General Knowledge & Current Affairs

June 2020 - 21st to 30th

1. World Bank approves USD 1.05 billion to Bangladesh

  • The World Bank has approved USD 1.05 billion for three projects in Bangladesh to generate quality jobs and boost economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The three projects namely: Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship is a USD 500 million worth project.
  • It will bolster the social and environmental standards in selected economic zones and software technology parks in Bangladesh. Enhancing Digital Government and Economy is a USD 295 million worth project. It will create an integrated, cloud-computing digital platform for all government agencies and enhance cyber-security.
  • Second Programmatic Jobs Development Policy Credit is a USD 250 million worth project which will develop fiscal space to help the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis

2. Pakistan to remain on FATF grey list

  • The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has decided to keep Pakistan in the Grey List’ for terror financing as the country failed to check the flow of money to terror groups
  • The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiang Liu. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions

3. Micheal Martin becomes new PM of Ireland

  • Micheal Martin has been elected as new Prime Minister of Ireland by the lower house of the Irish parliament. There are altogether 160 seats within the current lower house of Irish parliament with one seat getting to the speaker of the house who wasn’t involved within the vote
  • He won the election after receiving 93 votes in favour, 63 votes against and 3 votes in abstention.

4. Lazarus Chakwera wins President election in Malawi’s

  • Lazarus Chakwera becomes the new President of Malawi. He defeated incumbent Peter Mutharika with 58.57% of votes
  • Chakwera won with 2.6 million votes against 1.75 million for Mutharika. He is the head of the Malawi Congress Party(MCP).

1. Union FPI Minister launches “Exclusive Investment Forum”

  • The Food Processing Edition of the “Exclusive Investment Forum” has been launched by the Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal. It has been designed by the Invest India, the National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency of the Government of India
  • The “Exclusive Investment Forum” is a sectoral series to conduct comprehensive conversations among global industry leaders and key decision-makers from the highest levels of the Central and State Governments

2. GeM mandates “Information about Country of Origin” for sellers

  • “Information about Country of Origin” has been mandated for the sellers by the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The sellers have been advised to mention “Information about Country of Origin” while registering all new products on GeM
  • While those sellers, who had already registered their products before the launch of this new feature on GeM, would be reminded regularly to update the information about Country of Origin. If they fail to update the same, their products shall be removed from GeM

3: Mali awarded 500-MW solar park project to NTPC

  • IThe Republic of Mali has awarded the project management consultancy contract for the development of 500 megawatts (MW) solar park to National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC).

4: Arjun Munda inaugurates Tribes India store on GeM

  • Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda has inaugurated the TRIBES India store on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) and the TRIFED’s new website ( The store will help in facilitating purchases by Government
  • The newly launched website contains all important information about the schemes as well as initiatives underway to the benefit of tribal communities. The products and the website were launched during a webinar organised by TRIFED, Ministry of Tribal affairs with a focus on “TRIFED Goes Digital” and “Be Vocal for Local”.

5: Govt of India bans 59 Chinese apps

  • The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has announced that “Government of India Bans 59 Chinese mobile apps”, which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order”.
  • The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with the relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 and in view of the emergent nature of threats has decided to block 59 apps

1. Tamil Nadu CM K. Palaniswami inaugurates compressed biogas plant

  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, K. Palaniswami has inaugurated compressed biogas (CBG) Plant in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, through video conference in the presence of Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan
  • The cost of compressed biogas plant (CBG) is Rs 25 crore. The new plant can make 15 tonnes of CBG per day and 20 tonnes of bio manure per day

2. Cabinet gives International airport status to Kushinagar Airport

  • Union Cabinet has given International Airport status to Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh
  • The International status to the Airport will end in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the regions. It will be a crucial strategic location with the international border accessible

3. Maharashtra launches largest plasma therapy trial “Project Platina”

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has launched the world’s largest plasma therapy trials “Project Platina” for COVID-19 patients
  • The state government has approved Rs 16.65 crore for the project from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. There are 21 centres have been picked for the trial, including 17 medical colleges under the department of medical education and drugs, the government of Maharashtra and four BMC medical colleges in Mumbai

1.RBI enhances withdrawal limit for PMC’ depositors to Rs 1 Lakh

  • The Reserve Bank of India has enhanced the withdrawal limit for depositors of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Limited, Mumbai to Rs 1 Lakh per depositor. The withdrawal limit was earlier set at Rs 50,000
  • According to RBI, with the enhancement of the withdrawal limit, more than 84% of the depositors of the bank will be able to withdraw their entire account balance

2: UCO Bank ties-up with four insurers to sell their products

  • UCO Bank has tied up with four insurers to offer various insurance products to its customers through its network of branches across the country. The lender teamed up with SBI Life Insurance Company, the Oriental insurance company and Religare insurance Company, Star Health and Allied insurance company for selling their products
  • With these new partnerships, the lender will now offer a way wider range of insurance products

3. GoI brings all cooperative banks under the supervision of RBI

  • Government of India will bring an ordinance to bring all cooperative banks under the Reserve Bank of India supervision. Now 1,482 urban cooperative banks and 58 multi-state cooperative banks would come under the supervisory powers of the Reserve Bank of India
  • The RBI’s powers as they apply to the scheduled banks will also apply to cooperative banks. This decision will give an assurance to more than 86 million depositors that their money amounting to Rs 4.84 trillion will stay safe

1. ISRO receives patent for “Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment”

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has received a patent for its Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG). Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG) is a protective garment for human spaceflight
  • It is a close fitting long garment that covers the torso as well as the limbs from neck to toe as a single piece lightweight comfort inner wear. The flight suit has to be worn by the astronauts over the LCHG.
  • The garment permits the long term use without any impact on the wearer in terms of skin irritation or infection

2. Union Cabinet approves formation of “IN-SPACe”

  • Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe). It has been approved to encourage the participation of private sector in the entire range of space activities
  • It will also enable Indian Industry in becoming an important player in the global space economy

3: NASA headquarters to be renamed for Mary W. Jackson

  • NASA has announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, one of its history-making engineers
  • The information was passed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine

1. National champion Niki Poonacha elected to ITF panel

  • The International Tennis Federation has declared the list of players, who have been chosen for the ITF World Tennis Tour Player Panels. India’s Niki Poonacha is elected as a player member to ITF World Tennis Tour Player Men’s panel
  • He will represent the Asia-Oceania zone along with Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei. The Men’s and Women’s Panel will be headed by Mark Woodforde and Mary Pierce respectively who are the athlete representatives on the ITF board of directors

2. Clare Connor to become 1st female president of MCC

  • Former England women’s captain Clare Connor will become the 1st female president of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in its 233-year history. The 1st non-British MCC president, Kumar Sangakkara has nominated Connor
  • She is presently serving as England and Wales Cricket Board’s head of women’s cricket

3: Australia and New Zealand named as hosts of FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

  • The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand
  • The joint offer put together by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football got 22 of the 35 substantial votes cast by the FIFA Council individuals in the first voting form, with the Colombian Football Association having acquired 13 votes

1. Padma Shri awardee Vidyaben Shah passes away

  • Padma Shri awardee and a social worker Vidyaben Shah passed away recently. She was a pioneer in the field of child welfare as she created the first Bal Bhavan in Rajkot in the 1940s
  • She was awarded the National Award for outstanding services in the field of child welfare, followed by Padma Shri award in 1992. She also became the first non-official to head the New Delhi Municipal Council in the 1970s

2. Former Indian shooter Pournima Zanane passes away

  • Former Indian shooter and coach Pournima Zanane passed away
  • She represented India at multiple ISSF World Cups, Asian Championships, Commonwealth Championships, amongst other tournaments

3. Vir Chakra awardee Sqn. Ldr. Parvez Jamasji passes away

  • Vir Chakra awardee, Sqn Ldr (retd) Parvez Jamasji passed away. He was commissioned in 1965 and retired in 1985
  • He was awarded the Vir Chakra for gallantry during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. During the operations against Pakistan in December 1971, Flight Lieutenant Parvez Rustom Jamasji was serving with a helicopter unit. His Helicopter flown by him was attacked twice by machine gun and twice by mortars

1. Amartya Sen wins Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

  • The German Book Trade has chosen Indian Nobel prize-winning economist and philosopher Amartya Sen for its prestigious 2020 Peace Prize
  • He has been chosen for the prestigious prize for his pioneering work addressing issues of global justice, social inequality in education and healthcare

2. UN honours Kerala Health Minister K.K Shailaja

  • Kerala Health Minister K.K Shailaja was honoured by the United Nations for her efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic in her state
  • She was praised for maintaining low mortality rates in Kerala. She was also one among several leaders across the world who were invited to speak on the occasion of United Nations Public Service Day

3. Popstar Beyonce honored with BET 2020 Humanitarian Award

  • Popstar Beyonce has been honored with the BET 2020 Humanitarian Award for her longstanding philanthropic work with her BeyGOOD Foundation, including her recent COVID-19 relief efforts such as #IDIDMYPART, a mobile testing initiative
  • The award was presented by the former First Lady Michelle Obama. 

1. Virtual India Pavilion at “Cannes Film Market 2020” inaugurated

  • Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the Virtual India Pavilion at Cannes Film Market 2020, commencing India’s participation at Cannes Film Festival. During the e-inauguration, the minister invited international film fraternity to come as well as shoot in India, and sell in the international market
  • This year, India has sent two films for screening during the festival, namely: MaiGhat: Crime No 103/200 (Marathi) and Hellaro (Gujarati)

2. World’s 1st yoga university outside India launched in US

  • The world’s first yoga university outside India has been launched in Los Angeles, US. The Yoga University has been named as the Vivekananda Yoga University (VaYU). The University was launched as a part of the commemorations for the 6th International Yoga Day
  • The University offers programmes that combine scientific principles and modern research approach to the ancient Indian practice

3. India becomes 1st country to control locusts through drones

  • India is the first country to control locusts through drones. Under the Make in India initiative, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers’ Welfare (DAC&FW), Agriculture Ministry has indigenously developed a vehicle-mounted Ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayer for locust control
  • Locust is a crop-threatening migratory pest that has entered the country through the India-Pakistan border

1. World celebrates International Day of Yoga on 21 June

  • United Nations celebrates International Day of Yoga globally on 21 June every year to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
  • Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The theme of International Day of Yoga 2020 is “Yoga for Health Yoga at Home”.

2. World celebrates Olympic Day on 23rd June

  • The Olympic Day is celebrated globally on 23rd June every year. This year, amid COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic Movement will celebrate Olympic Day 2020 by creating the world’s largest 24 hour digital-first Olympic workout.
  • For this, the Olympic Channel is making a brand new home workout video made by Olympic athletes.

1. U.S. Senate appoints Sethuraman Panchanathan as head of NSF

  • The U.S. Senate has appointed Indian-American scientist Dr Sethuraman Panchanathan as the Director of the National Science Foundation(NSF). He will replace France Cordova as the 15th director of the NSF
  • He is the second Indian-American ever to be nominated to the prestigious science position with the first being Dr Subra Suresh who served from October 2010 to March 2013. National Science Foundation is a top American body supporting fundamental research in non-medical fields of science and engineering

2. Nirakar Pradhan becomes new chief of PRMIA

  • Dr Nirakar Pradhan has appointed as new as the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) of its new India office
  • Pradhan has led teams at State Bank of India and Generali Group in India and Europe

3. IAS Vini Mahajan becomes 1st woman chief secretary of Punjab

  • IAS Vini Mahajan has become 1st woman chief secretary of Punjab. She is a 1987-batch IAS officer. She will replace Karan Avtar Singh, who has now been posted as Special Chief Secretary, Governance Reforms and Public Grievances
  • Presently, Vini Mahajan is the only Punjab cadre officer in the state to hold a Secretary’s post at the Centre

4. T. Rabi Sankar becomes new Chairman of IFTAS

  • Indian Financial Technology & Allied Services (IFTAS) has announced the appointment of T Rabi Sankar as its Chairman, while Dr N Rajendran has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization
  • IFTAS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India

1. India attends 32nd virtual EAG plenary meet

  • The virtual 32nd special Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG) plenary meeting was attended by the Indian officials including the representatives from enforcement agencies
  • The meeting was held under the aegis of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). EAG is a nine member regional body. The nine member countries of EAG are: India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

2. Piyush Goyal chairs 49th Governing Council Meeting of NPC

  • Shri Piyush Goyal, Commerce & Industry Minister and President of NPC Governing Council chaired the 49th Governing Council Meeting of National Productivity Council (NPC).
  • The participants in the meeting deliberated on increasing the productivity levels of the India in various sectors and put forward various suggestions such as interlinking of academia and industry for creation of a highly skilled labor force, identification of Champion sectors which has the potential to drive the economy, sector formulation of specific action plans by NPC especially in agriculture and logistics sectors, and adoption of technology to increase the productivity

1. India slips down at 77th place in accounting money in Swiss banks

  • Swiss National Bank (SNB) has released ‘Annual banking statistics, 2019’. According to the latest SNB data, India has moved down three places to 77th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens. However, many neighboring countries are below India in the list.
  • Among them, Pakistan is ranked 99th, Bangladesh 85th, Nepal 118th, Sri Lanka 148th, Myanmar 186th, and Bhutan 196th. India-based branches, accounting for just about 0.06 percent of the aggregate funds parked by all foreign clients of Switzerland-based banks. While Britain holds the first place in this list with a share of 27 % of the total deposits

1. PhonePe partners with ICICI Bank on UPI multi-bank model

  • PhonePe has partnered with ICICI Bank on UPI multi-bank model. Through this partnership, Phonepe will give its users the option to create and use multiple UPI IDs with ICICI bank
  • The PhonePe customers will now be able to choose between multiple handles for their UPI IDs, thus making payments easy, secure and accessible to all

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. IMF predicts Indian economy to contract by 4.5% in FY21

  • The International Monetary Fund has projected that the Indian economy will experience a sharp contraction of 4.55% in Fiscal Year 2021, as compared to that of 1.9% expansion projected in the month of April 2020
  • The international organization has called this a “historic low” for India. IMF has forecasted that the Indian economy will recover in the fiscal year 2022 with a growth rate of 6%. These projections have been stated by IMF in its latest World Economic Outlook titled “A Crisis like No Other, An Uncertain Outlook”.

2: Moody’s forecasts India’s GDP to shrink 3.1% in 2020

  • Moody’s Investors Service has released its June update to Global Macro Outlook (2020-21). In its latest release, the rating agency projected the Indian economy to shrink 3.1% in the fiscal year 2020, while it is expected to register 6.9% growth in the fiscal year 2021
  • Global Macro Outlook also indicated that China would be the only G-20 country to record growth of 1% in the fiscal year 2020 and expects it to grow at 7.1% in the fiscal year 2021
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