Current Affairs Today 18th September 2020-Download in PDF

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Current Affairs Today – 18th September 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. The World Water Monitoring Day is observed every year on September 18 since 2003 to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world.
  2. World Bamboo Day is observed every year on 18 September to raise awareness of the benefits of bamboo and to promote its use in everyday products.
  3. The Lok Sabha on September 16, 2020 passed an amendment bill to the Banking Regulation Act to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI.
  4. Bandhan Bank has launched a new vertical named “Emerging Entrepreneurs Business (EEB)” to focus on small businesses.
  5. The ICICI Home Finance launched “Apna Ghar Dreamz”, its new home loan scheme for skilled laborers like electricians, mechanics, painters, grocery store owners etc in the informal sector of Delhi.
  6. Ingka Group, which handles retail operations of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, announced to open a global office at Bengaluru.
  7. Union Government has allocated more than Rs. 818 crore to promote online learning to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
  8. State-run banks are poised to get ₹20,000 crore through recapitalization bonds this financial year, at a time the coronavirus crisis threatens to bump up bad loans across the banking system.
  9. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor Project from Palwal to Sonipat via Sohna-Manesar-Kharkhauda.
  10. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Engineers Day took a major step towards the development of an indigenously-built CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) based signalling technology for metro railway with the launch of the i-ATS, which is an important sub-system of the signalling system.
  11. The G20 Environment Ministers Meeting took place on September 16, 2020 as a part of the Sherpa Track for the G20 Leaders’ Summit 2020.
  12. The Union Government has allocated more than Rs. 818 crores to promote online learning in order to alleviate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on education.
  13. Shri D V Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers has informed that the Central Government has set a target to increase the number of Pradhanmantri Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) to 10500 by the of March 2025.
  14. World’s longest highway tunnel connecting Manali to Leh under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range of Himalayas on the Leh-Manali highway is now completed after 10 years.
  15. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has virtually conferred Second Utkrisht Sansthan Vishwakarma Award in 14 categories to the Institutions under AICTE on Vishwakarma Divas Celebration.
  16. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa launched the “Arthika Spandana” programme on 16 September 2020, under which loans worth Rs. 39,300 crore would be disbursed through various cooperative institutions, for helping people during the times of COVID-19 and floods.
  17. Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitran Company Bhopal is the first power Distribution Company in India in which e-office system is operated from corporate office to local circle offices level.
  18. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched a ‘Poshan Sarkar’ program to ensure participation and leadership of local bodies-Gram Panchayats and Urban Bodies in the nutrition campaign.
  19. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched Mukhyamantri Mahila Utkarsh Yojana (MMUY), a scheme of providing interest-free loans to women’s groups in the state.
  20. The Gujarat government approved a letter of intent (LOI) for the world’s first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) terminal at Bhavnagar port with a proposed investment of Rs 1,900 crore.
  21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu on September 18, 2020, through video conference.
  22. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur virtually inaugurated the “Swachhata Cafe” at Nalagarh in Solan district on the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Shimla.
  23. E-commerce major Amazon India on it has set up an all-women delivery station in Kadi, Gujarat – its second such facility in the country.
  24. New Zealand has become the first country to pass legislation requiring financial entities to declare their climate-related risks.
  25. Mexico has become the first country in the world to issue a sovereign bond linked to the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations
  26. The Government of United States on September 16, 2020, unveiled its COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan which entails administering the drug to all the citizens of US free of cost.
  27. The IBSA Foreign Ministers customary meeting was held through video conferencing on 16th September, 2020.
  28. The G20 Environment Ministerial Meeting was held on 17 September 2020 through video conferencing.
  29. The fourth edition of the Global Ayurveda Summit was inaugurated by the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu through video-conferencing on 15 September 2020.
  30. 10th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Security will be held today, September 17, 2020. The virtual meeting would be chaired by Russia.
  31. India, Brazil and South Africa jointly called comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council at the IBSA Foreign Ministers’ virtual meeting on September 16, 2020.
  32. The Indian cities have witnessed a significant drop in their rankings in the Smart City Index 2020, a global list of smart cities, prepared by the Institute for Management Development (IMD).
  33. The World Bank has released the annual Human Capital Index on September 17, 2020. In the index, India has ranked 116th position with its score of 0.49.
  34. In Gujarat, Industry Department and the Small Industries Development Bank of India- SIDBI entered into a MoU to encourage the MSME sector in the State.
  35. State-run engineering firm BHEL announced it tie up with SwissRapide AG to bring Maglev trains (magnetic levitation) to India.
  36. Mastercard Incorporated MA and SBM Bank India have collaborated to launch SBM World Debit Card, a premium and exclusive card.
  37. New York-based Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been chosen to be honoured with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive ‘FeedIndia’.
  38. Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, whose sweeping body of work includes “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a depiction of a nightmarish totalitarian future for the United States, has won the top honor among the international Dayton Literary Peace Prizes.
  39. The Union Food Processing Industries Minister Shrimati Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned over the protest against the three farm sector bills.
  40. Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javdekar and Vice President Shyam Jaju inaugurated a website and released an e-book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday.
  41. Amitabha Ghosh, the shortest-serving Governor of the Reserve Bank of India passed away at the age of 90 days.
  42. Tamil Nadu based prominent Indian Ayurveda physician PR Krishnakumar has passed away. He was 69.
  43. Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka, Ashok Gasti passed away due to COVID-19.
  44. Byju’s, a Bengaluru based edtech company, has launched a social initiative ‘Education for All’.
  45. India opened its first exclusive private jet terminal at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

World Water Monitoring Day Observed on September 18

  • The World Water Monitoring Day is observed every year on September 18 since 2003 to increase public awareness and involvement in water monitoring and protecting water resources around the world.
  • Theme for 2020 WWMD is ‘Solve Water.’
  • The day was established in 2003 by America’s Clean Water Foundation (ACWF) as a global educational outreach program by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.
  • The event is now coordinated by the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association.

Extra Shots:

International Water Association

  • Headquarters location: London, United Kingdom
  • Founded: 1998
  • Type of business: Professional association
  • Method: Conferences, publications, interest groups, task forces, forums
  • Focus: Sustainable water management
  • Subsidiary: IWA Publishing Limited

Water Environment Federation

  • Founded: 1928
  • Headquarters: Virginia, United States

World Bamboo Day observed on 18 September

  • World Bamboo Day is observed every year on 18 September to raise awareness of the benefits of bamboo and to promote its use in everyday products.
  • WBD was officially declared by the World Bamboo Organization on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress held in Bangkok in 2009.
  • The theme for 11th edition of WBD 2020 is ‘BAMBOO NOW.’

Extra Shots:

World Bamboo Organization

  • Headquarters location: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Founded: 2005

BANKING & FINANCE 

Lok Sabha passes bill to bring Cooperative Banks under RBI

  • The Lok Sabha on September 16, 2020 passed an amendment bill to the Banking Regulation Act to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI.
  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 replaces an ordinance that was issued on June 26, 2020.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the legislation is for depositors’ safety and not for undermining powers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.
  • The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the Lok Sabha on September 14, 2020. The Bill amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 regulates the functioning of banks and provides details on licensing, management and operations of banks.

Extra Shots:

RBI

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founder: British Raj
  • Governor: Shaktikanta Das

Bandhan Bank launches new vertical named Emerging Entrepreneurs Business (EEB) to focus on small businesses

  • Bandhan Bank has launched a new vertical named “Emerging Entrepreneurs Business (EEB)” to focus on small businesses.
  • The vertical Emerging Entrepreneurs Business (EEB) will focus on microloans, micro home loans, micro bazaar loans, and micro-enterprise loans.
  • Kumar Ashish has been appointed as the head of Emerging Entrepreneurs Business (EEB).
  • He is a former executive of ICICI Bank.

Extra Shots:

Bandhan Bank

  • Headquarters: Kolkata
  • CEO: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh
  • Founder: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh
  • Founded: 2001
  • Chairperson: Anup Kumar Sinha

ICICI Home Finance launched “Apna Ghar Dreamz” Home Loan Scheme

  • The ICICI Home Finance launched “Apna Ghar Dreamz”, its new home loan scheme for skilled laborers like electricians, mechanics, painters, grocery store owners etc in the informal sector of Delhi.
  • The credit amount of this loan ranges from Rs 2 lakh to 50 lakhs.
  • This scheme targets the people of the informal sector without all the documents which are required to get a loan from a formal financial institution.
  • This scheme avails a special 20 year tenure loan which requires documents like, PAN, Aadhar and bank statement of past 6 month.
  • Customers should have a minimum account balance of Rs.1,500 for loan upto Rs.5 lakh and Rs.3000 for loan above 5 lakh.

Extra Shots:

ICICI Home Finance

  • Founded: 1999
  • MD & CEO: Anirudh Kamani
  • Chairman: Anup Bagch

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

IKEA Retail sets up global operations centre in India

  • Ingka Group, which handles retail operations of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, announced to open a global office at Bengaluru.
  • It will operate within the areas of Global Business Operations (GBO), Digital, and Centres of Expertise (CoE).
  • GBO is a capability and service organisation, responsible for implementing modern tools to meet growing business demands as well as to increase employee satisfaction.
  • The GBO is a key partner for group functions such as Finance, Digital, Procurement and People & Culture to transform, operate and continuously improve ways of working. IKEA launched Click & Collect Services in Hyderabad

Extra Shots:

IKEA

  • Founder: Ingvar Kamprad
  • Founded: 28 July 1943, Älmhult, Sweden
  • Headquarters: Delft, Netherlands
  • CEO: Jesper Brodin

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Centre allocates over Rs. 818 crore to promote online learning to mitigate effect of COVID-19 pandemic

  • Union Government has allocated more than Rs. 818 crore to promote online learning to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that over Rs. 267 crore have been allocated for online teacher training.
  • The internet access under Bharat Net scheme has been made available to government institutions and to improve the internet connectivity in rural areas.

Govt to infuse Rs. 20,000 cr into PSBs via recap bonds

  • State-run banks are poised to get ₹20,000 crore through recapitalization bonds this financial year, at a time the coronavirus crisis threatens to bump up bad loans across the banking system.
  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the first batch of supplementary demand for grants in the Parliament, reflecting additional expenses sought by various ministries beyond the budget allocations.
  • The government has sought the Parliament’s nod for additional cash expenditure of Rs 1.67 lakh crore, less than 1 percent of GDP, in the first supplementary demand for grants for FY21 tabled in the Parliament.

Cabinet approves Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor project from Palwal to Sonipat

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the Haryana Orbital Rail Corridor Project from Palwal to Sonipat via Sohna-Manesar-Kharkhauda.
  • This Rail Line will start from Palwal and end at the existing Harsana Kalan station (On Delhi-Ambala section).
  • Total length of the project is ~ 121.7 km
  • Estimated completion cost of the project is Rs. 5,617 crore.
  • The project is likely to be completed in 5 years.

Delhi Metro develops indigenous signalling technology under ‘Make in India’

  • The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Engineers Day took a major step towards the development of an indigenously-built CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) based signalling technology for metro railway with the launch of the i-ATS, which is an important sub-system of the signalling system.
  • i-ATS is the indigenously developed technology, which will significantly reduce the dependence of Indian metros on foreign vendors dealing with such technologies.
  • This prototype system as well as a state-of-the-art laboratory for further developing other sub- systems of the CBTC technology was inaugurated at Shastri Park.
  • DMRC has decided to use indigenous ATS (i-ATS) while upgrading the ATS of line 1 (Red Line) i.e. from Rithala to Shaheed Sthal, Ghaziabad.The same shall also be used in Phase-I

Global Initiative to reduce Land Degradation and Coral Reef program launched

  • The G20 Environment Ministers Meeting took place on September 16, 2020 as a part of the Sherpa Track for the G20 Leaders’ Summit 2020.
  • The summit was hosted by Saudi Arabia.
  • In the meeting, The Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation was launched.
  • Theme of the meeting has been selected as- “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”
  • The meeting was attended by Union Minister Prakash Javedkar.

The meeting addressed 3 key agenda under the theme:

  • Empowering People, by creating the conditions in which all people can live, work and thrive. Special emphasis given on women and youth.
  • Safeguarding the Planet, through collective efforts in order to protect the global commons
  • Shaping the New Frontiers, by adopting some long-term and bold strategies in order to share benefits of innovation and emerging technologies.

Government allocates over Rs. 818 crores to promote online learning to mitigate effect of COVID-19 pandemic

  • The Union Government has allocated more than Rs. 818 crores to promote online learning in order to alleviate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on education.
  • The Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank in a written reply in Rajya Sabha mentioned that over Rs. 267 crores have already been allocated for the online teacher training.
  • The Minister informed that the internet access under Bharat Net Scheme has been made available to the government institutions as well as to improve internet connectivity in rural areas.
  • Various initiatives such as Diksha Platform, PM e-Vidya, Manodarpan, and E-textbooks rationalization of the syllabus for examination were also started for the benefits of the students.

Govt targets to increase the number of Janaushadhi Kendras to 10500 by year 2025

  • Shri D V Sadananda Gowda, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers has informed that the Central Government has set a target to increase the number of Pradhanmantri Janaushadhi Kendras (PMBJK) to 10500 by the of March 2025.
  • PMBJK aims to provide quality medicines at an affordable rate for the common man, especially the poor.
  • With this all the districts in the country will have Janaushadhi   As on September 15, 2020 there are 6606 Janaushadhi  Kendras in India.

Atal Tunnel, World’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, connecting Manali to Leh ready after 10 years

  • World’s longest highway tunnel connecting Manali to Leh under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Panjal range of Himalayas on the Leh-Manali highway is now completed after 10 years.

Highlights:

  • The Tunnel is named after late and former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
  • The tunnel is at a height of over 10,000 feet.
  • The Atal tunnel has been constructed in a span of 10 years while the original estimated time to complete it was less than 6 years.
  • It’s the world’s highest tunnel situated at an altitude above 10,000 metres.
  • The Tunnel is 9 km long
  • The tunnel will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by up to 46 kms.
  • It will also reduce the travel time by upto 4 hours
  • Fire hydrants have also been installed inside the tunnel in case of any fire incident.

Power Minister R K Singh dedicates various projects of NHPC & PFC under CSR activities

  • Power Minister R K Singh dedicated various CSR projects of NHPC and PFC in Shahpur and Bihiya blocks of Bhojpur district in Bihar via video-conferencing.
  • The total cost of all these projects is about Rs 9 crore.
  • A total of 33 projects in Shahpur block and 39 projects in Bihayi block were dedicated during the programme.
  • Construction of PCC road at 55 locations
  • Community building and chabutras at 3 locations
  • Solar / LED / high mast lights at 7 locations
  • Construction of open gym at 2 locations
  • Construction of drainage system at 2 locations
  • Chhath Ghat at 1 location and library and community building at 2 locations

Education Minister confers 2nd Utkrisht Sansthan Vishwakarma Award in 14 categories to institutions under AICTE

  • Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has virtually conferred Second Utkrisht Sansthan Vishwakarma Award in 14 categories to the Institutions under AICTE on Vishwakarma Divas Celebration.
  • The Utkrisht Sansthan Vishwakarma Award aims to motivate, recognize and honor the AICTE approved institutions to raise their performance in the specific domain leading to significant contribution for the growth and development of the society.
  • The Committee shortlisted 103 institutions under 14 and out of 103 institutions, 34 were selected for the awards.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Karnataka Govt launches loan disbursal programme “Arthika Spandana”

  • Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa launched the “Arthika Spandana” programme on 16 September 2020, under which loans worth Rs. 39,300 crore would be disbursed through various cooperative institutions, for helping people during the times of COVID-19 and floods.
  • Of the total amount approved under the scheme, Rs. 15,300 crore would be disbursed to the agriculture sector while Rs. 24,000 crore would be earmarked for the non-agricultural sector.
  • The Chief Minister handed over cheques towards loans to 50 beneficiaries.

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.

Madhya Pradesh: Central discom first to adopt e-office in India

  • Madhya Kshetra Vidyut Vitran Company Bhopal is the first power Distribution Company in India in which e-office system is operated from corporate office to local circle offices level.
  • It has implemented e-file & e-correspondent system through NIC e-office.
  • More than a dozen IT applications are operational in central discom along with the e-office system.
  • In the e-applications created by the company, all the consumers of HT and LT, agricultural consumers, non-domestic consumers and other categories are being provided new connections along with increase/decrease in load through online application.

Extra Shots:

Madhya Pradesh:

  • Statehood Day: November 1, 1956
  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chauhan
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • National Park: Bandhavgarh NP, Fossil NP, Kanha NP, Madhav NP, Panna NP, Pench NP, Sanjay NP, Satpura NP

Madhya Pradesh Govt. launches Poshan Sarkar program

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched a ‘Poshan Sarkar’ program to ensure participation and leadership of local bodies-Gram Panchayats and Urban Bodies in the nutrition campaign.
  • The main objective of the Poshan Sarkar programme is to eliminate the malnutrition by helping the Gram Panchayat and the Urban Bodies in the nutrition campaign.
  • Various activities will be organized under this. Under the programme, nutrition resolution will be passed in all Gram Panchayats/ Nagar Panchayats /Urban Bodies.

Extra Shots:

Madhya Pradesh:

  • Statehood Day: November 1, 1956
  • Capital: Bhopal
  • Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chauhan
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • National Park: Bandhavgarh NP, Fossil NP, Kanha NP, Madhav NP, Panna NP, Pench NP, Sanjay NP, Satpura NP

Gujarat CM announces scheme to give interest-free loans to women’s groups

  • Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched Mukhyamantri Mahila Utkarsh Yojana (MMUY), a scheme of providing interest-free loans to women’s groups in the state.
  • Under the scheme, the government is expected to disburse interest-free loans to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore to women to help them become self-reliant (atmanirbhar).
  • Each group with 10 women members will be eligible for the loan.
  • As part of the scheme, the interest on the loans will be paid to the banks by the government.
  • This is expected to cost the state exchequer approximately Rs 170 crore.

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

Gujarat Approves Letter of Intent for World’s First CNG Terminal at Bhavnagar

  • The Gujarat government approved a letter of intent (LOI) for the world’s first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) terminal at Bhavnagar port with a proposed investment of Rs 1,900 crore.
  • The project will be developed jointly by UK-headquartered Foresight Group, Mumbai-based Padmanabh Mafatlal Group and a Netherland-based consortium.
  • Apart from the CNG terminal, the investors would also develop a Ro-Ro terminal (for roll-on/roll-off ships), liquid cargo terminal and container terminal at Bhavnagar.

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

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to dedicate Kosi Rail Mahasetu to the nation on September 18

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu on September 18, 2020, through video conference.
  • Apart from this, Prime Minister will also be inaugurating 12 Rail Projects related to the passenger facilities for the benefit of Bihar.
  • These projects will include two new railway lines, a new railway bridge on the Kiul river, five electrification projects, a third line project between Barh-Bakhtiyarpur, and one Electric Locomotive Shed.

Kosi Rail Mahasetu:

  • The Kosi Mega Bridge Line Project was sanctioned by the Indian Government during 2003-2004.
  • The Kosi Rail Mahasetu is 1.9 km long and the construction cost of the project is Rs. 516 crores.
  • The Kosi Rail Mahasetu is also of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border.
  • The project was completed during the COVID-19 pandemic where migrant labourers also participated in the completion of the project.

Himachal Pradesh CM inaugurates “Swachhata Cafe” in Solan district on PM’s birthday

  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur virtually inaugurated the “Swachhata Cafe” at Nalagarh in Solan district on the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Shimla.
  • The nation and the state is blessed to have Narendra Modi for guiding the nation and making it strongest amongst the comity of the nations.
  • ‘Swachhata Park’ is also being opened at Kufri in district Shimla. Apart from this, proposals for opening ‘Swachhata Cafes’ from different areas of the State were being considered by the State Government.
  • The Cafe is being operated by Laxmi and Durga women self help groups.

Extra Shots:

Himachal Pradesh:

  • State formed on: 25 January 1971
  • Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya
  • Chief Minister: Jai Ram Thakur
  • Official language: Hindi
  • Literacy Rate: 83.78%

Amazon India sets up all-women delivery station in Gujarat

  • E-commerce major Amazon India on it has set up an all-women delivery station in Kadi, Gujarat – its second such facility in the country.
  • The new all-women delivery station, operated by a delivery service partner, is part of the company’s efforts towards increasing participation of women in the workforce.
  • In 2016, the company had launched its first all-women delivery station in India, with its partner in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • The Delivery Service Partner program is a last-mile delivery model of Amazon India, where the company works with partners to leverage their local knowledge of the community.
  • The technological support is offered by Amazon India to facilitate deliveries.
  • This first-of-its-kind station in Gujarat is completely managed and run by women across managerial and delivery associate roles.
  • Amazon India has introduced several measures to ensure a safe workplace for women by creating awareness and building various feedback mechanisms to address concerns through open dialogues.

Extra Shots:

Amazon

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

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

New Zealand becomes first country to mandate climate risk disclosures

  • New Zealand has become the first country to pass legislation requiring financial entities to declare their climate-related risks.
  • Financial entities in New Zealand will have to comply with the framework laid down by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  • The rule will apply to banks, insurers, all listed debt and equity issuers.

Extra Shots:

New Zealand (Capital/Currency): Wellington/ New Zealand dollar

  • Prime Minister: Jacinda Ardern

Mexico issues world’s first sovereign bond linked to UN sustainable goals

  • Mexico has become the first country in the world to issue a sovereign bond linked to the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations.
  • It has raised EUR 750 million ($890 million) by such bonds.
  • The SDG bond will mature in September 2027 and offers a yield to maturity rate of 1.603% and a coupon rate of 1.350%.
  • This new bond was issued under Mexico’s new “SDG Sovereign Bond Framework,” which was released in February in partnership with French investment bank Natixis.

Extra Shots:

Mexico (Capital/Currency): Mexico City/ Mexican peso

  • President: Andrés Manuel López Obrador

US Government reveals plan to offer COVID-19 vaccine to all the US citizens free of cost

  • The Government of United States on September 16, 2020, unveiled its COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan which entails administering the drug to all the citizens of US free of cost.
  • Trump administration believes that a COVID-19 vaccine will be available as soon as in January 2021 and the distribution plans are being outlined in two documents that are released by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Defence.

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

Jaishankar Chairs IBSA Foreign Ministers’ Virtual Meeting

  • The IBSA Foreign Ministers customary meeting was held through video conferencing on 16th September, 2020.
  • The Union Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, Shri S. Jaishankar chaired the meeting.
  • South Africa was represented by FM Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor and Brazil by FM Ambassador Fabio Marzano.
  • During the meeting, the group issued a joint statement calling for ‘accelerated and comprehensive reforms’ of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), expressing frustration with the slow pace of progress on Council’s reforms in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations process which lacks transparency in its working methods.
  • IBSA is a Forum of three countries including India, Brazil and South Africa.

Extra Shots:

IBSA

  • Founded: 6 June 2003, Brasilia, Brazil

Prakash Javadekar attends G20 Environment Ministerial Meeting virtually

  • The G20 Environment Ministerial Meeting was held on 17 September 2020 through video conferencing.
  • The meeting was chaired by Saudi Arabia.
  • The Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar represented India in the meeting.
  • The meetings focused on various social and economic issues such as agriculture, anti-corruption, climate, digital economy, education, employment, energy, environment, health, tourism, trade and investment.
  • G20 consists of 19 individual countries and the European Union (EU).

Extra Shots:

Saudi Arabia (Capital/Currency): Riyadh/ Saudi riyal

  • King: Mohammed bin Salman

Fourth Global Ayurveda Summit organised virtually

  • The fourth edition of the Global Ayurveda Summit was inaugurated by the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu through video-conferencing on 15 September 2020.
  • The Global Ayurveda Summit 2020 has been organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), from September 15 to October 14, 2020.
  • This year the Summit will be held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The theme for Global Ayurveda Summit 2020 is “Emerging Opportunities for Ayurveda during Pandemic”
  • The Summit will provide a platform to showcase Ayurveda and herbal medicine to the world as a solution to deal with this global health crises.
  • The Global Ayurveda Summit 2020 will have 8-day International Conference, 30-day International Exhibition and Focused Business to Business Meetings.
  • Global Ayurveda Summit is an annual international event started by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Kerala in 2010 to help the Ayurvedic sector to aspire, plan and achieve greater heights.

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Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

  • President: Uday Kotak
  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Founded: 1895
  • Purpose: Create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India

10th virtual meeting of BRICS NSAs

  • 10th Meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Security will be held today, September 17, 2020.
  • The virtual meeting would be chaired by
  • The National Security Advisors of the BRICS nations will discuss the issues related to strengthening of the political security and cooperation among the BRICS nations.
  • Countries will also exchange their views on international security, biosafety, cooperation on counter-terrorism and cybersecurity.

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BRICS

  • Founded: June 2006
  • Formation: 2009
  • Official language: Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, English
  • State Leaders: Jair Bolsonaro; Vladimir Putin; Narendra Modi; Xi Jinping; Cyril Ramaphosa
  • Founders: India, China, Brazil, Russia

India, Brazil, South Africa jointly call for comprehensive reforms of UNSC

  • India, Brazil and South Africa jointly called comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council at the IBSA Foreign Ministers’ virtual meeting on September 16, 2020.
  • The customary meeting of IBSA Foreign Ministers was chaired by Union External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and attended by his Brazilian counterpart Fabio Marzano and South African Counterpart Grace Naledi Mandisa Pandor.
  • During the meeting, the foreign ministers of the three-nation group- India, Brazil and South Africa adopted a joint statement on the Reform of the UN Security Council, as a common endeavour of the Global South.

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UNSC

  • Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
  • Founded: 24 October 1945
  • Formation: 1945
  • Subsidiaries: MINUSCA, United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee
  • Parent organization: United Nations

Brazil (Capital/Currency): Brasilia/ Brazilian real

  • President: Jair Bolsonaro

RANKS AND INDICES

Singapore Tops IMD’s Global Smart City Index 2020, Hyderabad top Indian City

  • The Indian cities have witnessed a significant drop in their rankings in the Smart City Index 2020, a global list of smart cities, prepared by the Institute for Management Development (IMD).
  • The Smart City Index is prepared by the Institute for Management Development, in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD).
  • The index has been topped by Singapore, followed by Helsinki and Zurich as top three smart cities.
  • In the 2020 Smart City Index, Hyderabad was the top Indian city, placed at the 85th position.

List of Indian cities in the index

  • Hyderabad – 85 (67th in 2019)
  • New Delhi -86 (68th in 2019),
  • Mumbai -93 (78th in 2019),
  • Bengaluru -95 (79th in 2019).

World Bank’s Human Capital Index 2020: India Ranks 116th

  • The World Bank has released the annual Human Capital Index on September 17, 2020.
  • In the index, India has ranked 116th position with its score of 0.49.
  • In 2019, India’s rank is 115 out of 157 countries.
  • The report highlights that, there has been a major decline in remittances.
  • It also reports that total income has declined by 11% to 12%.
  • According to the report, more than 1 billion children are out of school amid the covid-19.
  • Health services to women and children have been disturbed.
  • Children are unable to get their crucial vaccinations.

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World Bank

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • President: David Malpass
  • Parent organization: World Bank Group
  • Membership: 189 countries (IBRD); 173 countries (IDA)
  • Founders: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White

AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

SIDBI enters into MoU to encourage MSME sector in Gujarat

  • In Gujarat, Industry Department and the Small Industries Development Bank of India- SIDBI entered into a MoU to encourage the MSME sector in the State.
  • The MoU with SIDBI is intended to provide financial assistance, capital subsidy, interest subsidy, patent assistance, technology transfer and acquisition, innovation to provide financial assistance, market support, innovation, technology transfer and build capacity to compete in the global market.

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SIDBI

  • Headquarters location: Lucknow
  • Founded: 2 April 1990
  • CMD : Mohammad Mustafa

BHEL ties up with SwissRapide AG to bring Maglev trains to India

  • State-run engineering firm BHEL announced it tie up with SwissRapide AG to bring Maglev trains (magnetic levitation) to India.
  • The Maglev Rail system hovers in the air instead of rolling, due to magnetic levitation, thus the vehicles have no physical contact with the guideway.
  • This enables the system to be highly energy efficient, allows operating speeds of easily up to 500 km/h and significantly reduces the total cost of system ownership.

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BHEL

  • CEO: Nalin Singhal
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Founder: Government of India
  • Founded: 1964
  • Owner: Government of India (63.17%)

SBM bank ties-up with Mastercard, launches SBM world debit card

  • Mastercard Incorporated MA and SBM Bank India have collaborated to launch SBM World Debit Card, a premium and exclusive card.
  • This card will be custom-built and offered to SBM Private Wealth customers on request.
  • The SBM World Debit Card will club niche banking solutions and carefully curated lifestyle privileges including some of the finest shopping and dining opportunities.
  • Customers can spend/withdraw money with this card in any foreign currency with 0% foreign currency mark-up fee.

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Mastercard

  • CEO: Ajaypal Singh Banga
  • Headquarters: Purchase, Harrison, New York, United States
  • Founders: Wells Fargo, Crocker National Bank, First Interstate Bancorp, Bank of California

SBM Bank

  • Headquarters: Port Louis, Mauritius
  • CEO: Parvataneni Venkateswara Rao
  • Parent organization: SBM Holdings
  • Subsidiaries: SBM Bank Kenya Limited, Rafiki Microfinance Bank Limited

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL  AWARDS

Chef Vikas Khanna Named for 2020 Asia Game Changer Award

  • New York-based Michelin-star chef Vikas Khanna has been chosen to be honoured with the prestigious 2020 Asia Game Changer Award for feeding millions across India amid the COVID-19 pandemic through a massive food distribution drive ‘FeedIndia’.
  • The Asia Game Changer Awards was launched by the Asia Society, a US-based non-profit organization, in 2014, to identify and honor true leaders who make a positive contribution to the future of Asia.
  • Khanna is the only Indian among the six honourees named by the leading organisation.
  • Khanna coordinated his massive food distribution drive in India from thousands of miles away in his Manhattan home in New York.

Margaret Atwood Honoured With 2020 Dayton Literary Peace Prize

  • Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, whose sweeping body of work includes “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a depiction of a nightmarish totalitarian future for the United States, has won the top honor among the international Dayton Literary Peace Prizes.
  • Atwood would receive the 2020 Richard C.
  • Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award. She receives $10,000 as prize money.
  • The award celebrates the power of literature to create peace, social justice and understanding around the world

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

President accepts Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s resignation

  • The Union Food Processing Industries Minister Shrimati Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned over the protest against the three farm sector bills.
  • The President of India Ramnath Govind accepted the resignation under the advice of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
  • Further, under the advice of the Prime Minister, the President has directed the Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar to be assigned the charge of Ministry of Food Processing Industries.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

BJP inaugurates website & releases e-book on PM Modi

  • Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Prakash Javdekar and Vice President Shyam Jaju inaugurated a website and released an e-book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday.
  • People from several sectors contributed for the e-book.

OBITUARY

Amitabha Ghosh, who served as RBI governor for 21 days, passes away

  • Amitabha Ghosh, the shortest-serving Governor of the Reserve Bank of India passed away at the age of 90 days.
  • He had served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for 21 days between January 15, 1985 to February 4, 1985.
  • It was a stop-gap arrangement when Amitabha Ghosh was serving as a deputy governor of RBI and waiting to hand over charge to the 17th RBI Governor R N Malhotra.

Veteran Ayurveda physician from Tamil Nadu PR Krishnakumar passes away at 69

  • Tamil Nadu based prominent Indian Ayurveda physician PR Krishnakumar has passed away. He was 69.
  • Krishnakumar was the Founder and Managing Director of the iconic Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP) as well as the Chancellor of the renowned Avinashilingam University in Coimbatore.
  • The Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri award in 2009 for his contribution to medicine.

Rajya Sabha MP Ashok Gasti passes away

  • Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka, Ashok Gasti passed away due to COVID-19.
  • He was born in 1965 and belonged to Raichur district, Karnataka.
  • The first-time he took oath as Rajya Sabha MP on July, 2020.
  • He is credited for organising the BJP in Raichur district.

MISCELLANEOUS

Byju’s launches ‘Education for All’ to empower 5 mn children by 2025

  • Byju’s, a Bengaluru based edtech company, has launched a social initiative ‘Education for All’.
  • Objective: To empower 5 million children from underserved communities by 2025
  • Through ‘Education for All’, millions of children from underserved and economically deprived communities will get equal access to quality learning opportunities.

Extra Shots:

Byju’s

  • Founder: Byju Raveendran
  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters location: Bengaluru

India’s first private Jet Terminal at New Delhi

  • India opened its first exclusive private jet terminal at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport.
  • The Terminal was inaugurated by the Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
  • The airport will allow movement of 150 jets on daily basis.
  • The new terminal has capacity to handle over 50 passengers in an hour.
  • The new terminal has more than 57 dedicated Chartered aircraft parking bays.
  • It is spread over an area of eight lakh square feet.

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