Current Affairs Today 20th August 2020-Download in PDF

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Current Affairs Today – 20th August 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. The World Photography Day is celebrated on 19 August every year to promote photography as a hobby and also inspire photographers around the globe to share a single photo with the rest of the world.
  2. World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August annually to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented.
  3. Indian Akshay Urja Day or Renewable Energy Day is observed on 20th August every year.
  4. Every year on 20th August, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi is celebrated as Sadbhavana Diwas or Harmony Day.
  5. India Post has released a set of five commemorative postage stamps and a miniature sheet on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India on the occasion of 74th Independence Day.
  6. The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the setting up of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA).
  7. Union Minister of Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad launched “Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge- Innovate Solution for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat” on 18 August 2020.
  8. Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R. K. Mathur inaugurated a 60- metre span double lane motorable bridge over river Indus at Choglamsar.
  9. Uttar Pradesh state government has announced Electronic Manufacturing Policy 2020 in order to invite investment of Rs. 40,000 crores in the next five years as well as to generate four lakh direct employment in the state.
  10. All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Delhi Police to extend the Ayurveda Preventive and Promotive health services in the residential colonies of Delhi Police.
  11. Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the leading state in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atma-Nirbhar Scheme-PM Swa-Nidhi.
  12. The President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has announced his resignation on 19 August 2020, three years before his final term was due to end.
  13. The United States has handed over the second shipment of 100 new and state-of-the-art ventilators to India on August 19, 2020, in its fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  14. India will supply the COVID-19 vaccine to neighbouring country Bangladesh on a priority basis once it gets the nod and mass production starts.
  15. Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona has been sworn in as the 54th President of Dominican Republic.
  16. 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (5WCSP) was held virtually.
  17. India is home to 30% of the total organic producers and ranks first in the world in number of organic farmers and ranks ninth in terms of area under organic farming, 2.59% of the total organic cultivation area (57.8 million hectares).
  18. According to Knight Frank report, Bengaluru and the national capital ranked 26th and 27th, respectively, globally in annual price appreciation of luxury residential properties.
  19. Bharti AXA Life Insurance has entered into bancassurance partnership with SBM Bank India for distribution of life insurance products through the latter’s network.
  20. Muthoot Finance has tied up with Kotak Mahindra General Insurance to offer COVID-19 insurance cover of up to Rs 1 lakh against gold loan.
  21. Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), the subsidiary company of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired a majority equity stake in online pharmacy Vitalic Health Pvt Ltd and its subsidiaries (commonly known as Netmeds) for a cash consideration of around Rs 620 crore ($83.08 million).
  22. Andhra Pradesh government has announced teaming up with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and Canara Bank to empower over 15,000 village and ward secretariats with digital payments in the rural areas.
  23. DBS Bank India announced the appointment of Prashant Joshi as Managing Director and Head of National Distribution.
  24. Performance sports eyewear brand Oakley has appointed Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as its brand ambassador in India for a period of two years.
  25. Laura Marsh, England national women cricket team off-spinner, has announced her retirement from all forms of cricket.
  26. The National Sports Awards Committee has recommended the names of cricketer Rohit Sharma, table tennis champion Manika Batra, Paralympian Mariappan Thangavelu and wrestler Vinesh Phogat for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
  27. Environment Information System (ENVIS) of the Department of Environment of Chandigarh Administration has launched a new website.The URL of the website is http://chandigarhenvis.gov.in .
  28. Computer scientist Russell A. Kirsch, the inventor of the pixel, and developer of the first digital photograph. has passed away. He was 91 years old.
  29. Former British tennis player, two-time Grand Slam doubles champion and equal rights pioneer Angela Buxton has passed away. She was 85.
  30. Beloved U.S.-Swiss climate scientist and glaciologist Konrad “Koni” Steffen died while doing research in Greenland. He was 68.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

World Photography Day observed on19 August

  • The World Photography Day is celebrated on 19 August every year to promote photography as a hobby and also inspire photographers around the globe to share a single photo with the rest of the world.
  • The first official World Photo Day was observed on August 19, 2010.
  • The origin of World Photo Day comes from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837.
  • It was on August 19, 1939 that the French government purchased the patent of Daguerreotype process and announced the invention as a gift “free to the world”.

World Mosquito Day observed on 20 August

  • World Mosquito Day is observed on 20 August annually to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented.
  • The day also commemorates the discovery made by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross in 1897 that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
  • In 1902 Ross won Nobel Prize for Medicine becoming the first British person to receive the award.

Indian Akshay Urja Day celebrated on 20 August

  • Indian Akshay Urja Day or Renewable Energy Day is observed on 20th August every year.
  • Indian Akshay Urja is observed to mark the importance of renewable energy resources in India.
  • India’s government is aware of the importance of development or renewable energy sources to provide the state with a sustainable amount of energy.
  • It is significant to promote awareness about renewable resources among people who are ignorant about the subject.

Harmony Day or Sadbhavana Diwas observed on 20 August

  • Every year on 20th August, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi is celebrated as Sadbhavana Diwas or Harmony Day.
  • This year on 20th August 2020, we are going to celebrate the 76th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • The Indian National Congress instituted Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award in 1992, a year after his death.
  • Every year this day is celebrated in the memory of the late Rajiv Gandhi who was the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40 years.
  • In lieu of paying tribute to his vision for India, on this occasion contribution to society betterments are made.

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

India Post Issued Stamps on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

  • India Post has released a set of five commemorative postage stamps and a miniature sheet on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India on the occasion of 74th Independence Day.
  • The stamps depict following five cultural sites of India-Historic City of Ahmedabad, Churches and Convents of Goa, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Khajuraho Group of Monuments and Qutub Minar.
  • There are 38 World Heritage Sites located in India.
  • These include 30 cultural sites, 7 natural sites and 1 mixed-criteria site.
  • India has the sixth largest number of sites in the world.

Extra Shots:

UNESCO

  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Head: Audrey Azoulay
  • Founded: 16 November 1945, London, United Kingdom
  • Parent organization: United Nations Economic and Social Council
  • Formation: 4 November 1945

Cabinet approved setting up of National Recruitment Agency

  • The Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the setting up of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA).
  • The aim is to pave the way for a transformational reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs.

National Recruitment Agency (NRA):

  • NRA will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for Group B and C which is for non-technical posts.
  • NRA will have representatives of Ministry of Railways, Department of Financial Services of the Ministry of Finance, the Staff Selection Commission (SSC), the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and the Institute of Banking Service Personnel (IBPS).
  • It is expected that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing state-of-the-art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment.

Ravi Shankar Prasad launched Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge to boost Start-up

  • Union Minister of Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad launched “Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge- Innovate Solution for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat” on 18 August 2020.

Highlights:

  • The aim is to provide further impetus to the strong ecosystem of Start-up, innovation, and research in the country.
  • Under the aegis of Microprocessor Development Programme of Ministry of Electronics and IT, IIT Madras and Center for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC) have developed two microprocessors named SHAKTI (32 bit) and VEGA (64 bit) respectively using Open Source Architecture.
  • Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge – Innovate Solutions for #Aatmanirbhar Bharat aims to invite startups, innovators, and students to use these microprocessors.
  • The aim is to develop various technology products. Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge is part of the measures taken by the Ministry of Electronics and IT to spur the technology-led innovation ecosystem in the country.
  • The challenge is open to the students at all levels and startups, the Challenge demands contestants to tinker with these Swadeshi Processor IPs and facilitate them with innovating the frugal solutions for societal needs.
  • The participants can register at innovate.mygov.in. It is open from 18th August 2020 and culminates in June 2021.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Lieutenant Governor inaugurates motorable bridge in Ladakh

  • Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R. K. Mathur inaugurated a 60- metre span double lane motorable bridge over river Indus at Choglamsar.
  • The bridge has been completed at an estimated cost of 8.21 crore rupees Daily Current Affairs 1 August 2020under Central Road Fund.
  • The bridge connects over five major villages with Leh town.

UP Gov’t announces New Electronic Manufacturing Policy 2020

  • Uttar Pradesh state government has announced Electronic Manufacturing Policy 2020 in order to invite investment of Rs. 40,000 crores in the next five years as well as to generate four lakh direct employment in the state.
  • The newly launched policy will support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of achieving Zero import of electronic goods.
  • The policy will help in making UP a global electronics hub and will also attract international investors to shift their base to India post-COVID-19.

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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%

Dhanwantari Rath to bring Ayurveda at doorsteps of Delhi Police families

  • All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Delhi Police to extend the Ayurveda Preventive and Promotive health services in the residential colonies of Delhi Police.
  • The MoU was exchanged between Commissioner of Delhi Police S N Shrivastava and Pramod Kumar Pathak, Additional Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH.
  • The Dhanvantri Rath was flagged off on 18th August 2020.

Dhanwantari Rath:

  • Under the MoU, the services will be provided through a mobile unit named Dhanwantari Rath.
  • Dhanwantari Rath is a Mobile unit of Ayurveda health care services.
  • It consists of a team of Doctors who would be visiting Delhi Police colonies regularly.
  • diseases and also reduce the number of referrals to hospitals thereby reducing the cost to the healthcare system as well as patients.
  • Ayurveda Preventive and Promotive health care has been planned to be extended to the families of Delhi Police personnel.

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All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA)

  • Founded: 17 October 2017
  • Director: Prof. Dr Tanuja Nesari

MP emerges as leading state in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atma-Nirbhar Scheme

  • Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the leading state in the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atma-Nirbhar Scheme-PM Swa-Nidhi.
  • PM Swa-Nidhi is a Central Sector Scheme to facilitate street vendors to access affordable working capital loan for resuming their livelihoods activities.
  • Interest free loan of Rs 10 thousand has been sanctioned so far to 58 thousand 476 street vendors in Madhya Pradesh.
  • This is more than 47 percent of the total sanctioned cases of the country.

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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

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigns amid military coup

  • The President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has announced his resignation on 19 August 2020, three years before his final term was due to end.
  • The officers of the Malian Armed Forces began a military coup and arrested several government officials including President Keita,
  • The next day, President announced his resignation, saying he wanted “no blood to be spilled” to keep him in power.
  • Keita was first elected as the President in 2013 and again reelected after 5 years in 2018. His term was to end in 2023.

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Mali (Capital/Currency): Bamako/ West African CFA franc

United States hands over second shipment of 100 ventilators to India

  • The United States has handed over the second shipment of 100 new and state-of-the-art ventilators to India on August 19, 2020, in its fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The ventilators donated have been manufactured in the United States and are compact, easy to deploy, and will provide India with the flexibility in treating virus affected patients.
  • In addition to the ventilators, USAID has also been funding a package of support that includes warranties and the additional supplies that will be required to operate these machines such as filters, tubes, and other necessary components.

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USAID

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • Employees: 3,893 career U.S. employees (FY 2016)
  • Agency executives: John Barsa, Acting Administrator; Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator;
  • Founder: John F. Kennedy
  • Founded: 3 November 1961
  • Subsidiaries: Office of Transition Initiatives, Food for Peace, Office of Inspector General, U.S. Agency for International Development

India names Bangladesh to be a priority recipient for COVID-19 vaccine

  • India will supply the COVID-19 vaccine to neighbouring country Bangladesh on a priority basis once it gets the nod and mass production starts.
  • Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on his visit to Dhaka confirmed that Bangladesh will be a priority recipient once India gets the nod and starts the mass production of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Bangladesh (Capital/Currency): Dhaka/Taka

  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Official Language: Bengali

Luis Abinader becomes new President of Dominican Republic

  • Luis Rodolfo Abinader Corona has been sworn in as the 54th President of Dominican Republic.
  • He succeeds Danilo Medina of Liberation Party. Abinader’s Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) won the elections with 53% vote, while Gonzalo Castillo who was the candidate of the ruling PLD got 37.7%.

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Dominican Republic (Capital/Currency): Santo Domingo/Dominican Peso

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament held virtually

  • 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (5WCSP) was held virtually.
  • The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Geneva, and the Parliament of Austria jointly organized the two-day Conference with the support of the United Nations (UN).
  • The conference was held with the theme “Parliamentary leadership for more effective multilateralism” to deliver peace and sustainable development for the people and planet.
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla participated in the inaugural ceremony of the conference.

RANKS AND INDICES

India ranks first in number of organic farmers and ninth in terms of area under organic farming

  • India is home to 30% of the total organic producers and ranks first in the world in number of organic farmers and ranks ninth in terms of area under organic farming, 2.59% of the total organic cultivation area (57.8 million hectares).
  • Sikkim became the first State in the world to become fully organic and other States including Tripura and Uttarakhand have set similar targets.
  • North East India has traditionally been organic and the consumption of chemicals is far less than rest of the country.
  • Similarly, the tribal and island territories are being nurtured to continue their organic story.

Bengaluru Ranks 26th, Delhi 27th Globally in Annual Price Rise of Luxury Homes; Manila Tops Chart

  • According to Knight Frank report, Bengaluru and the national capital ranked 26th and 27th, respectively, globally in annual price appreciation of luxury residential properties.
  • Mumbai is at 32nd position, the consultant said in its ‘Prime Global Cities Index Q2 2020’ report.
  • While Bengaluru and Mumbai moved up by one place each, Delhi jumped five notches as compared with the previous report of Q1, 2020.
  • The Philippines capital Manila leads the index with prime home prices rising by 14.4 per cent over the 12 months to June 2020, followed by Japan’s Tokyo (8.60 per cent) and Sweden’s Stockholm (4.40 per cent).
  • Thailand’s capital Bangkok was the weakest-performing global city in the year to June 2020, with luxury home prices falling by 5.8 per cent.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

Bharti AXA Life, SBM Bank India enter into bancassurance partnership

  • Bharti AXA Life Insurance has entered into bancassurance partnership with SBM Bank India for distribution of life insurance products through the latter’s network.
  • Under this agreement, Bharti AXA Life Insurance will offer its entire suite of life insurance products, including protection, health, savings and investment plans, to the customers of SBM Private Wealth, the retail banking arm of SBM Bank India.

Muthoot Finance, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance tie up to offer COVID-19 cover

  • Muthoot Finance has tied up with Kotak Mahindra General Insurance to offer COVID-19 insurance cover of up to Rs 1 lakh against gold loan.
  • Muthoot Finance Ayush Gold Loan is an exclusive initiative of Muthoot Group through which they will provide complimentary COVID-19 insurance cover to their eligible customers.
  • This cover however will be available only for the customers availing gold loan under the Super Loan scheme.

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Muthoot Finance

  • Headquarters: Kochi
  • Founder: M George Muthoot
  • Founded: 1939, Kerala

Kotak Mahindra General Insurance

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founded: 2015
  • MD & CEO: Mahesh Balasubramanian
  • Parent organization: Kotak Mahindra Bank

ACQUISITION & MERGER

Reliance Retail acquires majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds for Rs 620 crore

  • Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), the subsidiary company of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired a majority equity stake in online pharmacy Vitalic Health Pvt Ltd and its subsidiaries (commonly known as Netmeds) for a cash consideration of around Rs 620 crore ($83.08 million).
  • This investment represents 60 percent holding in the equity share capital of Vitalic and 100 percent direct equity ownership of its subsidiaries namely Tresara Health Private Ltd, Netmeds Market Place Ltd and Dadha Pharma Distribution Pvt Ltd.

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RIL

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

Andhra Pradesh teams up with NPCI for digital payments in hinterlands

  • Andhra Pradesh government has announced teaming up with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and Canara Bank to empower over 15,000 village and ward secretariats with digital payments in the rural areas.
  • The initiative, aimed at providing impetus to digital payments among last-mile customers towards financial inclusion was launched by the chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, introducing UPI QR code in 15,004 village and ward secretariats.
  • The government has also designated a Digital Assistant, who will facilitate UPI payments for rural customers in the villages and transfer money to a common pool account where it is supposed to be credited.

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NPCI

  • Headquarters location: Mumbai
  • Founded: 2008
  • Number of employees: 1,000
  • Type of business: Section 8 Company
  • Founders: Reserve Bank of India, Indian Banks’ Association

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

DBS Bank India appoints Prashant Joshi as Managing Director and Head of National Distribution

  • DBS Bank India announced the appointment of Prashant Joshi as Managing Director and Head of National Distribution.
  • He will report to Surojit Shome, Managing Director and CEO of DBS Bank India Limited. Joshi was earlier Chief Operating Officer, IndoStar Capital Finance.

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DBS

  • CEO: Piyush Gupta
  • Headquarters: Singapore
  • Parent organization: DBS Group Holdings, Ltd.

SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS

Cricketer Rohit Sharma appointed new brand ambassador of sports eyewear brand Oakley in India

  • Performance sports eyewear brand Oakley has appointed Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as its brand ambassador in India for a period of two years.
  • Under this partnership, Sharma will sport the brand’s performance eyewear on and off the pitch.
  • With this appointment, Sharma joins the likes of athletes such as Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Milind Soman who have endorsed the brand before.

England’s World Cup-winning off-spinner Laura Marsh retires from all forms of cricket

  • Laura Marsh, England national women cricket team off-spinner, has announced her retirement from all forms of cricket.
  • The 33-year-old had announced her retirement from international cricket in December 2019.
  • Marsh had played in 103 one-day internationals, 67 T20 and 9 Test matches during her career
  • She was also part of England teams that won the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2009 and 2017.

Recommendation for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma, Vinesh Phogat, Manika Batra, Mariappan Thangavelu

  • The National Sports Awards Committee has recommended the names of cricketer Rohit Sharma, table tennis champion Manika Batra, Paralympian Mariappan Thangavelu and wrestler Vinesh Phogat for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

WEBPORTALS & APPS IN NEWS

Chandigarh administration launches new website

  • Environment Information System (ENVIS) of the Department of Environment of Chandigarh Administration has launched a new website.
  • The URL of the website is http://chandigarhenvis.gov.in.
  • Newly launched website has a fresh appearance & engaging features, and is developed on latest technologies.
  • The website is accessible to all, especially to Divyangjan, under accessible India campaign.
  • the website has the latest information about Environmental Notifications, Publications, Newsletters, Laws & Rules, Environment Education & Awareness and Activities Conducted by the Department.
  • Additionally, the website is also linked with various services such as Parivesh Environment Clearance, Sameer, Solar Chandigarh.

OBITUARY

Computer Scientist Russell A. Kirsch, who Invented Pixel, passes away at 91

  • Computer scientist Russell A. Kirsch, the inventor of the pixel, and developer of the first digital photograph. has passed away. He was 91 years old.
  • His pioneering contributions to computer science made digital imaging possible.
  • Kirsch created 172 x 172-pixel digital image of his son Walden in 1957, which became iconic, and was named one of Life magazine’s “100 Photographs That Changed the World” in 2003.
  • Kirsch also helped to develop the world’s first programmable computer, SEAC (Standards Eastern Automatic Computer).

British Tennis legend Angela Buxton passes away at 85

  • Former British tennis player, two-time Grand Slam doubles champion and equal rights pioneer Angela Buxton has passed away. She was 85.
  • Buxton won the women’s doubles alongside Althea Gibson. at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 1956.
  • Buxton also reached the singles final at Wimbledon 1956 but lost to American Shirley Fry.
  • Her tennis career was cut short at the age of just 22 due to a serious hand condition.

Renowned climate scientist Konrad Steffen passes away

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