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Important Current Affairs 10th July 2020

National

UP Cabinet approves State Startup Policy 2020

• Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved the UP Startup Policy 2020 with an aim to invite new business ideas in the state. The policy aims to set up 100 incubators in all 75 districts.

• It is expected to generate over 1.5 lakh employment opportunities including around 50,000 direct jobs in the state. The cabinet meeting was chaired by CM Yogi Adityanath.

Tamil Nadu tops market borrowings among States

• According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Tamil Nadu has raised Rs. 30,500 crores in the fiscal 2020-21 and has topped market borrowings among States in the country.

• Tamil Nadu, which has accounted for 17% of the borrowings done through the issue of bonds (known as state development loans), has been followed by Maharashtra Rs. 25,500 crores (14%), Andhra Pradesh Rs. 17,000 crores (9%) and Rajasthan Rs. 17,000 crores (9%).

International

Maldives & Sri Lanka eliminate measles & rubella, ahead of 2023 target

• According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), South-East Asian Region (SEAR) office, Maldives and Sri Lanka were verified for having eliminated measles and rubella.

• Now, Maldives and Sri Lanka are the first two countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region to achieve measles and rubella elimination ahead of the 2023 target.

• The Maldives reported last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015, while Sri Lanka reported last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017.

Banking and Economy

AIIB provides USD 50 mn to L&T Infra Finance for renewable energy

• L&T Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (LTIFCL) has received USD 50 million from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), for funding Renewable Energy projects in the country.

• The loan amount is first tranche of the total USD 100-million ECB (External Commercial Borrowing) loan approved by Beijing-based AIIB.

• The fund will be used for on-lending large and mid-scale wind and solar power infrastructure projects in India. Also, this is the first loan by AIIB to a non-banking financial company (NBFC) in India.

Summits and Mou’s

CBDT, SEBI signs MoU for data exchange between the organizations

• Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for data exchange between the two organizations.

• The MoU was signed by Smt. Anu J. Singh, Pr. DGIT (Systems), CBDT, and Smt. Madhabi Puri Buch, Whole Time Member, SEBI in the presence of senior officers from both the organizations via video conference.

BDL signs licence agreement & ToT with DRDO

• Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed License Agreement and Transfer of Technology (ToT) with Defence Research and Development Organisation–Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDO–DRDL) for Akash Missile Weapon System (Indian Army Variant).

• Akash Missile is the first medium-range Surface to Air missile produced in India which can engage multiple targets from multiple directions.

Awards

IOC receives EU Green Building Leadership Award 2020

• The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that its new headquarters in Lausanne has been awarded the European 2020 US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award.

• Olympic House, which also holds the rigorous LEED Platinum certification, is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.

• The Olympic House is the first international headquarters and the second building overall to obtain the highest (Platinum) level of the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS).

Science and Technology

Google Rebrands its Social Networking App Google+ as Google Currents

• Internet search giant Google has officially relaunched its former social networking platform Google+ as Google Currents on 7th July 2020. The new app is targeted more towards businesses and enterprise users.

• The company launched Google Plus as a social network platform to compete with the likes of Facebook. However due to low usage and some security bugs that were recently discovered, Google+ was shut down in April 2019.

• The latest version of the app is available for download on Android and iOS system. However, the URL plus.google.com will continue to function and automatically redirect users to currents.google.com.

Books and Authors

A Book Titled ‘Mahaveer:The Soldier Who Never Died’

• The book, titled ‘Mahaveer: The Soldier who never died’ is authored by award winning author A.K. Srikumar and his wife, Rupa Srikumar.

• The book is a patriotic story about thecourage and selfless love of Jaswant Singh Rawat who is one of the legendary Garhwali soldiers fought in Indo-Chinese battle of Nuranang in 1962 .

• The book is published by Rupa Publications and represented by The Book Bakers.

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Important Current Affairs 9th July 2020

National

India Global Week 2020 to start from 9 July

• PM Narendra Modi will be addressing the audience worldwide on July 9 to mark the start of India Global Week 2020. The event will be held for three days during July 9 - July 11 with main focus on Trade and Investment prospects in India.

• The event will be held virtually and is expected to be attended by 5000 people.

Prakash Javadekar Participated in 4th edition of the Ministerial on Climate Action

• The 4th edition of international meeting named “Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA)” was held on July 7, 2020, which was co-chaired by European Union (EU), China and Canada. From India, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar participated in the meet.

• This meet was held virtually for the first time in view of the ongoing C-19. MoCA is held annually since 2017.Developed nations’ Target of USD 1m funding by 2020 for developing nations is not achieved yet

International

The US formally announced its withdrawal from the World Health Organization

• The United States has formalized to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO). The actual project of disentangling the U.S. from WHO began on July 6, 2020, with a letter signed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It will take one year to go into effect.

• In April, the US stopped funding to WHO as the Trump administration reviewed the ties.

Banking and Economy

Fino Payments Bank launches ‘Bhavishya’ Savings Account for minor children

• Fino Payments Bank Limited (FPBL) has launched a savings bank account ‘Bhavishya’ for minor children aged between 10 and 18 years on 7th July 2020 to make children banking ready from early age and inculcate a savings habit among them.

• Bhavishya is an annual subscription-based savings account, which can be opened with just Rs. 349 (inclusive of GST).

• Initially, the bank is introducing the Bhavishya Savings Account in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh and gradually it will launch in other states.

Summits and Mou’s

Microsoft partners NSDC to provide digital skills

• Microsoft has partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to offer digital skills to India’s youth in the next 12 months.

• This partnership will help in creating a digital skills ecosystem which will prepare India’s workforce for jobs of the future.

• As a part of the partnership, “Microsoft Learn” a learning resource center of Microsoft will be integrated with the eSkill India digital platform and offer access to personalized learning paths and resources that are required in today’s economy and expected to continue to grow in the future. e-skilling events, webinars and virtual sessions would be co-hosted across the country by eSkill India and Microsoft in order to support students, training partners and higher-education trainees enrolled under NSDC’s skill training programs.

Obituary

Veteran bollywood actor Jagdeep passes away

• Veteran Bollywood actor-comedian, Jagdeep passed away. He was born as Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, the legendary actor was popularly known as Jagdeep, his stage name.

• He was best known for his roles in films such as Sholay, Purana Mandir and Andaz Apna Apna.

Appointments and Resignations

UKIBC appoints Jayant Krishna as Group CEO

• The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) has appointed Jayant Krishna as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group. Jayant will replace the current Group CEO, Richard Heald.

• Prior to this, Jayant Krishna has served as the CEO of Prime Minister’s Skill India mission as well as the Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

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Important Current Affairs 8th July 2020

National

Himachal Pradesh becomes first state with LPG connections in all households

• Himachal Pradesh has become the first state where all the households have LPG gas connections. The announcement regarding this was made by HP Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

• The gas connections were provided for free to women in the state. Over 1.35 lakh families have been benefitted under Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana in the state.

Banking and Economy

World Bank approves $400 mn for rejuvenation of river Ganga

• The World Bank has signed a loan agreement of $400 million withGovernment of India to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme. The loan agreement aims to make the Ganga a clean and healthy river.

• The loan amount of $400 million comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million.

• The new project will aim to stem the pollution levels in the iconic river and work towards strengthening the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.

Summits and Mou’s

India, Indonesia Coast Guards sign MoU to boost maritime relations

• The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Bakamla RI (Indonesian Coast Guard) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on ‘Maritime Safety and Security’ to boost maritime relations.

• India and Indonesia are historically connected through the Indian Ocean and it has been the resolve of both nations to ensure safe and secure sea passage for all seafarers in the region.

Science and Technology

ISRO to release Space policy, Space Activities Bill soon

•  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K Sivan announced recently that the space policy and space activities bill are in the final stages. A dedicated space policy was in making for some time now for legislation of space activities.

•  The policy was fast-tracked after the government announced major reforms in the space sector, allowing the private sector to use ISRO’s services to carry out space activities such as building rockets and satellites.

•  The space policy and the Space Activities Bill will help address legal issues in the space sector. A new navigation policy is also being proposed along with necessary changes in the Remote Sensing Data Policy and SATCOM policy.

Sports

Akash Become India’s 66th Grandmaster

• The 23 year-old G. Akash from Chennai, Tamil Nadu becomes the country’s 66th Grandmaster with rating of 2495.The title was confirmed at the recent meeting of International Chess Federation (FIDE) Council

• M Pranesh, from Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Ameya Audi, from Goa earned International Master Titles.

Ranking

India Ranked 31st in INFORM Risk Index 2020 for Humanitarian crises & C-19s

• In accordance with the “INFORM Report 2020: Shared evidence for managing crises and C-19s” released by research centre INFORM, operating under European Commission (EU), India has ranked at 31st place with an inform risk of 5.4, means risk of humanitarian crises and C-19s.

• The report ranked the countries based on “INFORM Risk Index” which has been topped by Somalia with an inform risk of 8.9.

• The report has analyzed 191 countries. This report is produced by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).

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Important Current Affairs 7th July 2020

National

PM Modi to launch Asia’s largest Solar Power Plant

• PM Narendra Modi will on July 10, 2020 inaugurate the Asia's largest solar power plant at Rewa district in Madhya Pradesh. PM Modi will dedicate 750 MW plant to the nation through the means of video conferencing.

• The plant is spread over 1,590 acres of land and is one of Asia's largest single-site solar power plant.

India’s 1st NPNT compliant Drone flight successfully completed

• India’s First No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight on the A200 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) has been completed successfully by Quidich Innovation Labs and Asteria Aerospace.

• This NPNT drone flight is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation MoCA& DGCA comprehensive policy on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which came into effect on 1st Dec 2018.

• Quidich, in collaboration with the Drone Federation of India (DFI), has extended its services to Police Departments across multiple states, providing drones for crowd monitoring and surveillance operations.

Odisha Govt launches ‘Balaram Yojana’ to provide crop loan

• Odisha government has launched ‘Balaram Yojana’ to provide crop loans to landless farmers. Under the new scheme, the landless cultivators will get loans through joint liability groups (JLGs).

• This is a first-of-its type scheme in India, targeting landless farmers of the country. The scheme will provide agriculture credit worth Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers of the state in the next two years.

• The scheme has been designed in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

International

Jean Castex appointed as Prime Minister of France

• Jean Castex has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of France. The appointment of Jean Castex as the new french PM was made by the french President Emmanuel Macron.

• He replaced the former french Prime Minister Edouard Philippe who resigned from the post ahead of a government reshuffle.

Israel launches a new spy satellite

•  Israel's Defence Ministry announced on July 6, 2020 that it has successfully launched a new spy satellite. The satellite is expected to serve as an additional tool to keep tabs on many threats across the region.

•  The spy satellite, “Ofek 16” will join other Israeli spy satellites that have been launched in the past two decades.

•  The satellites are being used to monitor any threats on the state of Israel, including arch-enemy Iran.

Banking and Economy

SBM Bank India, Mastercard to facilitate cross border transactions, remittances

• SBM Bank India (promoted by Government of Mauritius) and Mastercard have joined hands to facilitate cross-border payments and remittances services by using ‘Mastercard Send’.

• Mastercard Send is a secured and innovative solution – crafted to modernize domestic and cross-border payments and remittances.

• SBM Bank India is the first bank to receive universal banking licence from the RBI to set up and operate as a scheduled commercial bank through the wholly-owned subsidiary mode.

Sports

Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix 2020

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) has won the Austrian Grand Prix 2020.

• This was the first race of 2020 Formula One season and was held on 5th July 2020.

• Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari while McLaren’s Lando Norris came third.

Appointments and Resignations

Injeti Srinivas appointed as chairman of IFSCA

• InjetiSrinivas has been appointed as the Chairman of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA.His appointment is for a period of three years.

• Srinivas is a 1983 batch IAS officer from the Odisha cadre, who has previously served at the Corporate Affairs Ministry. He retired as the Corporate Affairs Secretary on May 31.

• The IFSCA was established on April 27 this year. It is a unified body to regulate all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in the country.

Days

World Chocolate Day

• World Chocolate Day (also known as International Chocolate Day) is an annual observance taking place globally on 7th July.

• The day is said to be chosen to celebrate the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550.

Books and Authors

Former RBI governor U. Patel pens book ‘Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver’

• Former RBI Governor, Urjit Patel, has written a book titled ‘Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver’ which focuses on the non-performing assets (NPAs) issue that has afflicted Indian banking in recent years, its causes and Patel’s efforts as the RBI Governor in dealing with it.

• The book is likely to be released on 31 July 2020.It has been published by HarperCollins India.

“Getting Competitive: A Practitioner’s Guide for India” authored by R C Bhargava

• The Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, RC Bhargava has authored the book “Getting Competitive: A Practitioner’s Guide for India” from his experience as a policymaker and a leading industrialist.

• The book published by HarperCollins India.

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Important Current Affairs 6th July 2020

National

Elyments: Vice President launches first Indian social media super app

•  Honorable Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, launched an indigenous social media app ‘Elyments’ on 5th July 2020, through video conferencing.

•  Elyments is a first Made-in-India social media super-app, developed by Bengaluru-based software company, Sumeru Software Solutions Pvt Ltd, in close competition with similar platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram.

•  India has more than 500 million social media users, but most of these social media platforms are owned by companies outside India, which creates doubt regarding the privacy of data and data ownership.

Hardeep Singh Puri launched the 6th edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India 2021 Swachh Survekshan

•  The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launched the sixth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India, the toolkit for Swachh Survekshan 2021.

•  The survey was conducted by MoHUA.

Maharashtra Government and UKIBC signs MoU

•  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed virtually on 4th July 2020 between the non-profit organization UKIBC- UK India Business Council and the MIDC-Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. MIDC is the Maharashtra Government’s premier agency for industrial infrastructure development.

•  The MoU will help in strengthening the collaboration of Maharashtra Government with the businesses in the United Kingdom (UK), also it will proactively improve the business environment in the state.

Summits and Mou’s

CBSE tie-up with Facebook to introduce curriculum on digital safety

•  The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has partnered with social media giant Facebook to launch free and comprehensive training program in virtual mode for teachers and students of its affiliated schools.Schools have to online nominate their teachers and students for the training programs.

•  The first phase of the training program is scheduled from August 2020 to November 2020.The registration process for the first phase of the training program will be held from 6th to 20th July 2020.

Science and Technology

Reliance launches unlimited free conferencing app Jio Meet

•  Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has launched a video conferencing app, Jio Meet, with unlimited free calling facility. It is a close competitor of US-owned Zoom app. The Jio Meet video conferencing app is available to work across Android, iOS, Windows, macOS and web since July 2 after beta testing.

•  Jio Meet supports HD audio and video call quality and allows up to 100 participants at a time. It offers features like screen sharing, meeting schedule feature and more.

•  Unlike Zoom, it does not impose a 40-minute time limit. Calls can go on for as long as 24 hours, and all meetings are encrypted and password-protected.

Obituary

Hollywood comedy legend Carl Reiner passes away

•  Writer, director, actor and comedy legend Carl Reiner passed away of natural causes at an age of 98.

•  Reiner was a recipient of nine Emmy awards, five of which were for ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’.

•  Some of his most popular films as a director are ‘Oh God,’ ‘The Jerk,’ and ‘All of Me.’

Appointments and Resignations

GoI extends tenure of Sukhbir Singh Sandhu as NHAI Chairman

•  The extension of Sukhbir Singh Sandhu‘s tenure as the chairman of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been approved by the Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

•  His tenure has been extended for a period of six months beyond 21st of July 2020 to 21st of January 2021.

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Important Current Affairs 5th July 2020

National

PM Modi launches Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge

• Prime Minister NarendraModi on July 4 launched the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’ to help the local developers to create indigenous apps.

• The innovation challenge aims at encouraging tech & startup communities to create world-class Made in India Apps. Under the challenge, innovators are invited to develop apps in eight categories.

• The App innovation challenge has been launched in the combined partnership of the Ministry of Electronics & IT and Atal Innovation Mission-Niti Aayog.

IIT Kanpur develops virtual classroom teaching setup ‘Mobile Masterjee’

• A team of engineers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur has developed an innovative classroom-to-home teaching setup titled ‘Mobile Masterjee’, to overcome the disruption in normal classroom teaching caused due to C-19,

• The device is targeted at helping the rural schools to overcome the teaching and learning challenges posed by the C-19.

• This virtual classroom system has been designed to record the lectures/instructions by the teachers using smartphones.

Union HRD Minister launches “Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020”

• “Drug Discovery Hackathon” has been launched by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

• The hackathon is a joint initiative of MHRD, AICTE and CSIR, and supported by partners such as CDAC, MyGov, Schrodinger and ChemAxon.

Banking and Economy

ADB becomes “Observer” for Network for Greening the Financial System

• The Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) has been joined by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as an observer.

• ADB has joined the network to fulfill its corporate strategy “the Strategy 2030” goals such as building climate and C-19 resilience, enhancing environmental sustainability, fostering regional cooperation and integration, tackling climate change, and strengthening governance and institutional capacity.

• With this, ADB has joined the ranks of the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Bank and the International Finance Corporation as NGFS observers.

Sports

Two-time Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan retires

• Former world number one badminton player and the two-times Olympic badminton champion from China, Lin Dan has announced his retirement from the sport.

• During his 20-year glorious national team career, he won the Olympics singles titles in Beijing in 2008 and the 2012 London Games.

Days

Dhamma Chakra Day

• President Ram NathKovind inaugurated Dhamma Chakra Day 2020 celebrations on 4th July 2020.

• The day is celebrated to mark Buddha’s First Sermon to his first 5 ascetic disciples at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present-day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

• Dhamma Chakra Day is celebrated by Buddhists across the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma”.

• It is celebrated by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture.

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Important Current Affairs 4th July 2020

National

Government to purchase missile systems, fighter jets worth Rs 38900 crore

• The Union Defence Ministry has approved the procurement of missile systems, frontline fighter jets and other military equipment worth Rs 38,900 crore.

• With this procurement, Defence Ministry aims to boost the combat capability of the Armed Forces amid the rising tensions between India and China at LAC border.

SAP launches Global Bharat program for Indian MSMEs

• The Global Bharat program has been launched by the German technology firm SAP India. The programme has been designed to equip Indian micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with digital technologies in order to make them globally competitive.

• SAP India will also provide MSMEs access to their enterprise resource planning (ERP) software under the Global Bharat program.

ICMR fast-tracking efforts to launch ‘COVAXIN’ for public use by 15th August

• In partnership with Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has selected 12 institutes for the Phase-I and Phase–II clinical trials of the first indigenously developed C-19 vaccine BBV152 (commonly known as COVAXIN).

• After successful completion of human clinical trials, the ICMR has set a target to launch the COVAXIN for the public health uses, latest by August 15, this was reported in the media as per a letter by ICMR to the 12 selected institutes.

International

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe resigns

• French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has resigned from his post ahead of a government reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron.

• As per the announcement made by the French Presidency, Edouard Philippe will handle the government affairs until a new cabinet would be named.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Intel Capital Invests Rs 1894.50 crore in Jio Platforms

• United States-based Intel Corporation’s investment arm Intel Capital will invest Rs 1,894.50 crores in Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL’s) subsidiary company Jio Platform.

• With this investment, equity value in Jio Platforms rose to Rs 4.91 lakh crore, while Rs 5.16 lakh crore its enterprise value.

• Rs 1894.50 of investment will translate to 0.39 percent of an equity stake for Intel Capital in Jio Platforms. This was the 12th foreign investment in Jio Platforms.

• The 12 investments make a total of Rs 1,17,588.45crores that have been raised in Jio Platforms.

Science and Technology

ISRO's Mars Orbiter captures image of largest moon of Mars

• ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has captured the image of ‘Phobos’, the largest and closest moon of Mars.

• The image was captured by Mars Colour Camera (MCC) aboard Mom on July 1, 2020 when the Mars orbiter was around 7,200 km from Mars and 4,200 km from Phobos.

• Phobos, the mysterious moon of Mars is believed to be made up of carbonaceous chondrites.

Ranking

India’s Forex Reserves 5th largest in the world

• The foreign exchange reserves of India is the fifth largest in the world at more than USD 500 billion. The first four Forex Reserves on the list are China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia, as per the report released by IMF - International Monetary Fund.

• The foreign exchange reserves of India are almost equal to one fifth of India's GDP.

India stands third largest contributor to e-waste in 2019

• A United Nations led report has found that India is the third largest contributor to e-waste in the world in 2019.

• As per the report titled ‘Global E-waste Monitor 2020’, the world dumped a record 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019. Of this, just 17.4 percent was recycled.

• China was the biggest contributor to e-waste in the world, contributing 10.1 million tonnes of e-waste. United States was second with 6.9 million tonnes. India, with 3.2 million tonnes, was third.

Days

International Co-operative Day 2020

• The International Co-operative Day is held annually on the first Saturday in July since 1923 by the International Co-operative Alliance to celebrate the co-operative movement and to increase awareness of cooperatives.

• The theme of International Co-operative Day 2020 is:  “Cooperatives for Climate Action”.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd July 2020

National

Health Minister launches Drug Discovery Hackathon

• Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched Drug Discovery Hackathon through video conferencing. The Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank also joined the launch ceremony.

The Drug Discovery Hackathon has been launched to identify a drug to cure the C-19. The hackathon was visualised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kerala announces ‘Dream Kerala Project’ aimed at aiding returning expats

• The state government of Kerala decided to roll out the ''Dream Kerala Project'' to tap the potential and experience of those returning from foreign nations and other states after losing their jobs.

• The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on July 2, 2020.The project aims to support rehabilitation of the returning expats and the state's overall development.

International

Russians approve for new constitutional reforms, Vladimir Putin may stay Russia’s President till 2036

• Russians have approved the constitutional changes on July 1, 2020, which were proposed by President Vladimir Putin led Russian government. These changes may allow President Putin to stay in power for another 16 years, till 2036.

• Russia went to poll for a nationwide referendum on newly proposed constitutional reforms.

Banking and Economy

Care Ratings Forecast India’s GDP to contract by 6.4% in FY21

• Care Ratings has revised India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year 2020-21 to (-) 6.4 percent.

• The rating agency had earlier projected a decline in GDP growth of 1.5-1.6 per cent in FY21.

Awards

Pulitzer winner Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof. Raj Chetty are named among ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ Honorees

• The Carnegie Corporation of New York has named Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof. Raj Chetty among the ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ Honoree. Through this honor, Carnegie Corporation recognizes an eminent group of citizens who have been making a difference in the American Society.

• The honorees will be recognized on America’s Independence Day which is on the Fourth of July.

Obituary

Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan passes away

• Ace Choreographer Saroj Khan has passed away at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest in Mumbai.She was popularly known as Saroj Khan but her real name is Nirmala Nagpal.

• She joined the Indian film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana. She eventually became a background dancer in 1950s films like Bimal Roy’s “Madhumati” under the guidance of dance director B. Sohanlal.

• Among the Bollywood circles she was referred to as "The Mother of Dance/Choreography in India". In her career spanning over 40 years, she has choreographed over 2000 songs.

Appointments and Resignations

India appoints Indra Mani Pandey as its Permanent Representative in UN, Geneva

• Indra Mani Pandey has been appointed as the Permanent Representative of India in the United Nations, Geneva. He is a 1990 batch Indian Foreign Officer and will succeed Rajiv K Chander on the position.

• He will represent India in more than 25 UN organisations which include the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Karnam Sekar retires as MD & CEO of IOB

• The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Karnam Sekar has retired on 30th June 2020.

• He joined the State Bank of India(SBI) as the Probationary officer in December 1983.

Days

International Plastic Bag Free Day

• The International Plastic Bag Free Day is held on July 3 around the world to spread awareness that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.

• 2020 is the 11th edition of the celebrations.

Books and Authors

A book titled “The Future of Higher Education” released by M Venkaiah Naidu

• Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has virtually released a book titled “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends“. The book is authored by CA V Pattabhi Ram. The Virtual event was hosted by ICT Academy.

• The book is based on a survey of about 5000 educators across India who were part of ICT Academy’s “SkyCampus” Digital Knowledge Series.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd July 2020

National

Gujarat Government launches Rs 1,369 crore ”At One Click” online cash aid for MSMEs & textile industry

• Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched an online cash aid initiative titled ”At One Click” for micro small and medium enterprises and textile industries in the state on 26 June 2020.

• The state government has announced total of Rs 1,369 crore in aid for around 13,000 MSMEs in Gujarat under the program.

• Out of the toatl 1,369 crore aid, Rs 768 crore have been transferred in bank accounts of 12,247 MSME units in Gujarat while Rs 601 crore aid has been given to bigger industrial units including textile industry.

Goa Govt Allocates 14,380 sqm land to set up India first Maritime Cluster

• The Government of Goa has allotted over 14,380 square metres of land at Verna industrial estate to ‘Konkan Maritime Cluster’ (Goa Maritime Cluster), a consortium of 49 Goan MSME units, to set up its Common Facility Centre.

• The Goa Maritime Cluster will be the first Maritime Cluster of India, providing a world-class common facility for manufacturing, design and other allied services for the shipbuilding industry.

• The project is likely to extend direct benefits to another 180 units.

Giriraj Singh launches the 1st Edition of “Matsya Sampada”

• Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh has launched the 1st Edition newsletter “MatsyaSampada” fisheries and aquaculture published by the Department of Fisheries and the operational guidelines of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY).

• This newsletter will be published on a quarterly basis.

International

FCC designates 2 Chinese companies as National Security Threats

•  The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated two Chinese companies - Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation as national security threats.

•  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated that both Huawei and ZTE have close ties with Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus. He stated that the US government will not allow the Chinese Communist Party to exploit vulnerabilities in US communications networks.

•  The agency is considering banning these Chinese telephone companies from entering the US market. As per the US, Huawei’s equipment could be used by China for spying.

Banking and Economy

Fitch slashes India’s GDP Growth Projection to 8% from 9.5% for FY22

• Fitch Ratings has cut India’s growth forecast for the fiscal year 2021-22 to 8 percent from its earlier projection of 9.5 percent, in its June update of Global Economic Outlook released on 30 June 2020.

• However, the rating agency has retained its projection for the current fiscal which is expected to contract by 5 percent in the 2020-21.Fitch projected Indian economy to grow 5.5 percent in 2022-23.

Banks sanction over Rs 1 lakh cr loans to 30 lakh MSMEs under ECLGS

• As per the data by the Ministry of Finance on 30 June 2020, banks from public and private sectors have sanctioned over Rs 1 lakh crore loans under the Rs 3-lakh crore Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the MSME sector as of June 26, 2020.

• Out of this, more than Rs 45,860 crore has already been disbursed under the 100 percent ECLGS for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

• The top lenders under the scheme are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank and HDFC Bank.

World Bank approves $750 mn emergency response fund for India’s MSME sector

• The World Bank has approved loan worth $750 million to address the immediate liquidity and credit needs of India’s micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), severely impacted by the C-19 crisis.

• The World Bank’s MSME Emergency Response program will provide financial support to some 1.5 million viable MSMEs.

• With this, the World Bank’s total commitment has reached to $2.75 billion to support India’s emergency C-19 response.

Appointments and Resignations

Ravinder Bhakar becomes new CEO of CBFC

• Shri Ravinder Bhakar, a 1999 batch officer of Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS), has taken over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Central Board of Films Certification (CBFC) on 30 June 2020.

• Prior to this, Mr. Bhakar was posted as the Secretary & Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railways.

• He succeeds Anurag Srivastava. Chairperson of CBFC – Shri Prasoon Joshi

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya becomes new chairman of IOC

• Shrikant Madhav Vaidya took charge as the new chairman of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Prior to this, he was the Director (Refineries) on the IOC Board, since October 2019.

• He will replace Sanjiv Singh, who retired on June 30.

Shashank Manohar quits as ICC Chairman

• International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman, Shashank Manohar has stepped down as the head of the cricket body after two-year tenures. ICC Board has decided that Deputy Chairman Imran Khawaja will take the charge until Manohar’s successor is elected.

•  The process for the Chairperson election is likely to be approved by the ICC Board within the next week.

Days

National Postal Worker Day

• The National Postal Worker Day is marked every year on July 1 globally in recognition of the contribution made by postal workers in our society.

• The day is a unique opportunity to say ‘thank you’ not only to postmen but also to all delivery personnel, as online shopping has become a lifeline for many of us.

• The day was initiated by a popular postal service provider from Seattle, United States of America in 1997  to felicitate and honour the co-postal workers for their dedication.

World UFO Day

• World UFO Day is observed on 2nd July. It was founded by the UFO hunter Haktan Akdogan.

• The first World UFO Day was celebrated in 2001 and spread awareness among people to gaze at the heavens scanning for unidentified flying objects.

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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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