Current Affairs Today 3rd July 2020-Download in PDF

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Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs Today 3rd July 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 – 3rd July 2020

NEWS AT A GLANCE

  1. The World UFO Day (WUD) is held on July 2 every year globally.
  2. World Sports Journalists Day is observed on July 2 every year to celebrate the services of sports journalists for the promotion of sports.
  3. The International Plastic Bag Free Day is held on July 3 around the world to spread awareness that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.
  4. World Allergy Week is an annual event initiated by the World Allergy Organisation to raise awareness about the allergic diseases, disorders related to allergic diseases and the preventive measures of these diseases.
  5. The Government of India has launched a Special Liquidity Scheme worth Rs. 30,000 crore for improving the liquidity position of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFCs) and Housing Finance Company (HFCs).
  6. Care Ratings has revised India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year 2020-21 to contract by 6.4 percent.
  7. Fitch cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 8% from 9.5% for FY22, in its June update of Global Economic Outlook report.
  8. United States-based Intel Corporation’s investment arm Intel Capital will invest Rs 1,894.50 crores in Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL’s) subsidiary company Jio Platform.
  9. During the first quarter (April 2020 to June 2020) of the FY 2020-21, despite a nationwide lockdown and restriction on the movement of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 19 lakh households in the rural areas across the country were provided with tap water connection.
  10. The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar along with CAG Rajiv Mehri inaugurated the dense urban forest.
  11. The Government of India has declared the entire Nagaland as “disturbed area”.
  12. Tamil Nadu government on July 2 announced a monthly stipend of Rs. 3000 for the lawyers for the time period of two years.
  13. New Zealand has cancelled the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  14. India’s foreign exchange reserves, which currently stand at more than USD 500 billion, are the fifth largest in the world after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia, as per the International Monetary Fund.
  15. The State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bangladesh’s Beximco LPG have entered into an agreement for the formation of a 50:50 Joint Venture Company (JVC) for importing liquefied petroleum gas in Bangladesh.
  16. ICICI Bank in partnership with Computer Age Management Services(CAMS) launched ‘Insta Loans against Mutual Funds’, a facility for retail customers to avail loans upto Rs 1 crore instantly by pledging their holdings in both debt and equity Mutual Funds(MFs).
  17. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is to set up an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) with an aim to facilitate investment in the highway sector.
  18. Parminder Chopra assumed charge as the Director of Finance in the Government-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC), India’s leading NBFC, on 1 July 2020.
  19. The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Karnam Sekar has retired on 30th June 2020.
  20. The Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company promoted V Suryanarayanan, President and COO of the company as the New Managing Director (MD) with effect from 1st July 2020 succeeding SS Gopalarathnam.
  21. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) cleared the purchase of 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft along with 248 indigenous long-range air to air missiles, Astra, among others on 2 July 2020.
  22. The Indian and Japanese navies conducted a small exercise PASSEX (passing exercise), towards the Malacca Strait in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  23. For supporting the drug discovery process, a national initiative called Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 was launched on 2nd July 2020.
  24. IIT Kanpur has developed a classroom-to-home teaching setup ‘Mobile Masterjee’. It will be very helpful to students in rural India.
  25. Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has virtually released a book titled “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends“.
  26. West Indies former cricketer, Everton Weekes passed away.
  27. Veteran Bollywood choreographer, Saroj Khan passed away. She was popularly known as Saroj Khan but her real name is Nirmala Nagpal.
  28. The UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande formally launched the “Alliance for Poverty Eradication” on 30 June 2020.
  29. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval for human clinical trials to Ahmedabad based Cadila Healthcare Limited (Zydus Healthcare).
  30. In partnership with Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has selected 12 institutes for the Phase-I and Phase–II clinical trials of the first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine BBV152 (commonly known as COVAXIN).

NEWS AT A GLANCE

IMPORTANT DAYS AND THEMES

World UFO Day observed on 02 July

  • The World UFO Day (WUD) is held on July 2 every year globally.
  • It is a day dedicated to the existence of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) by World UFO Day Organization (WUFODO).
  • WUD aims to raise awareness about the existence of UFOs and encouraging people to think about the possibility of us not being alone in the Universe.
  • Initially, the day was observed on June 24.
  • Later, WUFODO established July 2 to commemorate the day.

World Sports Journalists Day observed on 02 July

  • World Sports Journalists Day is observed on July 2 every year to celebrate the services of sports journalists for the promotion of sports.
  • The day was established in 1994 to commemorate 70th anniversary of International Sports Press Association (ISPA).
  • The ISPA was founded in London on the July 2, 1924 during the Summer Olympics in Paris.

Extra Shots

ISPA

  • Founded: 1924
  • Headquarters location: London, United Kingdom

International Plastic Bag Free Day observed on 03 July

  • The International Plastic Bag Free Day is held on July 3 around the world to spread awareness that a plastic bag free world is possible and that sound environmental alternatives to single use plastic bags are available.
  • 2020 is the 11th edition of the celebrations.
  • The day is an initiative by Bag Free World for the purpose of getting rid of the single-use of plastic bags around the world and promoting environmental conservation by encouraging us all to stay away from the use of plastic bags and instead look for more eco-friendly alternatives.

World Allergy Week 2020  observed on June 28 to July 4

  • World Allergy Week is an annual event initiated by the World Allergy Organisation to raise awareness about the allergic diseases, disorders related to allergic diseases and the preventive measures of these diseases.
  • The first World Allergy Week was observed in July 2011.
  • The theme of World Allergy Week 2020 is “Allergy care does not stop with COVID-19”.

Aim:

  • To bring together the physicians, health care workers, policy makers, health care advocates and the general public to address the requirements and needs of the patients suffering from allergic diseases and asthma and to support them.

Extra Shots:

WAO:

  • President: Motohiro Ebisawa
  • President Elect: Bryan Martin
  • Secretary General: Mário Morais-Almeida
  • Headquarters: Milwaukee, United States of America

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Govt launches Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFC of Rs. 30,000 crore

  • The Government of India has launched a Special Liquidity Scheme worth Rs. 30,000 crore for improving the liquidity position of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFCs) and Housing Finance Company (HFCs).

Who will manage the Scheme:

  • The Scheme will be managed by SPV (SLS Trust).
  • SPV (SLS Trust) has been set up by SBICAP which is a subsidiary of the State Bank of India.

Highlights:

  • RBI will provide funds for this Scheme by subscribing to government-guaranteed special securities issued by the SLS Trust.
  • The total amount of such securities issued outstanding shall not exceed Rs. 30,000 crores at any point of time.
  • The Scheme was announced by Union Minister for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman on 13th March 2020.

Aim of the scheme:

  • To ensure availability of fund to NBFC and HFC sector and hence improve the liquidity position of NBFCs/HFCs.

Duration of the scheme:

  • The Scheme will remain open for 3 months for making subscriptions by the Trust.
  • The period of lending (CPs/NCDs of NBFCs/HFCs for short duration of upto 90 days) by the Trust shall be for a period of upto 90 days.

Use of Fund by NBFC and HFC:

  • NBFC and HFC cannot use this financing to expand assets.
  • The financing would be used by the NFBCs/HFCs only to repay existing liabilities.

Outlay of the Scheme:

  • Rs 30,000 Crore

Eligibility criteria for NBFC and HFC:

  • CRAR/CAR of NBFCs/HFCs should not be below the regulatory minimum, i.e., 15% and 12% respectively as on March 31, 2019;
  • The net non-performing assets should not be more than 6% as on March 31, 2019;
  • They should have made net profit in at least one of the last two preceding financial years (i.e. 2017-18 and 2018-19)

Care Ratings Forecast India’s GDP to contract by 6.4% in FY21

  • Care Ratings has revised India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year 2020-21 to contract by 6.4 percent.
  • The rating agency had earlier projected a decline in GDP growth of 1.5-1.6 per cent in FY21.
  • This decline is because the economic activity continues to be under restriction due to the lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Extra Shots:

Care Ratings

  • Headquarters: India
  • Founded: 1993

Fitch cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 8% from 9.5% for FY22

  • Fitch cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 8% from 9.5% for FY22, in its June update of Global Economic Outlook report.
  • Fitch retained its projection of Indian economy contracting by 5 per cent in the current fiscal.
  • Meanwhile, Fitch projected the Indian economy to grow 5.5 per cent in 2022-23.

Extra Shots:

Fitch

  • Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
  • CEO: Paul Taylor
  • Founder: John Knowles Fitch
  • Founded: 1914, New York, New York, United States

Intel Capital Invests Rs 1894.50 crore in Jio Platforms

  • United States-based Intel Corporation’s investment arm Intel Capital will invest Rs 1,894.50 crores in Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL’s) subsidiary company Jio Platform.
  • The announcement was made by Reliance Industries Limited on 3rd July 2020.
  • With this investment, equity value in Jio Platforms rose to Rs 4.91 lakh crore, while Rs 5.16 lakh crore its enterprise value.
  • Rs 1894.50 of investment will translate to 0.39 percent of an equity stake for Intel Capital in Jio Platforms.
  • In a matter of 11 weeks since 22nd April 2020, this was the 12th foreign investment in Jio Platforms.
  • The 12 investments make a total of Rs 1,17,588.45 crores that have been raised in Jio Platforms.
  • This investment also takes the total stake in Jio Platforms of foreign investors to 25.09 percent.

NOTE:

Reliance Jio Investors List

S.No

Investor

Investment Amount (in crores)

Stake Bought

1 Facebook, Inc. Rs 43,573.62 9.99%
2 Silver Lake Partners Rs 5,655.75 1.15%
3 Vista Equity Partners Rs 11,367.00 2.32%
4 General Atlantic Rs 6,598.38 1.34%
5 KKR Rs 11,367.00 2.32%
6 Mubadala Rs 9,093.60 1.85%
7 Silver Lake Partners (additional investment) Rs 4,546.80 0.93%
8 Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Rs 5,683.50 1.16%
9 TPG Rs 4,546.80 0.93%
10 L Catterton Rs 1,894.50 0.39%
11 PIF Rs 11,367.00 2.32%
12 Intel Capital Rs 1894.50 0.39%

Extra Shots:

RIL

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman & Managing Director: Mukesh D. Ambani
  • Founder: Dhirubhai Ambani
  • Founded: 8 May 1973

Intel Capital

  • Founder: Avram Miller
  • Founded: 1991
  • Parent organization: Intel
  • Headquarters location: United States

NATIONAL CURRENT AFFAIRS

19 lakh Household Provided FHTC under Jal Jeevan Mission during Lockdown

  • During the first quarter (April 2020 to June 2020) of the FY 2020-21, despite a nationwide lockdown and restriction on the movement of people due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 19 lakh households in the rural areas across the country were provided with tap water connection.
  • For the continuous progress and implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission, for the Financial Year (FY) 2020-21 Rs 8050 crore was allocated by the Central Government under the scheme.

Jal Jeevan Mission

  • Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the Central Government has set a target to provide every rural household in the country with the facility of Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) of water by 2024.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission was launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during his addressto the nation on the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day of India on 15th August 2019.
  • Following the target set by the Prime Minister, in the period of the next 7 months from September 2019 to March 2020, 84 lakh households in the country were provided with tap water connection.

Estimated Expenditure for Providing Every Rural Household FHTC

  • For achieving the target of providing every rural household in the country with an FHTC by 2024, Rs 3.5 lakh crore will be spent, this was announced announced by Prime Minister in September 2019.

 STATE CURRENT AFFAIRS

Urban forest created at polluted ITO in Delhi

  • The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar along with CAG Rajiv Mehri inaugurated the dense urban forest.
  • The forest has been created in a park adjacent to the ITO metro station, Delhi.
  • It has been created by planting at least 12,000 saplings of 59 indigenous tree species.
  • It has been built by the government’s official auditor comptroller and auditor general.

Highlights:

  • The Urban Forest is made up of trees that are native to the area.
  • There are three dimensional, multi-layered communities having 30 times the surface area of the greenery of single-layered lawns, and have more than 30 times the ability to protect against natural disasters and to conserve the environment.
  • The move comes as the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi has become an increasing cause of concern in the past years.
  • Also, the ITO crossing of New Delhi has recorded particularly high air pollution levels.
  • The forest creation will help in reducing the temperature by as much as 14 degrees & increase the moisture by more than 40%.
  • Urban forest has the capacity to restore habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, and microfauna.

Extra Shots:

New Delhi:

  • Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal
  • Governor: Anil Baijal

GoI declares entire Nagaland as “disturbed area” for 6 months

  • The Government of India has declared the entire Nagaland as “disturbed area”.
  • The declaration has been made for a further period of six months i.e. till end December. Supporting the declaration, Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned in its notification that the area comprising the whole Nagaland is in a disturbed and dangerous condition and hence the use of armed forces for “the maintenance of public order” is necessary.
  • Nagaland has been placed under the coverage of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) for almost six decades.
  • The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) empowers the armed forces to search and arrest, and to open fire if it seems necessary for “the maintenance of public order”.

Extra Shots:

Nagaland:

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

Tamil Nadu govt announces monthly stipend of Rs. 3000 for the lawyers

  • Tamil Nadu government on July 2 announced a monthly stipend of Rs. 3000 for the lawyers for the time period of two years.
  • The decision has been taken to help them overcome financial difficulties at the time of the crisis.
  • The announced stipend was the long-standing demand of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu.
  • The state government has also been implementing an Advocates Welfare Scheme for more than three decades.
  • To support the advocates, the government has decided to bring in the monthly financial assistance to the young lawyers.

Advocates Welfare Scheme:

  • Tamil Nadu Government has been implementing the scheme for more than three decades.
  • Under the scheme, on the demise of the advocates, the state government provides seven lakh rupees each to their families.
  • After the announcement, as an additional measure, the young advocates will be getting a monthly dole of Rs. 3000 for the next two years.

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.

Odisha’s new initiative ‘Sabuja Odisha’

  • Odisha government decided to implement a new initiative ‘Sabuja Odisha’.
  • The initiative will increase green cover through extensive plantations over 1,30,264 Hectares of land.
  • About 1.30 lakh hectares of land where these seedlings can be planted has been identified in 2,660 locations for plantation.
  • A web-based system will be set up or real-time monitoring and supervision of the programme.
  • District level Committee will be formed under the chairmanship of Collector for successful coordination and implementation of the programme.
  • Divisional Forest Officer’s Headquarters will act as Plantation Officer in the district. All districts are directed to have their own micro-level work plan for plantations.
  • The seedling will be distributed to the people of their choice at Rs 1 per seedling. The plantation sites with geographic information system integrations will be uploaded on the website for continuous monitoring through satellite applications.
  • The identified 1,30,264 hectares of land for plantation is nearly two times more than the last year’s plantation within 68,358 hectares.

Extra Shots:

Odisha:

  • Capital: Bhubaneswar
  • Governor :Ganeshi Lal
  • Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik

SUMMITS AND CONFERENCES

New Zealand cancels the APEC Summit 2021

  • New Zealand has cancelled the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This summit to be held in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The 2019 leaders’ meeting was cancelled by Chile due to violent anti-government protests and the virtual APEC meeting of 2020 is being hosted by Malaysia. Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters announced that for planning and security reasons the 2021 APEC summit is cancelled and the summit will be hosted as a virtual event.
  • New Zealand has closed its borders of every nation except for the returning citizens and residents.

Extra Shots

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is an inter-governmental forum for 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Headquarters: Singapore
  • Founder: Bob Hawke
  • Founded: November 1989, Canberra, Australia
  • Chairperson: Muhyiddin Yassin
  • Type of business: Economic meeting

RANKS AND INDICES

India’s foreign exchange reserves 5th largest in world

  • India’s foreign exchange reserves, which currently stand at more than USD 500 billion, are the fifth largest in the world after China, Japan, Switzerland and Russia, as per the International Monetary Fund.
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves are equivalent to almost one fifth of the country’s gross domestic product.
  • They are considered to be enough to cover 13 months of imports.

Foreign exchange reserves

  • Foreign exchange reserves are cash and other assets held by a central bank of a nation. The Foreign exchange reserves can comprise bonds, banknotes, deposits, treasury bills and other government securities of the reserve currency. Some nations hold a part of their reserves in gold, and special drawing rights are also considered reserve assets.
  • The foreign exchange reserves are held in one or more reserve currencies, currently mostly in US dollar and to a lesser extent the Euro.
  • The forex reserves are primarily available to balance payments of the country, influence the foreign exchange rate of the nation’s currency and maintain confidence in financial markets.

 AGREEMENTS AND MOU SIGNED

India-Bangladesh sets up 50:50 Joint Venture Company for LPG business in Bangladesh

  • The State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Bangladesh’s Beximco LPG have entered into an agreement for the formation of a 50:50 Joint Venture Company (JVC) for importing liquefied petroleum gas in Bangladesh.
  • The agreement was signed in this regard on 30 June 2020 between IOC Middle East FZE, Dubai, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IOC, and RR Holdings Ltd, UAE, the holding company of Beximco LPG of Bangladesh.
  • The Joint Venture Company will help reduce the cost of import of LPG in Bangladesh and make it more affordable for the consumers of the country.

Extra Shots:

Bangladesh (Capital/Currency): Dhaka/Taka

  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Official Language: Bengali

ICICI bank Launched a Facility, ‘Insta Loans against Mutual Funds’, in Partnership with Computer Age Management Services

  • ICICI Bank in partnership with Computer Age Management Services(CAMS) launched ‘Insta Loans against Mutual Funds’, a facility for retail customers to avail loans upto Rs 1 crore instantly by pledging their holdings in both debt and equity Mutual Funds(MFs).

Highlights:

  • The facility is an extension of the Insta Loan Against Shares(LAS).
  • It is a full digital and paperless facility.
  • It empowers customers to get this loan as an overdraft (OD) within a few minutes without having to visit a branch and submit physical documents.
  • It paves way for the customers to get access to instant liquidity by leveraging their existing mutual fund portfolio, without selling them.
  • Customers can avail the loan against a vast range of debt and equity schemes of mutual funds serviced by CAMS and approved by the Bank
  • Minimum loan amount for debt and equity schemes of MFs is Rs. 50,000. Maximum loan amount for debt schemes of MFs is Rs 1 crore and for equity schemes of MFs is Rs. 20 lakh.

Extra Shots:

ICICI bank:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • MD & CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi

RECENT COMMITTEES IN NEWS

NHAI to set up InvIT, Committee formed to select best talent for the Board

  • National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is to set up an Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) with an aim to facilitate investment in the highway sector.
  • As part of the structure, a new company will be set up to act as the Investment Manager to the proposed InvIT.

Highlights:

  • InvIT will be the first-of-its-kind to be sponsored by any government/semi-government entity in India.
  • It is important to have a professional management structure for the investment manager.
  • The aim of setting up of InvIT is to professionally run the Infrastructure Trust to mobilize resources from the market for monetizing completed highway projects of NHAI.
  • NHAI has set up a committee in order to select the best talent for the appointment of two Independent Directors and one Chairman for the Investment Manager Board.
  • Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman, NHAI will be the Convenor of the Committee and other members include:
  1. Shri Deepak Parekh, Chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation
  2. Shri Girish Chandra Chaturvedi, Chairman, ICICI Bank
  3. Shri Sanjay Mitra, Ex-Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.

Extra Shots:

NHAI

  • Founded: 1988
  • Sector: Indian National Highway System
  • Purpose: Development and maintenance of national highways
  • Jurisdiction: India
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Agency executive: Sanjeev Ranjan (Chairperson)

APPOINTMENTS IN NEWS

Parminder Chopra took charge as Director of Finance, PFC

  • Parminder Chopra assumed charge as the Director of Finance in the Government-owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC), India’s leading NBFC, on 1 July 2020.
  • She will replace Shri N.B. Gupta, who superannuated on June 30, 2020.

Parminder Chopra:

  • Prior to this appointment, Parminder Chopra was associated with key organizations in the power sector like the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation of India (NHPC) and Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL).
  • She joined PFC in 2005 and spearheaded the key initiative to diversify PFC’s fund mobilization to international markets that allowed the lender to raise money at lower costs. With her focussed approach, the share of fund mobilization in foreign currency grew from a meager 2% to 15% within a short span of 2 years.
  • She also serves as Director on the Board of Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Limited and Cheyyur Infra Limited.

Extra Shots:

PFC

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Owner: Government of India
  • Founded: July 1986

Karnam Sekar retires as MD & CEO of IOB

  • The Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), Karnam Sekar has retired on 30th June 2020.
  • He joined the State Bank of India(SBI) as the Probationary officer in December 1983.
  • Sekar joined IOB as an officer on special duty and a Director on 1st April 2019 after the merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank into Bank of Baroda.
  • He was promoted as the MD and CEO succeeding Subramaniam Kumar on 1st July 2019.

Extra Shots:

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB):

  • Tagline: Good People to Grow With.
  • Headquarter: Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

V Suryanarayanan Becomes the New MD of Chola MS General Insurance

  • The Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company promoted V Suryanarayanan, President and COO of the company as the New Managing Director (MD) with effect from 1st July 2020 succeeding SS Gopalarathnam.
  • SS Gopalarathnam, who joined the Murugappa Group in 1979 served the company for around 41 years in finance and marketing function retired on July 1st and Suryanarayanan will take over his position.
  • SS Gopalarathnam, started Cholamandalam MS General Insurance in 2002 as a founding member.
  • Suryanarayanan was a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary served in financial services sector of the Murugappa Group for the past 24 years.
  • Suryanarayanan served in Cholamandalam Investments and Finance for 10 years and moved to Chola MS as the CFO in 2006 and became the President and COO in April 2019.

Extra Shots:

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance:

  • Cholamandalam MS General Insurance is a joint venture of Murugappa Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Ltd (Japan).
  • Chairman: MM Murugappan
  • Managing Director: V Suryanarayanan
  • Head Office : Chennai, Tamil Nadu

DEFENCE CURRENT AFFAIRS

MoD approves purchase of 33 fighter aircraft for IAF, 248 indigenous missiles

  • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) cleared the purchase of 21 MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft along with 248 indigenous long-range air to air missiles, Astra, among others on 2 July 2020.
  • The move by the Ministry is to boost the Indian armed forces.
  • It was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Highlights:

  • MoD has cleared the purchase of platforms and equipment for the armed forces to the tune of Rs 38,900 crore.
  • The Ministry also approved the upgrade of the existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • Out of the 248 indigenous Astra missiles, 200 is for IAF, and 48 for the Indian Navy.
  • The estimated cost of the procurement is Rs.2,700 crore.
  • Also, the MiG-29 procurement and upgrade from Russia has been estimated to cost around Rs.7,418 crore.
  • And, the Sukhoi-30 MKI which is to be procured from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been estimated at the cost of Rs.10,730 crore.

India and Japan conduct PASSEX naval exercise in Indian Ocean Region

  • The Indian and Japanese navies conducted a small exercise PASSEX (passing exercise), towards the Malacca Strait in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • From India, Rajput-class destroyer INS Rana and Kora-class missile corvette INS Kulish, took part in the exercise and from Japan, JS Shimayuki and JS Kashima participated.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 launched

  • For supporting the drug discovery process, a national initiative called Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 was launched on 2nd July 2020.
  • The initiative was launched by Ramesh Pokhriyal (Union Human Resource Development Minister) and Dr. Harsh Vardhan (Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Science and Technology).

Objective

  • The objective of the hackathon is to identify drug candidates for the COVID-19 virus through computational methods.
  • Further the findings from the hackathon for chemical synthesis and biological testing.

Hackathon Highlights:

  • Any professional, researchers, faculty, and students can participate from across the globe.
  • The primary focus during the hackathon will be to focus on the computational aspects of the discovery of drugs.
  • The Hackathon will help in accelerating the drug discovery process in India by establishing a new model.
  • The hackathon will have three phases: each of the phases will be of 3 months each. The Drug Discovery Hackathon will be completed by April-May 2021.
  • Through the Tracks above, at the end of Phase 3, the predicted drug-like compound will be taken forward at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and other leading organizations in the country for experimental testing.

 This will be done on three tracks:

  • Track 1: From an existing database, identifying computational modeling for drug design. The identified modeling must provide resistance or inhibit the COVID-19 virus
  • Track 2: Using data analytics, new tools and algorithms will be developed. Further by using machine learning or artificial intelligence algorithms, predict a drug-like compound that will have the least toxicity and higher selectivity and specificity.
  • Track 3: Ambitious and exploratory approaches that will lead to a novel ground-breaking projects in this field. Working on out of the box problems.

IIT Kanpur develops teaching setup ‘Mobile Masterjee’

  • IIT Kanpur has developed a classroom-to-home teaching setup ‘Mobile Masterjee’. It will be very helpful to students in rural India.

Highlights:

  • This setup can record the lectures or instructions by the teachers while using their available smartphones.
  • The setup can capture the videos of the classroom lecture in many positions.
  • The product is lightweight and has adjustments to fit sheets and book on it for delivering instructions to the kids.
  • A set graduated scale aligns the sheet at the desired angle, followed by the rotational quick adjustment of the mobile holder.
  • The “Mobile Masterjee” can hold, position, and focus the whole recording setup while making the online class a comfortable home environment.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

A book titled “The Future of Higher Education” released by M Venkaiah Naidu

  • Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu has virtually released a book titled “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends“. The book is authored by CA V Pattabhi Ram. The Virtual event was hosted by ICT Academy.
  • The book covers the new norms in the key areas of higher education such as Student-Teacher relationship, Learning methods, Laboratories & Examinations among others which has taken a paradigm shift during this COVID pandemic.
  • The book is based on a survey of about 5000 educators across India who were part of ICT Academy’s “SkyCampus” Digital Knowledge Series.

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ICT Academy

  • Chairperson: Lakshmi Narayanan
  • Headquarters location: Chennai
  • Founded: 2009
  • Motto: Creating New Generation Talent Pool
  • Chief Executive Officer: M Sivakumar

OBITUARY

West Indies former cricketer Everton Weekes passes away

  • West Indies former cricketer, Everton Weekes passed away.
  • He was born in Pickwick Gap, Barbados on February 26, 1925.
  • Everton Weekes made his first-class debut at 19-year-old and his Test debut in 1948 at 22. His test career spanned between 1948 to 1958, where he played 48 Tests & scored 4455  runs at an average of 58.62.
  • He retired in 1958, after which he had served as a coach, administrator, and ICC match referee.
  • Weekes was honoured with Knight of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for his services to cricket in 1995 & was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009.
  • He is the last member of the legendary Three Ws, the legendary trio of cricketing knights. Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell were the other members of 3Ws. He was the 3rd oldest surviving men’s Test cricketer, after South African John Watkins and England’s Don Smith.

Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan passes away

  • Veteran Bollywood choreographer, Saroj Khan passed away. She was popularly known as Saroj Khan but her real name is Nirmala Nagpal.
  • She joined the Indian film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana.
  • She eventually became a background dancer in 1950s films like Bimal Roy’s “Madhumati” under the guidance of dance director B. Sohanlal.
  • In a career spanning four decades, Khan choreographed nearly 2000 songs.
  • The legendary artiste was a recipient of three National Awards for films Devdas, Jab We Met and Sringaram (Tamil).
  • She won Filmfare Awards for movies like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Guru, Khalnayak and Chaalbaaz.

MISCELLANEOUS

India Joins as Founding Member of UNGA’s Alliance for Poverty Eradication

  • The UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande formally launched the “Alliance for Poverty Eradication” on 30 June 2020.
  • The Alliance aims to provide a forum for UN member states to raise awareness about the danger that poverty poses to world peace, human rights and sustainable development and also deliberate on measures that need to be instituted so as to get the world economy working in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • India has joined the Alliance as a founding member.
  • With this, India will not only get success towards poverty alleviation but will also be able to share its experience in areas of agriculture, use of technology and investment from which other nations can learn.

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UN General Assembly

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

Zydus Healthcare’s COVID-19 vaccine gets DCGI approval for Human Clinical Trials

  • The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval for human clinical trials to Ahmedabad based Cadila Healthcare Limited (Zydus Healthcare).
  • The permission is for the Phase-I and Phase-II clinical trials of the vaccine.
  • Zydus Healthcare’s COVID-19 vaccine become the 2nd Indigenously developed vaccine to get the permission of the DCGI for human clinical trials after Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN.
  • The human clinical trials for the vaccine are expected to be completed in three months as per media reports.

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Cadila Healthcare Ltd also known as Zydus Healthcare is an Indian pharmaceutical company headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. The company is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in India

  • CEO: Pankaj Patel
  • Headquarters: Ahmedabad
  • Founder: Ramanbhai Patel
  • Founded: 1952

ICMR fast-tracking efforts to launch ‘COVAXIN’ for public use by 15th August

  • In partnership with Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has selected 12 institutes for the Phase-I and Phase–II clinical trials of the first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine BBV152 (commonly known as COVAXIN).
  • After successful completion of human clinical trials, the ICMR has set a target to launch the COVAXIN for the public health uses, latest by August 15, this was reported in the media as per a letter by ICMR to the 12 selected institutes.

Background:

  • Earlier this week, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has given approval for Phase I and Phase II human clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine ‘COVAXIN’.
  • In association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, COVAXIN is developed by Hyderabad based vaccine & bio-therapeutics manufacturer-Bharat Biotech.
  • At NIV Pune, the strain of SARS-CoV-2 was isolated before being transferred to Bharat Biotech. The vaccine is developed at the high containment facility of Bharat Biotech- BSL-3 (Bio Safety Level 3).
  • COVAXIN is the first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for Human Clinical Trials.

Zydus Healthcare gets DCGI nod for Human Trials

  • On 2nd July 2020, the DCGI of India has given permission to Ahmedabad based Cadila Healthcare Limited (commonly known as Zydus Healthcare) for the human clinical trials of its indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine.

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ICMR

  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Founder: Government of India
  • Founded: 1911
  • Leader: Balram Bhargava
  • Type of business: Government

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