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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 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 30th June 2020

National

Ban on 59 Chinese apps for safety, security and integrity of India

• The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has announced that “Government of India Bans 59 Chinese mobile apps”, which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.

• The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps.

• The Ministry had also received concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy in operation of certain apps.  The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Home Ministry had also sent a recommendation to block such malicious apps.

The complete list of 59 Chinese App Banned in India is given below:

Chinese Mobile Applications

1. TikTok

2. Shareit

3. Kwai

4. UC Browser

5. Baidu map

6. Shein

7. Clash of Kings

8. DU battery saver

9. Helo

10. Likee

11. YouCam makeup

12. Mi Community

13. CM Browers

14. Virus Cleaner

15. APUS Browser

16. ROMWE

17. Club Factory

18. Newsdog

19. Beutry Plus

20. WeChat

21. UC News

22. QQ Mail

23. Weibo

24. Xender

25. QQ Music

26. QQ Newsfeed

27. Bigo Live

28. SelfieCity

29. Mail Master

30. Parallel Space

31. Mi Video Call – Xiaomi

32. WeSync

33. ES File Explorer

34. Viva Video – QU Video Inc

35. Meitu

36. Vigo Video

37. New Video Status

38. DU Recorder

39. Vault- Hide

40. Cache Cleaner DU App studio

41 DU Cleaner

42. DU Browser

43. Hago Play With New Friends

44. Cam Scanner

45. Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile

46. Wonder Camera

47. Photo Wonder

48. QQ Player

49. We Meet

50. Sweet Selfie

51. Baidu Translate

52. Vmate

53. QQ International

54. QQ Security Center

55. QQ Launcher

56. U Video

57. V fly Status Video

58. Mobile Legends

59. DU Privacy

Delhi Government to start its own Plasma Bank

• Delhi government will start its own 'Plasma Bank' for treatment of Chinese virus positive patients. Chief Minister ArvindKejriwal has urged all the C-19 recovered patients in national capital to donate their plasma for the bank.

• Plasma Bank will begin its operations in next two days at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, Delhi.

PM FME Scheme launched under Atmanirbhar Bharat

• The Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal formally launched Pradhan Mantri Scheme for Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises as a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan on 29 June 2020.

• The scheme aims to enhance the competitiveness of the existing individual micro enterprises by increasing their access to credit, modern technologies among other things.

• The All India Centrally Sponsored Scheme has an outlay of Rs.10,000crore for 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 and  Provide employment to about nine lakh skilled and semi-skilled workers.

Uttarakhand forest department develops India’s 1st lichen park

• Uttarakhand forest department has developed India’s first lichen park in Kumaon’s Munsiyari, Pithoragarh district. Lichens are found in the Himalayas up to 5000 metres are important species as they are the best bioindicators of the pollution levels.

• The project aims to study the distribution of different lichen species, their habitat, their morphological and physiological aspects, surveying and literature review, the establishment of species, current threats to their habitat including anthropological and climatic factors, and coming up with suitable conservation strategies and protection strategies.

• These Jurassic-era lichen species are used in food, perfumes, dyes and traditional medicines.

International

Micheal Martin takes over as the Prime Minister of Ireland

• Micheal Martin has been appointed as the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of the Republic of Ireland on 27 June 2020.

• The 59-year-old will lead a three-party coalition government consisting of FiannaFáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party.

• Martin is serving as the 15th Taoiseach of the country. He succeeds Leo Varadkar.

Lazarus Chakwera wins President election in Malawi’s

• Lazarus Chakwera becomes the new President of Malawi. He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of votes. Chakwera won with 2.6 million votes against 1.75 million for Mutharika. He is the head of the Malawi Congress Party(MCP).

Banking and Economy

Indian economy expected to contract 5% in FY21: S&P Ratings

• The GDP growth of India is expected to contract by 5 percent in the fiscal year 2020-21, according to latest forecast by S&P Global Ratings.

• The growth is expected to rebound in 2021-22 at 8.5%

Summary

FY21: -5%

FY22: 8.5%

FY23: 6.5%

Days

International Asteroid Day

• The International Asteroid Day, also known as Asteroid Day is a United Nations proclaimed day observed globally on June 30 ever year to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities, and future generations from a catastrophic event.

• The event marks the anniversary of the Siberian Tunguska event that took place on June 30, 1908, and was the most harmful known asteroid-related event on Earth in recent history.

• The first International Asteroid Day was held in 2015.

International Day of Parliamentarism

• International Day of Parliamentarism is observed globally on 30 June every year. The Day celebrates parliaments and ways during which parliamentary systems of government improve the everyday lives of individuals throughout the world.

• It is also a chance for parliaments to spot challenges and stock ways to deal with them effectively.The 2020 event is the third edition of the celebration.

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Important Current Affairs 27th June 2020

National

PM launches Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a 125-day campaign on 26th June 2020 that will provide employment migrant and daily wage workers in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The campaign is called Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan. The campaign was launched through video conferencing in the presence of Yogi Adityanath (Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh).

• The mega job scheme launched by Prime Minister today is part of the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan that was launched on 20th June 2020 by Prime Minister himself.

• The Campaign launched will focus on providing employment in a total of 31 districts of Uttar Pradesh. There are more than 25,000 returnee migrant workers in each of the 31 districts.It was also announced that 5000 tool kits will also be distributed under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Initiative in the state.

International

Russia plans to take first tourist for spacewalk in 2023

• Russia's Energia Space Corporation plans to take its first tourist for spacewalk in the year 2023. The Energia entered into a contract with Space Adventures of United States to take two space tourists in 2023 to the International Space Station (ISS).

• Energia is a part of Roscosmos, Russia’s Space Agency.

Pakistan to remain on FATF grey list

• Pakistan will remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to suits the worldwide terrorist financing watchdog’s deadline to prosecute and penalise terrorist financing in the country.

• FATF had expressed serious concerns over Pakistan’s failure to finish its 27-point action plan in line with the agreed timelines, which led to September 2019.

Banking and Economy

IMF predicts Indian economy to contract by 4.5% in FY21

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Indian economy will experience a sharp contraction of 4.55% in Fiscal Year 2021, as compared to that of 1.9% expansion projected in the month of April 2020. The international organization has called this a “historic low” for India.

World’s First Gold-backed Digital Gold Currency launched in India

• IBMC Financial Professionals Group, an internationally recognized financial services institution and business consultants, has joined hands with US Gold Currency Inc and Blockfills to bring the world’s first monetary gold-backed digital gold currency to India.

• The currency is also being simultaneously introduced in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Middle East and Africa. Each US Gold digital currency is backed by US American Eagle one ounce (33.931 gram) gold coin, minted by US Federal Agency, US Mint.

• The holders of the currency can redeem their digital assets as physical gold coin or in US dollars anywhere in the world.

Science and Technology

NASA headquarters to be renamed for Mary W. Jackson

• NASA has announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, one of its history-making engineers. The information was passed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

• Mary. W. Jackson was an aerospace engineer and a mathematician who was part of a group of very important women who had NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space.

Sachin Bansal’s startup “Navi” launches new instant lending app

• Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal’s financial services startup “Navi” has launched a mobile app ” Navi lending” to provide instant personal loans targeted at consumers in the middle-income segment.

Obituary

1971 war hero SqnLdr Parvez Jamasji passes away

• Vir Chakra awardee, SqnLdr (retd) Parvez Jamasji passed away. He was commissioned in 1965 and retired in 1985. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.

Sports

New Zealand, Australia to jointly host 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

• Australia and New Zealand till jointly be hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023. The Federation of International Football Associations made the announcement on June 25, 2020 following the voting done by FIFA Council during its virtual meeting.

• New Zealand Football and Football Federation Australia had earlier submitted a joint bid for hosting the World Cup 2023.

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Important Current Affairs 24th June 2020

National

Patanjali launches Ayurvedic medicine, claims 100 pc recovery within 3-7 days

•  Patanjali on June 23, 2020 launched 'Coronil and Swasari', its Ayurvedic medicine, which it claims can treat C-19. There is no official confirmation on the same by any scientific or government authority.

•  Patanjali stated that the medicines showed 100 percent favourable results during clinical trials on the confirmed  patients. Two clinical trials were conducted, the first clinical controlled study that took place in Delhi and Ahmedabad and many other cities.

•  Around 280 patients were included in the trial and as per Patanjali, 100 percent of those recovered.

•  However, the efficacy of Patanjali’s medicines has not received any backing from any medical body as yet. The World Health Organization (WHO) had recently said that though many drug trials are going on, there is currently no proof that any drug can cure or prevent C-19.

Rajasthan Government to launch “Indira Rasoi Yojana”

Rajasthan state government will soon launch Indira Rasoi Yojana for the poor. This scheme will start to ensure that “no one sleeps hungry” in the state. Under this scheme, pure and nutritious food on concessional rates is going to be provided to the needy twice each day. The State government will spend Rs.100 crores every year on the scheme.

Banking and Economy

Moody’s Projects India’s GDP at -3.1% for Calendar Year 2020 and 6.9% in 2021

•   Moody’s Investors Service has sharply revised its forecast for India’s annual GDP growth and has projected the Indian economy to shrink 3.1 percent in the Calendar year 2020, caused by the disruptions due to the C -19.

•    Moody’s released its June update to Global Macro Outlook (2020-21) on 22 June 2020.

Awards

Nobel-laureate Indian economist Amartya Sen wins 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

• Nobel-laureate Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen has been selected for the 2020 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for his decades-long work around issues of global justice.

• The 86-year-old Harvard professor and past Nobel prize winner will be awarded during a ceremony on 18 October 2020 in Frankfurt. The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade comes with a cash prize of €25,000 euros ($28,000).

• He has been chosen for the prestigious prize for his pioneering work addressing issues of global justice, social inequality in education and healthcare.

Science and Technology

ISRO receives patent for “Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment”

• The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received a patent for its Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG). Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG) is a protective garment for human spaceflight. It is a close fitting long garment that covers the torso as well as the limbs from neck to toe as a single piece lightweight comfort inner wear.

• The flight suit has to be worn by the astronauts over the LCHG. The garment permits the long term use without any impact on the wearer in terms of skin irritation or infection.

Obituary

Former Indian shooter Pournima Zanane passes away

• Former Indian shooter and coach Pournima Zanane passed away due to cancer. She represented India at multiple ISSF World Cups, Asian Championships, Commonwealth Championships, amongst other tournaments.

• Pournima Zanane was a national record holder in 10m Air Rifle event.

Appointments and Resignations

T. Rabi Sankar becomes new Chairman of IFTAS

• Indian Financial Technology & Allied Services (IFTAS) has announced the appointments of T Rabi Sankar as the Chairman of the organization. IFTAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India.

• T Rabi Sankar, currently serving as Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India for Payment Systems, Information Technology, Risk Management and Fintech has taken over concurrent charge, ex officio, as the Chairman of IFTAS.

Days

United Nations Public Service Day

• The United Nations Public Service Day is celebrated on June 23 every year, as a tribute to the people who are associated with public service in all the counties of the world.

• The Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community.

• Theme of 2020 is ‘On the frontlines: honouring public servants in the C-19  response.’

International Olympic Day

• The Olympic Day is celebrated globally on 23rd June every year. This year the Olympic Movement will celebrate Olympic Day 2020 by creating the world’s largest 24 hour digital-first Olympic workout.

• For this, the Olympic Channel is making a brand new home workout video made by Olympic athletes.The Olympic Day 2020 theme is “Move, learn and discover”

Books and Authors

Amish Tripathi launches his new fiction book – ‘Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India’

• The author of The Immortals of Meluha has announced the launch of his new book, Legend of Suheldev: The King Who Saved India. Published by Westland Publications Pvt Ltd, his latest fiction is set in 11th-century, India.

• The book begins with Mahmud of Ghazni's invasion and the massacre of the holy Somnath Temple. The book has been published by Westland Publications.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd June 2020

National

NITI Aayog to launch project “Decarbonising Transport in India”

• NITI Aayog has collaborated with International Transport Forum (ITF) for “Decarbonising Transport in India” project, with the aim to develop a pathway towards a low-carbon transport system for India.

• The project will be launched online on 24 June, 2020, at YouTube livestream, which can be accessed at https://youtu.be/l2G5x5RdBUM.The “Decarbonising Transport in India” project will provide the government with a detailed understanding of current and future transport activity and the related CO2 emissions as a basis for their decision-making.

• ITFis Paris, France based intergovernmental organisation for transport policy. India has been a member of ITF since 2008.The project is part of the ITF’s “Decarbonising Transport in Emerging Economies” (DTEE) family of projects, which supports transport decarbonisation across different world regions.

France commits 200 million Euros loan for India to scale up Government’s existing response

• France has signed a loan agreement of 200-million-euros with India to boost India’s C-19 response. With the loan agreement, France aims to increase the state and central governments’ capacities to support India’s most vulnerable people in the wake of the C-19 crisis.

• World Bank has developed the programme design in collaboration with the Indian authorities to optimize and expand the existing social protection measures taken by India.

Emergency funds granted to Indian armed forces amid Indo-China clash

• Central government has granted emergency funds to all the three armed services to acquire arms and ammunition amid the border standoff at Indo-China border.

• The funds of Rs 500 crore are granted for per procurement project. Moreover, special financial powers have been granted to armed forces for procurement of weapons and military equipment.

Obituary

Rajinder Goel, highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy, passes away at 77

• The legendary first-class cricketer player, Rajinder Goel, who holds the record for most wickets in the history of Ranji Trophy, has passed away due to age related issues. He was 77.

• In all, the left-arm spinner took 750 wickets, in 157 first-class matches which he played.

Major General (Retd) Lachhman Singh Lehl passes away

• Major General (Retd) Lachhman Singh Lehl passed away. He was one of India’s finest military brains and one of its last surviving officers to have taken part in both the 1948 and 1971 wars.

• He was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery in 1943.

Appointments and Resignations

World Athletics appoints Laurent Boquillet as new Head of Global Development

• World Athletics on June 22 announced that Laurent Boquillet has been appointed as the Head of Global Development. World Athletics mentioned that the global search to fill out the new position was conducted in January 2020.

• The new position of Head of Global Development supports the body’s vision which is ‘to use the power and accessibility of athletics and our athletes to create a healthier and fitter world.

• Laurent Boquillet spent his entire career in athletics, in a diverse range of roles and most recently as the CEO of the European Athletics Championships Paris 2020.

Nirakar Pradhan becomes new chief of PRMIA

• Dr Nirakar Pradhan has appointed as new as the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) of its new India office.

• Pradhan has led teams at State Bank of India and Generali Group in India and Europe.

Ranking

India becomes 12th largest US govt securities holder

•  India has become the 12th largest holder of US government securities at the end of April 2020 with a holding worth USD 157.4 billion. The US Treasury Department data showed that after significantly reducing the exposure in March to USD 156.5 billion, India marginally hiked the holding by USD 0.9 billion to USD 157.4 billion the next month.

•  While India’s holding touched a record high of USD 177.5 billion in February, the same was drastically reduced in March. The exposure had stood at USD 164.3 billion in January. At the end of April, Japan remained the country with the maximum exposure at USD 1.27 trillion, followed by China at USD 1.1 trillion and the UK at USD 368.5 billion.

Days

International Widows’ Day

• International Widows Day is observed globally on 23rd June every year. The day is widely known to draw attention to the voices and experiences of widows and to galvanize the unique support that they have.

• Several women around the world after losing her life partner faces challenges and do long-term struggle for basic needs, their human right and dignity.

World Hydrography Day

• World Hydrography Day is observed globally on 21st June every year. This day was adopted by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) as an annual celebration to publicise the work of hydrographers and the importance of hydrography.

• World Hydrography Day 2020 theme is “Hydrography enabling autonomous technologies”.

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Important Current Affairs 21st June 2020

National

PM Narendra Modi addresses the nation, promotes yoga to fight

• PM Modi in his message on sixth International Yoga Day stated that Yoga has emerged as a force of unity and it also deepens the bonds of humanity. It doesn't discriminate and goes beyond color, race, faith, gender, and nations.

• It was the first time that Yoga day celebration was held virtually, ever since it was instituted in 2015.This day is celebrated every year on June 21.The date June 21 was suggested by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his UN address.

• PM Modi picked this date, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere. This day also shares a special significance in many parts of the world.

Union Minister launches R&D Portal “SATYABHAMA”

• Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi has launched R&D Portal “Science and Technology Yojana for Aatmanirbhar Bharat in Mining Advancement (SATYABHAMA)”.

• The R&D Portal SATYABHAMA has been designed, developed and implemented by National Informatics Centre (NIC), Mines Informatics Division.It has been integrated with NGO Darpan Portal of NITI Aayog.

• The newly launched portal will increase efficiency as well as effectiveness in the implementation of the Scheme as it allows online submission of project proposals along with monitoring of the projects and utilization of funds/grants.

Banking and Economy

RIL reaches $150-billion market valuation mark

• The Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has reached $150-billion mark in term of market capitalisation. Hence, the Mukesh Ambani-helmed RIL has become India’s first $150-billion company in terms of market capitalisation.

• RIL achieved this milestone when its share price had gained 6.23% to close at Rs 1,759, taking its market capitalisation to Rs 11.15 lakh crore i.e. around $150 billion.

• With this achievement, the market capitalisation of Reliance Industries Limited is more than that of Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell and BP among the top global energy players.

Appointments and Resignations

Former RBI Governor Urjit Patel appointed as Chairman of NIPFP

• Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has been appointed as the Chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP).His four-year term will begin from June 22, 2020.

• The National Institute of Public Finance and Policy is an autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Finance, based in New Delhi. It conducts research on public finance and contributes to the process of policy-making relating to public finance.

Days

World International Day of Yoga

• United Nations celebrates International Day of Yoga globally on 21 June every year to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

• The theme of International Day of Yoga 2020 is ‘Yoga for Health – Yoga at Homeand Yoga with Family'.

Father's Day

• Father's Day is a day of honoring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic countries of Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 as Saint Joseph's Day since the Middle Ages.

• Father's day is celebrated in many parts of the world at different times of the year, mostly in March, May, and June. However, Father's Day is usually celebrated in India on the third Sunday in June, meaning that Father's Day 2020 will be celebrated on June 21.

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Important Current Affairs 20th June 2020

National

India will serve as UNSC president for August 2021

• India will be serving as UNSC President for August 2021. India was earlier elected as the non-permanent member of the 15-member United Nations Security Council. The UNSC presidency is held for a month by each of its members in alphabetical order.

• For a two-year term beginning on January 1, 2021, India, Norway, Mexico, Ireland, and Kenya were elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on June 17, 2020.

• This will be the eight-time that India will sit at the council’s table. India was elected previously for the years 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85, 1991-92 and the most recent in 2011-12

Coal Ministry & FICCI Initiated e-Auction Process of 41 Coal blocks for Commercial mining

• On the lines of the announcement made by Central government under the 20 Lakh crore Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, on June 18, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the two stage electronic auction of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining through video-conference.

• The commencement of the auction process of these blocks is likely to contribute Rs 20,000 crore revenues annually to the state governments. On the Central Government front, it is expected to garner Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment over next five to seven years.

Manipur Observes the 19th Great June Uprising Day

• The 19th Great June Uprising Day was observed on 18th June at Kekrupat, Manipur. The day is being observed every year on 18 June to pay tribute and respect to 18 persons who lost their lives in June, 2001 to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur.

• On the occasion, family members of the 18 martyrs and leaders of some organisations paid floral tribute & respect to 18 persons at Kekrupat, Manipur.

Banking and Economy

ICICI Home Finance launches “SARAL” scheme for affordable house loan

• ICICI Home Finance Company Limited (HFC) has launched “SARAL” scheme for a special affordable house loan for urban and rural areas.

• The beneficiaries are women, lower, middle-income customers and economically weaker sections, with a maximum household income up to Rs 6 lakh per annum.

Summits and Mou’s

MoHUA& SIDBI signs Mo/U for PM SVANidhi scheme

• Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi). PM SVANidhi is a Special Micro-Credit Facility for Street Vendors.

• The credit guarantee to the lending institutions would also be managed by the SIDBI through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).

Obituary

Veteran economist & FC memeber B.P.R. Vithal passes away

• Veteran economist and the member of 10th Finance Commission, B.P.R. Vithal passes away. He was a former IAS officer of the 1950 batch.

•  He also served as the Secretary, Finance and Planning, government of Andhra Pradesh, from 1972 to 1982.

Sports

India to host 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup

• The All India Football Consideration (AIFF) will be hosting the Women’s Asian Cup 2022 of Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The decision was taken during the AFC Women’s Football Committee. The Committee had recommended India to host the tournament earlier in February 2020.

•  It will be the first time for India to host the Women’s Asian Cup 2022 since 1979.

Days

World Refugee Day

• United Nations celebrates World Refugee Day globally on 20 June every year. The World Refugee Day 2020 aims to remind the world that everyone, including refugees, are capable in contributing towards society and Every Action Counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world.

• The theme of World Refugee Day 2020 is “Every Action Counts”.

World Sickle Cell Day 2020

• Every year on June 19 the World Sickle Cell Awareness Day is observed to increase public knowledge & understanding about sickle cell disease.The day also aims to put forth the challenges faced by these patients, their families and caregivers.

• World Sickle Cell Day was 1st organised by the United Nation General Assembly in the year 2008 to recognise sickle cell disease as a public health problem.

Books and Authors

The Debut Novel of Megha Majumdar – “A Burning”

• The Penguin Hamish Hamilton released the “A Burning”, debut novel of Megha Majumdar. The 32-year-old New York’s writer who was born and raised in Kolkata.The book was published on 2nd June 2020 by Knopf Doubleday publishing Group.

• The book is about the lives of three characters, Tommy Orange, YaaGyasi and Jhumpa Lahiri who want to rise to the middle class, to political power, to gain fame in the film industry and how their lives changed in Indian society.

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Important Current Affairs 18th June 2020

National

Uttar Pradesh becomes top state to provide employment to workers under MGNREGA

• Uttar Pradesh has become the top most state in the country to provide employment to the workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme MGNREGA.

• According to the data released by officials, the state provided employment to 57 lakh 12975 workers on 15 June 2020. These workers are engaged across 56,981 panchayats out of the total 58,000 panchayats in the state.

• Uttar Pradesh now accounts for 18 percent of the total workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in the country and has generated 7.93 crore man-days.

Sports Ministry to set up “Khelo India State Centres of Excellence”

• Under the Sports Ministry’s flagship programme “Khelo India Scheme“, the ministry is going to set up Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE).

• To create a robust sporting ecosystem in the entire country, as well as to strengthen India’s pursuit for excellence in Olympics, one KISCE will be identified in each state and unionterritory (UT).

• In the first phase of setting up KISCE, sports ministry has identified state-owned sports facilities in eight states of India. These states are: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Kerala, Telangana, Nagaland, Karnataka, and Odisha.

Trustees of PM CARES fund appoints SARC & Associates as its auditor

• The Trustees of the Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund has appointed, New Delhi based Chartered Accountants, SARC & Associates, as its auditors for the next three years.

• The SARC & Associates headed by Sunil Kumar Gupta is also the auditor of the PM’s National Relief Fund(PMNRF) appointed in 2019.

AYUSH Ministry launches ‘Yoga at Home, Yoga with Family’ Campaign

• The AYUSH Ministry has launched 'Yoga at Home, Yoga with Family' campaign to mark the International Yoga Day 2020.

• Under the campaign, the Ministry will encourage people to perform Yogasanas from their homes, while maintaining social distancing and other restrictions imposed during the C-19 pandemic.

Science and Technology

Scientists observe “Fifth State of Matter” for first time in space

• A team of NASA scientists has observed the fifth state of matter for the first time in space. This observation will help scientists in solving some of the Bose-Einstein Quantum universe’s difficult questions.

• The existence of Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC) fifth state of matter was projected by Albert Einstein and Indian mathematician Satyendra Nath Bose a century ago.

Obituary

Maharashtra based senior journalist & freedom fighter Dinu Randive passes away at 95

• Senior journalist and freedom fighter from Maharashtra, Dinu Randive has passed away due to old age. He was 95.

• Randive played a key role in the struggle movement called Samyukta Maharashtra movement to carve out Maharashtra state. He also participated in the Goa liberation movement.

Maha Vir Chakra Awardee Lt Gen Raj Mohan Vohra passes away

• MahaVir Chakra awardee Lt Gen (retd) Raj Mohan Vohra passed away due to C-19. He was a 1971 war hero. Lt Gen Vohra had received the coveted award in 1972.

• The MahaVir Chakra is that the country’s second-highest gallantry award. It is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry within the presence of the enemy whether on land, at sea or in the air.

Days

Sustainable Gastronomy Day

• Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed globally on 18th June every year. This day is observed to acknowledge gastronomy as a cultural expression related to nature as well as the cultural diversity of the world.

• It also reaffirms that each one culture and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development throughout the planet.

• The UN General Assembly adopted on 21 December 2016 its resolution A/RES/71/246 and designated 18 June as an international observance, Sustainable Gastronomy Day.

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

• World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is observed to spread awareness among people about the cooperation required to combat desertification and the effects of drought.

• The theme of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2020: Food. Feed. Fibre. – the links between consumption and land.

Others

New fish species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

A new fish species named as “Schizothoraxsikusirumensis” has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh. The new fish species was discovered by Dr. Keshav Kumar Jha. He discovered a new fish species from genus Schizothorax.

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Important Current Affairs 15th June 2020

National

CM Uddhav Thackray and Dr Harshvardhan e-launched ‘I-FLOWS’ a flood warning system in Mumbai

• The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray and Union Earth science  Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan jointly launched the state-of-the-art Integrated Flood Warning System (I-FLOWS) – Mumbai

• The system monitors the flood activities by providing early warning in the city during high rainfall and cyclone events by as early as 3 days in advance.

• It was developed by Meteorological Department (IMD) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) functioning under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

International

Facebook joins hand with tech-giants, including Google and Microsoft for ‘Project Protect’ to fight online child sexual abuse

• Facebook has joined hands with Microsoft, Google, Twitter and 14 other tech giants for a new initiative called ‘Project Protect’ to help combat child sexual abuse and exploitation online. Facebook will lead this initiative.

• These tech giants have been working together under Technology Coalition since past 14 years, since its formation way back in 2006.Project Protect is a renewed commitment from the Technology Coalition for the next 15 years to protect kids online and guide its work.

• Project Protect will focus on five key areas: tech innovation, collective action, independent research, information and knowledge sharing, and transparency and accountability.

Banking and Economy

India’s forex reserves cross $500 billion-mark’

• India’s forex reserves have now crossed the $ 500 billion mark, according to the data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

• The reserves rose to $ 501.7 billion, marking an increase of $ 8.22 billion in a week. Reserves had surged $3.43 billion to a fresh all-time high of $493.48 billion in the week-ended May 29.

Obituary

Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput passes away

• Bollywood Actor Sushant Singh Rajput passed away. He made his Bollywood debut with the 2013 movie “Kai Po Che!” and was renowned for his role in the 2016 hit MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. He earned massive fame with a TV show “Pavitra Rishta” and made a successful transition to films.The actor delivered major hit films such as 'PK' and 'Kedarnath'. His biggest hit was 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story', a film based on the life of former Indian skipper MS Dhoni.

•  His upcoming project included Mukesh Chhabra's 'Dil Bechara' opposite Sanjana Sanghi. The film is an official remake of the Hollywood film 'The Fault in Our Stars'. Sushant Singh Rajput's last release was Nitesh Tiwari's Chhichhore, which released in September 2019.

Appointments and Resignations

UTI mutual funds appoint Imtaiyazur Rahman as CEO

• UTI Asset Management Board appointed  Imtaiyazur Rahman as Chief Executive Officer (CEO ) of the UTI Asset Management Committee (AMC)

• He will succeed Leo Puri whose 5-year tenure was over in August 2018.

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