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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.

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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 September 06 to September 12

Sports

F1 Italian Grand Prix 2020: Pierre Gasly (Scuderia AlphaTauri, France) has recently won the Formula One Italian Grand Prix 2020. It was held at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy. This is his first Grand Prix win. Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren, Spain) came second followed by Lance Stroll (Racing Point, Canada) in third place. Lewis Hamilton ended at 7th place after he earned a 10-second stop and go penalty.

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AITA: It refers to the All India Tennis Association. AITA recently elected Member of Parliament Dr. Anil Jain as its new president. He was unanimously elected as the president in the Annual General Meeting held in New Delhi. All the office-bearers, as well as the new executive committee members, were elected unopposed.

Anil Dhupar was chosen as its secretary-general.

India’s Davis Cup captain Rohit Rajpal was elected as the treasurer for a four-year term till 2024.

Anil Jain will be replacing Praveen Mahajan as AITA president and Dhupar will replace Hironmoy Chatterjee.

AITA: AITA is the governing body of tennis in India. It was established in March 1920 and affiliated by International Tennis Federation and Asian Tennis Federation. It operates all of the Indian national representative tennis sides, including the India Davis Cup team, the India Fed Cup team and youth sides as well. It is also responsible for organizing and hosting tennis tournaments within India and scheduling the home international fixtures.

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Cristiano Ronaldo: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal has become the second men's player to score 100 international goals in Football. He is only the second men's player to reach 100 goals for his country after Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran.

The 35-year-old had 99 goals under his belt when he took the field during Portugal's Nations League clash against Sweden and netted a brilliant goal to complete the century. He then scored again to dominate Portugal's 2-0 win.

Ronaldo has six international hat tricks, and has scored seven goals in the FIFA World Cup stage and another nine at the UEFA Euros in his career.

India’s Sunil Chhetri (72) and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (70) are the next closest.

Arts

Uttarakhand: It is a state in northern India crossed by the Himalayas. It is known for the natural environment of the Himalayas, the Bhabar and the Terai and also for for its Hindu pilgrimage sites. It is often referred to as the "Devabhumi" (literally "Land of the Gods"). Its winter Capital is Dehradun and summer capital is Gairsain. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Uttarakhand are Trivendra Singh Rawat and Baby Rani Maurya respectively.

Recently, a 13-million year old fossil ape was discovered in Uttarakhand. The fossil, which belongs to unknown species of Kapi ramnagarensis, is said to be the earliest ancestor of the modern-day gibbon.

The finding fills a major gap in the ape fossil record and provides an important evidence about the ancestor of gibbon that migrated from Africa to Asia.

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Paresh Rawal: He is a former Lok Sabha MP and Bollywood actor who has recently been appointed as the new chief of National School of Drama by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Rawal made his debut with the 1985 film Arjun. He played a supporting role in the film. He, however, gained recognition after the release of the 1986 blockbuster Naam. In a career span of over three decades, Rawal has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

National School of Drama: The National School of Drama is one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India. It is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. It was set up by the Sangeet Natak Akademi as one of its constituent units in 1959. In 1975, it became an independent entity.

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Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana: Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana was a Telugu literary legend, Kavi Samrat. His 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations was recently inaugurated by the Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu.

 Shri Viswanatha Satyanarayana (1895 – 1976) was a 20th century Telugu writer. He was a student of the illustrious Telugu writer Chellapilla Venkata Sastry, of the Tirupati Venkata Kavulu duo. He wrote in both a modern and classical style, in complex modes.

His works included poetry, novels, dramatic play, short stories and speeches, covering a wide range of subjects such as analysis of history, sociology, philosophy, religion,  political science etc. His popular works include Ramayana Kalpa Vrukshamu (Ramayana the wish-granting divine tree), the novel Veyipadagalu (The Thousand Hoods) and Kinnersani Patalu (Mermaid songs).

He was awarded the honorific "Kavi Samrat" (emperor of poets).

In 1970 Indian government awarded Padma Bhushan to him and in 1971 he was awarded with Jnanpith Award for his book "Ramayana Kalpavriksham". He was the first Telugu writer to receive Jnanpith Award.

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Golden Temple: The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, meaning "abode of God" or Darbār Sahib, meaning "exalted court", is a Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas. The land for the custruction of the holy temple was acquired by Guru Ram Das. The Gurudwara has been built around a man-made pool, which was completed by the Guru Ram Das, who happens to be fourth Sikh Guru, in 1577. Guru Arjan initiated the construction of the Golden Temple in 1581. The gurdwara, in present day, is administered by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). 

Recently, the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration has been granted to Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar by the Union Home Ministry. It will now enable the Golden Temple to receive foreign donations which can be used by the Sikh shrine for providing financial and medical assistance to the needy. It can also be used to organize langar which is a free community kitchen.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010: The FCRA Act is implemented by Ministry of Home Affairs. The Foreign Contribution (regulation) Act, 2010 is an act of the Parliament of India, by the 42nd Act of 2010. The act, in its consolidating form, was originally passed in 1976 and majorly modified in 2010. The act regulates the foreign funding of voluntary organizations in India. Under the Act, donating organizations need to register themselves every 5 years. A person with a definite educational, cultural, economic, religious or social programme can accept foreign contribution after registration or permission from the Central Government. However, election candidate, Member of any legislature (MP and MLAs), Political parties, publishers of a registered Newspaper, Judge, government servant or employee of any corporation owned by the government cannot accept the foreign contributions.

Current Affairs August 30 to September 05

Arts

BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet: The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers' Meeting was recently held on September 3, 2020. It was held under the chairpersonship of Russian Federation.

The delegates from Culture Ministries of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa participated in the meeting. Union Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel virtually attended the 5th BRICS Culture Ministers Meeting from the Indian side.

During the meeting, the discussion was held on the impact of the epidemiological situation on the cultural sphere in the BRICS countries. It also reviewed the possible implementation of joint cultural online-projects within BRICS.

BRICS: It is the acronym coined for an association of five major emerging national economies which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as "BRIC", before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are known for their significant influence on regional affairs. All are also the members of G20. Since 2009, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. BRICS headquarter is situated at Shanghai, China. BRICS members are known for their influence in regional affairs.

Economics

NAR: It refers to the National Academy of RUDSETI. E-Foundation stone laying ceremony of the new training Institute building of National Academy of RUDSETI (NAR) was recently held in Bengluru.

The NAR undertakes monitoring, mentoring and capacity building of the Rural Self Employment Training Institutes staff (585 RSETIs are spread across 566 districts of the country), State/UT Rural Livelihood Mission staff and the concerned Bank officials on behalf of the Ministry of Rural Development.

NAR is a Trust registered under Indian Trusts Act. It is a resource organization committed to Entrepreneurship Development through motivation, training and facilitation. It is also in to capacity building of development organizations by orienting and training the rural development workers and development officials

It is a joint venture promoted by two public sector Banks and an Educational Trust of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala.

National Academy of RUDSETI (NAR), an offshoot of RUDSETI movement is spearheading the concept by Training the Trainers,facilitators and mentoring the Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) established across the country.

Agriota E-Marketplace: It is a new technology-driven agri-commodity trading and sourcing e-market platform that will bridge the gap between millions of rural farmers in India and the Gulf nation’s food industry.

Agriota E-Marketplace has recently been launched by the Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).

The platform which uses blockchain will help in bridging the gap between millions of rural farmers in India and the UAE’s food industry.

Under the initiative, the Agriota platform will connect Indian farmers directly with the entire food industry in the UAE, including food processing companies, traders as well as wholesalers.

The E-Marketplace will not only enable them to bypass intermediaries and optimise the supply chain but will also ensure end-to-end traceability and transparency in order to create value for all stakeholders. This will result in empowerment of local communities and provide better quality farm-to-shelf products, simultaneously expanding the UAE’s long-term food security.

DMCC: It refers to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre. DMCC was established in 2002 by the Government of Dubai to provide the physical, market and financial infrastructure required to establish a hub for global commodities trade. The current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DMCC is Ahmed Bin Sulayem.

South Indian Bank: South Indian Bank Limited (SIB) is a major private sector bank headquartered at Thrissur in Kerala. The Bank was founded on 29 January 1929. The South Indian Bank Tagline is 'Experience Next Generation Banking'.

Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the appointment of Murali Ramakrishnan as Managing Director and CEO of the South Indian Bank for a period of three years with effect from October 1, 2020.

Murali Ramakrishnan: Ramakrishnan had retired from ICICI Bank as Senior General Manager at Strategic Project Group on 30 May 2020. During his tenure at ICICI Bank, in the last assignment, Ramakrishnan was heading a business transformation project of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) business. He joined the South Indian Bank as an advisor on 1st July 2020. He represented the bank in the board of CIBIL and the risk advisory board of VISA for the Asia Pacific.

Punjab & Sind Bank: Punjab & Sind Bank is a government-owned bank, with headquarters in New Delhi. The bank has overall 1559 branches which are widely spread across India, out of which 623 branches are in Punjab state. The bank was founded on 24 June 1908. The Punjab & Sind Bank tagline is "Where Service is a Way of Life".

Recently, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of S Krishnan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Punjab & Sind Bank. He will be replacing S Harishankar.

Earlier to this elevation, S Krishnan was as an Executive Director at Canara Bank.

Defence

Indian Navy: The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff, a four-star admiral, commands the navy. It was founded in 5 September 1612. The main objective of the Indian Navy is to protect the country’s maritime borders and help in the expansion of its forces. There 3 commands under the Navy are the Western Naval Command (Headquarters at Mumbai), the Eastern Naval Command (Headquarters at Visakhapatnam) and the Southern Naval Command (Headquarters at Kochi). The current Chief of Navy Staff (CNS) is Karambir singh.

Recently, Vice Admiral S R Sarma assumed charge as the Chief of Material of the Indian Navy. He is a postgraduate in Computer Science and Engineering from IISc, Bengaluru, and a distinguished alumnus of Naval Higher Command Course. Admiral Sarma during  illustrious career spanning over three and a half decades has served onboard Indian Naval ships Vindhyagiri, Rana, Krishna and Mysore in various capacities.

In recognition of his distinguished services, the Admiral was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. He is also a recipient of Lt VK Jain Gold Medal in 1994.

He will be relieving Vice Admiral G.S. Pabby, PVSM, AVSM, VSM who superannuates on completion of an illustrious naval career spanning close to four decades.

INDRA NAVY: It is a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy. The 11th edition of exercise ‘INDRA NAVY’, started in the Bay of Bengal on the 4th of  September 2020. Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-day naval exercise would be undertaken in a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ format.

The Indian Navy deployed guided missile destroyer Ranvijay, indigenous frigate Sahyadri and fleet tanker Shakti, along with their integral helicopters for the exercise while the Russian Federation Navy is being represented by destroyer Admiral Vinogradov, destroyer Admiral Tributs and fleet tanker Boris Butoma of the Pacific Fleet, based at Vladivostok.

The maritime exercise “INDRA NAVY” which was which was initiated in 2003, embodies the long-term strategic relationship between the two Navies of India and Russia.

The primary objective of exercise INDRA NAVY-20 is to further consolidate inter-operability built up by the two Navies over the years and also to enhance understanding and procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations.

The last edition of the exercise was conducted off Visakhapatnam in December 2018.

Environment

CSIR-CMERI: CSIR refers to the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and CMERI refers to the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute. CSIR-CMERI is a public engineering research and development institution located in Durgapur, West Bengal. It is a constituent laboratory of the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Recently, the world’s Largest Solar Tree has been developed by the CSIR-CMERI. It has been installed at CSIR-CMERI Residential Colony, Durgapur in West Bengal.

The installed capacity of the Solar Tree is above 11.5 kWp. It has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power. A single solar tree comprises of 35 Solar PV Panels each having a capacity of 330 wp each. It has been designed in such a way that it ensures maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight. The inclination of the arms holding the Solar PV Panels are flexible and can be adjusted as per requirement, this feature is not available in Roof-Mounted Solar facilities.

Each Solar Tree will cost Rs 7.5 lakhs and the interested MSMEs can align their Business Model with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers, for developing a Renewable Energy based Energy Grid. The data of the energy generated by the tree can be monitored either real-time or on daily basis. AS this tree seeks to ensure minimum Shadow Area it will make it available for usage in Agricultural activities like  e-Tractors, e-Power Tillers and High Capacity Pumps.

GTAM: It refers to Green Term Ahead Market. The Pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) was recently launched by the Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy. GTAM was launched by him virtually in New Delhi for electricity. GTAM is the World’s First Exclusive Product Market for the renewable energy sector.

GTAM will lead to an increase in the number of participants in the Renewable Energy Sector. It will benefit buyers of Renewable Energy (RE) by providing them competitive prices, and transparent, flexible procurement.

Transactions through GTAM will be bilateral in nature with clear identification of corresponding buyers and sellers, there will not be any difficulty in accounting for Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). GTAM contracts will be segregated into Solar RPO & Non-Solar RPO as RPO targets are also segregated. Energy scheduled through GTAM contract shall be considered as deemed RPO compliance of the buyer.

World Coconut Day: The day is observed on the 2nd of September every year. The main objective of celebrating this day is to create awareness across the globe about the importance of the coconut and its benefits. The day is especially marked in countries under Asian and Pacific regions by the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community (APCC) as they house most of the world’s coconut growing production centres.

The first World Coconut Day was celebrated in the 2009. The occasion is to commemorate the foundation day of APCC, which operates under the flagship authority of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).

Recently, World Coconut Day was observed on 2nd September 2020. The theme of World Coconut Day this year is – ‘Invest in Coconut to save the world’

Indian Policy

MoC: It refers to the Ministry of coal. MoC is an Indian government ministry headquartered in New Delhi. The Ministry is charged with exploration of coal and lignite reserves in India, production, supply, distribution and price of coal through the government-owned corporations Coal India Limited and its subsidiaries, as well as Neyveli Lignite Corporation. The MoC is currently headed by Cabinet Minister Pralhad Joshi.

 Recently, Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad joshi  addressed a webinar on Coal Gasification and Liquefaction. The webinar was organised by Ministry of Coal (MoC) in New Delhi for discussing the road map for achieving the target. Around 700 delegates from Government of India, CIL and the coal sector attended the webinar.

The key highlights of this webinar are:

1. India aims for 100 million tonnes (MT) coal gasification by 2030 with investments worth over Rs. 4 lakh crores, said Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Coal and Mines.

2. For encouraging use of clean sources of fuel, government has provided for a concession of 20% on revenue share of coal used for gasification. This will boost production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, urea for fertilisers and production of other chemicals.

A Steering Committee, for development of Surface Coal Gasification in India, has been constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog comprising of members from the Ministry of Coal.

CIL has also planned to set up at least 3 gasification plants (besides Dankuni) on BOO basis through global tendering and has signed an MOU with GAIL for marketing synthetic natural gas.

Coal Gasification: Coal Gasification is a process of producing syngas, a mixture consisting primarily of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), carbon dioxide (CO2), natural gas (CH4), and water vapour (H2O). Syngas is also called water gas and is used in the synthesis of methanol and a number of hydrocarbons.

The benefits of coal Gasification as opposed to combustion, is that it is the most thermally efficient and cleanest way to convert the energy content of coal into electricity, hydrogen, clean fuels, and value-added chemicals

Coal liquefaction: It is a process of converting coal into liquid hydrocarbons: liquid fuels and petrochemicals. 

Mission Karmayogi: It is the name of a skill-building programme for country’s civil servants. The initiative is established under the New National Architecture for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB). It is meant to be a comprehensive post-recruitment reform of the Centre’s human resource development which is similar to pre-recruitment changes in the form of the National Recruitment Agency.

Mission Karamyogi initiative was recently approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The decision was announced during the media briefing on cabinet decisions by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar.

This mission aims at capacity building to lay the foundation for civil servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian culture while learning from best practices across the world. It has been launched to prepare the Indian Civil Servant for the future by making him more creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive, energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled thereby empowering the Civil Servants with specific role-competencies, and ensuring efficient service delivery of the highest quality standards.

The mission is being set up to build future ready civil servants, who will have the right attitude, skills and knowledge that will be in line with the vision of New India.

A wholly owned Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) not-for-profit company for NPCSCB will be set up under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. Under the program, an integrated government online training platform, iGOTKarmayogi, will be set up for the mission. The SPV will create and operationalize the content, market place and manage key business services of the iGOT-Karmayogi platform.

The apex bodies under the mission will be governed by the Prime Minister’s Human Resource Council, which will also include state Chief Ministers, Union Cabinet ministers, and experts, who will convene under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister himself. This was shared by C Chandramouli, Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training.

A sum of Rs.510.86 crore will be spent over a period of 5 years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 to cover around 46 lakh Central employees. The expenditure is partly funded by multilateral assistance to the tune of USD 50 million.

NITR: It refers to the National Institute of Tribal Research. An agreement was recently signed between Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi for setting up of National Institute of Tribal Research (NITR) at the IIPA campus, New Delhi. The agreement was signed in the presence of Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda.

The proposed NITR will be functional in a few months and will be engaged in quality tribal research in collaboration with reputed government organizations and NGOs spread over the country.

Addressing at the valedictory session of Two Days National Tribal Research Conclave being held virtually through webinar, Shri Arjun Munda said that tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) have a very important role to play and their research should focus on drawing road map for future development so the new NITR should also have an educational wing to educate students on tribal development and tribal art & culture.

Indian polity

Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is a region administered by India as a Union Territory. It was a region formerly administered by India as a state from 1954 to 2019. Provisions for the formation of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir were contained within the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, which was passed by both houses of the Parliament of India in August 2019. The current Lieutenant Governor of J&K is GC Murmu.

Recently, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved J&K official languages Bill 2020. According to the J&K official languages Bill 2020, five languages which are Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, Urdu and English, will be the official languages in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The J&K official languages Bill 2020 will be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming Monsoon Session. This bill will include Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as official languages of the Union Territory.

The inclusion of Dogri, Hindi and Kashmiri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir will not only be a fulfillment of a long-pending public demand but  also keep up with the spirit of equality.

Assam Legislative Assembly: It is the unicameral legislature of the Indian state of Assam. It is housed the capital of Assamin Dispur. It is geographically situated in present Western Assam region. The Legislative Assembly comprises 126 Members of Legislative Assembly, directly elected from single-seat constituencies. It was founded on 7 April 1937.

Recently, the Assam legislative Assembly passed Bill to protect Tangible Heritage that is not presently covered by the state and national law. The bill has been drafted by by the Directorate of Archaeology, under the guidance of State Cultural Affairs (Archeology) Minister Keshab Mahanta.

According to the Government of Assam the passage of the Assam Heritage (Tangible) Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Maintenance Bill, 2020 is a historic step towards implementing Clause 6 of Assam Accord.

As per the clause, constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

The Tangible Heritage Bill covers various museum objects like manuscripts, sculptures, coins, epigraphs or other work of art and craftsmanship and all cultural artifacts of indigenous people which are significant to community, nation and humanity.

The act will cover all those heritage that have been in existence for at least 75 years, and will be other than those declared as national importance by Parliament or those covered under the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959.

The Assam Assembly also passed the Bill to set up unitary, residential, state university Sati Sadhani Rajyik Vaishwavidyalaya in Golaghat district. The Council of Ministers in 2019 had decided to set up the varsity in memory of Sati Sadhani, who was the last queen of the Chutia dynasty and played a prominent part in the fight against the Ahoms. 

In addition, the assembly passed the Assam College Employees (Provincialisation)(Amendment) Bill, 2020. This bill extends the period to refund govt share of contributory provident fund to retired or expired employees of the provincialised colleges..

AAMR Act, 1959: It refers to the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959. The AAMR act was enacted by the Parliament. Under the act, the state govt shall notify any of the ancient monuments as protected.

Assam Accord: Assam Accord was signed by Government of India (GoI), State Govt of Assam and the leaders of Assam Movement in in 1985. It was signed to conclude the six year agitation that was launched by the All Assam Students Union in 1979. The students protested on detection and deportation of migrants who had illegally entered Assam in 1951.

Clause 6 of Assam Accord: According to the Clause 6 of Assam Accord, the constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards may be provided to protect, promote and preserve social, cultural and linguistic identities and heritage of Assamese people.

Parliament Sessions: The period during which the House meets to conduct its business is called a session. The Constitution empowers the President to summon each House at such intervals that there should not be more than a six-month gap between the two sessions. Hence the Parliament must meet at least twice a year. In India, the Parliament conducts 3 sessions each year which are the Budget session from January/February to May, Monsoon session from July to August/September and Winter session from November to December.

Recently, a notification was issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. According to the notification issued there would be no Question Hour during the Monsoon Session of Parliament, which has been truncated to September 14-October 1 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that Zero Hour will be restricted in both Houses. Opposition MPs have criticized the move, saying they will lose the right to question the government. Monsoon session of Parliament is scheduled to begin from September 14 and conclude on October 1.

The Government also said that it is ready to reply to unstarred questions during Monsoon Session of Parliament.

Question Hour: Question Hour is the first hour of a sitting session of India's Lok Sabha devoted to questions that Members of Parliament raise about any aspect of administrative activity. The concerned Minister is obliged to answer to the Parliament, either orally or in writing, depending on the type of question raised.  It is during this one hour that Members of Parliament ask questions of ministers and hold them accountable for the functioning of their ministries. The questions that MPs ask are designed to elicit information and trigger suitable action by ministries.

Parliament has comprehensive rules for dealing with every aspect of Question Hour. And the presiding officers of the two houses are the final authority with respect to the conduct of Question Hour. Question Hour in both Houses is held on all days of the session. But there are two days when an exception is made.

There is no Question Hour on the day the President addresses MPs from both Houses in the Central Hall. Question Hour is not scheduled either on the day the Finance Minister presents the Budget.

Asking questions of the government has a long history in our legislative bodies. Prior to Independence, the first question asked of government was in 1893. It was on the burden cast on village shopkeepers who had to provide supplies to touring government officers.

Zero Hour: The time immediately following the Question Hour has come to be known as "Zero Hour". It starts at around 12 noon (hence the name) and members can, with prior notice to the Speaker, raise issues of importance during this time. While Question Hour is strictly regulated, Zero Hour is an Indian parliamentary innovation. The phrase does not find mention in the rules of procedure. The concept of Zero Hour started organically in the first decade of Indian Parliament, when MPs felt the need for raising important constituency and national issues.

There are four types of question which are Starred, non-starred, short notice question and questions to private members.

1. Starred Questions are those for which an oral answer is expected. The member is allowed to ask a supplementary question, with the permission of the Speaker, after the reply is obtained from the Minister concerned. These questions are printed in green colour and are marked with asterisk sign '*', in order to distinguish from other questions.

2. Non-starred questions are those for which a written reply is expected. After the reply has been provided, no supplementary question can be asked. A notice period is to be given to the minister to reply to a question. These questions are printed in white colour and not more than 230 questions can be listed for a day in Lok Sabha.

3. Short notice questions are those which are asked on matters of urgent public importance and thus, can be asked on a shorter notice i.e. less than 10 days. These questions can be answered orally and supplementary questions can be asked. These questions are printed in yellow-pink colour.

4. Questions to private members are those which are asked to members who are not ministers. These questions are related to private member bill, parliamentary committees, and private member resolutions.

International

Mujib Barsho: It is the birth centenary year of Bangladesh’s founder president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The High Commission of India recently gifted books on the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the liberation war of Bangladesh to 100 universities and colleges in Bangladesh to mark Mujib Barsho in Bangladesh. An online book gifting session as part of Mujib Barsho was organized by the High Commission of India.

High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das said that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the founder of modern Bangladesh and one of the most influential and courageous leaders of the 20th century and that it was Bangabandhu who laid the foundation of India-Bangladesh relations.

India-Japan: India and Japan have had a long and fruitful history of bilateral development cooperation since 1958.

 Japan has recently committed an official Development Assistance loan of 3,500 crore rupees for the COVID-19 Crisis Emergency Response Support to India. .

This Grant-in-aid from the Government of Japan is for providing medical equipment to strengthen the public health and medical system in India. This programme loan aims to support India’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 and to prepare the health system to manage future epidemics

The recent step further consolidates and strengthens the Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan.

JICA: it refers to the Japan International Cooperation Agency. JICA is a governmental agency that coordinates Official Development Assistance for the Government of Japan.

Lebanon: Lebanon, officially known as the Republic of Lebanon, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus lies west across the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated by the Lebanon Mountains and has taken on a triangular shape. It is largely influenced by its situation between and atop two hills: Al-Musaytibah and Al-Ashrafieh. The capital of Lebanon is Beirut. The currency used here is Lebanese pound. The current President of Lebanon is Michel Aoun.

Recently, Mustapha Adib who is Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany, has been appointed prime minister in crisis-hit Lebanon. Adib, who has been Beirut’s Berlin envoy since 2013, is affiliated with a small Sunni party headed by former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab had resigned days after the blast which killed many poeple in Lebanon.

President Michel Aoun asked Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany Mr Adib to form a new government after he secured 90 votes in the 128-member Parliament.

Turkey: Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered on its northwest by Greece and Bulgaria, north by the Black Sea, northeast by Georgia, east by Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran, southeast by Iraq, south by Syria and the Mediterranean Sea, and west by the Aegean Sea. Ankara is the capital of Turky. The currency used here is Turkish lira. The current President of Turkey is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Recently, the Foreign Minister of Turkey renewed call for dialogue with rival Greece that would lead to the fair sharing of resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey and Greece are locked in a tense standoff over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Both countries’ forces have been conducting military exercises in the seas between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete.

The standoff was sparked when Turkey sent its research vessel, Oruc Reis, accompanied by warships to search for gas and oil reserves.

Greece, a member of the European Union (EU), claims the waters are part of its continental shelf while Turkey insists that Greek islands near Turkey’s coast cannot be taken into account when delineating maritime boundaries.

Crete Island: Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica. It bounds the southern border of the Aegean Sea.

Greece: Greece officially the Hellenic Republic, known also as Hellas. It is a country located in Southeast Europe. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Athens is the capital city of Greece and the currency used here is Euro.

G20: The G20 means the Group of Twenty. It is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (EU). The membership of the G20 consists of 19 individual countries plus the European Union. The members of the G20 group are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union (EU). It was established on 26 September 1999 with an aim to discuss policy pertaining to the promotion of international financial stability. The objective of G20 is to unite world leaders around shared economic, political and health challenges. The current Chairman of G20 is King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (2020).

Recently, the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting chaired by Saudi Arabia  was held in the virtual mode focusing on cross border movement amidst the pandemic. External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar represented India.

During the meet, India proposed development of G-20 Principles on Coordinated Cross border movement of people. This new set up will be based on following three pillars:

1. Standardization of testing procedures and universal acceptability of test results

2. Standardization of ‘Quarantine procedures’

3. Standardization of ‘movement and transit’ protocols

During the meet, the leaders acknowledged the importance of opening the borders and promote the measures to allow the economies to thrive amidst COVID-19 pandemic and they also discussed the national experiences and lessons acquired from the cross-border management initiatives taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National

Pranab Mukherjee: He was the former President of India. He passed away at the age of 84. He had tested positive for the coronavirus disease before undergoing successful surgery to remove a brain clot. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh, India's neighbouring countries, paid their tributes to the former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee upon his demise on August 31.

The government of Bangladesh announced national mourning to honour the memory of the former President of India Pranab Mukherjee who passed away.

About Pranab Mukherjee: Pranab Kumar Mukherjee (1935 – 2020) was an Indian politician who served as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017. He was fondly known as ‘Pranab Da’. He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 2019. He was the fifth president to receive this Bharat Ratna award.

He was a senior leader in the Indian National Congress and occupied several ministerial portfolios in the Government of India. He first served as Finance Minister of India in 1982–84. He was also the Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1985.

Before becoming finance minister for the first time as part of Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet in 1982, Mukherjee had served as a deputy minister for finance in 1973-74.

Mukherjee also served on the board of governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank.

He was appointed head of Planning Commission in 1991 and foreign minister in 1995.

From 2004 until his resignation in 2012, Mukherjee held a number of key cabinet portfolios in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government such as Defence (2004–06), External Affairs (2006–09) and Finance (2009–12).

Bangladesh had conferred the honour of ‘Bangladesh Muktijuddho Sommanona’ on the former President Pranab Mukherjee in 2013 for his valuable contribution to Bangladesh’s Liberation War of 1971.

Note: Other Indian recipients of this award were Former Prime Minister I. K. Gujral and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

NNW: It refers to the National Nutrition Week. NNW is observed every year from 1st September to 7th September since 1982 and can be considered a significant period to raise awareness on the therapeutic effects of foods.

It was first organized in 1982 by Food and Nutrition Board that operates under Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD). The main objective of NNW is to educate people in all states across India regarding the importance and role of nutrition in the human body.

The theme for National Nutrition Week 2020 is ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite’. Awareness generation camps, workshops and educational programmes inform people on how food helps with immunity, preparing food right to avoid loss of nutritional value and more.

The Central government recently launched the POSHAN Abhiyan with an aim to make India Malnutriton free by 2022. The main objective of this initiative is to reduce the stunted growth with the support of Aanganwadi workers in the districts of India which are identified with the highest malnutrition burden.

Poshan Maah: Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently during the monthly radio broadcast programme “Mann ki Baat, announced that September 2020 should be celebrated as “Poshan Maah” or “Nutrition Month”.

He added that India people have a maxim- ‘Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam’ which means that our mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake.

He stated that to increase the awareness of nutrition among the children, the schools must introduce Nutrition Monitor and Nutrition Cards.

During the Nutrition Month, Food and Nutrition Quiz and meme competition will be organised by the MyGov portal. The month will be celebrated across India to educate everyone on the importance of optimum nutrition. The nutrition month was celebrated earlier in September 2018 and 2019. Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh was being developed to provide information about food produced in every district of the country.

New Initiative by the Central Government: 

1. Agriculture Fund of India with information about the crops of each district and their nutrition value are being prepared.

2. A unique nutrition park has been created at the Statue of Unity, where people can witness the nutrition-related education along with other fun activities. 

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 is Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a Cabinet Minister.

Recently, the Union Ministery of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) gave its nod to 27 projects under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY). Under the project, integrated cold chains are to be developed.

The new integrated cold chain projects seeks to generate direct and indirect employment for over 16,000 people and benefit nearly 2,57,000 farmers.

These 27 new projects will leverage a total investment of Rs 743 crore. The cold chain facilities are to be opened in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

The main objective of these new projects is saving the perishable produce, by provisioning adequate infrastructure, will help in augmenting farmers’ incomes and will also act towards making India self-reliant in the fruits and vegetables sector.

85 Cold Chain Projects have also been considered for financial assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana.

PMKSY: It refers to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana. PMKSY is a Central Sector Scheme approved by the Cabinet Committee on Ecoconomic Affairs (CCEA) in 2017. It was approved in 2017 under 14th Finance Commission. 

Earlier, in 2016, MoFPI introduced an umbrella Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters or SAMPADA, which was proposed to be implemented with an allocation of ₹6,000 crores for the period of 2016-20. In 2017, SAMPADA was renamed as the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY).

The scheme is aimed at creating modern infrastructure with efficient supply chain management from farm gate to retail outlet. The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries(MoFPI).

The main objectives of PMKSY are - Creation of modern infrastructure for food processing mega food parks/ clusters and individual units, to create effective backward and forward linkages like linking farmers, processors and markets and to create robust supply chain infrastructure for perishables

It is an umbrella scheme incorporating 7 components under PMKSY which are:

1. Mega Food Parks.

2. Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure.

3. Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Clusters.

4. Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages.

5. Creation/Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.

6. Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure.

7. Human Resources and Institutions.

“Water Heroes – Share Your Stories”: It is the name given to the contest launched by the Jal Shakti ministry.  It has been launched with an aim to reach out to people with the important message of water conservation and management.

The primary objectives of the Ministry of Jal Shakti are to make water conservation a people’s movement and strengthen the water consciousness in the country.

Teachers Day: India celebrates Teachers Day on the 5th of September. This day is dedicated to the country's first vice president, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. The day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

Globally, Teachers Day is celebrated on 5th October. But in India, it is celebrated on 5th September from 1962 onwards. This is the year when Dr Radhakrishnan assumed charge as the President of India. Since then the day is celebrated to acknowledge the hardship, challenges and the unparalleled role played by teachers in our lives.

In schools, this day is celebrated with great pomp and show. A function is held organized by the children and it was dedicated to their favorite teachers.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: He was born on 5 September 1888. He was an Indian philosopher, academic, and statesman who served as the first Vice President of India (1952–1962) and the second President of India (1962–1967).

He served as the professor of philosophy at Mysore(1918-21) and Calcutta(1937-41) universities. He was the first Indian to hold a professorial chair at the University of Oxford.

He was the bridge-builder between East and the West due to his great knowledge. He had the ability to simplify complex ideas. He was famous for his work on comparative religion, comparative Eastern and Western philosophy. His philosophy was grounded in Advaita Vedanta, reinterpreting this tradition for a contemporary understanding.

He was awarded several high awards during his life, including a knighthood in 1931, the Bharat Ratna in 1954, and honorary membership of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.

He was also one of the founders of HelpAge India, a non-profit organisation for elderly underprivileged in India.

Sarvepalli believed that "teachers should be the best minds in the country".

People In News

Rajiv Kumar: He is a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer, He has recently taken charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. He has joined the Election Commission of India with Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra.

Rajiv Kumar has above 36 years of Government of India service. He has a very rich work experience across various sectors namely Social Sector, Environment & Forests, Human Resources, Finance and Banking Sector. Afer retiring as Finance Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in February 2020, he served as the Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board from April 2020 to 31st August 2020.

Hemant Khatri: Commodore, Hemant Khatri (Retd) has recently been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of state-owned defence shipbuilder, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

His appointment as the CMD of HSL was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC) on 27th May 2020 with effective from 1st September 2020 till 31st July 2025 the date of his superannuation or until further orders.

He will be replacing Rear Admiral L V Sarat Babu (Retd). Previously, Hemant Khatri was serving as the Director of Strategic Projects HSL.

Previously, Hemant Khatri was serving as the Director of Strategic Projects HSL.

HSL: It is the acronym for Hindustan Shipyard Limited. HSL is a shipyard located in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh on the east coast of India. It was established on 22 June 1941. HCL was previously founded as the Scindia Shipyard and in 1961 the shipyard was nationalised and renamed Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL). It was built by industrialist Walchand Hirachand as a part of The Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd. The first ship to be constructed fully in India after independence was built at the Scindia Shipyard and named Jal Usha.

In 2010, HSL was transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the Ministry of Defence. The yard played a critical role in the development of nuclear-powered, Arihant class submarine.

Aveek Sarkar: He is the Editor Emeritus and Vice Chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications. He has recently been elected as the chairman of Press Trust of India (PTI). He will be succeeding Vijay Kumar Chopra, Chief Editor of the Punjab Kesari Group of newspapers.

Aveek Sarkar was the founding Managing Director of Penguin India, the Indian counterpart of Penguin Books, the founding Editor of Business Standard and also the pivotal figure behind the acquisition of STAR News by the ABP Group in 2003. He was also the Chief Editor of ABP Group of publications. He was ranked as one of the most powerful Indians in 2009 by The Indian Express.

PTI: It refers to the Press Trust of India. PTI is the largest news agency in India. It was founded in 27 August 1947 and is headquartered in New Delhi. It is the only news agency in South Asia which operates its own communication satellite, an INSAT, to broadcast news and information.

Raj Srivastava: He is an IFS officer of 1997 batch. He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Croatia. He is presently serving as the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy of India, Tokyo.

Croatia: Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia, is a country in Southeast Europe. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy. The capital of Croatia is Zagreb. The currency used here is Croatian kuna. The current President of Croatia is Zoran Milanovic.

Places In News

Lakshadweep: It was formerly known as the Laccadive, Minicoy and Aminidivi Islands is a group of islands in the Laccadive Sea, 200 to 440 km (120 to 270 mi) off the southwestern coast of India.

The group of 36 islands is known for its exotic and sun-kissed beaches and lush green landscape. The name Lakshadweep in Malayalam and Sanskrit means 'a hundred thousand islands. The archipelago is administered as a union territory and district of India. The capital of Lakshadweep is Kavaratti. The current Lakshadweep Administrator is Dineshwar Sharma.

Recently, the Union Territories (UTs) of Lakshadweep and Ladakh  have been included in the ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ scheme on ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System’(IM-PDS). After the integration of these two UTs, a total of 26 States /UTs Connected with the Scheme and will benefit about 65 crore people.

The integration of Lakshadweep and Ladakh with the scheme was approved by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan in a review meeting chaired by him.

Both, Lakshadweep and Ladakh completed the trial and testing of national portability transactions with other states/UTs in the national cluster.

The remaining states will be integrated into the scheme by March 2021.

Ladakh: Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. Until 2019, Ladakh was a region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In August 2019, the Parliament of India passed an act by which Ladakh became a union territory on 31 October 2019. The capital of Ladakh is Leh, Kargil. The current Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh is Radha Krishna Mathur.

Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. Its Capital city is Lucknow. The Chief Minister and the Governor of Uttar Pradesh are Yogi Adityanath and Anandiben Patel respectively.

Recently, Uttar Pradesh government launched Major "Dhyan Chand Vijaypath Yojana". Under this yojana, road connectivity will be established upto the houses of 19 international players.

The players who will be benefited with this scheme are Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, former pacer Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Mohammad Kaif. The initial list of the beneficiaries includes 19 players and in the coming time more players will be added to this scheme.

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 cabinet chaired by  B. S. Yeddyurappa approved a new IT Policy, 2020. The policy will help the state to increase its contribution in achieving its goal of 1 trillion USD. Furthurmore, the policy aims to generate over 60 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the sector. The policy is to be executed between 2020 and 2025.

The main goal of the IT Policy 2020 is to enable Information Technology industry to contribute 30% to India’s goal of becoming a trillion-dollar economy. The new policy seeks to boost IT penetration and innovation, distributed labour force and evolve a Cyber security policy.

The need for this new policy was felt as Karnataka is the IT hub of the country and its capital Bengaluru is the fourth largest technology cluster in the world. It is also the first state in the country to formulate an IT policy in year 1997, which gave a boost to the growth of the industry. Karnataka’s IT industry has emerged as one of the largest employment-generating industries and 80 per cent of global IT companies have their operations in India and R&D centres in the state. Around 80% of global Information Technology companies have their operations in India and Research and Development centres in the state.

However, COVID-19 induced lock down has worsened finances of Karnataka. The reduction in cash inflows from the centre has forced Karnataka into more debt. It has also led to amendment of laws on industries, land and labour.

The other approvals by the Cabinet are as follows:

1. The cabinet also cleared special incentives for the newly proposed Electronics System Design and Manufacturing or ESDM cluster (Electronics System Design and Manufacturing).

2. The cabinet approved capital investment subsidy of 25% of subsidy on land and complete reimbursement on land conversion rate and stamp duty and registration.

3. An amount of Rs 600 crores was approved for the water shed rejuvenation project. This included Rs 420 crores financing from the World Bank across 20 districts.

The Karnataka government, through these measures, is expecting an investment of over Rs 5,00 crores. Also, it is expecting to generate 43,000 direct employments in the coming 5 years.

Punjab: Punjab is a state in northern India. Punjab in its present form came into existence on 1 November 1966. The city of Chandigarh, within the Chandigarh union territory, is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana. Punjab means "The Land of Five Waters", which are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas. The current Chief Minister and Governor of Punjab are Captain Amarinder Singh and V.P.Singh Badnore respectively.

Recently, Punjab Government Punjab government rolled out “I Rakhwali” App to ensure greenery and to protect the environment in Punjab.

The development of app is state governments’ effort to supplement its drive to preserve and maintain the environment in Punjab and to make people stakeholders in the process. ‘I Rakhwali’ App seeks to inspire people to plant more trees and become ‘Greenery Saviours’.

The mobile application can also be used for reporting illegal felling of trees as well as any damage to forests, by bringing the matter to the notice of the concerned Forest Divisional Officer. Hence, the state will be able to safeguard its forest area by making people a stakeholder in this process.

Hyderabad International Airport: The Hyderabad International Airport or GMR led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) is an international airport that serves Hyderabad, the capital of the Indian state of Telangana. It is located in Shamshabad, about 24 kilometres south of Hyderabad. It was opened on 23 March 2008 to replace Begumpet Airport. The airport is the first Public Private Partnership in the Indian airport infrastructure sector between GMR Infrastructure Ltd (63%), Malaysian Airports Holdings Berhad (11%), Airports Authority of India (13%) and Government of Andhra Pradesh (13%).

Recently, the Hyderabad International Airport  won the ‘National Energy Leader’ and ‘Excellent Energy Efficient Unit’ awards at the 21st National Awards for ‘Excellence in Energy Management’.  Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited-Vizag Steel Plant (RINL-VSP) has also been awarded ‘Excellent Energy Efficient Unit’ award by CII-GBC in national award competition for excellence in energy management.

CII-GBC ‘National Energy Leader’ award: The ‘National Awards for Excellence in Energy Management’ is instituted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Godrej Green Business Centre (GBC) to recognize significant and innovative practices of the energy efficiency sector, for the energy-efficient and sustainable growth of the Indian industry.

Odisha: Odisha also formerly Orissa, is an Indian state located on the eastern coast of India. It is an eastern Indian state on the Bay of Bengal. It is known for its tribal cultures and its many ancient Hindu temples. The Jagannath Temple in Puri is a very sacred and religious temple of Hindus. The capital of Odisha is Bhubaneswar. The Governor and the Chief Minister of Odisha are Ganeshi Lal and Naveen Patnaik respectvely.  

Recently, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched two citizen-centric mobile applications Ama Sahar and Swachha Sahar Odisha. These two apps were launched on the occasion of Local Self Government Day which was observed at the Lok Seva Bhawan.

These apps enable the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to submit the utilization certificates over online for the betterment of fiscal management.

Science and Technology

MEDBOT: It is a remote-controlled medical trolley named ‘MEDBOT’ developed by the Indian Railways. It has been developed to help deliver food and medicines to COVID-19 patients.

During Corona crisis, apart from providing transport facilities and essential items like foodgrains to people, Indian Railways has also provided facilities for COVID-19 patients.

It is providing service in the Central Hospital of the Diesel Rail Engine Factory of Indian Railways.

IR: It refers to the Indian Railways. IR is India's national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways. It is among the world's largest rail networks. The current Minister of Railways is Piyush Goyal.

RRI: It refers to the Ramn Research Institute. RRI is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology. It is located in Bangalore, India. It was founded in 1948 by Nobel laureate C. V. Raman. Although it began as an institute privately owned by Sir C. V. Raman, it is now funded by the government of India (GoI).

Recently, scientists from RRI institute have found a new way of inferring the state of a system (both two-dimensional qubits as well as higher-dimensional “qubits”) from an interference pattern, which they term ‘Quantum State Interferography’.

This work, partially supported by the QuEST network programme of the DST, has been accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The scientists experiment with new ways to manipulate quantum states so that they can be harnessed for computing, communication, and metrology. This method of characterization is called Quantum State Interferography. It can help make such manipulations simpler so that several crucial operations in quantum technologies become less cumbersome.

The setup requires only two interferometers from which many interferograms can be obtained to reconstruct the state.

This provides a ‘black box’ approach to quantum state estimation between the incidence of the photon and extraction of state information, conditions within the set-up are not changed, thus providing a true single-shot estimation of the quantum state.

Qubit: A qubit is a 2-dimensional quantum system and requires usually 2 complex numbers to be determined towards state estimation. In classical computing, the information is encoded in bits, where each bit can have the value zero or one. In quantum computing, the information is encoded in qubits.

IIT-Bombay: IIT Bombay or IITB is the abbreviation of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. IIT-Bombay is a public technical and research university located in Powai, Maharashtra. The institute was founded in 1958. In 1961, the Parliament decreed IITs as Institutes of National Importance. The current Director of IIT-Bombay is Subhasis Chaudhuri.

Recently, IIT Bombay has developed an indigenous alternative to Chinese document-scanning app, following the Centre's decision to ban 59 mobile apps. IIT Bombay students, giving a push to the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ call by the Prime Minister, launched a free-of-cost mobile scanner application called as AIR SCANNER.

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) based Reading Assistant and Document Scanner app has been developed by Rohit Kumar Chaudhary and Kavin Agrawal.

“AIR Scanner” App: AIR Scanner app does not collect any information about the user and all the documents are stored in the phone’s local storage. The app saves the scanned document in PDF format and stores directly in the device. 

GW190521: GW190521 is a gravitational wave signal resulting from the merger of two black holes near a third super massive black hole. The event was observed by the LIGO and Virgo detectors on 21 May 2019.

As per the description by the LIGO Collaboration, the signal detected at LIGO and Virgo resembled “about four short wiggles” and lasted less than one-tenth of a second.

Billions of years ago, a collision between two black holes sent gravitational waves rippling through the universe. In 2019, signals from these waves were detected at the gravitational wave observatory LIGO (United States) and the detector Virgo (Italy).

The discovery and the analysis are described in two research papers published recently.

Gravitational waves: A gravitational wave is an invisible (yet incredibly fast) ripple in space. Gravitational waves travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second). These waves squeeze and stretch anything in their path as they pass by. These are invisible ripples that form when a star explodes in a supernova; when two big stars orbit each other; and when two black holes merge.

Gravitational waves were proposed by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity over a century ago. It was only in 2015, however, that the first gravitational wave was actually detected — by LIGO. Since then, there have been a number of subsequent detections of gravitational waves.

Sports

FIDE Online Chess Olympiad: India and Russia recently became the joint winners of FIDE online Chess Olympiad. The two finalists were declared joint winners by the world chess governing body FIDE after at least two games in the second match were affected by internet connectivity issues.

The FIDE Online Chess Olympiad was held for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the biggest team championship in chess which dates back to 1924. Around 163 countries took part in the online tournament.

The Indian team comprised of the following players:

Vidit Gujrathi (captain), Viswanathan Anand, Pendyala Harikrishna, Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, R. Vaishali, Bhakti Kulkarni, Nihal Sarin, R. Praggnanandhaa, Aravindh Chithambaram, R. Vaishali, Bhakti Kulkarni, Divya Deshmukh and Vantika Agrawal.

World Open Online Chess Tournament: Indian Grandmaster P Iniyan has won the prestigious 48th Annual World Open online chess tournament. He finished on top with a score of 7.5 points out of a possible 9 with six victories and three draws.

The 48th edition of the annual event, which ran from August 7-9, was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic following classical time control.

A total number of 120 players from 16 countries participated in the event which included more than 30 Grandmasters.

On the way to his title, Iniyan defeated Grandmasters Baadur Jobava of Georgia, Sam Sevian, Sergey Erenburg of the USA and Nyzhyk Illia of Ukraine.

Iniyan had recently defeated world number two Fabiano Caruana in an online blitz event.

F1 Belgian Grand Prix 2020: Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) recently won the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2020 at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.This was his 5th win of the season and an 89th career win. This takes him closer to seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 career wins in F1.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) at third place.

AFSCB: It refers to the Air Force Sports Control Board. The AFSCB was recently conferred the ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2020’ for the outstanding contribution in helping sportsperson to excel in their respective disciplines.

Air Marshal MSG Menon, Air Officer-In-Charge Administration and President, Air Force Sports Control Board received the award from Hon’ble President of India in an organised online ceremony at Vigyan Bhawan on 29 August 2020. 

AFSCB is the apex body for planning and conduct of sports activities within the IAF and at Inter-Services level.AFSCB has been constantly endeavoring to improve standards of IAF teams and to guide them in career progression as sportsmen in IAF.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar is awarded for sustained efforts towards encouragement and promotion of sports in the country and IAF in particular. The promotion of sports at grass root level aims at encouraging sports culture in the environment and motivates young Air Warriors to include sports activities as a way of life.

Grand Slam Singles: Twenty three year old Sunil Nagpal has created history by becoming the first Indian to win a singles' main draw match at a grand slam in the last 7 years.

He defeated Bradley Klahn of USA 6-1, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the first round of the US Open in order to progress further into the tournament.

In 2013, Somdev Devvarman had reached the second round of the Australian Open, French Open and US Open. Nagal, who is the world number 122, will now face second seeded Austria’s Dominic Thiem in the second round of the tournament.

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