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Important Current Affairs 6th August 2020

National

India contributes USD 15.46 million to India-UN Development Partnership Fund

• India has contributed the next tranche of $15.46 million to the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, under its commitment to supporting developing nations in their developmental priorities across all the Sustainable Development Goals.

• This tranche of $15.46 million including $6 million for the overall fund, in which all developing countries are eligible for partnership, and $9.46 million is dedicated to Commonwealth countries.

• The cheque was handed over by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti to the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) Director Jorge Chediek.

Banking and Economy

National Bank of Bahrain selects Infosys to transform them digitally

• National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has selected Infosys Finacle to digitally transform its transaction banking business.

• NBB will be implementing the Finacle Liquidity Management Platform, and upgrading its existing Finacle Corporate Online Banking platform to a full-fledged Digital Engagement Suite – with the latest versions of the Finacle Corporate Online and Mobile Banking solutions, along with the Finacle Digital Engagement Hub.

Summits and Mou’s

MoD signs MoU with IIT Kanpur & Department of ARPG

• Department of Defence (DoD) Ministry of Defence (MoD), Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG), and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

• The MoU aims to conduct predictive analysis of public grievances.

• The project is aimed to help the MoD to identify the cause and nature of grievances and bring about systemic changes and policy interventions wherever required.

• Under the MoU, IIT-Kanpur will develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Techniques to conduct exploratory and predictive analysis of Public Grievances received on the web-based Centralized Public Grievances Redress & Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) pertaining to the MoD.

Obituary

Former Maharashtra CM Shivaji rao Patil Nilangekar passes away

• Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Shivaji rao Patil Nilangekar passed away on August 5, 2020 due to prolonged illness. He was 89.

• Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar had served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra between 1985 and 1986.

Sports

Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas retires from football

• Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper, Iker Casillas have retired from football. He made 725 appearances for Real during a 16-year career at the Bernabeu, winning three Champions League titles and five La Liga crowns.

• He also helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup and two successive European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

• He won 167 international caps for Spain between 2000 and 2016.

Appointments and Resignations

Manoj Sinha appointed as new LG of Jammu and Kashmir

• President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed former Union minister Manoj Sinha as the next Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. He will replace Girish Chandra Murmu who resigned. Murmu’s resignation has been accepted by the President.

• Sinha has represented the parliamentary constituency of Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh thrice in the Lok Sabha. Sinha has also served as junior railways minister.

• Murmu officially took charge as the first L-G of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir on October 31, 2019, under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

Ranking

Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020

• The Hurun Research Institute released Hurun Global Unicorn List 2020, a global ranking of the world’s billion-dollar tech startups founded in the 2000s, and not yet listed on a public exchange. The 2020 list is the second edition of the annual list and has ranked a total of 586 unicorns in the world, based in 29 countries and 145 cities.

• The total value of these unicorns adds to US$1.8 trillion, which is equivalent to the GDP of Italy. The average age of these unicorns is nine years. The valuations of the startups is as on March 31, 2020.

• The United States has the highest number of Unicorns, at 233, followed by China at 227. These two countries represents 80% of the world’s known unicorns. The United Kingdom was third with 24, followed by India at fourth position with 21 unicorns.The total value of these stands at $73.2 billion.

• Among all Indian unicorns, the Fintech company Paytm is India’s highest valued unicorn, at $16 billion.The average age of Indian unicorns is seven years.

Days

Hiroshima Day (Anti Nuclear Day/ Nagasaki Day

• Annually 6th of August marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima during World War II. The horrific incident took place on August 6, 1945, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb named “Little Boy”, on the town of Hiroshima in Japan, followed a few days later by another drop on the city of Nagasaki on August 9.

• This was the first time in the history of warfare when a nuclear bomb was used against a nation.Although these bombings effectively ended World War II, the two cities were terribly destroyed and casualties were estimated at around 200,000, mostly civilians.

• This day is remembered to promote peace and spread awareness about the danger of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons.

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Important Current Affairs 5th August 2020

National

Government forms draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020

• The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has formulated a draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 (DPEPP 2020), with the objective to make India self-reliance in defence manufacturing and to position the country amongst the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors.

• The new policy is a part of the announcements made under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Package’ to provide impetus to self-reliance in defence manufacturing. The policy framework aims to position India among the leading countries of the world in defence and aerospace sectors.

• The Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy 2020 has laid out the following goals and objectives:

I. To achieve a turnover of Rs 1,75,000Crores (USD 25 Billion) including export of Rs 35,000 Crore (USD 5 Billion) in Aerospace and Defence goods and services by 2025.

II. To develop a dynamic, robust and competitive Defence industry, including Aerospace and Naval Shipbuilding industry to cater to the needs of Armed forces with quality products.

III. To reduce dependence on imports and take forward “Make in India” initiatives through domestic design and development.

IV. To promote export of defence products and become part of the global defence value chains.

V. To create an environment that encourages R&D, rewards innovation, creates Indian IP ownership and promotes a robust and self-reliant defence industry.

National Programme ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan 2020-21’ launched

• Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has launched ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan, 2020-21’. It is a national programme which has been launched to popularize science among school students of Class 6th to 11th.

• The programme has been designed to identify the talent in the field of science and to promote the scientfic acumen among the students.

Andhra Pradesh government launches ‘E-RakshaBandhan’

• Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has launched a one month-long innovative virtual cybercrime awareness programme ‘E-Rakshabandhan’ on 3 August 2020

• The campaign organised by the Andhra Pradesh CID and the police, aims to bring awareness among the public in cyberspace, especially women, youth and children.

• The slogan for the campaign is “Let us make August a month of e freedom and e-safety.”Cybercrime experts will speak on different types of cyber crimes and create awareness among the public.

Obituary

Theatre maestro Ebrahim Alkazi passes away

• Indian theatre director and drama teacher, Ebrahim Alkazi, has passed  away. He was 94. He was the first and longest serving Director of the National School of Drama (NSD), and held the position from 1962-77.

• Ebrahim was considered as the father of modern Indian theatre and has mentored generations of actors, including Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Rohini Hattangadi, Surekha Sikri and Pankaj Kapoor.

• The thespian has a lot of accolades to his name and has won many of India’s most prestigious awards, such as Padma Shri (1966), the Padma Bhushan (1991), and India’s second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan in 2010.SangeetNatakAkademi Award in Direction in 1962, and the Akademi’s highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre.

Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume passes away

• The prominent Northern Ireland politician and former Nobel Peace Prize winner, John Hume passed away. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998, along with David Trimble, for his role in ending the conflict in Northern Ireland.

• He was a founding member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1970 and led the party from 1979 until 2001.

Sports

World Cup winner Benedikt Howedes retires from soccer

• The professional German footballer, Benedikt Howedes, who helped Germany win the World Cup title in 2014, has announced his retirement from soccer, citing family reasons.

• The 32-year-old defender, represented the Germany national football team from 2011 to 2017 during which he played 44 matches.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI approves Sashidhar Jagdishan as HDFC Bank CEO and MD

• The Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of HDFC Bank. Mr. Jagdishan will take charge of the outgoing MD Aditya Puri on October 27, 2020 and will remain on the position for three years.

• HDFC Bank mentioned that a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank will be held in due course to approve the appointment of Sashidhar Jagdishan as the new MD and CEO of the bank.

• Along with Sashidhar Jagdishan, HDFC Bank had also submitted the names of Sunil Garg, Global CEO of Citi Commercial Bank, and Kaizad Bharucha (ED at HDFC Bank) for the RBI’s consideration.

• Sashidhar Jagdishan had joined HDFC Bank in 1996 as a manager in the finance function and later became a business head-finance in 1999.

Mark Phillips sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana

• Former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force Brigadier (retired), Mark Anthony Phillips has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Guyana. Additionally, former President Bharrat Jagdeo was named Vice President.

• Mohamed Irfaan Ali, a former member of parliament and housing minister, has been sworn in as the President of Guyana on 2 August 2020.

• The 40-year-old People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate has taken over as the 10th President of the country. He succeeds David A. Granger.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Vishesh: Code To Win” authored by Nirupama Yadav

• The book, titled “Vishesh: Code To Win”, has been written by sportswoman-turned-author Nirupama Yadav and published by the publishing house Bluerose.

• The inspirational story on the life of Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, India’s youngest basketball team captain, is set to be released on August 29, the National Sports Day.

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Important Current Affairs 4th August 2020

National

First Pan India 1000 Genome sequencing of SARS- CoV-2 completes successfully

• Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare announced the completion of Pan-India Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2. He reviewed the C-19 activities of Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and DBT-Autonomous Institutions (AIs) in the meeting with DBT.

• He also launched the establishment of Five C-19 Bio Repositories by the DBT at Faridabad, Bhubaneshwar, New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore

Obituary

William English, the co-inventor of the computer mouse, passes away

• William Kirk English, the American computer engineer who co-invented the world’s first computer mouse, has passed away. He was 91 years old.

• In 1964, he was the first person to co-develop the mouse along with Douglas Engelbart, at the Stanford Research Institute and ‘demonstrated it in 1968, in what was dubbed ‘the mother of all demos.’

Sports

Central Government gave nod to Indian Premier League 2020 in UAE

• The Indian Government has provisionally granted permission for the 13th edition of Indian Premier League’s (IPL’s) 2020 to be rescheduled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 to November 10, 2020, due to C-19.

• Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will be the three venues of the tournament. No spectators to be allowed in the initial phase of the tournament. BCCI has also decided to host a Women’s T20 Challenge to be held from November 1 to 10 in UAE.

Appointments and Resignations

Mohamed Irfaan Ali named as President of Guyana

• Former Guyanese housing minister Mohamed Irfaan Ali(40 years old)became the President of the country after he was declared as the winner of the disputed March 2, 2020 general election following a recount.

• He is a member of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP). He succeeds David Arthur(A.) Granger.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Siyasat Mein Sadasyata” authored by Vijay Kumar Choudhary

• Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar has released a book titled “Siyasat Mein Sadasyata” authored by Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Choudhary. The book is a compilation of the author’s views, three dozen articles on different important issues and his life journey.

• The book was published by Bihar Assembly Secretariat.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd August 2020

National

Government approves Khadi Agarbatti AtmaNirbhar Mission

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

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

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

Nitin Gadkari inaugurated upstream carriageway of Mahatma Gandhi bridge in Bihar

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

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

International

UAE becomes first gulf nation to produce nuclear energy

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

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

Obituary

UP Cabinet Minister Kamal Rani Varun passes away

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

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

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2020

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

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

Days

World Sanskrit Day 2020

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

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

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

Books and Authors

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 2nd August 2020

National

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

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

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

International

PM Modi inaugurates Supreme Court building of Mauritius

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

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

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

Banking and Economy

SIDBI & Trans Union CIBIL launches portal “MSME Saksham”

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

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

Summits and Mou’s

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

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

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

Obituary

Rajya Sabha MP & former SP leader Amar Singh passes away

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

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

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

Sports

Sport committee formed for National Sports Awards 2020

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

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

Ranking

Microsoft India most attractive employer brand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Days

World Breastfeeding Week 2020

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 1st August 2020

National

Central government to set up single-window clearance for business

• The central government is working on a single window portal which will reduce the time for businesses to get clearances; further increasing India’s ranking in the ease of doing business.Single Window System is completely digital and provides for unified and integrated business procedures.

• With six states on board, it will showcase five lakh hectares of land that has already been identified.This will allow online viewing of land available for companies, from their distant offices, precluding the need to frequently visit the offices of land-owning agencies.

International

Russia chaired 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting

• The 6th BRICS Environment Ministers’ Meeting was held under the presidency of Russia. The Environment Ministers of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa participated in the meeting held via the video conference.

• The meeting was preceded by the BRICS Working Group meeting. India will host the next meeting in 2021.

Banking and Economy

SIDBI, TransUnion CIBIL launched financial knowledge platform ”MSMESaksham” for MSMEs

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in association with TransUnion CIBIL has launched a comprehensive financial education and one-stop knowledge platform for micro, small and medium enterprises “MSMESaksham”, which will guide MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) seeking quick access to finance and will also support them in managing their credit obligations.

• The portal will have a consolidated list of all the schemes launched by the Centre and state governments for MSMEs.

MobiKwik Launched mpay.me, a Personalized UPI Payment Link

• Digital wallet company, MobiKwik has launched “mpay.me” UPI link service that allows users to send and receive money from any UPI payment app. Users can share it with anyone over chat, SMS, email, etc to collect payments.

• This single link created using mpay.me can be shared anywhere to send and receive money and will work seamlessly on mobile as well as desktop.Through mpay.me, users will now be able to generate their own mini personal payment gateways using their phone numbers.

Obituary

Padma Shri awardee Sonam Tshering Lepcha passes away

• Folk musician and Padma Shri awardee, Sonam Tshering Lepcha passed away. He was 92.He started his career as a soldier.He travelled to various parts of Sikkim and complied a wide range of Indian folk and traditional Lepcha songs and played folk music on All India Radio in 1960.

• He was highly reverred in Sikkim, where he spent much of his time for his role in the revival of Lepcha culture, which is an indigenous one in Sikkim. He was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of folk music.

Malayalam actor Anil Murali passes away

Malayalam actor, Anil Murali passed away.He made his silver screen debut with Kanyakumariyil Oru Kavitha in 1993.He went on to star in over 200 movies across Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu film industries.

Sports

Stuart Broad becomes 7th bowler to take 500 Test wickets

• Stuart Broad joined one of cricket’s most exclusive clubs when he took his 500th Test wicket as England completed a series-clinching win over the West Indies at Old Trafford.

• The 34-year-old became fourth pacemen to reach the landmark when he had opener Kraigg Brathwaite plumb lbw for 19 on the fifth day of the third Test.

Appointments and Resignations

Kavita Devi, Babita Phogat appointed as Haryana Sports Deputy Directors

Babita Phogat and Kavita Devi have been appointed as Deputy Directors in the Haryana's Department of Sports and Youth Affairs. Babita Phogat stated that she will work to make sure that players in the state get all the facilities required by them.

Days

World Ranger Day 2020

• World Ranger Day is celebrated annually on July 31 around the world and it is promoted by the 54-member Association of the International Ranger Federation (IRF).

• The day celebrates the accomplishments done by rangers around the world and honors those who have died in the course of their duties.

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Important Current Affairs 31st July 2020

National

Govt establishes authority to protect and enforce consumer rights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green-Ag project launched in Mizoram

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

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

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

Banking and Economy

ADB approves USD 3 million grant to India

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

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

 Summits and Mou’s

PFC signs agreement with IIT-Kanpur in smart grid technology

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

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

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

Science and Technology

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

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

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

Obituary

Veteran Bollywood actor Kumkum passes away

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

Bollywood action director Parvez Khan passes away

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

Appointments and Resignations

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

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

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

Days

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 30th July 2020

National

HRD Ministry to be renamed as Ministry of Education

• The Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has been renamed as Ministry of Education. The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister.

• The HRD Ministry is currently headed by Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The name change was a key recommendation of the draft New Education Policy. The HRD ministry name was adopted in 1985.

Union Cabinet Approves National Education Policy 2020

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the National Education Policy 2020. The recently approved National Education Policy 2020 will replace the thirty-four year old National Policy on Education (NPE), 1986.

• The National Education Policy 2020 comprises major reforms in the higher education sector including a target of 50% gross enrollment ratio by 2035 and a provision for multiple entry and exit.

• It is aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is based on the foundational pillars of Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability and Accountability.

• It seeks to transform India into a vibrant knowledge society and global knowledge superpower by making both school and college education more holistic, flexible & multidisciplinary, as per the requirements of 21st century.

Major Reforms

•  Enrollment: 50% gross enrollment ratio by 2035.

•  UGC-AICTE merged: The cabinet has approved merger of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission.

•  Flexibility of Subjects: Holistic and Multidisciplinary Education

•  Multiple entry/ exit

- UG Programme- 3 or 4 years

- PG Programme- 1 or 2 years

- Integrated 5 year Bachelor's/Master's

- M Phil to be discontinued

• Credit Transfer and Academic Bank of Credits

• HEIs: Research Intensive/ Teaching Intensive Universities and Autonomous Degree Granting Colleges

• Model Multidisciplinary Education and Research University (MERU)

• Graded Autonomy-  Under this, graded academic, administrative and financial autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation. There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in the country.

Five Rafale Fighter Jets land in India at Ambala air base

• A fleet of five French-manufactured Rafale multi-role combat jets arrived in India. Rafale Jets landed at the Ambala Air Force base after covering a distance of 7,000 km from the Merignac airbase in French port city of Bordeaux.

• The fleet, which comprises three single seater and two twin seater aircraft, would be inducted into the IAF as part of its Ambala-based No 17 Squadron, also known as the ‘Golden Arrows’. The addition of these fighter jets is expected to transform the capabilities of Air Force.

MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network launched

• Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched the “MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet)” under the Digital India initiative of Government of India. MoES has transformed the traditional libraries of the MoES system into a top-notch Knowledge Resource Centres (KRC). These KRCs will be linked with each other and integrated into the KRCNet portal. This portal would be a single point entry to the intellectual world of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

Awards

Ministry of Earth Sciences announces National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science

• The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has announced the National Awards for excellence in Earth System Science for the year 2020.The Awards are given every year on the occasion of Earth Sciences Foundation Day of the Ministry for the outstanding contribution of each winner in their respective field.

• The award is presented annually in the following three categories:

•  Life Time Excellence Award in the sphere of Earth System Sciences

•  National Awards in the field of:

Ocean Science & Technology

Atmospheric Science & Technology

Geoscience & Technology

Polar Science & Cryosphere

•  Young Researcher/Achiever Award in the field of Earth System Science

Winners for 2020

•  Life Time Excellence Award – Professor Ashok Sahni for his significant contribution in the field of Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology and Biostratigraphy.

•  National Awards

•  Ocean Science and Technology – Dr. V. V. S. S. Sarma and Dr. M. Ravichandran

•  Atmospheric Science and Technology – Dr. S. Suresh Babu

•  Geoscience & Technology – Dr. N. V. Chalpathi Rao

•  Polar Science & Cryosphere – Dr. Atmanand

•  Young Researcher/Achiever Award – Dr. Indra Sekhar Sen and Dr. Arvind Singh

Sunil ydv SS Honored with Karamveer Chakra Award of United Nations and ICONGO

• Sunil ydv SS, founder & CEO Of SS Motivation, which is the most Subscribed Motivational Channel on Telegram, has  been honoured with “Karamveer Chakra Award” instituted by United Nations and International Confederation of NGO (iCONGO).

• He received the award for his relentless contribution to society through his Telegram channel “SS Motivation.”

Appointments and Resignations

Archana Soreng named by UN chief to new advisory group

• Indian climate activist, Archana Soreng has been named by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to his new advisory group comprising young leaders who will provide perspectives and solutions to tackle the worsening climate crisis, as the global body mobilizes action as part of the C-19 recovery efforts.

Varun Sridhar appointed as CEO of Paytm Money

• The investment & wealth management subsidiary of Paytm- Paytm Money, has appointed Varun Sridhar as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company on 29 July 2020.

• Sridhar will replace former MD and CEO PravinJadhav who resigned from the startup due to differences with the management of Paytm.

Days

International Tigers day

• 29th of July observed as International Tiger Day.The Day is celebrated on every year across the globe to create awareness about tiger conservation.

• The day was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit to put in place a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.

• The Slogan for 2020 International Tiger Day celebration is “Their survival is in our hands”.

Books and Authors

Former RBI Deputy Governor pens book ‘Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India’

• The former Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Viral Acharya has come up with a book titled “Quest for Restoring Financial Stability in India”, which is a collection of his comments, speeches, and research as a member of the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

• Through this book, Dr Acharya shares a feasible plan to address the recapitalization needs of public sector banks, offering solutions on how to improve credit allocation by credit intermediaries and establish viable and efficient capital markets.

• The book has been published by SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd.

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Important Current Affairs 29th July 2020

National

DRDO launched Dare to Dream 2.0 contest for innovators and startups

• Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched its innovation contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on 27 July 2020, the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

• The scheme has been aimed for emerging technologies to promote the individuals & startups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies in India.

Centre to go ahead with disinvestment of 23 PSUs cleared by the cabinet

• Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced on July 27 that the central government has been working on completing the stake sale process of about 23 public sector companies whose disinvestment has been cleared by the cabinet.

• For the fiscal year, 2020-21, the central government has set a disinvestment target of Rs. 2.10 lakh crore. Out of this, Rs. 1.20 lakh crore will come from the disinvestment of PSUs and another Rs. 90,000 crores from the stake sale in financial institutions.

• The Union Minister also mentioned that she will soon meet small finance firms and the non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in order to review the credit being extended by them to businesses.

• The central government as part of the Atmanirbhar Package had announced opening up of all the sectors for private participation. In those sectors which will be called strategic, the private will be allowed to come in but the public sectors will be limited to a maximum of 4 units.

BIS-Care mobile app launched

• The Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s (BIS) Mobile App BIS-Care on July 28, 2020. The Consumer Affairs Minister launched three portals on Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Training of e-BIS.

• The BIS-Care mobile app can be operated on any Android phone. Consumers will be able to check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products through this Application.

• The consumers can also lodge complaints using the app. The government has taken several steps to protect the interests of consumers in the country. Certification and surveillance are important aspects of BIS functioning.

Banking and Economy

ADB partnered with GCF to Boost Green Recovery

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) agreed to partner toward a ‘green recovery’ for members confronting the harsh economic impact of the Chinese virus C-19.

• Under Strategy 2030, ADB will ensure that 75 percent of its committed projects will support climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2030.

• Climate finance from ADB’s own resources will reach USD 80 billion cumulatively from 2019 to 2030.

IRCTC & SBI Card launches Co-branded Contactless Credit Card

• The IRCTC and SBI Card together have launched their new co-branded contactless Credit Card on RuPay Platform. The Railway Minister Piyush Goyal dedicated this new card to the Nation on July 28, 2020.

• The new RuPay credit card is equipped with Near Field Communication technology, using which the users can expedite their transactions at the POS machines by just tapping the card on the machines.

• The launch of the card is a part of the many ‘Make in India’ initiatives undertaken by the Railways.

Awards

India’s first solar ferry “Aditya” wins Gustave Trouve Award

• India’s first solar-powered ferry, Aditya has won the prestigious Gustave Trouve Award for Excellence in Electric Boats and Boating. The ferry was adjudged the world’s best electric boat in the category of ferries designed for paid passenger service.

• The ferry belongs to the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) and has been plying on the Vaikkom-Thavanakkadavu route in Alappuzha district since January 2017.

Obituary

Child welfare activist Achyuta Rao passes away

• The founder and President of Balala Hakula Sangham, P Achyuta Rao passed away due to C-19. He was a well-known child rights activist and had founded Balala Hakula Sangham in 1984.

•  He is known to have helped prevent child marriages, incidents of child sexual abuse, and child labour.

Sports

Indian 4x400m relay squad’s Silver medal at 2018 Asian Games upgraded to Gold

• The silver medal which was won by the Indian 4×400 mixed relay quartet of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta has been upgraded to gold.

• This decision was taken following the disqualification of original winners Bahrain on account of a four-year doping ban handed to Kemi Adekoya by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for failing a dope test.

• Additionally, with Adekoya’s disqualification, India’s Anu Raghavan has moved from fourth position to bronze medal position in the 400m hurdles final. Now India has become the first winner of the 4x400m mixed relay event, which was introduced in the Asian Games in 2018.

Days

World Nature Conservation Day

• World Nature Conservation Day is observed on 28th July every year. World Conservation Day is celebrated internationally to increase awareness about the best practices to protect our natural resources.

•  The Earth is supplied a limited amount of properties that we all rely upon each day like water, air, soil and trees.

Books and Authors

“The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”

• The former diplomat, and current Minister of External Affairs in the Government of India, S. Jaishankar, is releasing his new book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”.

• The book was published under the HarperCollins India publications.

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Important Current Affairs 28th July 2020

National

IMD launches first weather app ‘Mausam’ for general public

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

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

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

India further bans 47 Chinese apps

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

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

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

Delhi government launches portal “Rozgar Bazar”

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

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

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

India to take up clinical trials of OXFORD Vaccine COVISHIELD

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

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

Obituary

Two-Time Oscar Winner Olivia de Havilland passes away

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

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

Tanzania’s former president Benjamin Mkapa passes away

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

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

Appointments and Resignations

HichemMechichi becomes new Prime Minister of Tunisia

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

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

Days

World Hepatitis Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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