General Knowledge & Current Affairs

September 2020 - 6st to 12th

1. Trump announces Wilmington as 1st WWII Heritage City

  • President of the USA, Donald Trump has announced Wilmington, North Carolina as the first World War II Heritage City
  • The announcement was made at a ceremony held to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 2, 2020
  • During the war, Wilmington was the site of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, which built 243 ships in five years as part of the federal government’s emergency shipbuilding program

2. Australia appoints cricket icon Matthew Hayden as trade envoy to India

  • The government of Australia has appointed former cricketer, Matthew Hayden and Indian-origin politician Lisa Singh as trade envoys for advancing business ties with India
  • The council plays an important role in advancing Australia’s foreign and economic policy interests with India
  • Three new appointments to the board of the Australia-India Council were announced recently, Ashok Jacob has been reappointed as chair, and will be joined by three new board members.”
  • Hayden is a former international cricketer, who played 103 Tests and 161 One Day Internationals for Australia. He has scored 40 international centuries. He was made Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for his sporting excellence

1. India & Japan signs MoU on Reciprocal Provision of Supplies & Services

  • India and Japan signed an agreement concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and The Self-Defense Forces of Japan
  • This agreement forms the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in the reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities
  • The agreement will also improve the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries

2. Shipping Minister launches ‘SAROD-Ports’ for disputes of the maritime sector

  • Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has launched a dispute redressal mechanism named “SAROD-Ports” (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes-Ports) to facilitate affordable and timely resolution of disputes for the maritime sector
  • SAROD-Ports will advise and assist in settlement of disputes through arbitrations in the maritime sector, including ports and shipping sector in Major Port Trusts, Non-major Ports, including private ports, jetties, terminals, and harbors
  • The mechanism is similar to the provision available in the highway sector in the form of SAROD-Roads constituted by NHAI. It has been established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 for affordable and timely resolution of disputes in a fair manner
  • SAROD-Ports will resolve the disputes in a fair and just manner while saving a huge amount of legal expenditure and time
  • SAROD-Ports will inspire confidence among private players working with major ports and will ensure the right kind of environment
  • It will promote ease of doing business in the maritime sector because of the fast, timely, cost-effective and robust dispute resolution mechanism

3. PM Modi to launch “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana”

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will digitally launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
  • Along with the scheme, the PM will also launch e-Gopala application
  • The scheme aims to enhance fish production to 70 lakh tonnes by 2024-25. It aims to double the income of fish farmers
  • The Prime Minister will also inaugurate one-unit fish feed mill at Madhepura, Bihar and two units of ‘Fish on Wheels’ at Patna under ˜blue revolution’. He will also interact with the beneficiaries on the occasion
  • The scheme will reduce the post-harvest losses of fisheries sector from 20% to 25% to 10%.
  • The scheme focuses on sustainable development of fisheries in India. It is to be implemented between 2020-21 and 2024-25, doubling of incomes of fishermen and fish farmers
  • The PMMSY is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector in the country with an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crore

1. Organic Food Processing Unit inaugurated in Uttar Pradesh

  • Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, inaugurated Organic Food Processing Unit in Uttar Pradesh
  • With the inauguration of this food processing unit, 5000 farmers will be benefitted and it is expected to leverage an investment of Rs 50.33 crores
  • The unit namely M/s Organic India Pvt. Ltd is likely to generate direct employment of 100 and indirect employment of 250 persons. M/s Organic India Pvt. Ltd is set up with a total cost of Rs. 55.13 crores
  • Processing capacity of 3 MT per day has been created and the unit will process agro produce worth Rs 350 crores

2. Andhra Govt & LEAF signs agreement for food processing

  • The government of Andhra Pradesh and Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (LEAF) has signed an agreement to expand the scope of food processing in the State
  • The State tops in the production of mango, lime, tomato, eggs, banana, chilies, and shrimp and second in production of groundnut, maize and paddy in the country
  • LEAF has inked an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society at Tadepalli, Guntur, under the purview of the Andhra Pradesh government’s Department of Industries and Commerce to boost the income of marginal farmers with a special focus on food processing
  • This initiative of the Integrated Food Park Scheme is one more aspect towards ensuring higher income for farmers

3. Meghalaya launched India’s largest “Piggery Mission”

  • The state government of Meghalaya has launched India’s Biggest “Piggery Mission” with an outlay of Rs 209 Crores
  • It is being launched under the aegis of the Meghalaya Livestock Enterprises Advancement Society (MLEADS) and funded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
  • The main objective of the Piggery Mission is to reduce the annual import of Pork worth Rs 150 Crore and make Meghalaya self-sufficient (“Aatma Nirbhar”) in pork production over the next 3 years

1. RBI ceased Banking operations of Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank

  • Reserve Bank of India has ceased the Banking operations by the Aditya Birla Idea Payments (ABIP) Bank under Banking Regulations Act 1949 with effect from July 28, 2020

2. RBI issued a notice on Compliance functions in banks and role of CCO

  • Reserve Bank of India has released a notice on Compliance Functions in Banks and the Role of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).
  • According to the compliance system Banks required, to have an effective compliance culture, independent corporate compliance function, and a strong compliance risk management programme at the bank and group level
  • Such an independent compliance function is required to be headed by a designated Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).

1. IIT Delhi launches “Chakr DeCoV'” to decontaminate N95 masks

  • The IIT Delhi incubated startup Chakr Innovation has launched a special decontamination device called ‘Chakr DeCoV’, to decontaminate N95 masks
  • The Chakr DeCoV device is designed in the shape of a cabinet
  • Chakr DeCoV is built with an innovative decontamination mechanism, which utilises the high penetrability of Ozone gas for cleaning the pores of the N95 mask, ensuring complete decontamination of its intricate layers

2. DRDO successfully test scramjet technology for hypersonic missiles

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested a Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), which is an unmanned scramjet vehicle with the ability to travel at six times the speed of sound
  • The test was conducted from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.  Now, India has joined the elite club of the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test Hypersonic Technology
  • The HSTDV tests the indigenously developed hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. The scramjets are a variant of air-breathing jet engines and have the ability to handle airflows of speeds much higher than the speed of sound
  • The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometers, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned
  • The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly two kilometers per second, for more than 20 seconds

1. Pierre Gasly wins F1 Italian Grand Prix 2020

  • Pierre Gasly (Scuderia AlphaTauri, France) has won the Formula One Italian Grand Prix 2020 held at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy
  • This is his first Grand Prix win. Carlos Sainz Jr. (McLaren, Spain) came second followed by Lance Stroll (Racing Point, Canada) in third place
  • Lewis Hamilton ended at 7th place after he earned a 10-second stop and go penalty

2. Police Officer Poonam Khatri crowned Wushu World Champion

  • Indian Police Officer, Poonam Khatri has claimed World Championship status after her silver medal at the Wushu World Championship last year has been upgraded to a Gold medal
  • Poonam had lost the final to Iranian opponent Mariyam in the Women’s 75 kg category but after Mariyam recently failed the dope test, the gold medal has been awarded to Poonam Khatri
  • The information was clarified by Secretary-General of the Indian Wushu Association, Suhel Ahmed

1. Oscar-winning Czech director Jiri Menzel passes away

  • Oscar-winning Czech film director, Jiri Menzel passed away. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on 23 February 1938
  • His 1st feature film, ‘Closely Watched Trains’ won an Academy Award (Oscars) for Best Foreign Language film in 1968
  • Menzel won the Czech Lion for lifetime artistic contribution and was honoured by the Karlovy Vary festival
  • He is a recipient of the Medal of Merit, the French Order of Arts and Literature and a score of other international awards
  • He was awarded an IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2013

2. Father of Indian Radio Astronomy Govind Swarup passes away

  • Father of India’s Radio Astronomy, Prof Govind Swarup passed away. He was born on March 23rd, 1929 in Thakurdwara, United Provinces, British India( Now in Uttar Pradesh).
  • He was the founding director of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
  • Govind Swarup was the key person behind the concept, design and installation of the Ooty Radio Telescope (India) and the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), which established India as one of the leading countries for radio astronomy research
  • He is well known for his many important research contributions in several areas of astronomy and astrophysics

1. Indira Gandhi Peace Prize awarded to Sir David Attenborough

  • Sir David Attenborough was conferred with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019
  • He is an English broadcaster and historian. He is popular for writing and presenting the BBC Natural History Unit
  • He worked to make aware to preserve and protect the biodiversity of the planet
  • The Indira Gandhi Peace Prize award is for peace, disarmament and development. It has been named after the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It Is being conferred every year since 1986 by Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust. It consists of a monetary award of Rs 25 lakhs
  • The award recognizes the efforts of organizations and individuals working to create international economic order, ensure that scientific discoveries are used for lager goof to humanity and also to those who ensure scientific discoveries are used to enlarge the scope of freedom

1. Golden Temple gets FCRA Registration

  • The Union Home Ministry has granted the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration to Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, or the Golden Temple, in Amritsar
  • It will now enable the Golden Temple to receive foreign donations. The foreign contribution can be used by the Sikh shrine for providing financial and medical assistance to the needy
  • It can also be used to organise langar which is a free community kitchen

2. National Jal Jeevan Mission conducts webinar

  • National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti conducted a webinar on the planning, implementation, and monitoring of outputs & outcomes of the flagship program, Jal Jeevan Mission
  • The webinar was attended by about 2,500 State, district, and block officials of Public Health Engineering Departments/ Rural Water Supply Departments of various States/ UTs
  • Jal Jeevan Mission is under implementation in partnership with States. It aims to ensure every rural household of the country gets assured drinking water supply in adequate quantity and of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis at affordable service delivery charges leading to improvement in their living standard

3. J&K LG launches SPARROW system for J&K Administrative Service officers brand

  • Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha launched the online portal, Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window (SPARROW) for Jammu & Kashmir Administrative Service Officers (JKAS).
  • The SPARROW system will benefit around 1289 officers and is aimed at bringing more transparency, avoiding loss of Appraisal Reports (APR) during the transition, ensuring better monitoring and timely completion of performance appraisals of JKAS officers
  • The project will be implemented by J&K e-Governance Agency, Information Technology Department in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre and General Administration Department
  • Using the Sparrow System, an applicant can file APR from anywhere and anytime. It is expected to make the process seamless, quick and convenient due to in-built alert mechanisms and providing online status checks

1. . International Literacy Day: 8 September

  • International Literacy Day is observed globally on 8th September every year
  • The day spread awareness about the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies
  • International Literacy Day 2020 focuses on ”Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”, especially on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, mainly focuses on youth and adults

2. World First Aid Day 2020: 12 September

  • The World First Aid Day is observed on the second Saturday of September every year to create awareness about the importance of first aid in preventing injuries and saving lives
  • The World First Aid Day 2020 is being observed on 12 September
  • The day was started by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 2000 to educate people in the world of the benefits of first aid, need of first aid and the right way to do first aid

1. Former health secretary Preeti Sudan appointed WHO panelist

  • The World Health Organisation’s independent panel for pandemic preparedness and response appointed former health secretary, Preeti Sudan as one of its 11 panelists from across the world
  • The decision by the panel’s two heads, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke and former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  • In a meeting of the Chairs, Helen Clarke is believed to have conveyed that Sudan’s experience as the head of the government ministry that led India’s response to the pandemic makes her much more suited for the job 
  • The panel stated that while it reviewed more than 120 people, it made the final appointments based on skills (including expertise in outbreak response, managing national health systems, leadership in youth and community engagement, socio-economic analytical capabilities), knowledge about the international system including WHO and experience from similar international processes

2. Paresh Rawal becomes the new chairman of National School of Drama

  • Former Lok Sabha MP and Bollywood actor, Paresh Rawal have been appointed as the new chief of National School of Drama by President Ram Nath Kovind
  • In a career span of over three decades, Rawal has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994
  • He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the entertainment industry

1. 35th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific 2020

  • The 35th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC 35) was held virtual format due to the global COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Conference was held under the Chair of the Host Country, Bhutan. The Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala represented India in the conference
  • The conference focused on regional priorities and issues such as COVID 19, the state of agriculture, natural resources management, food security, and nutrition
  • Bangladesh will host the 36th Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific of the in 2022. It will be the first time that the country will host the event, ever since it joined the organisation in 1973
  • The Regional Conference is held once every two years. The first regional conference was held in Bangalore, India, in 1953

2. ISA host World Solar Technology Summit

  • On 8th September 2020, The 1st World Solar Technology Summit was held virtually. The summit was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi
  • The main objective of the summit is to pay attention to state-of-the-art technologies and next-generation technologies. Such technologies will play an important role in making solar energy more efficiently, more than 26,000 participants from 149 nations joined the summit virtually
  • The first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) is organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) along with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), as the convenor of the ISA Global Leadership Task Force on Innovation, to focus on new Technologies and Innovations in the field of Solar
  • Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Stanley Whittingham also presented a Keynote address. He is an awardee of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (jointly with John B Goodenough & Akira Yoshino) in 2019 for the revolutionizing discovery of the lithium-ion batteries

3. Conclave on “School Education in 21st Century” begins

  • A two-day conclave on ‘School Education in 21st Century’ commenced virtually. The conclave has been organised by Ministry of Education as part of Shikshak Parv 2020
  • Shikshak Parv is being celebrated from 8th-25th September 2020 to felicitate the teachers and to take New Education Policy 2020 forward
  • The conclave was addressed by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi under the National Education Policy- 2020 (NEP-2020).
  • The conclave featured the discussions held in two technical sessions on six subjects of New Education Policy 2020
  • The first technical session started with a discussion on the subject of ˜Foundational Literacy and Numeracy’. Some other subjects on which discussions were held: “Art Integrated and Toy Integrated Pedagogy”; “Early Childhood Care and Education”; “Teaching in Mother Tongue”; and “No hard separation”.

1. Moody’s forecasts India’s GDP at -11.5% for FY21

  • The rating agency, Moody’s has projected the GDP growth rate for India to contract 11.5 percent in fiscal 2020-21 (FY21) due to the coronavirus pandemic
  • For 2021-22 (FY22), Moody’s projected the economy of India to grow at 10.6 percent

2. Crisil projects India’s GDP for FY21 at -9%

  • CRISIL has projected India’s GDP rate at -9% for the financial year 2020-21 (FY21).
  • CRISIL revising its forecast down from 5% owing to uncertainty over the spread of Covid-19 and lack of adequate financial support from the government
  • For FY22, Crisil has projected India’s GDP to grow at 10%. For the next three years, between fiscals 2023 and 2025, CRISIL projects the Indian GDP to average a growth of 6.2% annually

3. India Ratings forecasts a contraction of 11.8% in FY21 GDP

  • The Indian arm of Fitch Ratings, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected India’s FY21 GDP growth forecast at -11.8% as against its earlier prediction of -5.3%.
  • The rating agency estimates the economic loss in FY21 to be Rs 18.44 lakh crore. The rating agency also expects India’s GDP to rebound and grow at 9.9% year-on-year in FY22 primarily due to the weak base of FY21
  • The Indian economy contracted by a record 23.9% in 1st (April-June) quarter of FY21, which is much higher than Ind-Ra’s forecast of 17.0% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (lockdown).

1. Infosys acquires product design firm Kaleidoscope Innovation

  • Infosys has announced that it would acquire product design and development firm, Kaleidoscope Innovation for up to $42 million
  • Kaleidoscope is a US-based firm and would bring to Infosys a diverse talent pool with extensive knowledge of design and engineering
  • The Kaleidoscope Innovation provides design and development across medical, consumer and industrial markets for making smart products. Kaleidoscope designs microsurgical instruments, used in invasive surgery, drug delivery devices for ophthalmic therapies and user-centric wearables

2. WhatsApp, CPF partner to drive cyber safety awareness

    • Facebook-owned WhatsApp has partnered with Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) to create awareness on cyber safety among students
    • The partners aim to reach about 15,000 students in five Indian states, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra by the end of this year, under the first phase of a pan-India programme
    • CPF will train teachers, parents, and students using a co-created curriculum to arm them with tips and tricks to increase online safety for children in consultation with UNICEF and state police authorities
    • At the end of these training sessions, the participants will create a ‘Cyber Peace Club’ to ensure that this knowledge is further institutionalized, and manage a repository of guidance that other students can refer to for boosting online child safety

3. NSDC, LinkedIn partner to provide digital skills training for youth

  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and LinkedIn have announced a partnership to provide access to free learning resources for digital skills
  • A total of 10 learning paths consisting of 140 courses will be made available for free on the e-Skill India digital platform until March 31, 2021
  • LinkedIn will provide periodic labour market insights based on its economic graph of more than 69 million members in India. This will include in-demand skills, emerging jobs, and global hiring rates to NSDC to better understand the skilling ecosystem
  • According to LinkedIn data, Indian professionals with digital skills were 20 percent more in demand than professionals without digital skills in 2020

1. Vodafone Idea rebrands itself as ‘Vi’

  • Vodafone Idea has announced its new unified brand identity by renaming all its products under a new name and logo “Vi”.
  • The Beleaguered telecom operator, announced the rebranding of the company through a virtual platform
  • The integration into one brand is believed to be the company’s efforts to reduce the cost of maintaining two brands
  • The rebranding also comes at a time when Vodafone Idea has seen its user base falling from 408 million at the time of the merger to 280 million at the end of June 2020
  • With Vodafone focusing on premium urban brand, Idea has been a mass rural-focused brand. Following the merger, the urban-rural appeal of the two brands took a hit
  • VI is built to be strong, ever-dependable, agile, intuitive and a brand in tune with the needs of the customers in these ever-changing times. It is designed to help customers move ahead in life, for a better today and a brighter tomorrow

1. First batch of five Rafale aircraft formally inducted into IAF

  • The first batch of five Rafale fighter jets was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on 10 September 2020 at the Air Force Station in Ambala
  • They have been inducted in the Indian Air Force’s 17 Squadron ‘Golden Arrows’ based in Ambala. The first five Rafale aircraft had arrived from France on 27 July 2020
  • The multi-role Rafale jets have been built by French aerospace major Dassault Aviation
  • India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 to procure 36 of the aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore
  • The delivery of all 36 aircraft is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021. Out of 36 Rafale jets, 30 will be fighter jets and six will be trainers

2. 13th Aero India-21 to be held in Bengaluru in Feb 2021

  • The 13th edition of Aero India-21 is scheduled to be held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka from 3 to 07 February 2021
  • Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh has launched the website for Aero India 2021. Aero India is Asia’s largest air show and aviation exhibition held biennially in Bengaluru since 1996
  • The website can be accessed at
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