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Important Current Affairs 18th September 2020

National

Tata Groups win new Parliament Building Contract under Central Vista Project

• Tata Group has won the contract for the construction of the new Parliament Building with a bid of Rs. 861.90 crores. Tata has beaten Larsen & Toubro whose bid was at Rs. 865 crores.

• The Central Public Works Department had opened the financial bid for the new Parliament Building on September 16, 2020. In total, 7 companies had placed the pre-qualification technical bids for the construction of the new Parliament Building.

Lok Sabha passes bill to bring Cooperative Banks under Reserve Bank of India

• The Lok Sabha has passed an amendment bill to the Banking Regulation Act on September 16, 2020, to bring Cooperative Banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India.

• The amendment bill has replaced an ordinance that was issued on June 26, 2020. The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clarified that the powers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies have not been encroached upon but the banking activities of the Cooperatives will not be regulated by RBI.

International

Brazil, India, and South Africa jointly call for comprehensive reforms in UNSC

• India South Africa and Brazil have jointly called for the comprehensive reforms in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the virtual meeting of IBSA Foreign Ministers on September 16, 2020.

• The meeting was chaired by the Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and was attended by his South African Counterpart Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor and Brazilian Counterpart Fabio Marzano.

• The three ministers adopted a joint statement on the reform of the UNSC and emphasized the expansion of its membership by including the representation from developing and emerging countries.

Banking and Economy

UBS Securities projects India’s GDP to contract by 8.6% in FY21; For FY22=+10%

• UBS Securities has projected India’s GDP  for 2020-21 (FY21) to contact by 8.6%. (Earlier it was -5.8%).For FY22, UBS Securities projects India’s GDP to grow by 10%.

• UBS Securities is a Chinese investment bank and brokerage firm headquartered in Beijing, China.

Govt to infuse ₹20,000 cr into PSBs via recap bonds

• State-run banks are poised to get ₹20,000 crore through recapitalization bonds this financial year, at a time the C-19 crisis threatens to bump up bad loans across the banking system.

• Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the first batch of supplementary demand for grants in the Parliament, reflecting additional expenses sought by various ministries beyond the budget allocations.

• The government has sought the Parliament’s nod for additional cash expenditure of Rs 1.67 lakh crore, less than 1 percent of GDP, in the first supplementary demand for grants for FY21 tabled in the Parliament.

Titan ties up with SBI to launch contactless payment watches

• Titan Company has partnered with the State Bank of India (SBI) to launch India’s first contactless payment watches named “Titan Pay”.

• Using these watches, the account holders of SBI can tap their Titan Pay watch on the contactless payment POS machines for making payments. It is powered by YONO SBI.

• Under this mechanism, payments of up to Rs. 2,000 can be made without entering a PIN, as per the RBI guidelines.

Awards

Chef Vikas Khanna Named for 2020 Asia Game Changer Award

• New York-based Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been chosen to be honoured with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the C-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive ‘FeedIndia’.

• The Asia Game Changer Awards was launched by the Asia Society, a US-based non-profit organization, in 2014, to identify and honor true leaders who make a positive contribution to the future of Asia.

• Khanna is the only Indian among the six honourees named by the leading organisation.

Obituary

Legendary scholar of Indian classical dance & arts, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan, passes away at 92

• Veteran scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture and art history, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan has passed away. She was 92-year-old.

• Dr. Vatsyayan was the former Member of Parliament and had served as Education Secretary. She was the founding Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

• Some of the prestigious honors received by Dr Kapila Vatsyayan inlcudes, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship,  the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship, and the Padma Vibhushan.

Mali’s former president Moussa Traore passes away

• Former President of Republic of Mali, who was in power from 1968 to 1991, General Moussa Traore passed away. He was born in 1936 in Kayes, Mali.

• He was a former military leader, forcibly took over the reign from Modibo Keita (known as the ‘father of independence’).

Ranking

India ranks 116 in World Bank’s 2020 Human Capital Index

• India has been ranked at 116 positions among 174 countries in the latest edition of the World Bank’s annual Human Capital Index. The Index benchmarks the key components of the human capital across all over the countries.

•  The 2020 Human Capital Index has included education and health data for 174 countries- up to March 2020.

•  As per the analysis by the World Bank, pre-pandemic most of the countries had made steady progress in building the human capital of children and the biggest strides were made in low-income countries.

India’s four major cities drop in ranking in Global Smart City Index

• India’s four major cities- New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad witnessed a drop in their rankings in the Global Smart City Index. The index was topped by Singapore.

• The Smart City Index 2020 was released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD). The index is based on key findings on how technology is playing a role in the C-19 era.

• While New Delhi was ranked 86th on the 2020 Smart City Index, down from 68 in 2019, Hyderabad was placed 85th position (down from 67 in 2019), Bengaluru at 95th (79 in 2019) and Mumbai was at 93rd rank (down from 78 in 2019).

Days

World Water Monitoring Day

• The World Water Monitoring Day is observed every year on September 18 since 2003 to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world. Theme for 2020 WWMD is ‘Solve Water.’

• The day was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) as a global educational outreach program by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

World Patient Safety Day

• The World Patient Safety Day is observed on September 17 to create global awareness for patient safety and urge people to show their commitment to make healthcare safer.

• The World Health Organization (WHO) observed the first WPSD in 2019.It was adopted at the 72nd World Health Assembly on 25 May 2019. The theme for 2020 WPSD is ‘Safe health workers, Safe patients.