September 2020 - 13th to19th
1. Lebanon’s PM-designate Mustapha Adib steps down
- The Prime Minister-designate of Lebanon, Mustapha Adib has announced his resignation following his failure to form a new cabinet
- Mustapha Adib, Lebanon’s former ambassador to Germany, was selected for the post on 31 August 2020
- The previous government led by Hassan Diab resigned following the Beirut port blast on August 4 that killed some 200 people and left thousands homeless
2. Moctar Ouane appointed as new Prime Minister of Mali
- The interim President of Mali, Bah Ndaw, has named former Malian Foreign Minister Moctar Ouane as the new prime minister of Mali
- Moctar Ouane has served as Mali’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1995-2002, and as foreign minister from 2004-2009 during Amadou Toumani Toure’s presidency
1. India & Denmark signs MoU on Intellectual Property cooperation
- India has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Denmark in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) Cooperation
- The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) signed the MoU with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Kingdom of Denmark.
- The MoU aims to increase IP cooperation between the two countries by way of exchange of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP awareness among authorities.
- Both the countries will draw up Biennial Work Plan to implement the MoU which will include the detailed planning for carrying out of the co-operation activities, including the scope of action.
- The MoU will go a long way in fostering the cooperation between India and Denmark, and provide opportunities to both countries to learn from the experience of each other, especially in terms of best practices followed in the other country.
2. NABARD to undertake Sanitation Literacy Campaign in Karnataka
- The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development will begin a Sanitation Literacy Campaign (SLC) in Karnataka to promote literacy on ‘WASH’ (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in 2,000 villages covering one lakh rural population.
- The objective of the campaign is to focus on inculcating significant behavioural changes towards adapting good hygiene and sanitation practices.
- The campaign will start from October 2 and continue till January 26, 2021. In the past, NABARD also supported the construction of 3.29 crore household toilets disbursing 27,298 crore rupees across the country.
1. ADB approves 300 million dollar loan for Rajasthan’s towns
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 300 million dollar loan to finance inclusive water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services in secondary towns of Rajasthan
- The project is expected to build citywide access for improved water supply services for about 5.7 lakh people. It will also enhance the sanitation services for about 7.2 lakh people in at least 14 secondary towns
- One vehicle would be provided to one beneficiary per village
- Through the project, water supply systems in at least eight project towns are expected to improve by 2027 with about one lakh households including all urban poor households benefiting from five new or rehabilitated water treatment plants and 1,350 km of distribution networks
1. Vakrangee gets RBI approval to set up BBPS unit
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in-principle approval to Vakrangee Ltd to set up Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU) to handle payment services related to bills
- With in-principle authorization from RBI, Vakrangee Ltd will set up and operate BBPOU under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 and will now be able to directly handle payment and aggregation of payment services relating to bills under the scope of BBPS (Bharat Bill Payment System).
- The company offers banking, insurance, money transfer services, e-commerce, e-governance and other digital services on behalf of its partner banks, insurers, government agencies, e-commerce players among others through its branches mostly located in rural and semi-urban areas
2. IDBI Bank becomes 1st bank to enable document embedding feature on SFMS
- Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) become the first to implement the new feature of document embedding facility with Letter of Credit (LC) / Bank Guarantee (BG) messages over SFMS (Structured Financial Messaging System) platform of Indian Financial Technology and Allied Services (IFTAS).
- The process would be conducted via a middleware application “i@Connect-SFMS (CSFMS) developed by IDBI Intech
- This new feature of “document embedding” provides banks with the functionality of transmitting a “pdf” document up to 1MB size along with the LC / BG messages
- Through this feature, there will be the transmission of digitally signed documents which ensure the reliability of the transaction
- The objective of this new feature is to further digitise the trade finance transactions and to secure the financial communication system
1. IIT Madras develops “MOUSHIK” microprocessor
- The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has successfully developed ‘MOUSHIK’, an indigenously-made microprocessor for the Internet of things (IoT) devices
- I’MOUSHIK’ is a processor cum a system-on-chip that can cater to the rapidly-growing IoT devices, an integral part of smart cities of a digital India. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology funded the MOUSHIK project of IIT Madras
- “MOUSHIK” microprocessor was conceptualized, designed and developed at the Pratap Subrahmanyam Centre for Digital Intelligence and Secure Hardware Architecture (PS-CDISHA) of the RISE Group, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras
- The field applications of ‘MOUSHIK’ include smart cards including credit cards, ID cards, debit cards, travel cards for metros and driving licenses, electronic voting machines (EVMs) and office management systems including attendance, surveillance cameras and safe locks
- It also includes personalised health management systems
1. Valtteri Bottas wins Russian Grand Prix 2020.
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) has won the Formula One Russian Grand Prix 2020 held at Sochi Autodrom, Russia.
- This is his second win of the season. Max Verstappen (Red BullNetherlands) came second followed by the 6-time world-champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), who stood third because of penalties.
1. Noted Economist Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia passes away.
- Renowned economist, Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia passed away.
- She served as the director and then the chairperson of Delhi-based Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) for a total of 15 years and built ICRIER into a leading global think tank.
- She was awarded the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2009 for her services in the field of education and literature.
2. Assam’s only woman CM Syeda Anwara Taimur passes away.
- Assam’s first and only woman chief minister, Syeda Anwara Taimur passed away.
- A four-time Congress MLA beginning with her first election in 1972, Taimur held portfolios like education before becoming chief minister for a brief period from December 6, 1980, to June 30, 1981.
- She was nominated for a Rajya Sabha term in 1988. She joined the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) in 2011.
1. Usha Mangeshkar honoured with Lata Mangeshkar award 2020-21.
- The Maharashtra government has announced the Gan Samragni Lata Mangeshkar award for the year 2020-21 to veteran female playback singer Usha Mangeshkar.
- The award is given by the cultural department of the state government. The award includes a cash prize of five lakh rupees, a certificate and a memento.
- The veteran singer has sung songs in Marathi, Hindi and several other Indian language films.
- Her songs from the film ‘Subah ka Tara’, ‘Jay Santoshi Maa’, ‘Azad’, ‘Chitrlekha’, ‘Khatta Meetha’, ‘Kala Pathar’,’Naseeb’, ‘Khubsurat’, ‘Disco Dancer’, ‘Inkar’ ruled the chartbuster.
2. Kerala Tourism wins PATA Grand Award 2020.
- Kerala Tourism’s ‘Human by Nature Print Campaign’ bagged the Prestigious Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Title Winner 2020 for Marketing.
- The awards were announced during a presentation ceremony of Virtual PATA Travel Mart 2020 in Beijing. The PATA Awards are supported and sponsored by Macao Government Tourist Office (MGTO).
- ‘Human by Nature’ was a marketing strategy to revive tourism that was hit by the 2018 floods and the Nipah outbreak. Showcasing culture and daily life of the people, it was conceptualised and scripted by Stark Communications
- The campaign had helped Kerala Tourism achieve record growth of 17.2% in tourism arrivals in 2019, the highest in 24 years
3. Sonu Sood honoured with Special Humanitarian Action Award by UNDP.
- Bollywood actor, Sonu Sood has been conferred the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 28 September 2020 during a virtual ceremony.
- He has received the award for selflessly extending a helping hand and sending lakhs of migrants, stranded students across geographies abroad, back to their homes.
- Besides that, he has also been providing free education and medical facilities to young children and has been creating free employment opportunities to the needy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- With this prestigious honour, Sood joins the likes of Angelina Jolie, David Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio, Emma Watson, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas, Nicole Kidman and Priyanka Chopra who have been similarly honoured by different UN bodies.
1. RBI ropes in Amitabh Bachchan for customer awareness campaign
- The Reserve Bank of India has roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan for the customer awareness campaign
- The campaign aims to prevent gullible account holders from being duped by fraudsters
- As part of the RBI’s public awareness initiative, the regulator will keep informing customers about dos and don’ts that have to be followed by them to transact safely and securely
- The regulator has been running the campaign for more than a year not only in English and Hindi but in various regional languages for maximum reach
- It keeps on repeating the message so that people don’t forget their rights and responsibilities
1. World Rabies Day: 28 September
- World Rabies Day is observed globally on 28th September every year
- This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on humans and animals, provide information and advice on how to prevent the disease, and take efforts to control rabies
- The theme for the 14th WRD in 2020 is ‘End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate’. This year’s theme focuses on vaccination and collaboration
- The day also marks the death anniversary of the French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur’, who developed the first rabies vaccine
2. World Heart Day: 29 September
- World Heart Day is observed on 29th September annually to draw people’s attention to heart illness and the range of associated health issues
- The day which is celebrated annually creates awareness of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) including heart disease & stroke and highlights the preventive and control measures
- The theme for World Heart Day 2020: “Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease”.
1. Neetu David becomes the new head of India women’s selection committee.
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Neetu David, one of finest woman cricketers of India in the late ’90s and early 2000, as the Chairman of the 5 member women’s national selection panel.
- The other member of the newly-elected panel includes Mithu Mukherjee, Renu Margrate, Arati Vaidya and V Kalpana.
- The Neetu David-led panel has been appointed for a period of four years.
- It replaces the previous panel, led by Hemlata Kala, whose term ended in March 2020. The first assignment of the David-led panel will be to pick three teams for the Women’s T20 Challenge, to held in UAE in November 2020 alongside the IPL play-offs.
2. GoI appoints P.D. Vaghela as new chairman of TRAI
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed P.D. Vaghela as the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory of India (TRAI).
- He will succeed RS Sharma, who was at the helm of the sector regulator for five years.
- He is currently in the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, where he was appointed as the secretary for a year till 30 September.
3. Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur named FTII governing council chairman.
- Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has announced Shekhar Kapur as the new President of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society and Chairman of FTII Governing Council.
- His tenure will be till March 3, 2023.
- Kapur, known for films like Masoom (1983), Mr India (1987), Elizabeth (1998) and Bandit Queen (1994), will replace television producer BP Singh.
- Singh’s tenure had ended in March 2020 but he was given an extension owing to the corona-virus situation.
1. NCAER predicts India GDP for FY21 at -12.6%.
- The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has projected the GDP growth for the Indian economy at -12.6% For 2020-21 (FY21) with the remaining three quarters expected to witness a fall. For 2021-22, NCAER projects the GDP of India to grow by 7%.
2. ICRA projects India’s GDP for FY21 to contact by 11%.
- Rating agency ICRA has revised its forecast for the contraction in India’s FY21 GDP to 11 per cent from its earlier assessment of 9.5 percent.
- The reason behind contraction is an increase in a growing number of COVID-19 cases in India.
- Besides, the agency revised its year-on-year (YoY) forecasts for Q3FY21 to (-) 5.4 percent from (-) 2.3 percent and Q4FY21 to (-)2.5 percent from (+) 1.3 percent.
1. PFC signs MoU with Govt. of India detailing targets for FY 2020-21.
- Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC) has signed a performance-based Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Power, Government of India detailing various targets to be achieved by PFC during Fiscal Year 2020-21.
- Government of India has set an ambitious revenue target of Rs. 36,000 Crores.
- This target has been set along with various performance-related parameters such as Operating Profit as percentage of Revenue from Operation, PAT as a percentage of Average Net-worth and Non-financial parameters viz., IPDS-related parameters.
- PFC has been delivering exemplary performance from the past years and the ratings from the Government of India stands testimony to the performance.
2. NITI Aayog & Embassy of the Netherlands signs Statement of Intent.
- NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi, has signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda for accommodating cleaner and more energy.
- The focus of the partnership is on co-creating innovative technological solutions by leveraging the expertise of the two entities.
- Through this collaboration, NITI Aayog and the Dutch Embassy seek a strategic partnership to create a platform that enables a comprehensive collaboration among stakeholders and influencers, including policymakers, industry bodies, OEMs, private enterprises, and sector expertsx.
1.Flipkart & Bajaj Allianz launch cyber insurance cover.
- E-commerce marketplace, Flipkart and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have launched a cyber insurance cover for online financial frauds.
- The product, ˜Digital Suraksha Group Insurance’, will help customers who want to cover themselves against financial losses caused as a result of cyber attacks, cyber frauds, or other such malicious activities across various online platforms.
- Customers can opt for a one-year cover at premiums as low as Rs 183 for a cover of Rs.50,000
- It will compensate for direct financial loss (up to the sum insured) due to unauthorised digital financial transactions as a result of identity theft arising out of cyber-attacks, phishing/spoofing, and SIM-jacking
1. India-Japan biennial naval exercise JIMEX-20 begins.
- The fourth edition of biennial Japan-India Maritime bilateral Exercise (JIMEX) kicked off in the northern Arabia Sea.
- It is being conducted in a ‘non-contact at-sea-only format’, in view of COVID-19 restrictions. From India, the warships Chennai, Teg, Tarkash and fleet tanker Deepak will represent the Indian Navy, while Japanese warships Kaga and Ikazuchi will represent Japan in the drill.
- JIMEX-20 will showcase a high degree of inter-operability and joint operational skills through the conduct of a multitude of advanced exercises, and further enhance the cooperation and mutual confidence between the two navies.
2. BrahMos Missile featuring Indigenous Booster successfully flight tested.
- BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous Booster and Airframe Section along with many other ‘Made in India’ sub-systems was successfully flight tested from ITR, Balasore in Odisha.
- It is one more major step in enhancing the indigenous content. The BrahMos Land-Attack Cruise Missile (LACM) was cruising at a top speed of Mach 2.8.
- The successful flight testing of BrahMos surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile featuring indigenous Booster has paved the way for the serial production of the indigenous booster and other indigenous components of the powerful BrahMos Weapon System realizing Atmanirbhar Bharat pledge.