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Important Current Affairs 1st July 2020

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

DGCI approves Bharat Biotech’s vaccine for clinical trials

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

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

Maharashtra launches largest plasma therapy trial “Project Platina”

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

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

International

China passes national security law for Hong Kong

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

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

Awards

Popstar Beyonce honored with BET 2020 Humanitarian Award

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

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

Appointments and Resignations

KK Venugopal reappointed as Attorney General of India

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

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

Days

National Doctor’s Day 2020

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

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

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

National Charted Accountants Day

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 24th June 2020

National

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

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

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

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

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

Rajasthan Government to launch “Indira Rasoi Yojana”

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

Banking and Economy

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

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

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

Awards

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

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

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

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

Science and Technology

ISRO receives patent for “Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment”

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

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

Obituary

Former Indian shooter Pournima Zanane passes away

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

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

Appointments and Resignations

T. Rabi Sankar becomes new Chairman of IFTAS

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

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

Days

United Nations Public Service Day

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

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

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

International Olympic Day

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

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

Books and Authors

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

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

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

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Important Current Affairs 19th June 2020

National

PM Modi to launch Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan on 20 June

• “Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan” will be launched by the Government of India from Village Telihar, Block Beldaur of Khagaria District of Bihar. It is a massive rural public works scheme that will empower and offer livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers as well as rural citizens.

• The programme will be joined by the villages across 116 districts in the six States through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The six states are: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Harsh Vardhan launched India’s 1st Mobile Lab

• Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan has launched India’s first mobile lab for C-19 testing. The Rapid Response Mobile Laboratory has been developed with the support from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology and Andhra Pradesh Med-tech Zone (AMTZ) under DBT-AMTZ COMManD (COVID Medtech Manufacturing Development) Consortia.

•  The mobile lab which is also called Infectious Disease Diagnostic Lab or I-Lab will be able to run 25 RT-PCR and about 300 ELISA tests in a day. The lab can also take additional tests for TB, HIV as per CGHS rates.

Two Indian Companies – ZestMoney and Stellapps – Named in WEF’s Technology Pioneers of 2020

• Two Indian firms namely ZestMoney and Stellapps have figured in the 2020 Technology Pioneers list released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on 16 June 2020.

• 2020 Technology Pioneers is the 20th edition of the annual list and comprises the names of companies from around the world that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society by addresing global issues with cutting-edge technology.

• Of the 100 companies in the 2020 class, one-fourth are led by female founders.

International

India elected as non-permanent member of UN Security Council for a two-year term

• India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term during the 2020 UNSC elections held on 17 June 2020.India’s two year term for the 2021-22 will begin on January 1, 2021.

• The country won 184 votes out of 192 valid votes polled in 193 member UN General Assembly. India was the sole candidate from the Asia-Pacific category.

• This is the eighth time that India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council. Its previous terms are 1950—1951, 1967—1968, 1972—1973, 1977—1978, 1984—1985, 1991—1992 and 2011—2012.

• Along with India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway were the other countries that also won the 2020 Security Council election.

Banking and Economy

AIIB Approves $750 million loan to India

• Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved USD 750 million as a loan to India to help government to strengthen its response to the effect of the Chinese virus on millions of poor households.

• AIIB is co-financing the loan with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).This is the second loan for India under AIIB’s C-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF).Earlier, the bank had provided USD 500 million C-19 emergency response to India.

• With this, AIIB’s total sovereign loans to India that have already been approved amount to USD 3.06 billion.

Fitch revises India’s outlook to negative from stable

• Fitch Ratings has revised India’s long-term outlook to negative from stable, citing risks due to continued acceleration in the number of new C-19 cases as the lockdown is eased gradually in the country.

• The global credit rating agency has affirmed the country’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB-’, the lowest investment grade.

• Fitch expects Indian economic to contract by 5% (-5 percent) in the fiscal year ending March 2021 (FY21).

ADB Forecast India’s GDP at -4% for FY’21; 5% for FY’22

• India’s economy is forecast to contract by 4 percent in 2020-21, as per the latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) report of the Asian Development Bank released on 18 June 2020, due to the adverse effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

• For FY2021, ending March 2022, India’s GDP is projected to grow at 5%.

 GDP for 2020-21 : -4%

 GDP for 2021-22 : 5%

Appointments and Resignations

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir Elected President of 75th UN General Assembly

• Volkan Bozkır, a veteran Turkish diplomat and parliamentarian was elected as the President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on June 17. He was the sole candidate for the post.

• Bozkır is the first Turkish national who has become the President of the General Assembly.

Days

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

• International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed globally on 19th June every year.

• This day is seen to bring issues to light of the need to stop strife related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all or any those that have fearlessly dedicated their lives to and lost their lives in going to bat for the annihilation of those violations.

Autistic Pride Day

• Every year, Autistic Pride Day is observed on June 18 globally to create awareness about autism among people and recognise the importance of pride for autistic people and its role in bringing about positive changes in the broader society.

• The day is represented by a rainbow infinity symbol which denotes the infinite possibilities that autistic people have.

• Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in Brazil in 2005, at the initiative of an organisation named Aspies for Freedom.

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Important Current Affairs 11th June 2020

National

Centre mandates to display green sticker on all BS-VI compliant vehicles of any type

• The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued a notification, making it mandatory for all BS-VI compliant motor vehicles of any fuel type to have a strip of green colour of 1 cm width, at the top of the existing third registration sticker plate.

• This means for petrol or CNG, which have a light blue colour sticker and a diesel vehicle which is of orange colour sticker, both will have a green strip of 1 CM on top as mandated.

• This green strip will carry details of registration of BS-VI vehicle and its fuel type. The order will come into force from October 1, 2020.The order has been issued by amending the Motor Vehicles (High Security Registration Plates) order, 2018.

Awards

Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2020 Deferred

• Ramon Magsaysay Awards 2020 have been cancelled due to the C-19 . The Awards, considered as Asia’s version of Nobel Prize, are conferred by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation.

• The award is bestowed upon the Asian individuals showcase excellence in their respective fields and who work selflessly to serve others.

Obituary

Padma Shri awardee Pritam Singh passes away

• Former director of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow, Pritam Singh passed away. He chaired the subcommittee on Institutional Management and Leadership Development in Higher Education by the 12th Planning Commission for the 5-year plan (2012-2017).

• He was a member of the Ministry of Home Affairs Committee for capacity building of IPS officers.

Appointments and Resignations

Anil Valluri appointed as senior director for Google Cloud India

• Google Cloud has appointed Anil Valluri as Senior Director for Google Cloud in India. Valluri has over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the hi-tech industry.

• He has also headed several technology transitions in India for customers across banking, telecommunications, public sector and manufacturing. Before joining Google Cloud, Valluri was the President of India & SAARC operations at Net App.

Ranking

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Richest Man in the World; Ambani at 12th Position: Bloomberg Billionaires Index

• The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world’s richest people.

• Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has emerged as the richest person in the world with a total net worth of $150 billion after he added almost $35 billion to his net worth so far this year.

• Bill Gates is the second richest person having total net worth of $115 billion. Bernard Arnault ($94.7 billion), Mark Zuckerberg (87.9 billion) and Warren Buffett (79.4 billion), makes up the top five.

• India’s Mukesh Ambani is the 12th richest person in the world. The total net worth of Ambani is 57.2 billion.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd June 2020

National

Government launches Mudra Shishu loan

• The Central Government has announced the launch of ‘Mudra Shishu loan’ for small businesses and industries. The scheme would benefit around one lakh companies to avail of the loan with an interest benefit of 2% in a year.

• Earlier, the scheme was announced by Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package.

Cabinet revises Definition of MSME

• The Union Cabinet has approved the revised definition of the MSME on June 1, 2020. As per the new Definition of MSME, the investment of up to Rs 50 crore and a turnover of Rs 250 crore will now define a company as a Medium Unit.

• The new and old definition of MSME is mentioned below:

Category New Capital New Turnover Old Capital Old Turnover

Micro 1 Crore 5 Crore 25 Lakh 10 Lakh

Small 10 Crore 50 Crore 5 Crore 2 Crore

Medium 50 Crore 250 Crore 10 crore 5 Crore

• The turnover with respect to exports will not be counted in the limits of turnover for any category of MSME units whether micro, small or medium. This will help in attracting investments and creating more jobs in the MSME sector.

• Earlier, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced few economic measures under the Rs 20 lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan to revive the economy of India.

DRDO develops ‘Ultra Swachh’ to disinfect PPEs, electronics items, fabrics

• The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed a disinfection unit called ‘Ultra Swachh’ to disinfect a wide range of materials including Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), electronics items, fabrics and others.

• The technology has been developed by a Delhi-based laboratory of DRDO, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences along with industry partner Gel Craft Health care Private Ltd. The ‘ultra swachh’ uses an advanced oxidative process comprising of multiple barrier disruption approach using Ozonated Space Technology for disinfection.

Banking and Economy

Moody’s downgrades India’s sovereign rating to ‘Baa3’, maintains negative outlook, revises GDP for FY21 to -4%

• Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded India’s sovereign rating one notch to the lowest investment grade (Baa3) from ”Baa2”, with negative outlook.

• ”Baa3” is the lowest investment grade, just a notch above junk status.

• Moody’s has also revised its FY21 GDP estimate for India to 4% contraction against 0% growth projected earlier. However, the economic growth is projected to pick up at 8.7% in FY22 and 6% in FY23.

Obituary

Former Olympic sprint champion Bobby Morrow passes away

• American sprinter, Bobby Joe Morrow passed away. He won three athletics gold medals at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. He won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in Melbourne, becoming the first man only after fellow American Jesse Owens (1936) to win sprint treble.

• He was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” in 1956 and set 11 ratified world records during his career.

Days

World Milk Day

• The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations celebrates World Milk Day every year on 01st June to recognize the importance of milk as a global food, and to celebrate the dairy sector.

• The World Milk Day 2020 is the 20th anniversary of World Milk Day. This year, the day was celebrated with a “Enjoy Dairy Rally” that commenced on 29th May 2020 and culminated with World Milk Day i.e. on 01st June 2020.

• The theme of World Milk Day 2020 is “20th Anniversary of World Milk Day”.

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Important Current Affairs 26th May 2020

National

Fintech startup Zaggle joins hands with Visa to launch payment solutions for SMEs, startups

• In order to launch innovative payment solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups, a Fintech startup Zaggle has partnered with payments technology major “Visa”.

• Both the companies will work towards enhancing the productivity and efficiency of the SMEs and startups. They will also automate the processes and reduce the costs simultaneously focusing on easy and faster credit.

India hands over war game centre named as “INDIA” to UPDF

• The Indian Association Uganda (IAU) and Indian Military Advisory and Training Team for Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) have jointly set up military war game centre called ‘INDIA’ at the Uganda Senior Command and Staff College in Kimaka in Jinja District of Uganda with a cost of over 1 billion Ugandan shillings or $2,65,000.

• The centre was inaugurated by the Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

Sports

Italy beat Serbia to win the inaugural UEFA eEURO 2020

• Italy has won UEFA eEURO 2020, beating Serbia in the final to clinch the inaugural virtual European Championship.

• Italy emerged triumphant by defeating Serbia 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

• The UEFA EURO 2020 eTournament was the biggest ever national team efootball competition, featuring all 55 UEFA national associations.

American tennis star Jamie Hampton announces retirement

• American tennis player and former world number 24 Jamie Hampton has officially announced her retirement from professional tennis, bringing a sudden halt to her career.

• The right hander player then suffered numerous injuries and was unable to play against Venus Williams in the semi finals of ASB Classic in Auckland in 2014.

Days

World Thyroid Day

• World Thyroid Day is observed globally on 25 May every year. The main purpose of the WTD is to aware of the importance of Thyroid and the prevention and treatment of thyroid diseases.

• The World Thyroid Day was established in 2008 by the European Thyroid Association and the American Thyroid Association.

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Important Current Affairs 25th May 2020

National

Prakash Javadekar launched major initiatives on International Biodiversity Day

The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar virtually launched five key initiatives towards conservation of biodiversity on the occasion of International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May 2020.

• National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ‘Biodiversity Samrakshan Internship Programme which proposes to engage 20 students with postgraduate degrees for a period of one year through an open, transparent, online competitive process.

• Launch of UNEP Campaign on Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Species: ‘Not all Animals Migrate by Choice’.

• A Webinar Series on ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Biological Diversity Act, 2002’

• WWF Model Conference of Parties (MCoP), to involve the younger generation so they engage in conversations around impact of humanity’s footprint on biodiversity.

• An awareness campaign supported by WWF to highlight the crucial role played by nature through its free ecological services provided for humankind.

Andhra Pradesh Launches Rs 1,110 crore Mega ReSTART Package for MSMEs

• In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced Rs 1,110 crore ReSTART package for MSMEs to strengthen the sector during this emergency situation as well as create employment.

• The government immediately released Rs 450 crore as the first instalment under the scheme, which would benefit nearly 98,000 units. These units employ more than 10 lakh people who were facing hardships.

MoHFW constitutes committee to reform Drug Regulatory System

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has constituted a committee to reform the Drug Regulatory System. The committee comprises of 11 members including the senior health officials, scientists and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. The committee is being headed by Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty to the Union health minister.

Obituary

Hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr dies at 96

• Former Indian hockey player Balbir Singh Dosanjh passed away. He was a part of three-time Olympic gold medal-winning Indian hockey team, i.e. in London Olympics (1948), Helsinki Olympics (1952), and Melbourne Olympics (1956).

• In 1956 Olympics, he was the captain of the Indian team that won the gold medal after defeating Pakistan in the finals. The three-time Olympic-medal winner was battling multiple health issues.

• He is survived by three sons Karanbir, Kanwalbir, and Gurbir and a daughter Sushbir. He was conferred with one of India's prestigious awards, Padma Shri in 1957.

Appointments and Resignations

Indian-origin Siddhartha Mukherjee appointed to Commission on Economic Recovery of New York

• Indian-American physician Siddhartha Mukherjee has been appointed as the Member of Commission on Economic Recovery of New York. The commission focuses on jumpstarting the economy of the state.

• On the other hand, Indian-origin Satish Tripathi has been appointed as the Member of the commission.

Days

International Missing Children’s Day

• Every year, 25 May is observed as International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD) around the world to commemorate the missing children who have found their way home, remember those who have been victims of crime, and continue efforts to find those who are still missing.

• The symbol for IMCD is the forget-me-not flower.

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Important Current Affairs 24th May 2020

National

LokSabha Passed Mineral Law Amendment Bill

• LokSabha has passed the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which aims to amend Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 along with Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015.

• Commercial mining will completely be open up in the coal sector by this bill. Another important feature of this bill is that it intends to remove end-use restrictions to participate in coal mine auction.

Banking and Economy

KKR invests in Reliance Jio for 2.32% stake

• KKR invests Rs 11367 crore in Reliance Jio Platforms to buy a stake of 2.32 percent in a fully diluted basis. The deal is subject to regulatory and customary approvals. This is fifth global investment deal in last one month.

• Earlier, Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity and General Atlantic invested in the Jio Platforms. Know all about KKR-Jio deal here.

Acquisitions and Mergers

IRDAI approves Union Bank to continue with its 30% holding in India First Life Insurance

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI) has approved the proposal of the state owned lender Union Bank of India-UBI(which holds 25.1% stake in Star Union Dai-Chi Life) to continue with its 30% holding in IndiaFirst Life Insurance.

Appointments and Resignations

Indian economist, AbhasJha appointed to key World Bank position in South Asia

• Indian economist, AbhasJha has been appointed as the Practice Manager for Climate Change and  Risk Management for South Asia at World Bank.

• AbhasJha’s appointment comes at a time when Cyclone Amphan has badly hit West Bengal, Orissa in India and Bangladesh.

Ranking

India Became Second Largest Manufacturer Of PPE In The World

• India has become the second-largest manufacturer of Personal Protective Equipment in the world following China which is currently leading producer of PPE in the world.

• At present, India is producing 2.06 lakh PPE kits every day which is the maximum capacity of the country. A PPE kit basically consists of shoe cover, gloves, eye shield, mask, and gown.

Days

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

• International Day to End Obstetric Fistula (IDEOF) is observed on 23 May. The day is celebrated by the United Nations.

• In 2003, the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), formerly known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and its partners had launched a global campaign to End Obstetric Fistula.

• The theme for 2020 IDEOF is “End gender inequality! End health inequities! End Fistula now!”.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd May 2020

National

UP Government Signs MoU with SIDBI for ‘UP Start-up Fund’ to Boost Employment

• The Uttar Pradesh government under Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched the ‘UP Start-up Fund’ on 20 May 2020, to boost job creation in the state.

• The fund will motivate more and more youths to establish their own startups in the state as well as provide employment opportunity to large number of migrant, coming to the state, as per their skill.

• The fund has been set up under the UP Information Technology and Start-up Policy 2017.The ‘UP Start-up Fund’ will be in the form of Fund of Funds.CM Adityanath handed over cheque of the initial contribution of Rs 15 crore towards the Fund, while signing the MoU with SIDBI.

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will be the fund manager.

Banking and Economy

NTPC, ONGC to set up Joint Venture Company for Renewable Energy Business

•National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) to set up a joint venture company for the renewable energy business.

•The agreement will enable both companies to increase their presence in the renewable energy sector. Under the MoU, NTPC and ONGC will jointly explore the setting up of offshore wind and other Renewable Energy Projects in India and overseas.

•The two companies will also explore opportunities in the field of E-mobility and ES (Environmental, Social and Governance), storage and sustainability projects.

RBI reduces Repo Rate by 40 bps to 4.0% in Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

The Reserve Bank of India in its Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on May 22, 2020 has decided to:

• Reduce Repo Rate by 40 bps to 4.00% from 4.40% earlier.

• Reverse repo rate has been reduced to 3.35%

• The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate stands at 4.25%

• The MPC decided to continue with the accommodative stance.

Obituary

Four-time Grand Slam singles champion Ashley Cooper passes away

•Former world no. 1 and four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Ashley Cooper passed away recently at the age of 83 after a prolonged illness. Cooper had won three of the four majors -the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US championships in 1958.

•Cooper had also won four doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments. He achieved the top rank in 1957. The Australian was recognised as the world's best amateur player during the years of 1957 and 1958.

Appointments and Resignations

Assam’s Jahnabi Phookan Takes Charge as FICCI FLO National President

• Assam-based entrepreneur Jahnabi Phookan has been appointed as the new National President of FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) on 22 May 2020.

• FICCI FLO is the women wing of the leading industry chamber, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

• Phookan is the 37th National President of FICCI FLO. She succeeds Harjinder Kaur Talwar.

Days

World Turtle Day

The World Turtle Day is observed on May 23 every year to raise awareness among people to protect turtles and tortoises and their disappearing habitats around the world.

International Day for Biological Diversity

The United Nations celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May every year to raise awareness about the issue of significant reduction in biological diversity due to certain human activities.

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Important Current Affairs 18th May 2020

National

FM announces 5th tranche of measures for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”

The 5th tranche is focussed on Government Reforms and Enablers for providing employment, support to businesses, Ease of Doing Business, and State Governments as well sectors such as Education and Health. Seven measures have been announced under this.

1. Allocation for MGNREGS increased by Rs 40,000 Crore to provide employment boost– Will help generate nearly 300 crore person-days in total.

2. Health Reforms & Initiatives- Public Expenditure on Health will be increased by investing in grass-root health institutions. National Institutional Platform for One health by ICMR will encourage research. And the implementation of National Digital Health Blueprint under the National Digital Health Mission.

3. Technology Driven Education with Equity post-

PM eVIDYA– A programme for multi-mode access to digital/online education to be launched immediately; consisting of:

DIKSHA for school education in states/UTs: e-content and QR coded Energized Textbooks for all grades (one nation, one digital platform)

One earmarked TV channel per class from 1 to 12 (one class, one channel)

Extensive use of Radio, Community radio and Podcasts

Special e-content for visually and hearing impaired.

Top 100 universities will be permitted to automatically start online courses by 30th May, 2020.

Manodarpan– An initiative for psychosocial support of students, teachers and families for mental health and emotional wellbeing to be launched immediately.

National Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Mission for ensuring that every child attains Learning levels and outcomes in grade 5 by 2025 will be launched by December 2020.

4. Further enhancement of Ease of Doing Business through IBC related measures-

Minimum threshold to initiate insolvency proceedings raised to Rs. 1 crore (from Rs. 1 lakh, which largely insulates MSMEs).

Suspension of fresh initiation of insolvency proceedings up to one year, depending upon the pandemic situation.

5. Decriminalisation of Companies Act defaults- The Amendments will de-clog the criminal courts and NCLT. 7 compoundable offences altogether dropped and 5 to be dealt with under alternative framework.

6. Ease of Doing Business for Corporates- Direct listing of securities by Indian public companies in permissible foreign jurisdictions. Power to create additional/ specialized benches for NCLAT.Lower penalties for all defaults for Small Companies, One-person Companies, Producer Companies & Start Ups.

7. Public Sector Enterprise Policy for a New, Self-reliant India-  There is a need for a new coherent policy—where all sectors are open to the private sector while public sector enterprises(PSEs) will play an important role in defined areas. Accordingly, the government will announce a new policy whereby.

NRAI tie-up with DotPe to build tech platform

• National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) has partnered with DotPe (a fintech start-up) to build its own tech platform that would enable them with online payments for digital ordering, bill settlements, and contactless dining.

• NRAI is the apex body of the Food and Beverage Industry in India.

• This would be in direct take on with existing food-tech aggregators, Zomato and Swiggy. It is also exploring synergies with social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram to provide and ordering facilities and visibility for restaurant partners who could potentially be its members.

Centre launched ‘National Migrant Information System’ to track movement of migrants

• The online dashboard has been developed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on the existing NDMA-GIS portal. It will help in capturing the information regarding the movement of workers who have been stranded in different states.

• The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has informed the states to upload data on NMIS to ensure better coordination, contact tracing, and movement monitoring of the migrant workers.

e-NAM reaches milestone of 1000 Mandis across 18 States, 3 UTs

• 38 new mandis were integrated with the e-NAM platform.

• With this move, the pan-India electronic agriculture trading portal, e-NAM has reached the milestone of 1,000 Mandis across 18 States and 3 Union Territories (UTS).

• The information was announced by the Agriculture Ministry.

International

Indian-origin Hinduja-Reuben Brothers Shares Second Spot in Annual UK  Rich List 2020

• The pair of Indian-origin siblings, Reuben and the Hinduja brothers, shares the second spot in the Britain’s annual rich list, with a fortune of 16 billion pounds each.

• ‘The Sunday Times Rich List 2020’ has been topped by British inventor-entrepreneur James Dyson tops with 16.2 billion pounds.

• Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, the Hinduja Group of companies owner in UK, lost 6 billion pounds to slip to second position from the top slot in 2019.

Appointments and Resignations

Zubair Iqbal is JK Bank's New Managing Director

Senior vice president of HDFC Bank, ZubairIqbal has appointed as new managing director of Jammu and Kashmir Bank by Jammu and Kashmir Government. Iqbal will have a three-year tenure.

Days

International Museum Day: 18 May

• The International Museum Day is celebrated on 18 May to raise awareness about the fact that “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.”

• Theme of International Museum Day 2020: “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion”.

• It is coordinated by the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

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