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Important Current Affairs 2nd July 2020

National

Gujarat Government launches Rs 1,369 crore ”At One Click” online cash aid for MSMEs & textile industry

• Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched an online cash aid initiative titled ”At One Click” for micro small and medium enterprises and textile industries in the state on 26 June 2020.

• The state government has announced total of Rs 1,369 crore in aid for around 13,000 MSMEs in Gujarat under the program.

• Out of the toatl 1,369 crore aid, Rs 768 crore have been transferred in bank accounts of 12,247 MSME units in Gujarat while Rs 601 crore aid has been given to bigger industrial units including textile industry.

Goa Govt Allocates 14,380 sqm land to set up India first Maritime Cluster

• The Government of Goa has allotted over 14,380 square metres of land at Verna industrial estate to ‘Konkan Maritime Cluster’ (Goa Maritime Cluster), a consortium of 49 Goan MSME units, to set up its Common Facility Centre.

• The Goa Maritime Cluster will be the first Maritime Cluster of India, providing a world-class common facility for manufacturing, design and other allied services for the shipbuilding industry.

• The project is likely to extend direct benefits to another 180 units.

Giriraj Singh launches the 1st Edition of “Matsya Sampada”

• Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh has launched the 1st Edition newsletter “MatsyaSampada” fisheries and aquaculture published by the Department of Fisheries and the operational guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).

• This newsletter will be published on a quarterly basis.

International

FCC designates 2 Chinese companies as National Security Threats

•  The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated two Chinese companies - Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation as national security threats.

•  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated that both Huawei and ZTE have close ties with Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus. He stated that the US government will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in US communications networks.

•  The agency is considering banning these Chinese telephone companies from entering the US market. As per the US, Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for spying.

Banking and Economy

Fitch slashes India’s GDP Growth Projection to 8% from 9.5% for FY22

• Fitch Ratings has cut India’s growth forecast for the fiscal year 2021-22 to 8 percent from its earlier projection of 9.5 percent, in its June update of Global Economic Outlook released on 30 June 2020.

• However, the rating agency has retained its projection for the current fiscal which is expected to contract by 5 percent in the 2020-21.Fitch projected Indian economy to grow 5.5 percent in 2022-23.

Banks sanction over Rs 1 lakh cr loans to 30 lakh MSMEs under ECLGS

• As per the data by the Ministry of Finance on 30 June 2020, banks from public and private sectors have sanctioned over Rs 1 lakh crore loans under the Rs 3-lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the MSME sector as of June 26, 2020.

• Out of this, more than Rs 45,860 crore has already been disbursed under the 100 percent ECLGS for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

• The top lenders under the scheme are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank and HDFC Bank.

World Bank approves $750 mn emergency response fund for India’s MSME sector

• The World Bank has approved loan worth $750 million to address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of India’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), severely impacted by the C-19 crisis.

• The World Bank’s MSME Emergency Response program will provide financial support to some 1.5 million viable MSMEs.

• With this, the World Bank’s total commitment has reached to $2.75 billion to support India’s emergency C-19 response.

Appointments and Resignations

Ravinder Bhakar becomes new CEO of CBFC

• Shri Ravinder Bhakar, a 1999 batch officer of Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS), has taken over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Central Board of Films Certification (CBFC) on 30 June 2020.

• Prior to this, Mr. Bhakar was posted as the Secretary & Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railways.

• He succeeds Anurag Srivastava. Chairperson of CBFC – Shri Prasoon Joshi

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya becomes new chairman of IOC

• Shrikant Madhav Vaidya took charge as the new chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Prior to this, he was the Director (Refineries) on the IOC Board, since October 2019.

• He will replace Sanjiv Singh, who retired on June 30.

Shashank Manohar quits as ICC Chairman

• International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman, Shashank Manohar has stepped down as the head of the cricket body after two-year tenures. ICC Board has decided that Deputy Chairman Imran Khawaja will take the charge until Manohar’s successor is elected.

•  The process for the Chairperson election is likely to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.

Days

National Postal Worker Day

• The National Postal Worker Day is marked every year on July 1 globally in recognition of the contribution made by postal workers in our society.

• The day is a unique opportunity to say ‘thank you’ not only to postmen but also to all delivery personnel, as online shopping has become a lifeline for many of us.

• The day was initiated by a popular postal service provider from Seattle, United States of America in 1997  to felicitate and honour the co-postal workers for their dedication.

World UFO Day

• World UFO Day is observed on 2nd July. It was founded by the UFO hunter Haktan Akdogan.

• The first World UFO Day was celebrated in 2001 and spread awareness among people to gaze at the heavens scanning for unidentified flying objects.

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Important Current Affairs 13th April 2020

National

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Launches web-portal YUKTI in New Delhi

• The Union Minister for HRD Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal “Nishank” has launched a web-portal YUKTI in New Delhi on 12 April 2020.

• The unique portal and dashboard aims to monitor and record the efforts and initiatives of MHRD to keep the academic community healthy, both physically & mentally.

• The portal will establish a two-way communication channel between the MHRD and the institutions (academic or research) so that the Ministry can provide the necessary support system to the institutions.

RBI should implement 'Helicopter Money' to counter economic crisis: Telangana CM

• 'Helicopter Money will facilitate the states and financial institutions to accrue funds. We can come out of the financial crisis. Release 5% of funds from GDP through Quantitative Easing Policy,' said K. Chandrashekar Rao.

• Helicopter Money means extension of non-repayable money transfer from the central bank to the state and central governments, to infuse liquidity in the system.

• The policy aims at putting more money into the pockets of people to nudge them to spend more money and in turn pick-up economic activity in the country.

• The direct impact of Helicopter Money is rise in disposable incomes of the people, increase in money supply with an intention to boost demand and inflation in the economy.

• The term Helicopter Money was given by American Economist Milton Friedman in his famous “The Optimum Quantity of Money”. By definition, Helicopter Money is a monetary policy tool for Quantitative Easing (QE), which aims at "unexpectedly dumping money onto a struggling economy with the intention to shock it out of a deep slump.”

Banking and Economy

World Bank Projects India’s GDP Growth at 1.5-2.8 pc in 2020-21

• The World Bank has estimated India’s economy to grow 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent in the 2020-21 fiscal in its South Asia Economic Focus report, released on 12 April, 2020.

• This is the worst growth performance to be recorded by India since the 1991 liberalisation.

• For 2019-20, India will grow 4.8 percent to 5 percent.Growth is expected to rebound to 5% in Fiscal 2021-22.

Appointments and Resignations

Mahabaleshwara M S Reappointed as MD & CEO of Karnataka Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the reappointment of Mahabaleshwara M S as MD and CEO of private sector lender Karnataka Bank for a period of three years.

• The regulator has also approved for reappointment of P Jayarama Bhat as Part Time (Non Executive) Chairman of the bank.

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Important Current Affairs 12th March 2020

Biennial Civil Aviation Business Exhibition ‘Wings India 2020’ Begins in Hyderabad:

• The four-day civil aviation business exhibition and air show titled ‘Wings India 2020’ kick-started on 12 March 2020 at Begumpet airport, Hyderabad. It will continue till March 15.

• However, the programme will be formally inaugurated on 13 March 2020 by the Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri.

• The theme of the biennial event is ‘flying for all’.

• The event has been organized by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Maharashtra Assembly approves caste validity certificate bill:

• The Maharashtra State Assembly recently approved a bill exempting gram panchayat members of the state from submitting caste validity certificates while filing the nominations.

• The contesting candidates will now be allowed to submit the caste validity certificate within one year of winning the elections. The caste validity certificate is proof of an individual’s caste.

Infosys, Qualcomm tie-up to provide Smart City Solutions in India:

Infosys and Qualcomm have come together to provide smart city solutions in India. In this regard, both the companies signed an agreement wherein facilities like Smart Venues, Smart Stadiums and Smart Event Management will be offered to Indian Smart Cities.

Leh to host International Yoga Day 2020; PM Modi to lead main event:

• Ladakh’s capital Leh will host the main national event of the International Yoga Day 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be attending the event on June 21, 2020.

• Over 15000 people are expected to attend the event and perform Yoga in such a high altitude location.

Govt sets up development council for pulp, paper and allied industries:

• Central Government has formed a 25-member development council for pulp, paper and allied industries with an objective to increase the growth of this sector.

• A S Mehta is the chairman of the council. He is the President of J K Paper Ltd.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

US Supreme Court allows controversial 'Remain in Mexico' asylum policy to stay:

• The Supreme Court of the United States directed on March 11, 2020 that the controversial "Remain in Mexico" asylum policy can continue to stay in effect till a proper legal resolution is reached. 

• The order is a victory for the Trump administration, which has been pushing for the controversial policy to continue. The administration had warned that there would be a rush to the border if the policy was blocked by the courts.

• The “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy mandates the non-Mexican asylum seekers to return to Mexico as they await hearings in the United States.

SUMMIT AND MOU

Centre, Himachal Pradesh, World Bank sign $80 million loan agreement to boost agricultural productivity:

• The union government, state government of Himachal Pradesh and the World Bank signed an $80 million loan agreement on March 11, 2020 to boost agricultural productivity and improve water management practices in select gram panchayats.

• The integrated project will be implemented in 428-gram panchayats in 10 districts of Himachal Pradesh. The project is expected to benefit over 400,000 small farmers and pastoral communities.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Tiger Woods to be inducted in World Golf Hall of Fame:

• Tiger Woods will be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame. According to the announcement made by the PGA tour, he will be part of Class 2021.

• Only those players get this honor who have secured at least 15 wins on approved PGA tours. However, there is an age restriction for induction. Earlier, it was 50 but recently it has been reduced to 45 years.

 ACQUISITIONS AND MERGERS

Japanese company Hakuhodo acquires AdGlobal360:

• Indian MarTech Company, AdGlobal360 has been acquired by Japanese company Hakuhodo Inc for an undisclosed sum. Adglobal360 is India’s fastest growing MarTech Company headquartered in Gurugram, Haryana. The MarTech Company facilitates its customers with end to end digital solutions.

• Hakuhodo Inc is Japan’s second largest advertising company which was founded in 1895. It is an integrated advertising and communication agency which has international presence in 17 countries and regions.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Kidney Day 2020: 12 March 2020:

• The World Kidney Day (WKD) is observed annually on the Second Thursday in March.

• In 2020, the World Kidney Day is being celebrated on 12 March 2020.

• The theme of WKD 2020 is ‘Kidney health for everyone everywhere – from prevention to detection and equitable access to care’.

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Important Current Affairs 5th February 2020

National

India’s biggest rural technical festival ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Telangana

• Collector of Nirmal inaugurated National Level India’s Biggest Rural Technical Festival titled Antahpragnya 2020 in the state of Telangana at Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies-Basar (RGUKT-Basar).

• Rural areas cannot afford to miss the development bus. Most of the developments in the two lakh years have taken place in the last century.

• The fest showcases 300 prototypes, working models, exhibits and technologies such as automatic switch for water, homemade electricity, smoke absorber, automatic street lighting system, smart dustbins, zero budget farming, automatic irrigation and others.

India hosts Defence dialogue between India and South Korea

• Ministerial-level Defence dialogue between India and South Korea was held in New Delhi today. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of South Korea Jeong Kyeong-doo held the meeting.

• The theme of DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow is ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’ and India and South Korea recognize the influence of Artificial Intelligence and digital technology in defence sector.

Indian Government unveils new vaccine to control classical swine fever

• The government of India unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF). CSF is a highly contagious fatal pig disease.

• The new vaccine, developed by Uttar Pradesh-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), will be much cheaper than the existing one.

 Banking and Economy

Union Cabinet Approves Amendments to Banking Regulation Act to regulate co-operative banks

• The Union Cabinet has given its approval to bring cooperative banks under the regulatory mechanism of Reserve Bank of India.

• The cabinet approved amendments to the Banking Regulation Act on February 5, 2020, thus allowing multi-state cooperative banks to come under the regulation of the RBI.

• The announcement was made by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadkar after a cabinet meeting.

• The 1,540 cooperative banks with 8.6 crore depositors’ money, with around Rs. 5 lakh crore deposits in the country and the proposed amendment will protect the depositors.

• a. The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 is legislation in India that regulates all banking firms.

b. Shaktikanta Das is the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Union Govt plans to raise funds through LIC IPO

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that union government plans to sell a partial stake in LIC through IPO or an initial public offer.

• The union budget she proposed that the government will sell its stake in IDBI Bank to private investors and also amend the Banking Regulation Act to strengthen co-op banks.

• The finance minister that the deposit insurance coverage against bank failure will be increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.

• She proposed to expand exchange-traded funds by floating a Debt ETF, consisting primarily of government securities.

LIC: Life Insurance Corporation of India is an Indian state-owned insurance group and investment corporation owned by the Government of India. The Life Insurance Corporation of India was founded in 1956 when the Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance of India Act that nationalised the insurance industry in India.

Headquarters: Mumbai

Owner: Government of India (100%)

Founder: Government of India

Founded: 1 September 1956

Awards

Vinod Shukla bags first Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award

• Noted Hindi poet-novelist and Sahitya Akademi honouree Vinod Kumar Shukla has bagged the inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award for his translated book “Blue Is Like Blue“.

• The stories in “Blue Is Like Blue”, translated into English by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Sara Rai, deal with common people and their daily struggles.

Obituary

Veteran Odia poet Rabi Singh passes away

• Renowned Odia poet Rabi Singh passed away. He was 89.

• The revolutionary poet had received many awards for his contribution to Odia literature.

• He received Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman in the year 2017.

Sports

Sourav Ganguly will be the 'Goodwill Ambassador' of India in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020

• The recently appointed BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly has been invited by the Indian Olympic Association to be the 'Goodwill Ambassador' of India in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

•  Sourav Ganguly, known in his hometown as the Prince of Calcutta is one of the most respected sports icons in the entire country

Appointment

Amitabh Bhatt the New CEO (Bangalore Complex) at HAL

• Amitabh Bhatt has taken over as Chief Executive Officer of Bengaluru-headquartered safeguard PSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Bangalore Complex.

• Prior, he was serving as Executive Director of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) venture in HAL.

• Bhatt is a Post Graduate in Management and earlier served in SKF India Limited for a long time before joining Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

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Important Current Affairs 19th January 2020

National 


Piyush Goyal to lead Indian Delegation to World Economic Forum 2020
•    The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways, Piyush Goyal, will lead the Indian delegation to the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting at Davos from January 20 to 24, 2020.
•    The theme of the 2020 meeting is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World“.

National Immunization Day 2020
In India, the National Immunization Day was observed on 19 January 2020.
•    As a part of the celebrations, Pulse Polio Immunization programme 2020 was launched where President Ram Nath Kovind administered Polio drops to children below five years at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
•    Under this programme, approximately 17.4 crore children of less than five years of age across the country will be administered polio drops as a part of the immunization drive of the Central Government to sustain polio eradication from the country.

International


New Disease Outbreak: Novel corona virus Grips China’s Wuhan City
•    The Wuhan City of China is in a grip of a new disease outbreak caused by new respiratory virus called Novel corona virus, codenamed as 2019-nCoV.
•    Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
•    2019-nCoV is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
•    The outbreak has so far killed two people in China and sickened at least 45 persons including overseas cases with some new cases being detected in the city.
•    It is believed to have contracted through exposure to animals market that sells seafood and meat in Wuhan.


Banking and Economy


Mastercard to invest $1 bn in India over 5 years towards tech development
•    Global payments company Mastercard planned to invest nearly $1 billion in India over the next five years. The proposed investment will be made over five years in our India operations includes an R&D facility at Pune and another center at Vadodara.
•    The company is also working closely with technology and financial startups in the country by focusing on the innovation and digital payments matrices under its flagship Start Path program,

Half of World’s GDP Moderately or Highly Dependent on Nature: WEF study
•    The World Economic Forum released The New Nature Economy Report titled ‘Nature Risk Rising’ on 19 January 2020.
•    The report has been published by WEF in collaboration with PwC, UK.

RBI Ranks 6th among central banks in buying gold abroad in 2019: WGC Report
•    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was the sixth largest gold buyer abroad in the year 2019, as per the World Gold Council (WGC) report titled, “World Gold Outlook 2020”.
•    The RBI currently holds 625.2 tonnes of gold, which is 6.6 percent of its forex reserves.
•    RBI bought 7.5 tonnes of gold in October 2019, to increase its foreign exchange reserves to $450 billion.
•    The central banks of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Poland bought more than India in 2019 respectively.

NPCI Launches Blockchain-based ‘Vajra Platform’ to Secure Online Payment
•    The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has launched a blockchain-technology based payment system ‘Vajra Platform’ for automating payment clearing and settlement processes.
•    Vajra platform is based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), to provide highly secure and tamper-evident transactions stored in a distributed and immutable database.
•    Vajra is a permissioned network that will be set up so that only the parties who have been approved by the Network Administrator can be a part of the network.
•    The platform has three types of nodes: Clearing House node (CHN) for NPCI, UIDAI node for Aadhaar authentication, and Participant node (PN) for all banks/ASP/PPI/PSP

Ranking

Gujarat ranked top for water efficiency Delhi among worst performing states

•    Gujarat ranked the best for parameters on efficiency targets in the review of state and Central government water departments by the ministry of Jal Shakti.
•    Rajasthan is the third-best, and Delhi is among the worst-performing states, according to the ranking for 2019 circulated to different state governments recently. 
•    The seven Central departments reviewed, the Survey of India, got the top billing followed by the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) and Central Water Commission.


 

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