General Knowledge & Current Affairs

July 2020 - 19th to 25th

1. SpaceX launches South Korea’s 1st military satellite “ANASIS-II”

  • SpaceX has successfully launched South Korea’s first military satellite “ANASIS-II”.
  • ANASIS-II satellite was deployed into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) by a Falcon 9 rocket
  • It was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US of Florida
  • With this launch, South Korea has become the 10th country to own a military-only communications satellite, which will provide permanent and secured military communications
  • ANASIS-II was previously named as KMitSatCom-1. It replaces the Koreasat-5/ANASIS-I satellite, a combined civilian and military communications satellite launched in 2006
  • As part of a package for Lockheed Martin’s F-35A combat aircraft, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration(DAPA) contracted with Lockheed Martin for the satellite

2. Turkmenistan gets observer status in World Trade Organization

  • World Trade Organization (WTO) General Council has granted the “Observer” status to the central Asian country Turkmenistan
  • With this, Turkmenistan has become the last former Soviet republic to establish formal ties with the trade body. Turkmenistan has become the 25th observer of the organization
  • Turkmenistan will now be able to reap the benefits of acquisition of the status as it would help the country to develop its economy, promote multilateral cooperation, attract foreign investment and develop international trade relations.

3. Nicaragua becomes the 87th Country to sign ISA agreement Project.

  • The Central American country, Republic of Nicaragua became the 87th country to sign the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement
  • The agreement was signed by the Permanent Representative of Nicaragua to the United Nations Jaime Hermida Castillo at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York.

1. India’s first public EV Charging Plaza inaugurated in Delhi

  • India’s first public EV (Electric Vehicle) charging plaza has been inaugurated by the Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, R.K Singh at Chelmsford Club in New Delhi
  • The public EV Charging Plaza has been established by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) in collaboration with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to make e-mobility ubiquitous and convenient in India

2. Consumer Protection Act, 2019 comes into force in India

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 has been implemented in India since 20th July 2020. It has replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
  • The new act has been introduced to offer protection to buyers from traditional sellers as well as from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms

  • It will protect consumer rights through its various notified Rules and provisions and will empower consumers and hence help them in protecting their rights
  • Some of the features of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 includes Consumer Protection Councils, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions, Mediation, Product Liability and punishment for manufacture or sale of products containing adulterant / spurious goods
  • It also involves the setting up of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) which will aim to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers. It will also conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints/prosecution

3: Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant, Unit-3 attains Criticality

  • Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant, Unit-3 (KAPP-3), Gujarat has attained criticality at around 09:36 Hrs on 22 July 2020. It is India’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) with innovative features
  • KAPP-3 is located at Kakrapar Site, Gujarat, along with two 220 MWe PHWRs (KAPS-1 & KAPS-2) which are in operation and another 700 MWe PHWR (KAPP-4) which is under advanced stage of construction
  • A nuclear reactor is said to attained criticality when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons in order to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction

1. UP Govt launches “Navin Rojgar Chhatri Yojana” for SCs

  • Uttar Pradesh government has launched “Navin Rojgar Chhatri Yojana” for all-round development of the Scheduled Castes
  • UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath transferred financial assistance of 17.42 crore online to 3,484 people under the ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Swarojgar Yojana’ and interacted with some beneficiaries from Rae Bareli, Gorakhpur, Basti, Meerut, Azamgarh and Moradabad districts through video conferencing
  • The state government has extended the financial help to make people self-dependent

2. Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurates Zoram Mega Food Park in Mizoram

  • Union Food Processing Minister, Harsimrat Kaur Badal has virtually inaugurated the “Zoram Mega Food Park” in Mizoram
  • Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the food processing industry
  • This Mega Food Park will benefit farmers, growers, processors, consumers and prove to be a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the North East Region

1. NPCI rolls out UPI AutoPay facility for recurring payment

  • UPI AutoPay facility for recurring payment has been launched by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • The new facility will enable recurring e-mandate with the help of any Unified Payments Interface (UPI) application for recurring payments like mobile bills, electricity bills, EMI payments etc upto Rs. 2000
  • For the amount exceeding Rs. 2000, the customer has to execute every mandate with UPI PIN
  • UPI users will be able to create e-mandate through UPI ID, QR scan or Intent

2. FamPay launches ˜numberless card’ for teenagers

  • India’s first Neobank for teenagers, FamPay has launched India’s first numberless card, “FamCard”.
  • Teenagers can now use FamCard like a debit card to make payments independently, without asking parents for physical cash or their debit/credit card
  • FamCard is a numberless card, all the card details are saved on the FamPay app and there is no need to refer to the physical card to fill in details during online transactions. If in any case card gets stolen, there’s no fear as the card can be paused, blocked, and managed at fingertips on the app
  • The numberless card will give cashless convenience to millions of teens and their parents. Minors can also pay online/offline by using FamCard as it doesn’t require any bank account
  • Every transaction is protected with device locks like a fingerprint, Face ID, pattern lock, or PIN
  • The numberless card can be ordered once the account is set up on the app, after both the parent and teen complete their KYC online.
  • FamPay app is available for both Android and iOS on the Google Play Store and Apple Store respectively
  • The FamCard is an innovative consumer solution for India’s Gen-next population

3. Bank of Baroda rolls out ‘Insta Click Savings Account’

  • India’s third-largest public sector bank, Bank of Baroda (BoB) has launched ‘Insta Click Savings Account’
  • Insta Click Savings Account is a 100% paperless digital self-assisted online savings account
  • This account uses a new form of digital KYC (know-your-customer) and Aadhaar-based OTP (one-time personal identification number) authentication of the customer, which can be operated from the bank’s website, through mobile phone, IPad, laptop, and PC
  • The account is activated in real-time, which means the customer can start transacting, using the Baroda M Connect Plus application with the MPIN received on the mobile number, immediately

1. CSIR-CMERI unveils COVID Protection System for Workplace

  • The COVID Protection System for Workplace has been unveiled by the CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur
  • The COPS for Workplace comprises of three units namely contactless Solar Based Intelligent Mask Automated Dispensing Unit cum Thermal Scanner (IntelliMAST), Touchless Faucet (TouF) and 360° Car Flusher
  • IntelliMAST: With the help of customised Software solutions, this intelligent surveillance kiosk will determine the body temperature and finds out whether an individual is wearing Face Mask or not
  • Touchless Faucet (TouF): This system has been launched for households and Office Spaces. It dispenses Liquid Soap and Water from the same Faucet with a time-gap of 30 seconds, and help in containing the spread of infection among the family members, for any asymptomatic individual
  • 360° Car Flusher: This system will be applicable to sanitize cars as it comprises a Sodium Hypochlorite Water Screen which uses specialised Nozzle Design to ensure that the Sanitizer Diffused Water is evenly spread over and under the Car Body/Wheels with adequate Water Force and coverage

2. Oxford Covid-19 vaccine’s human trial shows positive result

  • The human trial of COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by the University of Oxford and backed by AstraZeneca Plc has shown a positive result
  • The researchers found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55.
  • Oxford’s vaccine is designed to reduce disease and transmission. Director at the Jenner Institute of Oxford University, Dr Adrian Hill, explains the mechanism of this vaccine “this vaccine triggers both arms of the immune system”.
  • The vaccine was officially known as AZD1222, prompted a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot and did not prompt any serious side effects

3. AIIMS Nagpur launched smart wristband to tracks Covid-19 patients

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Nagpur has designed and developed a ‘smart wristband’ for effective tracking and monitoring of Covid-19 positive and suspect patients
  • The new device, a wristband is designed in collaboration with IIT Jodhpur and IIT Nagpur, looks to overcome the limitations of existing online mobile apps used for tracking and monitoring coronavirus patients
  • The device will operate on a technology that is more effective than the GPS system.
  • The data collected through wristband will be collected and archived on cloud facilitating monitoring by health workers from a distance

1. Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

  • Lewis Hamilton won the Formula-1 Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 at Hungaroring, Mogyorod, Hungary
  • Max Verstappen (Dutch-Red Bull) was second, followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes- Finland) at the third spot
  • Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 was the third race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship

2. ICC Men’s T20 World Cup postponed to 2022

  • International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) announced, the T-20 Men’s World Cup, scheduled to be played in Australia in October-November 2020, has formally been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19
  • Besides rescheduling the T-20 World Cup to October-November, 2022 the ICC Board also decided to push the 2023 ODI World Cup in India to October-November 2023 from its designated window in February-March, 2023

1. Civil rights leader Cordy Tindell Vivian passes away

  • A civil rights veteran, The Rev Cordy Tindell Vivian who worked alongside the Rev Martin Luther King Jr, passed away
  • Vivian led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and became its interim president in 2012. He also helped in organizing the Freedom Rides to integrate buses across the south and trained waves of activists in non-violent protest
  • Vivian was honored by the Barack Obama with the presidential medal of freedom in 2013
  • Vivian also played an instrumental role in passing of the the Voting Rights Act when he tried to register Black voters in Selma, Alabama, that sparked hundreds, then thousands, to march across the Edmund G Pettus bridge

2. Creator of 1980 Olympic Mascot Viktor Chizhikov passes away

  • The creator of the brown bear mascot “Misha” for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, Viktor Chizhikov passed away
  • The artist’s drawings were used in popular magazines, including “Young Naturalist”, “Twinkle”, “Funny Pictures” and “Murzilka”.

1. Morissana Kouyate & Marianna Vardinoyannis wins 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize

  • Guinean doctor Morissana Kouyate and Marianna Vardinoyannis of Greece have been announced as the winners of the 2020 Nelson Mandela Prize
  • Kouyate is a leading figure in efforts to end violence against women in Africa, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
  • Vardinoyannis has been involved in the fight against childhood cancer for some 30 years.

  • The Nelson Mandela Prize is awarded in every five years to recognize those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity, by promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations, while honouring Nelson Mandela’s life, and legacy of reconciliation, political transition, and social transformation
  • The Mandela Prize was established by a UN General Assembly resolution in June 2014

2. Arnab Chaudhuri to receive Toonz Media Award

  • The ‘Legend of Animation’ award instituted by the Toonz Media Group as part of the Animation Masters Summit (AMS) 2020 Digital Edition will be posthumously conferred to the legendary animation director Arnab Chaudhuri
  • The award is being presented for his invaluable contribution to the animation and entertainment industry of India
  • Arnab, who passed away on December 25, 2019, was one of the pioneers of the Indian Animation industry, and his animation movie ‘Arjun: The Warrior Prince’ is the only animation from India to date to be longlisted for Oscar awards

3. Greta Thunberg named winner of Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity

  • The 17-year-old climate activist from Sweden, Greta Thunberg has been named winner of the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. She will receive prize money of 1 million euro
  • She has been awarded for her efforts to mobilize younger generations to tackle climate change
  • She commenced a protest outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 and risen to global prominence, becoming the figurehead for a series of school strikes by children around the world

1. Rare yellow turtle discovered in India

  • In Odisha’s Balasore district, a farmer Basudev Mahapatra has spotted a turtle which is yellow in colour and according to the experts, it is the product of albinism.
  • The turtle is known as the “Indian flap shell turtle”.
  • The turtle is commonly found in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. It is omnivorous and its diet consists of frogs, snails and even some aquatic vegetation.

2. PNB launches campaign to distribute face masks & sanitizers

  • Punjab National Bank has launched a nation-wide campaign to distribute face masks and sanitizers to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The PNB’s campaign was launched by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
  • This campaign has been launched by PNB under the Corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  • Under this campaign, Punjab National Bank will distribute such material in 662 districts throughout the country. The campaign also featured the participation of PNB’s 22 zonal offices across the nation via video conferencing.

1. World Chess Day celebrated on 20 July

  • United Nations celebrates World Chess Day globally on 20 July every year.
  • World Chess Day day marks the date of the establishment of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) in Paris in 1924. It also provides an important platform to foster, dialogue, solidarity and culture of peace along with recognizing the instrumental role played by the FIDE in supporting international cooperation for chess activity and aiming to improve friendly harmony among all peoples of the world.
  • To celebrate the International Chess Day 2020 top chess personalities will participate in a high-level virtual event “Chess for Recovering Better”.
  • Chess is one of the most ancient, intellectual and cultural games which encourages fairness, inclusion and mutual respect and noting in this regard that it can contribute to an atmosphere of tolerance and understanding among peoples and nations.

2. National Broadcasting Day celebrated on 23rd July

  • National Broadcasting Day is observed on 23rd July all over India.
  • On this day in 1927, the first-ever radio broadcast in the country went on the air from the Bombay Station under the Indian Broadcasting Company.

1. P Praveen Siddharth appointed as PS to President of India

  • A 2001-batch, Indian Revenue Service officer, P Praveen Siddharth has been appointed as the new personal secretary to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Siddharth is already serving as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the President’s Secretariat. He will replace Vikram Singh, who has now been appointed Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Shipping.

2. SAP appoints Kulmeet Bawa as new India MD

  • Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing (SAP) has announced the appointment of Kulmeet Bawa as President and Managing Director for SAP Indian Subcontinent. He will replace the incumbent Deb Deep Sengupta.
  • Kulmeet will be responsible for driving and delivering an exceptional SAP experience for employees and customers across our ecosystem, as well as guide businesses in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to adopt a digital-first mindset.

3. Ashwini Kumar Tewari becomes new MD & CEO of SBI Cards

  • SBI Cards and Payment Services has appointed Ashwini Kumar Tewari as its new Managing Director and chief executive officer.
  • The new appointment will be valid for two years and his appointment will come into effect from August 1, 2020. He was nominated by parent State Bank of India for the position.

1. Finance Minister attends 3rd G20 FMCBG Meet

  • The 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting was held under the Saudi Arabian Presidency.
  • India was represented by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman in the meeting.
  • During the meet, the participants deliberated on the global economic outlook amid evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis along with other G20 Finance Track priorities for the year 2020.
  • During the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet, Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the measures taken by India to fight the COVID-19 pandemic such as direct benefit transfers, special support to agriculture and MSME sectors, rural employment guarantee measures etc.

2. India Business Council to host India Ideas Summit 2020

  • India Business Council will host the 45th India Ideas Summit 2020 on July 22nd
  • The Summit convenes business and government leaders for discussions on the future of the U.S.-India Partnership and the trends shaping globalization, trade and investment, and the future of work in the COVID-era and beyond. This year’s focus is on “Building a Better Future”.

1. A book titled “The Endgame” authored by Hussain Zaidi

  • Crime writer, S Hussain Zaidi has penned a new novel “The Endgame” which talks of politics, betrayal, and unimaginable terror. The book has been published by HarperCollins India.
  • “The Endgame” gives the readers a close-up of complex political machinery at work, including state security, defence services, and intelligence agencies like all building up to an explosive climax.

2. A book titled “Suraj Kade Marda Nahi” authored by Baldev Singh Sadaknama

  • Sahitya Akademi Award winner, Baldev Singh Sadaknama has authored a book ˜Suraj Kade Marda Nahi’ (sun never dies).
  • The book portrays many aspects of freedom fighter Udham Singh. The book is published by Unistarbooks. The book has been released and will be formally launched on July 31, 2020.
  • Udham Singh 80th death anniversary will fall on July 31, 2020. The book portrays some facts pertaining to Colonel Reginal Dyer, also known as the butcher of Jallianwala bagh.
  • It also covers how Udham Singh killed Michael O’ Dwyer, former lieutenant governor of Punjab on March 13, 1940, at Caxton Hall, London for which he was hanged on July 31, 1940

1. India-Maldives sign agreement to establish “Emergency Medical Services”

  • India and Maldives have signed an agreement for the establishment of ‘Emergency Medical Services’ in Male, Maldives
  • The Emergency Medical Service is financed by India under grant assistance of 20 million USD for neighbouring countries
  • This will help to increase the collaboration between the countries, especially in the areas of health care facilities, disaster responses during critical times, etc

2. Amazon Pay ties up with Acko to sell auto insurance

  • Digital payments major, Amazon Pay has launched vehicle insurance in partnership with Bengaluru-based startup Acko General Insurance
  • Amazon Pay, a payments unit of Amazon India, will help customers purchase insurance effortlessly and Amazon Prime members will get extra benefits including additional discounts
  • Amazon has been selling third-party insurance products but this partnership will enable an easy-to-use integrated buying experience for its customers
  • Policyholders will also have an option for instant cash settlements for low-value claims, making it beneficial for customers
  • Additionally, customers can select from a list of add-ons like zero-depreciation and engine protection and they will be able to pay for the insurance using Amazon Pay balance, UPI, or cards

3. Punjab Govt tie-up with IIT-Ropar for skill development

  • The Punjab government has signed an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, in the area of skill development
  • The agreement provides IIT’s technical education department to become an academic mentor for the state’s engineering colleges at Gurdaspur and Ferozepur, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Skill Institute at Chamkaur Sahib, five government polytechnics and 10 government ITIs.

1. Ola rolls out enterprise solution ‘Ola Corporate’ to global customers

  • India-based mobility platform, Ola is rolling out its enterprise mobility solution ‘Ola Corporate’ across global markets. It will be rolling out the enterprise offering to customers across Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
  • The solution had first been introduced in the Indian market and had garnered 10,000 corporate users in the country
  • Ola Corporate will also offer a range of safety features under its Ride Safe initiative and will follow in class hygiene and sanitisation protocols for safer mobility amid the pandemic

2. CCI approves acquisition of KPCL by Adani Ports

  • Acquisition of Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL) by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (Adani Ports) has been approved by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
  • According to the proposed combination, Adani Ports will acquire equity shareholding along with management control of KPCL
  • Adani Ports is a customer-facing integrated port infrastructure services provider and manages the logistics chain
  • KPCL operates the deepwater port at Krishnapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, as per the concession agreement on Build-Operate-Share-Transfer basis with Government of Andhra Pradesh for a period of thirty years from the date of commercial operations. It is also entitled to a further period of 20 years
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