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Important Current Affairs 30th September 2020

National

Ministry of Home Affairs approves 3 more NIA branches at Chennai, Ranchi & Imphal

• The Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) has approved to set up 3 additional branches of National Investigation Agency (NIA) at Chennai, Ranchi and Imphal.

• The move is expected to ensure quick response to any emergency situation arising in these three states.It will also strengthen NIA’s capability to interrogate terrorism-related cases and other matters related to National Security.

• Presently, there are 9 branches of National Investigation Agency (NIA) which are located at:

1. Guwahati

2.  Jammu

3.  Mumbai

4. Kolkata

5. Kochi

6. Hyderabad

7. Raipur

8. Lucknow

9. Chandigarh

World’s longest span concrete deck extra-dosed cable stayed bridge inaugurated in Hyderabad

• Union MoS for Home G Kishan Reddy and Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao inaugurated the World’s longest span concrete deck extra-dosed cable-stayed bridge at Durgam Cheruvu of Hyderabad.

• The bridge was constructed at the cost of Rs 184 crore and it was built by Larsen & Toubro.

• The cable-stayed bridge portion is 435 m long, including the approaches at both ends, 25.8 m wide with a total of 52 stay cables.

International

India signs MoU with Denmark on Intellectual Property cooperation

• To further the objectives of National IPR Policy and become a major player in global innovation, India entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Denmark in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) Cooperation.

• The MoU aims at increasing IP co-operation between the two countries by way of exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among public, authorities, businesses and research and educational institutions of both countries.

Banking and Economy

RBI approves 3-member committee of directors for Lakshmi Vilas Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India has appointed a 3-member Committee of Directors (CoD) to look after the affairs of Lakshmi Vilas Bank. This comes after, RBI had earlier removed seven directors of the board of LVB.

• The three members are- Meeta Makhan, Shakti Sinha, and Satish Kumar Kalra. Meeta Makhan is the head of this Committee of Directors (CoD).

Awards

Usha Mangeshkar gets Lata Mangeshkar award

• Maharashtra government announced the Lata Mangeshkar Award for 2020-21 to veteran singer Usha Mangeshkar.

• The award has been constituted for the felicitation of senior vocal artistes and their contribution. The award carries a cash prize of Rs five lakh and a citation.

Appointments and Resignations

Senior bureaucrat P D Vaghela appointed TRAI chairman

• Senior bureaucrat P D Vaghela was on Monday appointed as chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), according to a Personnel Ministry order.

• Vaghela, a 1986-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, is currently Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals. He will succeed R S Sharma.

ITBP chief S S Deswal given additional charge of NSG DG

• ITBP Director General, S S Deswal has been given the additional charge of counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) as its incumbent chief A K Singh is going to retire on September 30.

•  This is the second time that Deswal, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer, has been directed to lead the NSG in an additional capacity.

Days

International Translation Day

• Every year, the International Translation Day is marked on 30 September. The International Federation of Translators (FIT) organise the day ever since it was set up in 1953.

• The day aims to celebrate the work of language translation professionals which facilitates dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security.

• 2020 theme: Finding the words for a world in crisis.

International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

• International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction is observed globally on 29th September. This year is the first-ever observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

• It also comes during the global C-19 pandemic, that has brought about a global wake-up on the need to transform and rebalance the way our food is produced and consumed.

• The theme for International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction 2020 is “Stop food loss and waste. For the people. For the planet.”

Books and Authors

‘A bouquet of flowers’ authored by Dr. Krishna Saksena launched by Rajnath Singh

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched a book titled ‘A bouquet of flowers’ written by Dr. Krishna Saksena.

• Dr. Krishna Saksena is the first lady to get a PhD, in 1955 from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.

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Important Current Affairs 29th September 2020

National

Defence Minister unveils Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020

• Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020 in New Delhi on September 28, 2020. The Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 will be applicable with effect from October 1, 2020.

• The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) was first promulgated in 2002. Since then, the procedure has been revised periodically to provide a boost to the growing domestic industry and achieve enhanced self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

• The Defence Minister had approved the constitution of the Main Review Committee under Chairmanship of DG (Acquisition) Apurva Chandra in August 2019 for preparation of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP).

ICMR Vaccine web portal & C-19 National Clinical Registry launched

• The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the first-of-its-kind national vaccine portal for C-19 on 28 September 2020, created by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

• The vaccine web portal will act as a repository for all information related to C-19 vaccine development in India and abroad. Currently, 3 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India for C-19.

• The portal will also provide information related to C-19 vaccine data from the World Health Organisation (WHO).You can access the website at https://vaccine.icmr.org.in/.

Banking and Economy

SBI Card launches new brand campaign ‘Contactless Connections’

• SBI Card announced the launch of its new brand campaign, Contactless Connections that spreads the message that love and care can be shared even during this difficult period where social distancing is the norm.

• The campaign endeavours to bring a fresh breath of positivity by demonstrating that people can connect emotionally and spread joy despite the social distancing practices by which we are bound.

Awards

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sanju Yadav win AIFF Player of the Year Awards for 2019-20 season

• Indian men’s team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and women’s squad’s mid-fielder Sanju were declared the winners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Footballer of the Year awards for the 2019-20 season.

• This is the first time Gurpreet has received the award, and in the process, he became the second goalkeeper after Subrata Paul in 2009 to be named the AIFF Player of the Year.

• Meanwhile, national women’s team mid-fielder Sanju was selected the winner after an excellent season, while Ratanbala Devi won the 2019-20 Emerging Women’s Footballer of the Year Award.

Sattra Basishta Deva Sarma Conferred Srimanta Sankaradeva Award

• Assam’s Srimanta Sankaradeva Award 2017 was conferred on eminent Vaishnavite scholar, writer and ‘Satradhikar of Barpeta’ Sattra Basishta Deva Sarma.

• The award carries a citation, a ‘sarai’ (traditional Assamese bell metal item), ‘angabastra’ (scarf), a gold memento and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh.

Science and Technology

India’s first RRTS train with design speed of 180 kmph unveiled

• The Centre on Friday unveiled the first look of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train that can attain a top speed of 180 kilometres per hour on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor.

• The design is inspired by Delhi’s iconic Lotus Temple and is aligned with PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ policy.

Appointments and Resignations

Mali’s Former Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane appointed as new Prime Minister

• The interim President of Mali, Bah Ndaw, has named former Malian Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as the prime minister West African nation.

• The 64-year-old served as foreign minister between 2004 and 2011 during Amadou Toumani Toure’s presidency.

Days

World Heart Day

• World Heart Day is observed on 29th September annually to draw people’s attention to heart illness and the range of associated health issues.

• The day which is celebrated annually creates awareness of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) including heart disease & stroke and highlights the preventive and control measures.

•  The theme for World Heart Day 2020: “Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease”.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

• The International Day for the Universal Access to Information (commonly known as Access to Information Day) is held on 28 September ever year. Theme 2020: Access to Information – Saving lives, Building Trust, Bringing Hope!

• Universal access to information means that everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information for healthy and inclusive knowledge societies.

• Initially the day was designated by the UNESCO in November 2015 and was first held on 28 September 2016.It was later proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly.

Books and Authors

‘The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales’ for Kids by Neelakantan

• “Baahubali” series author Anand Neelakantan has written his debut book in the children’s space which tells some of the most hilarious stories about child asuras and their antics.

• The book titled ‘The Very, Extremely, Most Naughty Asura Tales’ has full-colour illustrations accompanying the narrative. It was put by Puffin.

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Important Current Affairs 28th September 2020

National

PM Modi's address at 75th UN General Assembly

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 75th United Nations General Assembly session on September 26, 2020 through a pre-recorded video statement, which was broadcasted at the UN General Assembly hall in New York.

• The Indian Prime Minister began his statement by congratulating each and every member country on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations on behalf of 1.3 billion people of India. He stated that India is proud of the fact that it is one of the founding members of the United Nations.

• The theme of the 75th UN General Assembly session is - "The Future we want, the United Nations we need, reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism - confronting the C-19 through effective multilateral action."

Banking and Economy

Positive Pay System for Cheque Payments to Come into Effect from January 1: RBI

• In order to check banking fraud, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to introduce from January 1, 2021, the ‘positive pay system’ for cheque, under which re-confirmation of key details may be needed for payments beyond Rs 50,000.

• Availing of this facility would be at the discretion of the account holder. However, banks may consider making it mandatory in case of cheques for amounts of Rs 5 lakh and above.

• Under the positive pay system, the issuer of the cheque will be required to submit electronically, through SMS, mobile app, internet banking or ATM certain minimum details of that cheque like date, name of the beneficiary, payee, amount to the drawee bank. These details will be cross-checked before the cheque is presented for payment. In case any discrepancy is flagged by cheque truncation system (CTS) to the drawee bank and presenting bank, redressal measures would be undertaken.

IRDAI Identifies LIC, GIC, New India Assurance Systemically Important Insurers

• Regulator IRDAI has identified LIC, GIC and New India Assurance as domestic systemically important insurers (D-SIIs) and subsequently decided to subject them to enhanced regulatory supervision.

• The three insurers have also been asked to raise the level of corporate governance, identify all relevant risks and promote a sound risk management culture.

Science and Technology

IIT Madras Develops ‘MOUSHIK’ Microprocessor For IoT Devices

• Indian Institute of Technology Madras Researchers have successfully booted up MOUSHIK, an indigenously-made Microprocessor.

• MOUSHIK is a processor cum system on chip that can cater to the rapidly-growing IoT devices, an integral part of Smart Cities of a Digital India.

• There are three steps involved in the making of a microprocessor, namely design, fabrication and post-silicon boot-up,” Kamakoti Veezhinathan, Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems Engineering (RISE) Group.

Obituary

Former Union Minister Jaswant Singh Passes Away

• The former Union Minister Jaswant Singh has passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 82.

• Jaswant Singh had served as the external affairs minister, defense minister and finance minister of India, during the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet.

• Prior to pursuing career in politics with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr. Singh was an officer in the Indian Army in the 1950s and 60s.

Noted Padma Bhusan Economist Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia passes away

• Renowned economist Dr.  Isher Judge Ahluwalia has passed away after a 10-month-long battle with brain cancer. She was 74.

• Dr Ahluwalia was awarded with the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature.

• Ahluwalia served as the director and then the chairperson of Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) for a total of 15 years and built ICRIER into a leading global think tank.

Sports

Valtteri Bottas wins Russian Grand Prix 2020

• Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) has won the Formula One Russian Grand Prix 2020 held on 27 September 2020. This is his second win of the season.

• Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) came second followed by the 6-time world-champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), who stood third because of penalties.

Days

World Rabies Day

• World Rabies Day is observed on 28 September every year to make people aware of the prevention regarding rabies and to highlight the progress in defeating this horrifying disease.

• The theme for the 14th World Rabies Day in 2020 is ‘End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate’.

• The day also marks the death anniversary of the French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur’, who developed the first rabies vaccine.

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Important Current Affairs 27th September 2020

National

Country’s apex regulator of medical education ‘National Medical Commission’ comes into existence

• The National Medical Commission (NMC), in place of the Medical Council of India (MCI), as the country’s apex regulator of medical education and profession has come into existence.

• With the NMC coming into being, the Board of Governors (BoG) which superseded the MCI on September 26th, 2018, to perform its functions, has been dissolved and the nearly 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act abolished. 

• The NMC comprises a chairman, 10 ex-officio members and 22 part-time members

Govt sanctions 670 electric buses, 241 charging stations to boost electric mobility

• The government has sanctioned 670 electric buses and 241 charging stations to boost the electric mobility in the country.

• The buses have been sanctioned in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and Chandigarh whereas charging stations in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat and Port Blair under Phase-II of FAME India Scheme.

• The second phase of this scheme has been implemented from last year with a total budgetary support of 10 thousand crore rupees.

Banking and Economy

NCAER predicts India GDP for FY21 at -12.6%; For FY22 +7%

• The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has projected the GDP growth for the Indian economy at -12.6% For 2020-21 (FY21).

• For 2021-22, NCAER projects the GDP of India to grow by 7%.

ADB approves Rs 2,200 crore loan for secondary towns of Rajasthan

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of Rs 2,200 crore (USD 300 million) to finance inclusive water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in secondary towns of Rajasthan.

• The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of local governments and Rajasthan Urban Drinking Water, Sewerage, and Infrastructure Corporation Ltd.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Microsoft acquires video game company ZeniMax

• Microsoft announced that it will buy ZeniMax Media, the company that owns well-known video game publisher Bethesda, for $7.5 billion in cash.

• The deal gives Microsoft access to a raft of successful game franchises, including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Doom.

• It’s the biggest gaming acquisition in Microsoft’s history, after the company bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014

Obituary

PadmaShri Awardee Sekhar Basu passes away

• Veteran Atomic Scientist and Former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission(AEC), Sekhar Basu passed away due to C-19. He served as the Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and as director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

• He developed the highly complex reactor for INS Arihant, India’s 1st nuclear-powered submarine.He was the key person behind the design, construction and operation of nuclear recycle plants in Tarapur and Kalpakkam.

Appointments and Resignations

Acer India appoints Sonu Sood as brand ambassador

• Personal computers brand Acer India has roped in actor Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador.

• The actor will endorse the brand’s innovative range of products to improving people’s lives through technology.

• The actor has been selected due to his contribution to empowering people which is in line with Acer India’s brand mantra of empowering people through technology.

Ranking

India ranked 89th in World Risk Report 2020

• According to the World Risk Index (WRI) 2020, India has been ranked at the 89th spot among 181 Countries. WRI has been developed in cooperation with the United Nations University’s Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNUEHS) and calculated by the International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV).

• As per the World Risk Report 2020, India (6.62) was ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality’, due to which it was more vulnerable to extreme natural disasters.

• The Pacific island state of Vanuatu leads the index as the country with the highest disaster risk (49.74).Qatar has the lowest risk (0.31).In terms of the continents, Oceania ranks first in terms of highest disaster risk, followed by the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Days

World Tourism Day

• The World Tourism Day is observed worldwide on September 27 since 1980.

• This date was chosen by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.

• In 2020 the theme of World Tourism Day is “Tourism and Rural Development”.

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Important Current Affairs 26th September 2020

National

UP govt launches unified portal ‘U-Rise’ to guide students in learning, career counselling, employment

• The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a unified portal called ‘U-Rise’ to guide students in learning, career counselling, and getting employment in the state. Uttar Pradesh was the first state to launch a unified portal along with the implementation of NEP.

• It is the biggest reform programme in the education sector after the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020.

• The programme would connect students with practical and technical knowledge.

Banking and Economy

RBI publishes “’Technology Vision for Cyber Security’ for UCBs

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will implement the “Technology Vision for Cyber Security’ for Urban Co-operative Banks (2020-2023) to enhance the IT security system of Urban Co-operative banking to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from cyber-attacks.

• The Technology Vision Document aims at enhancing the cybersecurity posture of the Urban Co-operative banking sector against evolving IT and cyber threat environment. RBI will achieve this objective using its five-pillared strategic approach ‘GUARD’. GUARD denotes:

G – Governance Oversight,

U – Utile Technology Investment,

A – Appropriate Regulation and Supervision,

R – Robust Collaboration

D – Developing necessary IT, cybersecurity skills set.

To accomplish the five pillared approach, RBI has established 12 specific action points spires to:

• Involve more Board Oversight over Cybersecurity.

• Enable UCBs to better manage and secure their IT Assets.

• Implement an offsite supervisory mechanism framework for UCBs on cybersecurity-related controls.

• Develop a forum for UCBs so that they can share best practices and discuss practical issues and challenges.

• Implement a framework for providing awareness/ training for all UCBs.

Awards

Kerala wins UNIATF award for prevention and control of NCD 2020

• Kerala bagged a United Nations award ‘United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force’ for its “outstanding contribution” towards the non-communicable diseases-related sustainable development goals.

• The award recognises achievements during 2019 on the multisectoral action in the prevention and control of NCDs, mental health and the wider NCD-related sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Science and Technology

India successfully conducts testing of Prithvi II missile

• India recently conducted the test fire of Prithvi II missile, developed indigenously and was successful.

• The test was conducted at Chandipur Integrated Test Range, Odisha.

Obituary

Music legend S. P . Balasubramaniam passes away

• Veteran playback singer SP Balasubramaniam passed away in Chennai hospital. He was 74.

• Balasubramaniam won numerous awards over the span of his 50-year career. He sang more than 40,000 songs, a Guinness World Record, in 16 languages, including Tamil, Telegu and Hindi.

• He was a recipient of six national awards, including the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri, India’s third and fourth-highest civilian awards.

Appointments and Resignations

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed appointed new PM of Somalia

• Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has appointed political newcomer Mohamed Hussein Roble as the country’s prime minister, hours after brokering an agreement with regional leaders for elections next year that abandons a promised one-person, one-vote model.

• He will replace former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who was voted out of office by parliament in July for failing to pave the way for fully democratic elections due before February 2021.

EESL appoints Rajat Sud as new Managing Director

• Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) announced the appointment of Rajat Sud as its managing director from immediate effect.

• Sud takes over from S Gopal, director (commercial), who had taken on the additional charge of interim managing director.

• Before joining EESL, he served as executive vice president at Sterlite Power Transmission Ltd. He has also served in leadership positions at Siemens IT Solutions and PwC.

Days

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

• Every year, September 26 is observed as the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

• The aims of the day are to enhance public awareness about the threat posed to humanity by nuclear weapons and the necessity for their total elimination.

World Environmental Health Day

• World Environmental Health day is celebrated on 26th September every year to shed the light on important work of environmental health around the world.

• The Theme for the 2020 World Environmental Health Day is “Environmental health, a key public health intervention in disease pandemic prevention”.

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Important Current Affairs 25th September 2020

National

Labour Codes passed by Parliament to reform labour laws

• In a historic move, the Parliament has passed three labour codes on September 23, 2020 to reform the Labour Laws. These labour codes are Industrial Relations Code, 2020; Occupational Safety, Health & Working Conditions Code, 2020 (OSH Code) and Social Security Code, 2020.

•  These labour codes aim to introduce transparency in the changing business environment.

Railways target to complete 100% electrification of broad gauge routes by 2023

• Railways has planned for 100 per cent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023 said by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.

• Around 63 per cent broad gauge lines have already been electrified out of a total 63,631 route kilometers as on 1st of April this year. A total of 23,765 route kilometre lines are yet to be electrified in the country.

EAM Dr S Jaishankar attends Special Ministerial Meeting of FMs of CICA

• The Union Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar participated in the Special Ministerial Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the CICA on 24 September 2020.

• CICA is an inter-governmental forum for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. CICA stands for the ‘Conference on Interaction & Confidence Building Measures in Asia’.

• The Secretariat of CICA is based at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.It has 27 member states including India; 8 observer states and 5 observer organizations.

International

Alexander Lukashenko sworn in as President of Belarus for 6th term

• President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko has been sworn in for a sixth term on 23 September 2020.

• The 66 year-old authoritarian leader won 80% of the vote in the presidential election to gain another 5 year term.

• Lukashenko is serving as the President of Belarus since the establishment of the office 26 years ago, on 20 July 1994.

Acquisitions and Mergers

CCI approves merger of Medlife with PharmEasy

• The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the proposed combination of Medlife and API Holdings.

• The deal pertains to the proposed acquisition of 100 per cent equity shares of Medlife by API Holdings. Medlife shareholders are to get up to 19.59 per cent equity share capital of API Holdings.

• Medlife, a Patna-based company, was valued at $375 million as of January 31, 2020.

Obituary

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passes away at 65

• Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi has passed away after he contracted Chinese virus disease. He was 65-years-old.

• Suresh Angadi was a four-time Lok Sabha MP from Karnataka’s Belagavi constituency. He was elected in 2004, 2014 and 2019.

Former Australian Cricketer Dean Jones passes away

• Former Australian cricketer and renowned commentator, Dean Jones passed away. He made his debut for Australia in a Test match in the West Indies in 1984.

•  He played 52 Tests and 164 ODIs for Australia between 1984 and 1994 before venturing into the commentary.  He scored almost 9500 international runs.

Appointments and Resignations

17-Year-Old Khushi Chindaliya Appointed As UNEP’s Indian Green Ambassador

• A 17-year-old girl from Surat, Khushi Chindaliya has been appointed as the Regional Ambassador for India for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Tunza Eco-Generation, a recurring event with monthly goals.

• Khushi, who has been named India’s ‘Green Ambassador’ for her contribution to the conservation of the environment.

• Khushi will work with TEG on various awareness programs till February 2021. Crucially, Khushi is one of the 100 youths in India whose essays will be featured in a UNESCO book.

Govt extends term of Uday Kotak as Chairman of Debt-ridden IL&FS by One Year

• The government extended the term of Uday Kotak as non-executive chairman of debt-ridden IL&FS group by one year with effect from the 3rd day of October 2020.

• Kotak was appointed by the Government as the head of the lender”s board in 2018 to help the troubled company come out of difficulties, after the state took over the board.

Ranking

Shivangi Singh becomes first woman pilot to fly Rafale aircraft

• Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh makes history by becoming the first woman fighter pilot to fly the recently inducted Rafale aircraft. The Rafale was officially inducted on September 10, 2020 in the Indian Air Force.

• Singh is currently receiving the training to fly the Rafale, which is based in Ambala.

Days

World Pharmacist Day

• The World Pharmacist Day is observed on September 25 annually to create awareness about the role of a pharmacist in improving health.

• 2020 theme: “Transforming global health“.

• The day was designated in 2009 by the FIP Council (International Pharmaceutical Federation or Federation International Pharmaceutique) at the World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Istanbul, Turkey.

World Maritime Day 2020

• World Maritime Day 2020 is observed globally on 24th September in the form of an online event. The exact date of celebrating World Maritime Day is left to the individual governments but is usually celebrated during the last week in September.

• The theme of World Maritime Day 2020 is “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”.

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Important Current Affairs 24th September 2020

National 

Government implements O-SMART Scheme
• The Ministry of Earth Sciences has implemented the Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources, and Technology(O-SMART) Scheme. 
• The scheme covers 16 sub-projects related to the Ocean development activities including resources, services, technology, observations, and sciences. The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre is also working under the O-SMART Scheme.
• The Scheme generates and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Government to set up Neutrino Observatory in the country
• The central government is planning to set up a Neutrino Observatory in the country. This was informed by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh on September 21, 2020 in a written reply in the lower house of the Parliament, Lok Sabha.
• The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) will be a world-class underground laboratory with a rock cover that will study the neutrinos produced in the atmosphere of the Earth.

Railway plans to complete 100 % electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023
• The Indian Railways have set the target to achieve 100 percent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023.
• This information was stated by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on 23 September 2020.

Banking and Economy

Sebi constitutes technical group on social stock exchange
• Sebi set up a technical group on social stock exchange to develop a framework for onboarding non-profit organisations and for-profit enterprises as well as prescribe disclosure requirements on financials and governance.
• The regulator has constituted the technical group under the chairmanship of Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, former chairman of Nabard.
• Other members of the group include Ingrid Srinath, founder-director, Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University; Pushpa Aman Singh CEO of Guidestar; and Santhosh Jayaram, Partner and Head- Sustainability and CSR Advisory at KPMG.

HDFC Life enters into partnership with YES Bank to sell insurance policies
• HDFC Life said it has entered into a partnership with YES Bank to sell policies to the bank’s customers.
• This CA arrangement will enable customers of YES Bank to avail HDFC Life’s wide range of life insurance products, which include solutions for protection, savings and investment, retirement and critical illness.

UNCTAD sees India growth moderating at -5.9% in 2020
• United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has predicted that the GDP of India will contract by 5.9% in the year 2020.
• For the year 2021, UNCTAD projects the Indian economy to grow by 3.9%.The projection was made in its Trade and Development Report 2020.

Acquisitions and Mergers

KKR to invest in Reliance Retail for 1.28% stake
• Global investment firm KKR is going to invest in the Reliance Retail ventures Limited (RRVL). With investment of Rs 5,550 crore, KKR will be acquiring 1.28% equity stake in the RRVL on a fully diluted basis.
•  This is the second such investment deal with Reliance Retail in past one month after American private firm Silver Lake invested Rs 7,500 cr into the company for a 1.75% Stake.
• This is also KKR’s second investment in a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, as earlier this year, the firm had invested Rs 11,367 crore in Jio Platforms for a 2.32 percent stake.

Science and Technology

DRDO successfully test fires high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT)- ABHYAS
• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested an indigenously-developed unmanned aerial vehicle, Abhyas, that can be used as target for evaluation of various missile systems.
• Two Abhyas vehicles, developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), were flight tested from a test range off Odisha coast.
• The High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) was launched using twin underslung booster.

Sports

Former cricketer Ash Barty wins Golf Club Championship
• Ashleigh Barty, who is the top-ranked WTA player in the world, and a former professional cricket player, has now added another feat in her sporting list by winning golf club championship.
• The 24-year-old, world number one Australian, has won the Brookwater Golf Club women’s championship.
• Ash Barty had withdrawn from participating in US Open and French Open due to C-19 pandemic.

Appointments and Resignations

RBI appoints AK Das as the new administrator of PMC Bank
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed AK Das (ex-general manager at Union Bank of India), as the new administrator of the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank.
• He has replaced JB Bhoria who has stepped down from his role as the administrator of the bank due to health reasons.
• In September 2019, the RBI had superseded the board of PMC bank due to fraud and financial irregularities in the PMC bank.

Bah Ndaw named Mali’s interim president
• Former Mali defense minister and retired colonel Bah Ndaw has been named the president of the country’s new transition government, while the leader of the junta that seized power last month. 
• Colonel Assimi Goita, was appointed vice president of the country.
• He will be in power for 18 months before holding elections and returning Mali to civilian rule.

Simanchala Dash appointed as advisor to IMF Executive Director
The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the proposal to appoint Simanchala Dash as an advisor to Executive Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.

Books and Authors

A book titled “Voices of Dissent” authored by Romila Thapar
• A new book titled “Voices of Dissent” authored by Historian Romila Thapar will be jointly published by Penguin Random House India and Seagull Books. 
• The book is a historical essay that explores dissent, including its articulation and public response to its forms, with a focus on the recent protest in India against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens.

 

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Important Current Affairs 23rd September 2020

National

Narendra Modi becomes second Indian PM to win Ig Nobel Prize

• Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi has been awarded the Ig Nobel Prize 2020 for Medical Education.

• He has been awarded the prestigious award for “using the C-19 pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can”.

• PM Modi is the second Indian Prime Minister to be honored with the Ig Nobel Prize. Prior to this, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was awarded in 1998.

• PM Modi shares the award with Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan.

Govt launched Platform “YuWaah” to make young people career ready.

• Government has launched YuWaah – a multi-stakeholder platform to make young people career ready. Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) have signed a “Statement of Intent” on 20.07.2020 to establish YuWaah, Generation Unlimited (GenU), a global multi-stakeholder platform in India.

• Basic objective of YuWaah project

 Support young people by providing entrepreneurship classes (online and offline)

 Upskilling of young people on 21st century works and skills

 Create linkages with aspirational economic opportunities

 Providing career guidance support to young people

J&K launched National Generic Document Registration System

• Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha launched the National Generic Document Registration System for the union territory.

• The system was developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to address the diversity and variations that prevails across the states on account of formats, languages, processes and formulae.

• The national generic document registration system was developed under Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme.

Banking and Economy

India’s nominal GDP to grow 19 per cent in 2022: Finance Ministry

• Finance ministry has estimated that India’s nominal GDP will grow by 19 per cent in nominal terms in financial year 2021-22.

• In the first quarter of this financial year, the nominal GDP contracted by 22.6 per cent to Rs 38.08 lakh crore, compared to Rs 49.18 lakh crore in the same period last year.

• The finance ministry said it is not able to submit Medium Term Expenditure Framework with rolling targets of indicative expenditure for FY22 and FY23 as mandated under the FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act because it is not possible to obtain reliable projections of GDP growth at this time due to the continuing impact of C-19 pandemic on the Indian economy.

Google Pay partners with Visa for card-based payments with tokenization

• Google Pay has partnered with VISA for the rollout of tokenization that will enable users to safely transact with their debit or credit cards.

• Through tokenization, Google Pay users can make payment by using the debit or credit card without physically sharing their credit or debit card details through a secure digital token attached to their phone.

Summits and Mou’s

HCL & Google Cloud expands partnership for HCL’s Actian portfolio

• HCL Technologies and Google Cloud has announced the expansion of their strategic partnership to bring HCL’s Actian portfolio, starting with Actian Avalanche, to Google Cloud.

• HCL’s Actian Avalanche hybrid cloud data warehouse has been deployed by Fortune 500 customers to deliver powerful insights to manage business complexities for a variety of use cases, including fraud detection, real-time offers and market basket analysis.

• Actian Avalanche is a high-performance hybrid cloud data warehouse designed to power an enterprise’s most demanding operational analytics workloads.

India-UK held Water Partnership Forum on water conservation issue

• India-UK held the Water Partnership Forum on September 22, 2020 virtually to discuss issues related to the water conservation and infrastructure development.

• The inaugural address was given by Gaitri Issar Kumar, Indian High Commissioner to United Kingdom.

• During the forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Ganga and the British water.

Acquisitions and Mergers

HCL tech acquires Australian IT firm DWS for $115.8 million

• HCL Technologies has announced the acquisition of Australian IT firm DWS Ltd for $115.8 million in a bid to further expand its digital offerings especially in Australia and New Zealand.

• The DWS Group closed FY 2020 with revenues of $ 122.9 million and has over 700 employees with operations in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Canberra.

Obituary

Former Canadian PM John Turner passes away

• Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner has passed away at his residence in Toronto. He was 91.

• Turner, who spent decades in federal politics as a cabinet minister and Liberal Party leader during some of the most turbulent moments, led Canada for 79 days in 1984, the second-shortest time in office of any Prime Minister.

• During his political career, Turner held several prominent cabinet posts, then he resigned as Liberal leader in 1990 and retired from politics in 1993.

Noted Marathi actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar passes away

• Noted Marathi actress and Bollywood’s veteran character artist Ashalata Wabgaonkar passed away due to C-19 infection at a hospital in Satara in Maharashtra. She was 79.

• The actress had also worked in several Marathi films and Bollywood movies. She has over 100 movies, plays, and series to her credit.

• She also authored a book, ‘Gard Sabhowati’.

Days

International Day of Sign Languages

• The International Day of Sign Languages is observed globally on 23 September every year. This day is celebrated to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status of sign languages.

• The theme for the 2020 International Day of Sign Languages is “Sign Languages are for everyone!”

• Also, the last full week of September is observed as International Week of the Deaf.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd September 2020

National

Women officers to join Indian Navy's helicopter stream for first time ever

• For the first time ever, two women officers will be joining the helicopter stream of the Indian Navy as “Observers” (Airborne Tacticians).

• These women officers will be first batch of women airborne combatants to operate from warships. The entry of women officers was earlier restricted to fixed-wing aircraft of Indian Navy.

Govt launches Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in 272 most affected districts

• Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has formulated and is implementing a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction (NAPDDR) for 2018-2025.

• The Plan aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy.

• The activities under the NAPDDR include awareness generation programmes in schools, colleges, Universities, workshop and provisioning of treatment facilities and capacity building of service providers.

International

India extends soft loan of $250 million to Maldives in largest bilateral financial aid

• India has extended financial assistance of USD 250 million to the Maldives to help it mitigate the economic impact of the C-19 pandemic.

• The budgetary support of USD 250 million has been extended without conditions.

• This financial assistance is being routed through the State Bank of India (SBI), Male so that it does not reflect in the external borrowings of the Maldives.

Summits and Mou’s

MoU signed between AYUSH Ministry and WCD Ministry for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan

• A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi for controlling Malnutrition as a part of POSHAN Abhiyaan.

• The MoU will see some time-tested and scientifically proven Ayush-based solutions being adopted for controlling malnutrition in the country.

Acquisitions and Mergers

HCL Technologies to acquire Australian IT solutions company DWS

• Noida-based IT company HCL Technologies (HCL) announced that it would acquire DWS Limited, an Australian IT, business and management consulting group.

• The acquisition of DWS will enhance HCL’s contribution to digital initiatives in Australia and New Zealand while strengthening HCL’s client portfolio across key industries.

Science and Technology

FELUDA: First Gene based C-19 test approved in India

• The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has recently approved the gene-based C-19 test called Feluda.The test was indigenously developed and uses cutting edge CRISPR (Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology to detect the C-19 virus.

• The test was developed by scientists based in Council of scientific and Industrial Research Institute of genomics and integrative Biology CSIR-IDIB along with the TATA Group.

• FELUDA is the acronym of FNCAS9 editor linked uniform detection. It is a paper strip test

Obituary

Assam Musician Bibhuranjan Choudhury passes away

• Music composer, singer, lyricist and actor Bibhuranjan Choudhury passed away at the age of 71 years due to cancer. He was from Assam.

• Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condoled the demise of Bibhuranjan Choudhury.

Winston Groom, Author of ‘Forrest Gump,’ passes away

• Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop-cultural phenomenon, has died at age 77. He wrote 16 books, fiction and nonfiction.

• Groom served in the Army’s Fourth Infantry Division from 1965 to 1969, the university said. His service included a tour in Vietnam – one of the settings for “Forrest Gump.”

Sports

Simona Halep & Novak Djokovic wins 2020 Italian Open title

• World number one Novak Djokovic beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman, 7-6, 5-3, to win 2020 Men’s Single Italian Open title and his fifth overall Rome title.

• In Women’s single, top seed Simona Halep defeated champion Karolina Pliskova, 6-0, 2-1, to win her first Italian Open title.

• Winners List

1. Men’s Single- Novak Djokovic

2. Women’s Single- Simona Halep

3. Men’s Double- Marcel Granollers /Horacio Zeballos

4. Women’s Double- Hsieh Su-wei / Barbora Strýcová

Appointments and Resignations

 Anil Dhasmana becomes new chief of NTRO 

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief, Anil Dhasmana, as the new Chief of National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) for a period of two years with effect from 18 September 2020.

• NTRO is a technical intelligence Agency under the National Security Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), which looks after geospatial intelligence and satellite imagery.

• He will replace former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer Satish Chandra Jha. Dhasmana, a 1981-batch officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, has been the chief of RAW from 31 January 2017 to 29 June 2019.

Ranking

World Largest Telescope to have IT controls built in India

• The square kilometre array also called the SKA, an international initiative building the world’s largest radio telescope is to have control systems designed and built by Tata Consultancy Services, an IT company based in India.

• Several other multiple leading Indian scientific Institutions are also contributing to the project under the leadership of TCS.

• The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) operating under Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) is the leading manager of the project.

Books and Authors

Chef Vikas Khanna’s Next Book To Give Insights Into His ‘Feed India’ Initiative

• Michelin Star chef Vikas Khanna announced his next book titled “Kitchens of Gratitude”.In this book he will write about his Feed India initiative, one of the world’s largest food drives serving meals to the underprivileged amid the ongoing pandemic, said by publishing house Penguin Random House India.

• The book, “Kitchens of Gratitude”, will be released in 2021 under the ‘Ebury Press’ imprint.

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Important Current Affairs 21st September 2020

National

PM to inaugurate VAIBHAV Summit on 2nd October 2020

• Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit on 2nd October’2020 through videoconferencing.

• The VAIBHAV Summit is a joint initiative of all S&T and Academic Organisations of India (working in Research, Academic and Scientific fields) to enable deliberations on thought processes, practices and R&D culture with a problem-solving approach for well-defined objectives.

• The month-long Summit will provide a platform to leverage the expertise and knowledge of global Indian researchers for solving emerging challenges and create an ecosystem of Knowledge and Innovation in the country through global outreach.

10th Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisors

• 10th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Security was held virtually. The 10th meeting of the NSAs was hosted by the current chair of BRICS i.e. Russia.

• The National Security Advisors of the BRICS nations met to deliberate upon the issues related to strengthening political security and cooperation among the five countries.

• National Security Advisor Ajit Doval represented India in a virtual meet of top security officials from Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping.

Tamil Nadu becomes first state to unveil ethical AI, blockchain, cybersecurity policies in country

• Tamil Nadu has become the first state in India to launch policies on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Cybersecurity policies.

• Chief minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami unveiled the Tamil Nadu Cyber Security Policy, 2020, Tamil Nadu Blockchain Policy, 2020, and Tamil Nadu Safe and Ethical Artificial Intelligence Policy, 2020 at Connect 2020.

• The project will be implemented by establishing and leveraging the State Family Data Base (SFDB) and Block-Chain Backbone infrastructure.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Solutions projects India’s GDP growth at -8.6% in 2020-21

• Fitch Solutions has revised downward its forecast for Indian economic growth and now estimates that India’s GDP will contract by 8.6% in 2020-21 (FY21).Earlier this was estimated at -4.5%.

• It has also forecasted a 5 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in 2021 and 2022.

Obituary

Renowned US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away at 87

• Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an American jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has passed away due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87.

• She was appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and served until her death in 2020.She was the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande passes away

• Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande died at her residence in Mumbai due to old age. She was 91. Deshpande, was the daughter of Shripad Amrit Dange, one of the founders of the Communist Party of India.

• Deshpande had taken part in the Sanyukta Maharashtra Movement (the movement for the creation of the State of Maharashtra) and the Goa liberation struggle as a Member of the All India Students’ Federation. In 1974, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Bombay South Central constituency.

Ranking

HDFC Bank leads ‘BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands’ ranking

• HDFC Bank has topped the BrandZ Top 75 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2020 Rankings. HDFC Bank has topped this ranking for the 7th consecutive year. It has a total brand value of more than $20.2 billion

• LIC is ranked second while Tata Consulting Services has been ranked at no.3.

Days

International Day of Peace

• The International Day of Peace (or World Peace Day) is observed annually on 21 September to spread awareness and preach peace and harmony all across the globe.

• The 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace is “Shaping Peace Together.”

• The Day established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is also known as World Peace Day.

World Alzheimer's Day

• World Alzheimer's Day is observed on 21 September every year to spread awareness about Alzheimer and Dementia disease.

• The theme for World Alzheimer Day 2020 is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’.

• In Alzheimer’s disease loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain occurs. Progressively brain disorder which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills etc. In older adults it is the most common cause of dementia.

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