July 2020 -13th to 18th

1. Maldives & Sri Lanka eliminate measles & rubella, ahead of 2023 target

  • According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), South-East Asian Region (SEAR) office, Maldives and Sri Lanka were verified for having eliminated measles and rubella
  • Now, the Maldives and Sri Lanka are the first two countries in the WHO South-East Asia Region to achieve measles and rubella elimination ahead of the 2023 target
  • The Maldives reported last endemic case of measles in 2009 and of rubella in October 2015, while Sri Lanka reported last endemic case of measles in May 2016 and of rubella in March 2017

2. US formally announced its withdrawal from WHO

  • The United States has formalized to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 6, 2021
  • The actual project of disentangling the U.S. from WHO began on July 6, 2020, with a letter signed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It will take one year to go into effect
  • In April, the US stopped funding to WHO as the Trump administration reviewed the ties. A month later, President Donald Trump announced the US was terminating the relationship

1. India’s 1st NPNT compliant Drone flight successfully completed

  • India’s First No-Permission No-Takeoff (NPNT) compliant drone flight on the A200 Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) has been completed successfully by Quidich Innovation Labs and Asteria Aerospace
  • This NPNT drone flight is under the Ministry of Civil Aviation MoCA & DGCA comprehensive policy on the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), which came into effect on 1st Dec 2018

2. PM Modi to unveil Asia’s largest solar plant in MP

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil Asia’s largest 750 MW Rewa ultra mega solar plant in Madhya Pradesh on July 10
  • The Rewa Ultra Mega Solar is established in the Rewa district of the Vindhya region of Madhya Pradesh, with a total solar installed capacity of 750 MW. It is one of the largest single-site solar power plants in Asia

3: USAID & MNRE partners for clean energy development

  • The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has announced a partnership for clean energy development
  • The partnership has been established between the USAID-supported South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE) and MNRE’s National Technical Institutions
  • As per the partnership, SAGE will offer advanced technical knowledge on clean energy development to MNRE’s National Technical Institutions
  • It will also aim to increase the SAGE’s engagement with the MNRE National Institutions in order to make them a powerhouse of science, engineering, and technology for India as well as the entire South Asia region

4. Boeing delivers final Apache & Chinook helicopters to IAF

  • Boeing India has delivered the last of the five AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Hindan Air Force Station
  • Boeing has completed delivery of all 22 new AH-64E Apache to the Indian Air Force (IAF)
  • The Apaches were deployed at the Leh airbase as part of the forward movement of assets, amid the stand-off with China in Ladakh
  • Boeing also handed over the last five of the 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF
  • India contracted 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters from Boeing through the Foreign Military Sales programme of the U.S. government in September 2015 under a $3 billion deal

1. HP becomes the first state where everyone possesses LPG connection

  • Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has announced that the Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in India where 100% households have LPG gas connections
  • The feat was achieved by the state with the help of ˜Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana’ with the help of which the state government covered the left out families in the state, who were not covered under the Central government’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna

2. West Bengal Govt launches ‘Self Scan app’ to scan documents

  • West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has launched a new mobile application called “SelfScan” which has been developed by the state’s information technology department, to scan documents
  • It is a completely safe and protected app. Documents can be edited too on the application besides the scanning feature. The mobile application came days after the Centre banned 59 Chinese mobile applications and amid a call for the boycott of Chinese goods

3. RBI: Tamil Nadu tops market borrowings among States

  • According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Tamil Nadu has topped market borrowings among States in the country
  • Tamil Nadu has accounted for 17% of the borrowings done through the issue of bonds (known as state development loans).
  • The state is followed by Maharashtra ₹25,500 crores (14%), Andhra Pradesh ₹17,000 crores (9%) and Rajasthan ₹17,000 crores (9%).

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 Roorkee researchers develops disinfection box “Unisaviour”

  • “Unisaviour”, a disinfection box has been developed by the researchers at IIT Roorkee. The disinfection box “Unisaviour” can be used to sterilize personal belongings, apparels, PPE, medical equipment among others form the COVID-19
  • The disinfection box can also be installed easily at the public spaces such as cinema halls, malls etc to ensure the highest standard of hygiene

2. ‘Compact XL’ system for covid-19 tests lauched by MyLab

  • Mylab Discovery Solutions has launched the ‘Compact XL’ system for conducting a wide range of tests, including RT-PCR tests for COVID-19.
  • This is India’s first machine to automate the manual processes of molecular diagnostic tests such as RNA/DNA-based tests including COVID-19 RT-PCR tests

3.ISRO to launch Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch Brazil’s Amazonia-1 satellite
  • This satellite is onboard the Polar Satellite Launch vehicle (PSLV) as a primary payload by August 2020
  • This satellite has been locally designed and tested in Brazil. It will be the first satellite for Earth observation, it will not be a hitchhiking satellite
  • The Amazonia-1 satellite which PSLV will launch will help in monitoring and observing the deforestation of the Amazon region
  • With the recent fires in the Amazon region, the role of this satellite will be much more crucial for the countries
  • The images sent by the Brazilian satellite will also provide help in the vegetation and agricultural areas

1. Valtteri Bottas wins F1 Austrian Grand Prix

  • Mercedes’s, Valtteri Bottas (Finland) has won the Austrian Grand Prix 2020 at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria
  • This was the first race of the 2020 Formula One season. Charles Leclerc finished second for Ferrari while McLaren’s Lando Norris came third

2. G Akash becomes India’s 66th Chess Grandmaster

  • G Akash has become India’s 66th Chess Grandmaster. The second council meet of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) for the year 2020 confirmed Akash’s GM title
  • He won the national title in 2012 and earned the International Master title subsequently. Along with him, Ameya Audi of Goa has earned International Master title

3: Quinton de Kock adjudged South Africa Men’s Cricketer of the Year

  • At the Cricket South Africa annual awards 2020, Quinton de Kock was named as the men’s cricketer of the year, while Laura Wolvaardt was named as the women’s cricketer of the year

1. Oscar-winning Italian film composer Ennio Morricone passes away

  • Oscar-winning Italian film composer, Ennio Morricone passed away. He was born in Rome in 1928. He scored more than 500 films
  • He had He won his Oscar for his work on Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (2015) and also was nominated for his original scores for Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), Roland Joffe’s The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), Barry Levinson’s Bugsy (1991) and Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malena (2000)

2. Ivory Coast PM Amadou Gon Coulibaly passes away

  • Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Amadou Gon Coulibaly passed away
  • He was also chosen as the ruling party Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP)’s candidate for October’s presidential election
  • He served at many positions which include technical advisor, senior civil servant, deputy and mayor of Korhogo, agriculture minister, cabinet minister
  • After serving as secretary-general of the presidency for six years, he became the prime minister of Ivory Coast in January 2017

1. India’s Freya Thakral wins “The Diana Award 2020”

  • A 13-year-old student of the British School New Delhi, Freya Thakral has received the 2020 Diana Award for her “Recycler App”. She developed this App to connect users with waste-handlers as a measure to help the ragpickers of Delhi
  • Recycler App is a web-based mobile application that connects the users with waste handlers. The service through the app is provided in the south Delhi region with plans to extend to the other parts with an aim to transform the lives of the ragpicker community

2. IOC receives EU Green Building Leadership Award 2020

  • The headquarters of International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne has been awarded the European 2020 US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award
  • In addition to receiving the highest number of points of any LEED v4-certified new construction project to date, the Olympic House is the first international headquarters and the second building overall to obtain the highest (Platinum) level of the Swiss Sustainable Construction Standard (SNBS)
  • The award was announced by the USGBC which recognizes “those advancing the development of sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings, cities and communities in regions around the world”.
  • It has been given to five organisations that are “a model for how LEED can be used to improve communities, support human health and well-being, and contribute to a more sustainable future for all”.

3. Indian battalion wins UNIFIL environment award

  • Indian battalion (INDBATT) has stationed with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has won an environment award for a project that aims to decrease waste generation, reuse plastic, build greenhouses and compost pits
  • The second-place award was shared by the Mission’s Sector West Headquarters for the Sector West Infrastructure Management Centre (IMC) for the generation of compost from food waste and Irish-Polish Battalion (IRISHPOLBATT) for its project in supporting the host communities by reducing the environmental hazards
  • French-led Force Commander’s Reserve, Indonesian Battalion, Republic of Korea Battalion and Italian Battalion are the other units of UNIFIL who received the awards and recognitions

1. Lt Col Bharat Pannu secures podium position at vRAAM 2020

  • Indian Army officer, Lt Col Bharat Pannu has secured the 3rd position on the leaderboard at the first edition of the Virtual Race Across America (VRAAM) 2020. He became the first-ever Indian to secure a podium position in the international ultra-cycling race
  • In cycling circles, RAAM is considered to be one of the toughest races. The coronavirus outbreak this year forced the organisers to hold it `virtually’, where cyclists from across the world competed against each other on indoor trainers

2. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson becomes Instagram’s highest-paid celebrity

  • Wrestler-turned-actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been named Instagram’s highest-paid celebrity. Dwayne has dethroned Kylie Jenner as Instagram’s highest-paid celebrity
  • According to social media marketing firm Hopper HQ, Johnson has 189 million followers while Jenner has 183 million followers. Also on this year’s list were pro soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who charged about $889,000 per post and Jenner’s sister Kim Kardashian, who could charge $858,000

3. Himalayan Golden Birdwing butterfly named as India’s largest butterfly

  • Himalayan Golden Birdwing butterfly named as India’s largest butterfly, a record an unknown specimen had held for 88 years
  • The female Golden Birdwing with 194 mm wingspan was recorded at Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district’s Didihat town, while the male Golden Birdwing with 106 mm wingspan was recorded at the Wankhar Butterfly Museum (in Shillong).

4. Himachal’s Nadaun police station among best in country

  • Nadaun Police Station, Himachal Pradesh has been ranked as one of the best Police Stations of the country and the best Police Station of the State
  • Nadaun Police Station is situated at Hamirpur district, Himachal Pradesh. The Certificate of Excellence was provided to this Police Station by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.The ranking of police stations is carried out by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and the same was released by the Union Home Minister in a ceremony during DGPs Conference, recently

1. World Chocolate Day celebrated on 7th July

  • World Chocolate Day or International Chocolate Day is observed on 7th July every year. The day celebrates the existence of chocolate in our lives
  • It is marked by eating chocolates and sharing with dear ones

2. World Population Day celebrated on 11th July

  • World Population Day is observed globally on 11th July every year
  • This day is observed to raise awareness among people about the impact of a growing population and issues including gender equality, the importance of family planning, poverty, maternal health, human rights, etc
  • This year theme of World Population Day 2020: Putting the brakes on COVID-19: Safeguarding the health and rights of women and girls

1. UKIBC appoints Jayant Krishna as Group CEO

  • The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) has appointed Jayant Krishna as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the group. He will replace the current Group CEO, Richard Heald
  • Prior to this, Jayant Krishna has served as the CEO of Prime Minister’s Skill India mission as well as the Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). Jayant Krishna will be the first UKIBC Group CEO to be based in India

2. Manipur’s Gyanendro Ningombam becomes new Hockey India president

  • Manipur’s, Gyanendro Ningombam named as the new  Officiating President of Hockey India
  • He will replace Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad. This was following the resignation letter of Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad received by Hockey India on 7 July 2020 due to his personal and family commitments

1. 4th edition of the virtual Ministerial on Climate Action held

  • The fourth edition of the virtual Ministerial on Climate Action was co-chaired by the European Union, China, and Canada
  • In the meeting, India was represented by the Union Environment Minister, Shri Prakash Javadekar
  • The meeting witnessed the countries deliberating on how countries are aligning economic recovery plans with the Paris Agreement as well as the critical enabling conditions to ensure continued climate action

2. India Global Week 2020 conference begins

  • The India Global Week 2020 virtual conference was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • The 3 days virtual conference has been organized in the United Kingdom with a theme of “Be The Revival: India and a Better New World”.
  • It will feature a “never-seen-before” performance on the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat campaign
  • It will also witness the participation of 5,000 global participants from 30 nations and it will be addressed by 250 global speakers in 75 sessions

3. 15th meeting of the India-European Union Summit

  • The 15th meeting of the India-European Union Summit will be held in virtual mode
  • The summit will deliberate on India-EU cooperation by covering various aspects such as political and security relations, trade and investment and economic cooperation
  • The developments around the COVID-19 pandemic and contemporary global topics of interest to both sides would be discussed during the summit

1. Urjit Patel pens book ‘Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver’

  • Former RBI governor, Urjit Patel has written a book titled ‘Overdraft: Saving the Indian Saver’.
  • The book focuses on the non-performing assets (NPAs) issue that has afflicted Indian banking in recent years. It will be published by Harper Collins India

2. “Getting Competitive: A Practitioner’s Guide for India” authored by R C Bhargava

  • The Chairman of Maruti Suzuki, RC Bhargava has authored the book “Getting Competitive: A Practitioner’s Guide for India” from his experience as a policymaker and a leading industrialist
  • The book published by HarperCollins India

3. A book on Dalai Lama’s biography to release in 2020

  • A book titled ‘His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama: An Illustrated Biography’ will be released in 2020
  • The book is published by Roli Books. The book is authored by one of the Dalai Lama’s closest aides and advisor of over 40 years, Tenzin Geyche Tethong
  • The biography is a memorable portrait of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso
  • The book gives a glance of an important part of the history before he was forced to flee to India in March 1959

1. CBSE tie-up with Facebook to introduce curriculum on digital safety

  • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has partnered with Facebook to launch a free and comprehensive training program for teachers and students of its affiliated schools in the first phase
  • The program will cover teacher training on augmented reality and student training on digital safety and online well- being. In the second phase, CBSE will introduce the training program on digital safety and augmented reality for 30 thousand students in each category.

2. Microsoft ties up with NSDC to provide digital skills

  • Microsoft has partnered with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to offer digital skills to India’s youth in the next 12 months amid the COVID-19 crisis. Microsoft will provide free access to learning resources and conduct digital skilling awareness drives by collaborating with the eSkill India portal of NSDC.
  • This partnership will help in creating a digital skills ecosystem that will prepare India’s workforce for jobs of the future. As a part of the partnership, “Microsoft Learn” a learning resource center of Microsoft will be integrated with the eSkill India digital platform and offer access to personalized learning paths and resources that are required in today’s economy and expected to continue to grow in the future

3. CBDT & SEBI signs MoU for data exchange

  • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has signed an agreement for data exchange.
  • The agreement will facilitate the sharing of information and data between the two organisations on an automatic and regular basis.

4. IIT-H & NVIDIA ties-up to establish joint AI research centre

  • Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) has partnered with a multinational technology company, NVIDIA to establish India’s 1st ‘NVIDIA AI Technology Centre’ (NVAITC).
  • NVAITC will be established to accelerate research on Artificial Intelligence and its commercial adoption
  • The projects to be taken up include, Increasing crop yields using AI algorithms and applying AI-based solutions to support safe transportation systems and better ways to manage traffic among others
  • The collaboration will focus on improving AI research in the aspects of agriculture, smart cities, and language understanding
  • The NVAITC will accelerate research for the 220 faculty at IITH, which is already among India’s foremost research institutions

1. Sachin Bansal’s startup “Navi” launches new instant lending app

  • Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal’s financial services startup “Navi” has launched a mobile app ” Navi lending” to provide instant personal loans targeted at consumers in the middle-income segment.

1. India, Indonesia Coast Guards signs MoU to boost maritime relations

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Bakamla RI (Indonesian Coast Guard) have signed a memorandum of understanding on ‘Maritime Safety and Security’ to boost maritime relations
  • This MoU will strengthen cooperation by augmenting information exchange mechanisms. This real-time Maritime Domain Awareness will then be the foundation for controlling and responding to incidents of piracy, smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal migration and other such maritime crimes which will bring safety and security to the region and also result in protection of our precious marine environment

2: Akash Missile: BDL signs licence agreement & ToT with DRDO

  • Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed License Agreement and Transfer of Technology (ToT) with Defence Research and Development OrganisationDefence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDODRDL) for Akash Missile Weapon System (Indian Army Variant).
  • Akash Missile is the first medium-range Surface to Air missile produced in India which can engage multiple targets from multiple directions
  • The missile flies at a speed of nearly 860 meters per second at a maximum altitude of 18 km
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