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Important Current Affairs 17th September 2020

National

Lok Sabha passes Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020

• Lok Sabha on September 15, 2020, passed Essential Commodities Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The bill allows the central government to regulate the supply of some of the food items only under the extraordinary circumstances which include natural calamity of grave nature, war, famine, and extraordinary price rise.

• The latest bill passed in Lok Sabha seeks to increase the competition in the agricultural sector and to increase farmers' income. It also aims to liberlise the regulatory system while also protecting the interests of the consumers.

Cabinet approves establishment of new AIIMS at Bihar’s Darbhanga

• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Darbhanga, Bihar.

• The total cost will be Rs.1264 crore and is likely to be completed within four years from the date of the approval of Government of India. The medical college will have 100 MBBS seats.

International

Israel, Bahrain, UAE sign historic US-brokered peace deals

• Israel, Bahrain, and UAE signed Abraham Accords on September 15, 2020, in a signing ceremony which was presided over by the President of United States Donald Trump at the White House.

• The Abraham Accords have been signed to establish the foundation of peace agreements between Israel and the two Arab nations- Bahrain and UAE.

TikTok choses Oracle as its technology partner for its US operations

• ByteDance has chosen Oracle as a US partner for its popular TikTok video service, a decision that comes as a deadline for a ban of the popular app draws near.

• Microsoft was also in a bid to acquire TikTok in the United States but the Chinese owner of the video-sharing platform “TikTok” chose Oracle over Microsoft to be its technology partner for its American operations.

Banking and Economy

OECD projects India’s GDP at -10.2% in FY21 & 10.7% in FY22, Global GDP at -4.5% in 2020

• OECD projects India’s GDP at -10.2% in FY21 & 10.7% in FY22, Global GDP at -4.5% in 2020

• The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expects the Indian economy to contract by 10.2% in FY21 (2020-21) as compared to its previous estimate of 16.7% in June.

• For FY22 (2021-22), the Paris-based OECD projects India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 10.7%.

• OECD expects the global GDP at -4.5% in 2020, which is an upward revision from its previous estimate of -6%.For the year 2021, the global economy is estimated to increase by 5%.

RBI asks banks to fully automate NPA recognition process

• The Reserve Bank of India has mandated banks to fully automate NPA classification and provisioning calculation process.

• All borrower accounts will be covered under the new regime. Lenders will have time till June 30, 2021 to complete this process.

• The new guidelines will include all borrower accounts, including temporary overdrafts, irrespective of size or sector. Banks’ investments will also be covered under the new system.

Science and Technology

Scientists detect potential signs of extra terrestrial life on Venus

• Scientists revealed on September 14, 2020 that they have detected potential signs on life on the inhospitable Venus.

• The scientists have detected a gas called phosphine in the acidic clouds of Venus that indicates microbes may inhabit Earth’s neighbour.

Sports

BWF Postpones Thomas And Uber Cup Finals To 2021

• The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has announced that the Thomas Cup and the Uber Cup, which were scheduled to be held from 3 to 11 October 2020 in Denmark, has been postponed for 2021.

• This decision has been taken following the withdrawal of many participating countries from the tournament due to the C-19 pandemic.

• The alternative dates to reschedule the World Men’s and Women’s Team Championships is yet to be decided by BWF.

Appointments and Resignations

Facebook India appoints Arun Srinivas as Director of Global Business Group

• Facebook India appoints Arun Srinivas as Director of Global Business Group. Facebook announced the appointment of Arun Srinivas as the Director of Global Business Group.

• Srinivas will spearhead the strategy and delivery of the India Marketing Solutions which aims to tap large advertisers and agencies.

• Srinivas has worked with Ola where he served as Chief Operating Officer and Global Chief Marketing Officer.

Ranking

India Happiness Report 2020: Mizoram, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Top List; Maharashtra & Delhi at Bottom

• The first all India Happiness Report covering all states and Union Territories measuring happiness across the country, which is based on a nationwide survey covering 16,950 people between March and July 2020 by Professor Rajesh K Pillania.

• In the happiness rankings of states and union territories, Mizoram, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the top three. Among the big states, Punjab, Gujarat, and Telangana are among the top three states whereas, among smaller states, Mizoram, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh are the top three states in happiness rankings. Among union territories, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, and Lakshadweep are the top three union territories in happiness rankings

• Maharashtra, Delhi, and Haryana have shown the worst possible impact of C-19 on happiness, whereas Puducherry and Jammu and Kashmir are neutral and Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep have shown the best possible impact of C-19 on happiness.