General Knowledge & Current Affairs

September 2020 - 1st to 5st

1. Government of India Blocks 118 Mobile Apps

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India has decided to block 118 mobile apps in view of the emergent nature of threats
  • These applications have been blocked as there was information that these apps are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state as well as public order
  • The step is expected to safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users and will also ensure safety, security and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace

2. Union Power Minister RK Singh launches “Green Term Ahead Market”

  • Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Raj Kumar Singh launched the Pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) in New Delhi virtually, for electricity
  • GTAM is the World’s First Exclusive Product Market for the renewable energy sector
  • GTAM will lead to an increase in the number of participants in the Renewable Energy Sector
  • It will benefit buyers of Renewable Energy (RE) by providing them competitive prices, and transparent, flexible procurement

3. Union Minister of Education launches mobile app “EnglishPro”

  • Union Minister of Education has launched a free mobile app named “EnglishPro”.
  • The mobile application has been developed by the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad under University Social Responsibility (USR).
  • This app will be “a useful digital tool” and will act as an educational resource for the teachers, students and for people from varied backgrounds
  • The first-of-its-kind initiative by any university in the country, the mobile application “EnglishPro” will help learners in developing Indian English Pronunciation in the unique “Indian” way
  • In the near future, EFLU will also come up with more advanced versions of the mobile application to address the larger learner-needs

1. Ease of Doing Business report suspended by World Bank

  • World Bank has stopped the publication of its “Doing Business” report to probe data collection irregularities in the annual ranking of countries’ business and investment climates
  • According to World Bank “A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019”.
  • World Bank would conduct a systematic review of data changes in the last five Doing Business reports, and independent auditors will probe data collection and review processes
  • The last Doing Business report was published in October 2019 in which India was ranked 63rd while New Zealand was on top

2. Mustapha Adib becomes new Prime Minister of Lebanon

  • Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany, Mustapha Adib was appointed prime minister in crisis-hit Lebanon
  • Adib, who has been Beirut’s Berlin envoy since 2013, is affiliated with a small Sunni party headed by former Prime Minister Najib Mikati
  • Days after the blast, the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, a self-styled technocrat, stepped down
  • President Michel Aoun asked Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany Mr Adib to form a new government after he secured 90 votes in the 128-member Parliament

1. Madhya Pradesh govt launches ‘Gandagi Bharat Chhodo’ campaign

  • Madhya Pradesh government has launched a 15-day campaign named ‘Gandagi Bharat Chhodo’
  • Under the campaign awareness programmes were organized in seven thousand 178 settlements
  • About 35 lakh people from 378 urban bodies in Madhya Pradesh took part in the campaign

2. Punjab government rolls out ‘I Rakhwali’ App

  • Punjab government has rolled out the “I Rakhwali” App to ensure greenery and to protect the environment in Punjab
  • The development of app is state governments’ effort to supplement its drive to preserve and maintain the environment in Punjab and to make people stakeholders in the process
  • The ‘I Rakhwali’ App will also inspire people to plant more trees and become ‘Greenery Saviours’
  • Hence, the state will be able to safeguard its forest area by making people a stakeholder in this process

3. Kerala’s 1st-ever Dragonfly Festival

  • WWF-India Kerala State Office is joining hands with the Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam for the first-ever state “Dragonfly Festival” in Kerala, christened ‘Thumbimahotsavam 2020’
  • This is part of the National Dragonfly Festival organised by WWF India, Bombay Natural History Society and Indian Dragonfly Society in association with National Biodiversity Board, UN Environmental Programme, UN Development Programme and IUCN-CEC
  • The official mascot of the festival is “Pantalu” which is the genus of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae commonly known as rain pool gliders
  • A ‘Dragonfly Backyard Watch’ has also been announced to enhance the participation of people and improve their observation skills
  • A field guide on ‘Common Dragonflies of Kerala’ and a ‘Children’s Dragonfly Coloring & Activity Book’ is also under development

1. ICICI Bank launches ‘Home Utsav’, a virtual property exhibition

  • ICICI Bank has launched a virtual property exhibition under the name ‘Home Utsav’.
  • The exhibition will digitally showcase real estate projects by renowned developers, across India. The exhibition can be accessed on
  • The exhibition can be accessed by both customers and non-customers of ICICI Bank.

  • It offers them enhanced convenience, as they can simply browse through these projects online, from the comfort of their home and office.
  • The first ˜Home Utsav’ exhibition has been launched for the Mumbai and Pune region, where over 100 projects by more than 60 developers are being showcased.

2. RBI releases revised Priority Sector Lending Guidelines

  • The Priority Sector Lending (PSL) guidelines have been reviewed by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The review was executed to align the PSL Guidelines with evolving national priorities.
  • The new guidelines will make better credit penetration into credit deficient areas and increase the lending to small as well as marginal farmers and weaker sections.
  • It will also enhance credit to renewable energy, and health infrastructure.
  • In the revised PSL Guidelines, the Reserve Bank of India has included some fresh categories eligible for finance under priority sector. These include loans to farmers for installation of solar power plants; loans for establishment of Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) plants; and bank finance to start-ups of up to Rs 50 crore.

1. CSIR-CMERI develops World’s Largest Solar Tree

  • World’s Largest Solar Tree has been developed by the CSIR-CMERI.
  • The solar tree has been installed at the Residential Colony of CSIR-CMERI in Durgapur, West Bengal.
  • The solar tree has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power while its installed capacity is above 11.5 kWp.
  • The Solar Tree has been designed in such a way that it ensures maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight.
  • A single solar tree comprises of 35 Solar PV Panels each having a capacity of 330 wp each.
  • The energy generation data of the tree can be monitored either real-time or on daily basis.

2. IIT-Bombay students launch AI-based scanning app “AIR Scanner”

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, students have launched a free-of-cost mobile scanner application “AIR Scanner”.
  • The app saves the scanned document in PDF format and stores directly in the device.
  • The AI (Artificial Intelligence) based Reading Assistant and Document Scanner app is developed by Rohit Kumar Chaudhary and Kavin Agrawal.

1. Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Belgian Grand Prix 2020

  • Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) has won the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix 2020 at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.
  • This was his 5th win of the season. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Max Verstappen (Red Bull Netherlands) at third place.

2. India’s P Iniyan wins World Open Online Chess Tournament

  • Indian Grandmaster P Iniyan has won the prestigious 48th Annual World Open online chess tournament.
  • He scored 7.5 points out of a possible 9 with six victories and three draws to finish on top.
  • A total number of 120 players from 16 countries participated in the event which included more than 30 Grandmasters.
  • On the way to his title, Iniyan defeated Grandmasters Baadur Jobava of Georgia, Sam Sevian, Sergey Erenburg of the USA and Nyzhyk Illia of Ukraine.

1. India’s 1st female cardiologist Dr S. Padmavati passes away

  • Noted cardiologist, Dr S Padmavati passed away at the age of 103 years due to COVID-19.
  • She was the first female cardiologist of India and was popularly known as ‘God Mother of Cardiology’.
  • She was the founder of the National Heart Institute. She was born in Burma (now Myanmar) in 1917, a year before the world was hit by the Spanish Flu pandemic.

2. Former President Pranab Mukherjee passes away

  • The former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee passed away at the age of 84.
  • He had tested positive for the coronavirus disease before undergoing successful surgery to remove a brain clot.
  • He was born in the village of Mirati in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
  • He was fondly known as ˜Pranab Da’. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 2019.
  • He was the fifth president to receive this Bharat Ratna award.
  • He held the important foreign, defence, commerce and finance portfolios as a Union minister across various Congress-led governments in the past. Before becoming finance minister for the first time as part of Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet in 1982, Mukherjee had served as a deputy minister for finance in 1973-74.

1. Hyderabad International Airport wins CII-GBC ‘National Energy Leader’ award.

  • The Hyderabad International Airport or GMR led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport won the ˜National Energy Leader’ and ˜Excellent Energy Efficient Unit’ awards at the 21st National Awards for ‘Excellence in Energy Management’.
  • Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited-Vizag Steel Plant (RINL-VSP) has also been awarded the ‘Excellent Energy Efficient Unit’ award by CII-GBC in a national award competition for excellence in energy management.

2. NTPC wins AIMA Chanakya National Management Games 2020.

  • Team of NTPC Limited, the Central PSU under Ministry of Power, has won the All India Management Association (AIMA) Chanakya (Business Simulation Game) National Management Games (NMG) 2020.
  • The team from NTPC Vallur, Tamil Nadu won the championship which featured the participation of teams from 112 organisations from different parts of the country.
  • AIMA Chanakya National Management Games is an online Business Simulation Game which is conducted every year.
  • AIMA Chanakya National Management Games is an online Business Simulation Game which is conducted every year.

1. “MEDBOT” medical trolley developed by Indian Railways.

  • Indian Railways has developed a remote-controlled medical trolley named ‘MEDBOT’ to help deliver food and medicines to COVID-19 patients.
  • During Corona crisis, apart from providing transport facilities and essential items like foodgrains to people, Indian Railways has also provided facilities for COVID-19 patients.
  • It is providing service in the Central Hospital of the Diesel Rail Engine Factory of Indian Railways.

2. Ayushmann Khurrana appointed as Brand Ambassador of Bajaj Allianz Life.

  • Private life insurer, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited has appointed bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana as its brand ambassador.
  • As the brand ambassador of the life insurer, actor will be promoting the products as well as the digital services of the Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited.
  • The Bollywood actor is also set to feature in the upcoming campaign “Smart Living” of the private life insurer which encompasses its Term Plan “Smart protect Goal” and the new digital service “Smart Assist” which collectively seeks to secure and enable its customer’s life goal amid these uncertain times.

3.Dwayne Bravo becomes cricket ambassador for “SBOTOP” sportsbook brand.

  • West Indies cricket icon Dwayne Bravo has become the first cricket ambassador for “SBOTOP” sportsbook brand.
  • Isle of Man betting group Celton Manx has appointed the West Indies cricketer as the cricket ambassador for its flagship sportsbook.
  • Dwayne Bravo has represented West Indies in all formats of the cricket.
  • He has represented the country in 256 test matches and 120 one-day-internationals and is also considered as one of the best ever ‘all-rounders’ of the sport.

1. India celebrates Teachers Day on 05th September

  • India celebrates Teachers Day every year on 05th September to honor teachers for their significant contributions in shaping the life of students.
  • The day is being celebrated in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of the First Vice President of India and the Second President of India and an educationist at heart, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
  • India is celebrating the Teachers Day on the 05th of September since 1962.

2. International Day of Charity celebrated on 5 September

  • United Nations celebrates the International Day of Charity globally on 05th September every year.
  • The day is being celebrated to sensitize and mobilize people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to help others via volunteer and philanthropic activities.
  • The day also recognizes the role played by charity in reducing humanitarian crises and human suffering within and among nations.
  • United Nations designated 05th September as the International Day of Charity to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
  • Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for “work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace”.

1. Aveek Sarkar becomes new Chairman of Press Trust of India.

  • The Editor Emeritus and Vice Chairman of the Ananda Bazar Group of Publications, Aveek Sarkar has been elected as the chairman of the Press Trust of India (PTI).
  • He succeeds Vijay Kumar Chopra, Chief Editor of the Punjab Kesari Group of newspapers.

2. Usha Padhee becomes 1st woman DG of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

  • Joint secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Usha Padhee has been given additional charge as Director-General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
  • She is the first woman and third IAS officer to have been appointed to the post.
  • The central deputation tenure of Usha is scheduled to end on 16th July 2022.
  • She succeeds Rakesh Asthana (IPS) who was appointed as the Director-General of Border Security Force(BSF) on 17th August 2020.

3. S Krishnan becomes new MD & CEO of Punjab & Sind Bank

  • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of S Krishnan as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Punjab & Sind Bank. He will replace S Harishankar.
  • ACC has given permission to S Harishankar to voluntarily retire with effect from the date of notification of the acceptance. Earlier to this elevation, S Krishnan was as an Executive Director at Canara Bank.

4. Murali Ramakrishnan becomes the new MD & CEO of South Indian Bank.

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved the appointment of Murali Ramakrishnan as Managing Director and CEO of the South Indian Bank for a period of three years with effect from October 1, 2020.
  • Ramakrishnan had retired from ICICI Bank as Senior General Manager at Strategic Project Group on May 30, 2020, and joined the South Indian Bank as an advisor on July 1, 2020.
  • He represented the bank in the board of CIBIL and the risk advisory board of VISA for the Asia Pacific.

1. CFI to host first-ever Cycling Summit in 2021.

  • The Cycling Federation of India (CFI) is all set to host the first-ever Cycling Summit in 2021, with an aim to promote the culture of cycling in the country.
  • This one-day summit is designed to promote the culture of cycling and exchange knowledge with budding and professional cyclists.
  • The Cycling Summit 2021 will be hosted in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore and is expected to be a unique confluence of cycling enthusiasts, renowned athletes, and businesses from all over the country.

2. Saudi Arabia chairs G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting.

  • Saudi Arabia chaired the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting which was held in the virtual mode.
  • External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar represented India in the virtual meeting that was convened in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
  • During the meeting, India proposed the setting up of voluntary ‘G20 Principles on Coordinated Cross-Border Movement of People’. This new set up will be based on the following three pillars.
  • Standardization of testing procedures and universal acceptability of test results.
  • Standardisation of ‘Quarantine procedures’.
  • Standardization of ‘Movement and transit’ protocols.

3. Prahlad Singh Patel virtually attends BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet.

  • The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting was held under the chairpersonship of the Russian Federation.
  • India was represented by Union Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in the 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meet.
  • The participants of the meeting deliberated on the impact of the epidemiological situation on the cultural sphere in the BRICS countries.
  • It also reviewed the possible implementation of joint cultural online-projects within BRICS.
  • The 5th BRICS Culture Ministers’ Meeting featured the participation of delegates from Culture Ministries of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of South Africa.

1. A new book titled “Let Us Dream” by Pope Francis.

  • Pope Francis is set to release the book “Let Us Dream” in December 2020.
  • In the book, Pope Francis explains how a crisis can teach an individual to deal with problems they face in their lives. He cites three major crises from his own personal life.
  • The book will be an outcome of numerous exchanges between Pope Francis and his Biographer Austen Ivereigh in the weeks following the Coronavirus outbreak around the world.

2. UN Environment Programme launches “The Little Book of Green Nudges”.

  • A new publication “The Little Book of Green Nudges” has been launched by the United Nations Environment Programme.
  • The newly launched publication seeks to encourage around 200 million students around the world to adopt environmentally friendly habits and greener lifestyles.
  • “The Little Book of Green Nudges” is UNEP’s first on behavioral science and nudge theory. It concentrates on human actions and how to change them.
  • The book comprises of 40 ready-made nudges- simple measures that make the adoption of green choices much easier.
  • These measures can be deployed by the universities to encourage students and staff to embrace more sustainable behaviors.

1. APEDA signs MoUs with AFC India Limited & NCUI, Delhi.

  • To synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has signed MoUs with AFC India Limited, and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Delhi.
  • The MoU aims to employ their expertise by mutually working together to coordinate the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors in order to bring better value to the stakeholders.

2. NeGD signs MoU with CSC E-Governance Services India Limited.

    • The National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) has partnered with CSC (Common Service Center) e Governance Services India Limited.
    • The partnership aims to enable delivery of UMANG services to citizens through the network of 3.75 lakh CSCs.
    • The CSC operators Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) will facilitate citizens to use e-Governance services of 140 Departments with the help of UMANG App.
    • This will help those citizens who either do not have access to smartphones or are not comfortable accessing App-based e-services on their own.

1. ICICI Prudential Life launched voice chatbot “LiGo” on Google Assistant.

  • ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited has introduced an Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered voice chatbot, “LiGo”, on Google Assistant.
  • This will enable the company’s policyholders to address their queries by simple voice commands. It provides an easy to use and convenient service touch-point for customers.

1. India withdraws from Russia military exercise Kavkaz 2020

  • India has withdrawn its participation from the multilateral Military Exercise “Kavkaz 2020” to be held in Russia between 15th to 26th September 2020
  • Russia and India are privileged strategic partners. At Russia’s invitation, India has been participating in many international events
  • Due to COVID-19 and consequent difficulties in exercise, India has decided not to send a contingent this year to Kavkaz-2020
  • Kavkaz 2020 would be held in Astrakhan province of Southern Russia where member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Central Asian countries would be participating
  • Other countries that would participate in this exercise are China, Pakistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Belarus, Turkey, Armenia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan

2. MoD signs contracts worth Rs 2580 Cr with BEML, TPCL & L&T

  • Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract worth Rs 2580 Cr with M/s. Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML), M/s. Tata Power Company Ltd. (TPCL) and M/s. Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
  • The contract has been signed for supply of six Pinaka Regiments to the Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army and hence will enhance the operation preparedness of our Armed Forces

3. 11th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY begins in the Bay of Bengal

  • Indian Navy and Russian Navy has commenced the 11th edition of a biennial bilateral maritime exercise “INDRA NAVY”.
  • The biennial bilateral maritime exercise will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 04 to 05 September 2020
  • The maritime exercise “INDRA NAVY” embodies the long-term strategic relationship between the two Navies
  • The INDRA NAVY-20 exercise seeks to consolidate the inter-operability built up by the navies of two countries over the years
  • It will also improve the understanding as well as the procedures for multi-faceted maritime operations
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