General Knowledge & Current Affairs

June 2020 - 14th to 20th

1. PM of Kyrgyzstan Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev resigns from post

  • Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev has resigned from the post, citing an ongoing criminal investigation into the assignment of national radio frequencies
  • The Kyrgyz parliament raised the issue of the offer of radio frequencies, which was trailed by various representatives requesting Abylgaziev demonstrate his honesty against charges of debasement

2. Volkan Bozkir becomes new president of 75th UN General Assembly

  • Turkish’s diplomat Volkan Bozkir has been elected as the president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. He won the unanimous support of the 178 UN members
  • He will take over from Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the present General Assembly president

1. India joins Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence

  • India has joined the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI or Gee-Pay) as a founding member. GPAI was launched by a group of leading economies namely UK, EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Italy, Japan, USA, Mexico, New Zealand and India
  • This partnership among the leading economies aims to guide the responsible development as well as use of AI, grounded in human rights, diversity, innovation, inclusion, and economic growth
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will host a Secretariat in Paris, in order to provide support to the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI). It will also have two Centers of Expertise: one each in Paris and Montreal

2. Dharmendra Pradhan launches Indian Gas Exchange

  • Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the Indian Gas Exchange (IGX). IGX is the first nationwide online delivery-based gas trading platform. The trading platform will enable market participants to trade in standardised gas contracts
  • IGX is fully automated with a web-based interface and it provides seamless trading experience to the customers

3: India elected as a non-permanent member of UN Security Council

  • India has been elected as the non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. India has won the election for a two-year term after winning 184 votes in the 193-member General Assembly
  • India won the non-permanent seat from the Asia-Pacific category for the 2021-22 term which will begin on 1st January 2021. Ireland, Mexico and Norway also won the Security Council elections along with India. The United Nations high-table comprises of five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members

1. Flood warning system “iFLOWS” launched in Mumbai

  • State of the art flood warning system “iFLOWS” has been launched in Mumbai. I-FLOWS consists of seven modules: Data Assimilation, Flood, Inundation, Vulnerability, Risk, Dissemination Module and Decision Support System
  • The system will enable Mumbai to predict floods three days before they happen and will make it more resilient as it will provide early signs of the forthcoming danger during high rainfall and cyclone events

2. KVIC launches project to produce Neera and Palmgur

  • A unique project to produce Neera and Palmgur has been rolled out by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in Palghar district of Maharashtra to promote Neera as a substitute to soft drinks along with generating self-employment opportunities for Adivasis as well as traditional trappers
  • As a part of project, KVIC distributed tool kits to local artisans for extraction of Neera and making palmgur. Neera is a nutrient-rich health drink consumed in many Indian states, and is extracted from the palm trees before sunrise

3. New fish species discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

  • A new fish species named as “Schizothorax sikusirumensis” has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh. It was discovered by Dr Keshav Kumar Jha. who is an Associate Professor & Head of Department of Zoology, Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat
  • He discovered a new fish species from genus Schizothorax. The Fish species was discovered near Gakang area under Mebo circle of East Siang District, at the confluence of River Siku and Sirum

4. “Composite Regional Centre for PwDs” inaugurated in Ranchi

  • “Composite Regional Centre (CRC) for Skill Development, Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) has been inaugurated in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The centre was inaugurated by Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot, and Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda
  • This is the 21st Composite Regional Centre (CRC) which will serve to fulfil the needs of Persons with Disabilities in Jharkhand

1.ICICI Bank introduces ‘Insta FlexiCash’ for salary account customers

  • ICICI Bank has introduced an online overdraft(od) facility ‘Insta FlexiCash’ for its salary account customers. The end-to-end fully digital facility is often accessed with no documentation, using the Bank’s internet banking platform without visiting a bank branch
  • This facility is meant to guard ICICI Bank Salary Account customers against missing their Equated Monthly Instalments (EMIs) or cheque bounces thanks to insufficient funds by providing short-term instant credit. Customers can easily avail of this facility by initiating their application online

2: BoB to completely digitize its lending operations

  • Bank of Baroda will completely digitize its lending operations including home, agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), personal and auto loans
  • The validation and disbursal of fresh loans will happen via this digital platform while past loans will also be digitised to cut costs and improve profitability. The bank is planning to digitise a large proportion of its retail and MSME processes in the next six months

1. RBI constitutes P K Mohanty led “Internal Working Group”

  • An Internal Working Group (IWG) has been constituted by the Reserve Bank of India with a prime objective of reviewing the extant guidelines on ownership and corporate structure for Indian private sector banks
  • The Internal Working Group (IWG) will be headed by Dr. Prasanna Kumar Mohanty, Director, Central Board of RBI. The Internal Working Group (IWG) is supposed to submit its report by 30th September 2020

2.IBBI Board reconstitutes Advisory Committee on Corporate Insolvency Resolution & Liquidation

  • The Board of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has reconstituted the Advisory Committee on Corporate Insolvency Resolution & Liquidation
  • The committee will be chaired by Uday Kotak while Methil Unnikrishnan has been designated as the secretary to the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee comprises of 14 members including the Chairman

3: GoI to launch “Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan”

  • “Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan” will be launched by the Government of India from Village Telihar, Block Beldaur of Khagaria District of Bihar. It is a massive rural public works scheme that will empower and offer livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers as well as rural citizens
  • The programme will be joined by the villages across 116 districts in the six States through the Common Service Centres and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. The six states are: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar


1. Sports Ministry to set up “Khelo India State Centres of Excellence”

  • Under its flagship programme “Khelo India Scheme”, the Sports Ministry is going to establish Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE) to create a robust sporting ecosystem in the entire country, as well as to strengthen India’s pursuit for excellence in Olympics, one KISCE will be identified in each state and unionterritory (UT)
  • In the first phase of setting up KISCE, sports ministry has identified state-owned sports facilities in eight states of India. To upgrade the existing state-owned sports facilities in the above states into KISCE, ‘Viability Gap Funding’ would be extended by the government in sports science and technology support for sports disciplines practiced at the centre

2. Mamedyarov wins Sharjah Online International Chess Championship

  • Grandmaster Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan has won the World Stars Sharjah Online International Chess Championship. He won the coveted title and price of $3000 after scoring 7.5 points from 10 rounds
  • Indian Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna finished second in the Championship after scoring 6.5 points from 10 rounds. Sharjah Online International Chess Championship was hosted by the Sharjah Cultural & Chess Club

3: Bahrain to host 4th Asian Youth Para Games 2021

  • The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) has announced that the 4th edition of Asian Youth Para Games to be held in Bahrain in December 2021
  • Around 800 athletes under 20 years aged are expected to compete in nine sports: athletics, badminton, boccia, goalball, para taekwondo, powerlifting, swimming, table tennis and wheelchair basketball. The event is being organised in conjunction with the National Paralympic Committee (NPC) of Bahrain with the support of the government

1. SAIL director Atul Srivastava passes away

  • Atul Srivastava, Director of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) passed away. He assumed charge as Director (Personnel) of SAIL on March 12, 2018
  • During his entire career, he had led Personnel and Administrative functions at SAIL’s Bokaro and Durgapur Steel Plants and also at its Corporate Office

2. Freedom fighter & veteran journalist Dinu Randive passes away

  • Freedom fighter & Veteran journalist Dinu Ranadive passed away. He was born in 1925 at a tribal hamlet at Dahanu near Mumbai and started his journalistic career in 1956
  • He was recently conferred with Mumbai Press Club’s Red Ink award for Lifetime Achievement

1. Deccan Development Society wins Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Award

  • Hyderabad-based Deccan Development Society has won the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Award
  • The society has been honoured for its help in promoting biodiversity and support farming in degraded lands. The honour was declared by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation Vice President and CEO, Olivier Wenden

1. Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes 1st woman to reach the deepest point of the ocean

  • Former NASA astronaut and Geologist, Kathryn D. Sullivan has become the 1st woman to reach the deepest point of the ocean, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. She is the 1st American woman to walk in space and has now become the first woman to reach the deepest known spot in the ocean
  • She has also become the first person to both walk-in spaces and to descend to the deepest point in the ocean

2. Anmol Narang becomes 1st observant Sikh to graduate from US Military Academy

  • Anmol Narang has made history by becoming the 1st observant Sikh to graduate from the distinguished United States (US) Military Academy at West Point. She was among about 1,100 cadets who graduated at the premier institution’s campus in New York with the rank of 2nd lieutenant      
  • She is hopeful that her efforts to represent her religion and community will encourage Americans to find out more about Sikhism. She was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia

3. Ganguly & Chhetri signed as brand ambassadors of JSW Cement

  • JSW Cement has signed Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Chhetri as its brand ambassadors. The cement brand has also launched a new multi-media marketing campaign “Leader’s Choice” which includes both sports icons
  • The multi-media marketing campaign “Leader’s Choice” of JSW Cement promotes the ideology of building a solid foundation for a better tomorrow

1. World Blood Donor Day: 14th June

  • World blood donor day is observed globally on June 14th every year to create awareness and make people understand how crucial it is to donate blood. The campaign theme for this year’s World donor Day is “Safe blood saves lives” with the slogan “Give blood and make the world a healthier place”
  • In May 2005, WHO officially established with its 192 Member States, World donor Day at the 58th World Health Assembly

2. Autistic Pride Day: 18th June

  • Autistic Pride Day is observed globally on 18th June every year to respect the rights of persons with autism. In 2005, the first autistic pride day was celebrated in Brazil by the Aspies For Freedom (AFF) created by Gareth & Amy Nelson and became a global event
  • Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication

1. Imtaiyazur Rahman becomes CEO of UTI Mutual Fund

  • UTI Mutual Fund has appointed Imtaiyazur Rahman as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Earlier he was serving as the acting Chief Executive Officer of the UTI Mutual Funds
  • He was made the acting Chief Executive Officer of the UTI Mutual Funds after the completion of 5-years term of Leo Puri whose contract ended in August 2018. He joined the UTI Group in 1998 and is with the AMC since 2003

2. Urjit Patel appointed as Chairman of economic think tank NIPFP

  • Urjit Patel has been appointed as the Chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), based in New Delhi, India. He has been appointed for a period of four years and will replace the outgoing chairman Vijay Kelkar
  • He has earlier served as the Governor as well as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He resigned as the Governor of RBI in December 2018

3. Shambhu S. Kumaran appointed India’s next Ambassador to Philippines

  • Shambhu S. Kumaran has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of the Philippines. He is presently serving as the Ambassador of India to the Kingdom of Morocco.
  • He will replace Jaideep Mazumdar as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Philippines

1. International Workshop on “Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic”

  • International Workshop on “Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic for International Civil Servants” was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh
  • It was organized by Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), Ministry of External Affairs and National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG). The two-day conference featured the participation of 81 International Civil Servants from 16 Countries

1. India releases National Report on the state of Climate Crisis

  • India’s first-ever National Report on the state of the Climate Crisis has been released. The report has been prepared under the aegis of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) with the title “Assessment Of Climate Change Over The Indian Region”
  • The report analyses where India stands regarding long-term changes in climate patterns, and their attendant risks

1. Maruti Suzuki partners with Karur Vysya Bank for flexible financing

  • Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) has collaborated with Karur Vysya Bank to offer simpler and flexible financing plans for new clients
  • Through the association with the bank, the company is trying to offer imminent purchasers exceptional plan of up to 100 per cent on-road funding with six months holiday period on all models, except van EECO, loans for both salaried and self-employed customers and repayment period up to 84 months

1. British Petroleum to set up Global Business Service Centre in Pune

  • United Kingdom oil major “British Petroleum” is going to set up Global Business Service Centre in Pune, Maharashtra to support its global businesses. The centre is expected to begin its operations by January 2021
  • The centre will employ around 2000 people and provide business processing as well as advanced analytics capabilities in support of British Petroleum businesses worldwide

2. RIL reaches $150-billion market valuation mark

  • The Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has reached $150-billion mark in term of market capitalisation and has become India’s first $150-billion company in terms of market capitalisation
  • It achieved this milestone when its share price had gained 6.23% to close at Rs 1,759, taking its market capitalisation to Rs 11.15 lakh crore i.e. around $150 billion

1. Fitch Ratings retains India’s sovereign rating at “BBB-“

  • Fitch Ratings has retained India’s sovereign rating at the lowest investment grade of “BBB-“, while the rating agency has revised downward its rating outlook for India to negative from stable
  • Fitch has cited increasing risk to India’s growth and debt outlook, as a reason for the above ratings. Although, the rating agency expects India’s economic activity to contract by 5% in the fiscal year 2021 before rebounding by 9.5% in the fiscal year 2022

2: ADB forecasts Indian economy to contract 4% in FY21

  • The Asian Development Bank has projected the Indian economy to contract by 4% in Fiscal Year 2021. The Indian economy has been projected to contract, as businesses came to a standstill for more than two months due to the nationwide lockdown implemented to contain the COVID-19
  • The Asian Development Bank expects India’s economy to recover in Fiscal Year 2022 with a growth rate of 5%, as economic activity will get to its normal state gradually
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