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Important Current Affairs 25th September 2020

National

Labour Codes passed by Parliament to reform labour laws

• In a historic move, the Parliament has passed three labour codes on September 23, 2020 to reform the Labour Laws. These labour codes are Industrial Relations Code, 2020; Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSH Code) and Social Security Code, 2020.

•  These labour codes aim to introduce transparency in the changing business environment.

Railways target to complete 100% electrification of broad gauge routes by 2023

• Railways has planned for 100 per cent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023 said by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

• Around 63 per cent broad gauge lines have already been electrified out of a total 63,631 route kilometers as on 1st of April this year. A total of 23,765 route kilometre lines are yet to be electrified in the country.

EAM Dr S Jaishankar attends Special Ministerial Meeting of FMs of CICA

• The Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar participated in the Special Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the CICA on 24 September 2020.

• CICA is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. CICA stands for the ‘Conference on Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia’.

• The Secretariat of CICA is based at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.It has 27 member states including India; 8 observer states and 5 observer organizations.

International

Alexander Lukashenko sworn in as President of Belarus for 6th term

• President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in for a sixth term on 23 September 2020.

• The 66 year-old authoritarian leader won 80% of the vote in the presidential election to gain another 5 year term.

• Lukashenko is serving as the President of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.

Acquisitions and Mergers

CCI approves merger of Medlife with PharmEasy

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed combination of Medlife and API Holdings.

• The deal pertains to the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent equity shares of Medlife by API Holdings. Medlife shareholders are to get up to 19.59 per cent equity share capital of API Holdings.

• Medlife, a Patna-based company, was valued at $375 million as of January 31, 2020.

Obituary

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passes away at 65

• Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi has passed away after he contracted Chinese virus disease. He was 65-years-old.

• Suresh Angadi was a four-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka’s Belagavi constituency. He was elected in 2004, 2014 and 2019.

Former Australian Cricketer Dean Jones passes away

• Former Australian cricketer and renowned commentator, Dean Jones passed away. He made his debut for Australia in a Test match in the West Indies in 1984.

•  He played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia between 1984 and 1994 before venturing into the commentary.  He scored almost 9500 international runs.

Appointments and Resignations

17-Year-Old Khushi Chindaliya Appointed As UNEP’s Indian Green Ambassador

• A 17-year-old girl from Surat, Khushi Chindaliya has been appointed as the Regional Ambassador for India for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tunza Eco-Generation, a recurring event with monthly goals.

• Khushi, who has been named India’s ‘Green Ambassador’ for her contribution to the conservation of the environment.

• Khushi will work with TEG on various awareness programs till February 2021. Crucially, Khushi is one of the 100 youths in India whose essays will be featured in a UNESCO book.

Govt extends term of Uday Kotak as Chairman of Debt-ridden IL&FS by One Year

• The government extended the term of Uday Kotak as non-executive chairman of debt-ridden IL&FS group by one year with effect from the 3rd day of October 2020.

• Kotak was appointed by the Government as the head of the lender”s board in 2018 to help the troubled company come out of difficulties, after the state took over the board.

Ranking

Shivangi Singh becomes first woman pilot to fly Rafale aircraft

• Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh makes history by becoming the first woman fighter pilot to fly the recently inducted Rafale aircraft. The Rafale was officially inducted on September 10, 2020 in the Indian Air Force.

• Singh is currently receiving the training to fly the Rafale, which is based in Ambala.

Days

World Pharmacist Day

• The World Pharmacist Day is observed on September 25 annually to create awareness about the role of a pharmacist in improving health.

• 2020 theme: “Transforming global health“.

• The day was designated in 2009 by the FIP Council (International Pharmaceutical Federation or Federation International Pharmaceutique) at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey.

World Maritime Day 2020

• World Maritime Day 2020 is observed globally on 24th September in the form of an online event. The exact date of celebrating World Maritime Day is left to the individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

• The theme of World Maritime Day 2020 is “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”.

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Important Current Affairs 24th September 2020

National 

Government implements O-SMART Scheme
• The Ministry of Earth Sciences has implemented the Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources, and Technology(O-SMART) Scheme. 
• The scheme covers 16 sub-projects related to the Ocean development activities including resources, services, technology, observations, and sciences. The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre is also working under the O-SMART Scheme.
• The Scheme generates and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Government to set up Neutrino Observatory in the country
• The central government is planning to set up a Neutrino Observatory in the country. This was informed by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh on September 21, 2020 in a written reply in the lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha.
• The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) will be a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover that will study the neutrinos produced in the atmosphere of the Earth.

Railway plans to complete 100 % electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023
• The Indian Railways have set the target to achieve 100 percent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023.
• This information was stated by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 23 September 2020.

Banking and Economy

Sebi constitutes technical group on social stock exchange
• Sebi set up a technical group on social stock exchange to develop a framework for onboarding non-profit organisations and for-profit enterprises as well as prescribe disclosure requirements on financials and governance.
• The regulator has constituted the technical group under the chairmanship of Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, former chairman of Nabard.
• Other members of the group include Ingrid Srinath, founder-director, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University; Pushpa Aman Singh CEO of Guidestar; and Santhosh Jayaram, Partner and Head- Sustainability and CSR Advisory at KPMG.

HDFC Life enters into partnership with YES Bank to sell insurance policies
• HDFC Life said it has entered into a partnership with YES Bank to sell policies to the bank’s customers.
• This CA arrangement will enable customers of YES Bank to avail HDFC Life’s wide range of life insurance products, which include solutions for protection, savings and investment, retirement and critical illness.

UNCTAD sees India growth moderating at -5.9% in 2020
• United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has predicted that the GDP of India will contract by 5.9% in the year 2020.
• For the year 2021, UNCTAD projects the Indian economy to grow by 3.9%.The projection was made in its Trade and Development Report 2020.

Acquisitions and Mergers

KKR to invest in Reliance Retail for 1.28% stake
• Global investment firm KKR is going to invest in the Reliance Retail ventures Limited (RRVL). With investment of Rs 5,550 crore, KKR will be acquiring 1.28% equity stake in the RRVL on a fully diluted basis.
•  This is the second such investment deal with Reliance Retail in past one month after American private firm Silver Lake invested Rs 7,500 cr into the company for a 1.75% Stake.
• This is also KKR’s second investment in a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, as earlier this year, the firm had invested Rs 11,367 crore in Jio Platforms for a 2.32 percent stake.

Science and Technology

DRDO successfully test fires high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT)- ABHYAS
• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested an indigenously-developed unmanned aerial vehicle, Abhyas, that can be used as target for evaluation of various missile systems.
• Two Abhyas vehicles, developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), were flight tested from a test range off Odisha coast.
• The High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was launched using twin underslung booster.

Sports

Former cricketer Ash Barty wins Golf Club Championship
• Ashleigh Barty, who is the top-ranked WTA player in the world, and a former professional cricket player, has now added another feat in her sporting list by winning golf club championship.
• The 24-year-old, world number one Australian, has won the Brookwater Golf Club women’s championship.
• Ash Barty had withdrawn from participating in US Open and French Open due to C-19 pandemic.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI appoints AK Das as the new administrator of PMC Bank
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed AK Das (ex-general manager at Union Bank of India), as the new administrator of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank.
• He has replaced JB Bhoria who has stepped down from his role as the administrator of the bank due to health reasons.
• In September 2019, the RBI had superseded the board of PMC bank due to fraud and financial irregularities in the PMC bank.

Bah Ndaw named Mali’s interim president
• Former Mali defense minister and retired colonel Bah Ndaw has been named the president of the country’s new transition government, while the leader of the junta that seized power last month. 
• Colonel Assimi Goita, was appointed vice president of the country.
• He will be in power for 18 months before holding elections and returning Mali to civilian rule.

Simanchala Dash appointed as advisor to IMF Executive Director
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the proposal to appoint Simanchala Dash as an advisor to Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Voices of Dissent” authored by Romila Thapar
• A new book titled “Voices of Dissent” authored by Historian Romila Thapar will be jointly published by Penguin Random House India and Seagull Books. 
• The book is a historical essay that explores dissent, including its articulation and public response to its forms, with a focus on the recent protest in India against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens.

 

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2020

National

Women officers to join Indian Navy's helicopter stream for first time ever

• For the first time ever, two women officers will be joining the helicopter stream of the Indian Navy as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians).

• These women officers will be first batch of women airborne combatants to operate from warships. The entry of women officers was earlier restricted to fixed-wing aircraft of Indian Navy.

Govt launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in 272 most affected districts

• Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

• The Plan aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy.

• The activities under the NAPDDR include awareness generation programmes in schools, colleges, Universities, workshop and provisioning of treatment facilities and capacity building of service providers.

International

India extends soft loan of $250 million to Maldives in largest bilateral financial aid

• India has extended financial assistance of USD 250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the C-19 pandemic.

• The budgetary support of USD 250 million has been extended without conditions.

• This financial assistance is being routed through the State Bank of India (SBI), Male so that it does not reflect in the external borrowings of the Maldives.

Summits and Mou’s

MoU signed between AYUSH Ministry and WCD Ministry for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan

• A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

• The MoU will see some time-tested and scientifically proven Ayush-based solutions being adopted for controlling malnutrition in the country.

Acquisitions and Mergers

HCL Technologies to acquire Australian IT solutions company DWS

• Noida-based IT company HCL Technologies (HCL) announced that it would acquire DWS Limited, an Australian IT, business and management consulting group.

• The acquisition of DWS will enhance HCL’s contribution to digital initiatives in Australia and New Zealand while strengthening HCL’s client portfolio across key industries.

Science and Technology

FELUDA: First Gene based C-19 test approved in India

• The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently approved the gene-based C-19 test called Feluda.The test was indigenously developed and uses cutting edge CRISPR (Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology to detect the C-19 virus.

• The test was developed by scientists based in Council of scientific and Industrial Research Institute of genomics and integrative Biology CSIR-IDIB along with the TATA Group.

• FELUDA is the acronym of FNCAS9 editor linked uniform detection. It is a paper strip test

Obituary

Assam Musician Bibhuranjan Choudhury passes away

• Music composer, singer, lyricist and actor Bibhuranjan Choudhury passed away at the age of 71 years due to cancer. He was from Assam.

• Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condoled the demise of Bibhuranjan Choudhury.

Winston Groom, Author of ‘Forrest Gump,’ passes away

• Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop-cultural phenomenon, has died at age 77. He wrote 16 books, fiction and nonfiction.

• Groom served in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division from 1965 to 1969, the university said. His service included a tour in Vietnam – one of the settings for “Forrest Gump.”

Sports

Simona Halep & Novak Djokovic wins 2020 Italian Open title

• World number one Novak Djokovic beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman, 7-6, 5-3, to win 2020 Men’s Single Italian Open title and his fifth overall Rome title.

• In Women’s single, top seed Simona Halep defeated champion Karolina Pliskova, 6-0, 2-1, to win her first Italian Open title.

• Winners List

1. Men’s Single- Novak Djokovic

2. Women’s Single- Simona Halep

3. Men’s Double- Marcel Granollers /Horacio Zeballos

4. Women’s Double- Hsieh Su-wei / Barbora Strýcová

Appointments and Resignations

 Anil Dhasmana becomes new chief of NTRO 

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief, Anil Dhasmana, as the new Chief of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) for a period of two years with effect from 18 September 2020.

• NTRO is a technical intelligence Agency under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which looks after geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery.

• He will replace former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Satish Chandra Jha. Dhasmana, a 1981-batch officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, has been the chief of RAW from 31 January 2017 to 29 June 2019.

Ranking

World Largest Telescope to have IT controls built in India

• The square kilometre array also called the SKA, an international initiative building the world’s largest radio telescope is to have control systems designed and built by Tata Consultancy Services, an IT company based in India.

• Several other multiple leading Indian scientific Institutions are also contributing to the project under the leadership of TCS.

• The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) operating under Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the leading manager of the project.

Books and Authors

Chef Vikas Khanna’s Next Book To Give Insights Into His ‘Feed India’ Initiative

• Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna announced his next book titled “Kitchens of Gratitude”.In this book he will write about his Feed India initiative, one of the world’s largest food drives serving meals to the underprivileged amid the ongoing pandemic, said by publishing house Penguin Random House India.

• The book, “Kitchens of Gratitude”, will be released in 2021 under the ‘Ebury Press’ imprint.

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Important Current Affairs 20th September 2020

National

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announces 1350 crore relief package for traders

• In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced an economic package of Rs 1350 crore for Jammu and Kashmir in a bid to boost the business and the other ailing sectors that have suffered huge losses for several years in the newly formed Union Territory.

• This is additional to the benefits of Atma Nirbhar Bharat and other measures taken by the government to comfort the business community.

• The state government has been decided to give 5% interest subvention to every borrower from the business community, without any conditions for six months in the current financial year.

Government gives one-year extension to Company Law Committee

• The ministry of corporate affairs has extended the tenure of the Company Law Committee by one year to September 2021.

• The committee, constituted in September 2019, is now chaired by corporate affairs secretary Rajesh Verma.

• It was set up to suggest measures to de-clog and improve functioning of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and make recommendations on various issues pertaining to implementation of the Companies Act as well as the Limited Liability Partnership Act.

Banking and Economy

Canara Bank introduces i-Lead 2.0 to boost customer services

• Canara Bank has launched a lead management system(LMS) named as i-Lead 2.0(Inspiring Leads System version 2.0).

• The initiative aims that each and every customer gets their banking needs covered, irrespective of where they are based, urban or rural.

• Customers can use internet banking, mobile banking, call center, SMS and missed call services to enquire and get services rendered to them. They can also use the CANDI mobile app of Canara Bank.

Awards

Udit Singhal named in UN’s 2020 list of Young Leaders

• Indian teenager Udit Singhal has been named in the 2020 Class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has been named in the 2020 list of young leaders who promote sustainable development goals.

• Udit Singhal is the founder of Glass2Sand, an initiative that is based on a zero-waste ecosystem to tackle the challenge of glass waste in Delhi.

Margaret Atwood wins 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize

• Margaret Atwood (Canada) has won the 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s lifetime achievement award.

• The award celebrated the power of literature in fostering peace, social justice and global understanding. It is a United States literary award

• Margaret Atwood is famous for her novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Sports

ITF Renames Fed Cup as Billie Jean King Cup

• The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has renamed the Fed Cup, an annual team competition in women tennis, as the “Billie Jean King Cup.”

• Billie Jean King was a pioneer in women’s tennis who helped the United States win the inaugural event.

• The Billie Jean King Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

Days

International Coastal Cleanup Day

• The International Coastal Cleanup Day is being celebrated on 3rd Saturday of September of every Year. This year September 19 was celebrated as the International Coastal Cleanup Day to encourages people to clean beaches, remove the garbage plaguing it

• The theme of this year is “Achieving a trash free Coastline”.

Books and Authors

Barack Obama’s first presidential memoir, ‘A Promised Land,’ to hit stands in November 2020

• Former US President Barack Obama has announced his first presidential memoir titled  “A Promised Land.”

• A Promised Land is the first of two volumes of the book. This volume tells about his early political life, his presidential campaign in 2008, and ending with the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

• The 768-page book will be published in November 2020 by Penguin Random House and is scheduled to be released on November 17, 2020 in 25 languages.

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Important Current Affairs 19th September 2020

National

Union govt approves amendment in FDI policy in Defence Sector

• The Union Government has approved the amendment in Foreign Direct Investment Policy in Defence Sector. The Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that for new licensees, FDI is allowed upto 74 percent through the automatic route and beyond 74 percent will be permitted through the government route.

• The Minister further said that for existing licensees, infusion of fresh foreign investment up to 49 percent will be allowed by making a declaration of change or transfer within 30 days.

• The move aims to enhance ease of doing business and contribute to the growth of investment, income and employment. The foreign investments in the defence sector shall be subject to scrutiny on grounds of national security.

Atal Tunnel, World’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, connecting Manali to Leh ready after 10 years

• World’s longest highway tunnel connecting Manali to Leh under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range of Himalayas on the Leh-Manali highway is now completed after 10 years.

• The Tunnel is named after late and former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It’s the world’s highest tunnel situated at an altitude above 10,000 metres. The Tunnel is 9 km long.The tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by up to 46 kms.It will also reduce the travel time by upto 4 hours

Homeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 passed in Rajya Sabha

• The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020, was passed in the Rajya Sabha on September 18, 2020. The Bill amends the Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973.

• The Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 sets up the Central Council of Homoeopathy which regulates homeopathic education and practice. The Bill replaces the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 that was promulgated on April 24, 2020.

PM inaugurates Kosi Rail mega bridge in Bihar through video conferencing

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the historical Kosi Rail Mega Bridge to the nation and also inaugurated 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities to benefit the people of Bihar in Bihar via video-conferencing.

• The bridge has strategic importance along the India-Nepal border, which connects the Mitihila and Kosi region. The historical project to build the bridge, which is 1.9 kilometres long and has been constructed at a cost of Rs 516 crore.

• With the construction of the bridge the rail distance between Nirmali and Saraigarh would come down from the present 298 kilometres to 22 kilometres.

India’s first exclusive private jet terminal inaugurated at International airport in Delhi

• The Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on September 17, 2020, inaugurated India’s first exclusive private jet terminal at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

• The terminal will handle the flight operations of the private jets. The new terminal also has the capacity to handle over 50 passengers every hour.

• The private jet terminal will enable the smooth movement of the chartered aircraft and the business jets.

Fourth Global Ayurveda Summit organised virtually

• The fourth edition of the Global Ayurveda Summit, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) held virtually with the theme ‘Ayurveda For Immunity’. The summit was inaugurated by the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

• The objective of the summit is to showcase Ayurveda and herbal medicine to the world as a solution named ‘Health as One’ and ‘Immunity through Ayurveda’.

• The Global Ayurveda Summit 2020 will have 8-day International Conference, 30-day International Exhibition and Focused Business to Business Meetings.

International

New Zealand becomes first country to mandate climate risk disclosures

• New Zealand has become the first country to pass legislation requiring financial entities to declare their climate-related risks. The rule will apply to banks, insurers, all listed debt and equity issuers.

• Financial entities in New Zealand will have to comply with the framework laid down by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Science and Technology

Scientists Develop World’s Smallest Ultrasound Detector

• Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the world’s smallest ultrasound detector. It is based on miniaturized photonic circuits on top of a silicon chip.

• With a size 100 times smaller than an average human hair, the new detector can visualize features that are much smaller than previously possible, leading to what is known as super-resolution imaging.

Obituary

Former RBI governor Amitabha Ghosh passes away

• Amitabha Ghosh, the shortest-serving Governor of the Reserve Bank of India passed away at the age of 90.

• He had served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for 21 days between January 15, 1985 to February 4, 1985.

• It was a stop-gap arrangement when Amitabha Ghosh was serving as a deputy governor of RBI and waiting to hand over charge to the 17th RBI Governor R N Malhotra.

Veteran Ayurveda physician from Tamil Nadu PR Krishnakumar passes away

• Tamil Nadu based prominent Indian Ayurveda physician PR Krishnakumar has passed away. He was 69.

• Krishnakumar was the Founder and Managing Director of the iconic Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP) as well as the Chancellor of the renowned Avinashilingam University in Coimbatore.

• The Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri award in 2009 for his contribution to medicine.

Days

International Equal Pay Day

• International Equal Pay Day is observed globally for the first time on 18th September 2020. On the occasion of the first International Equal Pay Day, and in the midst of the fallout from the global C-19 pandemic.

• On November 15 2019, The third Committee at the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly adopted resolution (A/C37/74/L.49) proclaiming 18 September as International Equal Pay Day

World Bamboo Day

• World Bamboo Day is observed every year on 18 September to raise awareness of the benefits of bamboo and to promote its use in everyday products.

• WBD was officially declared by the World Bamboo Organization on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress held in Bangkok in 2009.

• The theme for 11th edition of WBD 2020 is ‘BAMBOO NOW.’

Books and Authors

A new book titled “Azadi” authored by Arundhati Roy

• Arundhati Roy’s new book titled “Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction” is published by Penguin Books Limited.

• The nonfiction book is a collection of essays that shows the meaning of Freedom in the world of increasing authoritarianism.

• The essay collection includes meditations on language and roles of fiction and alternative imaginations amid global pandemic due to C-19.

The End of an Era; India Exits Tibet by Claude Arpi

• French-born author, journalist, historian Claude Arpi has written fourth and final volume of his book titled End of an Era, India Exits Tibet.

• The book highlights India Tibet relation between 1947 and 1962. it also focuses on India losing all its influence in Tibet.

• It shows Nehru Memorial Library papers, de-classified Indian and Chinese documents and personal interviews.

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Important Current Affairs 15th September 2020

National

Govt moves ahead with Orientation and Training Programme of iRAD App

• Road Transport and Highways Ministry is in the process of implementing Integrated Road Accident Database Project (iRAD) which will be applicable across the country.

• In the first instance, it has been decided to implement the proposal in six states. These are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

• The basic iRAD app has been developed and will be customized as per the requirements of concerned states.

UP Government to set up a special security force that can arrest or search without a warrant

• The Uttar Pradesh State Government had announced on September 13, 2020, that a special security force will be constituted to protect airports, courts, administrative buildings, banks, metros, and other government offices.

• The Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) will be allowed to conduct searches and arrests without any warrants if it is sure about the crime.

• The information regarding the special security force was shared by UP’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi during a press briefing.

International

Yoshihide Suga wins Japan’s ruling party’s leadership vote, set to become PM

• Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga won the leadership vote of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan on September 14, 2020. Mr. Suga will soon secure the position of the new Prime Minister of the country as on September 16, 2020, the Japanese parliament will confirm Suga as the head of the government.

•  As per the final count, Mr. Suga had secured 377 votes of a total of 534 votes. Yoshihide Suga will be replacing the long-serving Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, who had resigned in August 2020 due to health problems.

Summits and Mou’s

HCL Technologies joins NVIDIA partner network, will pursue opportunities in AI space

• HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, announced it has joined NVIDIA Partner Network (NPN), the US-based technology company’s partner program, with plans to pursue expanded opportunities in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) space.

• HCL also announced the launch of NEXT.ai, HCL’s AI Lab, focused on upskilling engineers and architects utilizing AI solutions across hardware and software technology stacks.

• This will enhance their capabilities to build AI-led solutions for multiple HCL clients across industry verticals.

Awards

Euromoney honours HDFC Bank MD Aditya Puri with Lifetime Achievement Award

• Aditya Puri, MD of HDFC Bank has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Euromoney Awards of Excellence 2020.

• He has been awarded for his skills in building a world-class bank in India at a time where there were no similar institutions in existence.

Sports

Japan’s Naomi Osaka beats Victoria Azarenka to win US Open Tennis Tournament

• In Tennis, Japan’s Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 1-6, ,6-3, 6-3,  to clinch the Women’s Singles title in the 2020 US Open Tennis tournament

• This is the third Grand Slam title for the fourth seed Osaka. The victory has moved up Osaka to number 3 in the world rankings.

• The 22-year old Osaka previously won the title at the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open.She is now the first Asian player to win three Grand Slam singles titles.

Dominic Thiem wins US Open Men’s Tennis Tournament 2020

• Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev to win the men’s singles title at the 2020 US Open tournament.

• It was Thiem’s first Grand Slam title, and he becomes the first player in the Open Era to rally from two sets down in a US Open final.

Appointments and Resignations

Sameer Kumar Khare appointed Executive Director at ADB

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Sameer Kumar Khare as new Executive Director of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila.

• Khare is a 1989-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Assam cadre. He is currently serving as Additional Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs under Ministry of Finance.

Rajesh Khullar appointed Executive Director at World Bank

• A 1988 batch IAS officer, Rajesh Khullar has been appointed as Executive Director at World Bank in Washington DC. The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Rajesh Khulla for a tenure of three years from the date of assumption of charge or till the date of his superannuation (August 23, 2023).

• Khullar is currently posted as principal secretary to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Ranking

TCS Becomes Second Indian Firm to Cross Rs 9 Lakh Crore-market Valuation Mark

• Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became the second Indian firm to attain a market valuation of over Rs 9 lakh crore after Reliance Industries Limited.

• The company’s market valuation went past Rs 9 lakh crore in early trade helped by a rally in its share price.

• The stock of the software services firm gained 2.91 per cent to Rs 2,442.80- its record high on the BSE.

Days

International Day of Democracy

• International Day of Democracy is observed globally on 15th September every year. The International Day of Democracy provides an opportunity to review the state of democracy in the world.

• The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly through a resolution in 2007 to strengthen national programmes devoted to the promotion and consolidation of democracy. The day was observed for the first time in 2008.

National Engineer’s Day

• In India, the Engineer’s Day is celebrated on September 15 every year, since 1968, to recognise the contribution of engineers’ in the development of the nation.

• The day marks the birth anniversary of the engineering pioneer of India, Sir Mokshagundam Vishweshvaraya, (popularly known as Sir MV).Sir MV was regarded as the “Father of Modern Mysore”.

• He was awarded ‘Bharat Ratna’ for his exceptional contribution to the building of India in 1955.

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Important Current Affairs 14th September 2020

National

Odisha Launches ‘GARIMA’ Scheme For Sanitation Workers

• The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik launched a new scheme named ‘GARIMA’ which aims to ensure the economic safety and social dignity of core sanitation workers in the state. Initially, the state government has allocated a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for the scheme.

• GARIMA Scheme will be implemented by state Housing and Urban Development department in all the 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Odisha.

• Around 20,000 core sanitation workers and their families with about one lakh population will benefit from the scheme.

AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy launches ‘YSR Aasara’ scheme; 87 lakh women to benefit

• Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy launched the ‘YSR Aasara’ programme aimed at “empowering women economically and socially”.

• Under the YSR Aasara scheme, Andhra Pradesh government will reimburse outstanding bank loans of self-help groups as on April 11, 2019, in four instalments.

• Rs 6,792.2 crore towards the first installment of the total dues of Rs 27,169 crores was released to the banks of 87,74,674 women belonging to 8.7 lakh SHGs.

Banking and Economy

Razorpay launches collateral free line of credit for SMEs

• In a bid to rescue MSMEs and improve their cash flows, Razorpay has launched a collateral free line of credit called Cash Advance.

• MSMEs can borrow working capital with a credit limit of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh, within 10 seconds through the Razorpay dashboard, depending upon the credit history of the business.

• With this, Razorpay aims to support businesses with upto Rs 100 crores of credit by end of 2020.

Obituary

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who recently quit RJD, passed away 

• Former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away while undergoing treatment in New Delhi. Singh, who had recently resigned from RJD, had fallen critically ill.

• He was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India and represented the Vaishali constituency of Bihar.Often called the architect of the MGNREGA scheme, which was floated when he was the Union minister for rural development in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

Sports

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Tuscan Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Formula One Tuscan Grand Prix 2020 held on September 13, 2020. This was his 6th win of the season and 90th F1 win of his career.

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Alexander Albon (Red Bull – Thailand) at third place.

• The Tuscan Grand Prix (first edition) was the ninth race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship.

Appointments and Resignations

Jane Fraser named the first female CEO of Citigroup

• Multinational investment bank, Citigroup named Jane Fraser as its next chief executive, tapping a woman to lead a giant Wall Street bank for the first time.

• Fraser began her career at Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s mergers and acquisitions department in London, before starting to work for Asesores Bursátiles in Madrid. She has been working for Citigroup for 16 years and been serving in her current capacity since 2019.

Subhash Kamath elected as Chairman of ASCI

• Subhash Kamath has been elected as the chairman of the board of governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).

• He is the chief executive at advertising agency BBH & Publicis Worldwide, India.He will replace Rohit Gupta, president, Sony Pictures Networks.

Ranking

India is second-fastest-growing freelance market in the world

• India is the second-fastest-growing freelance market in the world with a massive increase in the number of freelancers this year, according to a report on ‘freelancing in 2020: An Abundance of Opportunities’ by Pioneer.

• Furthermore, India witnessed a 46 per cent increase in new freelancers from Q1 to Q2, 2020 as per the report. Apart from India, other popular markets for gig workers include the US, Pakistan, and Ukraine.

Days

National Hindi Day

• Hindi Divas or Hindi Day is an annual day celebrated on 14 September in India to celebrate the popularity of Hindi as an official language of the country.

• Hindi Divas is celebrated on 14 September because on this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India.

• The language was adopted under the Article 343 of the Indian Constitution.

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Important Current Affairs 12th September 2020

National

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin):PM to participate in ‘Griha Pravesh’ ceremony virtually

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in ‘Griha Pravesh’ ceremony and virtually inaugurate 1.75 lakh houses in Madhya Pradesh.

• The house of Subhash and Sushila of Urdan village of Betul district of MP has been completed recently under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

Golden Temple gets FCRA Registration

• The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approved registration of the Sri Harmandir Sahib under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 on 9 September 2020.

• Sri Harmandir Sahib is famous as Golden Temple in Amritsar. The registration under FCRA 2010 will allow the Golden Temple to receive foreign funds. The FCRA registration will be valid for a period of five years.

13th Aero India-21 to be held in Bengaluru in Feb 2021

• The 13th edition of Aero India-21 is scheduled to be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka from 3 to 07 February 2021.

• Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh has launched the website for Aero India 2021, so that the exhibitors can register and book their space online as well as Business and other visitors buy their tickets online to visit the show.

• The website can be accessed at https://aeroindia.gov.in

• Aero India is Asia’s largest air show and aviation exhibition held biennially in Bengaluru since 1996.

Meghalaya launched India’s largest “Piggery Mission”

• The state government of Meghalaya has launched India’s Biggest “Piggery Mission” with an outlay of Rs 209 Crores.

•  It is being launched under the aegis of Meghalaya Livestock Enterprises Advancement Society (MLEADS) and funded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).

•  The main objective of the Piggery Mission is to reduce the annual import of Pork worth Rs 150 Crore and make Meghalaya self-sufficient (“Aatma Nirbhar”) in pork production over the next 3 years.

International

India, U.S. and Israel collaborating in 5G tech

• India, Israel and the United States have begun collaboration in developmental area, and in next generation of emerging technologies, including a transparent, open, reliable and secure 5G communication network.

• It was announced at the virtual US-India-Israel summit that focused on trilateral partnerships in the strategic, technology and development arenas.

• The branching out of this trilateral initiative in development and technological arena is a result of the people-to-people collaboration, in particular those by Indian diaspora in the US and Israel, that was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his historic visit to Israel three years ago in July 2017.

Banking and Economy

Reliance Industries becomes first Indian firm to cross $200 bn m-cap

• Reliance Industries (RIL) on September 10, 2020, became the first Indian company to cross $200 billion in market capitalization (m-cap).

• The market capitalization of Reliance Industries at the close of the stock market on September 10, 2020, was Rs 15.3 trillion ($208 billion).

• The second best after RIL is Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with an m-cap of Rs 8.75 trillion, ($119 billion).

Moody’s forecasts India’s GDP at -11.5% for FY21, 10.6% for FY22

• Ratings agency Moody’s has projected the GDP growth rate for India to contract 11.5 percent in the fiscal 2020-21 (FY21) due to the C-19 pandemic.

• For 2021-22 (FY22), Moody’s projected the economy of India to grow at 10.6 percent.

Science and Technology

Microsoft, Nasscom’s FutureSkills to launch AI-skilling initiative in India

• Microsoft in collaboration with Nasscom’s FutureSkills will launch a nation-wide initiative in India to skill students in Artificial Intelligence.

• The initiative aims to skill 1 million students by 2021.

• As part of the collaboration, Microsoft and Nasscom experts will skill the students in AI, machine learning and data science through modules such as live demos, hands-on workshops and assignments as part of the AI classroom series.

Appointments and Resignations

UNICEF appoints Ayushmann Khurrana for children’s rights campaign

• United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has appointed Bollywood Actor Ayushmann Khurrana as its celebrity advocate for children’s rights campaign, ”For Every Child”.

•  He will work towards this initiative in India. He will support UNICEF to end violence against children.

Ranking

India ranked 105th in Global Economic Freedom Index 2020; Top- Hong Kong

• India (Score- 6.56/10) has been ranked 105th in the Global Economic Freedom Index 2020 released by the Fraser Institute, Canada. HongKong (Score- 8.94/10) has topped the ranking followed by Singapore at the second spot.

• India has fallen 26 spots from 79th spot in last year’s ranking. Venezuela has been ranked last among 162 countries. The rankings are prepared based on the data of the year 2018.

• The index measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom. The Index ranks countries based on five areas—the size of government, legal structure and property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, regulation of credit, labour and business.

Days

International Day for South-South Cooperation

• International Day for South-South Cooperation is observed globally on 12th September every year. The day celebrates the economic, social and political developments made in recent years by regions and countries in the south.

• Theme for 2020 is “Pathways toward the SDGs through South-South solidarity beyond C-19.”

•  It also highlights the UN’s efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries.

World First Aid Day 2020

• The World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of September every year to create awareness about importance of first aid in preventing injuries and saving lives. The World First Aid Day 2020 is being observed on 12 September.

• The day was started by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 2000 to educate people in the world of the benefits of first aid, need of first aid and the right way to do first aid.

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Important Current Affairs 11th September 2020

National

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, e-Gopala app

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 10, 2020, digitally launched the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) and e-Gopala app for farmers in Bihar.

•  PM also launched several other initiatives for the fisheries and animal husbandry sectors in Bihar.

•  The yojana aims to focus on the sustainable and focused development of the fisheries sector in the country. While the e-Gopala app is a breed improvement marketplace and information portal launched for the direct use of the farmers.

Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa launches country’s first integrated air ambulance

• Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa unveiled the country’s first integrated air ambulance service jointly launched in the State capital, Bengaluru by the International Critical Air Transfer Team (ICATT) and the Kyathi in the city.

• The ICATT Kyathi’s fixed wing aircraft for long distance emergency medical transport, combined with helicopter and land ambulance services providing last mile connectivity, will address the growing need for timely and quality emergency medical services in India.

International

Parachutist makes world’s first jump from solar-powered plane

• A parachutist completed the world’s first jump from a solar-powered aircraft after the plane soared to a height of 1,520 metres (nearly 5,000 ft) over western Switzerland.

• The two-seater prototype plane made the test flight in good weather and to promote renewable energy.

• Parachutist Raphael Domjan reached a speed of 150 kilometres per hour during his jump, landing near the project base in Payerne.

Banking and Economy

Finance Minister launches Doorstep Banking Services by PSBs

• Union Minister of Finance, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Doorstep Banking Services by Public Sector Banks (PSBs). All 12 Public Sectors banks have been covered in this scheme.

• The service is available in 11 languages. It aims to deliver the services in 3 hours. For this 100 Doorstep banking centres have been established across India.

• Available Services: Services like- Cheques/DD/PO, New cheque book requisition, 15G, 15H forms, IT Challan, Standing Instructions request, A/c Statement, Non-personalised Cheque Books, DD, PO, Prepaid instrument/Gift card, TDS / Form 16 Certificate issuance, Term Deposit Receipt /Acknowledgement can be availed by the customers at their doorsteps.

• The service aims to provide banking services to the customers of Public Sector Banks at their doorstep via three modes-

 Call Centre (18001037188 or 18001213721)

 Web Portal (www.psbdsb.in)

 Mobile App (Doorstep Banking(DSB)

• The targetted customers are- Senior citizens, Defense personnel, CRPF, widows,     Divyang individuals, Students, Salaried employees, Corporate clients, Retail shopkeepers and street vendors.

Crisil projects India’s GDP for FY21 at -9%

• CRISIL has projected India’s GDP rate at -9% for the financial year 2020-21 (FY21). CRISIL revising its forecast down from 5% owing to uncertainty over the spread of C-19 and lack of adequate financial support from the government.

• For FY22, Crisil has projected India’s GDP to grow at 10%. For the next three years, between fiscals 2023 and 2025, CRISIL projects the Indian GDP to average a growth of 6.2% annually.

ICICI Bank launches iStartup 2.0, dedicated offering for start-ups

• ICICI Bank has launched a new product named iStartup 2.0, to cater to the banking needs of startups and entrepreneurs.

• iStartup 2.0 is a startup bank account (in form of current account) that can be opened within 10 years of date of incorporation of the business. There are three variants of this current account.

• Eligibility: Partnership Firms and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) OR Private and Public Limited Companies and One Person Companies (OPCs).

Appointments and Resignations

Paresh Rawal appointed as new Chairman of National School of Drama

• Veteran actor Paresh Rawal has been appointed as the Chairperson of the National School of Drama (NSD), India’s premier theatre institute. The post had been vacant since 2017.

• The 65-year-old has years of experience in both theatre and cinema. In his career span of over three decades, Rawal has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994 and the Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

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Important Current Affairs 10th September 2020

National

Child Mortality Rate in India declined substantially between 1990 and 2019: UNICEF Report

• According to the new mortality estimates released by UNICEF, India’s child mortality rate has declined substantially between 1990 and 2019.

• The under-five mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) in India declined to 34% in 2019 from 126% in 1990. The number of global under-five deaths has dropped to its lower point on record in 2019 to 5.2 million from 12.5 million in 1990.

• The Levels & Trends in Child Mortality’ Report 2020 is a joint work of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the World Bank Group.

Silver Lake Partners has picked up 1.75 per cent stake in the retail arm of Reliance Industries for Rs 7,500 crore.

• This investment values RRVL at a pre-money equity value of Rs 4.21 lakh crore. Silver Lake’s investment will translate into a 1.75 per cent equity stake in RRVL on a fully diluted basis.

• This marks the second billion-dollar investment by Silver Lake in a Reliance Industries subsidiary after the USD 1.35 billion investment in Jio Platforms announced earlier this year.

Banking and Economy

India Ratings forecasts contraction of 11.8% in FY21 GDP

• The Indian arm of Fitch Ratings, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected India’s FY21 GDP growth forecast at -11.8% as against its earlier prediction of -5.3%.

• The rating agency estimates the economic loss in FY21 to be Rs 18.44 lakh crore. The rating agency also expects India’s GDP to rebound and grow at 9.9% year-on-year in FY22 primarily due to the weak base of FY21.

Goldman Sachs predicts India’s GDP for FY21 at -14.8%

• Goldman Sachs has predicted India’s GDP for FY21 at -14.8%. For Calendar Year 2020 it has projected a contraction of 11.1%.

• For FY22, Goldman Sachs predicts India’s GDP to grow at 15.7% and for Calendar Year 2021 at 9.9%.

SBI to launch loan product ‘SAFAL’ for organic cotton growers

• State Bank of India is planning to launch a loan product named “SAFAL” for organic cotton growers. The product Safe and Fast Agriculture Loan (SAFAL) is primarily focussed on organic cotton growers who don’t have any credit history.

• It stands for Safe and Fast Agriculture Loan (SAFAL). SBI will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for this purpose.

Awards

Noted English Broadcaster David Attenborough wins Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2019

• David Attenborough, a natural historian, and a renowned author has been conferred with Indira Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 through a virtual ceremony.

• Mr. Attenborough has been recognized for his contribution through the books and films to awaken the humankind to protect and preserve the biodiversity on our planet. While the Congress President Sonia Gandhi attended the ceremony, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh presented the prize virtually.

Lifetime Achievements Award to Prof. Aditya Prasad Padhi

Indian Chartered Accountancy Parivar and Delhi University Ramanujan College Professor Aditya Prasad Padhi, former Vice – Chancellor of Berhampur University has been honoured with “Lifetime Achievements Award” for his outstanding contribution to higher education in India.

Obituary

Telugu Actor Jayaprakash Reddy passes away

• Veteran Telugu stage and film actor Jayaprakash Reddy died of heart attack at his residence in Guntur. He was 74. Jayaprakash Reddy, popularly known as JP, began his career as a school teacher. His passion for acting drove him towards the stage and he played varied roles in countless dramas.

• JP acted in more than 100 films along side the top heroes of Telugu films like Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Pawan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu

Appointments and Resignations

Anil Jain becomes new President of All India Tennis Association

• The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has elected Anil Jain as its new president, while Anil Dhupar was chosen as its secretary-general. India’s Davis Cup captain Rohit Rajpal was elected as the treasurer for a four-year term till 2024.

• All the office-bearers, as well as the new executive committee members, were elected unopposed. Anil Jain will replace Praveen Mahajan as AITA president. Dhupar will replace Hironmoy Chatterjee.

Days

World Suicide Prevention Day

• World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is observed on 10 September every year, in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides.

• The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host World Suicide Prevention Day with various activities around the world since 2003.

• The theme for 2020 World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.

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