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Important Current Affairs 9th September 2020

National

First World Solar Technology Summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held

• The first-ever World Technology Summit was scheduled on September 8, 2020, and it was organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and FICCI on a virtual platform.

• Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel addressed the inaugural session as well as the valedictory session of the summit. More than 26000 participants from 149 countries joined the virtual Summit.

• The first world solar technology summit aims to focus on state-of-art technologies and the next-generation technologies that will help towards harnessing solar energy more efficiently.

• The Summit included signing of four agreements between

 ISA and International Institute of Refrigeration,

 ISA and Global Green Growth Institute.

 ISA and National Thermal Power Corporation,

 A tripartite agreement between India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the International Solar Alliance.

• ISA also launched a Journal on Solar Energy (I JOSE) that would help authors from across the globe to publish their articles on solar energy.

Tamil Nadu government releases new Electronic Hardware Manufacturing Policy 2020

• Tamil Nadu state government on September 7, 2020, released a new Electronic Hardware and Manufacturing Policy 2020 which aims at increasing the state’s electronics industry output to $100 billion by 2025.

• The policy will also be undertaking the skill training of over 1,00,000 semi-skilled and skilled people by 2024 in order to meet the incremental human resource requirement.

International

Apple’s first ‘floating’ store to be launched in Singapore

• Technology giant Apple Inc. has announced that it is going to open its first ever “floating” store, in Singapore on 10th September 2020.

• The floating Apple Store, will be located at Singapore’s posh Marina Bay Sands resort. It will be the third retail store of Apple in Singapore.

Banking and Economy

RBI announces OMO for sale, purchase of government securities of Rs 10,000 crore

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under the Open Market Operation (OMO) for Rs 10,000 crore each on September 10.

• The RBI on August 31 had announced that it would conduct special simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under OMO for an aggregate amount of Rs 20,000 crore in two tranches of Rs 10,000 crore each as part of its measures to foster orderly market conditions.

• “The first auction is scheduled for September 10, 2020. It would be selling three securities totalling Rs 10,000 crore and also purchasing equal number of securities of the same amount.

Fitch Ratings Projects Indian economy to contract 10.5% in FY21

• In its September update of Global Economic Outlook (GEO), the US-based Fitch Ratings has sharply lowered the forecast for the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of India for the current fiscal 2020-21 (FY21) and now expects the GDP to contract 10.5 percent.

• Earlier in June Global Economic Outlook, the rating agency has estimated 5 percent contraction for FY21.

• The downward revision comes after India’s GDP shrank by 23.9% year-on-year in the April-June quarter, the worst performance in nearly four decades.

• The rating agency has also revised its forecast for global GDP and expects it to fall by 4.4 percent in 2020, which is a modest upward revision from the 4.6 percent contraction expected earlier.

Banks sanction loans of Rs 1.61 lakh crore to MSMEs under credit guarantee scheme

• Banks have sanctioned loans of about Rs 1,61,017 crore under the Rs 3-lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the MSME sector reeling under the slowdown caused by the C-19 pandemic.

• However, disbursements against this stood at Rs 1,13,713 lakh crore till September 3.

Summits and Mou’s

AIM partnered with Freshworks to empower AIM Startup Innovators

• Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has partnered with Freshworks Inc., a customer-engagement software company, with an aim to provide robust support to innovators and entrepreneurs in India.

• It also aims to increase the efficiency of several institutions and startups in the AIM portfolio.It also aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among startup innovators.

Obituary

Father of Indian Radio Astronomy Govind Swarup passes away

• Father of India’s Radio Astronomy, Prof Govind Swarup passed away.He was the founding director of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

• Govind Swarup was the key person behind the concept, design and installation of the Ooty Radio Telescope (India) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), which established India as one of the leading countries for radio astronomy research.

Ranking

A report on ‘Household Social Consumption: Education’: NSO

• A report on ‘Household Social Consumption: Education’ was published by the National Statistical Office (NSO).As per the report, smaller states have done better than the developed ones.

• Average literacy rate of the country is 77.7%. Kerala scored 96.2% thus has the highest literacy rate among states. Delhi stands at second position with 89% literacy rate. Uttarakhand is at number three with a literacy rate of 87.6% while Assam freezes at number four with 85.9% literacy rate.

• Andhra Pradesh ranked the worst with 66.4% literacy rate. The male literacy rate is 84.7% while the female literacy rate is 70.3%, nationally.

Bengaluru tops the list of cities for career in AI

• Hyderabad is one of the top five cities in the country to offer jobs in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), a latest report by job portal site Indeed has revealed.

• Bengaluru tops the list of destinations for a career in AI, followed by Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Chennai.

• Job searches in the field have risen 106 per cent in the past year (June 2019 to June 2020), and this has increased further by 20 per cent from March to July 2020, in line with the onset of the pandemic.

Days

International Day to Protect Education from Attack

• International Day to Protect Education from Attack is observed globally on 9th September. In proclaiming the International Day to Protect Education from Attack to be celebrated for the first time in 2020.

• The Day draws attention to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries and to their urgent need of educational support.

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Important Current Affairs 8th September 2020

National

Centre releases draft guidelines on advertising, to treat non-legible disclaimers as misleading ads

• The Central Government has released a draft of the advertising code according to which celebrity endorsements through posts, personal tweets, blogs, or other testimonials must be based on either adequate information about or experience with the service or product being endorsed.

• As per the code, any disclaimers in small font sizes in advertisements and comparative advertising which is not factual will treated as misleading ads and can be penalized.

• The guidelines on advertising have been prepared by the Consumers Affairs Ministry under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

Agriculture ministry approves Rs. 4 crore for up-gradation of soil testing labs in Kashmir

• Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare ministry has approved four crore rupees for up-gradation of Soil Testing labs across the Kashmir valley.

• For the quality control laboratory upgradation, 40 lakh rupees have been earmarked during the current year, which will facilitate upgradation and strengthening of fertilizer quality control lab.

J-K LG launches SPARROW system for J-K Administrative Service officers

• Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha launched Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) system for Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service officers, at Raj Bhavan.

• The SPARROW system is aimed at bringing more transparency, avoiding loss of Appraisal Reports during the transition, ensuring better monitoring and timely completion of performance appraisals.

Union Minister of Education launches mobile app “EnglishPro”

• Union Minister of Education has launched a free mobile app named as “EnglishPro“.The mobile application has been developed by the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad under University Social Responsibility (USR).

• The mobile application “EnglishPro” will help learners in developing Indian English Pronunciation in the unique “Indian” way.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Vodafone Idea rebranded as 'Vi'

• Vodafone and Idea brands re-branded themselves under a new brand identify 'Vi' was launched by Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) on September 7, 2020. The new brand identity has been adopted keeping in mind the future, which is built for and around customers.

• The announcement was made by company’s MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar on 7th September 2020.Now all the products of the company will be available under the new unified brand identity and logo “VI”.

• The integration of Vodafone and Idea marks the culmination of the largest telecom integration in the world.

• In an official statement, VIL stated that two of India's most loved brands "Vodafone and Idea"are now 'together for tomorrow' giving birth to a new brand called 'Vi',  which is read as 'We'.

Science and Technology

India successfully test fires Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle

• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle at 11 am on September 7, 2020 from the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.

• The successful flight test of the indigenously-developed Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV) enabled the successful demonstration of the Hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology, which is a major technological breakthrough for India.

• The Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle powers cruise missiles and operate on scramjet engines that can attain the speed of around Mach 6, which is far more advanced than ramjet engines that are used currently.

• India has thus become the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test hypersonic technology.

SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites for faster internet

• SpaceX has successfully sent 60 Starlink internet satellites aboard the Falcon 9 which is lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

• The launch was Starlink’s first mission of the month. The Elon-musk owned space tech company has conducted sixteen missions this year.

• The satellites are meant to provide ‘cheaper and faster’ internet to inaccessible areas. The satellites in its initial tests had provided over 100 Mbps speeds.

Obituary

Oscar winning Czech Director Jiri Menzel passes away

• Oscar-winning Czech film director, Jiri Menzel passed away. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on 23 February 1938.

• His 1st feature film, ‘Closely Watched Trains’ won an Academy Award (Oscars) for Best Foreign Language film in 1968.

Sports

US Open 2020: Indo-Canadian pair of Bopanna-Shapovalov enter men’s doubles quarterfinals

• The Indo-Canadian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov have reached the quarterfinals of the ongoing US Open tennis.

• They defeated the German pair Kevin Krawietz and Andrea Mies in the second-round clash that had lasted for an hour and 47 minutes.

Novak Djokovic disqualified from US Open

• The current world no. 1, Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open in the most unexpected manner. Djokovic defaulted after a ball hit by him hit the line judge in the throat.

• Djokovic had struck the ball unintentionally but the official was down. The incident happened during Djokovic’s match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

Appointments and Resignations

Vinkesh Gulati appointed as new President of FADA

• Vinkesh Gulati, has been appointed as the 35th President of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA).

• He succeeds Ashish Harsharaj Kale and will serve the role of president from 2020 to 2022.

• The FADA is an apex national body representing automobile dealers of India.

Ranking

‘The State of Young Child in India’ report released, Kerala tops

• Kerala, Goa, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram are among the top five States for well-being of children, according to a report brought out by non-governmental organisation Mobile Creches and launched by Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu.

• It identifies eight States that have scores below the country’s average: they are Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

• The index is part of the ‘State of the Young Child’ in India report released the 50-year-old NGO.

• The report has also developed another index called the young child environment index to understand the policy and environment enablers that influence a child’s well-being.

Days

International Literacy Day 2020

• International Literacy Day is observed annually on September 8 across the world to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

• The theme of International Literacy Day 2020 according to the UN is "Literacy teaching and learning in the C-19 crisis and beyond." The theme highlights literacy learning from a lifelong learning perspective and therefore focuses on youth and adults.

• The day was declared by UNESCO on 26 October 1966 at 14th session of UNESCO’s General conference. It was celebrated for the first time in 1967.

Books and Authors

‘Breaking The Cocoon @ 40’ book authored by Radha Nair

• The book titled “Breaking The Cocoon @ 40″ authored by Radha Nair has been released recently.

• “Breaking The Cocoon @ 40” is a delightful collection of select events from her life, which also holds a mirror to the time the incidents are set in.

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Important Current Affairs 7th September 2020

National

Assam re-launches self-employment scheme SVAYEM worth Rs 1,000 crore

• The state government of Assam re-launched an old scheme titled ‘Swami Vivekananda Assam Youth Empowerment (SVAYEM)’ on 4 September 2020, which aims to provide self-employment to around 2 lakh youths of the state.

• The SVAYEM scheme was launched by the government in 2017-18.This is the biggest self-employment programme launched by any government in Assam since Independence. The scheme has been re-launched with a budget of Rs 1000 crore.

• Under the scheme, the state government would provide Rs 50,000 each as seed money to selected youths to start business ventures.

35th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific 2020

• The 35th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 35) was held virtual format due to the global C-19 pandemic.

• The Conference was held under the Chair of the Host Country, Bhutan. The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala represented India in the conference.

• The conference focused on regional priorities and issues such as C- 19, the state of agriculture, natural resources management, food security and nutrition.

First-ever cannabis medicine project to come up in Jammu

• Union minister Jitendra Singh announced that the first-ever cannabis medicine project will soon be set up in Jammu.

• The cannabis medicine project will be set up with the collaboration of Canada at the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) in Jammu.

• It is the first major foreign investment in Jammu and Kashmir after it became a Union Territory (UT).

WhatsApp Partners with CyberPeace Foundation  to create awareness on cyber safety among students

• The Facebook-owned WhatsApp has entered into a partnership with the cyber security think tank CyberPeace Foundation to create awareness on cyber safety among students.The awareness campaign has been launched under the “e-Raksha” programme and will be implemented in phases.

• In the first phase 15,000 students will be covered in five regions by the end of 2020. They include Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

• CyberPeace Foundation will train teachers, parents and students using a co-created curriculum to arm them with tips and tricks to increase online safety for children in consultation with UNICEF and state police authorities about cyber threats such as cyberbullying, stumbling across child abuse material, cybercriminals disrupting online classes, the spread of misinformation, privacy issues etc.

Banks Sanctioned Rs 5,350cr To Cos In West Bengal As Emergency Loans

• Banks in West Bengal have sanctioned Rs 5,350 crore of loans till the last week of August to businesses to tide over liquidity woes amid the C-19 crisis.

• Public and private sector lenders have sanctioned the loans under the Centre’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). At the national level, the amount stood at around Rs 1.60 lakh crore.

Karnataka approves Rs. 600-cr watershed project ‘REWARD’ with World Bank assistance

• The Karnataka Cabinet has approved a project titled ‘Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agriculture Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD)’.

• The REWARD project is designed to ensure soil and water conservation in 20 taluks with low groundwater levels in Karnataka. The total cost of this project is Rs 600 crore.

• The World Bank will fund 70% of the project amount, which amounts to Rs 420 crore, whereas, 30% of the expenses (Rs 180 crore) will be borne by the state government of Karnataka.

Acquisitions and Mergers

IndiGrid completes acquisition of GPTL from Sterlite Power

• IndiGrid has completed the acquisition of Gurgaon Palwal Transmission Limited (GPTL) from Sterlite Power for ₹1,080 crore.

• IndiGrid, India’s first power sector InvIT, is managed by Sterlite Investment Managers Limited, wherein KKR and GIC jointly own 57 per cent in the InvIT.

• With this acquisition, IndiGrid’s AUM has increased by 9% to INR 133 Bn (USD 1.80 Bn)dxz

Sports

England cricketer Ian Bell announces retirement

• Cricketer Ian Bell from England has announced that he will retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the 2020 domestic season.

• Ian Bell, 38, retired from ODIs in 2015 to focus on Test cricket. He is a five-time Ashes winner and has spent his entire career with Warwickshire.

Pierre Gasly wins F1 Italian Grand Prix 2020

• Pierre Gasly (Scuderia AlphaTauri, France) has won the Formula One Italian Grand Prix 2020 held on September 06, 2020. This is his first Grand Prix win.

• Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren, Spain) came second followed by Lance Stroll (Racing Point, Canada) in third place.

• Lewis Hamilton ended at 7th place after he earned a 10-second stop and go penalty. Apart from this, Charles Leclerc crashed out on the exit of Parabolica.

Appointments and Resignations

Bureaucrat Kshatrapati Shivaji takes up India’s top statistical post

• The  Government of India has appointed Kshatrapati Shivaji, a 1986-batch Maharashtra cadre IAS officer, as secretary in the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

• The secretary at this ministry is, by design, known as the chief statistician of India.

• The Government has not appointed a full-time Chief statistician yet while Kshatrapati Shivaji will continue to head the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.

Maruti CEO Kenichi Ayukawa elected president of SIAM

• Maruti Suzuki MD and CEO Kenichi Ayukawa has been elected as the new President of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). SIAM is the apex body of the Indian automotive industry.

• He will replace Rajan Wadhera and has been appointed for a term of two years.Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO, Ashok Leyland, has been elected as the new vice president of SIAM.

MV Raja Sekhar takes charge as director (R&D), BEL

• The Bharat Electronics Ltd’s (BEL) Board of Directors has approved the appointment of M V Rajasekhar as Additional Director – Director (R&D).

• This comes after the Ministry of Defence on July 6 appointed Rajasekhar as Director – R&D vice Mahesh V, who has retired from services on August 31 on attaining superannuation.

Ranking

Andhra Pradesh tops Ease of Doing Business rankings of States and UTs, followed by UP and Telangana

• Andhra Pradesh retained its top position in ease of doing business ranking 2019, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, as per the State Business Reform Action Plan Ranking released by the commerce and industry ministry.

• The ranking was based on 180 reform points such as easy access to information, improved labour laws, speedy construction permits, land administration and single window approvals, and 36 states/UTs participated in the action plan that is aimed at improving business environment in states by simplifying procedures, digitization of information and easing compliance burden.

• Till date, State Rankings have been released for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017-18. The latest one is the fourth edition for 2018-19.

Days

International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

• The very first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies will be held on September 7th, 2020.

• The Day aims to: Raise public awareness at all levels—individual, community, corporate and government—that clean air is important for health, productivity, the economy and the environment.

• The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution to hold an International Day of Clean Air for blue skies , during its 74th session and invited the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to facilitate the observance of the International Day.

Brazilian Independence Day

• Brazilian Independence Day is celebrated on 7 September every year to commemorate the birth of the nation. On 7 September, 1822, Brazil got its independence from Portuguese.

• In 1889 Brazil ended up with the monarchical system and became republic but kept 7 September as its Independence Day.

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Important Current Affairs 6th September 2020

National

Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme: Goa paired with Jharkhand

• Under Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat, Goa is paired with Jharkhand. Lot of exchange activities are happening on this front.

• Lokotsav programmes held earlier in Goa in Panaji evoked good response. Stalls of Jharkhand displayed delicacies from that state and Goans enjoyed savouring the same.

• Folk dances presented by Jharkhand artistes also were appreciated by Goan artistes. Later Goan artistes also visited Jharkhand and presented Goan folk dances

Sikkim & Delhi paired for cultural exchanges under Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme

• Sikkim is paired with Delhi under Ek Bharat Shresht Bharat for promoting greater mutual understanding amongst them.

• The Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme aims to actively enhance interaction between people of diverse cultures living in different States and Union Territories in India.

Madhya Pradesh paired with Manipur and Nagaland under ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Abhiyan’

• Madhya Pradesh have been paired with Manipur and Nagaland for implementing the Centre’s ambitious scheme Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Abhiyan.

• The people of three States are involved in various activities for understanding art and culture, education, literature and traditions of each other.

• The ‘Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat’ programme aims to actively enhance interaction between people of diverse cultures living in different States and Union Territories in India, with the objective of promoting greater mutual understanding amongst them.

International

Wilmington as the first World War II Heritage City

• Donald Trump, President of the USA has announced Wilmington (located in southern US state North Carolina) as the first World War II Heritage City.

• The announcement was made at a ceremony held to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. September 2, 2020 marks the 75th Commemoration of the End of World War II.

Saudi Arabia chairs G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting

• The G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting was held under the current Chair, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the backdrop of the C-19 pandemic crisis.

• The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud, chaired the virtual meeting.From India External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar represented the meeting.

• The discussions were held on strengthening international cooperation across borders in wake of C-19 crisis.

Banking and Economy

CII to create a ‘National strategy for future business’ along with DPIIT

• Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will create a ‘national strategy for future businesses’ together with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

• The group will also provide policy inputs, identify new growth segments and establish international partnerships with a focus on growing such businesses.

RBI ceased the Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank to be act as a banking company

• The Reserve Bank of India has issued a notification to all banks on September 03, 2020 stating that “Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Limited” has ceased to be a banking company within the meaning of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with effect from July 28, 2020.

• Apart from this, “Westpac Banking Corporation” also ceases to be a banking company as announced by RBI.

Awards

NTPC wins National Management Games 2020

• Team of NTPC Limited, the Central PSU under Ministry of Power, has won the All India Management Association (AIMA) Chanakya (Business Simulation Game) National Management Games (NMG) 2020.

•  The team from NTPC Vallur, Tamil Nadu won the championship which featured the participation of teams from 112 organisations from different parts of the country.

• AIMA Chanakya National Management Games is an online Business Simulation Game which is conducted every year. The championship aims to ensure that executives participating in the event get the on board experience about the complexities of running an organisation and gain expertise and skills from this event.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Infosys acquires US-based Kaleidoscope Innovation for $42 million

• Infosys acquires US-based product design and development firm, Kaleidoscope Innovation, for $42 million.

• With this acquisition, the company will be able to expand its engineering services portfolio, especially in medical devices, consumer and industrial markets across the US.

Appointments and Resignations

Rajiv Lall resigns as chairman of IDFC First Bank

• Dr. Rajiv B. Lall has resigned from his post of Part-Time Non-Executive Chairman of IDFC First Bank.

• He has cited prolonged personal health issues as the reason for resignation.Lall was the founder MD of the erstwhile IDFC Bank.

Books and Authors

Goonmeet Singh Chauhan’s New Book ‘Invertonomics’ Talks about Transforming India

• The book titled ‘Invertonomics’ authored by Mr. Goonmeet Singh Chauhan, and published by HarperCollins Publishers India, is a new way of looking at problem-solving.

• This book is a compilation of methodologies that invert problems into economic opportunities.

Memoir to authorised biography: Two books on Ma Anand Sheela to be published later this year

• Two books on Sheela Birnstiel, popularly known as Ma Anand Sheela, are set to be pubslihed.One of the books is an authorised biography, Nothing To Lose by Manbeena Sandhu which will acquaint readers with the woman behind the strong persona. This will be published by Harper Collins, India in October.

• In November, Penguin Random House will come out with Ma Anand Sheela’s memoir titled, My Story in My Own Words. Ma Anand Sheela’s life has been rife with controversies and enigma.

• She was the spokeswoman of the Rajneesh movement and later headlined the Rajneesh commune in Wasco County, Oregon, USA till she was imprisoned for four and a half years.

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Important Current Affairs 5th September 2020

National

India to host Quad meet and 2+2 dialogue

• India will soon be hosting the Quad meet involving Australia, Japan and the United States and the 2+2 dialogue with the United States. The details are being worked out for the same. 

• The information regarding the diplomatic engagements was shared by the Ministry of External Affairs at the regular weekly briefing on September 3, 2020.

• The Quad or quadrilateral security dialogue is a grouping of four democracies - India, Australia, Japan and the United States. Two of the quad countries- Australia and Japan have assured huge investments in India's infrastructure technology and supply chain.

India’s First Regional Voters’ Awareness Centre to Come Up in Jaipur

• Election Commission of India (ECI) will set up the country’s first regional voters’ awareness centre in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

• It will cater to four states — Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

• The centre will carry out various awareness activities under the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme. Sunil Arora is the present Chief Election Commissioner.

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel virtually attends 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet

• The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting was held under the chairpersonship of Russian Federation. India was represented by Union Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in the 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet.

• The participants of the meeting deliberated on the impact of the epidemiological situation on the cultural sphere in the BRICS countries. It also reviewed the possible implementation of joint cultural online-projects within BRICS.

• The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting featured the participation of delegates from Culture Ministries of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of South Africa.

Banking and Economy

RBI releases revised Priority Sector Lending Guidelines

• The Priority Sector Lending (PSL) Guidelines have been reviewed by the Reserve Bank of India. The review was executed to align the PSL Guidelines with evolving national priorities.

• In the revised PSL Guidelines, the Reserve Bank of India has included some fresh categories eligible for finance under priority sector. These include loans to farmers for installation of solar power plants; loans for establishment of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) plants; and bank finance to start-ups of up to Rs 50 crore.

• The new guidelines will make better credit penetration into credit deficient areas and increase the lending to small as well as marginal farmers and weaker sections. It will also enhance credit to renewable energy, and health infrastructure.

Summits and Mou’s

SIDBI, Maharashtra Govt ink pact to develop MSME ecosystem

• Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maharashtra Government to develop the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) ecosystem in the state.

• Under the agreement, a Project Management Unit (PMU) will be deployed by SIDBI with the Government of Maharashtra.

• The role of the PMU will be to design schemes/programmes in the areas of equity support, interest subvention, resolution of stressed MSMEs, supporting MSME entrepreneurs and facilitate other need-based intervention based on evaluation of the existing status of MSMEs.

Andhra Pradesh signs MoU with CSIR for a bulk drug pharma park in the state

• The Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd (APIIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research – Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) to establish a bulk drug park in the state.

• CSIR-IICT is the knowledge partner and will offer needed technical backing to make the proposal which will be submitted by the Andhra Pradesh government to the Department of Pharmaceuticals to seek financial assistance from the Centre.

Science and Technology

IIT Delhi incubated startup launches ‘‘Chakr DeCoV’’ to decontaminate N95 masks

• In our series on Atmanirbhar Bharat, IIT Delhi incubated startup Chakr Innovation has launched ‘Chakr DeCoV’ to decontaminate N95 masks.

• Designed in the shape of a cabinet, Chakr DeCoV is built with an innovative decontamination mechanism, which utilises the high penetrability of Ozone gas for cleaning the pores of the N95 mask, ensuring complete decontamination of its intricate layers.

Sports

India’s P Iniyan wins World Open Online Chess Tournament

• Indian Grandmaster P Iniyan has won the prestigious 48th Annual World Open online chess tournament.

• He scored 7.5 points out of a possible 9 with six victories and three draws to finish on top.

• A total number of 120 players from 16 countries participated in the event which included more than 30 Grandmasters.

Ranking

Oxford University tops THE World University Rankings 2021; IISc top Indian

• Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021 has been released and under the overall category, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, has topped the list. It has retained the top spot for the fifth consecutive year.

• The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, is the top-ranked University from India and is ranked in the 301-350 band. A total of 63 universities from India qualified for the ranking.

• Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar and IIT Indore are the next best-ranked University/college from India.

India ranked 3rd in largest solar market in 2019: Mercom global listing; Top- China

• India has been ranked third in terms of the largest solar market in 2019 as per Mercer Global listing for 2019. India had 9% of the world’s installed capacity.

• China has topped the ranking with 30 Gw (26% of world capacity). The US is on the second rank.

• Adani Green Energy has emerged as the top Solar Developer in 2019 with 12.3 Gw capacity.

Days

Teachers Day 2020

• In India, Teachers Day is celebrated on 5 September every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - First Vice President of India and the Second President of India and an educationist at heart.

• Globally, Teachers Day is celebrated on 5th October. Teachers Day is important for the students as it gives them a chance to understand the efforts put in by their teachers to ensure that they get a proper education.

International Day of Charity

• International Day of Charity is celebrated on 5 September every year to commemorate the death anniversary of Mother Teresa and to make people understand about the importance of charity.

• The International Day of Charity officially was declared by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Also, this day was created by the Hungarian Civil society initiative in 2011 with the support of the Hungarian parliament and Government.

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Important Current Affairs 4th September 2020

National

Andhra Pradesh to set up crop insurance firm

• Andhra Pradesh, which is among the few States that have chosen to have their own crop insurance schemes, is in the process of establishing AP General Insurance Company (APGIC) to run the scheme. The State had begun implementing its own scheme from the rabi season.

• The farmers have been asked to enroll for the scheme by September 5 by paying a nominal premium fee of ₹1.

• The authorised share capital of the company is pegged at ₹101 crore divided into 10.10 crore equity shares of ₹10 each.

Jal Shakti Ministry launches Water Heroes Contest 2.0

• Union Jal Shakti Ministry launched the ‘Water Heroes – Share Your Stories’ Contest to spread awareness on water conservation and management. The Water Heroes Contest 2.0 will be conducted from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

•  Under this contest, the Ministry will consider up to 10 entries for awards every month.

International

Chinese Navy becomes largest navy of the world

• Chinese Navy has become the world's largest navy. The country looks forward to set up its new PLA bases in the Indo-Pacific region. This announcement was made by Pentagon in its report to the US Congress.

• The Pentagon also reported that China is planning to establish PLA facilities in over 12 countries.

Banking and Economy

Nomura Slashes India’s GDP at -10.8% in 2020-21

• Nomura has downgraded India’s economic growth rate for current financial year and now expects the GDP to contract by 10.8% in 2020-21.

• Earlier it had estimated the GDP to contract by 6.1%.

Obituary

Former England Cricketer David Capel passes away

• Former England all-rounder and legendary cricketer, David Capel passed away. He had played around 15 tests and 23 One Day internationals(ODIs) representing England from 1987 to 1990.

•  He made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1987.

Sports

Olympic giant slalom champion Rebensburg retired

• Olympic ski champion Viktoria Rebensburg retired from the sport, saying an injury from last season was keeping her from performing at her best.

• The 30-year-old German, who won the gold medal in giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She also won the season-long World Cup giant slalom title in 2011, 2012 and 2018, and won world championship silver in giant slalom in 2015 and 2019. She finishes with 19 career World Cup wins and 49 podium finishes.

Appointments and Resignations

BPCL Additional Charge of CMD K Padmakar

• Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has been given additional charge to K Padmakar, Director (HR) as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).

• He succeeds D Rajkumar who superannuated after attaining 60 years on August 31, 2020.

Murali Ramakrishnan becomes new MD & CEO of South Indian Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Murali Ramakrishnan as Managing Director and CEO of the South Indian Bank for a period of three years with effect from October 1, 2020.

• He represented the bank in the board of CIBIL and the risk advisory board of VISA for the Asia Pacific.

ACC approves appointment of V K Yadav as Railway Board’s first ever CEO

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of the current chairman of the Railway Board VK Yadav as the CEO, making him the first to hold such a post in the railway’s history.

• While Yadav has been appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pradeep Kumar has been appointed Member, Infrastructure, PC Sharma has been appointed Member, Traction and Rolling Stock, PS Mishara has been made Member, Operations and Business Development, Manjula Rangarajan has been appointed Member, Finance

S Krishnan becomes new MD & CEO of Punjab & Sind Bank

• Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of S Krishnan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Punjab & Sind Bank. He will replace S Harishankar.

Books and Authors

Ramachandra Guha to come out with new book on cricket

• Historian Ramachandra Guha will come out with a book on cricket in November, which will trace the entire arc of the game in India, across all levels at which it is played and also present vivid portraits of local heroes, provincial icons, and international stars.

• The book titled “The Commonwealth of Cricket: A Lifelong Love Affair with the Most Subtle and Sophisticated Game Known to Humankind” will be co-published by HarperCollins India and William Collins UK.

A new book titled “Let Us Dream” by Pope Francis

• Pope Francis is set to release the book “Let Us Dream” in December 2020. In the book, Pope Francis explains how a crisis can teach an individual to deal with problems they face in their lives. He cites three major crises from his own personal life.

• The book will be an outcome of numerous exchanges between Pope Francis and his Biographer Austen Ivereigh in the weeks following the outbreak around the world. The book is being published by Simon & Schuster and will be released in English and Spanish Editions simultaneously.

The One and Only Sparkella by Channing Tatum

• American actor Channing Tatum is a proud dad and wants to honor his 7-year-old daughter by writing his first children’s book titled. ‘The One and Only Sparkella” (Feiwel & Friends).

• The One and Only Sparkella was illustrated by Kim Barnes, and will be the first in a series of picture books.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd September 2020

National

Government of India Blocks 118 Mobile Apps

• The Union Ministry of Information and Technology has on September 2, 2020 imposed a ban on PUBG and 118 other mobile applications by invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.

• These applications have been blocked as there was information that these apps are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state as well as public order.

• This is the third such announcement by Indian Government to ban apps. Earlier, the government banned Tik Tok and other Chinese apps.

India Targets 100 MT Coal Gasification By 2030

• The Government of India has set the target to achieve 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by the year 2030.

• This will be achieved with an estimated investments of over Rs. 4 lakh crores.

• The announcement was made by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Coal and Mine, while addressing a webinar on Coal Gasification and Liquefaction on 31 August 2020.

European Investment Bank to Invest € 650 Million in Kanpur’s 1st City Metro Line

• The European Investment Bank (EIB) will invest 650 million euro(€) in the construction of Kanpur’s(Uttar Pradesh) 1st city metro line.

• The 32.4 km urban rail line, with 18 elevated and 12 underground stations is EIB’s 2nd biggest operation outside the European Union (EU) till date.

• It is the 2nd metro rail project supported by the EIB in Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Union Cabinet approves J&K official languages Bill 2020

• The Union Cabinet has approved J&K official languages Bill 2020 and will be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session..

•  According to the J&K official languages Bill 2020, Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi along with Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mission Karmayogi approved by Union Cabinet

• Union Cabinet has approved Mission Karmayogi for Capacity Building of Civil Servants in India. Mission Karmayogi is a national initiative for civil services capacity building so that Indian bureaucrats remain be rooted in Indian culture while learning the best practices.

• Mission Karmayogi is a national programme for civil services capacity building to lay the foundation for the capacity building for civil servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian culture while learning from best practices across the world.

Coal India decides to invest over Rs. 1.22 lakh crores on 500 projects by 2023-24

• Coal India Ltd. (CIL) has decided to invest over Rs. 1.22 lakh crores on the development of nearly 500 projects that are related to infrastructure, coal evacuation, project development, clean coal technologies, and exploration in the country.

• The major investment aims at making India self-reliant in terms of coal as well as achieve the production target of 1 billion tonnes by 2023-2024.

• Coal Mines minister, Prahlad Joshi, while addressing stakeholders' meeting informed that the involvement of all the stakeholders in the company’s affairs will uncover and reduce the project risks.

CFI all set to host First-Ever Cycling Summit in 2021

• The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) is all set to host the first-ever Cycling Summit in 2021, with an aim to promote the culture of cycling in the country.

• The CFI said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a marketing exploration firm, Contarctica, for the summit.

• The Cycling Summit 2021 will be hosted in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore and is expected to be a unique confluence of cycling enthusiasts, renowned athletes, and businesses from all over the country.    

International

Mustapha Adib becomes new Prime Minister of Lebanon

• Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany, Mustapha Adib was appointed prime minister in crisis-hit Lebanon. Adib, who has been Beirut’s Berlin envoy since 2013, is affiliated with a small Sunni party headed by former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Banking and Economy

Real GDP likely to contract by 10.9% in FY21: SBI Ecowrap

• After the country’s economy contracted by a record 23.9 per cent in April-June quarter, real GDP for FY21 is expected to shrink by 10.9 per cent, according to State Bank of India’s research report – Ecowrap.

• It had earlier estimated real gross domestic product (GDP) at (-) 6.8 per cent for the current fiscal.

• According to the research report, there is a need to revive sectors such as construction, trade and hotels, aviation.

Science and Technology

Indian astronomers discover one of the farthest Star galaxies in universe

• Indian astronomers have discovered one of the farthest Star galaxies in the universe in a landmark achievement. India’s first Multi-Wavelength Space Observatory ‘AstroSat’ has detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy located 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.

• The galaxy called AUDFs01 was discovered by a team of Astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune.

Sports

Sumit Nagpal becomes first Indian in 7 years to enter the second round of Grand Slam Singles event

• Sumit Nagpal on September 1, 2020, created history by becoming the first Indian to win a singles' main draw match at a grand slam in the last 7 years. The 23 years old successfully stormed into the second round of the ongoing US Open.

• Sumit Nagpal defeated Bradley Klahn of USA 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round of the US Open in order to progress further into the tournament.

• Earlier in 2013, Somdev Devvarman had reached the second round of the Australian Open, US Open, and French Open. Sumit Nagpal who is world number 122 will now be facing either Spain’s Jaume Munar or Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

Appointments and Resignations

Vice Admiral S R Sarma assumes charge as Chief of Materiel of the Indian Navy

• Vice Admiral S R Sarma assumed charge as the Chief of Materiel of the Indian Navy.

• Admiral Sarma during his illustrious career spanning over three and a half decades has served onboard Indian Naval ships Vindhyagiri, Rana, Krishna and Mysore in various capacities.

Hemant Khatri assumed charge as CMD of Hindustan Shipyard Limited

• Retired Commodore Hemant Khatri succeeds Rear Admiral L V Sarat Babu (Retd) and assumed charge as the Chairman and Managing director (CMD) of Hindustan Shipyard limited (HSL), Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

• Previously he was serving as the Director of Strategic Projects HSL.

Ranking

India's Adani Green ranked as world’s No. 1 solar firm

• Indian renewable energy company, Adani Green has been ranked as the world's number 1 solar energy company in terms of capacity. The company is currently the world's top solar developer with around 2.3 GW of operational projects.

• Adani Green Energy Limited has another 2 GW projects under construction and 8 GW of awarded projects (with contracted PPAs) for a total capacity of 12.3 GW. The solar capacity of the company exceeds the total installed capacity of the United States as of 2019.

Days

Skyscraper Day

• Skyscraper Day is observed on 3rd September every year to commemorate the birthday of the famous architect William Can Aien who is genius in constructing the Chrysler Building which is one of the iconic landmark in New York city.

• This day marks the ability of the man to construct industrial masterpiece.

World Coconut Day

• World Coconut Day is observed on September 02 every year since 2009.

• It is observed to tell people about the benefits of the coconut fruit.

• The theme of World Coconut Day 2020 is ‘Invest in coconut to save the world’.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd September 2020

National

Defence Ministry signs ₹2,580-cr deal for 6 Pinaka rocket regiments

• The Defence Ministry has signed a ₹2,580-crore contract with Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), Tata Power Company Ltd (TPCL) and Larsen & Toubro to equip the Army with six Pinaka rocket regiments.

• It will consist of 114 launchers with automated gun aiming and positioning system, 45 command posts and 330 vehicles.

• The new regiments will likely be operational by 2024.

India plans to release forensic accounting and investigation standards

• Indian government plans on coming up with forensic accounting and investigation standards (FAIS) as it aims at setting the basic quality parameters for conducting investigations.

• A committee has been constituted by The Institute of Chartered Accountant of India (ICAI) to deliberate on FAIS, which can be expected to be framed by the end of 2020. Atul Kumar Gupta, President of the Chartered Accountants body informed during a virtual conference.

• As per the ICAI, the decision of setting up the forensic accounting and investigation standards (FAIS) will make India the first country in the world to release the standards.

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated a forensic audit for the transactions of over Rs. 200 crores while the companies or lenders individually call for such investigations or audits upon the suspected fraud.

Air India’s privatization process to be completed within 2020

• The Union Civil Aviation Minister, HS Puri on August 30, 2020, informed that he is hopeful of completing Air India’s Privatization process within 2020.

• The government has now initiated the process of divesting its share from Air India airlines and is now looking for suitable bidders.

World’s Largest Solar Tree set up at Durgapur

• World’s Largest Solar Tree has been developed by the CSIR-CMERI. The solar tree has been installed at the Residential Colony of CSIR-CMERI in Durgapur, West Bengal.

• The solar tree has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power while its installed capacity is above 11.5 kWp.

• The Solar Tree has been designed in such a way that it ensures maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight. A single solar tree comprises of 35 Solar PV Panels each having a capacity of 330 wp each.

India’s first toy cluster to come up in Karnataka

• India’s first toy manufacturing cluster to come up at Koppal, Karnataka, has the potential to create 40,000 jobs in five years and attract over Rs 5,000 crore investment, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, said.

• With the eco-system to support toy cluster in place, this 400 acres SEZ will have top-class infra and generate 40,000 jobs in 5 years.

International

India to receive development assistance loan worth Rs 3,500 Cr from Japan to fight C-19

• Japan has committed an official Development Assistance loan of 3 thousand 500 crore rupees for the C-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support.

• This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts in fighting C-19 and to prepare the health system to manage future epidemics and also to improve the resilience of India’s health systems against infectious diseases.

Banking and Economy

RBI Announces Steps to Ease Pressure on Liquidity

• The Reserve Bank of India has announced the following measures to ensure the orderly functioning of financial markets in India:

• Additional special open market operation of Rs 20,000 crore: The Reserve Bank will conduct additional special open market operation involving the simultaneous purchase and sale of Government securities for an aggregate amount of Rs. 20,000 crore in two tranches of Rs. 10,000 crore each.

• Term repo operations for an aggregate amount of Rs. 100,000 crore: The Reserve Bank will conduct term repo operations for an aggregate amount of ₹100,000 crore at floating rates (i.e., at the prevailing repo rate) in the middle of September 2020 to assuage pressures on the market on account of advance tax outflows. The banks which had availed of funds under the previous long-term repo operations (LTROs) may reduce their interest liability by returning funds taken at the repo rate prevailing at that time (5.15 per cent) and availing funds at the current repo rate of 4 per cent.

• Increase of HTM up to an overall limit of 22 per cent of NDTL: Currently, banks are required to maintain 18 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) in SLR securities. The extant limit for investments that can be held in HTM category is 25 per cent of total investment. Banks are allowed to exceed this limit provided the excess is invested in SLR securities within an overall limit of 19.5 per cent of NDTL. RBI has decided to allow banks to hold fresh acquisitions of SLR securities acquired from September 1, 2020 under HTM up to an overall limit of 22 per cent of NDTL up to March 31, 2021.

Summits and Mou’s

Vedanta Tied Up with SBI for Long Term Syndicated Loan of Rs.10000 Crore

• Vedanta announced it tie up for a long-term syndicated loan facility for Rs.10000 crore with State bank of India (SBI).

• This loan increases the average debt maturity profile of Vedanta limited and also improves the liquidity ratios as the near-term maturities are replaced by a long-term loan.

Science and Technology

India, France discuss to provide Mission Alpha-like equipment for Gaganyaan Mission

• India and France are in discussions to provide Mission Alpha-like equipment to astronauts involved in the ‘Gaganyaan' mission. As per the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) of France, the discussions are in the final stage.

• Mission Alpha is the name of French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s mission wherein he will be sent to International Space Station (ISS) on Crew Dragon spacecraft next year.

Appointments and Resignations

In a first, female IPS officer appointed CRPF Inspector General in terror-hit Srinagar

• Charu Sinha has become the first female IPS officer to get appointed as the Inspector General (IG) of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the terrorist-hit Srinagar sector.

• Charu Sinha is a 1996-batch IPS officer from Telangana cadre. She will now be heading the Srinagar sector for CRPF as the Inspector General.

• However, this is not the first time that Sinha has been assigned such a tough task. Earlier as well, she has worked as Inspector General of CRPF in the Bihar sector and has dealt with Naxals. Under her leadership, several anti-Naxal operations were carried out.

CBDT chairman Pramod Chandra Mody gets six-month extension

• Pramod Chandra Mody was on Monday given a six-month extension till February next year as the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

• Mody, a 1982 batch Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre) officer, was appointed the CBDT chief in February 2019.

• He was in August last year re-appointed on the post for one year, till August 31, 2020, beyond the date of his superannuation on August 31, 2019.

Days

September to be observed as ‘Nutrition Month’

• Prime Minister has announced that the month of September will be observed as “Nutrition Month” in the entire nation.

• During nutrition month, a food and nutrition quiz will be organized on MyGov portal and there will be a meme competition.

• PM has appealed to the public to participate and motivate others too to take part in it.

Books and Authors

A book title “The Big Thoughts of Little Luv” authored by Karan Johar

• Bollywood Filmmaker, Karan Johar authored a children’s picture book titled “The Big Thoughts of Little Luv” inspired by his Twins Yash and Roohi. The book will be published by Juggernaut Books.

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Important Current Affairs 1st September 2020

National

India withdraws from multilateral military exercise, Kavkaz 2020, in Russia

• The reason for this has been cited as the C-19 Pandemic and consequent difficulties in exercise, including arrangements of logistics.

• Kavkaz 2020 would be held in Astrakhan province of Southern Russia where member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Central Asian countries would be participating.

• Other countries that would participate in this exercise are- China, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Belarus, Turkey, Armenia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

International

UAE’s DMCC launches “Agriota E-Marketplace”

• Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has rolled out a technology-driven agri-commodity trading and sourcing platform “Agriota E-Marketplace”.

•  The platform which uses blockchain will help in bridging the gap between millions of rural farmers in India and the UAE’s food industry.

Banking and Economy

India’s GDP contracts by 23.9% in Q1 of FY21: NSO data

• As per the official data released by the National Statistics Office (NSO), India’s GDP has contracted by 23.9% in the first quarter (April-June 2020) for FY21.

• This is the first instance of an economic contraction for India in at least four decades. It is also the first GDP decline since India began publishing quarterly numbers in 1996.

• Gross value added (GVA) for India declined by 22.8%. All the sectors except agriculture witnessed contractions during the April-June quarter of 2020-21. The highest drop was witnessed by the construction industry of 50.3%.

India’s fiscal deficit to touch 7 per cent in FY21: Brickwork Ratings

• India’s fiscal deficit is expected to touch 7 per cent of GDP in 2020-21 fiscal as against budget estimate of 3.5 per cent, according to Brickwork Ratings.

• The impact of the C-19 on economic activity shows up starkly in the trends in the central government revenue collection during the first three months of fiscal 2020-21.

India’s foreign exchange reserves surge by USD 2.296 bn to USD 537.548 bn

• India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by 2.296 billion US dollar to reach 537.548 billion US dollar in the week to August 21.

• Foreign Currency Assets rose by 2.618 billion dollar to 494.168 billion US dollar in the reporting week.

• The country’s reserve position with the IMF also increased by 6 million to 4.634 billion US dollar during the reporting week.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Adani Group buys 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport

• Adani Group has acquired 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) that operates Mumbai Airport. Mumbai Airport is the second largest airport in India.

• Under this, Adani Group will acquire 50.5% stake of GVK group. Additionally, Adani will also acquire 23.5% stake of minority partners Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA) and Bidvest.

• The acquisition will also give Adani’s ownership of the upcoming Navi Mumbai airport in which MIAL holds 74% stake.

Obituary

Former President, Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee dies at 84

• The former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, passed away at the age of 84 years. He had been in coma since a brain surgery earlier this month.He had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection. He developed a lung infection and renal dysfunction over the past few days.

• Pranab Mukherjee was the President of India from 2012 to 2017. He was the 13th President of India.

• He was Minister of Finance between 2009 and 2012, Minister of Defence (2004-2006), Minister of External Affairs (2006-2009). He was from Congress

• Pranab Mukherjee was conferred Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and Bharat Ratna in 2019.

Dr S. Padmavati, India’s First Female Cardiologist, Passes Away

• Noted cardiologist Dr S Padmavati has died due to C-19. She was 103. Recipient of both Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Dr S Padmavati popularly known as ‘God Mother of Cardiology’.

• In 1962, Dr Padmavati founded the All India Heart Foundation and went on to set up National Heart Institute in 1981 as a tertiary care modern heart hospital in Delhi with first cardiac catheterisation laboratory in the private sector in the Southern Hemisphere.

• For her achievements and contributions to development of cardiology in India, she was awarded Fellowship of the American College of Cardiology and FAMS.

K Shankar Bajpai, India’s Former Envoy For US, China and Pakistan Passes Away

• Katyayani Shankar Bajpai, a career diplomat who served as India’s ambassador to the US, China, and Pakistan, passed away. He was 92.

• The former diplomat was also the Indian government’s political officer in Sikkim from 1970 to 1974 and was involved in the integration of the state into the Indian Union.

• He become the first professor of Non-Western Studies, Brandeis University, in 1992 and 1993.He served as chairman of the National Security Advisory Board from 2008 to 2010.

Appointments and Resignations

Usha Padhee becomes first woman DG of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

• Usha Padhee, joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, has been given additional charge as director general of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).

• Padhee is the first woman and third IAS officer to have been appointed to the post.

• Earlier, IPS officer Rakesh Asthana was given charge of the BCAS. He has now been moved to the Border Security Force (BSF) as director general.

Aveek Sarkar elected new Chairman of Press Trust of India

• Aveek Sarkar has been elected as the Chairman of the Press Trust of India.He replaces Vijay Kumar Chopra, Chief Editor of the Punjab Kesari Group of newspapers.

• Aveek Sarkar is the Vice Chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications. He was also the founding Managing Director of Penguin India.

Books and Authors

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha releases coffee table Books

• In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha today released two Coffee Table Books, one for Labour & Employment Department and another for J&K Entrepreneurship Development (JKEDI) Institute at Raj Bhavan in Srinagar.

Gurcharan Singh co-authors his memoir, ‘pitching it straight’ at 85

• The book titled ”pitching it straight” was released recently, which has been co-authored by Indian Cricket Coach Gurcharan Singh and senior journalist MS Unnikrishnan.

• In 186-page book, renowned coach Gurcharan offers priceless tips to the current generation with anecdotes.

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Important Current Affairs 31st August 2020

National

NITI Aayog Launches Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) India Component

• NITI Aayog virtually launched the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)–Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA) on 27 August 2020.

• The NDC–TIA is a joint programme supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to promote a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam, and China.

Piyush Goyal Attends 8th East Asia Summit (Economic Ministers’ Meeting)

• 8th East Asia Summit Economic Ministers’ Meeting (EAS-EMM) was held virtually which was attended by Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the Russian Federation and the United States.

• The Meeting was chaired by Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam. From Indian side it was attended by Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry.

• During the meet discussions were held to accelerate economic growth, maintain supply chains and market stability, and strengthen the economic resilience of the EAS region post C-19.

CISF launches Pension Corner mobile app

• The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has introduced the Pension Corner mobile app. the Pension Corner app will help to fulfil the needs of all its retired personnel.

• The app has been made as part of an e-office initiative and has been introduced in the wake of the C-19 disease.

Banking and Economy

Reliance Retail to acquire Future Group's retail, wholesale businesses for Rs 24,713 crore

• Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) announced on August 29, 200 that it is acquiring the retail, wholesale business, logistics and warehouse business of Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore.

• The announcement has come amid ongoing concerns on a slump sale basis for lumpsum aggregate consideration. Reliance Retail will be buying the businesses from the Future Group for Rs 24,713 crore, subject to adjustments as set out in the composite scheme of arrangement.

• The acquisition is a part of Future Group's decision of merging certain companies and carrying on the businesses into Future Enterprises Limited (FEL). Reliance Retail Ventures Limited is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited.

•  Under the new acquisition agreement, Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited will be taking over the retail and wholesale undertaking of Future Group.

Obituary

‘Black Panther’ star Chadwick Boseman passes away at 43

• American actor Chadwick Boseman, who became a global icon for his role as Black Panther in the hit Marvel superhero franchise, has passed away after battling cancer since past four years from 2016.He was 43.

• Chadwick made his Marvel superhero debut as T’Challa/Black Panther in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, after which he became a household name.

• He made his big-screen debut in 2008 in the biopic The Express: The Ernie Davis Story where he played Floyd Little.

‘Scooby Doo’ Co-Creator Joe Ruby Passes Away at 87

• Joe Ruby, the co-creator of the cartoon series Scooby-Doo, has passed away due to natural cause. He was 87.

• Ruby, an American animator, television editor, writer, and producer, created the much-loved characters of beloved kids show Scooby-Doo, along with his creative partner Ken Spears.

• Together, the pair started their own production company Hanna-Barbera Productions and created other memorable cartoons as well.

Sports

India’s first: Joint champions in chess Olympiad

• India and Russia have been jointly annouced the winner of first-ever FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020. This was the first time FIDE was holding the Olympiad in an online format.

• India were initially declared to have lost the final round against Russia. Two Indian players (Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh) were declared to have lost on time in the final round after an apparent loss of internet connection for them.

• After this, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich had made a decision to give gold medals of to both teams.

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Belgian Grand Prix 2020

• Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2020 held on August 30, 2020. This was his 5th win of the season.

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) at third place.

Appointments and Resignations

Banks Board Bureau recommends Dinesh Kumar Khara as next SBI chairman

• The Banks Board Bureau (BBB) recommended SBI’s senior-most managing director Dinesh Kumar Khara as the next chairman of the country’s largest lender.

• Khara will replace SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar, whose three-year term comes to an end on October 7.

Ranking

Amul (16th) becomes first Indian dairy company to be in Rabobank’s Global Top 20 list; Top- Nestle

• Amul, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) has been ranked 16th in the Rabobank’s Global Top 20 Dairy Companies list. Amul has achieved an annual turnover of $5.5 billion.

• Switzerland’s Nestle topped the list with a turnover of US $22.1 billion. Amul is the first Indian company to enter the top 20 ranking of Rabobank’s Global Top 20 Dairy Companies list.

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