Current Affairs Today 15th and 16th August 2020-Download in PDF

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Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs Today 15th and 16th August 2020. These are important for the upcoming Exams. Candidates who were preparing for the examination can use these current affairs and also you can download the same as PDF.

Current Affairs Today – 15th and 16th August 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. The largest private sector bank in the country, HDFC Bank, launched ‘Shaurya KGC (Kisan Gold Credit) Card, a loan product for the armed forces.
  2. Punjab National Bank has launched a campaign named ‘DIGITAL APNAYEN’ to encourage customers to use digital banking channels.
  3. Federal Bank, private sector bank in India, has teamed-up with Fiserv, Inc., global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, in a bid to support the launch of the Federal Bank credit card.
  4. The Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India has approved the transfer of Rs 57128 crores as the dividend to the Central government for the accounting year 2019-20 while maintaining the contingency risk buffer at 5.5 per cent.
  5. The e-commerce giant Amazon has launched the first Indian online pharma delivery service.
  6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Digital Health Mission on the 74th Independence Day.
  7. India celebrated its 74th Independence Day on 15 August 2020.
  8. The Ministry of AYUSH launched “Ayush for Immunity” on 14th August through webinar.
  9. The Group of Finance Ministers has approved bringing the intra-state movement of gold within the ambit of the e-Way bill.
  10. India has exported 23 lakh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to five countries including the UK, the US, and UAE in July 2020, after the Indian government had relaxed the export norms.
  11. National Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC has developed an infrastructure at Rihand project in Uttar Pradesh to transport fly ash in bulk to cement plants at a cheaper cost.
  12. In Tamil Nadu, the webinar on New Education Policy organized by the Rural Outreach Bureau, Government of India in Thanjavur, emphasized the fact that the policy primarily aims at ensuring 100 per cent gross enrolment in schools by 2030.
  13. India is working to achieve zero road accident fatalities by 2030, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
  14. Odisha has topped in the implementation of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme.
  15. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, in collaboration with the Karnataka State Drug Control Department, has launched the Price Monitoring and Resource Unit in the state.
  16. The north-eastern states of the country, Nagaland and Manipur observed the 74th Naga Independence Day on August 14, as per their custom and historical significance.
  17. In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Directorate of Social Welfare launched ‘Nasha-Mukt Bharat’- Drug free India campaign of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India today with an aim to curb the menace of Drug Addiction in the society.
  18. The Union Territory of Puducherry celebrated its 59th anniversary of the “De-Jure”day on 16th
  19. Gujarat high court has launched e-filing of cases and an online facility to check the status of cases.
  20. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has launched Arunachal Pradesh Entrepreneurship Development Programme to support and encourage local youths to become job creators than job seekers.
  21. The Government of India has started the work on the first-of-its-kind Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) – Delhi Express Road Corridor project.
  22. The West Bengal government has launched a new scheme known as ‘Karma Sathi Prakalpa’ under which one lakh unemployed youth of the state would be provided soft loans and subsidies to make them self-reliant.
  23. The Telangana government launched the Artificial intelligence for Agricultural Innovation (AI4AI) programme to boost agricultural developments.
  24. The Goa government has signed a tri-partite agreement to carry out world-class German dual vocational education and training in the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) of the state.
  25. BRICS partners Russia and Brazil have decided to enter into an agreement to cooperate in the production and marketing of the world’s first registered Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V by Russia.
  26. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first-ever Gulf country and the third in the Arab world to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
  27. In a humanitarian gesture, India has sent 58 tonnes of emergency humanitarian aid to Lebanon in an air force plane to assist the people affected by the explosions in Beirut on August 4.
  28. The European Union has entered into an agreement to but at least 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID 19 vaccine in the first-ever such deal in advance by the group.
  29. Special Olympics Bharat announced that Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has committed USD 25 million to expand Unified Champion Schools (UCS) to six countries – India, Argentina, Egypt, Pakistan, Romania and Rwanda.
  30. Bombay Stock Exchange has entered into an agreement with i-Hub, an incubation set up started by the Gujarat Government, in order to encourage and support the startup companies in raising capital.
  31. The search engine giant Google has joined hands with the Central Water Commission in order to make the flood forecasting in the country more advanced and more effective.
  32. President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, has approved 84 gallantry awards for the personnel in India’s armed forces and also the members of the Paramilitary forces for their acts of bravery to protect the country’s security and honour.
  33. Financial technology firm BharatPe announced appointment of Suhail Sameer as group president.
  34. The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled four products each by the Ordnance Factory Board and Bharat Earth Movers Limited, two by BEL and one each by HAL, BDL, MDL, GRSE and GSL.
  35. Indian Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has announced retirement from all forms of international cricket.
  36. After M.S. Dhoni, Indian cricketer Suresh Raina has also announced retirement from Cricket on August 15, 2020.
  37. Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (GVP-SIRC) and GVP College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam, has developed an indigenous photonic system for real-time remote monitoring of air quality parameters.
  38. Microsoft Research Lab, in collaboration with CGNet Swara, an Indian-voice based online portal, has launched an Interactive Neural Machine Translation tool, which translates sentences from Hindi and Gondi and vice-versa.
  39. The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) has developed a Nanofibres of Ayurvedic based Biodegradable face mask which acts as a virus neutralizer to resist against the bacteria/ virus.
  40. The search engine giant Google has announced new education tools for teachers and students to facilitate learning in the virtual education space.
  41. a team of researchers from the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO and the Indian Institute of Science, IISc in Bengaluru has developed a sustainable process to make space bricks on the lunar surface.
  42. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched a portal for ‘Opportunities for Make In India in Defence’ through video conferencing.
  43. The Defence Minister virtually launched the Department of Defence Production Portal ‘SRIJAN’ as a part of opportunities for Make in India initiatives in the defence sector.
  44. On the occasion of Independence Day, the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio has launched “Yellow Chain”- a centralized e-commerce platform, to promote local business and entrepreneurship in the State.
  45. Well known Malayalam poet and film-drama lyricist Chunnakara Ramankutty has passed away
  46. In order to combat the menace of COVID 19 pandemic in the country, the researchers have developed a tool that can test the results of samples collected in as early as 20 minutes.
  47. As reported by India Today, the phase I trial for the COVID 19 vaccine made by Bharat Biotech is complete and the Phase II of this trial is going to commence in September.
  48. The scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have studied the stars of Omega Centauri cluster and found some Helium-enhanced cool bright stars that are present among the metal-rich sample of the cluster.

NEWS IN DETAILS

BANKING & FINANCE 

HDFC Bank launches Shaurya KGC Card

  • The largest private sector bank in the country, HDFC Bank, launched ‘Shaurya KGC (Kisan Gold Credit) Card, a loan product for the armed forces.
  • This is the first-of-its-kind scheme meant for the army personnel in the country and is based on the Kisan Credit Card guidelines of the government.

Some of the salient features of this card are:

  • This credit card comes with a life cover of Rs 10 lakhs.
  • It will provide finance for the agricultural requirements such as the production of crops, post-harvest maintenance and consumption needs, purchase of farm machinery, irrigation equipment, etc.
  • The loan facility can be availed by visiting HDFC Bank branch or through the e-Kisan Dhan app of the bank.
  • The card is tri-coloured implying the Army, the Navy and the Air Forces of the country.

Extra Shots:

HDFC Bank

  • CEO: Aditya Puri
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founded: August 1994, India
  • Parent organization: Housing Development Finance Corporation

Punjab National Bank launches campaign named ‘DIGITAL APNAYEN’

  • Punjab National Bank has launched a campaign named ‘DIGITAL APNAYEN’ to encourage customers to use digital banking channels.
  • PNB will contribute Rs 5 towards the PM CARES Fund on behalf of each customer conducting the first financial transaction to activate their RuPay Debit card either on point of sale (PoS) or e-commerce platform, under the campaign ‘DIGITAL APNAYEN’.

Extra Shots:

Punjab National Bank

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao
  • Founded: 19 May 1894, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Founders: Lala Lajpat Rai, Dyal Singh Majithia

Federal Bank, Fiserv partner to launch their First Independent Credit Card

  • Federal Bank, private sector bank in India, has teamed-up with Fiserv, Inc., global provider of payments and financial services technology solutions, in a bid to support the launch of the Federal Bank credit card.
  • This initiative is also taken to enable the digitisation of the bank’s end-to-end card issuance and processing cycle.
  • The bank will also be outsourcing associated operational processes to Fiserv.

Extra Shots:

Federal Bank

  • Headquarters: Aluva
  • CEO: Shyam Srinivasan
  • Founder: K.P Hormis
  • Founded: 23 April 1931, Nedumpuram

RBI approves Dividend of Rs 57,000 crore to Government

  • The Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India has approved the transfer of Rs 57128 crores as the dividend to the Central government for the accounting year 2019-20 while maintaining the contingency risk buffer at 5.5 per cent.
  • The meeting, chaired by the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, focused on reviewing the current economic situation.
  • The central bank also discussed setting up an Innovation Hub.
  • The annual report of the bank was also approved during the meeting.

Extra Shots:

RBI

  • Governor: Shaktikanta Das
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founder: British Raj
  • Subsidiaries: Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation, Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

E-commerce Giant Amazon launches online pharmacy in India

  • The e-commerce giant Amazon has launched the first Indian online pharma delivery service.
  • Amazon offers the facility to the customers in Bengaluru to order prescription and over-the-counter medicines and basic health devices from the certified sellers.
  • This facility will be extended to the other cities also very soon.
  • Amazon already offers online pharmacy sales in the US and other European countries and now it has started in India as well.

Extra Shots:

Amazon

  • CEO: Jeff Bezos
  • Founder: Jeff Bezos
  • Founded: 5 July 1994, Bellevue, Washington, United States
  • Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, United States

GOVERNMENT SCHEMES

PM Narendra Modi launched National Digital Health Mission

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Digital Health Mission on the 74th Independence Day.
  • It is expected that the mission would revolutionize India’s health sector.

Highlights:

  • Under the National Digital Health Mission, every Indian will receive a unique health identity card.
  • The mission features Tele-consultation and E-Pharmacies.
  • Every citizen who holds the cards shall allow one-time access to the doctors and health care providers during their visit to the hospitals.
  • National Digital Health Mission allows patients to access health services remotely.
  • The card will ensure permission to access confidential medical data which will be provided for every visit by the patient himself.
  • It will assure the privacy and maintenance of the patient.

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

India celebrated its 74th Independence Day on 15 August

  • India celebrated its 74th Independence Day on 15 August 2020.
  • On 15th August 1947, India gained its power and became an independent nation.
  • The Day is celebrated by colours and many events across the country.
  • On this special day, President Ram Nath Kovind and the Prime Minister delivered the address to the nation on the Independence Day event.
  • PM of India Narendra Modi hoisted the tricolour flag on the special occasion.

Ministry of AYUSH launched AYUSH for Immunity Campaign

  • The Ministry of AYUSH launched “Ayush for Immunity” on 14th August through webinar.
  • Ayush for Immunity is a three-month campaign. More than 50,000 people participated in the Webinar.
  • The Webinar was staged on Ayush Virtual Convention Centre (AVCC), the new digital communication platform of the AYUSH Ministry.

Immunity Campaign:

  • The campaign aims to enhance immunity and the requirement of lifestyle change amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The campaign emphasizes the need for behavioural change in people towards immunity enhancing steps, and highlights the positive role of traditional medicines and practices in enhancing immunity.
  • Various initiatives are planned to be launched under the umbrella of Ayush for Immunity campaign.
  • The main focus of the event is to acquaint the people with valuable information about strengths of various Ayush-based solutions for enhancing immunity and preventing diseases.

Extra Shots:

Ministry of AYUSH

  • Founded: 9 November 2014, India
  • Officeholder: Shripad Naik (MOS independent charge)
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Jurisdiction: India

GoM approves e-way bill for intra-state gold movement

  • The Group of Finance Ministers has approved bringing the intra-state movement of gold within the ambit of the e-Way bill.

e-Way Bill

  • This is kind of an electronic challan which shows that tax has been fully paid before goods are moved from one place to other, within the state (intra-state) or outside the state (inter-state).
  • This is required for carrying any consignment of goods of value exceeding Rs 50000.
  • The e-Way bill is generated from the GST Common Portal for this bill by the registered persons or transporters who cause movement of goods before the commencement of such movement.
  • e-way bill, it has two parts – Part A and Part B.
  • Part A has invoice details whereas Part B is about the vehicle details such as registration, number, etc. Such details might create a security issue and that is why gold and precious stones were kept outside the ambit of the e-Way bill.

India exported 23 lakh PPE to 5 countries in July 2020

  • India has exported 23 lakh Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to five countries including the UK, the US, and UAE in July 2020, after the Indian government had relaxed the export norms.
  • The increased export of PPE has substantially helped India to position itself in the global market of these kits.

NTPC develops infrastructure at Rihand project for increased use of fly ash

  • National Thermal Power Corporation, NTPC has developed an infrastructure at Rihand project in Uttar Pradesh to transport fly ash in bulk to cement plants at a cheaper cost.
  • The development is in line with NTPC’s commitment towards 100 percent utilization of fly ash from power plants.
  • The effort marks the beginning of a new era for the transportation of fly ash from a remote location to a consumption centre, enabling power plants for upgrading the utilization of fly ash.

Extra Shots:

NTPC

  • Founded: 1975
  • Headquarters: New Delhi, India
  • Owner: Government of India
  • Organization type: State-owned enterprise
  • Purpose: Electricity generation and distribution natural gas exploration, production, transportation and distribution

New Education Policy aims at ensuring 100% gross enrolment in schools by 2030

  • In Tamil Nadu, the webinar on New Education Policy organized by the Rural Outreach Bureau, Government of India in Thanjavur, emphasized the fact that the policy primarily aims at ensuring 100 per cent gross enrolment in schools by 2030.
  • The webinar, held as part of Independence Day celebrations, was one element in a series of online communication exchange campaigns being organized by the Rural Outreach Bureau.

India aims to have zero road fatalities by 2030: Nitin Gadkari

  • India is working to achieve zero road accident fatalities by 2030, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
  • Under the Indian Road Safety Assessment Programme 21,000 km roads have been assessed and about 3,000 km road length is under technological upgradation.
  • World Bank and ADB have committed ₹7,000 crore each for this campaign.

 STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Odisha topped in implementing AMRUT scheme

  • Odisha has topped in the implementation of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme.
  • As per the data provided by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Odisha has secured a score of 85.67%. Also, Chandigarh and Telangana have secured the second and third positions followed by Gujarat and Karnataka.

AMRUT scheme:

  • AMRUT scheme was launched by PM Narendra Modi in June 2015.
  • The scheme aims to establish an infrastructure that will ensure robust sewage networks and water supply for urban transformation.
  • Under the mission, efforts have been made towards universal coverage of water supply, construction of sewage treatment plants, and improving green spaces in the 9 AMRUT cities of Odisha.
  • The nine cities are Balasore, Bhubaneswar, Baripada, Cuttack, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Bhadrak, Berhampur, and Puri. These cities are covered under the AMRUT scheme in Odisha.
  • Under the scheme, the Universal coverage of piped water supply has been completed by laying or replacing 400 km of pipeline to date, and all the nine AMRUT cities will have 100 percent network coverage by December 2020.

Extra Shots:

Odisha:

  • Statehood Day: 1st April 1936
  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Governor :Ganeshi Lal
  • Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik

Price Monitoring and Resource Unit (PMRU) set up in Karnataka

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, in collaboration with the Karnataka State Drug Control Department, has launched the Price Monitoring and Resource Unit in the state.
  • The PMRU will be mainly responsible for making access to medicine convenient for all the citizens of the state.
  • The main objective of the PMRU is to help the NPPA in monitoring the prices of drugs and also the availability of such drugs in the state.
  • This is set up under the Central Sector Scheme, Consumer Awareness Publicity and Price Monitoring.
  • The PMRU will have the first-ever governing body meeting by the end of August 2020 in order to discuss the programs, measures in creating consumer awareness as well as ensuring affordability and accessibility of medicines in the state.

Extra Shots:

Karnataka:

  • Statehood Day: 1st November 1956
  • Capital: Bengaluru
  • Chief Minister: B. S. Yediyurappa
  • Governor: Vajubhai Vala
  • National Park: Anshi NP, Bandipur NP, Bannerghatta NP, Kudremukh NP, Rajiv Gandhi (Nagarahole) NP.

Nagaland and Manipur celebrate Naga Independence Day

  • The north-eastern states of the country, Nagaland and Manipur observed the 74th Naga Independence Day on August 14, as per their custom and historical significance.
  • They hoisted the Naga National Flag.
  • Nagaland became a free state in the year 1963 though there are still certain factions within the Naga people who want sovereignty for the people of the state.

Extra Shots:

Nagaland:

  • Statehood Day: December 1, 1963
  • Capital: Kohima
  • Chief Minister: Neiphiu Rio
  • Governor: N Ravi
  • State formed in: December 1, 1963
  • Literacy Rate: 80.11%

Manipur

  • Statehood Day: 21 January, 1972
  • Capital: Imphal
  • Governor: Najma Heptulla
  • Chief Minister: N. Biren Singh

Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment launches ‘Nasha-Mukt Bharat’ campaign in J&K

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Directorate of Social Welfare launched ‘Nasha-Mukt Bharat’- Drug free India campaign of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India today with an aim to curb the menace of Drug Addiction in the society.
  • The campaign is being run in 272 most vulnerable districts of India and 10 districts of J&K including Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, Doda, Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Badgam and Bandipora has been identified by Narcotics Control Bureau of India as most vulnerable in terms of substance/drug abuse.

Extra Shots:

Jammu & Kashmir:

  • Capitals- Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
  • Lt Governor- Manoj Sinha
  • National Parks: City Forest (Salim Ali) National Park, Dachigam National Park, Hemis National Park, Kishtwar National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Baltal-Thajwas WLS, Changthang Cold Desert WLS, Gulmarg WLS, Jasrota WLS, Karakoram (Nubra Shyok) WLS etc

Puducherry celebrates its ‘De-Jure’ day

  • The Union Territory of Puducherry celebrated its 59th anniversary of the “De-Jure”day on 16th
  • Puducherry became independent by virtue of a referendum on October 18,1954.
  • But the treaty of cession signed between the French and Indian governments was ratified by the French Parliament only on August 16, 1962. So on that day the “De-Jure”(The Legal Merger of the UT with the Indian Union) was effected.
  • The Puducherry administration organized a function at the Keezhoor memorial where the referendum was signed to mark the occasion.
  • Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy hoisted the national flag at the Keezhoor memorial.

Gujarat High Court launches e-filing of cases

  • Gujarat high court has launched e-filing of cases and an online facility to check the status of cases.
  • Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Justice Vikram Nath launched these two new services on the occasion of 74th Independence Day.
  • The e-filing software developed by the eCommittee of the Supreme Court has been implemented for the Gujarat high court.
  • This service will be available on the portal, http://efiling.ecourts.gov.in/. Advocates registered with the IT cell of the High Court will require registering themselves on the e- filing portal.
  • The court also launched the ‘EmailMyCaseStatus’ service, which is activated after online registration.

Extra Shots:

Gujarat:

  • Capital: Gandhinagar
  • Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
  • Governor: Acharya Devvrat
  • State formed on: 1 May 1960
  • Literacy Rate: 79.31%
  • National Park: Vansda NP, Blackbuck NP, Gir Forest NP,  Marine NP, Gulf of Kutch

CM Pema Khandu launches Arunachal Pradesh Challenge Entrepreneurship Programme on Independence Day

  • Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has launched Arunachal Pradesh Entrepreneurship Development Programme to support and encourage local youths to become job creators than job seekers.
  • The initiative envisions a self-reliant society and a sustainable economy for Arunachal Pradesh by encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs and strengthening their business.
  • IIM Calcutta Innovation Park has been given the mandate to run the Programme as a knowledge partner.
  • The Programme will be rolled out in four stages–Arunachal Pradesh Entrepreneurship Challenge, Pre-Incubation, Incubation, and Livelihood Accelerator.

Extra Shots:

Arunachal Pradesh:

  • Statehood day: 20 February 1987
  • Governor: Brig. (Dr.) B.D. Mishra (Retd.)
  • Chief Minister: Pema Khandu
  • Capital: Itanagar
  • Districts: 25
  • Official languages: English
  • Literacy: 66.95%

State-of-art Katra-Delhi Express Road Corridor to be functional by 2023

  • The Government of India has started the work on the first-of-its-kind Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) – Delhi Express Road Corridor project.
  • The project is estimated to be completed in three years and become functional by 2023.
  • Once functional, the travel time from Katra to Delhi will get reduced to around six and half hours, and from Jammu to Delhi to just about six hours.
  • It will connect Delhi with Amritsar in Punjab and Katra in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Katra- Delhi Express Road Corridor project is estimated to cost over Rs. 35,000 crores.
  • The 687-kilometre-long expressway is being constructed as part of the Bharatmala project.
  • The important cities through which this Expressway Corridor will pass include Jammu and Kathua in J&K, and Jalandhar, Amritsar, Kapurthala, and Ludhiana in Punjab.

West Bengal launches Karma Sathi Prakalpa Scheme

  • The West Bengal government has launched a new scheme known as ‘Karma Sathi Prakalpa’ under which one lakh unemployed youth of the state would be provided soft loans and subsidies to make them self-reliant.
  • A budget of Rs 500 crore has been earmarked for the successful implementation of this scheme.
  • The state government would provide loans to 1 lakh youth every year to help them start their own business.

Extra Shots:

West Bengal:

  • Established on: 26 January 1950
  • Capital: Kolkata
  • Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar
  • Chief Minister: Mamata Banerjee

Telangana launches artificial intelligence for agricultural innovation program

  • The Telangana government launched the Artificial intelligence for Agricultural Innovation (AI4AI) programme to boost agricultural developments.
  • It was launched in association with Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, India (C4IR), World Economic Forum.
  • Telangana has announced the year 2020 to be the Year of AI to accelerate the adoption in various fields.

Extra Shots:

Telangana

  • Statehood day:2 June 2014
  • Capital:Hyderabad
  • Chief Minister: Kalvakuntla Chandrashekhar Rao
  • Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan
  • Literacy Rate: 66.46%

Goa Government signs pact for German Vocational Training in ITIs

  • The Goa government has signed a tri-partite agreement to carry out world-class German dual vocational education and training in the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) of the state.
  • This will ensure optimal up-skilling of ITI graduates, including green skilling at par with the latest technological developments in the industry, thereby remarkably enhancing the employability of graduates from these ITIs.
  • The MoU will facilitate in-plant training of the students so that they can get practical hands on experience in their respective trades.

Extra Shots:

Goa:

  • Capital: Panaji
  • Chief Minister: Pramod Sawant
  • Governor: Satya Pal Malik

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Russia and Brazil to partner in production & marketing of Sputnik V vaccine

  • BRICS partners Russia and Brazil have decided to enter into an agreement to cooperate in the production and marketing of the world’s first registered Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V by Russia.
  • Russian Direct Investment Fund has stated that the agreement has been signed with the Brazilian State of Parana.

Extra Shots:

Russia (Capital/Currency): Moscow/Russian Rouble

  • Prime Minister: Mikhail Vladimirovich Mishustin
  • President: Vladimir Putin

UAE became the first Gulf country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first-ever Gulf country and the third in the Arab world to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
  • Under the deal, UAE and Israel will also expand cooperation on the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the Coronavirus.

Extra Shots:

UAE (Capital/Currency): Abu Dhabi/ United Arab Emirates dirham

  • President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

India sends Humanitarian aid to Lebanon

  • In a humanitarian gesture, India has sent 58 tonnes of emergency humanitarian aid to Lebanon in an air force plane to assist the people affected by the explosions in Beirut on August 4.
  • The government has sent a separate consignment of personal protective equipment, including surgical gloves and surgical gowns.

Extra Shots:

Lebanon (Capital/Currency): Beirut/ Lebanese pound

EU enters into deal with AstraZeneca, for first Covid-19 vaccine

  • The European Union has entered into an agreement to but at least 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID 19 vaccine in the first-ever such deal in advance by the group.
  • The deal is aimed at financing part of the upfront costs to develop vaccines.

Extra Shots:

EU

  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
  • Founded: 1 November 1993, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Government: Sui generis Intergovernmental and supranational
  • Founders: Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg

Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince commits USD 25mn to expand Unified Champion Schools to 6 countries including India

  • Special Olympics Bharat announced that Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has committed USD 25 million to expand Unified Champion Schools (UCS) to six countries – India, Argentina, Egypt, Pakistan, Romania and Rwanda.
  • The four-year project will play a critical role in making the Indian education system more inclusive by creating 120 Unified Champion Schools across 12 states.
  • The initiative that encourages activation and empowerment of the youth resonated with the theme of the International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” by empowering young people with and without intellectual disabilities to create lasting social change through inclusion in education.

Extra Shots:

UAE (Capital/Currency): Abu Dhabi/ United Arab Emirates dirham

  • President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

BSE partners with Gujarat Govt

  • Bombay Stock Exchange has entered into an agreement with i-Hub, an incubation set up started by the Gujarat Government, in order to encourage and support the startup companies in raising capital.
  • BSE will provide a favourable ecosystem for the startups in the state to get funding and succeed in the venture.

i-Hub

  • This is vibrant incubation setup established under student startup innovation policy by the Gujarat Government Education Department and it is mainly focused on developing the startups as the catalyzers for economic growth in the state, thereby providing a conducive ecosystem for the promotion of their growth.
  • This setup is meant to solve one of the major challenges of the startups – Finance.

Extra Shots:

Gujarat:

  • Capital: Gandhinagar
  • Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
  • Governor: Acharya Devvrat
  • State formed on: 1 May 1960
  • Literacy Rate: 79.31%
  • National Park: Vansda NP, Blackbuck NP, Gir Forest NP,  Marine NP, Gulf of Kutch

Google joins hands with Central Water Commission for flood forecasting initiative

  • The search engine giant Google has joined hands with the Central Water Commission in order to make the flood forecasting in the country more advanced and more effective.
  • The alerts provided by Google are timely and updated.
  • They also provide critical information that can help users make informed decisions regarding their safety and that of their families and friends.
  • Any user in the affected region with an android smartphone with location services will be able to access these alerts.
  • The users can also enter a query in the search field regarding a flood-affected area to see key information on the current situation in the region.
  • This has been very useful in areas affected by floods such as Assam and Bihar.

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Google

  • Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin Trending
  • Founded: 4 September 1998, Menlo Park, California, United States
  • CEO: Sundar Pichai
  • Parent organization: Alphabet Inc.
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

84 Gallantry Awards to personnel of Armed and Paramilitary Forces announced

  • President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, has approved 84 gallantry awards for the personnel in India’s armed forces and also the members of the Paramilitary forces for their acts of bravery to protect the country’s security and honour.
  • These awards include one Kirti Chakra, nine Shaurya Chakras, five Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 60 Sena Medals (Gallantry), four Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and five Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry) and they are normally announced on the eve of the Independence Day of the country.

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Gallantry Awards

  • There are mainly six gallantry awards in India that can be divided into wartime awards and Peace Time Awards.
  • The War-Time Awards are – Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra whereas the Peacetime Awards are Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.
  • Apart from these, there are various Distinguished Service medals such as the Sena Medal, Nao Sena Medal and Vayu Sena Medal.

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

BharatPe appoints Suhail Sameer as group president

  • Financial technology firm BharatPe announced appointment of Suhail Sameer as group president.
  • Sameer, along with CEO and co-founder Ashneer Grover, will have responsibility for building the organisation, merchant network, business and revenue.

DEFENCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Defence Minister unveils 15 products developed by Defence PSUs

  • The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled four products each by the Ordnance Factory Board and Bharat Earth Movers Limited, two by BEL and one each by HAL, BDL, MDL, GRSE and GSL.
  • All these products have been developed as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Week’ launched by the Defence Ministry.
  • The products that have been launched are the prototype of Nag Missile Carrier developed by Ordnance Factory Board, Medak in association with DRDL, Hyderabad.

SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS

Cricketer M.S. Dhoni announces retirement from all forms of international cricket

  • Indian Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has announced retirement from all forms of international cricket.
  • Dhoni shared this information on Instagram on August 15, 2020 as- “Thanks. Thanks for ur love and support throughout. from 1929 hrs consider me as Retired”
  • Dhoni is the only Captain to win all three major International Cricket Council (ICC) trophies — the World Cup, the World Twenty20 and the Champions Trophy.
  • Since he has announced retirement from International cricket, he will continue to play for Indian Premier League (IPL).

Cricketer Suresh Raina announces retirement

  • After M.S. Dhoni, Indian cricketer Suresh Raina has also announced retirement from Cricket on August 15, 2020.
  • He shared a photo on Instagram with other fellow cricketers including MS Dhoni with a caption, “It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781 . With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind!”.
  • It must be noted that just before this, M.S.Dhoni had also announced retirement from International cricket on Instagram.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CURRENT AFFAIRS

Indigenous AUM Photonic System developed for Real-Time Remote Monitoring of Air Quality

  • Scientific and Industrial Research Centre (GVP-SIRC) and GVP College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam, has developed an indigenous photonic system for real-time remote monitoring of air quality parameters.
  • The system titled Air Unique-quality Monitoring (AUM) was developed under the Clean Air Research Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology.

Air Unique-quality Monitoring System:

  • The AUM system is an innovative application of the principles of statistical mechanics, laser backscattering, optoelectronics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine/deep learning, and Internet of Things.
  • AUM can identify, classify, and quantify various pollutants simultaneously of orders of less than one part per billion and meteorological parameters, with sensitivity, very high precision, and accuracy.
  • AUM was successfully evaluated during laboratory trials with gold standards in collaboration with EffecTech, UK.
  • The system is operated by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board under the aegis of the Central Pollution Control Board of India.
  • The system is capable of simultaneous detection and quantification of all air quality parameters.

Microsoft Research Lab develops Machine Translation tool for Gondi language

  • Microsoft Research Lab, in collaboration with CGNet Swara, an Indian-voice based online portal, has launched an Interactive Neural Machine Translation tool, which translates sentences from Hindi and Gondi and vice-versa.
  • CGNet Swara is an Indian voice-based online portal that gives people in the forests of central tribal India a platform for expression by reporting local news and stories through a phone call.
  • This project is an extension of the Microsoft Research Lab’s work on natural language processing technology.

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Microsoft

  • CEO: Satya Nadella
  • Founded: 4 April 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
  • Founders: Bill Gates, Paul Allen

DIAT Pune develops biodegradable face mask and anti-microbial body suit

  • The Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) has developed a Nanofibres of Ayurvedic based Biodegradable face mask which acts as a virus neutralizer to resist against the bacteria/ virus.
  • The mask has been named as ‘Pavitrapati’.
  • Apart from this, an anti-microbial bodysuit has also been developed by the name of ‘Aushada Tara’.

Google announces new Digital Education tool ‘Assignments’

  • The search engine giant Google has announced new education tools for teachers and students to facilitate learning in the virtual education space.
  • This feature will be available with all the products of Google such as Meet, G Suite and Classroom.
  • In order to ensure more privacy, blurred backgrounds will be introduced in Meet in October.
  • The attendance tracking during virtual sessions and breakout rooms, so a class can be split into smaller groups for simultaneous discussions, will be available very soon, as part of G Suite Enterprise for Education.
  • In order to help the students, ask questions, a hand-raising feature will be introduced in Meet, this year and also a new Q&A and polling feature to engage students will be coming to G Suite Enterprise for Education.
  • All education customers will be able to use temporary recordings feature, coming later this year, to record a meeting and share that within their domain for up to 30 days.

Extra Shots:

Google

  • Founders: Larry Page, Sergey Brin Trending
  • Founded: 4 September 1998, Menlo Park, California, United States
  • CEO: Sundar Pichai
  • Parent organization: Alphabet Inc.
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States

ISRO, IISc Bengaluru develop sustainable process to make space bricks on lunar surface

  • A team of researchers from the Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO and the Indian Institute of Science, IISc in Bengaluru has developed a sustainable process to make space bricks on the lunar surface.
  • The process enables making load bearing bricks by using lunar soil, bacteria and guar beans.
  • Named as space bricks, it could be used to assemble structures for habitation on the moon surface in future.
  • Sending bricks from Earth is not viable as it takes 7.5 lakh rupees to transport one pound of construction material.

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ISRO

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

WEB PORTALS & APP IN NEWS

Rajnath Singh launched portal for Opportunities for Make In India in Defence

  • Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched a portal for ‘Opportunities for Make In India in Defence’ through video conferencing.
  • The facility was launched as part of ‘Atmanirbharta Saptah’ (Atmanirbharta Week).

Highlight:

  • The portal aims to promote the indigenization in defence sector.
  • The Ordnance Factory Nalanda, Defence Production unit of Bihar, launched an indigenous portal which will attract vendors on the stop shop online market.
  • This unique initiative will help in the manufacturing of defence items, components and spares.
  • The portal will support Indian industries in the defence sector in bringing transparency. The move is to fulfill GoI’s aim to self-reliant India.
  • The initiative will help in the manufacturing of defence items, components and spares.

Defence Minister launches Indigenisation portal ‘SRIJAN’

  • The Defence Minister virtually launched the Department of Defence Production Portal ‘SRIJAN’ as a part of opportunities for Make in India initiatives in the defence sector.
  • This portal provides information regarding the defence equipment and items which are being imported currently or to be imported by the Defence PSUs in the country.
  • The government will take proper measures regarding making these products indigenized.

Nagaland Government Rolls-Out Centralized e-commerce platform “YellowChain”

  • On the occasion of Independence Day, the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio has launched “Yellow Chain”- a centralized e-commerce platform, to promote local business and entrepreneurship in the State.
  • Yellow Chain will act as an integrated platform for the people of the state, where any Seller/Service Provider/Individual/Group can register themselves and upload their products, trades, skills, services etc. to enable the citizens/buyers to have access to their Service or Product.
  • It may include Home service (Barber, Electrician, Plumber, Painter, Carpenter, Water Service etc.), Delivery service, IT Products & Services, Cab & Taxi Service, Health Care & Education, Fast food & Catering, Bakeries & Confectioneries, Grocery Stores, Local Product/Produces, Trainings, Pre-owned Products, Real Estate, Rentals etc.
  • The site can be accessed at www.yellowchain.in

OBITUARY

Malayalam poet-lyricist Chunakkara Ramankutty passes away at 84

  • Well known Malayalam poet and film-drama lyricist Chunnakara Ramankutty has passed away. He was 84.
  • Ramankutty has written over 215 songs for 76 movies, besides lyrics for over 100 dramas.
  • His career peaked in 1984 when he wrote 32 songs in that year.

MISCELLANEOUS

New Test ‘N1-STOP-LAMP’ diagnoses SARS-CoV-2 virus in 20 minutes

  • In order to combat the menace of COVID 19 pandemic in the country, the researchers have developed a tool that can test the results of samples collected in as early as 20 minutes.
  • This has been published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.
  • The rapid molecular test, named as N1-STOP-LAMP, is 100 per cent accurate in diagnosing samples containing the SARS-CoV-2 at high loads.
  • This new test uses only one tube and involves only a single step.
  • It took 14 minutes on an average to give results for the samples in the testing phase. This test was developed by Kary Mullis, an American biochemist.

Phase-2 trials of Bharat Biotech vaccine to begin in September

  • The phase I trial for the COVID 19 vaccine made by Bharat Biotech is complete and the Phase II of this trial is going to commence in September.
  • In the first phase of the trial, the vaccine, known as Covaxin, is safe for human usage.
  • The Phase I Trial for the vaccine was conducted in 12 centres and out of the 12 centres, 11 have reported positive results for the vaccine.

Extra Shots:

Bharat Biotech

  • Executive director: Dr. V Krishna Mohan
  • Founder: Dr. Krishna M. Ella
  • Founded: 1996
  • Headquarters location: Hyderabad
  • Subsidiaries: Chiron Behring Vaccines
  • Type of business: Private limited company

IIA discovered He-abundance in Omega Centauri

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