Current Affairs Today 27th June 2020-Download in PDF

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Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs Today 27th June 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 – 27th June 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day is observed globally on 27th June every year since 2017.
  2. President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
  3. Covid-19 pandemic is likely to bring down India’s per capita income (PCI) by 5.4 per cent in the financial year 2020-21 (FY21) to Rs 1.43 lakh from Rs 1.52 lakh in FY20, suggests the latest report by the economic wing of State Bank of India (SBI).
  4. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt to provide Rs 20,000 crore of guarantee cover to two lakh micro, small and medium enterprises.
  5. NTPC Ltd will help Mali develop a 500 MW solar power park, a statement by the state-owned power generator.
  6. Secretary Department of Science and Technology (DST) Prof Ashutosh Sharma launched the official Logo for the Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year celebration.
  7. The Central government has allocated 4125 crore rupeesfor rejuvenating the Small, Medium and Tiny Industries sector in Tamil Nadu.
  8. Maharashtra State Government has introduced “Maha Parwana” plan to attract fresh investment in industries.
  9. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan has inaugurated a Product Application and Development Centre (PADC) set up by Indian Oil at Paradip, Odisha. PADC at Paradip with a CAPEX of Rs 43 crore (USD 6.10 billion), adjacent to its Refinery and Petrochemicals complex.
  10. As per a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and Gurugram headquartered Apollo Tyres Limited, the company will set up its new manufacturing unit at Chittoor district of the state.
  11. For 12,247 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and bigger industrial units (including the textile industry) in the state, the Gujarat Government on 26th June 2020 has launched an online cash aid initiative.
  12. As a part of one of the five aspects of the revised COVID-19 response plan of New Delhi, the Delhi Government jointly with National Centre for Disease Control will conduct the Sero Survey across the National Capital from 27th June 2020.
  13. Girish Chandra Murmu, the lieutenant governor of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), has rolled out 2 customized loan schemes of J&K Bank namely ‘J&K Bank Business Support Loan Scheme 2019-20’ and ‘J&K Bank Business Support Loan Scheme 2019-20 for Hotels and Guest Houses’ with the aim to overcome business challenges that have stemmed up due to the prevailing conditions.
  14. Uttar Pradesh government has decided to form a dedicated force for security of courts, metro rail, airports, industrial establishments, banks and other organizations in the state. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to constitute the Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) for this purpose.
  15. Nagaland Government has notified the implementation of the PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM-SVANidhi) in the State with immediate effect and till March 2022.
  16. The World Health Organization (WHO)-led coalition ACT-Accelerator announced that it needs $31.3 billion over the next 12 months to fight the CVOVID-19 and to develop and roll out tests, treatments and vaccines.
  17. Russian Company- S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (also known as RSC Energia) has announced that it will take the first tourist for a spacewalk in 2023.
  18. In a setback for Pakistan, the global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan in the Grey List’ for terror financing.
  19. The 36th ASEAN Summit held via teleconference in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  20. Times Higher Education (THE) has released the world’s young university ranking for the relatively newer generation of universities, which are 50 years old or younger.
  21. Swiss National Bank (SNB) has released ‘Annual banking statistics, 2019’. According to the latest SNB data, India has moved down three places to 77th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens.
  22. India and Germany held virtual Foreign Secretary level consultations yesterday. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office Miguel Berger discussed bilateral cooperation in various areas and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  23. Godfrey Phillips Indi Godf a has once again been recognized as amongst the top 50 India’s Best Companies to Work For 2020, an annual ranking of companies with exceptional people practices and workplace cultures.
  24. Indian Weightlifting Federation(IWLF) Secretary Sahdev Yadav informed that 2 time Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Weightlifter K. Sanjita Chanu will get the Arjuna award for 2018.
  25. Senior IAS officer Vini Mahajan assumed charge as Punjab’s first woman chief secretary on 26 June 2020. She replaced Karan Avtar Singh.
  26. Indian Navy (IN) has inducted indigenously developed Torpedo Decoy System on 26 June 2020.
  27. The Central Government has granted special financial powers of Rs 500 crore as emergency funds to armed forces for war preparedness amid ongoing border tensions with China.
  28. According to a poll conducted by Wisden India, Rahul Dravid is the greatest Indian Test batsman of all time.
  29. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
  30. An apparatus for ultraviolet sterilization of surfaces has been developed by Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology in Jalandhar to kill coronavirus.
  31. Yes Bank has partnered with UDMA Technologies to launched its digital wallet solution ‘Yuva Pay’ mobile app.
  32. Director Joel Schumacher, who is known for the film St Elmo’s Fire, two Batman movies, and Falling Down, passed away in New York. He was 80.
  33. Vir Chakra awardee, Sqn Ldr (retd) Parvez Jamasji passed away.
  34. The US Space Agency, NASA has announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, one of its history-making engineers.
  35. Battery Swapping Facility Quick Interchange Service (QIS) was inaugurated at Chandigarh jointly by V P Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab-cum-Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, alongwith the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day observed on 27 June

  • Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day is observed globally on 27th June every year since 2017.
  • This day is observed by the United Nations to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development and the global economy.
  • Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses celebrate this day in recognition of their work in local and global economies.
  • These enterprises, which generally employ fewer than 250 persons, are the backbone of most economies worldwide.

History

  • United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in its 74th Plenary meeting held on 6 April 2017 declared 27 June to be observed as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day so as to recognizes the importance of MSME in achieving sustainable development goals (SDG’s) and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.

Extra Shots:

UNGA:

  • President: Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
  • Abbreviation: GA; UNGA; AG
  • Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
  • Founder: United Nations
  • Founded: 1945, New York, New York, United States

BANKING & FINANCE 

President promulgates Banking Regulation Amendment Ordinance 2020 to ensure safety

  • President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.
  • It is in pursuance with the commitment to ensure the safety of depositors across banks.
  • The Ordinance will amend the Banking Regulation Act 1949 as applicable to Cooperative Banks.

Highlights:

  • The Ordinance will seek to protect the interests of depositors and strengthen cooperative banks by improving governance and oversight.
  • The ordinance will extend powers that are already available with RBI in respect of other banks to Co-operative Banks and for sound banking regulation, and by ensuring professionalism and enabling their access to capital.
  • The amendments do not affect existing powers of the State Registrars of Co-operative Societies under state co-operative laws.
  • The amendments do not apply to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) or co-operative societies whose primary object and principal business is long-term finance for agricultural development, and which do not use the word “bank” or “banker” or “banking” and do not act as drawees of cheques.
  • The Ordinance will amend Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act, to enable the making of a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of a banking company for protecting the interest of the public, depositors, and the banking system.
  • The ordinance will also secure its proper management, even without making an order of moratorium, so as to avoid disruption of the financial system.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s per capita income to decline by 5.4% in FY21: SBI report

  • Covid-19 pandemic is likely to bring down India’s per capita income (PCI) by 5.4 per cent in the financial year 2020-21 (FY21) to Rs 1.43 lakh from Rs 1.52 lakh in FY20, suggests the latest report by the economic wing of State Bank of India (SBI).
  • This decline in PCI is higher than the nominal GDP decline of 3.8 per cent.
  • Among states, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Gujarat will be the worst hit with PCI falling 15.4 per cent, 13.9 per cent and 11.6 per cent, respectively in FY21, the report says.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, and Manipur that are likely to witness the least drop in PCI during this period.

Extra Shots:

SBI

  • Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Founded: 1 July 1955

Ministry of MSME launched funding scheme of Rs. 20000 cr. to help the distressed MSMEs

  • Union Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Sub-ordinate Debt to provide Rs 20,000 crore of guarantee cover to two lakh micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • The funding scheme to help the distressed MSME sector entails a sub-debt facility to the promoters of those operational MSMEs that are distressed or non-performing assets (NPAs).
  • It is also called the ‘Distressed Assets Fund – Sub-ordinate Debt for MSMEs’.

Extra Shots:

MSME:

  • Founded: 2007
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Annual budget: 6,552.61 crores INR (2018-19 est., US$920 million)
  • Departments: National Small Industries Corporation, National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Officeholders: Giriraj Singh (MOS independent charge), Nitin Gadkari (Union Minister)

NTPC to help Mali develop 500 MW solar park

  • NTPC Ltd will help Mali develop a 500 MW solar power park, a statement by the state-owned power generator.
  • India’s largest power generation utility has been awarded the project management consultancy contract by the West African nation, making it the second country after Togo to do so.
  • This comes in the backdrop of Indian state-owned firms including Solar Energy Corporation of India’ plan to land overseas business under the aegis of International Solar Alliance (ISA), as China continues to co-opt countries into its ambitious One Belt One Road initiative.

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

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

DST launches Logo for the celebration of Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year

  • Secretary Department of Science and Technology (DST) Prof Ashutosh Sharma launched the official Logo for the Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year celebration.
  • DST under the Ministry of Science & Technology has announced many activities like special lecture series of 15-20 lectures in the form of webinars and short feature films on each Autonomous Institutions for the year.

Highlights:

  • DST has been directed to use AI to the newly launched 50 Year logo by representing it on banners in conferences held in the institutes.
  • The institutions will co-brand the lecture series with the DST logo to create greater awareness about 50 years of existence of DST.
  • Institutes with facilities like museums will make a digital walkthrough or virtual tour that gives a realistic version of the work.
  • DST will hold lecture series, bringing out publications, documentaries, updating Wikipedia pages of Survey of India, and Autonomous Institutions under DST and events by DST autonomous organizations in India.

Extra Shots:

DST:

The Department of Science and Technology is a department within the Ministry of Science and Technology in India.

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Founded: May 1971
  • Subsidiary: National Innovation Foundation – India

Centre allocates Rs 4125 cr to rejuvenate Small, Medium & Tiny Industries sector in Tamil Nadu

  • The Central government has allocated 4125 crore rupeesfor rejuvenating the Small, Medium and Tiny Industries sector in Tamil Nadu.
  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapadi Palanisamy told that this forms 10 per cent of the total allocation of the scheme.
  • He said that the scheme is being effectively implemented in the state.

Extra Shots:

Tamilnadu

  • Capital: Chennai
  • Chief Minister: Edappadi K.Palanisamy
  • Governor: Banwarilal Purohit
  • Chief Justice of Madras High Court: Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani
  • National Park: Guindy NP,Gulf of Mannar Marine NP, Indira Gandhi (Annamalai) NP,             Mudumalai NP, Mukurthi NP.

STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Maharashtra Govt introduced “Maha Parwana” plan to boost investment

  • Maharashtra State Government has introduced “Maha Parwana” plan to attract fresh investment in industries.
  • This plan will offer incentives and a single-window clearance system.

Highlights:

  • The companies with investment proposals for Rs.50 crore or more will get relaxation on getting clearances from multiple departments with assurance letters (Maha Parwana).
  • These companies should apply at the Maharashtra Industry, Trade and Investment Facilitation Cell (MAITRI), single window system and get online permission within 48 hours.
  • The industries enrolled under the Maha Parwana will get the 25 odd statutory permissions and clearances from the other state departments within 30 days. If the clearance is not provided within 30 days it will be automatically deemed as cleared.
  • For the existing and new industries, the state government has proposed to provide “plug and play” infrastructure to support the investors and reduce the capital investment.

Extra Shots:

Maharashtra:

  • Capital: Mumbai
  • Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray
  • Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
  • National Parks: Chandoli National Park, Nawegaon National Park, Gugamal National Park, Pench National Park, Sanjay Gandhi (Borivilli) National Park, Tadoba National Park
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Amba Barwa WLS, Bor WLS, Great Indian Bustard WLS,

Lonar WLS, Melghat WLS, Gangewadi New Great Indian Bustard WLS, etc.

Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates PADC at Paradip, Odisha

  • Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan has inaugurated a Product Application and Development Centre (PADC) set up by Indian Oil at Paradip, Odisha. PADC at Paradip with a CAPEX of Rs 43 crore (USD 6.10 billion), adjacent to its Refinery and Petrochemicals complex.

PADC:

  • PADC, Paradip is recognized as a research centre by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt of India. PADC will act as an incubation centre for new entrepreneur development in and around Odisha in the field of Plastics.
  • The centre will render assistance to customers and investors in product and application development for polymer finished products such as moulded furniture, houseware, woven sacks for packaging cement, fertiliser, healthcare applications like baby diaper, personal protective suit, mask etc.
  • The centre will complete testing and formative exercises for financial specialists of Paradeep Plastic Park and different bunches like Balasore and Khurda.
  • The middle will bestow imperative item and procedure preparing for the forthcoming and sprouting financial specialists including handholding exercises for plant set-up, choice of hardware and material.
  • PADC will give quality confirmation, objection taking care of, client care, benchmarking examines, new and speciality grade improvement, and application advancement exercises.

There are 4 laboratories in PADC namely:

  • Polymer Processing Lab
  • Analytical Testing Lab
  • Chemical Analysis Lab
  • Characterisation Lab

Extra Shots:

IOC:

  • Chairperson: Sanjiv Singh
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Apollo Tyres commissions its Andhra Pradesh Manufacturing Plant

  • As per a 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and Gurugram headquartered Apollo Tyres Limited, the company will set up its new manufacturing unit at Chittoor district of the state.
  • The foundation stone of the manufacturing plant was laid on 9th January 2018 by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
  • On 25th June 2020, the company has announced the commissioning of the Manufacturing plant that is spread over 256 acres.
  • Rs 3,800 crores were invested for setting up the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
  • Globally, this is the 7th manufacturing unit of Apollo Tyres and the 5th in India.
  • For setting up the highly automated manufacturing plant that will cater to both domestic and international markets, It took 12 million (1.2 crores) man-hours of construction work, 35 million tonnes of steel used and 1.23 lakh cubic metre of concrete used.

Extra Shots:

Apollo Tyres

  • Headquarters: Gurugram
  • Chairperson: Onkar Singh Kanwar

‘At One Click’ Initiative launched by Gujarat Government for MSMEs & Other Bigger Industries

  • For 12,247 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and bigger industrial units (including the textile industry) in the state, the Gujarat Government on 26th June 2020 has launched an online cash aid initiative.
  • The initiative is named as ‘At One Click’. The initiative was launched by the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani.
  • By transferring Rs 768 crore directly into the bank accounts of 12,247 MSMEs the initiative was launched.
  • Bigger industrial units that include textile industries as well will be transferred Rs 601 crore under the initiative.
  • The Chief Minister at the launch of the initiative has informed that 1.3 lakh loan applications from MSMEs and other industries have been received in the state under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package of the Central Government.
  • The total loan amount of Rs 8,200 crore has been sanctioned as per the as per the applications received to date, out of this, Rs 4,175 crore has already been disbursed.

Objective

  • Through the initiative, the State Government looks to restore the former vibrancy of the state by motivating sectors such as MSME, traders, bigger industries, and businesses.
  • The online initiative is to encourage these sectors for taking up the challenge that the COVID-19 crisis has bought and and convert this into an opportunity.

About the Initiative

  • ‘At One Click’ is an online aid initiative for which the Gujarat Government has committed Rs 1,369 crore of financial aid for the MSMEs and bigger industrial units (including the textile industry).

Sero-Survey begins in New Delhi to determine the Spread of COVID-19

  • As a part of one of the five aspects of the revised COVID-19 response plan of New Delhi, the Delhi Government jointly with National Centre for Disease Control will conduct the Sero Survey across the National Capital from 27th June 2020.
  • Amidst a rising number of COVID-19 cases over the last one month, the Survey will help in determining the extent of spread of the Coronavirus disease in New Delhi. 20,000 residents will be covered under the Survey from all the 11 districts of New Delhi.

 Sero-Survey

  • ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) based antibody kit developed by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) will be used for the Survey.
  • A pilot Sero Survey was conducted in New Delhi by using the antibody kit earlier in the month. Good results were yielded during the pilot Survey by using the anti-body Kit.
  • The antibody kit of NIV is known by the name ‘COVID Kavach ELISA’.
  • A Sero Survey is for determining the presence of antibodies in the blood sample of an individual.
  • The presence of the COVID-19 Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody in the blood sample of an individual will suggest past exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

Lt Governor G C Murmu Launches Two Customized Loan Schemes of J&K Bank For Business Communities

  • Girish Chandra Murmu, the lieutenant governor of the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), has rolled out 2 customized loan schemes of J&K Bank namely ‘J&K Bank Business Support Loan Scheme 2019-20’ and ‘J&K Bank Business Support Loan Scheme 2019-20 for Hotels and Guest Houses’ with the aim to overcome business challenges that have stemmed up due to the prevailing conditions.

J&K Bank Business Support Loan Scheme 2019-20:

  • Valid up to October 31, 2020, this loan scheme offers 10% enhancement in existing working capital limit in the form of a 3 year working capital term loan (including one year moratorium on principal) with a maximum limit of Rs 5 cr for SMA2 (special mention accounts 2) borrowers and Rs 20 cr for other standard loans including SMA1 (special mention accounts 1).

J&K Bank Business Support Loan Scheme 2019-20 for Hotels and Guest Houses:

  • Valid up to October 31, 2020, this loan scheme has been disbursed with an interest rate of just 8.80% per annum which has been linked with 3 year MCLR (Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate- means an internal reference rate for banks fixed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with a markup of only 50 bps (basis points).
  • The quantum of finance of this scheme has been linked with recurring fixed expenses for preceding 9 months of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with an upper cap of Rs. 2.00 cr (including one year initial moratorium on principal) with a maximum allowed repayment period of 36 months.
  • All J&K bank customers i.e. Government recognized/registered hotels and guest houses are eligible under this scheme including the SMA1 and SMA2 borrowers.

Extra Shots:

Jammu & Kashmir Bank:

  • Headquarters: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Chairman and Managing Director (CMD): R K Chhibber

UP Government to form a dedicated force for industrial security

  • Uttar Pradesh government has decided to form a dedicated force for security of courts, metro rail, airports, industrial establishments, banks and other organizations in the state. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to constitute the Uttar Pradesh Special Security Force (UPSSF) for this purpose.
  • There is demand for special security force for district courts, metro rail, airports, industrial institutions, banks and other financial institutions, and for this the UPSSF should be constituted which can work professionally and ensure security.
  • The force will be given special training and will be provided with security equipment.
  • It can be placed at important establishments including religious places.

Extra Shots:

Uttar Pradesh:

  • Capital: Lucknow
  • Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel
  • State formed in: 24 January 1950
  • Literacy Rate: 67.68%
  • Nation Park: Dudhwa National Park

Nagaland Govt notifies implementation of PM-SVANidhi in State with immediate effect

  • Nagaland Government has notified the implementation of the PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM-SVANidhi) in the State with immediate effect and till March 2022.
  • PM-SVANidhi is a Special Micro-Credit facility for Street Vendors in urban areas, including surrounding peri-urban and rural areas vending in the geographical limits of the Urban Local Bodies in the State.
  • The Scheme will be available to all street vendors engaged in vending in urban areas as on or before 24th March, 2020.
  • The Street Vendors will be eligible to avail a collateral-free working capital loan of up to 10 thousand rupees repayable in monthly instalments in the tenure of one year.
  • On timely repayment of the loan an interest subsidy at the rate of 7 per cent per annum will be credited to the Bank Accounts of beneficiaries through Direct Benefit on quarterly basis.
  • The lending Institutions under the Scheme include, Scheduled Commercial Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, Non-Banking Finance Companies, Micro Finance Institutes and SHG Banks.
  • Meanwhile, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will be implementation partner for the Scheme.

  Extra Shots:

Nagaland:

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

 INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

WHO-led coalition ACT-Accelerator needs USD 31.3 billion to fight against COVID-19 pandemic

  • The World Health Organization (WHO)-led coalition ACT-Accelerator announced that it needs $31.3 billion over the next 12 months to fight the CVOVID-19 and to develop and roll out tests, treatments and vaccines.

Highlights:

  • As per the report, $3.4 billion had been collected of which $13.7 billion was urgently needed. It leaves the organization with a funding gap of $27.9 billion.
  • ACT initiative aims to scale up delivery of 500 million tests and 245 million courses of treatments to low- and middle-income countries by mid-2021.
  • It also aims to deliver 2 billion vaccine doses, including one billion to be bought by low- and middle-income countries, by the end of 2021.
  • WHO is currently working with a large coalition of drug-development, funding, and distribution organizations under the ACT-Accelerator Hub.
  • ACT-Accelerator initiative updated that the WHO and global health groups stated that the COVID-19 pandemic still threatens millions of lives and scores of economies.
  • WHO stated that the investment required is significant, but it pales in significance when compared to the cost of COVID-19.
  • The total cost of the ACT-Accelerator’s work is less than a tenth of the IMF estimate of the global economy is losing every month due to the covid-19 pandemic.

ACT-Accelerator:

  • The coalition is known as Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator initiative. The ACT-Accelerator was launched in April 2020. Under WHO’s global initiative, many public and private organizations are involved in drug-development to funding and distribution to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Extra Shots:

WHO:

  • Heads: Tedros Adhanom, Soumya Swaminathan, Jane Ellison
  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founded: 7 April 1948
  • Parent organization: United Nations Economic and Social Council

Russia’s Energia plans to take First Tourist on Space Walk in 2023

  • Russian Company- S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (also known as RSC Energia) has announced that it will take the first tourist for a spacewalk in 2023.
  • The announcement came after RSC Energia has signed a deal with Space Adventures (space tourism company in the United States). RSC Energia is a part of the Roscosmos (Russia’s space agency).
  • As per the deal, two tourists will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in the year 2023 under the joint agreement of both the companies.
  • From the end of RSC Energia, one of the two tourists will be able to do a spacewalk together with a cosmonaut from Roscosmos.

Extra Shots:

Russia (Capital/Currency): Moscow/ Russian Rouble

  • President: Vladimir Putin
  • Official Language: Russian

Terror financing watchdog FATF decides to continue Pakistan in Grey List

  • In a setback for Pakistan, the global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan in the Grey List’ for terror financing.
  • The decision has been taken as Pakistan has failed to check flow of money to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
  • The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu. Now, Pakistan will continue to remain in the Grey List till FATF’s next meeting to be held in October.
  • India has been maintaining that Pakistan extends regular support to terror groups like LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen, whose prime target is India, and has urged FATF to take action against Islamabad.
  • The FATF currently has 39 members including two regional organizations — the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.

Extra Shots:

FATF

  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • President: Xiangmin Liu
  • Membership: 39
  • Purpose: Combat money laundering and terrorism financing
  • Founder: Group of Seven
  • Founded: 1989

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

36th ASEAN Summit held virtually, “hosted” by Vietnam

  • The 36th ASEAN Summit held via teleconference in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Vietnam, as the ASEAN Chair, is to emphasize unity in the region to respond to current challenges, and it is expected that ASEAN leaders will discuss cooperation on public health, and draft a plan for post COVID-19 rehabilitation.
  • With the theme “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”, the summit discuss the regional comprehensive post-pandemic recovery plans, implement initiatives including establishing the ASEAN COVID-19 response fund, setting up a reserve for medical supplies to meet urgent needs during epidemics, building the ASEAN standard procedures of epidemic response in case of health emergency.

Extra Shots:

The ASEAN Summit is a biannual meeting held by the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in relation to economic, political, security, and socio-cultural development of Southeast Asian countries.

  • Most recent: 2020
  • Genre: Summit
  • Inaugurated: 24 February 1976
  • Frequency: Bi-annual

RANKS AND INDICES

THE Young University Ranking 2020: IIT-Ropar best in country, two Indian institutes in global top 100

  • Times Higher Education (THE) has released the world’s young university ranking for the relatively newer generation of universities, which are 50 years old or younger.
  • The 2020 ranking includes 414 universities, up from 351 in 2019.
  • As many as two Indian universities made it into the top 100, while none could enter the ’50 under 50′ category.
  • The best among the youngest institutes in the country is IIT-Ropar at 62nd rank.
  • This is despite the institute having scored 0 per cent in the international students’ category.
  • The second in India is IIT Indore at 64th rank.
  • The best among the global varsities in the world is The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • Check global top 3 are The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University, Paris

Extra Shots:

Times Higher Education (THE):

  • Editor: John Gill
  • First issue date: October 1971
  • Category: Higher Education
  • Company: TES Global
  • Frequency: Weekly

India slips down at 77th  place in accounting money in Swiss banks

  • Swiss National Bank (SNB) has released ‘Annual banking statistics, 2019’. According to the latest SNB data, India has moved down three places to 77th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens.
  • However, many neighbouring countries are below India in the list. Among them, Pakistan is ranked 99th, Bangladesh 85th, Nepal 118th, Sri Lanka 148th, Myanmar 186th and Bhutan 196th.
  • India-based branches, accounting for just about 0.06 per cent of the aggregate funds parked by all foreign clients of Switzerland-based banks.
  • While Britain holds the first place in this list with a share of 27 % of the total deposits.

Top three countries:

  • 1st – United Kingdom (UK)
  • 2nd – United States(US)
  • 3rd – West Indies

Extra Shots:

Swiss National Bank

  • Ownership: Mixed ownership
  • Headquarters location: Zürich, Switzerland
  • Chairperson: Thomas Jordan
  • Central bank of: Switzerland
  • Founded: 17 July 1906

AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

India, Germany resolve to boost cooperation in combating COVID-19 pandemic

  • India and Germany held virtual Foreign Secretary level consultations yesterday. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office Miguel Berger discussed bilateral cooperation in various areas and exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest.
  • The two sides took stock of the extensive cooperation in addressing the challenges of COVID-19, including supply of medicines, equipment and technology.
  • They agreed to advance the various areas of bilateral cooperation and initiate consultations in the context of India’s upcoming membership of the UN Security Council (2021-22) and G20 Presidency (2022) and Germany’s present membership of the UN Security Council and forthcoming Presidency of the European Union.

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Germany (Capital/Currency): Berlin/Euro

  • Chancellor: Angela Merkel

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL  AWARDS

Godfrey Phillips India again bags the coveted title of Best Companies to Work For in 2020

  • Godfrey Phillips Indi Godf a has once again been recognized as amongst the top 50 India’s Best Companies to Work For 2020, an annual ranking of companies with exceptional people practices and workplace cultures.
  • Godfrey Phillips India participated for the second year and received a ranking of 29th, improving over the 37th position last year.
  • Max Life Insurance Company Ltd has been ranked 24th amongst India’s Top 100 Great Places to Work, making it the only life insurer to be recognised amongst India’s ‘Top 100 Great Places to Work For’ by Great Place to Work Institute (“GPTW”) in its 2020 study

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Godfrey Phillips India

  • Headquarters: India
  • Parent organization: Modi Enterprises
  • Founded: 1844
  • Key people: Bina Modi, Bhisham Wadhera

Cleared of Doping Charges, K. Sanjita Chanu to receive Arjuna Award

  • Indian Weightlifting Federation(IWLF) Secretary Sahdev Yadav informed that 2 time Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Weightlifter K. Sanjita Chanu will get the Arjuna award for 2018.
  • This comes after the International Weightlifting Federation(IWF) cleared her doping charges.
  • IWF has dropped the doping charges due to “non-conformities” in the handling of her sample.
  • The doping charges were cleared on the basis of recommendation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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IWF:

  • Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Interim President: Ursula Garza Papandrea

IWFL:

  • Headquarters: New Delhi, India
  • President: Birendra Prasad Baishya

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

Vini Mahajan becomes the first Woman Chief Secretary of Punjab

  • Senior IAS officer Vini Mahajan assumed charge as Punjab’s first woman chief secretary on 26 June 2020. She replaced Karan Avtar Singh.
  • She has become the first Woman Chief Secretary of Punjab.

Vini Mahajan:

  • Vini Mahajan is a 1987-batch IAS officer. Mahajan is the wife of the state’s director-general of police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta. Vini Mahajan will hold the additional charge of principal secretary, personnel, and vigilance.
  • Mahajan is an Economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She did her post-graduation from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

DEFENCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Indian Navy inducted indigenously developed Torpedo Decoy System

  • Indian Navy (IN) has inducted indigenously developed Torpedo Decoy System on 26 June 2020.
  • The Advanced Torpedo Decoy System Maareech was designed and developed DRDO labs, Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), and Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL).

Torpedo Decoy System:

  • Anti-Submarine Warfare capability of the Indian Navy has received a major boost with the conclusion of a contract for Advanced Torpedo Decoy System Maareech capable of being fired from all frontline warships.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited, a Defence PSU, will undertake the production of this decoy system.
  • The prototype of the system was installed onboard and a nominated naval platform had successfully completed all user evaluation trials and demonstrated the features as per the Naval Staff Qualification Requirements.
  • The induction is the joint resolution of the Indian Navy and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) towards the indigenous development of Defence technology.
  • This has given a major fillip to the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and the country’s resolve to become ‘Atmanirbhar’ in niche technology.

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DRDO:

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Motto: बलस्य मूलं विज्ञानम्; “Strength’s Origin is in Science” (Sanskrit)
  • Founded: 1958
  • Employees: 30,000 (5000 scientists)
  • Minister responsible: Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence
  • Subsidiaries: Gas Turbine Research Establishment, Defence Scientific Information & Documentation centre

Union Government Granted Rs 500 cr Emergency Funds to Armed Forces for War Preparedness

  • The Central Government has granted special financial powers of Rs 500 crore as emergency funds to armed forces for war preparedness amid ongoing border tensions with China.
  • Under this financial aid, the three defence services (Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force) can buy any weapon system or any in inventory upto Rs 500 cr in consultation with the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
  • As a part of financial power, the armed forces can procure weapons and military hardware at short notice to enhance their operational preparedness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a 3,500 km de-facto border between India and China.
  • The government has also decided to relax certain rules to reduce delays in military purchases such as allowing procurement of required weapons and equipment from a single vendor.

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Department of Military Affairs (DMA)

  • Parent department: Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS): General Bipin Rawat

SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS

Rahul Dravid beats Sachin Tendulkar in Wisden India’s poll

  • According to a poll conducted by Wisden India, Rahul Dravid is the greatest Indian Test batsman of all time.
  • Dravid beats Sachin Tendulkar by a narrow margin of votes in the final round of voting.
  • Dravid got 52 per cent of the votes, with as many as 11,400 fans participating within the final round of voting.
  • Dravid saw off Tendulkar within the final round of the voting by a narrow margin despite trailing at 42 per cent.
  • The poll initially had 16 Indian batting greats, with Sunil Gavaskar and Virat Kohli being the 2 others to possess made it through to the ‘semi-finals’.
  • Gavaskar beat Kohli within the ‘third-place play-off’ by a narrow margin.

Australia and New Zealand named as hosts of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

  • The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
  • The joint offer put together by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football got 22 of the 35 substantial votes cast by the FIFA Council individuals in the first voting form, with the Colombian Football Association having acquired 13 votes.
  • The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first edition to include 32 teams and it will likewise be the first to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand and across two confederations (AFC and OFC).

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FIFA:

  • President: Gianni Infantino
  • Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland
  • Founded at: Paris, France
  • Founded: 21 May 1904, Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, France
  • Senior Vice-President: Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa (AFC)
  • Subsidiaries: Confederation of African Football, United States Soccer Federation, Early Warning System GmbH

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CURRENT AFFAIRS

NIT Jalandhar develops apparatus to kill coronavirus

  • An apparatus for ultraviolet sterilization of surfaces has been developed by Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology in Jalandhar to kill coronavirus.
  • Fitted with ultraviolet radiation source, it can kill micro organisms of the likes of coronavirus and other bacteria.
  • This can be used to disinfect trains, railway stations, airports, shopping malls, offices, isolation wards of hospitals, etc.
  • The device is jointly invented by NIT Director Lalit Kumar Awasthi and his colleague Kuldeep Singh Nagla, Associate Professor, Department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering

WEBPORTALS & APP  IN NEWS

Yes Bank partners with UDMA to launch ‘Yuva Pay’ mobile app

  • Yes Bank has partnered with UDMA Technologies to launched its digital wallet solution ‘Yuva Pay’ mobile app.

Highlights:

  • Through this app, the bank enables contactless payments for its customers.
  • With the help of the app, customers can pay their utility bills (including municipal, house, water tax, electricity, LPG, DTH, Mobile bill, license fees), make insurance renewals, FASTag recharges, EMI payments, and use the app to make payments at retail outlets.
  • Besides, insurance renewal, fastag recharge, EMI payment, school fee can be paid through the facility.
  • The program also aims to make low-income groups transition to digital and contactless transactions by enabling wider access to secure electronic payment services.
  • Yuva Pay will also double up as a banking app for funds transfer, account balance check, recharges or top-ups, bill payments and rewards platform.

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UDMA Technologies Pvt Ltd:

  • Headquarters: Karnataka
  • Founder & Chief Executive Officer(CEO): Prashanth B

Yes Bank:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Managing Director(MD) & CEO: Prashant Kumar
  • Tagline: Experience our Expertise.
  • Founder: Rana Kapoor
  • Founded: 2004
  • Owner: State Bank of India (49%)

OBITUARY

‘Batman’ director Joel Schumacher passes away

  • Director Joel Schumacher, who is known for the film St Elmo’s Fire, two Batman movies, and Falling Down, passed away in New York. He was 80.
  • Schumacher started off as a costume designer for 1970s films. Schumacher then turned writer in the late ‘70s on Sparkle, Car Wash and film adaptation of Broadway musical The Wiz, and made his directorial debut in 1981 with sci-fi comedy The Incredible Shrinking Woman, featuring Lily Tomlin in the lead.
  • He is also credited for nurturing rising talent at the time like Matthew McConaughey (A Time To Kill), Colin Farrell (Phone Booth), Demi Moore and Rob Lowe (St Elmo’s Fire), Gerard Butler (Phantom of the Opera), among others

Vir Chakra awardee Sqn. Ldr. Parvez Jamasji passes away

  • Vir Chakra awardee, Sqn Ldr (retd) Parvez Jamasji passed away.
  • He was commissioned in 1965 and retired in 1985.
  • He was awarded the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
  • During the operations against Pakistan in December 1971, Flight Lieutenant Parvez Rustom Jamasji was serving with a helicopter unit.
  • His Helicopter flown by him was attacked twice by machine gun and twice by mortars.

MISCELLANEOUS

NASA headquarters to be renamed as Mary W. Jackson, one of its Hidden Figures

  • The US Space Agency, NASA has announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, one of its history-making engineers.
  • The information was passed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Mary W. Jackson:

  • In 1942, Mary W. Jackson graduated with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physical science from Hampton University, which is a historically Black university. She was a mathematician & aerospace engineer. She started the NASA career in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
  • In the year 1951, she was recruited by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which was succeeded in 1958 by NASA, where she worked until her retirement in 1985. She worked along with Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, two other history-making Black mathematicians, during the space race. The women’s stories were described in Margot Lee Shetterly’s 2016 nonfiction book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race.” The movie was adapted into a motion picture titled “Hidden Figures”. It was nominated for three Academy Awards.

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NASA:

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States Trending
  • Preceding agency: NACA (1915–1958);
  • Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Founded: 1 October 1958, United States
  • Administered by: Jim Bridenstine

Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated Battery Swapping Facility Quick Interchange Service in Chandigarh

  • Battery Swapping Facility Quick Interchange Service (QIS) was inaugurated at Chandigarh jointly by V P Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab-cum-Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, alongwith the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

Highlights:

  • Battery swapping technology will offer the best alternative to slow charging.
  • The facility will help the drivers to make optimum use of the operational hours.
  • The battery swapping model is initially targeted at the commercial segment, that is, electric autos, rickshaws, and electric 2W also and the electric vehicle (EV) which is either factory fitted or retrofitted.
  • Indian Oil has signed a non- binding Strategic cooperation document with M/s Sun Mobility to explore setting up of Energy infrastructure for EV through the Battery Swapping model across Indian Oil Retail outlets in select cities.
  • Indian Oil will run a Pilot and offering Smart Mobility Proprietary Solutions (SMPLs) to support and service vehicles comprising of e-rickshaws, e-karts, and e-bikes, and e-auto rickshaws up to 20 to 25 quick interchange stations in select cities across India.
  • The QIS will play a pivotal role in providing an alternative energy solution to the 3-wheeler segment and boosting India’s economic growth.
  • The initiative might bring a reform in the energy sector moving towards carbon-neutral culture.

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