Home » Current Affairs » Indian Current Affairs 2020

Current Affairs 2020

The value of Current Affairs in Civil Service Examinations is enormous. This is the most critical part of both Prelims and Mains Exam. Aspirants should study in depth to understand the significance of current affairs for the Union Public Service Commission. In fact, all the questions in Civil Service Exams are framed around current affairs. Questions are not asked directly for current news and information in the exam. Questions are framed by combining current affairs with practical knowledge. The primary motive behind this type of strategy is to check the ability of correlation a candidate can make to the fact.

Current Affairs Articles | Current Affairs Essays | Current Affairs News | Daily Current Affairs Quiz

Download Weekly Current Affairs Magazine here ( 28th June to 4th July )

Why current affairs is more important in Civil Service Exam?

Success in Prelims and Mains Exam is directly related to an aspirant’s awareness in current affairs. Preparation of current affairs for UPSC is the key to unlock the exam. It requires practice and revision in a well-connected manner... In such a scenario the preparation of current affairs topics related to India and the world is an important part of your preparations. The students have to be aware of the happening in India and around the world as this portion is an integral part of the general studies paper.

In order to make you ready for the challenges of the Current Affairs preparation, we are covering the current affairs topics on a regular basis. Our current topics are categorised in such a way that it includes; political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, government's scheme and policies and international affairs.

We provide you comprehensive topics of preparation that covers not only India's current scenario but also international events. We also cover Indian news headlines and other important international events under the current affairs segment.

For the very purpose of getting you ready for the challenge that is current news and views in India, we are covering the current affairs 2020 on a regular basis. Our hot topics are categorised such that they include political affairs, current news, science news, general knowledge, current government affairs and international affairs. Only studying India's current scenario or political affairs is not sufficient as you have to cover international events and affairs along with the Indian news space, as well as important and current events in the field of science and sports.


Current Affairs June 28 to July 04

Arts

Sankalp Parva: It is an initiative launched on the call of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi to plant atleast five trees either in Office campus or wherever it is possible, to ensure clean and healthy environment of the country. The Union Culture Ministry is celebrating Sankalp Parva from 28th June to 12 July 2020.

Under the “Sankalp Parva” celebrations, the Ministry expects all its Subordinate Offices, Academies, Attached Institutions, Affiliated Institutions to plant trees in its campus or at the surroundings wherever it is possible.

The Ministry also recommended to plants following 5 trees which represent the herbal heritage of our country which are Peepal, Ashok, Bel, Bargad and Awla. If saplings of these trees are not available then people may do plantation of any other sapling of their choice.

Ministry of Culture: The Ministry of Culture is the Indian government ministry. It charged with preservation and promotion of art and culture of India. It is typically responsible for cultural policy, which often includes arts policy (direct and indirect support to artists and arts organizations) and measures to protect the national heritage of a country and cultural expression of a country or sub national region.The current Minister of Culture is Prahlad Singh Patel. The government has recently established the National Mission on Libraries India under this ministry.

Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church: This church is also known as Mar Thoma Church. It is one of the ancient, indigenous churches in Kerala. It is traditionally believed that the church was built by Saint Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ when he came to India in 52 AD.

The Church is currently headed by their 21st Malankara Metropolitan, Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma. He has headed the Church for the last 13 years. The Church runs various social welfare institutions, destitute homes, hospitals, colleges, schools and technical institutions.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 90th birth anniversary of Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan. He conveyed his greetings and wished him a long life and good health.

Hul Divas: Hul Diwas is observed in memory of tribals Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu, who led the Santhal rebellion, and is observed annually on June 30 at Bhognadih in Sahebganj district. It is celebrated especially among Santhal tribes.

The rebellion which started on June 30, 1855 lasted until 3 January 1856 when the movement was brutally ended by troops loyal to the British. On this day a large number of Santals assembled in a field in Bhognadih, they declared themselves as free and took oath under the leadership of Sido Murmu and Kanhu Murmu to fight unto the last against the British rulers as well as their agents.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to freedom fighters on the occasion of Hul Divas. In a tweet Mr Modi said that it is a day to commemorate the historic revolution in Jharkhand where thousands of tribals lost their lives in the rebellion but they did not bow down against injustice.

Bhognadih: It is a village in Sahebganj district of Jharkhand. Bhognadih was the main centre of the Santhal rebellion of 1855.

Booksand Authors: A book titled “Future of Higher Education – Nine Mega Trends“which is authored by CA V Pattabhi Ram who is a Public Speaker, author and Teacher was recently relased. It was released by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu virtually in an event was hosted by ICT Academy.

The book is based on a survey of around 5000 educators across India, who were part of ICT Academy's "SkyCampus" Digital Knowledge Series. The book will cover the new norms in the key areas of higher education such as Student-Teacher relationship, Learning methods, Laboratories, Examinations, etc; all taking a paradigm shift during this COVID pandemic.

ICT Academy: ICT Academy is an initiative of the Government of India in collaboration with the state Governments and industries. It is a non-profit organization, and a joint venture under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model. It endeavours to train the higher education teachers and students thereby exercises on developing the next generation teachers and industry ready students. This Academy was started to meet the skill requirements of the industry and generate more employment especially in tier 2 and 3 towns, the rural parts of the country. The organization was formed with representations from the State Government of Tamil Nadu, leading companies in the ICT industry and National Association of Software Services Companies NASSCOM in India. It is headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The current Chairman of ICT academy is Lakshmi Narayanan.

ICT Academy in the past 11 years has worked with over 900 Universities and colleges, developing the faculty members and students across India.

Dharma Chakra Day: Dharma Chakra Day commemorates Buddha's first sermon to his first five ascetic disciples "pancavargika" after attaining Enlightment at the Deer Park, Rsipatana in the present day Sarnath near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It was given on the full-moon day of Asadha.

The Dharma Chakra or the Dharma Wheel is a symbol from ancient India and one of the Ashtamangala of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Dharma wheel symbol has represented Buddhism, Gautama Buddha's teachings and his walking of the path to Enlightenment since the time of early Buddhism. This teaching of Dhamma Cakka- PavattanaSutta (Pali) or Dharma chakra Pravartana Sutra (Sanskrit) is also known as the First Turning of Wheels of Dharma and comprised of the Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.

Dhamma Chakra day is the second most sacred day for Buddhists after the Buddha Poornima or Vesak. It is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as the day of Dharma Chakra Parvattana or "Turning of the Wheel of Dharma". The day is also celebrated as Guru Poornima by both Buddhists and Hindus as a day to mark reverence to their Gurus. This day is known as Esala Poya in Sri Lanka and Asanha Bucha in Thailand. It is celebrated by the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC), under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture.

Guru Poornima: Guru Purnima, according to the Hindu calendar, generally falls on a full-moon day in the Hindu month of Ashadh. This day is dedicated to Maharshi Veda Vyasa, the sage who is believed to have edited the sacred Hindu text, the Vedas and created the 18 Puranas, Mahabharata and the Srimad Bhagavatam. It is also believed to mark the onset of monsoons.

Recently, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Dharma Chakra Day from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.  A special address by the President of Mongolia was also read out and a valuable Buddhist manuscript of Indian origin preserved in Mongolia for centuries together was presented to the President.

Rest of the events on this day, including messages from top Buddhist religious leaders, Masters and Scholars from different parts of the world will be streamed from Sarnath and Bodh Gaya. The whole program is being conducted virtually due to the ongoing pandemic.

Economics

NPC: It refers to National Productivity Council. NPC is an autonomous body under Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. It was founded in 1958. It is an autonomous, multipartite, non-profit organization which has been registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860. It is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an Inter-Governmental Body. India is the founder member of this body. The main objective of NPC is to promote productivity culture in India.

Recently, the 49th Governing Council Meeting of National Productivity Council (NPC) was held today through video conferencing. It was held under the Chairmanship of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

The meeting witnessed the participation of Government Officers, Leaders of Industry Associations, Industry captains, Trade Union leaders, Productivity Councils of States and other eminent personalities.

The adoption of technology and digital economy which is going to play a vital role in not only transforming the business enterprises in the future, but also in achieving the target of a five  trillion dollar economy was suggested by Piyush Goyal in the meeting. The participants in the meeting also endorsed the view that India can reposition itself only through productivity enhancement. Some of the suggestions  that emerged were  formulation of  sector specific action plans by NPC especially in agriculture and logistics identification of Champion sectors which has the potential to drive the economy, adoption of technology to increase the productivity and delivering cost-effective solutions for marginalised sector, interlinking of academia and industry for creation of a highly skilled labor force, financing of specific products to support MSMEs and increase their productivity, national audit on security impact etc.

World Bank: The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans and grants to the governments of poorer countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Development Association. It was founded in july 1944 by John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. The current President of World Bank is David Malpass.

Recently, World Bank, Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu signed an agreement to help low-income groups in Tamil Nadu State to get access to affordable housing. the agreement wotrth worth USD 250 million was signed on 29 June 2020.

The agreements have been signed for two projects. The first project is of $50 million Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development Project and the second project is of $200 million First Tamil Nadu Housing Sector Strengthening Programme. The project aims to strengthen the state’s housing sector policies, institutions, and regulations. The funds for this project will be provided through the World Bank”s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

Udyam Registration: It is the name given to the new process of Classification and Registration of MSMEs. Union Minister of Road transport & Highways and MSME Nitin Gadkari recently launched Bank of Schemes, Ideas, Innovation and Research portal (http://ideas.msme.gov.in/) on MSMEs through Video Conference i Nagpur.

The Portal gives access to all Schemes of Union, State and UT Governments. It guides the entrepreneurs step by step as to what they should know, what they should doThe consolidated notification was released in the form of guidelines for classification and registration of MSMEs, which are facing several challenges due to the COVID-19 impact.

Defence

MOD: It refers to the Ministry of Defence. MOD was created in 1776 which is 244 years ago as Military Department by the British East India Company at Kolkata but in 15 August 1947, the Department of Defence became the Ministry of Defence under a cabinet minister. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India. It is charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian armed forces. The President of India is the ceremonial commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the country. The current Defence Minister is Rajnath Singh.

Recently, the Ministry of Defence approved a proposal to acquire 33 new fighter aircraft including 12 Su-30MKIs and 21 MiG-29s along with up gradation of 59 MiG-29s at a cost of Rs 18,148 crore.  The new defence deals, 21 MiG-29 fighter jets will be procured from Russia, while 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft will be bought from State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

The decisions were taken in the meeting of the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

The ministry has also approved a separate proposal to upgrade the existing 59 MiG-29 aircraft. The up-gradation will be done by Russian Aircraft Corporation ‘MiG’ (also called Mikoyan).

It would not only help the Indian Air Force in addressing the long-felt need for increasing its fighter squadrons but also boost the combat capability of the Indian Armed Forces amid heightened tensions between India and China at the border.

Environment

Zealandia: GNS Science, a New Zealand research institute, has recently published two new maps covering Zealandia's tectonic profile and shape. Two maps and a website released by GNS Science this week give insights into the amazing forces that shaped Aotearoa New Zealand and the mostly submerged continent that lies beneath our feet.

Scientists confirmed that the submerged land mass, named Zealandia, were its own continent in 2017. But they hadn't been able to map its full breadth until now.

Zealandia is an almost entirely submerged mass of continental crust located in the southern Pacific Ocean that subsided after breaking away from Gondwanaland 83–79 million years ago. It has variously been described as a continental fragment, a microcontinent, a submerged continent, and a continent. The land mass may have been completely submerged by about 23 million years ago, and most of it (93%) remains submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean.

The political divisions under Zealandia are New Zealand, Norfolk island, Lord howe island group, New Caledonia, and Elizabeth and Middleton reefs. It is also known as Tasmantis due to its proximity to Tasman Sea. Te Riu-a-Maui is another name for Zealandia. The name and concept for Zealandia was proposed by Bruce Luyendyk in 1995.

Continent: A continent is a large area of the land on Earth that is joined together. Continents are understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. In general it is agreed there are seven continents in the world: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, Australia or Oceania, and South America.

Geologically, the continents correspond to areas of continental crust that are found on the continental plates, but include continental fragments such as Madagascar that are not commonly referred to as continents. Some geological continents are largely covered with water, such as Zealandia. Continental crust is only known to exist on Earth.

The International Day of the Tropics: The world as International Day of the Tropics is observed on June 29 every year across the globe. The day was designated to raise awareness about the specific challenges faced by tropical nations and to also celebrate the extraordinary diversity of the tropics. It is also to highlight the important role countries in the tropics will play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It also provides an opportunity to take stock of progress across the tropics, and to share tropical stories and expertise.

On 14 June 2016, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted resolution A/RES/70/267 which declared that henceforth each year 29 June is to be observed as International Day of the Tropics.

This day was declared as the International Day of the Tropics as the date to commemorate the inaugural State Of The Tropics (SOTT) Report launched on 29th June 2014 which discusses the importance of the tropical regions.

Recently, the celebration of the International Day of Tropics 2020 by SOTT was held as a social media campaign with #WildTropics & #WeAreTheTropics.

Tropics: The tropics are regions of the Earth that lie roughly in the middle of the globe i.e. the equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at 23°26′11.9″ N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at 23°26′11.9″ S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth. The tropics are also referred to as the tropical zone and the torrid zone. The tropics include the Equator and parts of North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The tropics have the characteristics of small temperature changes and long summers. Due to the high temperature and abundant rainfall, some plants can grow throughout the year. High temperature and humidity is the most suitable environment for epiphytes to grow. Plants of all sizes can vegetate under tropical climates. The tropics receive sunlight that is more direct than the rest of Earth and are generally hotter and wetter. The tropical locations are typically warm and experience little seasonal change in day-to-day temperature.

The tropical region faces several challenges such as climate change, deforestation, logging, urbanisation and demographic changes. 

WMO: It refers to World Meteorological Organization. WMO is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. The President of the World Meteorological Congress, its supreme body, is Gerhard Adrian as a successor of David Grimes. The organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was founded on 23 March 1950. The current Secretary general is Petteri Taalas.

Recently, the WMO committee of experts said that two new world records for the longest reported distance and the longest reported duration for a single lightning flash were set in Brazil and Argentina.

A single lightning flash that stretched more than 700 kilometres across Brazil last year which is equivalent to the distance between Boston and Washington DC or between London and Basel in Switzerland has created a new world record for the longest reported distance of lightning,

A lightning flash that developed continuously over northern Argentina on March 4, 2019 lasted a whopping 16.73 seconds creating new world record for the longest reported duration of lightning.

The new records for extreme lightning bursts, or 'megaflashes', during 2019, are more than double the size and duration of the previous record flashes.

The new record-breaking strikes were captured by the American Geophysical Union ahead of International Lightning Safety Day on June 28. It was recorded by equipment carried on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, and their orbiting counterparts from Europe and China.

30-30 Rule: The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reiterated the dangers of lightning. The official advice from the agency is to follow the 30-30 rule. As per the rule if the time between flash and thunder is less than 30 seconds, stay inside, and wait 30 minutes after the last observed flash, to resume outdoor activities.

CZA: It is an acronym for the Central Zoo Authority. CZA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It was constituted in 1992 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.  Apart from the chairman, it consists of 10 members and a member-secretary. Almost all of them are officials in the Environment Ministry and non-government experts are those who are wildlife conservationists or retired forest officers. The authority lays down guidelines and prescribes rules under which animals may be transferred among zoos nationally and internationally.

The main objective of the authority is to complement and strengthen the national effort in the conservation of rich biodiversity. It functions involves tasks such as recognition of the zoos, evaluation of the zoos, coordination in the planned conservation breeding programme for endangered species in Indian zoos’ approval of the exchange proposals of animals between Indian zoos and between Indian and foreign zoos; preparing and maintaining the studbooks etc.

Recently, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) reconstituted the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to include an expert from the School of Planning and Architecture and a molecular biologist.

The CZA issued an advisory for enhanced surveillance because of the news on May, which raised concerns whether animals, particularly big cats, could be a source of transmission of COVID-19 after reports emerged of a tiger in New York’s Bronx Zoo testing positive.

Indian Policy

MoFPI: It is an acronym for the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. MOFPI is a ministry of the Government of India (GoI) responsible for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to food processing in India. The ministry was founded in 1947 with a view to develop a strong and vibrant food processing industry, to create increased employment in rural sector and enable farmers to reap the benefits of modern technology and to create a surplus for exports and stimulating demand for processed food. The current Minister of MOFPI  Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a Cabinet Minister.

Recently, the Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal on June 29 launched the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME). The PM FME scheme was launched as a part of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. The scheme will be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore.

The scheme aims to provide financial, technical, and business support for the upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.

The MoFPI Minister said that this centrally sponsored scheme will generate an investment of Rs. 35,000 crore. It will also provide employment to nine lakh skilled and semi-skilled workers through access to training, formalization, information and better exposure.

Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying: The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is a newly formed ministry in India. It was formed in May 2019 by Modi government from the department of same name under Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The current Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is Giriraj Singh and the Minister of State for the same is Pratap Chandra Sarangi and Sanjeev Kumar Balyan.

Recently, the Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh launched the Fisheries and Aquaculture Newsletter. The newsletter is known as Matsya Sampada. Matsya Sampada was published by the Department of Fisheries, The operational guidelines of the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) has also been published in this first edition. From the first quarter of 2020-21, this newsletter will be published on a quarterly basis.

The main aim of Matsya Sampada is to reach out to the fishers and fish farmers of the country and to educate the fishers and fish farmers on the latest advancement in and best practices in fisheries and aquaculture. This newsletter will also serve as a communication platform in providing the latest information and developments related to the fisheries and aquaculture sector to all the stakeholders involved in the sector.

PMMSY: It refers to the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana. The PMMSY scheme was launched by the Government of India (GoI) in May 2020 with Rs.20050 crore as investment. This scheme focuses on the sustainable and responsible development in the sector of Fisheries and aquaculture which seeks to further help in creating an AtmaNirbhar Bharat. It is the largest investment in the fisheries sector with more than 100 activities and it is to be implemented during a period of 5 years from FY 2020-21 to FY 2024-25.

Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020: Drug Discovery Hackathon which is first of its kind national initiative for supporting drug discovery process was recently launched.

This online competition in which anyone and from any part of the country or world can participate was jointly launched by the Union Minister for Human Resource Development Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan.

The Ministers called upon students, academicians, researchers and professionals to participate in the Hackathon and work towards developing drugs to tackle Covid-19.

The main objective of this Hackathon is to identify drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by in-silico drug discovery through the hackathon and follow up by chemical synthesis and biological testing.

The hackathon is a joint initiative of MHRD, AICTE and CSIR, and supported by partners such as CDAC, MyGov, Schrodinger and ChemAxon. Any student in India can participate through MyGov portal.

Indian polity

Nagaland: Nagaland is a mountainous state in northeast India, bordering Myanmar. It was formally inaugurated on December 1st, 1963, as the 16th State of the Indian Union. It is bounded by Assam in the West, Myanmar (Burma) on the east, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam on the North and Manipur in the South.  Kohima is the capital of Nagaland. The Legislative Assembly of Nagaland (Vidhan Sabha) is the real executive and legislative body of the state. The 60-members of Vidhan Sabha are all elected members of the legislature who form the government executive. It is led by the Chief Minister. Unlike most states in India, Nagaland has been granted a great degree of state autonomy, as well as special powers and autonomy for Naga tribes to conduct their own affairs. Each tribe has a hierarchy of councils at the village, range, and tribal levels dealing with local disputes.

Recently, a letter was written by the Governor of Nagaland RN Ravi to chief minister Neiphiu Rio on how half a dozen armed gangs are challenging the legitimacy of the state government. In a scathing four-page letter written on June 16 by him mentioning how the armed gangs have been running extortion rackets and spreading fear while the state machinery had failed to rein them in. In his letter he warned that he will promulgate Article 371A (1) (b) of the Constitution, which gives the Nagaland governor special responsibility with respect to law and order, if things did not improve.

Article 371A(1)(b): Article 371A (1) (b) of the Constitution states that the  important functions like “transfer and posting of officials” entrusted with the maintenance of law and order of and above the district level will be with the approval of the Governor.

Article 371A: Article 371A (13th Amendment Act, 1962), Nagaland says “Parliament cannot legislate in matters of Naga religion or social practices, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice according to Naga customary law, and ownership and transfer of land without concurrence of the state Assembly.”

Articles 370 and 371 were part of the Constitution at the time of its commencement on January 26, 1950. Articles 371A through 371J were incorporated subsequently. Article 370 dealt with ‘Temporary Provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir’ while Articles 371, 371A, 371B, 371C, 371D, 371E, 371F, 371G, 371H, and 371J define special provisions with regard to another state (or states).

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020: The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was recently promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind in pursuance of the commitment to ensure safety of depositors across banks.

The Ordinance amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 as applicable to Cooperative Banks. It seeks to protect the interests of depositors and strengthen cooperative banks by improving governance and oversight by extending powers already available with RBI in respect of other banks to Co-operative Banks.

The Ordinance also amends Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act to enable making of a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of a banking company for protecting the interest of the public, depositors and the banking system and for securing its proper management, even without making an order of moratorium, so as to avoid disruption of the financial system.

The amendments however does not affect existing powers of the State Registrars of Co-operative Societies under state co-operative laws and nor does the  amendments apply to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) or co-operative societies whose primary object and principal business is long-term finance for agricultural development.

Anandiben Patel: She is the Governor of Uttar Pradesh. President Ram Nath Kovind recently appointed Anandiben Patel as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh. She will be discharging the functions of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh in addition to her own duties, as the present governor of Madhya Pradesh Lalji Tandon is undergoing treatment in Lucknow.

Madhya Pradesh: The current chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (MP) is Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is the longest serving Chief Minister of MP. The current Governor of MP is Lalji Tandon who is an Indian politician serving as the 22nd and current Governor of Madhya Pradesh. He is a member of BJP and a protégé of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Recently, the Chief Minister of MP Shivraj Singh Chouhan made a major Cabinet expansion. It was done on 2 July 2020, around 3 months after unseating the Congress’s Kamal Nath government. In the second expansion of the state cabinet 28 ministers were sworn in.

They were administered the oath of office and secretary at the Raj Bhavan by the acting MP Governor Anandiben Patel as MP Governor Lalji Tandon is undergoing treatment in Lucknow. Out of the twenty eight new ministers, twenty are of Cabinet rank and eight are of ministers of state rank.

Several loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, a long-time Congress leader who switched to the BJP in March, were among the ministers sworn in today.

The cabinet ministers are Gopal Bhargava, Vijay Shah, Jagdish Devda, Brijendra Pratap Singh, Vishwas Sarang, Imrati Devi, Dr Prabhuram Chaudhary, Bisahulal Singh, Yashodhra Raje Scindia, Bhupendra Singh, Mahendra Singh Sisodia, Pradyumn Singh Tomar. While Prem Singh Patel, Omprakash Saklecha, Aindal Singh Kansana, Usha Thakur,Hardeep Singh Dang, Arvind Bhadoria, Mohan Yadav, and Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon have become cabinet ministers for the first time.

The ministers of state include Bharat Singh Kushwaha, Inder Singh Parmar, Kanware, Brijendra Singh Yadav, Ramkhelawan Patel, Ram Kishor, Girraj Dandotia, Suresh Dhakad, and OPS Bhadoria. All of them have become ministers for the first time.

Earlier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had recently visited Delhi i.e., after a gap of about 120 days to discuss Cabinet expansion in the state. The Chief Minister was accompanied by State BJP President V. D. Sharma and General Secretary Party Organization Suhas Bhagat. He had a meeting with several top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah,President J. P. Nadda and Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The first expansion of the Cabinet took place on 21st of April when five Ministers were inducted into the Cabinet.

 

International

RIC Trilateral Grouping: It refers to the Russia-India-China trilateral grouping. A special  RIC trilateral Foreign Minister's Video Conference was recently organized to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War.

RIC as a strategic grouping came together as a strategic triangle in the late 1990s under the mentorship of Yevgeny Primakov as “a counterbalance to the Western alliance.”

Primakov, a Russian politician and diplomat who was also the prime minister of Russia from 1998 to 1999, is credited for the idea of RIC. The group was formed for renewing old ties with India and fostering the newly discovered friendship with China.

Kosovo: It is a partially-recognised state in Southeast Europe because Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state and continues to claim it as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.

Kosovo, on 17 February 2008, unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. It is a landlocked country in the center of the Balkans and bordered by the uncontested territory of Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest and Montenegro to the west. The capital of Kosovo is Pristinaa

Since its declaration of independence, it has become a member of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, though not of the United Nations. It has also gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 97 member states of United Nations.

Recently, an indictment charging Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaci of war crimes during the Kosovo independence war in the 1990s has been filed by the Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Ireland: Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. The state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and effectively became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state. It was officially declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. The currency used here is Euro (EUR). The capital of Ireland is Dublin. The current President of Ireland is Michael D Higgins

Recently, Micheal Martin, leader of Fianna Fail, has been elected Ireland's prime minister, or Taoiseach, as part of a coalition deal struck involving a rotating premiership. He was elected by the lower house of the Irish parliament.

He won the election by receiving 93 votes in favour, 63 votes against and 3 votes in abstention. He has been the leader of the Fianna Fáil party since 2011.

He will lead a three-party coalition consisting of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party. It is the first time in history that former Civil War rivals Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have governed together.

International Day of Parliamentarism: This Day is celebrated on 30th June every year. The 30th June was declared as the International Day of Parliamentarism in 2018 by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/72/278, recognized the role of parliaments in national plans and strategies and in ensuring greater transparency and accountability at national and global levels. This day also coincides with the day in 1889, close to 131 years ago, that the IPU (the global organization of parliaments) was founded. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

This Day celebrates parliaments and the ways in which parliamentary systems of government improve the day-to-day lives of people the world over. It is also an opportunity for parliaments to take stock, identify challenges, and ways to address them effectively.

This year, International Day of Parliamentarism is being celebrated on 30th June under the theme “Parliaments in a time of Pandemic.” It is observed to demonstrate the difficult times the world is facing due to the ongoing pandemic and to encourage parliaments to continue playing their oversight roles amidst the challenges of Covid-19.

India-Bhutan: An agreement was recently signed by India and Bhutan for the construction of the 600 MW Kholongchhu joint venture hydroelectric project in Bhutan. The Concession Agreement was signed between the Royal Government of Bhutan and Kholongchu Hydro Energy Limited for the Kholongchhu (Joint Venture) Hydroelectric Project in the virtual presence of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bhutanese counterpart Tandi Dorji, a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This is the first-ever Joint Venture (JV) project between India and Bhutan.

Kholongchu Hydroelectric Project: The 600 MW run-of-the-river project is located on the lower course of the Kholongchhu River in Trashiyangtse District in Eastern Bhutan. The project will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy limited, a Joint Venture (JV) company formed between Drunk Green power Corporation(DGPC) of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited(SJVNL) of India. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025. The Project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 meters height.

India Bhutan Hydropower Projects: The Government of India (GoI) has so far constructed 3 Hydroelectric Projects (HEPs) in Bhutan totaling 1416 MW (336 MW Chukha HEP, 60 MW Kurichhu HEP and 1020 MW Tala HEP), which are operational and exporting surplus power to India.

India has also recently completed 720 MW Mangdechhu HydroElectric Power Project and both sides are in process of expediting the completion of other ongoing projects including the 1200MW Punatsangchhu-1 & 1020MW Punatsangchhu-2. This project was jointly inaugurated earlier in August last year by the Prime Ministers of India and Bhutan. With this, four hydroelectric projects of bilateral cooperation totaling over 2100 MW, are already operational in Bhutan.

Hydropower sector is the flagship area of India-Bhutan bilateral cooperation.

Indian-Bhutan Friendship Treaty: On August 8, 1949, India and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Friendship, calling for peace between the two nations and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. However, Bhutan agreed to let India “guide” it’s foreign policy and both nations would consult each other closely on foreign and defence affairs. India re-negotiated the 1949 treaty with Bhutan and signed a new treaty of friendship in 2007.

Under the 2007 India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty, the two sides have agreed to “cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests. Both the Governments have also agreed not to allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other.

ASEAN: It refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN is a regional intergovernmental organisation and it comprises of 10 countries in Southeast Asia. It was created on 8 August 1967 by 5 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. The ASEAN Secretariat is located at Jakarta, Indonesia. It was created with an aim to promote intergovernmental cooperation. The organisation also facilitates political, economic, military, educational, security, and socio-cultural integration among its members as well as in other countries in Asia. ASEAN has been India’s utmost priority under its Act East Policy. The 10 member countries are Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Laos.

Recently, the 36th edition of the biannual ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)  Summit 2020 was held via video conferencing in Hanoi, Vietnam. This year, the theme of the Summit was “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”. The main focus of the summit was on the COVID-19 epidemic response, post-pandemic recovery and further cooperation with partners.

The 36th ASEAN summit was scheduled to be held in April 2020 in central Vietnam”s Da Nang, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iceland: It is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic. It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. It is a country of extreme geological contrasts. Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world's most active volcanoes. It is also the land of light and darkness. Iceland is known as one of the youngest landmasses on the planet and was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans. Vikings from Norway discovered Iceland by accident over 1,100 years ago. The capital city of Iceland is Reykjavík. The currency used here is Icelandic króna.

Recently, Gudni Th. Johannesson was re-elected as the President of Iceland. He won his second four-year term as the president of Iceland in the presidential elections with 92% of the popular vote which the second-largest win in Icelandic presidential elections. While his counterpart Gudmundur Franklín Jónsson was only able to win 6.5% of the votes.

Presidents in Iceland are elected via direct popular vote, while each presidential term is of four years. Gudni Th. Johannesson worked as a history professor at the University of Iceland before taking office as President of Iceland in year 2016.

Vladimir Putin: Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia. He recently won a resounding victory in his bid to stay in power until the middle of the next decade i.e. until 2036. He recorded a victory in the recently held Presidential polls.  

Russians went to the polls to cast ballots in a nationwide referendum on Constitutional Amendments. A preliminary tally of results was released by Russia's Central Election Commission as polls closed, after processing 50 per cent of ballots, stating that 76.24 per cent of the citizens who voted supported the amendments. The early results are reminiscent of the 2018 Presidential Election, when Putin won re-election in a landslide with three quarters of ballots cast.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born on 7 October 1952 in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). He studied law at Leningrad State University, graduating in 1975. He is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who has served as President of Russia since 2012, previously holding the position from 1999 until 2008. He was also the Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012.

National

Ministry of Steel: The Ministry of Steel is an executive branch agency of the Government of India (GoI). It was founded in 2017. It is responsible for formulating all policies regarding steel production, distribution and pricing in India. Currently, the ministry is headed by a minister of cabinet rank, Dharmendra Pradhan and is assisted by a Minister of State, Faggan Singh Kulaste.

Recently, Union Minister of Steel & Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated Continuous Galvanized Rebar Production Facility at Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab. The inaugurated facility which is a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative will support the much awaited need of supplying galvanized rebar to the construction industry. With the focus on large-scale expansion in infrastructure sectors and driving steel intensity, the demand for galvanized steel is set to rise.

Steel in general, and galvanized steel in particular, is a material of strength which is environment-friendly and cost-effective.

Galvanized Reber: Galvanized Reber is also known as hot-dipped galvanized or zinc coated rebar. It is used as an alternative to epoxy coated rebar for applications which are subject to corrosion and saltwater. It can be widely used in bridges and thruways.

The zinc coating not only serves as a barrier to corrosive elements that the rebar is exposed to when embedded in concrete but it makes it more stronger than traditional steel. It protects the inner metal from corrosion and it also provides a level of cathodic protection. It is much easier to bond to concrete firmly and is cost effective as well. 

Ministry of Minority Affairs: It is a ministry of the Government of India (GoI). It was carved out of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It was created on 29 January 2006 to ensure a more focused approach towards issues relating to the notified minority communities namely Muslim, Christian, Budhist, Sikhs, Parsis and Jain. The minority religious communities in India are notified as minority communities in The Gazette of India[2] under Section 2(c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. The mandate of the Ministry includes formulation of overall policy and planning, coordination, evaluation and review of the regulatory framework and development programmes for the benefit of the minority communities. The Union Minister of Minority Affairs is Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and the Shri Kiren Rijiju is the Minister of State for Minority Affairs.

Recently, Union Minister of Minority Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi laid the foundation stone for “Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap” in Rampur,Uttar Pradesh.

The Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap is a community centre and will be utilized for various socio-economic-cultural activities, skill development training, coaching, relief activities during disaster such as Corona and different sports activities. It is being constructed with the cost of Rs 92 crore. It is being constructed by Union Minority Affairs Ministry under Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK).

PMJVK: It refers to the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram. The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram for effective implementation. PMJVK is implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs. It main aim is to provide better socio economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development.

The National Doctor’s Day, 2020: The National Doctor’s Day is celebrated in India on the 1st of July every year. Doctor’s Day was established by the Government of India in 1991.This day is celebrated by Indian Medical Association (IMA) to recognise the invaluable work done by doctors and physicians and thank them for their dedicated service. The day also marks the birth and death anniversary of Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. He was the one of the most renowned physician of India. He was also the second chief minister of West Bengal.

The theme for National Doctor’s Day 2020 is “Lessen the mortality of COVID 19” and includes awareness about asymptomatic hypoxia and early aggressive therapy. This day holds even greater value now that doctors are working on the frontlines, putting their lives at risk, to treat COVID-19 affected patients.

The first International Doctor’s Day was observed on March 28, 1933, in Winder, Georgia.

National Charted Accountants Day: This day is also known as CA Day. National Charted Accountants Day or CA Day is celebrated on 1st July every year. This day is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) by the parliament of India in 1949. Every year on the day of the establishment of the ICAI, CA Day is celebrated to honour the Chartered Accountant.

Recently, the 72nd National Chartered Accountants Day was celebrated on the 1 July 2020.On this occasion, a virtual national CA summit 2020 was organized by ICAI from June 29 to July 1, 2020. The theme of the event is, ‘Transforming the Future: Enabling Excellence, Augmenting Trust’

ICAI: It refers to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. ICAI functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India(GOI). It was established on 1st July in the year 1949 under an Act passed in Parliament. It is the national professional accounting body of India and also the second biggest accounting organization in the world. It is the sole licensing and regulatory body for the financial audit and accounting profession in India, and its recommendations are followed by everyone – from the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) to companies and accounting organizations. Its affairs is managed by a Council as per the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988. It is headquartered in New Delhi. The current President of ICAI is CA Atul Kumar Gupta.

NFRA: It refers to the National Financial Reporting Authority. NFRA was constituted on 1 October 2018 by the Government of India under Sub Section (1) of section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013. The current Chairman of NFRA is R.Sridharan.

MoHUA: It is an acronym for Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. MoHUA  is a federal ministry of Government of India with executive authority over the formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to the housing and urban development in India. It was founded in 1952. The current Minister responsible for MoHUA is Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge).

Recently, the sixth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India, the toolkit for Swachh Survekshan 2021 (SS 2021) was launched by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of MoHUA, Hardeep Singh Puri. The survey was conducted by MoHUA. The Swachh Survekshan Survey 2021 will be conducted from 4th January to 31st January 2021. The SS 2021 indicators focus on parameters pertaining to wastewater treatment and reuse along with faecal sludge'.

Swachh Survekshan is redesigned innovatively every year so as to ensure that the process becomes more robust, with a focus on sustaining the behavior change. 

As part of SS 2021, the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister also announced a new category of awards titled Prerak Dauur Samman.

Prerak Dauur Sammam: The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub- categories:-

1. Divya (Platinum)

2. Anupam (Gold)

3. Ujjwal (Silver)

4. Udit (Bronze)

5. Aarohi (Aspiring) - with top three cities being recognized in each.

In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:

1. Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories

2. Processing capacity against wet waste generated

3. Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste

4. Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing

5. Percentage of waste going to landfills

6. Sanitation status of cities 

People In News

Mary Jackson: She was an American mathematician and aerospace engineer at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) who was part of a group of very important women who had NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. NACA in 1958 was succeeded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Recently, Space agency NASA announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C. would be named after Mary W. Jackson (1921-2005), the agency’s first African American female engineer.

The 2016 film ‘Hidden Figures’ sheds light on her contributions as an engineer. Mary Jackson, in 2019 was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

The ‘Congressional Gold Medal’ is the highest award granted to civilians in the United States. 

Vini Mahajan: IAS Vini Mahajan has recently become the first woman chief secretary of Punjab. She is a 1987-batch IAS officer. She is youngest of all 6 colleagues and retires in October 2024.

She will be replacing Karan Avtar Singh, who has now been posted as Special Chief Secretary, Governance Reforms and Public Grievances . Karan Avtar Singh was set to retire on August 31.

At present, Vini Mahajan is the only Punjab cadre officer in the state to hold a Secretary’s post at the Centre. She has received the National Literacy Award for best performance in India. She also became the 1st woman officer to be posted as Deputy Commissioner (DC) in Punjab in 1995, where she took charge as DC in Ropar & served as the 1st Director Disinvestment. She even participated in the global response through the G-20 mechanism.

Chakravarthi Rangarajan: He is the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has recently been conferred with the first Prof. P C Mahalanobis Award in Official Statistics for lifetime achievements.

He was awarded with the prestigious award on the occasion of the National Statistics Day on 29 June 2020, by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

He received this prestigious award for his contribution in providing solutions in the issues related to the estimation of national income.

The award has been instituted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) from 2020, and will henceforth be awarded annually for the outstanding and meritorious contribution of an individual for the development and promotion of official statistics.

Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis: He was an Indian scientist and statistician. He is considered the father of modern statistics in India, founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), shaped the Planning Commission (which was replaced by the NITI Aayog on 1st January 2015) and pioneered methodologies for large-scale surveys. He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure, and for being one of the members of the first Planning Commission of free India. He made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India.

MoSPI: It refers to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. MoSPI is a ministry of Government of India (GoI). It is concerned with coverage and quality aspects of statistics released. The surveys conducted by the Ministry are based on scientific sampling methods. MoSPI came into existence as an Independent Ministry on 15.10.1999 after the merger of the Department of Statistics and the Department of Programme Implementation. The Ministry has two wings, one relating to Statistics and the other Programme Implementation. The Statistics Wing called the National Statistical Office(NSO) consists of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), the Computer center and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation and Ministry of Planning is Rao Inderjit Singh.

National Statistics Day: National Statistics Day is celebrated on 29th June every year on the birth anniversary of Prof. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, in recognition of his invaluable contribution in establishing the National Statistical System.

This year, the Statistics Day 2020 was celebrated virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for 2020 was:-

Sustainable Development Goal-3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages)

Sustainable Development Goal-5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

P.V. Narasimha Rao: His full name was Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao. He was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1971.

His Achievements:-

He was part of Vande Matram movement in late 1930s in the Hyderabad state.

He was an active freedom fighter during the Indian Independence movement and joined full-time politics after independence as a member of the Indian National Congress.

He is best known for introducing sweeping economic reforms that liberalised the Indian economy. He is known as the Father of Economic Reforms. He sought to dismantle the License Raj system, reduce red tape and make Indian industries more competitive. He laid the foundation for trade liberalization and re-integration of Indian economy with the global economy, especially East Asian economies.

His foreign policy were establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and reversing decades of frosty relations between India and the United States by bringing them together. He also launched the Look East policy.

 

He is also known as the Father of Indian nuclear Program. He energised the national nuclear security and ballistic missiles program, which ultimately resulted in the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests by Vajpayee-led NDA government (the tests were planned in 1996 but they were not carried out as government at centre got changed due to 1996 general election).

He was also fairly successful in controlling the separatist movements in Punjab and Kashmir.

His Local governance included the path-breaking 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments empowering local bodies.

He was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to steer economic and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority government.

Recently, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary i.e. on 28 June 2020.

Beyonce: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actress. She was born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. Beyoncé Knowles first captured the public's eye as lead vocalist of the R&B group Destiny's Child. She later established a solo career with her debut album Dangerously in Love, becoming one of music's top-selling artists with sold-out tours and a slew of awards.

She was recently honored with the BET 2020 Humanitarian Award for her longstanding philanthropic work with her BeyGOOD Foundation, including her recent COVID-19 relief efforts such as #IDIDMYPART, a mobile testing initiative. The award was presented by the former First Lady Michelle Obama.

BET Awards: This award is an American award show which celebrates African Americans and other minorities in music, acting, sports and other fields of entertainment over the past year. It was established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network.

Indra Mani Pandey: He is a 1990 batch IFS officer is presently additional secretary in the External Affairs ministry. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

He was recently appointed as the next Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva.

Siddhartha Mukherjee and Prof. Raj Chetty: They are two renowned Indian-Americans honoured by prestigious American foundation. They have been named among the ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ honourees by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. They have been honoured for their contribution towards the efforts in mitigating the COVID-19 health crisis.

They are among the 38 immigrants honored by a prestigious American foundation ahead of US Independence Day commemoration this year.

Siddhartha Mukherjee is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and oncologist while Raj Chetty is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. They both are known for their valuable contribution to their respective fields.

Places In News

Faridabad: Faridabad is the most populous city in the Indian state of Haryana. It is a leading industrial centre and is situated in the National Capital Region bordering the Indian capital New Delhi. It is one of the major satellite cities of Delhi and is located 284 kilometres south of the state capital Chandigarh. It was included in the second list of Smart Cities Mission on 24 May 2016 by the Government of India (GoI).

Recently, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday digitally laid the foundation stone of Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) centre to come up in Faridabad.

The research infrastructure at the new campus includes state-of-the-art laboratories and pilot plants in the domains of alternative and renewable energy.

It is going to focus on non-conventional energy domains besides the conventional ones and will aim at indigenisation of several frontline and sunrise technologies.

The new campus would also focus on demonstration and deployment of various technologies developed by Indian Oil R&D, and will work in tandem with the existing campus at Sector-13, Faridabad.

Karnataka:It is a state in the south western region of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. Its capital city is Bangalore. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Karnataka are B. S. Yediyurappa and Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala respectively.

Recently, the Karnataka government launched a portal called “Skill Connect Forum”. The portal was launched by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa which will bring together both private entrepreneurs and job seekers on the same platform.

This portal not only seeks to connect job seekers with employers on a common platform but will also provide job seekers information on available jobs.

Registration on the “Skill Connect Forum” portal by individuals can be done by uploading their details such as qualification, skill sets and other details. In the same manner, employers will also register on the portal which will match the requirement and availability.

An unemployed person will be imparted a skill and then made ready to get a job.

Jobseekers can register on the portal by uploading their educational, skill qualifications and other details on https://skillconnect.kaushalkar.com.

Madhya Pradesh: It is the second largest Indian state by area. Its capital is Bhopal. The Chief Minister and Governor of Madhya Pradesh are Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Lal Ji Tandon respectively.

 

Recently, Madhya Pradesh government launched “Hamara Ghar-Hamara Vidyalaya” over a virtual platform to take care of academic regularity of the students during the Lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was launched by the Principal Secretary Rashmi Arun Shami of Madhya Pradesh (MP). The scheme will start on 6th July 2020.

Hamara Ghar-Hamara Vidyalaya: Hamara Ghar-Hamara Vidyalaya scheme was prepared by the Education Center of MP. Hamara Ghar-Hamara Vidyalaya means My Home – My School. This scheme will provide a school like environment to the children taught at their home through online classes.

Under the scheme, the school bells are going to be heard within the student’s house and the teachers will begin the class of the students after the bell. The classes will be held from 10.00am to 1.00pm with 1 hour classes for every subject.

The topic preparation for the teachers of class 1 to 8 will be provided and the the timetable for the students’ education and other activities under this scheme will be  prepared by the School Department of Education.

As per the time table, the students will have subject classes from Monday to Friday and on Saturday the students will be engaged in activities like yoga, write and listen to stories etc.

Under this scheme, the teachers, under this scheme will also discuss and take feedback from the students and parents.

Nagaland: Nagaland is a mountainous state in northeast India, bordering Myanmar. It was formally inaugurated on December 1st, 1963, as the 16th State of the Indian Union. Kohima is the capital of Nagaland. The Legislative Assembly of Nagaland (Vidhan Sabha) is the real executive and legislative body of the state. The 60-member of Vidhan Sabha are all elected members of the legislature who form the government executive. It is led by the Chief Minister. Unlike most states in India, Nagaland has been granted a great degree of state autonomy, as well as special powers and autonomy for Naga tribes to conduct their own affairs. Each tribe has a hierarchy of councils at the village, range, and tribal levels dealing with local disputes. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Nagaland are Neiphiu Rio and R.N. Ravi respectively.

Recently, the Government of India (GoI) declared the entire Nagaland as “disturbed area”. The declaration has been made for a further period of 6 months i.e. till end December.

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”.

Science and Technology

DST: It refers to the Department of Science & Technology. DST is a department within the Ministry of Science and Technology in India. It was founded on 3 May 1971. It's responsibility is to promote new areas of science and technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating and promoting Scientific and Technological activities in the country. It gives funds to various approved scientific projects in India. It also supports various researchers in India to attend conferences abroad and to go for experimental works. Minister of State Dr. Harsh Vardhan is the current head of the department, while Ashutosh Sharma is its present secretary. The DST now operates Open Access Policy.

Recently, the Secretary Prof Ashutosh Sharma of DST launched the official Logo to celebrate Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year of DST.

The newly launched logo will be printed on stationery items of DST, social, digital, and print documents. 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.

DST is observing Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year between the period 3rd May 2020 to 2nd May 2021 with activities like lecture series, bringing out publications, documentaries, updating Wikipedia pages of Survey of India, and Autonomous Institutions under DST etc.

Drones: A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or uncrewed aerial vehicle. It is an aircraft without a human pilot on board and a type of unmanned vehicle. Essentially, a drone is a flying robot that can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS. Abraham Karem who was born in Baghdad to a Jewish couple is regarded as the founding father of UAV (drone) technology. During WWII, Reginald Denny created the first remote-controlled aircraft called the Radioplane OQ-2. This was the first massed produced UAV product in the U.S and was a breakthrough in manufacturing and supply drones for the military.

Recently, India has become the first country to control locusts through drones after finalizing the protocols and getting all statutory approvals. Locust control operations are going on in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra. In total 60 ground control teams of Locust Circle Offices and 12 drones are being used for the operations

Under the Make in India initiative, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW), Agriculture Ministry has indigenously developed a vehicle-mounted Ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayer for locust control. Locust is a crop-threatening migratory pest that has entered the country through the India-Pakistan border.

Aerial spray by drones was used for locust control because the ground control vehicles sprayers have the ability to spray up to a height of 25-30 feet only. The tractor-mounted sprayers too have a limitation in reaching inaccessible areas and tall trees.

Project Platina: Project Platina is the World’s largest Convalescent Plasma Therapy Trial project. Project Platina was recently launched by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray. It was launched virtually at Nagpur’s government medical college.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given the approval to conduct convalescent plasma therapy trials at 23 centres but as of now it will be done at 17 centres and 4 medical colleges of BMC in Mumbai. 

The project will help Maharashtra as it has been the worst-hit state in India to create a robust data for the use of Convalescent Plasma Therapy and also  help in establishing an infrastructure for plasma treatment in the state.

Convalescent plasma therapy (CPT): Plasma therapy or Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) has been proved to be useful in fighting other coronavirus diseases, such as SARS and MERS. It aims to make use of the antibodies developed in the recovered patient against the infections.

Under this therapy, the whole blood or plasma will be obtained from those patients who have recevered from COVID-19 and then the blood is injected into critically ill patients so that the antibodies are transferred and boost their fight against the virus.

PULSE: It is a 3D printed device invented by NASA. This  new innovation has been named, 'PULSE'. The app works by alerting the wearer of the gadget to stop exposure to the risky activity. When a person, wearing the gadget gets their hand too close to the face (knowingly or unknowingly), PULSE triggers a beeping noise and alerts the wearer of the same.

The gadget is shaped like a pendant and it is to be worn around the neck. It works best when placed 6 inches below the chin. It has a tiny vibration motor in place. The haptic feedback from a vibration motor simulates a nudge, reminding the wearer to avoid touching these entryways in order to reduce potential infection", reads a statement released by the makers.

NASA: It is an acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States. The Administrator of NASA is Jim Bridenstine and the Deputy Administrator of NASA is James Morhard.

MeitY: It refers to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. MeitY is an executive agency of the Union Government of the Republic of India. It was carved out of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on 19 July 2016 as a standalone ministerial agency responsible for IT policy, strategy and development of the electronics industry. The current Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology is Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – NITI Aayog launched a Digital India Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge for Indian tech entrepreneurs and startups. The challenge will aim to help realise the vision of Prime Minister for building a Digital India.

This innovative challenge which will be open for tech entrepreneurs and startups will have two tracks. Track one will be the promotion of existing apps and track two will be the development of new apps.

Track 1: In the first part of the App Innovation Challenge has cash awards and incentives for apps. It is aimed at creating an ecosystem where Indian entrepreneurs and startups are inspired to ideate, incubate, build, nurture and sustain tech solutions that can serve not only the country, but also the world - “Make in India for India and the World”.

Under the challenge, innovators are invited to develop apps in 8 categories. They are Office Productivity & Work from Home, E-learning, Social Networking, Health & Wellness, News, Entertainment, Games and Business including Agritech and Fin-tech. The Innovation Challenge has been made available on innovating .mygov.in/app-challenge from 4th July 2020. Track-1 is likely to be completed in a month.

Track 2: Track 2 which is yet to be launched will begin when Track 1 is completed.  It aims to seek to identify Indian startups,entrepreneurs,companies and encourage them with ideation, incubation, prototyping, and roll out of applications. This track will run for a longer duration of time. The details about the exact duration of this phase will be issued soon by the Ministry.

 

Sports

Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu: She is an Indian weightlifter from Manipur. She will be receiving the Arjuna Award for 2018. She is a two-time Commonwealth Games gold-winning weightlifter. She was recently exonerated of doping charges. Chanu won the gold medals at the 2014 Glasgow and the 2018 Gold Coast events in the women's 48 kg and 53 kg weight category respectively.

Nitin Menon: He is an Indian umpire who has recently been inducted into International Cricket Council’s Elite Panel of Umpires. He has been inducted for the upcoming 2020-21 season by the selection panel comprising of ICC General Manager (Cricket) Geoff Allardice (Chairman), Indian commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, and match referees Ranjan Madugalle and David Boon. He will be replacing England’s umpire Nigel Llong.

He has become the 3rd Indian umpire to be included in the ICC’s after former captain Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Sundaram Ravi.

Nitin Menon was earlier a part of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires. He has an experience of officiating in three Tests, 24 One Day Internationals and 16 T20 Internationals.

ICC: It refers to the International Cricket Committee. ICC is the world governing body of cricket. It was founded as the Imperial Cricket Conference in 15 June 1909 by representatives from Australia, England and South Africa. It organises world championship events such as Cricket World Cup, Women's Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup, ICC Women's T20 World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and Under-19 Cricket World Cup. The current Chairman of ICC is Shashank Manohar and the Chief Executive is Manu Sahney.

NADA App: It is the first National Anti-Doping Agency’s first mobile app named as “NADA App”. This app was recently launched by the named as “NADA App” to help atheletes stay updated on banned substances. The initiative is an important step towards dope free sports.

This app acts as a bridge between athletes and the NADA by providing easy accessible information about sports and banned substances and their use which affects the career of athletes. It is expected to act as a one-stop guide for all anti-doping and medication related information.

Athletes can not only use this mobile application in the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) to update their whereabouts but also know about decisions from the disciplinary and appeal panels and for Dope Control Officers to record their availability for testing.

The app allows doping control officers to record their availability to conduct a test through this app for quicker process of dope test for athletes.

NADA: It refers to the National Anti-Doping Agency. NADA is the national organisation responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the doping control program in sports in all its forms in India.  NADA is formed by the Union Government under the societies Registration Act. It was foounded on November 24, 2005. It is headquartered in New Delhi. The current

Director General (DG) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NADA is Navin Agarwal. The motto of NADA is ‘Play Fair’.

Ravindra Jadeja: He is an Indian all-rounder cricketer. He has recently named as the country’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ (MVP) of the 21st century by Wisden.

Jadeja made his debut in 2009 and represented India in 49 test matches, 165 ODIs and 49 T20Is as of 2020. His MVP rating is around 97.3 which is second only to Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka making him the second most Valuable Test Player of the 21st Century. Wisden used CricViz, a detailed analysis tool in cricket to analyse his performance.

Sports Ministry: The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is a branch of the Government of India (GoI). It administers Department of youth affairs and Department of Sports in India. The Ministry was set up as the Department of Sports at the time of organisation of 1982 Asian Games New Delhi. The current Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports is Kiren Rijiju (MOS independent charge).

Recently, the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched ‘Fit Hai to Hit Hai India’ under Fit India campaign for school children. Fit Hai To Hit Hai India webinar program was launched, under India’s flagship Fit India campaign.

Under this flagship program Fit India has launched a series of interactive sessions with some of the top sports persons who will be sharing their experiences of childhood, stories on how they got inspired, their failures, struggles and their success. This will give the audience a very inspirational yet interesting account of their journeys.

This webinar marked the launch of ‘#FitIndiaTalks’, which will see a series of talks and interactive sessions being held by leading sports celebrities for students. The main objective of the program is to inspire and motivate the school children about the importance and need to stay fit during this pandemic.  There will be a total of 6 sessions which will go on till 14th of this month.

The likes of badminton star Ashwini Ponnappa, table tennis star Manika Batra, Indian women’s hockey team skipper Rani Rampal, shooter Apurvi Chandela and inspirational Paralympian Deepa Malik will join in at the sessions.

The ‘Fit India Talks’ sessions are being organized in association with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

Current affairs books and magazine

Current Events Of National And International Importance

Current Affairs 2019

Current Affairs in India (Previous Years)