right to live, work and own business and property in the Kingdom without need for a sponsor.

• The introduction of the Premium Residency comes as a part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to boost the Saudi economy.

About Saudi Arabia:

• Capital: Riyadh

• Currency: Saudi riyal

• King: Salman

• Crown prince :Mohammad bin Salman

NATIONAL NEWS

Shri Amit Shah inaugurates the campus of NSG Regional Hub at Kolkata:

• Modi government has given the country a long awaited and Well-Defined Proactive Security Policy that is distinct from its Foreign Policy: Shri Amit Shah Under PM Modi’s leadership, all expectations of NSG from the Central Government would be fulfilled in the next 5 years: Home Minister Determination of Jawans in securing the Nation would be reciprocated in letter and spirit by Modi government through securing their family's future: Shri Amit Shah The NSG commando has become synonymous with a 'Sense of Security' for the Citizens of India: Home Minister.

Govt allows airlines to provide in-flight Wi-Fi services, Vistara to be first in line:

• The central government permitted airlines operating in India to provide in-flight Wi-Fi services to passengers, according to official notification.

• The Pilot-in-Command may permit the access of Internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wi-Fi on board, when laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point of sale device is used in flight mode or airplane mode, the notification stated.

Power Min flags concerns over divesting govt stake below 51 per cent in NTPC, PowerGrid:

• The Power Ministry has raised concerns over the proposed strategic divestment of government equity in NTPC, PFC and Power Grid, which may bring down its stake to below 51 per cent.

• Earlier, under disinvestment plan, it was proposed to divest government equity below 51 per cent of its stake in certain public sector undertakings, including NTPC, PowerGrid and Power Finance Corporation (PFC).

• Thereafter certain foreign bond holder in these PSU had raised concerns about that. The power entities are supposed to compensate bondholders after reduction of the government stake to below 51 per cent. Moreover, the PSUs have raised concerns about this proposal saying that it would not go down well with investors particularly foreign lenders.

• An official stated that the power ministry has forwarded these PSUs concerns over reducing government stake below 51 per cent to the Finance Ministry. Presently, the government owns 54.14 per cent in NTPC, 54.96 per cent in PowerGrid and 55.99 per cent in PFC.

About ministry of power:

• Preceding Ministry: Ministry of Energy Sources

• Founded: 2 July 1992

• Headquarters: Shram Shakti Bhavan, Rafi Marg, New Delhi

• Minister responsible: Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge)

Incredible India Website Launched In Arabic, Chinese And Spanish To Boost Tourism From These Countries:

• The multilingual version of “Incredible India” website and mobile app has been launched by the Minister of State (IC) for Tourism & Culture, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in New Delhi. The new version of the website and mobile app of “Incredible India” has been launched in three new languages i.e. Chinese, Arabic and Spanish. The new version of the website and mobile app of “Incredible India” aims to attract tourists from Chinese, Arabic and Spanish speaking regions. Inclusion of three languages aims to showcase the tourism products of India on a global platform. It also seeks to increase tourism awareness, attractions and opportunities by facilitating tourists with personalised and contextual digital experiences.

• The multilingual website also features the 360 degree-experience-based walk-throughs and stories and experiences of the tourists in various aspects such as Food & Cuisine, Heritage, Nature and Wildlife, Luxury, Spiritual, Adventure, Art, Shopping and many more.

• The “Incredible India” website was earlier hosted in only two languages i.e. English & Hindi.

Week long “Ekam Fest” begins to promote Craftsmanship of Divyang Artisans:

• “EKAM Fest” has been organised in New Delhi to promote Craftsmanship & Products of Divyang Artisans and Entrepreneurs. National Handicapped Finance Development Corporation (NHFDC) has organised the exhibition-cum-Fair under the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry.

• The NHFDC foundation is working to develop a brand and platform for marketing of products made by Divyang Artisans and Entrepreneurs. The name of the brand has been chosen as “EKAM”. EKAM signifies Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, Awareness, Marketing.

• EKAM Fest organised by NHFDC is an initiative to promote entrepreneurship along with knowledge among Divyangjan community. It also aims to generate awareness among society about potentialities of PwDs as well as providing them major marketing opportunities.

• The fest will feature the participation of the Divyang Entrepreneur and Artisans from all over the country. The fest will also feature the products from Jammu & Kashmir and North East, ranging from handloom, handicraft, Embroidery work and dry fruits.

National Chambal Sanctuary gets Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) tag:

• The Central Government recently awarded the National Chambal Sanctuary with the eco-sensitive zone tag. The National Chambal Sanctuary is located at the intersection of three Indian States - Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The sanctuary is famous for inhabiting Ganga dolphins and endangered crocodiles.

BANKING, FINANCE AND ECONOMICS

OECD cuts India's GDP growth projection for 2020 to 5.1% on coronavirus woes:

• Global agency OECD lowered India’s GDP growth forecast to 1 per cent, from its earlier projection of 6.2 per cent, for 2020 on concerns over the impact of deadly coronavirus on the domestic as well as the global economy.

• The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stated the adverse impact on confidence, financial markets, travel sector and disruption to supply chains contributes to the downward revisions in all the G20 economies in 2020, particularly ones strongly interconnected to China.

• India is a member of G20, a grouping of developed and developing economies.

• According to the latest OECD Interim Economic Outlook Forecasts, India’s real GDP growth is expected at 1 per cent during the fiscal year starting April 1, 2020, and improve to 5.6 per cent in the following year. The latest projection for 2020-21 is 1.1 percentage point lower than the November 2019 forecast.

About OECD:

• The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

• Headquarters: Paris, France

• Founded: 30 September 1961

• Secretary-General: José Ángel Gurría

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

19th edition of World Productivity Congress 2020 to be held in Bengaluru:

• The 19th edition of World Productivity Congress (WPC) will be held from May 6 to May 8, 2020, in Bengaluru, Karnataka. World Productivity Congress is the world’s largest convention for productivity development that shape future productivity growth.

• The theme of 19th World Productivity Congress is “Industry 4.0: Innovation and Productivity”. The theme represents the Fourth Industrial Revolution that amalgamates the capabilities of humans and machines. India is hosting the conference after a gap of 45 years. Before this, the country hosted the WPC in the year 1974.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

• World Confederation of Productivity Science (WCPS) Headquarters: Montreal, Canada.

• World Confederation of Productivity Science established in 1969.

SPORTS

1st Khelo India University Games Concludes In Odisha At KIIT:

• The Khelo India University Games concluded in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Punjab University, Chandigarh took home the champions trophy-winning 46 medals including 17 gold, 19 silver, and 10 bronze. Savitribai Phule Pune University claimed the second position and Punjabi University, Patiala declared as the second runners up.

• A total of 113 universities took part in the games. India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand representing Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology clinched the gold medal with a timing of 23.66 seconds in the 200m final.

Important :

• Utkal Divas or Odisha Day falls every year on 01st April.

• CM of Odisha: Naveen Patnaik; Governor of Odisha: Ganeshi Lal.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Dayapatra Nevatia appointed as Mindtree COO:

• IT services firm Mindtree has appointed Dayapatra Nevatia as its Chief Operating Officer. In this new role, Nevatia will support the company into its next phase of growth, a statement from the company stated.

• Nevatia holds decades of industry experience and joins Mindtree from Accenture, where he was the MD and Director of Delivery for Advanced Technology Centers in India.

• He led the delivery for the entire portfolio spanning across system integration, digital, application outsourcing, infrastructure, and security services across industry groups, stated the release. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering and a master’s degree in management studies

About Mindtree:

• CEO: Debashis Chatterjee

• Founded: 18 August 1999

• Headquarters: Warren, Michigan, United States

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India’s first sky eye in geostationary orbit GISAT-1:

• India will launch its first state of the art earth observation satellite Geo Imaging Satellite (GISAT-1) to be placed in geostationary orbit on March 5, stated the Indian Space Agency.

• The satellite will provide real-time image of large area of region of interest at frequent intervals. The GISAT-1 will also enable quick monitoring of natural disasters, episodic events and any short term events.

• According to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the GISAT-1 will also provide spectral signatures for agriculture, forestry, mineralogy, disaster warning, cloud properties, snow, glaciers and oceanography.

• The satellite will have payload imaging sensors of six band multi-spectral visible and near infra-red with 42 metres resolution; 158 bands hyper-spectral visible and near infra-red with 318 metres resolution and 256 bands hyper-spectral short wave infra-red with 191 metres resolution.Weighing 2,268 kg, the GISAT-1 will be carried by the three-stage geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-F10).

• The rocket is expected to lift off at 5.43 p.m. on March 5 from the second launch pad at India’s rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

• About 18 minutes into the flight the GSLV rocket will first place GISAT-1 in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). From GTO, the satellite will be taken up further firing its onboard motors to geostationary orbit.

• A satellite in geostationary orbit (about 36,000 km above earth) has an orbital period equal to earth’s rotational period.A four-metre diameter Ogive shaped payload fairing (heat shield) is being flown for the first time in this GSLV flight. This is the fourteenth flight of the GSLV

About ISRO:

• Headquarters: Bengaluru

• Founder: Vikram Sarabhai

• Founded: 15 August 1969

• Parent organisation: Department of Space

• Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan

DAYS

3rd March : World Hearing Day:

• World Hearing Day is observed globally on 3rd of March every year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. The theme of 2020 World Hearing Day is “Hearing for life. Don’t let hearing loss limit you”. It highlights that timely and effective intervention will ensure that people with hearing loss can achieve their full potential.

3rd March : World Wildlife Day:

• This day is celebrated globally on 3rd March, which focuses on marine species and to highlight the problems, critical issues of marine wildlife to our everyday life.

• World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2020 under the theme “Sustaining all life on Earth”, encompassing all wild animal and plant species as key components of the world’s biodiversity

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Important Current Affairs 2nd March 2020

NATIONAL NEWS

Punjab bans online food orders without hygiene rating:

• The Punjab government has decided to ban online food supply from all hotels, dhabas, and eateries etc which do not follow the hygiene rating rules under the Food Standards and Safety Act, Punjab.

• The government has also issued instructions to online food supply companies (OFSAs) not to take food from shops that do not follow government rules.

• The order states that Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Panda any many other food business operators in Punjab deliver food online. This is a new way of delivering food through an IT-based platform, which provides food at home.

Yog mahotsav begins in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand:

• Antar rashtriya yog mahotsav has been inaugurated in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

• Yoga teachers and practitioners from eleven countries are taking part in this week-long event.

• The ‘yog mahotsav’ is held in Rishikesh every year from March 1 to March 7.

3-day Krishi Vigyan Mela organised in New Delhi:

• 3-day Krishi Vigyan Mela has been organised in New Delhi from March 1-3, 2020 by ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute.

• Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the event and called for retention of talent in agriculture.

• The event will showcase the latest crop seed varieties, technology and products developed by both government and private companies.

Government Launches “Fuel Humsafar” Mobile App For Doorstep Diesel Delivery:

• Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has launched a mobile application named ‘Fuel Humsafar’ for delivery of diesel at doorsteps of Housing societies, hotels and hospitals in the national capital region.

• The app will be used for the fuel delivery services to housing societies, hotels, hospitals, malls, construction sites, industries, banquets and other bulk buyers of diesel in various NCR cities, including Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Hapur, Kundli, Manesar, and Bahadurgarh.

• Humsafar has 12 bowser tankers in varying capacity from 4 kilolitres to 6 kilolitres and an experienced team of 35 people.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Muhyiddin Yassin sworn in as Malaysia’s new Prime Minister:

• In Malaysia, newly appointed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yasin took the oath of office. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.

• Muhyiddin Yasin heads a coalition dominated by the country’s ethnic Malay Muslim majority.

• Malaysia has plunged into turmoil as Mahathir Mohamad’s alliance collapsed after a bid to force out leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Fitch cuts India’s FY20 GDP forecast to 4.9% and for FY21 to 5.4%:

• Fitch Solutions has cut its forecast for India’s GDP growth rate for FY20 to 4.9% from previous 5.1%.

• For FY21, Fitch Solution has predicted India’s GDP growth at 5.4%.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Captain Amarinder Singh honoured with ‘ideal’ CM award:

• The Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad (BCS) conferred ‘Adarsh Mukhya Mantri Puraskar’ (Ideal Chief Minister Award) upon Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for his “path breaking initiatives to ensure good governance and holistic development in the state”.

• The award was presented to Capt Amarinder Singh by former President Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi at Vigyan Bhawan during the valedictory function of 10th edition of four-day national conclave of BCS.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

DRDO launches new explosive detection device RaIDer-X:

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) recently launched RaIDer-X, the explosive detection device.

• The device was launched in collaboration with the IISC Bangalore. The RaIDer-X can detect explosives in their pure form as well as in the form of contaminated objects.

OBITUARY

Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passes away

• Former India hockey player Balbir Singh Kullar passed away. He was a part of the 1968 Olympics bronze-winning team. He was born at Sansarpur village of Jalandhar district in Punjab. He made his India debut in 1963 in Lyon, France.

• He was also a member of the Indian team that won the Asian Games gold in 1966 at Bangkok and the Olympic Bronze in 1968 in Mexico. He also served as an Indian national team selector.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Rajeev Suri to step down as Nokia CEO:

• Nokia President and CEO Rajiv Suri will step down from his current position on August 31, 2020. However, Suri will continue to serve as an advisor to the Nokia board until 1 January 2021. Pekka Lundmark will take over his position in the place of Suri.

RANKING

Indian chess Grand Master Humpy ranked World No.2:

• Women’s World Rapid Chess Champion and Indian chess Grand Master (GM) Koneru Humpy jumped to second spot leaving behind World Women’s Chess Champion Ju Wenjun in global chess body FIDE’s March month’s overall ranking. Humpy won the prestigious Cairns Cup last month.

• Meanwhile Indian female chess players are keeping the nation’s flag flying high with GM Harika Dronavalli maintaining her ninth rank and in the girl’s section R. Vaishali moving up to ninth place from 10th rank in February.

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Important Current Affairs 14th February 2020

National

E-Cigarettes Banned Across All Indian Airports and Aircrafts – Aviation Security Regulator

• The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), under the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India, has issued a circular that Electronic-Cigarettes and all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS) will not be allowed in both domestic and international flights as well as at airports.

• Under the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act which is passed in December 2019.

International

Narayana Murthy’s son-in-law appointed as UK’s new Finance Minister

• Rishi Sunak has been appointed as the Finance Minister of the United Kingdom. He will replace Pakistani Chancellor Sajid Javid.

• Now three Indian origin Members of Parliament are a part of Britain’s most diverse cabinet led by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

• Along with Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel has been appointed as the Home Minister and Alok Sharma has been appointed as the Business Secretary in the British Cabinet.

Banking and Economy

IndusInd Bank tops list of ‘Highest increase in brand value’

• According to ‘The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands 2020’ report, IndusInd Bank has topped the list of ‘Highest increase in brand value’ among global banks.

• As a part of the report, the list “Top 50 By Total Brand Value by Country” has been topped by China, followed by United States (US) at 2nd position while Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) ranked at 3rd and 4th spots. Japan has moved up to the fifth spot. India ranked 8th in this list in comparison to 10th place in 2019.

• The brand value of Induslnd Bank has increased by 122% over the past 12 months, making it the highest placed for growth in brand value, across the globe.The bank reported total assets of Rs 3.1 lakh crore at the end of Q3 FY20.

• Managing Director & CEO of IndusInd Bank: Romesh Sobti

• Headquarter of IndusInd Bank: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

• The tagline of IndusInd Bank: We Make You Feel Richer.

SEBI introduces a system to track client securities

• The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has developed the in-house capabilities to track the movement of client securities collected by the broker as collateral online.

• It will raise alerts with exchanges if diversion of clients’ securities is noticed.

• So far, three ‘mismatch reports’ has been forwarded to the stock exchanges for reconciliation with members.

SEBI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India is the regulator for the securities market in India owned by the Government of India. It was established in 1988 and given Statutory Powers on 30 January 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.

• Founded: 12 April 1992

• Sector: Securities market

• Jurisdiction: India

• Headquarters: Mumbai

• Type: Statutory corporation

• Chairperson: Ajay Tyagi

Summits and Mou’s

India, Portugal sign seven agreements

• India and Portugal have signed seven agreements to boost cooperation and bilateral ties. The agreements were signed during the state visit of Portugal’s President.

• This is President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s first visit to India. PM Modi had visited Portugal in June 2017.

Science and Technology

Scientists discovered the nearest known planet “2MASS 1155-7919 b”

• The scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology has discovered the nearest-known ‘baby giant planet’ which is named as “2MASS 1155-7919 b”.

• The scientists has used the data from Gaia space observatory to find the baby giant planet.The newly discovered baby giant planet which is named as “2MASS 1155-7919 b” lies about 330 light-years from our solar system.

• The planet is closer to Earth and is located in the Epsilon Chamaeleontis Association.This planet orbits a star that is about 5 million years old. The planet has only ten times the mass of Jupiter.

Obituary

Noted fashion designer and Padma Shri awardee Wendell Rodricks passed away.

• Wendell Rodricks was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014 and was a recipient of Chevalier de I’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the order of arts and letters) in 2015.

• Rodricks made his mark in the fashion industry with his first collection from Goa that earned him the title ‘Guru of Minimalism’.

Sports

FIH honours Manpreet Singh with FIH Men’s Player of the Year 2019 award

• Manpreet Singh won the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Men’s Player of the Year award.

• He created a record as he became the first Indian hockey team player to win the awards since its inception in 1999.

• He won the award ahead of Arthur van Doren of Belgium and Lucas Vila of Argentina, who finished second and third respectively.

FIH: The Fédération Internationale de Hockey, commonly known by the acronym FIH, is the international governing body of field hockey and indoor field hockey. Its headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland and the president is Narinder Batra.

• Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland

• President: Narinder Batra

• Founded: 7 January 1924

• CEO: Thierry Weil

• Abbreviation: FIH

• Membership: 137 national associations

Appointments and Resignations

Former IAS officer Rajiv Bansal appointed as CMD of Air India

• Former IAS officer Rajiv Bansal was recently appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India.

• Bansal is currently serving as Additional Secretary in Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Former India all-rounder Robin Singh appointed UAE’s Director of Cricket

• The Emirates Cricket Board has appointed former Indian cricketer Robin Singh as the new director of cricket.

• Robin Singh’s appointment was announced after Emirates Cricket Board fired head coach Dougie Brown.

Books and Authors

Book titled “Messages from Messengers” by Priti K Shroff

• “Messages from Messengers” book launch by Priti K Shroff at the prestigious Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai.

• MD and CEO of the Bombay stock exchange, Ashish Chauhan was the chief guest.

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Important Current Affairs 13th February 2020

National News

Union Cabinet approves Pesticide Management Bill 2020

•   Union Cabinet has approved the Pesticide Management Bill 2020. Briefing reporters in New Delhi , Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar stated, the legislation will promote organic pesticides in the country.

•  Major Ports Authority Bill to enhance overall efficiencies of the ports was cleared by the Cabinet.Cabinet has also approved changes in the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill, 2020.

Supreme Court orders parties to publish criminal records of all candidates

•   The Supreme Court recently directed all the political parties to publish the criminal records of all the candidates, if any, within the next 48 hours.

•  These records need to be published on the official websites of these political parties as well as on their social media handles such as Facebook and Twitter.

•  The apex court also asked the parties the reason behind allotting the election tickets to candidates with a criminal record.

Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 amended to make arbitration process user friendly

•  The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was amended by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015 in order to make arbitration process user-friendly, cost-effective and ensure speedy disposal and neutrality of arbitrators

•  The Amendment Act seeks to a new Part to the Act of 1996 for the establishment and incorporation of an independent body namely, the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) for the purpose of grading of arbitral institutions and accreditation of arbitrators, etc.

• As per the Act, ACI will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Chief Justice or Judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration, to be appointed by the Centre in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Banking and Economy

Nasscom’s IT revenue grows at 7.7 per cent in FY20

•  The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) projected the Indian IT sector to grow 7 per cent to reach $191 billion in FY20, with exports reaching $147 billion, and headcount addition accelerating from the previous year.

•   This is a marginal improvement over its prediction of 2018,  when it said that the IT sector will only grow by 6.1 per cent but the sector is still ‘cautiously optimistic’ about FY21, the industry body pointed out.

•  While the global economy has been moving at a sluggish pace, Indian economy only grew at 8 per cent and exports stood at $644 billion.

Awards

President Kovind presents President’s "Colour" to INS Shivaji

•    President Ram Nath Kovind presented ‘President’s Colour’ to the INS Shivaji at a ceremony in Lonavala, Maharashtra.

•   The Presentation of Colour or Standards by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces is an acknowledgement of the unit’s meritorious service.

Appointments and Resignations

G Narayanan appointed as head of New Space India Ltd

• ISRO’s senior space scientist G Narayanan has been appointed as the chairman of the commercial entity of ISRO New Space India Limited (NSIL).

• Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) named him for this post because he earlier worked as deputy director at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of ISRO.

• New Space India Limited (NSIL) was established in March 2019 to meet the demands of ISRO’s various space programs. The NSIL will manufacture small and lightweight satellites.

Days

World Radio Day

World Radio Day is celebrated on 13 February World Radio Day 2020 celebrates the radio as a method for teaching individuals, giving data, and promoting the opportunity of expression across cultures.

The theme of World Radio Day 2020 is “Radio and Diversity”.

Sarojini Naidu's 141st Birth Anniversary observed as National Women's Day

India on February 13, 2020 observed Sarojini Naidu's 141st Birth Anniversary as National Women's Day 2020. Naidu was the first woman governor of India’s United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh).

 She was popularly known as 'Nightingale of India' for her collection of poems. She was also actively involved in the Indian National Movement

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Important Current Affairs 12th February 2020

National

15 crore loans extended to women under PMMY till Jan 2020, TN tops

• Over 15 crore loans, amounting to Rs 4.78 lakh crore, have been disbursed to women borrowers under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY), stated Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs

• “As on 31.01.2020, over 15 crore loans have been disbursed to women borrowers, since inception of the scheme, amounting to Rs 4.78 lakh crore under PMMY.”

PSU Survey 2019: ONGC, IOC, NTPC top three profitable PSUs

• According to the PSU Survey 2018-19, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation and NTPC were three the top profitable companies of India.

• Their total profits were 15.3%, 9.68% and 6.73% respectively. On the other hand, Air India, BSNL and MTNL suffered the most losses.

• According to the survey, 70 government companies were at a loss during this period. About 10 companies were accounted for more than 94% of the total losses.

Bhupesh Baghel inaugurates Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi as Chhattisgarh’s 28th district

• Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi as the 28th district of the state.

• The new district, carved out of Bilaspur, has three tehsils and three development blocks namely Gaurela, Pendra and Marwahi.

• It comprises 166 gram panchayats, 222 villages and two nagar panchayats, with an area of 1,68,225 hectares.

International

Covid-2019 is official name for disease caused by new coronavirus says WHO

The World Health Organization on February 11, 2020 official renamed Coronavirus as ‘COVID-19’. So far, the deadly coronavirus has caused over 1000 deaths in China, which is more than the number of deaths caused by the SARs outbreak of 2003. Coronavirus originated in China; however, the virus has now spread in various countries. India has also reported 3 cases of Coronavirus from Kerala.

About WHO:

• Head: Tedros Adhanom

• Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

• Founded: 7 April 1948

Banking and Economy

Government to introduce new One Rupee Currency Note

The Central Government recently announced to introduce new Re 1 currency note with security features. The all-new one rupee note will have several watermarks. The value of the currency note will be mentioned in 15 different Indian languages. The note will contain an image of ‘Sagar Samrat’, the oil exploration platform.

Facebook to provide digital literacy training to one lakh women in seven Indian states

• Facebook launched its ‘We Think Digital’ programme, under which the social media giant will provide digital literacy training to 1 lakh women across seven states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.

• In partnership with National Commission for Women (NCW) and Cyber Peace Foundation, the program aims to provide digital literacy training to one lakh women across seven states through the year. The programme will start with the state of Uttar Pradesh and expand to other states including Assam, West Bengal Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Bihar, it added.

Infosys to acquire US-based Simplus for $250 million to step up cloud biz

• Bengaluru-based IT services major Infosys stated it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-headquartered Simplus, a major Salesforce platinum partner, in a bid to strengthen its cloud business.

• The acquisition, expected to be complete within a month, will incur a cost of up to $250 million, Infosys said in a filing with stock exchanges.$200 million, including contingent consideration to be paid for the acquisition of shares, subject to closing adjustments.

Appointment

Arvind Kejriwal to take oath as Delhi CM on February 16 at Ramlila Maidan

• After resounding victory in Delhi assembly elections, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will take oath for the third time on February 16.

• The swearing-in ceremony will take place at the historic Ramlila Maidan — similar to that of last two times.

Ducati appoints Bipul Chandra as new head of Indian operations

• Italian super bike maker Ducati stated it has appointed Bipul Chandra as the new Managing Director of its India operations.

• Chandra replaces Sergi Canovas who is moving to an international role within the company.

About Ducati:

• Parent organization: Lamborghini

• Founded: 4 July 1926, Bologna, Italy

• CEO: Claudio Domenicali

Ranking

India ranks 17th among countries at risk of coronavirus import

• Of the countries most at risk of importing coronavirus cases, India ranks 17th, researchers have found on the basis of a mathematical model for the expected global spread of the virus that originated in China’s Wuhan area in December 2019.

• The top 10 countries and regions at risk of importing coronavirus cases are: Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia, according to the model.

• While Thailand’s national import risk is 2.1 per cent, it is 0.2 per cent for India, found the research.

Days

National Productivity Day observed globally on 12 February

• National Productivity Day is observed on 12 February. The day is celebrated by the National Productivity Council (NPC) to promote productivity culture in India. Also, National Productivity Week is celebrated from 12-18 February 2020. The day aims to propagate productivity, quality, competitiveness, and efficiency.

• NPC was established in 1958. The autonomous organization functions under the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

• Chairman of National Productivity Council: Guruprasad Mohapatra.

• Director-General of National Productivity Council: Arun Kumar Jha.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

• The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/70/212 on December 2015, declaring Feb.11 as the International Day of Women & Girls in Science.

• Theme:“Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth”.

World Unani Day

• The World Unani Day is observed every year on February 11.

• The day commemorates the birth anniversary of great Unani scholar and social reformer Hakim Ajmal Khan.

• Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh was the chief guest of the 4th Unani day function organized by AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Ministry, New Delhi, India.

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