April 2020 - 27th to 30th

1. WHO launches ‘C-TAP’ for equitable access to life-saving tech

  • World Health Organization (WHO) has launched the ‘COVID-19 Technology Access Pool’ for equitable access to life-saving tech. This has been launched after the request from at least 37 countries who jointly appealed to the World Health Organisation for common ownership of vaccines, medicines and other diagnostic tools to combat the global health crisis
  • C-TAP aims to accelerate the development of vaccines and medicines through the sharing of research and information and to increase manufacturing capacity for any products that are developed

1. To empower MSMEs PM Modi launches Technology Platform “CHAMPIONS”

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the technology platform CHAMPIONS to create the smaller units big by solving their grievances, encouraging, supporting, helping and handholding
  • CHAMPIONS stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of recent Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength. It is a real one-stop-shop solution of MSME Ministry

2. Indian Energy Exchange launches “Real-Time Electricity Market”

  • The “Real-Time Electricity Market (RTM)” has been launched by the Indian Energy Exchange on its platform and it will be effective from 01st June 2020. RTM will facilitate the power utilities to reduce dependency on deviation framework and save on the huge penalties
  • It will aid the grid operators to improve the overall safety and security of the grid. It will help the utilities and system operators to forecast and schedule green energy in an effective way

3: “The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP)” launched by Government of India

  • Government of India has launched “The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP)” to provide internship opportunities to fresh graduates in all Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) as well as Smart Cities across the nation
  • The programme would also facilitate practical experience to the students of India and hence help in infusing fresh ideas and innovative thinking into the working of Urban Local Bodies and smart cities
  • This programme is an initiative of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of HRD, and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

1. Kerala becomes 1st state to provide free internet to poor

  • Kerala government has declared its ambitious broadband project œKerala Fibre Optic Network (K-FON) project for all the citizens below the poverty line living in Kerala. They will get free high-speed Internet.
  • Kerala will be the first state to provide free high-speed broadband to poor people. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1500 crore and it will kickstart from December 2020

2. Chhattisgarh government starts “Spandan” campaign for police

  • Chhattisgarh Police have launched a special campaign “Spandan” to check mental stress and depression among their personnel by conducting interactive programmes and arranging counselling sessions, music and yoga therapies for them
  • The motive of the campaign is to prevent the force from depression and stress pushing them to take extreme steps

1.RBI launches “Payments Infrastructure Development Fund”

  • Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) has been created by the Reserve Bank of India to encourage acquirers to deploy Points of Sale (PoS) infrastructure, both physical as well as digital modes, in tier-3 to tier-6 centers and in the north eastern states
  • In the newly launched fund, an initial contribution of Rs 250 crores will be made by the Reserve Bank of India i.e. covering half the fund, while the remaining contribution will be from card-issuing banks and card networks operating in the country.

2. IndusInd Bank starts mobile-based current account opening facility

  • The IndusInd Bank has launched a mobile application based facility where customer can open the current bank account in a paperless manner in just a few hours
  • The app uses multiple application programme interfaces (APIs) which enable secured validation of KYC documents from authorised government platforms

3. HDFC Bank launches “Summer Treats” campaign

  • HDFC Bank has launched the “Summer Treats” campaign. It has been launched by the bank with the easing of the lockdown restrictions in order to provide offers to both merchants and, salaried and self-employed customers
  • Under this campaign, the bank will offer no-cost EMI and no down payment for large appliances. It will also offer discounts and cashback on select brands along with 50% extra reward points on online spend using credit cards

1. SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying NASA astronauts docks

  • NASA astronauts Robrt Behnken and Douglas Hurley docked the SpaceX capsule with the International Space Station(ISS). SpaceX’s Falcon 9 with Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour launched from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • Now SpaceX became the first private company to fly astronauts into orbit

2.DRDO creates a disinfection unit named as “Ultra Swachh”

  • A disinfection unit named as “Ultra Swachh” has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to disinfect a wide range of materials such as electronics items, fabrics, Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) etc
  • It has been developed in compliance with the International Standards of Industrial, Occupational, Personal and Environmental Safety. It comprises of Ozonated Space Technology and uses the advanced oxidative process for the disinfection process

1. Kiren Rijiju inaugurates “Khelo India e-Pathshala” programme

  • Khelo India e-Pathshala programme has been inaugurated by the Union Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju. The programme has been launched by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in collaboration with National Sporting Federations (NSF)
  • It is India’s first-ever National-level open online coaching and education programme for the grassroot level athletes across India

2. India will host 2022 Women’s Asian Cup

  • India has been awarded the hosting rights of the 2022 Women’s Asian Cup by the Asian Football Confederation
  • As hosts, India will get an automatic qualification to the tournament. The decision of awarding India the hosting rights of 2022 Women’s Asian Cup was taken at the AFC Women’s Football Committee meeting

1. Former Olympic sprint champion Bobby Morrow passes away

  • American sprinter, Bobby Joe Morrow who won three athletics gold medals at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, passed away. He won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in Melbourne, becoming the first man only after fellow American Jesse Owens (1936) to win sprint treble

2. Producer and songwriter Rupert Hine passes away

  • British Producer and songwriter Rupert Hine passed away. He began his career as a musician in folk band Rupert & David and also worked with other bands such as Quantum Jump and Spin 1ne 2wo. He was a dominant producer in the 1980s and 1990s
  • His renowned works that appeared on soundtracks for the films Better Off Dead, Golden Eye, The Fifth Element, etc

1. World No Tobacco Day 2020 awards announced

  • World No Tobacco Day Award 2020 has announced. Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control
  • This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards

2. Kritika Pandey wins Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia Region

  • Indian writer, Kritika Pandey has been honoured with Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2020 for the Asia region for her story “The Great Indian Tee and Snakes”. The story is about a Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim man and how these two young people are trying to navigate the idea of love in an era of hatred and prejudice
  • The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded since 2012, for the best piece of unpublished short fiction

1. J&K Lt Governor launches salary tracker mobile app “MeraVetan”

  • Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu has launched a salary tracker mobile app MeraVetan (Version-1) for government employees in order to provide Salary Related information to Employees
  • This application has been developed by the National Informatics CentreJ&K State Centre on the Android Platform to provide end to end computerization of JK Payment System (JKPaySys) application

2. Government of India launches “Nagar Van” programme

  • Government of India has launched the “Nagar Van (Urban Forests)” programme with an objective of increasing the forest cover in urban areas
  • The programme has been launched with 200 corporations and cities across India and aims to develop 200 Urban Forests across India in next five years with the help of people’s participation and collaboration between Forest Department, Municipal bodies, NGOs, Corporates and local citizens

3. Information booklet “Safe online learning in the times of COVID-19” launched

  • The information booklet titled “Safe online learning in the times of COVID-19” has been launched. It has been developed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), and UNESCO New Delhi Office
  • It will play an important role in keeping children, young people safe online through basic do’s, and don’ts that will help parents and educators teach their children how to use the internet safely

1. International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression: 4 June

  • International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed globally on 4th June every year. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to guard the rights of children. This day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the planet who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse
  • The main aim of celebrating today is to spread the notice about the pain and sufferings faced by the victims as children

2. World Environment Day observed on 5th June

  • World Environment Day is observed globally on 5th June every year to raise awareness about protecting the environment and to remind people not to take nature granted. World Environment Day 2020 will be celebrated with the theme Biodiversity
  • World Environment Day is promoted by the United Nation and for 2020 Colombia will host the World Environment Day

1. Raveesh Kumar becomes new Ambassador of India to Finland

  • Raveesh Kumar has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Finland. He is presently serving as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry
  • He is an IFS officer of 1995 batch. He will replace Vani Rao as the next Ambassador of India to Finland

2. Gaitri Kumar appointed India’s next High Commissioner to UK

  • Gaitri I. Kumar has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom
  • She is an IFS officer of 1986 batch and will replace Ruchi Ghanashyam as the next High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom

3. Krishnendu Majumdar becomes the new chairman of BAFTA

  • Emmy-winning television producer, Krishnendu Majumdar becomes the new chairman of British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
  • He is the first person of colour to be named as the chairperson of BAFTA in its 73 year-long histories of BAFTA. He will replace Pippa Harris. Harris will now continue as deputy chairperson

4. Twitter appoints ex-Google CFO as new board chairman

  • Twitter has appointed ex-Google chief financial officer (CFO), Patrick Pichette as new board chairman. He will replace Omid Kordestani. Pichette joined Twitter’s board of directors in 2017 and had been a lead independent director since the end of 2018
  • Prior to this, he served as Google’s CFO from 2008 until 2015. It is the first time in Twitter’s history that an outsider will preside over the group

5. Brajendra Navnit becomes India’s new ambassador to WTO

  • India has appointed Brajendra Navnit as India’s new ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He will be posted at the Permanent Mission of India (PMI) to the WTO in Geneva. He will replace JS Deepak at the PMI
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet also approved the appointment of Anwar Hussain Shaik for the post of Counsellor, at the PMI to WTO, Geneva

1. World Economic Forum to host Unique Twin Summit in 2021

  • The World Economic Forum will host a Unique Twin Summit in January 2021 which would be both in-person as well as virtual, hence connecting key global governmental and business leaders in Davos. The theme of the summit will be “The Great Reset”
  • “The Great Reset” is a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum and HRH The Prince of Wales. As a part of “The Great Reset” dialogue, the World Economic Forum’s digital platform “UpLink” will contribute by crowdsourcing innovations for the Sustainable Development Goals

2. The United Kingdom hosts virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020

  • Virtual Global Vaccine Summit 2020 was hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. India was represented by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the summit
  • During the virtual summit, India pledged a contribution of 15 Million US Dollars to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance

1. “One Year of Modi 2.0” e-booklet released by I&B Ministry

  • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has released an e-booklet called “One Year of Modi 2.0 Towards A Self-Reliant India’
  • The e-booklet highlights the achievements of the Modi government during its second term. This marks the first anniversary of the second term of the government

1. MoHUA launches PM SVANidhi scheme

  • “PM SVANidhi” is a Special Micro-Credit Facility Scheme that has been launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Street vendors will be provided affordable loans under the PM Street Vendor’s Atma Nirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) scheme, hence enabling them to resume work and earn livelihoods
  • The scheme is expected to benefit over 50 lakh people including hawkers, thelewalas, vendors, rehriwala etc

2. GoI launches KCC campaign for 1.5 crore Dairy Farmers

  • The Government of India has launched Kisan Credit Card (KCC) campaign for 1.5 crore Dairy Farmers
  • Under this campaign, GoI will provide Kisan Credit Card to 1.5 crore dairy farmers within the next two months i.e. from 1st June to 31st July 2020. KCC will be provided to those Dairy Farmers who belongs to the Milk Unions and Milk producing Companies

1. Yes Bank acquires 24.19% stake in Dish TV India Ltd

  • Yes Bank has acquired a 24.19% stake in Dish TV India Ltd, a corporation providing Direct to Home (DTH) television service in India, following invocation of 44.53 crores pledged shares thanks to default in payment of the debt by Dish TV and a few other companies

2. CCI approves merger of Peugeot S.A & Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

  • The merger of Peugeot S.A (PSA) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) has been approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Peugeot S.A (PSA) is a publicly listed limited liability company incorporated in France
  • Headquartered in London, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) is a public company with limited liability and a global automotive group. PSA is an original equipment manufacturer and dealer of motor vehicles, passenger cars as well as light commercial vehicles

1. Moody’s Investors Service downgrades India’s sovereign rating to ‘Baa3’

  • The sovereign rating of India has been downgraded by the Moody’s Investors Service from “Baa2” to “Baa3” citing the challenges faced by India in implementing the policies in order to reduce the risks of a sustained period of low growth and deteriorating fiscal position
  • “Baa3” is the lowest investment grade that is just a notch above the junk status. It has also expected contraction by 4% in India’s real GDP in fiscal 2021, due to the shock from the coronavirus pandemic as well as the related lockdown measures taken by India to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
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