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Important Current Affairs 22nd February 2020

National

Department of Telecommunications launches '5G Hackathon'

• The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has launched the ‘5G Hackathon’ in association with the government of India, academia and industry stakeholders.

• The aim of 5G Hackathon is shortlisting India’s focused cutting edge ideas that can be converted into workable 5G products and solutions.

• The 5G technology provides quantum leap over 4G in terms of speed, peak data rate, latency, spectrum efficiency, and connection density. The Hackathon will convert innovating ideas into products and solutions in different verticals and develop India specific use cases around 5G.

• The 5G Hackathon is open to developers, students, start-ups, SMEs, academic institutions and registered companies in India and Non-resident Indians (NRIs). All Stakeholders can participate as individuals or as a team to present use cases for the 5G network in the Indian context.

Swachh Bharat Mission II phase to cost Rs 52,000 crore, gets cabinet nod

• The Centre has approved the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), which will be implemented on a mission mode between 2020-21 and 2024-25.

• An estimated budget of Rs 52,497 crore has been allocated for the project, to be shared between the centre and the state.

• The Phase II will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and solid and liquid waste management (SLWM).

• Fund sharing pattern between the Centre and States will be respectively as given below:

o 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and UT of J&K

o 60:40 for other States

o 100:0 for other Union Territories

Union Cabinet Approves Constitution of 22nd Law Commission of India

• The Union Cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years, from its date of official constitution.

• Role and Responsibility of the Law Commission:Undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.

Banking and Economy

RBI Approves Appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as MD and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as Managing Director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.

• Sunil Gurbaxani will be appointed for a period of three years from the date of taking charge. Currently Gurbaxani is working with Axis Bank.

Summits and Mou’s

HDFC Bank, Mastercard & SAP concur associate for T&E Tech

• HDFC Bank, Mastercard and SAP Concur have joined hands for spending management services for the corporate sector.

• HDFC Bank will offer a corporate credit card for business travellers, providing a one-stop solution for payment and expense management during business trips.

• The card is supported by Mastercard. SAP Concur is a travel, expense, and invoice management solutions provider.

• The corporate credit card will enable the seamless integration of all business-related to spend into SAP Concur offerings, enhancing the employee experience, increasing visibility, saving money, and improving corporate efficiency.

Awards

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw wins EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2019

• Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon, has been named as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 on 19 February 2020, at the 21st edition of the EY Entrepreneur of The Year India awards.

• Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award.

• She will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo from 4–6 June 2020.

Sports

Ross Taylor becomes first player to play 100 matches in all three formats

• Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor today became the first player in the world to play 100 matches in all three formats of cricket.

• The landmark achievement came as he took the field against India in the opening Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington. The ongoing match is also his 100th Test.

Appointments and Resignations

Former IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe, Amarjeet Sinha appointed advisors to PM

• Retired IAS officers Bhaskar Khulbe and Amarjeet Sinha have been appointed as Advisors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

• The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointments in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in the rank and scale of Secretary

Ranking

India ranks 35th in 2019 WEFFI list

• The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) published Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019. India jumped five ranks and secured 35th rank in the list.

Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019:

♦ WEFFI ranked countries that are based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education.

♦ It analyzed the education system from the perspective of skill-based education in areas like problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, creativity and entrepreneurship, and digital and technical skills.

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Important Current Affairs 10th February 2020

National

Indian Army develops world’s cheapest gunshot locator

• Indian Army has recently developed the cheapest gunshot locator of the world ‘Parth’. This device has been developed by the Army's College of Military Engineering.

• A private firm also helped the Indian Army to develop this device. According to the media report, its cost is about Rs. 3 lakh. It will save a lot of money as imported device costs about Rs. 65 lakhs.

• The device ‘Parth’ was recently showcased at DefExp0 2020. Earlier, the Indian Army developed a bullet-proof helmet that can stop an AK-47 bullet.

Hyderabad Metro Becomes Second Largest Metro Rail Network In India

•           Hyderabad Metro Rail, the world’s largest public-private partnership project, is now the 2nd-largest operational metro network in the country covering 69.2 km.

•           With the launch of another 11-km stretch, Hyderabad Metro Rail has become the second-largest metro rail network in the country after Delhi.

NCL sets up R&D centre for sustainable coal mining

•           The Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL) has established a research and development centre, named ‘Science and Applied Research Alliance and Support (SARAS)’.

•           This research and development centre focuses on the sustainable model for development in coal mining.

•           Chairman and Managing Director of the NCL: PK Sinha.

Uttarakhand's First Heli Services Under UDAN Flagged Off

•           Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme “Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN)” of Government of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has operationalized the first ever helicopter services in the state of Uttarakhand.

Uttar Pradesh Govt to launch internship scheme for school college students

•           Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh has announced an internship scheme for the tenth, 12th and graduate students of the state to brighten employment prospects.

•           During the internship of a period of six months or a year, each participating youth will be given 2500 rupees as honorarium every month. Out of this, rupees 1500 will be given by the Central Government and 1000 rupees by the State Government.

International

African Union Summit 2020 held

• African Union Summit 2020 held in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. African leaders discussed about rising terrorism in Africa.

• The theme of African Union Summit 2020 was ‘Silencing the Guns’. It has adopted the eight resolutions including ‘Agreement with United Nations for funding in peace operation’.

Oscars Award 2020 winners

92nd Academy Awards, also known as Oscars 2020, announced. The awards were presented at a ceremony held at Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, USA. The film “Parasite” became the first foreign-language film ever to win the Best Picture award at Oscars 2020. Actor Brad Pitt won the Oscars for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his film 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'.

Awards

Kamya Karthikeyanbecomes youngest climber to conquer Mount Aconcagua

• Kamya Karthikeyan (12-year-old) from Mumbai has become the youngest girl to climb Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America.

• She studies in 7th grade at Navy Children School in Mumbai. She holds the record by climbing the highest mountain in the Andes mountain range as the youngest girl to climb this mountain.

• Kamya Karthikeyan trekked in various high altitude areas of the Himalayan region. She aims to complete "Explorers Grand Slam" by 2021.

Science & Technology

Astronomers Find Ultramassive Galaxy From The Early Universe That Suddenly Died

•           The International team of astronomers led by scientists at the University of California, United States(US) have discovered an Ultramassive monster galaxy dubbed as XMM-2599.

•           This galaxy existed around 12 billion years ago just 1.8 billion years after the formation of the universe.

Sports

Armand Duplantis breaks Pole Vault World Record

•           Armand Duplantis, a 20-year-old Louisiana native who has been as shrewd in choosing the nation he represents as he has been in choosing his fiberglass poles, broke the world record in the pole vault on Saturday with a jump of 20 feet 2 ¾ inches, or 6.17 meters.

Important Day

World Pulses Day observed globally on 10 February

World Pulses Day proclaimed on February 10 of each year since 2019. World Pulses Day is a designated United Nations global event to recognize the importance of pulses (chickpeas, dry beans, lentils, dry peas and lupins among others) as a global food.

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Urjit Patel assumes charge as 24th RBI Governor

Urjit R Patel on 4 September 2016 assumed charge as the 24th Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
•    The handover ceremony will take place on 6 September 2016.
•    Patel had been serving as the Deputy Governor since January 2013.
•    Patel succeeds Raghuram Rajan, who after serving a three-year term, is going back to academia.
•    On 20 August 2016, the appointment committee of cabinet approved the appointment of Patel for three years.
•    Urjit Patel headed a panel that recommended landmark changes to monetary policy in India. The changes included a switch to inflation-targeting and the creation of a panel to set interest rates.
•    In January 2016, he was reappointed as the Deputy Governor in Charge of monetary policy, the department he headed from 2013.
•    Earlier between 1990 and 1995, he had worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) covering US, India, Bahamas and Myanmar.
•    He carries a doctorate from Yale University.
•    He also carries M Phil from Oxford.

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Unified Payments Interface Becomes Operational

Unified Payments Interface (UPI) was introduced on 25 August 2016 by four banks, namely Axis Bank, Union Bank of India, Federal Bank and Bank of Maharashtra. 
•    The app will allow customers to make payments via digital means.
•    The app went live for these banks after National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) issued letters to them asking them to make the apps available on Google Play Store. 
•    Apart from this, the UPI-enabled apps will be available for other 19-banks in next 2-3 working days.
•    Initially, the facility, which is available on Google Play Store, will be available for bank customers with Android smart phones. 
•    Versions for Apple’s iOS operating system will be launched in next six months.
•    UPI, a product of NPCI, will help move India towards a cashless economy. 
•    It will allow customer to have multiple virtual address for accounts in various banks.
•    UPI is a set of standard Application Programming Interface (APIs).
•    National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is the umbrella organisation for all retail payments system in India.
 

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