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Current Affairs Today – 28th July 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. The World Hepatitis Day is observed on 28 July every year to raise global awareness of the burden of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.
  2. World Nature Conservation Day is observed on 28th July every year.
  3. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) agreed to partner toward a ‘green recovery’ for members confronting the harsh economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  4. The civil aviation ministry has set up a single-window clearance mechanism to expedite various investment proposals in the domestic aviation industry.
  5. Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched a World-Class Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet) under the Digital India initiative of the Government of India.
  6. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched its innovation contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on 27 July 2020, the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  7. The Cotton Corporation of India is holding surplus stocks of cotton.
  8. NASA has planned to launch a new mission ‘ASTHROS’, to observe wavelengths of light invisible from the Earth, in a bid to find answers about formation of giant stars in the galaxy.
  9. Maldives celebrated its 55th Independence Day on 26 July 2020.
  10. Tunisia’s interior minister, Hichem Mechichi has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the country.
  11. Defence Ministers Dialogue was held in New Delhi between India and Indonesia.
  12. Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has organised “2nd Empathy e-Conclave” in collaboration with Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  13. Telangana’s capital Hyderabad has found a place among the top 50 CCTV-surveilled cities in the world.
  14. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the All India Tiger Estimation Report-2018.
  15. India & the European Union have renewed its Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the next five years, 2020-2025, at the 15th India-EU Summit, held on 15 July 2020.
  16. The Department of Science and Technology has launched ‘India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialisation Programme’.
  17. India and the Maldives signed a contract to set up Geydoshu Mas Plant (Neighborhood Fish Processing Plants) at two of the islands – Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo in the Maldives.
  18. First edition of Indus Valley International Film Festival (IVIFF) will be held from 1st to 9th August.
  19. Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, AVSM, NM has assumed charge as the Commandant, Indian Naval Academy (INA).
  20. The silver medal which was won by the Indian 4×400 mixed relay quartet of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta has been upgraded to gold.
  21. Microsoft Corp and the NBA said they have joined forces to put “virtual” fans in the stands of each game using Microsoft’s Teams app and giant screens.
  22. Ministry of Earth Sciences launched the mobile App “Mausam” for India Meteorological Department.
  23. Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App BIS-Care.
  24. The former diplomat, and current Minister of External Affairs in the Government of India, S Jaishankar, is releasing his new book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”.
  25. Two-Time Oscar Winner, Olivia de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She was born on 1st July 1916, in Tokyo, Japan.
  26. The American actor, John Saxon passed away.

NEWS IN DETAILS

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

World Hepatitis Day observed on 28 July

  • The World Hepatitis Day is observed on 28 July every year to raise global awareness of the burden of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.
  • The day 28 July was chosen for World Hepatitis Day because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered hepatitis B virus (HBV).
  • He also developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus.
  • Theme of World Hepatitis Day 2020: ‘Find the Missing Millions’.

World Nature Conservation Day observed on 28 July

  • World Nature Conservation Day is observed on 28th July every year.
  • World Conservation Day is celebrated internationally to increase awareness about the best practices to protect our natural resources.
  • The Earth is supplied a limited amount of properties that we all rely upon each day like water, air, soil and trees.

BANKING & FINANCE

ADB partnered with GCF to Boost Green Recovery from COVID-19

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) agreed to partner toward a ‘green recovery’ for members confronting the harsh economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Under Strategy 2030, ADB will ensure that 75 percent of its committed projects will support climate change mitigation and adaptation by 2030.
  • Climate finance from ADB’s own resources will reach USD 80 billion cumulatively from 2019 to 2030.

Extra Shots:

ADB:

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

GCF:

  • Founded: 2010
  • Headquarters location: Songdo-dong, Incheon, South Korea

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

Government Sets Up Single-Window Clearance for Aviation Sector

  • The civil aviation ministry has set up a single-window clearance mechanism to expedite various investment proposals in the domestic aviation industry.
  • The setting up of the ICC was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in 2020-2021 Union Budget in February this year.
  • The 10-member ICC will be headed by Amber Dubey, joint secretary in the aviation ministry.

Ministry of Earth Sciences launched MoES-Knowledge Resource Centre Network

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) launched a World-Class Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet) under the Digital India initiative of the Government of India.
  • KRCNet will be a single point entry to MoES. Due to this, the traditional libraries of the MoES system will be upgraded into Knowledge Resource Centres (KRC).

Knowledge Resource Centre Network (KRCNet):

  • Using the KRCNet, the resources and services of the MoES system will be accessible 24X7 through a one-point dynamic, updated and integrated KRCNet portal.
  • The pilot project was developed at MoES headquarters which will be integrated with other MoES institutes.
  • KRCNet will establish a Total Quality Management (TQM) system by securing ISO certification for documenting MoESknowledge resources, its maintenance, easy retrieval, and dissemination.
  • It will develop and maintain an up-to-date meta-data of the print & digital resources available in MoES headquarter and MoES institutes, including MoES services.
  • KRCNet aims to provide 24X7 accesses to the subscribed knowledge contents through the KRCNet portal.

DRDO launched Dare to Dream 2.0 contest for innovators and startups

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has launched its innovation contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on 27 July 2020, the 5th death anniversary of former President and noted scientist Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • The scheme has been aimed for emerging technologies to promote the individuals & startups for innovation in defence and aerospace technologies in India.
  • The move is in line with ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dare to Dream 2.0:

  • Dare to Dream 2.0 is an open challenge to promote the innovators and startups of the country.
  • Under the initiative, the winners will be decided after due evaluation by an expert committee.
  • The winners will be awarded money, up to Rs.10 lakh for the startup, and Rs.5 lakh to the individual category.
  • The contest is for the Ignited Minds, whether innovators or startups.

Extra Shots:

DRDO:

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Motto: बलस्य मूलं विज्ञानम्; “Strength’s Origin is in Science” (Sanskrit)
  • Founded: 1958
  • Minister responsible: Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence

India to setup its own Cotton Warehouse in Vietnam to boost Exports

  • The Cotton Corporation of India is holding surplus stocks of cotton.
  • With the next harvest season approaching, the CCI is trying to boost exports.
  • To export the current stocks, India will sign Memorandum of Understanding with Bangladesh to export 1.5 to 2 million bales of cotton.
  • Also, the CCI will set up its own warehouse in Vietnam to boost cotton exports.

Extra Shots:

Vietnam (Capital/Currency): Hanoi/ Vietnamese dong

  • President: Nguyễn Phú Trọng

INTERNATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

To study Cosmos using football stadium-sized balloon, NASA to Launch ASTHROS Mission

  • NASA has planned to launch a new mission ‘ASTHROS’, to observe wavelengths of light invisible from the Earth, in a bid to find answers about formation of giant stars in the galaxy.
  • Under the mission NASA will send a telescope, on a football stadium-sized balloon, high into the stratosphere.
  • The telescope mission ASTHROS stands for Astrophysics Stratospheric Telescope for High Spectral Resolution Observations at Submillimetre-wavelengths
  • ASTHROS mission will spend about three weeks drifting on air currents above the icy southern continent to observe far-infrared light, or light with wavelengths much longer than what is visible to the human eye at an altitude of about 130,000 feet (40 km) roughly four times higher than commercial airliners fly.
  • The mission is likely to be launched in December 2023 from Antarctica, and will be managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Extra Shots:

NASA:

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Founded: 1 October 1958, United States
  • Deputy Administrator: James Morhard

Maldives celebrates 55th Independence Day on 26 July 2020

  • Maldives celebrated its 55th Independence Day on 26 July 2020.
  • 2020 also marks 55 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and the Maldives.
  • Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Extra Shots:

Maldives (Capital/Currency): Male/ Maldivian rufiyaa

  • President: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Hichem Mechichi becomes new Prime Minister of Tunisia

  • Tunisia’s interior minister, Hichem Mechichi has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the country.
  • He succeeded Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest.
  • He has a month to form a government.
  • As well as being the interior minister in the outgoing government, Mechichi has been a counsellor to President Saied, handling legal matters.
  • He has previously been chief of staff at the Ministry of Transport and also served in the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Extra Shots:

Tunisia (Capital/Currency): Tunis/Dinar

  • Prime Minister: Hichem Mechichi

India-Indonesia Defence Ministers Dialogue

  • Defence Ministers Dialogue was held in New Delhi between India and Indonesia.
  • India and Indonesia were represented by their respective Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and Prabbowo Subianto.
  • They held discussions on strengthening the ties between the two maritime neighbours.

Extra Shots:

Indonesia (Capital/Currency): Jakarta/ Indonesian rupiah

  • President: Joko Widodo

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

“2nd Empathy e-Conclave” organised by ILBS

  • Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) has organised “2nd Empathy e-Conclave” in collaboration with Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  • The conclave was held on the occasion of “World Hepatitis Day”.
  • The theme of 2nd Empathy e-Conclave is “Keep your Liver Safe in COVID times “.

Extra Shots:

Airport Authority of India (AAI)

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Parent organization: Directorate General of Civil Aviation
  • Number of employees: 17,535 (As on 31.03.2018)
  • Founded: 1 April 1995
  • Key people: Arvind Singh (Chairman), B.S. Bhullar, DGCA (Ex-Officio)

RANKS AND INDICES

Hyderabad is 16th most surveilled city in the world

  • Telangana’s capital Hyderabad has found a place among the top 50 CCTV-surveilled cities in the world.
  • Chennai, ranked 21st overall, comes a close second in Indian surveilled cities, while Delhi is a distant third at 33rd.
  • According to a report published by the UK tech firm Comparitech, Hyderabad ranks 16th in the list and is the top-ranked Indian metropolis.
  • With nearly 3 lakh CCTVs for a population of over one crore (2020 estimates), Hyderabad has 30 CCTVs per 1,000 people.
  • Eighteen of the top 20 cities in the list are located in China, while third-ranked London is the only city situated outside of China apart from Hyderabad.
  • In the top 50 rankings, 34 cities are in China, two – Moscow and St Petersburg – are in Russia, and Baghdad is located in strife-torn Iraq.

Environment Minister releases All India Tiger Estimation Report-2018 on eve of Global Tiger Day 2020

  • Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar released the All India Tiger Estimation Report-2018.
  • He also released a poster on small wild cats of India at the event.
  • India has nearly 70 percent of the global tiger population and it leads the world.
  • The Heads of the governments of Tiger range countries had resolved to double the tiger population by the year 2022.

 AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

India and EU renew Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation

  • India & the European Union have renewed its Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the next five years, 2020-2025, at the 15th India-EU Summit, held on 15 July 2020.
  • The Agreement was initially signed in on 23 November 2001 and renewed two times in past in 2007 and 2015.
  • The agreement will help both the sides to expand the cooperation in scientific and technological research, strengthen the conduct of cooperative activities in areas of common interest and application of the results of such cooperation to their economic and social benefit.

Extra Shots:

European Union:

  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium
  • Founded: 1 November 1993, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Unemployment rate: 6.2% (Jan 2020) Eurostat
  • Founders: Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg

DST launches Rs. 15 crore funds to support India-Russia collaboration

  • The Department of Science and Technology has launched ‘India-Russia Joint Technology Assessment and Accelerated Commercialisation Programme’.
  • The objective of this program is to connect the Indian and Russian science and technology (S&T) led SMEs and start-ups for joint R&D for technology development and for cross-country technology adaptation
  • The programme has been jointly launched in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE) of the Russian Federation.
  • FICCI will implement the programme in India, on behalf of DST and same will be done by FASIE in Russia.
  • The programme will run over a period of two years and up to five projects will be funded each year.
  • DST will fund up to Rs 15 crores to 10 Indian SMEs/start-ups and FASIE will provide similar funding to the Russian projects.

Extra Shots:

FICCI:

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Founded: 1927
  • Members: over 250,000 companies
  • Founders: Ghanshyam Das Birla, Purshottamdas Thakurdas
  • Type of business: Trade Association

India and Maldives sign contract for development of Geydoshu Mas Plant in Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo

  • India and the Maldives signed a contract to set up Geydoshu Mas Plant (Neighborhood Fish Processing Plants) at two of the islands – Maradhoo and Hulhudhoo in the Maldives.
  • These projects are undertaken under the MoU signed on 17 March 2019 for “Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects through local bodies” and will cost a total of $5.5 million.

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL AWARDS

First Edition of Indus Valley International Film Festival Announced

  • First edition of Indus Valley International Film Festival (IVIFF) will be held from 1st to 9th August.
  • It is organized by SAFACH (South Asia Forum for Art & Creative Heritage). In the Covid19 scenario, the first edition will be online and on free registration audience gets access to the festival.
  • The festival will open with an Opening Remark by Vishal Bhardwaj, and Opening film will be ‘Patakha’.
  • The festival will close with a closing Remark by Nandita Das, with her film ‘Manto’ is the closing film.
  • A film by Brahmanand Singh ‘Jhalki’ will also be screened during the festival.

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi assumes Charge as commandant of INA

  • Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi, AVSM, NM has assumed charge as the Commandant, Indian Naval Academy (INA).
  • He has replaced the Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, AVSM, NM who served as the Commandant, Indian Naval Academy (INA) from 12 June 2019 to 27 July 2020.
  • Vice Admiral MA Hampiholi is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasala, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, the erstwhile College of Naval warfare, Karanja and the prestigious National Defence College, New Delhi.

SPORTS CURRENT AFFAIRS

India won Silver medal at 2018 Asian Games upgraded to Gold

  • The silver medal which was won by the Indian 4×400 mixed relay quartet of Mohammed Anas, M.R. Poovamma, Hima Das and Arokia Rajiv at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta has been upgraded to gold.
  • This decision was taken following the disqualification of original winners Bahrain on account of a four-year doping ban handed to Kemi Adekoya by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for failing a dope test.
  • Now India has become the first winner of the 4x400m mixed relay event, which was introduced in the Asian Games in 2018.

Microsoft partnered with NBA to put Virtual Fans in Basketball Arenas

  • Microsoft Corp and the NBA said they have joined forces to put “virtual” fans in the stands of each game using Microsoft’s Teams app and giant screens.
  • The two will equip each game court with 17-foot-tall (5.2 m) LED screens that wrap three sides of the arena.
  • The virtual stands will be filled with fans that use the Teams app to log in and sit alongside each other using a new feature of the app called “Together mode” meant to simulate a group of people sitting in a room.

Extra Shots:

Microsoft Corp

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

NBA:

  • Current champion: Toronto Raptors
  • Founded: 6 June 1946, New York, New York, United States
  • Commissioner: Adam Silver

WEB PORTALS & APP IN NEWS

Ministry of Earth Sciences launches mobile App “Mausam”

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences launched the mobile App “Mausam” for India Meteorological Department.
  • This Mobile App is dedicated to the general public and designed to communicate the weather information and forecasts in a friendly manner.
  • Users can access observed weather, forecasts, and radar images and be proactively warned of impending weather events.
  • The mobile app has been designed and developed jointly by ICRISAT’s Digital Agriculture & Youth (DAY) team, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and India Meteorological Department.

The MAUSAM mobile App has the following 5 services:

  • Current Weather, Nowcast (Three hourly warnings), City Forecast (Past 24 hours and 7-day forecast), Warnings (Alerts issued twice a day), Radar products.

Extra Shots:

Ministry of Earth Sciences

  • Departments: India Meteorological Department
  • Headquarters: Prithvi Bhavan, Lodi Road New Delhi
  • Founded: 2006
  • Minister responsible: Dr. Harsh Vardhan
  • Officeholders: Y. S. Chowdary (Minister of State), Harsh Vardhan (Minister)

Bureau of Indian Standard launched a Mobile App named BIS-Care

  • Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan launched the Bureau of Indian Standard’s Mobile App BIS-Care.
  • The mobile app BIS-Care can be operated on any Android phone and consumers can check the authenticity of the ISI-marked and hallmarked products through this Application.
  • Customers can also lodge complaints using this medium.
  • Along with the mobile app, he also launched three portals on Standardization, Conformity Assessment and Training of e-BIS.

Extra Shots:

BIS:

  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Director General: Pramod Kumar Tiwari
  • Parent agency: Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
  • Founder: Parliament of India
  • Founded: 23 December 1986
  • Jurisdiction: India

BOOKS & AUTHORS

“The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”

  • The former diplomat, and current Minister of External Affairs in the Government of India, S Jaishankar, is releasing his new book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World”.
  • The book was published under the HarperCollins India publications.

OBITUARY

Olivia de Havilland passes away

  • Two-Time Oscar Winner, Olivia de Havilland passed away at the age of 104. She was born on 1st July 1916, in Tokyo, Japan.
  • The actress, who starred in blockbusters like Captain Blood (1935), The adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Snakepit, The Heiress.
  • She unchained the Hollywoods contract system which was later called as “De Havilland Law”.
  • Olivia won an Oscar award for the movie ‘To Each His Own’ under the category Best supporting actress.
  • Again, in the year 1949, she won the second Oscar award for the movie “The Heiress’.

American Actor John Saxon passed away

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