General Knowledge & Current Affairs

July 2020 - 13th to 18th

1. India becomes a second-largest foreign investor in UK

  • India has become the second-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United Kingdom
  • As per the new data released by the UK government in the Department for International Trade (DIT) inward investment statistics for 2019-2020, India invested in 120 projects and created 5,429 new jobs in the UK. According to the data, the United States delivered 462 projects and 20,131 jobs and hence remains the number one source of FDI for the UK
  • In the standings, India was followed by Germany, France and China, and Hong Kong

2. Suriname elects Indian-origin ‘Chan’ Santokhi as President

  • Indian-origin, Chandrikapersad ‘Chan’ Santokhi has been elected the president of South American country “Suriname”.
  • A former Justice Minister, Santokhi of the Progressive Reform Party (PRP) was elected unopposed
  • He will succeed Desi Bouterse, a former military strongman, whose National Party of Suriname (NPS) lost the election in May as he sent the country to an economic precipice
  • Suriname is a former Dutch colony where people of Indian descent make up the largest ethnic group comprising 27.4 per cent of the population of 587,000

3. Pakistan & China signs agreement for “Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project”

  • Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the 700 MW Azad Pattan hydel power project on the Jhelum river in Sudhoti district of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • The $1.5-billion project is the second power project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
  • The first agreement, for the 1,100 MW Kohala project, was signed on June 23. That project, worth $2.3 billion, too will come upon the Jhelum near Muzaffarabad

4. Ossouka Raponda appointed as 1st woman PM of Gabon

  • Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda has been appointed as the first woman prime minister of Gabon
  • She is the 12th PM of the country and succeeds Julien Nkoghe Bekale
  • Prior to holding this position, Ossouka Raponda served as Defence Minister since February 2019
  • Her appointment is the fourth cabinet reshuffle by the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba since January 2019

1. Iran drops India from Chabahar rail project

  • Iran has dropped India from Chabahar rail project which comprises rail line from Chabahar port to Zahedan, along the border with Afghanistan
  • The Iranian government cited delays from the Indian side in funding and starting the project, for its decision of dropping India from the project
  • Now, Iranian Railways will go ahead without India’s assistance and utilize around $400 million from the Iranian National Development Fund

2.India hands over outdoor fitness equipment to Maldives

  • India has handed over outdoor fitness equipment for 61 islands across the Maldives under a cash grant of 8 million US dollars
  • The installation of equipment would involve the participation of all 61 island councils and further strengthen the idea of decentralization and a cherished ideal for President Ibrahim Solih’s government

  • The project is expected to contribute to the Maldivian government’s ‘healthy lifestyles’ policy through easier access to fitness equipment

3: Indian Railways targets to become ‘Green Railway’ by 2030

  • The Ministry of Railways is on a mission mode with the goal of transforming Indian Railways into Green Railways by 2030
  • The Ministry of Railways has taken a number of measures towards mitigation of global warming and combating climate change

4. Anji Khad bridge: Indian Railways’ 1st cable-stayed rail bridge

  • The Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has announced, India’s first cable-stayed Railways bridge “Anji Khad Bridge” to connects Katra and Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
  • This bridge being developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL)
  • This bridge is as a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project
  • The total length of the Anji Khad Bridge is 473.25 metres
  • It has a single pylon, standing at a height of 331 metres above the river bed. The pylon had to be constructed in a vertical slope using micropiles of 40-metre depth all around the circumference of 20 metres well foundation
  • It has the support of 96 cables and has been designed to handle heavy storms of strong winds

5.NABARD launches development projects in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has launched development projects in Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  • The projects worth Rs 44 lakhs aims to strengthen the concept of Atmanirbhar Bharat through rural entrepreneurship
  • As part of the project, there would be focus on the formation and skill development of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to promote rural entrepreneurship at micro level
  • As part of the initiative, NABARD will conduct 385 village-level programmes and also offer training to leaders of newly formed SHGs with a sum of more than Rs 10 lakh
  • Training for Mushroom Cultivation and Bamboo Handicrafts making will be provided to the women attached to SHGs in Little Andaman

1. Uttarakhand govt to generate electricity from waste

  • The Uttarakhand government has decided to convert waste generated in the state to electricity under an initiative titled ‘Waste to Energy’
  • According to Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB), this waste can generate up to 5 megawatts of electricity and curb pollution.
  • The scheme also aims to solve the problem of unavailability of landfills to dispose of the solid waste across the hill state with has 10 out if 13 districts as hill areas

2. Madhya Pradesh tops in implementing PM Svanidhi scheme

  • Madhya Pradesh has topped among the other states in the implementation of PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi).
  • The scheme is presently benefiting the beneficiaries of 378 urban bodies of the state.
  • Till now 8,70,330 street vendors have registered under the scheme, out of which 1,76,000 street vendors have been issued the identity cards and vending certificates
  • Apart from this, 15,500 cases have been approved in the state along with interest free loan of around 15 crore 50 lakh

1. Fino Payments Bank launches ‘Bhavishya’ savings account

  • “Bhavishya’ savings account has been launched by the Fino Payments Bank Limited for minors aged between 10-18 years. ‘Bhavishya’, a subscription-based savings account, can be opened by paying a nominal amount
  • The savings account scheme will be initially rolled out by the bank in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. There is not any minimum account balance requirement to open the ‘Bhavishya’ savings account.
  • The bank is targeting to open around one lakh Bhavishya Savings Accounts by the end of Fiscal Year 2021

2. SBM Bank partners with MasterCard for smarter payments solutions

  • Private lender, SBM Bank (India) Ltd has partnered with Mastercard to revolutionize domestic and cross-border payments and remittances services. The SBM Bank India customers will be able to make real-time domestic business-to-consumer transfers quickly and efficiently using “Mastercard Send’
  • SBM Bank India is the first bank to receive a universal banking license from the RBI to set up and operate as a scheduled commercial bank through the wholly-owned subsidiary mode

3. KVB tie-up with Bajaj Allianz Life to offer life insurance solutions

  • Karur Vysya Bank has signed an agreement with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance to offer life insurance solutions to its customers
  • Bajaj Allianz’s products will be available at the Bank’s 780 branch offices spread across India
  • Under this partnership, all retail and group products of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance will be made available to the Bank’s customers, including savings, retirement, investment, protection and critical illness life insurance products
  • KVB will also benefit from the advantage to offer their customers a value-packed life insurance solutions for their financial requirements under a single roof

1. IIT Kanpur develops UV sanitizing device ‘SHUDH’

  • IIT Kanpur has developed an Ultraviolet (UV) sanitizing device named Smartphone operated Handy Ultraviolet Disinfection Helper (SHUDH).
  • This device has 6 UV lights of 15 Watts each that can be individually monitored from a distance
  • Initial testing has proved that the device at its full operation can disinfect a 10A—10 squared feet room in about 15 minutes

2. IIT Delhi develops COVID-19 Diagnostic Kit “Corosure”

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has developed the world’s most affordable COVID-19 Diagnostic Kit “Corosure”
  • The kit has been e-launched by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’
  • The kit has also received the approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as well as the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
  • The launch of this kit is expected to significantly bring down the cost of COVID-19 RT-PCR testing

3.IIT Madras start-up developed a portable hospital called “MediCAB”

  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) start-up Modulus Housing, has developed a portable hospital unit called ‘MediCAB’
  • MediCAB can be installed anywhere within two hours by four people. It has been launched recently in Wayanad District of Kerala where the units are being deployed to treat COVID19 Patients
  • The Medicab is foldable and is composed of four zones: a doctor’s room, an isolation room, a medical room/ward and a twin-bed ICU, maintained at negative pressure. It aims to decentralize the approach to detect, screen, identify, isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in their local communities through these portable microstructures

1. Padma Shri award winning journalist Nagindas Sanghvi passes away

  • Padma Shri award winning veteran Gujarati journalist, columnist, writer and political analyst Nagindas Sanghvi passed away
  • Government of India conferred him Padma Shri award in the year 2019
  • He was renowned for his books on Mahatma Gandhi, Gujarat and other subjects

2. Hawkins Cookers Chairman Brahm Vasudeva passes away

  • Hawkins Cookers Chairman, Brahm Vasudeva passed away
  • Vasudeva was appointed as Vice Chairman and Managing Director on the board of the company in 1968 and became the Wholetime Chairman and Managing Director in 1984

3. Renowned ceramic artist Jyotsna Bhatt passes away

  • Renowned ceramic artist, Jyotsna Bhatt passed away
  • Bhatt was born in Kutch in 1940, and she shifted to Mumbai to join the J.J. School of Arts
  • Bhatt was a key contributor to the field of contemporary ceramics in India

1. NTPC wins CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2019

  • NTPC Ltd has been awarded with the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2019
  • NTPC Ltd has been awarded under Outstanding Accomplishment in Corporate Excellence Category. It has also secured Commendation for Significant Achievement in Corporate social responsibility (CSR) category
  • NTPC has been rewarded for its sustainability practices such as Girl Empowerment Mission (GEM) to benefit school going girls from underprivileged background to support in their overall development; Contractors’ Labour Information Management System (CLIMS) through which payment to contract labourers are being paid on the last day of the month at project sites

2. ISRO Chief K Sivan named for Von Karman Award 2020

  • Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) Chief, Kailasavadivoo Sivan has named for Von Karman Award 2020 by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).
  • The Von Karman Award is known as the highest distinction of the IAA. Dr K. Sivan is going to receive an award in March 2021 at Paris France
  • The Von Karman award was established in 1982 and is the premier award of the Academy.
  • It is given annually to recognize outstanding lifetime achievements in any branch of science without limit of nationality or gender.

3. Chhattisgarh awarded “Elites Excellence Awards 2020”

  • Chief Minister Darpan website and mobile app prepared for monitoring Chhattisgarh Government’s ambitious Suraji Gaon Scheme and other flagship schemes, has been awarded “Elites Excellence Awards-2020” at the national level.
  • Chhattisgarh has been awarded this honour by the country’s prestigious IT institution Elites Technomedia, New Delhi under the ˜Digital India initiative’

4. Sachin Awasthi honoured with Global Humanitarian Award 2020

  • Sachin Awasthi has been honoured with the “Top Publicist” award in the Global Humanitarian Awards 2020, in London
  • Sachin Awasthi is a person who organised a 5-day long clean Ganga awareness journey which was begun from Haridwar to Varanasi, it’s also called as Vande Gange Swachhata Jan Jagran Yatra.
  • The Global Humanitarian Award aims to honour the popular men and women who are paying contributions to the betterment of society and the world

1. India’s Tiger Census 2018 sets new Guinness World Record

  • The fourth edition of the All India Tiger Estimation 2018 has created the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey
  • The All India Tiger Estimation is conducted every four years since 2006, by the National Tiger Conservation Authority with technical support from the Wildlife Institute of India
  • These cameras surveyed an effective area of 121,337 square kilometres (46,848 square miles).
  • A total of 34,858,623 photographs of wildlife were captured by the 26,838 camera traps installed

2. Hyderabad Airport gets India’s 1st contactless car parking

  • The GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL) has introduced India’s first-ever fully contactless airport car parking to provide a safe airport amid COVID-19
  • GHIAL has also scaled up its NETC (National Electronic Toll Collection) FASTag Car Parking in collaboration with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India).

3. Poba Reserve Forest in Assam will be upgraded to Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal has announced, Poba Reserve Forest in Dhemaji district would be upgraded to a wildlife sanctuary
  • The announcement was made during a meeting with senior officials of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Majuli districts at Jonai
  • Poba Reserve Forest declared in 1924 with an area of 10,522 hectares is home to a large number of flora and fauna

1. World Day for International Justice celebrated on 17th July

  • World Day for International Justice is observed on 17th July every year
  • The day is being observed every year to recognise the strengthening system of international justice and also to promote the rights of the victims.

2. Nelson Mandela International Day celebrated on 18 July

  • The United Nations observes 18 July every year as Nelson Mandela International Day
  • The day acknowledges Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world
  • Nelson Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change

1. Vidhu Nair appointed as Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan

  • Government of India has appointed Dr. Vidhu P. Nair as the next Ambassador of India to Turkmenistan
  • Nair is presently serving as the Director in the Ministry of External Affairs. He is a Foreign Service Officer of 2002 batch

2. ADB appoints Ashok Lavasa as new Vice President

  • Election Commissioner, Ashok Lavasa has been appointed the vice-president Asian Development Bank (ADB).
  • He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on 31 August
  • Lavasa, a retired 1980 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was appointed as an Election Commissioner in January 2018

3. Roshni Nadar Malhotra becomes the new chairman of HCL Tech

  • India’s wealthiest woman, Roshni Nadar Malhotra becomes the new chairman of Noida-based IT company, HCL Technologies
  • The appointment of non-executive director Roshni Nadar Malhotra to the new role takes effect immediately. She will replace her father, Shiv Nadar. Shiv Nadar will continue to be HCL Tech’s managing director, with the designation as the chief strategy officer

1. 5th edition of conference on A & D Manufacturing Technologies

  • Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Yesso Naik has inaugurated the 5th edition of the conference on œAerospace and Defence Manufacturing Technologies”
  • The conference was held with the theme Empowering India with ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Mission’.
  • Tamil Nadu Technology Development & Promotion Centre (TNTDPC) jointly organised the conference with Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The Aerospace and Defence industry in India has been projected to reach around 70 billion Dollar by 2030

1. A book titled “If It Bleeds” authored by Stephen King released

  • A new book titled “If It Bleeds”, a collection of four stories has been authored by Stephen King
  • The book has the story centres around a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School.  It is a sequel to his bestselling work, “The Outsider”

2. Chief Minister Pema Khandu releases book on endangered tribe

  • The book titled ‘The Tangams: An Ethnolinguistic Study Of The Critically Endangered Group of Arunachal Pradesh’ was released by Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu
  • Book is based on the Tangams, a critically endangered speech community of Arunachal Pradesh domiciled at Kugging village, Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The book has been published by Centre for Endangered Languages, Rajiv Gandhi University and Himalayan Publishers, New Delhi

1. UNICEF INDIA partners with FICCI for #Reimagine Campaign

  • UNICEF INDIA has tied-up with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI), Socio-Economic Development Foundation (SEDF) to jointly develop UNICEF’s #Reimagine Campaign
  • The campaign aims to support the most vulnerable populations and children during the COVID-19 response and its after-math in India
  • The campaign will also help in avoiding the potential long-term damage to business operations as well as employment pipeline

2. AAI & BEL signs MoU for co-operation in civil aviation sector

  • The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Defence Public Sector Unit (PSU) Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • The MoU aims to tap the emerging global markets in the airport business, including the ones in the Asia-Pacific region
  • The partnership between the two companies will support each other in addressing the emerging global opportunities in the airport business

3. UNICEF India partners with SAP India for employability of young people

  • UNICEF India has partnered with SAP India to offer career counselling to young people in the country. The partnership between the two aims to improve the employability skills of young people in a COVID-19 as well as post-COVID-19 era
  • Under this initiative, UNICEF has collaborated with YuWaah (Generation Unlimited) to offer digital education as well as an occupational skillset to the underserved young people of India.
  • The UNICEF YuWaah SAP India partnership has a prime objective to empower young people, to utilize their creativity, problem-solving and leadership assets, to improve their own lives as well of their communities

1. Google to invest USD 10 billion in India

  • Google CEO, Sundar Pichai has announced a $10 billion for œGoogleForIndia Digitisation Fund”.
  • Under the fund, Google will invest roughly Rs 75,000 crore in India over the next 5-7 years
  • The investment will be done through a mix of equity investments, partnerships and operational infrastructure in ecosystem investments

2. Qualcomm Ventures acquires 0.15% stake in Jio Platforms

  • Qualcomm Ventures has acquired 0.15% stakes in Jio Platforms. The Reliance Industries (RIL) announced the sale of 0.15% stake in Jio Platforms to Qualcomm Ventures
  • The transaction costed Rs 730 crores to the Qualcomm Ventures
  • Jio Platforms Limited is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited and runs digital applications and holds controlling investments in technology related units. It exists under the laws of the Republic of India and aims to provide high-quality and affordable digital services across India
  • Qualcomm Ventures is a global fund of Qualcomm that invests in pioneering companies across the wireless ecosystem in various areas such as 5G, Artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoT), automotive, networking as well as enterprise

3. Google to buy 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms

  • IT giant, Google to buy 7.73% stake in Reliance Industries Limited(RIL)’s Jio Platforms for Rs 33,737 crores
  • For this purpose, they have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement
  • This investment will strengthen the existing efforts of Google and Jio Platforms to expand the benefits of digitization across India
  • AccElection Commissioner, Ashok Lavasa has been appointed the vice-president Asian Development Bank (ADB
  • He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on 31 August
  • Lavasa, a retired 1980 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was appointed as an Election Commissioner in January 2018
  • According to exchange filing, Google is investing at an equity valuation of Rs 4.36 lakh crore
  • With this, the total investment from financial and strategic investors into Jio Platforms stands at Rs 1,52,056 crore

1. Defence Ministry entrusts capital procurement powers to Armed Forces

  • Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has entrusted capital procurement powers to Armed Forces
  • The decision was taken during the Special Meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council held under the chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh
  • With this, the Armed Forces will now be able to progress urgent Capital Acquisition Cases upto Rs 300 crores to fulfil their emergent operational requirements

2: DRDO develops P7 Heavy Drop System for IL 76 aircraft

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the P7 Heavy Drop System. It is capable of para dropping military stores up to 7-ton weight class from IL 76 aircraft
  • The design of this fully indigenous system has been developed by Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), a Research & Development (R&D) lab of DRDO based in Agra, Uttar Pradesh (UP).
  • P7 Heavy Drop System system has been made under the Make in India programme. It’s a platform system manufactured by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) while parachutes manufactured by Ordnance Factory
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