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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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Important Current Affairs 9th February 2020

National

National Conference on e-Governance 2020 Held in Mumbai

• The 23rd edition of the National Conference on e-Governance was held at Mumbai, Maharashtra on 7-8 February 2020.

• The theme of the conference was: India 2020: Digital Transformation.

BBIN nations deliberate on MoU for implementation of motor vehicle agreement

• A meeting of the BBIN nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) was held in New Delhi on 8 February 2020 to deliberate on a proposed MoU, to be signed by Bangladesh, India and Nepal, for implementation of the Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA) in these countries.

• Representatives of Bhutan participated in the meeting in an observer capacity. The Indian delegation was led by Vikram Doraiswami, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs.

DefExpo 2020 Concludes With Over 200 Partnerships at Bandhan Ceremony

• The 11th edition of the biennial DefExpo 2020, concluded in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on 8 February 2020.

• The theme of the 11th Edition was “India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub”.

• More than 1,000 companies, including 165 offshore enterprises participated in the event.

• Over 200 partnerships involving Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs), Transfer of Technology (ToTs) , Product launches were concluded during a ceremony titled “Bandhan” at DefExpo 2020.

• Bandhan ceremony witnessed more than 13 product launches, 124 MoUs between Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), private and global defence manufacturing companies.

International

US India’s preferred trade partner in journey to be $5 trn economy: Envoy

• America is India’s preferred trade and business partner in its journey to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024, the country’s new envoy to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has stated.

• Addressing a gathering of American business community at a reception hosted in his honour by US-India Strategic and Partnership Forum, Sandhu stated that the potential for cooperation between the United States and India is limitless.

• He futher added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the goal for India to grow from a USD 3 trillion economy to a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024 and a USD 10 trillion economy by 2030.

Philip Barton appointed Britain’s new High Commissioner to India

• Britain appointed career diplomat Philip Barton as its High Commissioner to India to succeed Dominic Asquith.

• Barton will take up his appointment during Spring 2020, a statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated

Obituary

Padma Shri Winning Indian Author Giriraj Kishore Passes Away

Veteran writer and academician Giriraj Kishore passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 82-years-old.

Giriraj was awarded the Padma Shri by the President of India in the year 2007, for his work Pahla Girmitiya (The Girmitiya Saga).

P Parameswaran passes away in Kerala

• Renowned thinker, writer and the founder-director of Bharatiya Vichara Kendram P Parameswaran has passed away in Ottapalam, Kerala. He was 91.

• Kendram P Parameswaran was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2018 and Padma Shri in 2004.

Sports

Bangladesh wins ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020

• Bangladesh has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 held in South Africa. Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team defeated India Under-19 team by 3 wickets to win the final of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 held at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom, South Africa.

• This was the 13th edition of the tournament in which 16 teams participated from all over the world.

• Bangladesh Under-19 cricket team has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup for the first time in the tournament history.

Swedish Vaulter Armand Duplantis Breaks World Pole Vault Record

On 8 February 2020, Armand Duplantis, who plays for Sweden, broke the world pole vault record with a jump of 6.17 metres at an indoor meeting in Poland.

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Important Current Affairs 8th February 2020

National

NPCI approves WhatsApp to expand its UPI project 10 million users

• Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has received the approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to expand its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services to 10 million users.

• WhatsApp’s payment feature, named WhatsApp Pay, has developed by the NPCI to run on UPI. It allows users to pay others or do business transactions through their bank accounts.

PFRDA increases minimum net worth for pension fund managers to Rs 50 cr

• The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the regulator of the National Pension System (NPS), has made certain amendments in the pension guidelines. These are as follows.

• Minimum Net Worth: The regulator has doubled the minimum net worth requirement for pension fund managers to Rs 50 crore from the Rs 25 crore stipulated earlier.

• Validity of License: Provision has also been made for licenses to have indefinite validity. Earlier, the licenses of pension fund managers was granted for a period of five years.

• Equity Acquisition: A pension fund or its sponsor cannot acquire equity stake in another pension fund.

Disha Police Station inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh’s Rajamahendravaram

• The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on inaugurated the first ‘Disha Police Station’ in Rajamahendravaram city on 8 February 2020, which will exclusively handle cases of crime against women and children.

• In all 18 Disha Police Stations will be set up in all 13 districts of the state, under the Disha Act, enacted by the state government in 2019, to ensure speedy investigation and trial of sexual assault cases.

• The state government has allocated a budget of Rs 21.10 crore for the setting up of these police stations.Each Disha Police station will be headed by a deputy superintendent of police.

International

Astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth after record stay in space

• Christina Koch, US-astronaut who made record for the longest continuous spaceflight ever undertaken by a female astronaut, returned from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth on 6th February 2020.

• Koch was accompanied by European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov on the way to Earth.

• The three boarded a Soyuz capsule docked at the ISS at around 12:50 AM EST, and had a safe landing at around 4:12 AM EST (3:12 PM local time) in Kazakhstan.

• American astronaut Christina Koch joined the NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013 and also led the first ever all-female spacewalk in 2019.

Science & Technology

Indian Army Major develops world's first bulletproof helmet

• Indian Army has developed first bulletproof helmet of the world which can stop an AK-47 bullet round fired from a distance of 10 meters.

• The Ballistic helmet is developed by An Indian Army Major Anoop Mishra.

• The helmet is developed under the Indian Army’s project “Abhedya“.

DRDO inks deal with Russian company for missiles propulsion

• Pune-based DRDO Laboratory, High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) has signed technology development contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia for development of Advanced Pyrotechnic Ignition Systems.

• The agreement was signed at the DefExpo2020 in Lucknow.The agreement will enable advancement in the field of energetic materials and pyrotechnic technology leading to the development of advanced ignition systems.

• HEMRL works in the development of spectrum of high energy materials required for missiles, rockets and guns.

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Important Current Affairs 7th February 2020

National

First Central Asia Business Council” launched in New Delhi

• The first ever India-Central Asia Business Council meeting was launched in New Delhi on 6th February 2020.

• The programme was organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).From India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar addressed the meeting.

• The aim of the meeting was to bring together business chambers of India and all five Central Asian states, namely Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to collaborate and strengthen trade and investment partnership.

Jaipur becomes certified UNESCO World Heritage City

• Jaipur “The Pink City” has been certified by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as the World Heritage site.

• The certification was done by the UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay during an event held in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

SAI & Hockey India to Launch 7 High Performance Centres Across the Country

• Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India have decided to establish High Performance Centres in seven places across the country to provide state-of-the-art facilities to Junior and Sub-Junior players.

• The move is taken in view of 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games, so as to groom the young talent.

• The seven High Performance Hockey Centres will be installed at the following places:

• 1. SAI Centre, Bengaluru, Karnataka (South Zone)

2. Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi (North Zone)

3. SAI Sundergarh, Odisha (East Zone)

4. SAI UDMCC, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (Central Zone)

5. SAI NS NEC, Takyel, Imphal, Manipur (North-East Zone)

6. Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune, Maharashtra (West Zone)

7. SAI Centre, Ranchi and Gomke Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium (East Zone II)

 India’s First Glass Floor Suspension Bridge to Come up in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh

• The Uttarakhand Government has approved the design of a glass floor suspension bridge, the first of its kind in the country, which will be built across the River Ganga in Rishikesh.

• The bridge is as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula, almost 94 years old, which was closed in 2019 due to safety reasons

Madhya Pradesh to deploy drones to map villages

• The Madhya Pradesh state government has decided to deploy drones to map villages. This will be the first time that drone technology is used to make maps in the state.

• Till now, all the land survey work in the satet was either done manually or with the help of satellite images.

• The map of the population area will be created on a scale of 1: 500, which will help a clearer picture of the population area. Around 55000 villages have been selected for mapping.

Banking and Economy

RBI to conduct “Financial Literacy Week 2020”

• Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be organizing Financial Literacy Week (FLW) from February 10 to February 14, 2020.

• The theme for 2020 FLW is “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),”

• RBI conducts Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year since 2016 to propagate financial education messages on a particular theme every year across the country, through a focused campaign.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

IOC signs First Term contract for Russian crude oil

• State-owned Indian Oil Corp has signed a deal with Russian oil and gas company Rosneft for the annual purchase of 2 million metric tonnes of crude oil

• This is the first ever annual oil purchase deal between India and Russia.

• Under the deal India will import up to 2 million tonne of Urals grade crude oil from Rosneft of Russia.

• India is world’s third largest energy consumer. It is 83 percent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

• Two-thirds of the imports come from the Middle East, with Iraq being the biggest supplier followed by Saudi Arabia.

• Headquarters of Indian Oil Corp: New Delhi, Mumbai (Registered Office)

• Founded of Indian Oil Corp: 1959.

• Chairman of Indian Oil Corp: Sanjiv Singh.

Resignation

Microsoft-Owned LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner resigns as CEO

• Jeff Weiner has recently resigned as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn.

• Jeff Weiner will become Executive Chairman of the company, while Ryan Roslansky who is currently the senior vice-president of product, will become CEO with effect from 1st June 2020.

• LinkedIn is a business and employment-oriented service that operates via websites and mobile apps.

• LinkedIn Corp: Founded: 2002.

• LinkedIn Corp: Headquarters: Sunnyvale, California, United States.

World Bank chief economist Pinelopi Koujianou resigns

• World Bank Chief Eeconomist Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg has announced to step down from the post with effect from 1st March 2020.

• She is resigning to return to teaching at Yale University and create opportunities for the poor young talented economists to the bank.

• The World Bank President David Malpass has announced that the organisation’s research director Aart Kraay would take over as the Chief Economist in place of Goldberg until a new permanent chief economist is hired.

• President of World Bank: David Robert Malpass.

• Managing Director(MD) and Chief Financial Officer(CFO): Anshula Kant.

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Important Current Affairs 6th February 2020

National

Prime Minister inaugurates DefExpo in Lucknow

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 11th edition of the ‘DefExpo’, India’s biennial military exhibition, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on February 5, 2020. It will culminate on February 8.

• The Theme of the Expo is ‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub’ with main focus on ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’

• Delegates from 70 countries and 172 foreign military manufacturers and as many as 856 Indian defence firms will attend the exhibition to showcase their products on new technologies and solutions on a single platform.

President Kovind inaugurates Annual Rashtrapati Bhavan Udyanotsav 2020

• President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the annual ‘Udyanotsav’ at the Mughal Gardens of Rashtrapati Bhavan on 4th February 2020.

• The 15-acre Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan will be opened for the general public from February 5 to March 8, 2020 between 10 am to 4 pm.

Reliance General launches health insurance plan "Infinity"

• Reliance General Insurance Company Limited has launched a comprehensive health insurance plan named "Reliance Health Infinity".

• The policy offers 90 days pre and 180 days post hospitalization cover, along with sum insured ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 1 crore, and free restore benefits.

India’s HAL & Dynamatics Technologies To Build Israel Aerospace Drones

• Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the 1st time, will sign a partnership pact with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

• This pact is signed for manufacture advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in India.

Five more IIITs to receive Institute of National Importance status

• The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to confer five of the Indian Institute of Information Technology with the Institute of National Importance status.

• The IIIT’s which will be given the Institute of National Importance status include the Indian Institute of Information Technology Surat Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala, and Raichur.

• These institutions will now be able to use the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) or the Master of Technology (M.Tech) or the Ph.D degree.

Cabinet approves setting-up country’s 13th major port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra

• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its in-principle approval for setting up a new Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra.

• The projected cost of the Vadhavan Port is over Rs 65,000 crore. The new Major Port will be established on the basis of land lord model. 

• After the development of this new Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra, India is expected to enter the list of countries with top 10 container ports in the world.

International

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

• International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day that takes place on February 6 every year since 2003 to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM).

• 2020 Theme: Unleashing Youth Power.

Banking and Economy

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 5.15%

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee has released its 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy 2019-20. The Reserve Bank of India’s MPC has decided to keep the policy repo rate unchanged to 5.15%.

The key decisions taken in the 6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting are:

• The repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) left unchanged to 5.15%.

• The reverse repo rate under the LAF stands same i.e. 4.90%.

• The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate also remains same i.e. 5.40%.

• RBI has increased the real GDP growth for fiscal year 2020-21 from 5% to 6%.

Moody’s Projects India’s growth at 4.9% in FY20, 5.5% in FY21

• Moody’s Investors Service has projected India’s GDP growth during the current fiscal ending 31 March 2020 at 4.9 percent (unchanged).

• For the fiscal 2020-21, GDP growth is estimated at 5.5 percent compared to December 2019 estimate of 6.3 percent.

• And for 2021-22 fiscal, GDP growth is estimated at 6 percent from 6.7 percent projected earlier.

Ranking

India slips to 40th position in Intellectual Property Index

• India slips to 40th position in International Intellectual Property (IP) Index. This information has been given in the report of the Global Innovation Policy Centre of the American Chamber of Commerce.

• This index measures the intellectual property environment of 53 economies of the world. Last year, India was ranked 36th.

• The United States, Britain, Sweden, France and Germany are present on the first five positions.

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Important Current Affairs 5th February 2020

National

India’s biggest rural technical festival ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Telangana

• Collector of Nirmal inaugurated National Level India’s Biggest Rural Technical Festival titled Antahpragnya 2020 in the state of Telangana at Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies-Basar (RGUKT-Basar).

• Rural areas cannot afford to miss the development bus. Most of the developments in the two lakh years have taken place in the last century.

• The fest showcases 300 prototypes, working models, exhibits and technologies such as automatic switch for water, homemade electricity, smoke absorber, automatic street lighting system, smart dustbins, zero budget farming, automatic irrigation and others.

India hosts Defence dialogue between India and South Korea

• Ministerial-level Defence dialogue between India and South Korea was held in New Delhi today. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of National Defence of South Korea Jeong Kyeong-doo held the meeting.

• The theme of DefExpo-2020 in Lucknow is ‘Digital Transformation of Defence’ and India and South Korea recognize the influence of Artificial Intelligence and digital technology in defence sector.

Indian Government unveils new vaccine to control classical swine fever

• The government of India unveiled a new indigenously developed vaccine for controlling classical swine fever (CSF). CSF is a highly contagious fatal pig disease.

• The new vaccine, developed by Uttar Pradesh-based Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), will be much cheaper than the existing one.

 Banking and Economy

Union Cabinet Approves Amendments to Banking Regulation Act to regulate co-operative banks

• The Union Cabinet has given its approval to bring cooperative banks under the regulatory mechanism of Reserve Bank of India.

• The cabinet approved amendments to the Banking Regulation Act on February 5, 2020, thus allowing multi-state cooperative banks to come under the regulation of the RBI.

• The announcement was made by Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadkar after a cabinet meeting.

• The 1,540 cooperative banks with 8.6 crore depositors’ money, with around Rs. 5 lakh crore deposits in the country and the proposed amendment will protect the depositors.

• a. The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 is legislation in India that regulates all banking firms.

b. Shaktikanta Das is the 25th governor of the Reserve Bank of India.

Union Govt plans to raise funds through LIC IPO

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that union government plans to sell a partial stake in LIC through IPO or an initial public offer.

• The union budget she proposed that the government will sell its stake in IDBI Bank to private investors and also amend the Banking Regulation Act to strengthen co-op banks.

• The finance minister that the deposit insurance coverage against bank failure will be increased to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.

• She proposed to expand exchange-traded funds by floating a Debt ETF, consisting primarily of government securities.

LIC: Life Insurance Corporation of India is an Indian state-owned insurance group and investment corporation owned by the Government of India. The Life Insurance Corporation of India was founded in 1956 when the Parliament of India passed the Life Insurance of India Act that nationalised the insurance industry in India.

Headquarters: Mumbai

Owner: Government of India (100%)

Founder: Government of India

Founded: 1 September 1956

Awards

Vinod Shukla bags first Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award

• Noted Hindi poet-novelist and Sahitya Akademi honouree Vinod Kumar Shukla has bagged the inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award for his translated book “Blue Is Like Blue“.

• The stories in “Blue Is Like Blue”, translated into English by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Sara Rai, deal with common people and their daily struggles.

Obituary

Veteran Odia poet Rabi Singh passes away

• Renowned Odia poet Rabi Singh passed away. He was 89.

• The revolutionary poet had received many awards for his contribution to Odia literature.

• He received Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman in the year 2017.

Sports

Sourav Ganguly will be the 'Goodwill Ambassador' of India in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020

• The recently appointed BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly has been invited by the Indian Olympic Association to be the 'Goodwill Ambassador' of India in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

•  Sourav Ganguly, known in his hometown as the Prince of Calcutta is one of the most respected sports icons in the entire country

Appointment

Amitabh Bhatt the New CEO (Bangalore Complex) at HAL

• Amitabh Bhatt has taken over as Chief Executive Officer of Bengaluru-headquartered safeguard PSU, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s Bangalore Complex.

• Prior, he was serving as Executive Director of Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) venture in HAL.

• Bhatt is a Post Graduate in Management and earlier served in SKF India Limited for a long time before joining Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

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Important Current Affairs 4th February 2020

National 


14-day joint military exercise by Indian, Bangladesh armies begin
•    The 9th edition of the annual joint military training exercise by Indian and Bangladesh armies named ‘SAMPRITI-IX’ was flagged off on 3rd February 2020 in Umroi in Meghalaya.
•    The 14-day log exercise is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh, hosted alternately by the two countries, enabling both armies to familiarise each other in various tactical drills and procedures.

Coronavirus: Kerala declares 'state calamity'

Kerala government has declared ‘state calamity’ after 3 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the state. The Central Government recently constituted a High-Level Group of Ministers (GoM) to review the preparedness of concerned authorities to deal with Coronavirus in India. Till date, Coronavirus has led to the death of over 400 people in China.

Banking and Economy


Paytm launches Android POS device for SMEs & merchant partners

•    Paytm has launched an Android POS device for small and medium businesses (SMEs) & merchant partners. The android based device will enable the merchants to accept payments in various ways like debit and credit cards, Paytm Wallet, UPI-based apps and cash. 
•    The device provides the merchants with the facility of producing GST compliant bills, to manage transactions and settlements through ‘Paytm for Business’ app. 
•    These services will increase the importance of digital payments in the business of small and medium businesses (SMEs) & merchant partners and will also bring to them the advantages of the digital economy.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das Named Central Banker of the Year 2020
•    The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das, has been named as the ‘Central Banker of the Year 2020 for the Asia-Pacific region’ by ‘The Banker’ magazine, owned by London-based Financial Times (FT).
•    The Banker‘s Central Banker of the Year 2020 awards celebrate the officials that have best managed to stimulate growth and stabilise their economy.

Awards


21st IIFA Awards to be held in Indore in March 2020
•    The 21st edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards) 2020 will be held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh from March 27-29, 2020.
•    This will be the second consecutive year that the event is being organised in India. Last year it was held in Mumbai.
•    Till 2019, the events were organised in cities outside the country.
•    The IIFA awards are presented annually since 2000 for Excellence in cinematic achievements for Bollywood.


BAFTA 2020 Film Awards
•    The 73rd edition of the annual British Academy Film Awards, also known as BAFTA, was held on 2 February 2020 in London,
•    The award is presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, to honor the best national and foreign films of 2019 of any nationality that were screened at British cinemas in 2019.
•    The Film ‘1917’ received the highest number of awards at 7 with nominations in 9 categories.

Obituary

Former Karnataka Minister D Manjunath Passes Away
•    Former Karnataka Minister D Manjunath passed away at the age of 93 after prolonged illness.
•    Manjunath joined the Janata Party in 1977 and had served in different capacities including as Chairperson of Legislative Council and Minister in various governments.


Appointment


Ajay Bisaria Appointed Indian High Commissioner to Canada
•    Ajay Bisaria, a 1987 batch IFS officer, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Canada.
•    Currently, he is India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan.
Albin Kurti Appointed New Prime Minister of Kosovo
•    Kosovo’s parliament has approved Albin Kurti as the new prime minister of the country on 3rd February 2020.
•    Albin Kurti, leader of the political party Vetëvendosje, will serve as the fourth Prime Minister of Kosovo.

Days


World Cancer Day: February 4
•    World Cancer Day is organized every year on 4 February by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
•    World Cancer Day 2019-21 theme: ‘I Am And I Will’
 

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Important Current Affairs 3rd February 2020

International

Bangladesh’s PM Sheikh Hasina inaugurates “Ekushey Book Fair”

• Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the annual Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka on 1st February 2020.

• Ekushey Book Fair is a month-long biggest and longest book fair of Bangladesh organised every year by Bangla Academy from February 1 to 28.

• This event commemorates the martyrs, of the language movement, who laid down their lives on 21 February 1952 for establishing Bangla as the official language of the then East Pakistan.

Maldives rejoins Commonwealth

• The Maldives has once again joined the Commonwealth. The Maldives was officially inducted into the Commonwealth recently.

• Maldives separated from the Commonwealth about three years ago due to the issues of Human Rights.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Predicts India’s GDP Growth for FY20 at 4.6 pc and FY21 at 5.6 pc

• US-based rating agency Fitch Ratings Inc. has projected GDP growth of India for the next financial year 2020-21 at 5.6 percent.

• For the current fiscal 2019-20, GDP is projected at 4.6 percent.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India and Maldives sign four MoUs to establish Addu Tourism Zone

• India and Maldives signed 6 MoUs, which included 5 MoUs in the field of tourism and 1 MoU for setting up bottled water plant in Maldives.

• The MOUs were signed between the High Commissioner of India Sunjay Sudhir, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid and Addu City Council.

• Under the Tourism sector, USD 2.49 million MoUs were signed for establishing the Addu Tourism zone in five islands of Addu atoll.

Awards

Madhya Pradesh wins award for implementation of PMMVY

• Madhya Pradesh has bagged the first position for the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY).

• The Madhya Pradesh Minister for Women and Child Development Imarti Devi and Principal Secretary Anupam Rajan received the award from the Union Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on 3rd February 2020 in New Delhi.

• Also, Indore district of Madhya Pradesh has bagged the first place for better performance of the scheme.

Appointment

Pramod Agrawal Takes Charge as Chairman of Coal India Ltd.

• A 1991 batch IAS officer Pramod Agrawal assumed charge as the new Chairman and Managing Director of Coal India Ltd (CIL) on 1st February 2020.

• He succeeds A K Jha who on January 31, 2020.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd February 2020

National

India’s First Fruit Train Flagged Off From Andhra Pradesh to JNPT

• In another major milestone achievement for the Indian Railways, a first-of-its-kind ‘Fruit Train’ was flagged off from Tadipatri Railway Station in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai, from where the consignment will be exported to Iran.

• This is the first time that an entire train carrying a load of 980 tonnes of locally grown bananas is being sent to the gateway port (JNPT) for export.

• These bananas will be exported under the brand name ‘Happy Bananas’.

Mumbai’s Iconic ‘Kala Ghoda Arts Festival’ Begins from 1st Feb

• The 21st edition of the 9-day Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) 2020, one of the biggest open street arts and cultural festival of India, has begun in Mumbai from 1st February 2020.

• The Kala Ghoda Festival is one of the most-awaited art and cultural festivals which takes place in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai since 1999 in early February and attracts a wide range of crowd from all across the world.

• The theme for 2020 KGAF is “PAST FORWARD.”

Union Govt plans to raise funds through LIC IPO

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that union government plans to sell a partial stake in LIC through IPO or an initial public offer.

• The union budget she proposed that the government will sell its stake in IDBI Bank to private investors and also amend the Banking Regulation Act to strengthen co-op banks.

• The finance minister that the deposit insurance coverage against bank failure will be increased to ₹5 lakh from ₹1 lakh.

Indian Railways Demands Setting Up Pension Fund To Deal With Rs 50,000 Crore Burden

• Indian Railways Demands Setting Up Pension Fund To Deal With Rs 50,000 Crore Burden Rs 50,000 crore outgo as pension to more than 15.5 lakh former railway employees, the railways asked the Finance Ministry to set up the pension fund.

• About 25 percent of the railway's earnings go into paying the pensions to the former railway employees.

• Last year, the operating rate for the railways was 97 percent, while this year it has gone up to 98.44 percent. The operating ratio is a measure of expenditure against revenue, and it shows how efficiently the national transporter.

Sports

Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin Clinches Australian Open 2020 Tennis Tournament

• The 2020 Australian Open was the 108th edition of the annual Australian Open tennis tournament and the first Grand Slam of the year. It was held from 20 January to 2 February 2020.

• The winners are as follows:

o Men’s Single: Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Dominic Thiem (Austria)

o Women’s Single: Sofia Kenin (US) beat Garbine Muguruza (Spain)

o Men’s Double: Rajeev Ram (US) / Joe Salisbury (UK)

o Women’s Double: Tímea Babos (Hungary) / Kristina Mladenovic (France)

o Mixed Double: Barbora Krejčiková (Czech Republic) / Nikola Mektić  (Croatia)

Ayonika Paul won the women's 10m Air Rifle T1 event

Olympian Ayonika Paul won the women's 10m Air Rifle T1 event Vijayveer Sidhu won the men's 25m Pistol T2 event in the National Shooting trials at Thiruvananthapuram.

She came to a quality eight-woman field, which had the likes of Tokyo 2020 quota holders Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil among competitors.

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Important Current Affairs 1st February 2020

Union Budget 2020-21 is being presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Budget 2020 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to revive economic growth and boost people's income. The Budget is based on three themes :
Aspirational India
Economic development
Caring society

Union Budget 2020 was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharamanin, a bid to revive economic growth and boost people's income. The Budget is based on three themes - aspirational India, economic development for all, and caring society. The Finance Minister began her speech by saying that the Budget 2020-21 is for boosting income and improving the purchasing power of people. The fiscal deficit is estimated at 3.8 percent(revised estimate for 2019-20)of the gross domestic product in the current financial year, and the government aims to lower it to 3.5 percent (budget estimate for 2020-21) in the fiscal year ending March 2021. She proposed Rs 69,000 crore to the healthcare sector and Rs 12,300 crore to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's flagship cleanliness program Swachh Bharat Mission. Finance Minister earmarked another Rs 3.6 lakh crore towards the supply of piped water to households.

Highlights Of Union Budget 2020:
The income tax for those earning between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh will be cut to 10 percent from 20 percent. The income tax for those earning between Rs 7.5 and Rs 10 lakh will be cut to 15 percent from 20 percent. The income tax for those earning between Rs 10 and Rs 12.5 lakh will be cut to 20 percent from 30 percent.The income tax for those earning between Rs 12.5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh will be cut to 25 percent from 30 percent. 30 percent tax rate will still be applicable for those earning above Rs 15 lakh. There will be no tax for those earning Rs 5 lakh and Rs 690 billion will be spent on healthcare spending.


Village Storage Scheme
•    Women, SHGs to regain their position as Dhaanya Lakshmi.NABARD to map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities, etc.
•    Warehousing in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms:
•    State governments who undertake the implementation of model laws (issued by the Central government) to be encouraged.
•    Livestock:
o    Doubling of milk processing capacity to 108 million MT from 53.5 million MT by 2025.
o    Artificial insemination to be increased to 70% from the present 30%.
o    MNREGS to be dovetailed to develop fodder farms.
o    Foot and Mouth Disease, Brucellosis in cattle and Peste Des Petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goat to be eliminated by 2025.


Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana 
Around 0.5 crore households mobilized with 58 lakh SHGs for poverty alleviation.

Education and Skills
•    New Education Policy to be announced soon.
•    National Police University and National Forensic Science University proposed for policing science, forensic science, and cyber-forensics.
•    Degree level full-fledged online education program by Top-100 institutions in the National Institutional Ranking Framework.
•    Up to 1-year internship to fresh engineers to be provided by Urban Local Bodies.
•    The budget proposes to attach a medical college to an existing district hospital in PPP mode.
•    Special bridge courses to be designed by the Ministries of Health, and Skill Development

TRANSPORT
•    100 more airports are planned by 2024
•    Over 6,000 km of highways in 12 lots will be monetized by 2024
•    One major airport will be privatized


16-POINT ACTION PLAN FOR FARMERS
The government is committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022 to allocate Rs 2.83 lakh crore for agriculture and rural sectors such as irrigation.
•    Schemes that encourage manufacturing of mobile phones, electronic equipment, and semiconductor packaging be introduced
•    Private sector to build Data Centre Parks throughout the country will be encouraged
•    80 billion rupees over five years to be provided for quantum technologies and applications
•    Milk processing capacity to be doubled by 2025.

National 

ISRO readying for low cost satellite launch vehicles

•    The Indian Space Research Organisation is readying low-cost satellite launch vehicles costing about Rs 30-35 crore each, which can put into orbit satellites weighing 500 kg.
•    The first such launch from the country is expected to take place in the next four months.
Flame-Throated Bulbul ‘Rubigula’ Unveiled as Official mascot for National Games 2020 in Goa
•    The 36th edition of the National Games of India will be held from 20 October to 4 November 2020 in Goa.
•    The official mascot for the Goa 2020 National Games was unveiled on 01 February 2020 by the Chief Minister of Goa Pramod Sawant in the presence of Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju.
•    The Flame-Throated Bulbul under the name ‘Rubigula’ has been unveiled as the mascot for the event.
•    The Flame-Throated Bulbul is the state bird of Goa.


Appointment

M Ajit Kumar Appointed as New Chairman of CBIC
•    The Central government has appointed M Ajit Kumar as the Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on 31 January 2020. Mohammad Allawi Named as new PM of Iraq
•    The President of Iraq Barham Saleh has named former Communication Minister,

Mohammad Allawi as the country’s new Prime Minister on 1st February 2020.

Abidali Neemuchwala Steps Down as CEO and MD of Wipro
•    The chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) of Wipro, Abidali Z Neemuchwala has quit the post, giving “family commitments” as the reason behind the decision. Indian-origin Arvind Krishna to Succeed Ginni Rometty as IBM Chief

Indian-origin Arvind Krishna has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American multinational IT company International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
•    The 57-year-old will succeed long time CEO Ginni Rometty.
 

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