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Current Affairs Today – 10th July 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Tamil Nadu has raised Rs 30,500 crores in the fiscal 2020-21 and has topped market borrowings among States in the country.
  2. RIL added another feather to its cap as its market valuation crossed Rs 12 lakh crore mark, a first by any domestic company.
  3. Through video conferencing, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 750 MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant on 10th July 2020.
  4. The State Cabinet of the Uttar Pradesh Government has given its approval to an independent and comprehensive ‘Startup Policy 2020’ on 8th July 2020.
  5. On 9th July 2020, except for the Indian State-owned Doordarshan’s news channel DD News, Nepal based Multi-System Operators have issued a broadcasting ban on all other Indian News Channels in Nepal.
  6. From the LaunchPad 3 of the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC- the sole commercial organization for provid ing commercial satellite launch services of the Chinese Government) had successfully launched the communication satellite ‘APSTAR-6D’ on 9th July 2020.
  7. Environmental Groups has launched an Online Tool on 9th July 2020 as per which India’s Capital New Delhi has the most Economic Impact (based on Per Capita) in the World from Air Pollution during the first half of the year 2020.
  8. Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) is tie-up with a multinational technology company, NVIDIA to establish India’s 1st ‘NVIDIA AI Technology Centre’ (NVAITC).
  9. Manila based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has renewed its 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2017 with the Paris based International Energy Agency (IEA).
  10. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that its new headquarters in Lausanne has been awarded the European 2020 US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award. Olympic House, which also holds the rigorous LEED Platinum certification, is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.
  11. A WhatsApp chatline named ‘SMARTgirl Chatline’ was implemented by a Research Team from Cambodian NGO- KHANA Centre for Population Health Research.
  12. The founding CEO of Startup Village and founder of Re-think Foundation, Sijo Kuruvilla George, have been selected as member of Central Government’s Expert Committee on Science and Technology Policy.
  13. Union Bank of India’s managing director and CEO, Rajkiran Rai an extension of two-year given in its ongoing merger process with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank.
  14. The first earth observation satellite to be entirely developed by Brazil will be launch by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  15. In a tragic piece of news, actor Susheel Gowda died by suicide at his hometown in Mandya in Karnataka. He was 30 years old.
  16. Earl Cameron, who was among the first Black actors to break into significant roles in British film, died at age 102.
  17. The former health minister of Goa, Dr Suresh Amonkar passed away due to Covid-19.
  18. Country Music Hall of Fame musician, Charlie Daniels passed away.
  19. Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Amadou Gon Coulibaly passed away.
  20. “Google+” a social networking platform of internet search giant “Google” has been rebranded as “Google Currents”.
  21. Indian Manufacturing Company- Loyal Textile Mills on 9th July 2020 launched the first of its kind in the world- reusable PPE (Personal Protective Equi pment) Kits.

NEWS IN DETAILS

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI: Tamil Nadu tops market borrowings among States

  • According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Tamil Nadu has raised Rs 30,500 crores in the fiscal 2020-21 and has topped market borrowings among States in the country.
  • Tamil Nadu, which has accounted for 17% of the borrowings done through the issue of bonds (known as state development loans), has been followed by Maharashtra Rs 25,500 crores (14%), Andhra Pradesh Rs 17,000 crores (9%) and Rajasthan Rs 17,000 crores (9%).
  • Tamil Nadu raised Rs1,250 crores at the low-interest rate of 6.63% for the 35-year bonds and Rs 1,250 crores at the rate of 4.54% for the three-year bonds in the auction conducted by RBI.
  • On July 7, Tamil Nadu borrowed an additional amount of Rs 500 crores rather than the Rs 2,000 crores originally planned.
  • The State had planned to raise Rs 2,000 crores through the issue of bonds of Rs 1,000 each with tenures of 35 years and 3 years respectively.
  • Tamil Nadu had an option to raise a further Rs 250 crore in each of these securities, through what is known as the ‘greenshoe’ option.

Extra Shots:

RBI:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founder: British Raj
  • Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata
  • Governor: Shaktikanta Das

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

RIL Becomes First Domestic Firm to Cross Rs 12 Lakh Crore M-cap Mark

  • RIL added another feather to its cap as its market valuation crossed Rs 12 lakh crore mark, a first by any domestic company.
  • The company’s market valuation rose by Rs 40,508.8 crore to Rs 11,73,677.35 crore at close of trade on the BSE.
  • RIL’s partly paid-up shares crossed Rs 40,000 crore in market cap, thereby taking the aggregate market capitalisation of RIL to Rs 12.14 lakh crore (USD 163.1 billion).

Extra Shots:

RIL:

  • CEO: Mukesh Ambani
  • Owner: Mukesh Ambani (47.35%)
  • Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani
  • Founded: 8 May 1973, Maharashtra

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Prime Minister e-Inaugurated 750 MW Asia’s Largest Solar Power Plant in Rewa

  • Through video conferencing, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 750 MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant on 10th July 2020.
  • To date, the 750 MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project is the largest single-site solar power projects in India and also in Asia.

Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project

  • The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project is located in Gurh Tehsil of Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district.
  • It is spread over 1,590 acres of land. For the successful implementation of the Power Project, a Joint Venture Company between Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikash Nigam Limited (MPUVNL) was set up.
  • The name of the Joint Venture Company is Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL).
  • The entire cost of the Solar Power Project is worth around Rs 4000 crore.
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the transaction adviser for the Solar Power Project.
  • On 31st January 2018, the World Bank Group has approved a loan of USD 30 million (approx Rs 225 crore) for the internal infrastructure of the project.
  • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is an institutional customer of the 750 MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power Project.
  • 24 percent of the power generated by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant will be supplied to Delhi Metro.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Uttar Pradesh ‘Startup Policy 2020’ gets Cabinet Approval

  • The State Cabinet of the Uttar Pradesh Government has given its approval to an independent and comprehensive ‘Startup Policy 2020’ on 8th July 2020.
  • Until the Startup Policy 2020, Uttar Pradesh did not have an independent and comprehensive Policy for the Startups in the state, policy for Startups in the state, policy for Startups was governed under the- Uttar Pradesh Information Technology and Startup Policy 2017.
  • The Uttar Pradesh ‘Startup Policy’ was prepared by the State Government with the help of NITI Aayog back in 2018. The Policy got the approval of the State Cabinet on 8th July 2020.

Startup Policy 2020

  • The Startup Policy 2020 will be applicable for a period of 5 years. The aim will be of the corporatization of more than 10,000 startups across the state in these 5 years.
  • Other Major Goals under the Policy are: To establish the largest incubator of India in the state and also to establish the first dedicated Incubator for the Defence Sector in the country.
  • On 20th May 2020, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath had launched the Uttar Pradesh ‘Startup Fund’. This Startup Fund will be managed by SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India).

Extra Shots:

Uttar Pradesh:

  • Statehood Day: 24th January 1950
  • Capital: Lucknow
  • Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • State formed in: 24 January 1950
  • Literacy Rate: 67.68%

 INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Broadcasting Ban on Indian News Channels in Nepal

  • On 9th July 2020, except for the Indian State-owned Doordarshan’s news channel DD News, Nepal based Multi-System Operators have issued a broadcasting ban on all other Indian News Channels in Nepal.

Reason:

  • Earlier on 9th July 2020, the Spokesperson of Nepal Communist Party Narayan Kaji Shrestha had accused Indian News Channels of broadcasting defamatory shows against the Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli.

Extra Shots:

Nepal (Capital/Currency): Kathmandu/ Nepalese rupee

  • President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
  • Prime Minister: KP Sharma Oli
  • Official Language: Nepali

China launched Commercial Communication Satellite ‘APSTAR-6D’

  • From the LaunchPad 3 of the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC- the sole commercial organization for provid ing commercial satellite launch services of the Chinese Government) had successfully launched the communication satellite ‘APSTAR-6D’ on 9th July 2020.
  • CAST- China Academy of Space Technology (a subsidiary company of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation) has developed the commercial satellite ‘APSTAR-6D’.
  • From CAST, the satellite was purchased by APT Mobile SatCom Limited for providing satellite broadband telecommunication services.

APSTAR-6D

  • The lifespan of APSTAR-6D is of 15 years.
  • Launch Mass of the Satellite was around 5,550 Kg.
  • The Satellite was launched by Long March-3B carrier rocket and will be stationed at 134 degrees in in geosynchronous orbit.
  • The APSTAR-6D Satellite will be used for providing optimized high-quality voice and broadband data services for users and as well as aircraft and maritime routes in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • APSTAR-6D is a part of Chin’s First Global High-Throughput Broadband Satellite Communication System.

Extra Shots:

China (Capital/Currency): Beijing/Renminbi

  • President: Xi Jinping
  • Official Language: Mandarin

RANKS AND INDICES

From Air Pollution- New Delhi has the Most Economic Impact in the World in the First Half of 2020

  • Environmental Groups has launched an Online Tool on 9th July 2020 as per which India’s Capital New Delhi has the most Economic Impact (based on Per Capita) in the World from Air Pollution during the first half of the year 2020.

Online Tool

  • The online tool is named ‘Clean Air Counter’.
  • To estimate the health impact due to Air Pollution, the Clean Air Counter tool uses models that have been devised under the epidemiological observational study of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD).
  • The tool was launched under a combined effort of the Regional South East Asia Office of the global environmental organization- Greenpeace, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA- Headquartered at Finland’s Helsinki) and IQAir AirVisual.
  • Clean Air Counter Tool has measured Smog Pollution in 28 major cities across the world.

 AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

IIT-H, NVIDIA tie-up to establish joint AI research centre

  • Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) is tie-up with a multinational technology company, NVIDIA to establish India’s 1st ‘NVIDIA AI Technology Centre’ (NVAITC).

Highlights:

  • This centre is established to accelerate research on Artificial Intelligence and its commercial adoption.
  • The projects to be taken up include, Increasing crop yields using AI algorithms and applying AI-based solutions to support safe transportation systems and better ways to manage traffic among others.
  • The collaboration focuses on improvising AI research in the aspects of agriculture, smart cities and language understanding.
  • The NVAITC will accelerate research for the 220 faculty at IITH, which is already among India’s foremost research institutions.
  • This will build on the strong AI capabilities IITH has built, including the country’s first B.Tech in AI programme.”

ADB renewed MoU with IEA for Energy Sector Sustainability and Resilience

  • Manila based Asian Development Bank (ADB) has renewed its 3-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2017 with the Paris based International Energy Agency (IEA).
  • The renewed MoU was signed on 9th July 2020 for a period of 3 years.
  • The regional development bank-ADB signed the MoU with International Organization-IEA back in March 2017 for promoting advance clean energy development in the developing member countries under the ADB.

Renewed 2020 MoU

  • The 2020 MoU signed for a period of 3 years will focus on developing resilience in the sustainable energy sector in the developing countries under the ADB.
  • This will be achieved through sharing knowledge and best practices in the energy sector by analyzing the data from ground engagement, technology, capacity building, etc.

Extra Shots:

ADB:

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Founded: 19 December 1966
  • Purpose: Economic development
  • Membership: 68 countries

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

IOC receives EU Green Building Leadership Award 2020

  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that its new headquarters in Lausanne has been awarded the European 2020 US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award. Olympic House, which also holds the rigorous LEED Platinum certification, is one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.
  • In addition to receiving the highest number of points of any LEED v4-certified new construction project to date, the Olympic House is the first international headquarters and the second building overall to obtain the highest (Platinum) level of the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS).

Extra Shots:

IOC:

  • Chairperson: Sanjiv Singh
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Cambodian NGO Receive ‘Development Marketplace Award’ from World Bank Group and SVRI

  • A WhatsApp chatline named ‘SMARTgirl Chatline’ was implemented by a Research Team from Cambodian NGO- KHANA Centre for Population Health Research.
  • The ‘Smartgirl Chatline’ offered 24 hours response and support against gender-based violence to female entertainment workers in Cambodia.
  • A cash reward of USD 100,000 was provided by the World Bank Group & SVRI- Sexual Violence Research Initiative under the Development Marketplace Award to NGO KHANA Centre for Population Health and Research for implementation of ‘Smartgirl Chatline’.

Development Marketplace Award

  • The Development Marketplace Award is an annual global competition under which cash reward is provided to researchers for individuals and communities from gender-based violence.
  • The Development Marketplace Award competition is organized and funded jointly by the World Bank Group and SVRI.

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

Sijo Kuruvilla George appointed to Centre’s committee on science and tech policy

  • The founding CEO of Startup Village and founder of Re-think Foundation, Sijo Kuruvilla George, have been selected as member of Central Government’s Expert Committee on Science and Technology Policy.
  • It was the Department of Science and Technology and Principal Scientific Advisor of the Union government that formulated the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 (STIP 2020).
  • The expert committee team is tasked with updating the existing 2013 policy with a thrust to be given to scientific innovations.

Union Bank of India CMD Rajkiran Rai gets 2-year extension

  • Union Bank of India’s managing director and CEO, Rajkiran Rai an extension of two-year given in its ongoing merger process with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank.
  • Rai, whose term would have ended yesterday, will now be serving till May 31, 2022.
  • Rai was appointed as the managing director of Union Bank on July 1, 2017, for a period of 3 years until June 30, 2020.
  • The extension of Rai’s tenure implies to facilitate the merger properly.
  • The merged entity is now India’s fifth-largest public sector bank.

Extra Shots:

Union Bank of India

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • CEO: Rajkiran Rai G.
  • Owner: Government of India
  • Founded: 11 November 1919
  • Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank were merged into Union Bank of India on April 1

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CURRENT AFFAIRS

ISRO to launch Brazil’s Amazonia-1 Satellite in August 2020

  • The first earth observation satellite to be entirely developed by Brazil will be launch by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The satellite is known by the name ‘Amazonia-1’.
  • The exact launch date of Amazonia-1 hasn’t been confirmed yet by ISRO but as per media reports, the launch will take place next month (August 2020).

Amazonia-1

  • Amazonia-1 was originally scheduled to be launched by AEB’s main satellite launch vehicle VLS-1 in 2018.
  • But the launch with VLS-1 was canceled due to technical reasons.
  • Amazonia-1 will now be launched as a payload of PSLV from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
  • Operations of Amazonia-1 will be joint with the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite Program (CBERS). Under the CBERS program between China and Brazil, 6 satellites have been launched to date. The first satellite CBERS-1 was launched back in October 1999.
  • The last one CBERS-4A was launched on 20th December 2019 from China’s Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre.
  • Amazonia-1 is the first satellite that has been completely designed, integrated, and tested by AEB, also the satellite after launch will be the first satellite to be completely operated by Brazil.

Extra Shots:

ISRO:

  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Founder: Vikram Sarabhai
  • Founded: 15 August 1969
  • Director: Kailasavadivoo Sivan

OBITUARY

Kannada TV actor Susheel Gowda passes away

  • In a tragic piece of news, actor Susheel Gowda died by suicide at his hometown in Mandya in Karnataka. He was 30 years old.
  • He had a stint in television before landing a role in a Kannada movie titled Kamarottu Checkpost.
  • He also acted in Duniya Vijay-starrer Salaga which is yet to be released.
  • Apart from acting, Sushil Kumar was an instructor in a gym in Bengaluru but was out of work following the cessation of all film activities due to the COVID-19 lockdown and closure of gym.

British film and TV actor Earl Cameron passes away

  • Earl Cameron, who was among the first Black actors to break into significant roles in British film, died at age 102.
  • The actor first appeared on screen in the 1951 film Pool of London.
  • He was appointed as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.
  • Cameron also starred in 1965 Bond movie Thunderball and Doctor Who. He also starred in 2005 film The Interpreter along with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman.

Goa’s former health minister Dr Suresh Amonkar passes away

  • The former health minister of Goa, Dr Suresh Amonkar passed away due to Covid-19.
  • He was a two-term MLA, being elected to the Goa Assembly in 1999 and 2002, as well as served as minister in the first Manohar Parrikar cabinet in 2000 as a minister of health.
  • He was also the ex-president of the Goa unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Legendary musician Charlie Daniels passes away

  • Country Music Hall of Fame musician, Charlie Daniels passed away.
  • He was country music and southern rock icon who entertained fans for decades with songs like “Long-Haired Country Boy,” “In America,” and his signature fiddle tune “The Devil Went down To Georgia”, who won his only Grammy Award in 1979. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Ivory Coast PM Amadou Gon Coulibaly passes away

  • Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Amadou Gon Coulibaly passed away.
  • He recently returned from from France after receiving medical treatment.
  • He was also chosen as the ruling party Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP)’s candidate for October’s presidential election.
  • Amadou Gon Coulibaly served at many positions which includes technical advisor, senior civil servant, deputy and mayor of Korhogo, agriculture minister, cabinet minister.
  • After serving as secretary general of the presidency for six years, he became the prime minister of Ivory Coast in January 2017.

MISCELLANEOUS

Google Plus relaunched by Google as “Google Currents”

  • “Google+” a social networking platform of internet search giant “Google” has been rebranded as “Google Currents”.
  • Google Currents is a platform which enables its users to connect with their colleagues, exchange documents and interact with like-minded people who have similar interests.
  • It also helps the users to track what is happening in other departments across the organisation.
  • Presently, the app is only available for the G Suite customers.
  • The shut down process of Google+ was announced by the tech giant in April 2019 because of the low usage of platform along with some security bugs discovered by the company.

World’s First Reusable PPE Kits with Triple Viral Shield Technology launched

  • Indian Manufacturing Company- Loyal Textile Mills on 9th July 2020 launched the first of its kind in the world- reusable PPE (Personal Protective Equi pment) Kits.
  • Along with reusable PPE kits, reusable garments and face masks with zero virus penetration were also unveiled by Loyal Textile Mills.

Highlights:

  • The reusable masks, garments, and PPE Kits was launched by Loyal Textile Mills with collaborating with Reliance Industries Limited and Switzerland bas ed textile innovation company- HeiQ Materials AG.
  • The 3 products will be available in the market under the brand ‘Supera Shield’ of Loyal Textile Mills.
  • The reusable masks, garments, and PPE kits are made with the Viroblock Technology of HeiQ Materials AG.
  • The fiber used for making the reusable masks, garments, and PPE kits was ‘R ELAN Fibre’ of Reliance Industries Limited. R ELAN Fiber inhibits bacterial and viral growth.
  • Viral Barrier PU film Lamination: The fabric in the reusable mask and PPE kit has been engineered with viral barrier PU film lamination imported from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
  • As per Loyal Textile Mills, the garments and masks can be washed for up to 25 times for reuse while the PPE kit can be washed up to 10 times for reuse.

Extra Shots:

Loyal Textile Mills

  • Headquarters: India
  • Founded: 1946

Subsidiaries: Shri Chintamani Textile Mills Ltd., Loyal IRV Textile LDA, Loyal International Sourcing Private Limited

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