General Knowledge & Current Affairs

June 2020 - 7th to 13th

1. Myanmar military “Tatmadaw” returns to Facebook

  • Myanmar military “Tatmadaw” has decided to use Facebook again to provide ‘accurate’ news to people. On August 2018, Facebook restricted 18 records and a few pages related with the Tatmadaw and its senior officials over allegations of spreading loathe discourse
  • Facebook evacuated the records hours after a United Nations truth discovering crucial a report that blamed the Tatmadaw for slaughter and atrocities in northern Rakhine State in 2017

2. ˜Shohojodha’ online plasma network for COVID-19 started by Bangladesh

  • Government of Bangladesh has launched ‘Shohojodha’, an online network to facilitate plasma exchange between recovered patients of COVID-19 treatment
  • It has been launched by the ICT division of the government of Bangladesh in collaboration with Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), a2i innovation lab and eGeneration to facilitate collection and distribution of plasma from patients who have recovered from Coronavirus

1. CBIC launches flagship programme “Turant Customs”

  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has launched its flagship programme “Turant Customs”
  • Turant Customs is a mega reform for the ease of doing business. The programme has been launched at Bengaluru and Chennai to take a leap forward to take advantage of the technology for faster Customs clearance of imported goods.

2. Tech Mahindra signs UN Global Compact Initiative to curtail emissions

  • Tech Mahindra has signed a joint declaration with UN Global Compact and hence joined 155 global companies in calling for policies to build resilience against future shocks by supporting the activities targeted to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in order to reach net-zero emissions before 2050
  • Tech Mahindra seeks to reduce carbon footprint and emissions by moving towards a zero-carbon resilient economy. It will achieve its objective with the use of new-age technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchain

3: MHA reconstituted a new committee for the welfare of freedom fighters

  • Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reconstituted a new committee for the welfare of the freedom fighters
  • This committee chaired by the minister of state for home affairs G Kishan Reddy and 9 other œeminent freedom fighters from across the country

4: GoI increases customs duty on bamboo from 10% to 25%

  • The Government of India has raised the Customs duty on bamboo imports from 10% to 25% with immediate effect
  • The decision to increase the Customs duty on bamboo imports was taken to encourage the use of domestic bamboo under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. The newly decided customs duty will now be applicable uniformly to any import of bamboo, including by traders

5: 1st high rise Over Head Equipment commissioned by Indian Railways

  • Indian Railways has commissioned the first high rise Over Head Equipment (OHE) and successfully ran a double stack container in the electrified territory on Western Railway
  • With this, Indian Railways has become the first Railway to run Double Stack Container train with high reach pantograph in high rise OHE territory, which is a first of its kind in the entire world. The 1st high rise Over Head Equipment (OHE) has a contact wire height of 7.57 metre and it was operated successfully from Palanpur & Botad stations in Gujarat

6. Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) complex inaugurated in Vizag

  • Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Complex was inaugurated at Eastern Naval Command (ENC) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. It has been designed to accommodate the newly inducted submarine rescue system and store the DSRV assets in the rescue-ready state
  • The Indian Navy has inducted two such systems which will provide rescue cover to submarines on the east and west coast of India

1. Manipur CM N. Biren Singh inaugurates “Plant Health Clinic”

  • Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh has inaugurated “Plant Health Clinic” at the Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation, Imphal
  • The aim to open the clinic is to boost the economic growth of Manipur through agriculture and horticulture. Along with the clinic, the Chief Minister also launched a mobile soil testing laboratory van

2. Andhra Pradesh launches online waste exchange website œAPEMC

  • Online waste exchange website of Andhra Pradesh Environment Management Corporation (APEMC) has been launched by the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy
  • The website was launched on the occasion of World Environment Day. Andhra Pradesh has become India’s first state to launch waste exchange website. Through this platform, state government seeks to protect environment by covering 100% safe disposal of toxic waste, proper tracking, scrutiny as well as audit of waste

3. “Gairsain” becomes summer capital of Uttarakhand

  • Gairsain in Chamoli district has been formally declared as the summer capital of Uttarakhand. The announcement was made after the assent from the governor Baby Rani Maurya was received in order to declare Gairsain the summer capital of Uttarakhand
  • The announcement was made after the assent from the governor Baby Rani Maurya was received in order to declare Gairsain the summer capital of Uttarakhand

4. India records 29% increase in Asiatic Lion population

  • India has recorded a 29% increase in the population of Asiatic Lions. The count of Asiatic Lions has increased from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020, indicating a rise of 29% in lion’s population
  • Asiatic Lions are found in the wild in the Gir sanctuary in western Gujarat. The announcement was made by the Gujarat government

5. U’khand opens its biggest biodiversity park in Haldwani

  • Uttarakhand forest department has opened the state’s biggest biodiversity park in Haldwani on the occasion of World Environment Day, to encourage conservation of flora, especially medicinal plants
  • The Uttarakhand Forest Research Wing Biodiversity Park is spread across 18 acres and has 40 thematic sections with around 500 species of plants. The plant species in the biodiversity park is divided into spiritual & religious, scientific, human health, and aesthetic value sections

1.NABARD extends Rs 270 crore to Assam Gramin Vikash Bank

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has extended a Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) of Rs 270 crore to Assam Gramin Vikash Bank to support the agricultural activities of the farmers amid COVID-19 pandemic
  • This line of credit would enable the farmers in enhancing their crop production and hence this amount would prove to be a boon to the agriculture credit of the state at this difficult hour.

1. ARCI develops Magnetocaloric material for cancer treatment

  • The scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) has developed Magnetocaloric material, a rare-earth-based material that can be effectively used for cancer treatment
  • In this material, the application and removal of a magnetic field causes the materials to become warmer or cooler and hence, it provides controlled heating. It will also reduce the treatment time of cancer tumours

2.UVC-based disinfection cabinet developed by ARCI & Mekins

  • A UVC-based Cabinet has been co-developed by the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) and the MEKINS Industries. The device will disinfect non-critical hospital items, laboratory wear, and PPEs in order to prevent surface contamination of COVID 19
  • It will also have the capability to disinfect items that have been exhibited to customers in commercial establishments and several domestic items

3: ISRO & ARIES signs MoU for cooperation in SSA & Astrophysics

  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has signed an agreement with Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) for cooperation in the field of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Astrophysics
  • The main objective of the MoU is to shield the Indian Space assets from the space debris’s conjunction threats and R&D of Astrophysics, solar sciences and space environment are the base for future space exploration projects and the key to progress in the Indian Space sector

1. Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Gvozdyk retires from the sport

  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk, the former world light-heavyweight boxing champion from Ukraine, has retired from the sport
  • He won the WBC title in December 2018 after knocking out Adonis Stevenson. He represented Ukraine in the light heavyweight category at the 2012 Olympics and made his country proud by winning a bronze medal

2. FIFA’s latest ranking: India retains 108th slot

  • India football team retained its 108th spot in the latest FIFA rankings. While Belgium ranked first and world champion France is in 2nd place and Brazil is at 3rd spot
  • In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the qualifier tournaments have been postponed for the FIFA World Cup and other major games at the international level

1. Former world gymnastics champion Kurt Thomas passes away

  • The first U.S. male gymnast to win a world championship gold medal, Kurt Thomas passed away.
  • He won the gold medal at the world championships in 1978. He was a five-time NCAA champion at Indiana State University. He led the gymnastics team to a national championship in 1977.

2. Padma Shri awardee Pritam Singh passes away

  • Former director of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow, Pritam Singh passed away.
  • He chaired the subcommittee on Institutional Management and Leadership Development in Higher Education by the 12th Planning Commission for the 5-year plan (2012-2017). He was a member of the Ministry of Home Affairs Committee for capacity building of IPS officers.

1. Javed Akhtar becomes 1st Indian to receive Richard Dawkins Award

  • Poet, lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar has honoured with the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award for 2020. He became the 1st Indian to be given the honour for critical thinking, holding religious dogma up to scrutiny, advancing human progress and humanist values
  • The award recognises a distinguished individual from the field of science, scholarship, education, or entertainment, who publicly proclaims the values of secularism and rationalism and upholding scientific truth

2. Kiran M. Shaw named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020

  • Executive Chairperson of Biocon Ltd, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has been named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020. She was picked from among 46 award winners from 41 countries and territories vying for the world title
  • She is the first woman entrepreneur from India and the third Indian to win the title in the award’s 20-year history

3: Renjith Kumar honoured with “NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal”

  • Renjith Kumar from Kerala has been honoured with “NASA Distinguished Service Medal” for his administration to NASA through executive leadership, engineering contribution, technical excellence and consumer loyalty
  • He worked in relationship with NASA for over 30 years and contributed to updating the International Space Stations(ISS).

1. IIFL Finance signs Rohit Sharma as brand ambassador

  • India’s Non-Banking Finance Companies, India Infoline Finance Limited (IIFL) has signed Rohit Sharma as its first-ever brand ambassador
  • The company has launched 30-second message titled “Rohit Sharma Ki Seedhi Baat”, under its first-ever campaign #SeedhiBaat with Rohit Sharma, which is a public service message advising people on safety guidelines and rules to follow during lockdown to fight Covid-19 outbreak

2. IIT-Guwahati students develops “Flyzy” mobile app

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati has developed an application called “Flyzy” for consistent and contactless air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. This application has been created according to International Air Transport Association rules
  • It gives contactless loading up, remembering the simpler stuff drop, reasonable stopping, better shopping experience and giving important updates during the entire excursion

3. DIAT develops ‘Ananya’ to fight against COVID-19

  • Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) has developed “ANANYA” water-based disinfectant spray with nanotechnology assisted formulation that can be used by anyone, from a common man to a healthcare worker, for the individual as well as on large scale
  • It can be used on masks, PPEs, hospital linens, as well as other likely contaminated surfaces such as medical instruments, elevator buttons, doorknobs, corridors and rooms

1. World Oceans Day 2020 celebrated on 8th June

  • World Ocean Day is observed globally on 8th June every year to raise global awareness about the importance of the ocean in our lives and the ways through which we can protect it
  • The theme of UN World Oceans Day 2020 is “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.” Officially World Ocean Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008

2. World Day Against Child Labour: 12 June

  • World Day Against Child Labour is observed globally on 12th June every year. This year, the World Day Against Child Labour is conducted as a virtual campaign and is being organized jointly with the worldwide March Against Child Labour and the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA)
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002

1. M Nethra appointed as ‘Goodwill Ambassador for the Poor’ by UNADAP

  • 13-year old girl from Tamil Nadu, M Nethra has been appointed as the ‘Goodwill Ambassador for the Poor’ by the United Nations Association for Development and Peace
  • The UNADAP recognition brings to the girl the opportunity to address the upcoming Civil Society forums at the UN conferences in New York and Geneva. The Dixon Scholarship has awarded Nethra a scholarship amount of Rs 1,00,000

2. Anil Valluri appointed as senior director for Google Cloud India

  • Anil Valluri has been appointed as the Senior Director for Google Cloud in India. He has over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the hi-tech industry
  • He has also headed several technology transitions in India for customers across banking, telecommunications, public sector, and manufacturing

3. Lawyer Javed Iqbal Wani appointed as J&K High Court Judge

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed senior Kashmiri lawyer Javed Iqbal Wani as a Judge of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court
  • His appointment was recommended on January 22 by the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde. This is for the first time after 2013 that a Kashmiri has been elevated as a judge of the High Court from Bar quota

1. GoI constitutes task force headed by Jaya Jaitly

  • A 10-members task force has been constituted by the Government of India to evaluate issues related to Infant Mortality Rate, Maternal Mortality Rate, Total Fertility Rate, Sex Ratio at Birth, Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and any other issue that pertains to health as well as nutrition
  • The task force has been set up by the Women and Child Development Ministry and will be headed by Jaya Jaitly

2. Joint Science Communication Forum constituted by DST

  • A joint Science Communication Forum has been constituted by the Department of Science & Technology to facilitate interaction, cooperation, and coordination amongst various public sector science communication institutions and agencies
  • It would be served by a Secretariat at the National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology. It will integrate the science communication efforts spread across different institutions

3: Himachal Pradesh launches “Panchvati Yojna”

  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has launched “Panchvati Yojana” for the senior citizens of rural areas of the state
  • Under this programme, the state will set up parks and gardens in every development block with all the necessary amenities. State government is eying to develop 100 such parks in the state in the current financial year. This will be executed under the MNREGA scheme of rural development

1. QS World University Rankings 2021 released

  • Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking 2021 has released. Only eight Indian institutes managed to feature in the top 500 of QS World University Ranking 2021
  • IIT Bombay has dropped 20 positions from last year’s world university ranking, IISc dropped by one position, and IIT- Delhi’s rank has slipped from the previous rank of 182

1. CSIR & Atal Innovation Mission to promote Innovation in India

  • Council of Scientific & Industrial Research has partnered with Atal Innovation Mission to promote innovation in India
  • Both organizations have signed a letter of intent to boost the innovation ecosystem of the country

2. India signs MOU on “Energy Cooperation” with Denmark

  • India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on “Energy Cooperation” with Denmark to develop a strong, deep and long-term co-operation between two nations in the power sector
  • The MoU was signed between the Ministry of Power, Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry for Energy, Utilities and Climate, Government of the Kingdom of Denmark
  • As per the MoU, India & Denmark will also establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) for implementation of the identified areas

3: NFL ties-up with ITI to train youth in various trades

  • National Fertilizers Limited (NFL), Nangal, Punjab has tied up with Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), Nangal, Punjab to train youth in various trades
  • The partnership will give thrust to the œSkill India initiative of the Government of India. As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the NFL will train youth in 12 trades to enhance the chances of their employability in heavy as well as process industry

1. IL&FS sells 50% stake in GIFT city to Gujarat government

  • Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) has completed the sale of its 50% stake in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) which were bought by the Gujarat Urban Development Company Ltd (GUDCL), on behalf of the Gujarat government, at an amount of Rs 32.71 crore
  • IL&FS has received Rs 32.71 crore as equity value for shares. Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Ltd (GIFTCL) is active in the business of real estate development

2. Jio Platforms raises Rs 5683.50 crore from ADIA

  • Jio Platforms has received an investment of Rs 5683.50 crore from a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
  • It has bought 1.16% stake in Jio Platforms with its investment of Rs 5683.50 crore and valued the Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore

1. S&P Ratings projects Indian economy to shrink 5% in FY21

  • S&P Global Ratings has released its report on emerging markets titled “Financial Conditions Reflect Optimism, Lockdown Fatigue Emerges” and forecasted Indian economy to shrink by 5% in fiscal year 2020-21. It also projects India’s growth to rebound to 8.5% in the fiscal year 2021-22
  • It has also projected India’s growth to be 6.5% in the fiscal year 2022-23

2: S&P keeps India’s sovereign rating at “BBB-“

  • The rating agency “S&P” has kept India’s sovereign rating at “BBB-” along with a stable outlook
  • The rating agency stated that the economy and fiscal position of India will stabilise and begin to improve from 2021 onwards

3: OECD projects contraction of Indian Economy at 3.7% in FY21

  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has released its Economic Outlook and has forecasted Indian Economy to contract to 3.7% in the fiscal year 2020-21
  • It also stated that if there is a second COVID-19 outbreak in the country, then its growth will drop further to -7.3%
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