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Important Current Affairs 7th July 2020

National

PM Modi to launch Asia’s largest Solar Power Plant

• PM Narendra Modi will on July 10, 2020 inaugurate the Asia's largest solar power plant at Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh. PM Modi will dedicate 750 MW plant to the nation through the means of video conferencing.

• The plant is spread over 1,590 acres of land and is one of Asia's largest single-site solar power plant.

India’s 1st NPNT compliant Drone flight successfully completed

• India’s First No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight on the A200 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) has been completed successfully by Quidich Innovation Labs and Asteria Aerospace.

• This NPNT drone flight is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation MoCA& DGCA comprehensive policy on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which came into effect on 1st Dec 2018.

• Quidich, in collaboration with the Drone Federation of India (DFI), has extended its services to Police Departments across multiple states, providing drones for crowd monitoring and surveillance operations.

Odisha Govt launches ‘Balaram Yojana’ to provide crop loan

• Odisha government has launched ‘Balaram Yojana’ to provide crop loans to landless farmers. Under the new scheme, the landless cultivators will get loans through joint liability groups (JLGs).

• This is a first-of-its type scheme in India, targeting landless farmers of the country. The scheme will provide agriculture credit worth Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers of the state in the next two years.

• The scheme has been designed in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

International

Jean Castex appointed as Prime Minister of France

• Jean Castex has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of France. The appointment of Jean Castex as the new french PM was made by the french President Emmanuel Macron.

• He replaced the former french Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who resigned from the post ahead of a government reshuffle.

Israel launches a new spy satellite

•  Israel's Defence Ministry announced on July 6, 2020 that it has successfully launched a new spy satellite. The satellite is expected to serve as an additional tool to keep tabs on many threats across the region.

•  The spy satellite, “Ofek 16” will join other Israeli spy satellites that have been launched in the past two decades.

•  The satellites are being used to monitor any threats on the state of Israel, including arch-enemy Iran.

Banking and Economy

SBM Bank India, Mastercard to facilitate cross border transactions, remittances

• SBM Bank India (promoted by Government of Mauritius) and Mastercard have joined hands to facilitate cross-border payments and remittances services by using ‘Mastercard Send’.

• Mastercard Send is a secured and innovative solution – crafted to modernize domestic and cross-border payments and remittances.

• SBM Bank India is the first bank to receive universal banking licence from the RBI to set up and operate as a scheduled commercial bank through the wholly-owned subsidiary mode.

Sports

Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix 2020

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) has won the Austrian Grand Prix 2020.

• This was the first race of 2020 Formula One season and was held on 5th July 2020.

• Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari while McLaren’s Lando Norris came third.

Appointments and Resignations

Injeti Srinivas appointed as chairman of IFSCA

• InjetiSrinivas has been appointed as the Chairman of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA.His appointment is for a period of three years.

• Srinivas is a 1983 batch IAS officer from the Odisha cadre, who has previously served at the Corporate Affairs Ministry. He retired as the Corporate Affairs Secretary on May 31.

• The IFSCA was established on April 27 this year. It is a unified body to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in the country.

Days

World Chocolate Day

• World Chocolate Day (also known as International Chocolate Day) is an annual observance taking place globally on 7th July.

• The day is said to be chosen to celebrate the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550.

Books and Authors

Former RBI governor U. Patel pens book ‘Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver’

• Former RBI Governor, Urjit Patel, has written a book titled ‘Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver’ which focuses on the non-performing assets (NPAs) issue that has afflicted Indian banking in recent years, its causes and Patel’s efforts as the RBI Governor in dealing with it.

• The book is likely to be released on 31 July 2020.It has been published by HarperCollins India.

“Getting Competitive: A Practitioner’s Guide for India” authored by R C Bhargava

• The Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, RC Bhargava has authored the book “Getting Competitive: A Practitioner’s Guide for India” from his experience as a policymaker and a leading industrialist.

• The book published by HarperCollins India.

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Important Current Affairs 5th July 2020

National

PM Modi launches Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge

• Prime Minister NarendraModi on July 4 launched the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’ to help the local developers to create indigenous apps.

• The innovation challenge aims at encouraging tech & startup communities to create world-class Made in India Apps. Under the challenge, innovators are invited to develop apps in eight categories.

• The App innovation challenge has been launched in the combined partnership of the Ministry of Electronics & IT and Atal Innovation Mission-Niti Aayog.

IIT Kanpur develops virtual classroom teaching setup ‘Mobile Masterjee’

• A team of engineers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has developed an innovative classroom-to-home teaching setup titled ‘Mobile Masterjee’, to overcome the disruption in normal classroom teaching caused due to C-19,

• The device is targeted at helping the rural schools to overcome the teaching and learning challenges posed by the C-19.

• This virtual classroom system has been designed to record the lectures/instructions by the teachers using smartphones.

Union HRD Minister launches “Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020”

• “Drug Discovery Hackathon” has been launched by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

• The hackathon is a joint initiative of MHRD, AICTE and CSIR, and supported by partners such as CDAC, MyGov, Schrodinger and ChemAxon.

Banking and Economy

ADB becomes “Observer” for Network for Greening the Financial System

• The Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) has been joined by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as an observer.

• ADB has joined the network to fulfill its corporate strategy “the Strategy 2030” goals such as building climate and C-19 resilience, enhancing environmental sustainability, fostering regional cooperation and integration, tackling climate change, and strengthening governance and institutional capacity.

• With this, ADB has joined the ranks of the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank and the International Finance Corporation as NGFS observers.

Sports

Two-time Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan retires

• Former world number one badminton player and the two-times Olympic badminton champion from China, Lin Dan has announced his retirement from the sport.

• During his 20-year glorious national team career, he won the Olympics singles titles in Beijing in 2008 and the 2012 London Games.

Days

Dhamma Chakra Day

• President Ram NathKovind inaugurated Dhamma Chakra Day 2020 celebrations on 4th July 2020.

• The day is celebrated to mark Buddha’s First Sermon to his first 5 ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present-day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

• Dhamma Chakra Day is celebrated by Buddhists across the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”.

• It is celebrated by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture.

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Important Current Affairs 4th July 2020

National

Government to purchase missile systems, fighter jets worth Rs 38900 crore

• The Union Defence Ministry has approved the procurement of missile systems, frontline fighter jets and other military equipment worth Rs 38,900 crore.

• With this procurement, Defence Ministry aims to boost the combat capability of the Armed Forces amid the rising tensions between India and China at LAC border.

SAP launches Global Bharat program for Indian MSMEs

• The Global Bharat program has been launched by the German technology firm SAP India. The programme has been designed to equip Indian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with digital technologies in order to make them globally competitive.

• SAP India will also provide MSMEs access to their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software under the Global Bharat program.

ICMR fast-tracking efforts to launch ‘COVAXIN’ for public use by 15th August

• In partnership with Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has selected 12 institutes for the Phase-I and Phase–II clinical trials of the first indigenously developed C-19 vaccine BBV152 (commonly known as COVAXIN).

• After successful completion of human clinical trials, the ICMR has set a target to launch the COVAXIN for the public health uses, latest by August 15, this was reported in the media as per a letter by ICMR to the 12 selected institutes.

International

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigns

• French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has resigned from his post ahead of a government reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron.

• As per the announcement made by the French Presidency, Edouard Philippe will handle the government affairs until a new cabinet would be named.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Intel Capital Invests Rs 1894.50 crore in Jio Platforms

• United States-based Intel Corporation’s investment arm Intel Capital will invest Rs 1,894.50 crores in Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL’s) subsidiary company Jio Platform.

• With this investment, equity value in Jio Platforms rose to Rs 4.91 lakh crore, while Rs 5.16 lakh crore its enterprise value.

• Rs 1894.50 of investment will translate to 0.39 percent of an equity stake for Intel Capital in Jio Platforms. This was the 12th foreign investment in Jio Platforms.

• The 12 investments make a total of Rs 1,17,588.45crores that have been raised in Jio Platforms.

Science and Technology

ISRO's Mars Orbiter captures image of largest moon of Mars

• ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has captured the image of ‘Phobos’, the largest and closest moon of Mars.

• The image was captured by Mars Colour Camera (MCC) aboard Mom on July 1, 2020 when the Mars orbiter was around 7,200 km from Mars and 4,200 km from Phobos.

• Phobos, the mysterious moon of Mars is believed to be made up of carbonaceous chondrites.

Ranking

India’s Forex Reserves 5th largest in the world

• The foreign exchange reserves of India is the fifth largest in the world at more than USD 500 billion. The first four Forex Reserves on the list are China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia, as per the report released by IMF - International Monetary Fund.

• The foreign exchange reserves of India are almost equal to one fifth of India's GDP.

India stands third largest contributor to e-waste in 2019

• A United Nations led report has found that India is the third largest contributor to e-waste in the world in 2019.

• As per the report titled ‘Global E-waste Monitor 2020’, the world dumped a record 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019. Of this, just 17.4 percent was recycled.

• China was the biggest contributor to e-waste in the world, contributing 10.1 million tonnes of e-waste. United States was second with 6.9 million tonnes. India, with 3.2 million tonnes, was third.

Days

International Co-operative Day 2020

• The International Co-operative Day is held annually on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance to celebrate the co-operative movement and to increase awareness of cooperatives.

• The theme of International Co-operative Day 2020 is:  “Cooperatives for Climate Action”.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd July 2020

National

Health Minister launches Drug Discovery Hackathon

• Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched Drug Discovery Hackathon through video conferencing. The Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also joined the launch ceremony.

The Drug Discovery Hackathon has been launched to identify a drug to cure the C-19. The hackathon was visualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kerala announces ‘Dream Kerala Project’ aimed at aiding returning expats

• The state government of Kerala decided to roll out the ''Dream Kerala Project'' to tap the potential and experience of those returning from foreign nations and other states after losing their jobs.

• The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on July 2, 2020.The project aims to support rehabilitation of the returning expats and the state's overall development.

International

Russians approve for new constitutional reforms, Vladimir Putin may stay Russia’s President till 2036

• Russians have approved the constitutional changes on July 1, 2020, which were proposed by President Vladimir Putin led Russian government. These changes may allow President Putin to stay in power for another 16 years, till 2036.

• Russia went to poll for a nationwide referendum on newly proposed constitutional reforms.

Banking and Economy

Care Ratings Forecast India’s GDP to contract by 6.4% in FY21

• Care Ratings has revised India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year 2020-21 to (-) 6.4 percent.

• The rating agency had earlier projected a decline in GDP growth of 1.5-1.6 per cent in FY21.

Awards

Pulitzer winner Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof. Raj Chetty are named among ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ Honorees

• The Carnegie Corporation of New York has named Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof. Raj Chetty among the ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ Honoree. Through this honor, Carnegie Corporation recognizes an eminent group of citizens who have been making a difference in the American Society.

• The honorees will be recognized on America’s Independence Day which is on the Fourth of July.

Obituary

Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan passes away

• Ace Choreographer Saroj Khan has passed away at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai.She was popularly known as Saroj Khan but her real name is Nirmala Nagpal.

• She joined the Indian film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana. She eventually became a background dancer in 1950s films like Bimal Roy’s “Madhumati” under the guidance of dance director B. Sohanlal.

• Among the Bollywood circles she was referred to as "The Mother of Dance/Choreography in India". In her career spanning over 40 years, she has choreographed over 2000 songs.

Appointments and Resignations

India appoints Indra Mani Pandey as its Permanent Representative in UN, Geneva

• Indra Mani Pandey has been appointed as the Permanent Representative of India in the United Nations, Geneva. He is a 1990 batch Indian Foreign Officer and will succeed Rajiv K Chander on the position.

• He will represent India in more than 25 UN organisations which include the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Karnam Sekar retires as MD & CEO of IOB

• The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Karnam Sekar has retired on 30th June 2020.

• He joined the State Bank of India(SBI) as the Probationary officer in December 1983.

Days

International Plastic Bag Free Day

• The International Plastic Bag Free Day is held on July 3 around the world to spread awareness that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.

• 2020 is the 11th edition of the celebrations.

Books and Authors

A book titled “The Future of Higher Education” released by M Venkaiah Naidu

• Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has virtually released a book titled “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends“. The book is authored by CA V Pattabhi Ram. The Virtual event was hosted by ICT Academy.

• The book is based on a survey of about 5000 educators across India who were part of ICT Academy’s “SkyCampus” Digital Knowledge Series.

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Important Current Affairs 1st July 2020

National

PM extends “Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana” till November 2020

• PM Narendra Modi on June 30, 2020 addressed the nation in the context of Unlock 2.0 that will be effective from July 1.

• Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana will be extended till the end of November, an extension to cost over Rs 90 thousand crores. Over 80 cr people to get free food grain till Diwali and Chhathpooja.

• Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 20 crore accounts have received 31,000 crores in their Jan Dhan Accounts.

• PM urges the citizens to take the pledge of Vocal for Local and work for the betterment of the society and country at large.

• One Nation One Ration Card will be implemented on whole India. This will especially benefit those people who leave their native-place, native-state to find work in some other state.

DGCI approves Bharat Biotech’s vaccine for clinical trials

• The Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) has given its approval to the Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech’s vaccine. Bharat Biotech can now initiate phase-I and Phase-II human clinical trials for the C-19 vaccine candidate.

• The vaccine has been developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Virology which is a part of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

Maharashtra launches largest plasma therapy trial “Project Platina”

• Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched the world’s largest plasma therapy trials “Project Platina” for C-19 patients. The state government has approved Rs 16.65 crore for the project from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

• There are 21 centres have been picked for the trial, including 17 medical colleges under the department of medical education and drugs, the government of Maharashtra and four BMC medical colleges in Mumbai.

International

China passes national security law for Hong Kong

• China has passed the controversial Hong Kong National Security Law. The law will come into effect from July 1, 2020 and carries maximum penalty of life term in jail. The law has been passed on the day that is commemorated as 23rd anniversary of the day when the British passed Hong Kong to China.

• Earlier, the law received unanimous approval of National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Awards

Popstar Beyonce honored with BET 2020 Humanitarian Award

• PopstarBeyonce has been honored with the BET 2020 Humanitarian Award for her longstanding philanthropic work with her BeyGOOD Foundation, including her recent C-19 relief efforts such as #IDIDMYPART, a mobile testing initiative.

• The award was presented by the former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Appointments and Resignations

KK Venugopal reappointed as Attorney General of India

• KK Venugopal has been reappointed as the Attorney General of India by President Ram Nath Kovind.  Venugopal appointment has been extended for one year with effect from July 1, 2020.

• He was appointed as the Attorney General in July 2017 following the resignation of Mukul Rohatgi. Venugopal himself made the request for his reappointment.

Days

National Doctor’s Day 2020

• National Doctor's Day 2020 will be celebrated on July 1st to thank physicians and doctors for their dedicated services to patients.Doctor’s Day 2020 is being celebrated for acknowledging the services of doctors and their huge contribution to the medical advancement in India.

• Every year, the theme for Doctor's day is announced by Indian Medical Association. Last year it was 'Zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishments.' The theme of National Doctor's Day 2020 is not announced yet.

• National Doctors' Day is celebrated on July 1 all across India to honour the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.

National Charted Accountants Day

• National Charted Accountants Day or CA Day is celebrated on July 1 every year. This day is celebrated to commemorate the finding of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by the parliament of India in 1949.

•  Every year on the day of the establishment of the ICAI, CA Day is celebrated to honour the Chartered Accountant.

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Important Current Affairs 30th June 2020

National

Ban on 59 Chinese apps for safety, security and integrity of India

• The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has announced that “Government of India Bans 59 Chinese mobile apps”, which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.

• The Ministry of Information Technology, 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 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps.

• The Ministry had also received concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy in operation of certain apps.  The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Home Ministry had also sent a recommendation to block such malicious apps.

The complete list of 59 Chinese App Banned in India is given below:

Chinese Mobile Applications

1. TikTok

2. Shareit

3. Kwai

4. UC Browser

5. Baidu map

6. Shein

7. Clash of Kings

8. DU battery saver

9. Helo

10. Likee

11. YouCam makeup

12. Mi Community

13. CM Browers

14. Virus Cleaner

15. APUS Browser

16. ROMWE

17. Club Factory

18. Newsdog

19. Beutry Plus

20. WeChat

21. UC News

22. QQ Mail

23. Weibo

24. Xender

25. QQ Music

26. QQ Newsfeed

27. Bigo Live

28. SelfieCity

29. Mail Master

30. Parallel Space

31. Mi Video Call – Xiaomi

32. WeSync

33. ES File Explorer

34. Viva Video – QU Video Inc

35. Meitu

36. Vigo Video

37. New Video Status

38. DU Recorder

39. Vault- Hide

40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio

41 DU Cleaner

42. DU Browser

43. Hago Play With New Friends

44. Cam Scanner

45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile

46. Wonder Camera

47. Photo Wonder

48. QQ Player

49. We Meet

50. Sweet Selfie

51. Baidu Translate

52. Vmate

53. QQ International

54. QQ Security Center

55. QQ Launcher

56. U Video

57. V fly Status Video

58. Mobile Legends

59. DU Privacy

Delhi Government to start its own Plasma Bank

• Delhi government will start its own 'Plasma Bank' for treatment of Chinese virus positive patients. Chief Minister ArvindKejriwal has urged all the C-19 recovered patients in national capital to donate their plasma for the bank.

• Plasma Bank will begin its operations in next two days at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Delhi.

PM FME Scheme launched under Atmanirbhar Bharat

• The Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal formally launched Pradhan Mantri Scheme for Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises as a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan on 29 June 2020.

• The scheme aims to enhance the competitiveness of the existing individual micro enterprises by increasing their access to credit, modern technologies among other things.

• The All India Centrally Sponsored Scheme has an outlay of Rs.10,000crore for 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 and  Provide employment to about nine lakh skilled and semi-skilled workers.

Uttarakhand forest department develops India’s 1st lichen park

• Uttarakhand forest department has developed India’s first lichen park in Kumaon’s Munsiyari, Pithoragarh district. Lichens are found in the Himalayas up to 5000 metres are important species as they are the best bioindicators of the pollution levels.

• The project aims to study the distribution of different lichen species, their habitat, their morphological and physiological aspects, surveying and literature review, the establishment of species, current threats to their habitat including anthropological and climatic factors, and coming up with suitable conservation strategies and protection strategies.

• These Jurassic-era lichen species are used in food, perfumes, dyes and traditional medicines.

International

Micheal Martin takes over as the Prime Minister of Ireland

• Micheal Martin has been appointed as the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland on 27 June 2020.

• The 59-year-old will lead a three-party coalition government consisting of FiannaFáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party.

• Martin is serving as the 15th Taoiseach of the country. He succeeds Leo Varadkar.

Lazarus Chakwera wins President election in Malawi’s

• Lazarus Chakwera becomes the new President of Malawi. He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of votes. Chakwera won with 2.6 million votes against 1.75 million for Mutharika. He is the head of the Malawi Congress Party(MCP).

Banking and Economy

Indian economy expected to contract 5% in FY21: S&P Ratings

• The GDP growth of India is expected to contract by 5 percent in the fiscal year 2020-21, according to latest forecast by S&P Global Ratings.

• The growth is expected to rebound in 2021-22 at 8.5%

Summary

FY21: -5%

FY22: 8.5%

FY23: 6.5%

Days

International Asteroid Day

• The International Asteroid Day, also known as Asteroid Day is a United Nations proclaimed day observed globally on June 30 ever year to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities, and future generations from a catastrophic event.

• The event marks the anniversary of the Siberian Tunguska event that took place on June 30, 1908, and was the most harmful known asteroid-related event on Earth in recent history.

• The first International Asteroid Day was held in 2015.

International Day of Parliamentarism

• International Day of Parliamentarism is observed globally on 30 June every year. The Day celebrates parliaments and ways during which parliamentary systems of government improve the everyday lives of individuals throughout the world.

• It is also a chance for parliaments to spot challenges and stock ways to deal with them effectively.The 2020 event is the third edition of the celebration.

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Important Current Affairs 29th June 2020

National

India becomes 1st country to control locusts through drones

• India is the first country to control locusts through drones. Under the Make in India initiative, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW), Agriculture Ministry has indigenously developed a vehicle-mounted Ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayer for locust control.

• In total 60 ground control teams of Locust Circle Offices and 12 drones are being used for locust control operations in the affected areas.

• Locust is a crop-threatening migratory pest that has entered the country through the India-Pakistan border.

Piyush Goyal chairs 49th Governing Council Meeting of NPC

• Shri Piyush Goyal, Commerce & Industry Minister and President of NPC Governing Council chaired the 49th Governing Council Meeting of National Productivity Council (NPC)

• The meeting witnessed the participation of Government Officers, Leaders of Industry Associations, Industry captains, Trade Union leaders, Productivity Councils of States and other eminent personalities.

• NPC is an autonomous body which comes under the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

Indian Navy inducts Advanced Torpedo Decoy System “Maareech”

• The Indian Navy has inducted the Advanced Torpedo Decoy System ‘Maareech’ in its fleet on 26 June 2020, to further enhance the Anti-Submarine Warfare capability of the Indian Navy

• Maareech is capable of being fired from all frontline warships.

• The Design and Development of this anti-torpedo decoy system has been undertaken indigenously by DRDO labs-(NSTL and NPOL).

Banking and Economy

World Bank Approves USD 500 mn loan to improve quality of education system in 6 Indian States

• The World Bank has approved loan worth $500 million (about Rs 3,700 crore) for Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS) on June 24, 2020, to improve quality and governance of school education in six Indian states.The six states are Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan.

• The STARS program builds on the long partnership between India and the World Bank (since 1994), for strengthening public school education and to support the country’s goal of providing Education for All.

PhonePe partners with ICICI Bank on UPI multi-bank model

• Flipkart-owned PhonePe has partnered with ICICI Bank on UPI multi-bank model giving its users the option to create and use multiple UPI IDs with ICICI and Yes Bank”s handles.

• The ‘@ibl’ handle for ICICI Bank users and ‘@ybl’ handle for YES Bank users will enable easy, quick and contactless payment services to over 200 million registered PhonePe users.

Ranking

At 26th position, Bengaluru Becomes India’s Only City in Top 30 Global Startup Ecosystems Ranking 2020 Released by Startup Genome

• According to the report, ‘Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2020; the New Normal for the Global Startup Economy and the Impact of -19’ released by Startup Genome, Bangalore has become the only city in the country to be included in the world’s top-30 startup ecosystem ranking & placed 26th position. At the same time, the nation’s capital Delhi has been ranked 36th in the list.

• Further, Mumbai ranked first in a parallel “100 emerging ecosystem rankings 2020” followed by Jakarta, Zurich.

Days

National Statistics Day

• The Government of India celebrates Statistics Day on June 29 every year since 2007 to popularize the use of Statistics in everyday life and sensitize the public as to how Statistics helps in shaping and framing policies.

• The day marks the birth anniversary of Father of Indian Statistics, Prof. P C Mahalanobis, in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.

• The theme of Statistics Day, 2020 is SDG- 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) & SDG- 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

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Important Current Affairs 27th June 2020

National

PM launches Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a 125-day campaign on 26th June 2020 that will provide employment migrant and daily wage workers in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The campaign is called Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan. The campaign was launched through video conferencing in the presence of Yogi Adityanath (Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh).

• The mega job scheme launched by Prime Minister today is part of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan that was launched on 20th June 2020 by Prime Minister himself.

• The Campaign launched will focus on providing employment in a total of 31 districts of Uttar Pradesh. There are more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers in each of the 31 districts.It was also announced that 5000 tool kits will also be distributed under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Initiative in the state.

International

Russia plans to take first tourist for spacewalk in 2023

• Russia's Energia Space Corporation plans to take its first tourist for spacewalk in the year 2023. The Energia entered into a contract with Space Adventures of United States to take two space tourists in 2023 to the International Space Station (ISS).

• Energia is a part of Roscosmos, Russia’s Space Agency.

Pakistan to remain on FATF grey list

• Pakistan will remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to suits the worldwide terrorist financing watchdog’s deadline to prosecute and penalise terrorist financing in the country.

• FATF had expressed serious concerns over Pakistan’s failure to finish its 27-point action plan in line with the agreed timelines, which led to September 2019.

Banking and Economy

IMF predicts Indian economy to contract by 4.5% in FY21

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Indian economy will experience a sharp contraction of 4.55% in Fiscal Year 2021, as compared to that of 1.9% expansion projected in the month of April 2020. The international organization has called this a “historic low” for India.

World’s First Gold-backed Digital Gold Currency launched in India

• IBMC Financial Professionals Group, an internationally recognized financial services institution and business consultants, has joined hands with US Gold Currency Inc and Blockfills to bring the world’s first monetary gold-backed digital gold currency to India.

• The currency is also being simultaneously introduced in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Middle East and Africa. Each US Gold digital currency is backed by US American Eagle one ounce (33.931 gram) gold coin, minted by US Federal Agency, US Mint.

• The holders of the currency can redeem their digital assets as physical gold coin or in US dollars anywhere in the world.

Science and Technology

NASA headquarters to be renamed for Mary W. Jackson

• NASA has announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, one of its history-making engineers. The information was passed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

• Mary. W. Jackson was an aerospace engineer and a mathematician who was part of a group of very important women who had NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space.

Sachin Bansal’s startup “Navi” launches new instant lending app

• Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal’s financial services startup “Navi” has launched a mobile app ” Navi lending” to provide instant personal loans targeted at consumers in the middle-income segment.

Obituary

1971 war hero SqnLdr Parvez Jamasji passes away

• Vir Chakra awardee, SqnLdr (retd) Parvez Jamasji passed away. He was commissioned in 1965 and retired in 1985. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

Sports

New Zealand, Australia to jointly host 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

• Australia and New Zealand till jointly be hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023. The Federation of International Football Associations made the announcement on June 25, 2020 following the voting done by FIFA Council during its virtual meeting.

• New Zealand Football and Football Federation Australia had earlier submitted a joint bid for hosting the World Cup 2023.

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Important Current Affairs 25th June 2020

National

MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari launches CGSSD

•  The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Nitin Gadkari on 4June 24, 2020 launched the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt (CGSSD).

•  Under the scheme, a guarantee cover worth Rs 20,000 crore will be provided to the promoters who can take debt from the banks to further invest in their stressed MSMEs as equity.

•  The scheme aims to extend support to the promoters of the operational MSMEs that are stressed and have become NPA as on April 30, 2020.

•  Under the scheme, Promoters of the MSMEs will be given credit equal to 15 percent of their stake or 75 lakh rupees whichever is lower. There will be a moratorium of 7 years on payment of principal whereas maximum tenure for repayment will be 10 years.

India to give USD 10 million to UNRWA for Palestine Refugees

• India has pledged to contribute USD 10 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The amount would be contributed over the coming two years.

• The contribution of USD 10 million would be an additional amount over and above USD 5 million contribution announced for year 2020.

• The announcement was made by the Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan while addressing the Extraordinary Virtual Ministerial Pledging Conference for UNRWA.

CCEA approves establishment of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved setting up of Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) worth Rs 15000 crore.

• The fund is a part of the AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package that was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam to revive economic growth.The Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund would facilitate much-needed incentivisation of investments for dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure and establishment of animal feed plant in the private sector.

• The Indian Government would also set up a Credit Guarantee Fund worth Rs 750 crore to be managed by NABARD.

Govt forms IN-SPACe to guide private sector in space activities

• The Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space, Jitendra Singh announced that a new institution- Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) has been formed. The institution will guide the private industries in the space activities with the help of encouraging policies in a friendly regulatory environment.

• The Union Minister informed that Indian National Space, Promotion & Authorisation Centre is not a new institution but now its role has been extended into the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

International

World's first yoga University outside India launched in LA

• The world's first yoga university outside India has been launched in Los Angeles, United States as a part of the 6th International Yoga Day commemorations.

• The Vivekananda Yoga University (VaYU) will offer programmes that combine scientific principles and modern research approaches to the ancient Indian practice of yoga.The university combines best of the East, which is yoga and its applications and best of the West, which is modern scientific research.

Banking and Economy

GoI brings all cooperative banks under supervision of RBI

• The Union government on June 24 has decided to bring 1,482 urban cooperative banks and 58 multi-state cooperative banks under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The news was announced by I&B Minister, Prakash Javadekar after the Union Cabinet’s meeting.

• The Union minister informed that RBI’s power as they apply to the scheduled banks will now also apply to the cooperative banks. He added that the government has decided to introduce an ordinance that will put cooperative banks under RBI’s supervision.

• This decision will give an assurance to more than 86 million depositors in these banks that their money amounting to Rs 4.84 trillion will stay safe.

India retains its position as 3rd Largest Economy on PPP basis for 2017: World Bank Report

• The World Bank has released the new purchasing power parity (PPP) for the reference year 2017, under the International Comparison Program (ICP), that adjust for differences in the cost of living across economies of the world. Globally, 176 economies participated in 2017 cycle of ICP.

• India has retained its position as the third-largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) for 2017, as per the World Bank data. India was 3rd largest in 2011 round of World Bank’s International Comparison Program (ICP) also.

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Important Current Affairs 24th June 2020

National

Patanjali launches Ayurvedic medicine, claims 100 pc recovery within 3-7 days

•  Patanjali on June 23, 2020 launched 'Coronil and Swasari', its Ayurvedic medicine, which it claims can treat C-19. There is no official confirmation on the same by any scientific or government authority.

•  Patanjali stated that the medicines showed 100 percent favourable results during clinical trials on the confirmed  patients. Two clinical trials were conducted, the first clinical controlled study that took place in Delhi and Ahmedabad and many other cities.

•  Around 280 patients were included in the trial and as per Patanjali, 100 percent of those recovered.

•  However, the efficacy of Patanjali’s medicines has not received any backing from any medical body as yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that though many drug trials are going on, there is currently no proof that any drug can cure or prevent C-19.

Rajasthan Government to launch “Indira Rasoi Yojana”

Rajasthan state government will soon launch Indira Rasoi Yojana for the poor. This scheme will start to ensure that “no one sleeps hungry” in the state. Under this scheme, pure and nutritious food on concessional rates is going to be provided to the needy twice each day. The State government will spend Rs.100 crores every year on the scheme.

Banking and Economy

Moody’s Projects India’s GDP at -3.1% for Calendar Year 2020 and 6.9% in 2021

•   Moody’s Investors Service has sharply revised its forecast for India’s annual GDP growth and has projected the Indian economy to shrink 3.1 percent in the Calendar year 2020, caused by the disruptions due to the C -19.

•    Moody’s released its June update to Global Macro Outlook (2020-21) on 22 June 2020.

Awards

Nobel-laureate Indian economist Amartya Sen wins 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

• Nobel-laureate Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen has been selected for the 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for his decades-long work around issues of global justice.

• The 86-year-old Harvard professor and past Nobel prize winner will be awarded during a ceremony on 18 October 2020 in Frankfurt. The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade comes with a cash prize of €25,000 euros ($28,000).

• He has been chosen for the prestigious prize for his pioneering work addressing issues of global justice, social inequality in education and healthcare.

Science and Technology

ISRO receives patent for “Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment”

• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received a patent for its Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG). Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG) is a protective garment for human spaceflight. It is a close fitting long garment that covers the torso as well as the limbs from neck to toe as a single piece lightweight comfort inner wear.

• The flight suit has to be worn by the astronauts over the LCHG. The garment permits the long term use without any impact on the wearer in terms of skin irritation or infection.

Obituary

Former Indian shooter Pournima Zanane passes away

• Former Indian shooter and coach Pournima Zanane passed away due to cancer. She represented India at multiple ISSF World Cups, Asian Championships, Commonwealth Championships, amongst other tournaments.

• Pournima Zanane was a national record holder in 10m Air Rifle event.

Appointments and Resignations

T. Rabi Sankar becomes new Chairman of IFTAS

• Indian Financial Technology & Allied Services (IFTAS) has announced the appointments of T Rabi Sankar as the Chairman of the organization. IFTAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India.

• T Rabi Sankar, currently serving as Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India for Payment Systems, Information Technology, Risk Management and Fintech has taken over concurrent charge, ex officio, as the Chairman of IFTAS.

Days

United Nations Public Service Day

• The United Nations Public Service Day is celebrated on June 23 every year, as a tribute to the people who are associated with public service in all the counties of the world.

• The Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community.

• Theme of 2020 is ‘On the frontlines: honouring public servants in the C-19  response.’

International Olympic Day

• The Olympic Day is celebrated globally on 23rd June every year. This year the Olympic Movement will celebrate Olympic Day 2020 by creating the world’s largest 24 hour digital-first Olympic workout.

• For this, the Olympic Channel is making a brand new home workout video made by Olympic athletes.The Olympic Day 2020 theme is “Move, learn and discover”

Books and Authors

Amish Tripathi launches his new fiction book – ‘Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India’

• The author of The Immortals of Meluha has announced the launch of his new book, Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India. Published by Westland Publications Pvt Ltd, his latest fiction is set in 11th-century, India.

• The book begins with Mahmud of Ghazni's invasion and the massacre of the holy Somnath Temple. The book has been published by Westland Publications.

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