Here we are with Current Affairs of September Week Four (4th Week).
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In this compilation, we cover the latest news from various domains likes appointments, schemes, important days, etc. Relevant national, international, important awards, sports news are also covered.
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- Indian Railways has planned for 100% electrification of its broad-gauge routes by 2023. Around 63% broad gauge lines have already been electrified.
- India successfully test fired indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile from the Chandipur Integrated Test Range, Odisha.
- The National Medical Commission (NMC) has come into existence from September 25, 2020 replacing the Medical Council of India (MCI), as the country’s apex regulator of medical education and profession. National Medical Commission (NMC) have 33 members.
- Union Minister for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik and Jitendra Singh jointly laid e-foundation of Post-Harvest Management Centre for Medicinal Plants at Bhaderwah in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the vaccine portal for Covid-19 to create awareness among masses. Highlights Portal will share the vaccine related information. Currently, 3 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials for COVID-19 in India.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated six ‘Namami Gange’ projects mostly relating to the sewage treatment in Uttarakhand. The Prime Minister will also dedicate a museum on Ganga named- “Ganga Avlokan” located at the Chandi Ghat to the Nation.
- Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced that it will produce an additional 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses for India and other low and middle-income countries in 2021. The announcement is taking forward the collaboration that was made between the Serum Institute of India, GAVI Vaccine Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- The Defence minister Rajnath Singh unveiled the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) -2020 . The minister said that the new DAP 2020 will empower the Indian domestic industry through Make in India initiative.
- India successfully test fired the surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile BrahMos having an indigenous booster and airframe section at Balasore, Odisha.
- IIT Madras has developed an indigenous microprocessor titled as ‘MOUSHIK.’ It is a processor cum System on Chip (SoC) that can execute the instructions and as a SoC, different components can be attached to it.
- It is designed under Shakti Microprocessor programme (Project Shakti) of IIT Madras which is funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY).
- Second sero-survey findings were released on September 29, 2020 by the Indian Council for Medical research (ICMR). 6.6% of over 29 thousand people, aged 10 and above, surveyed from 17th August to 22nd September.
- Google India has launched a nationwide campaign “Make Small Strong” in order to help support small businesses and drive demand through customer support. ‘‘Make Small Strong’ campaign is meant to “rally support from the citizens for small businesses. The citizens can help small businesses by buying locally,
- The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development is embarking on a Sanitation Literacy Campaign (SLC) to promote literacy on ‘WASH’ (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in 2,000 villages across the country 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 would continue till January 26, 2021.
- Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) has signed MoU to promote adventure sports activities at Tehri Lake.
- The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a unified portal called ‘U-Rise’– Unified Re-imagined Innovation for Student Empowerment. The portal will guide students in learning, career counselling, and getting employment in the state. The portal has been developed by Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Technical University.
- Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has approved ‘Moksha Kalash Yojana-2020’ launched by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation. It allows free bus travel to 2 members of the family of the deceased to immerse ashes in the Ganga in Haridwar.
- Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal rolled out Mukhyamantrir Grammya Paribahan Achoni scheme. Under this, Light Motor Vehicle Service would be launched in all the villages of Assam to improve rural connectivity and generate employment in the villages.
- Government has increased the limit of using State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for COVID specific infrastructure from 35% to 50%. States and UTs where are coronavirus cases are higher like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, UP and Delhi can use this increased limit.
- Madhya Pradesh has launched the ‘Mukhya Mantri Kisan Kalyan Yojana’ by following the path of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi which is an initiative of the central government. Existing beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi who are getting Rs. 6,000 per annum, will also be getting additional financial assistance.
- Uttar Pradesh’s first vulture conservation and breeding centre is set to be established at Bhari Baisi village of Gorakhpur.
- Kerala has won the UN Interagency Task Force (UNIATF) award 2020 for its “outstanding contribution” towards the non-communicable diseases-related sustainable development goals. The award this year was announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
- Country’s first one of the first medical device parks named MedSpark will be established in Kerala. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan laid down the foundation stone for Medical Devices Park.
- The Maharashtra government has banned the sale of unpackaged “loose” cigarettes and beedis, making it the first Indian state to so. Maharashtra currently contributes to around 8-10% of the cigarette sales volumes.
- In view of the prevailing pandemic, the Odisha Govt has launched Radio Pathshala program for students up to class 8. The program will be broadcast from All India Radio stations in the state for 15 minutes daily (10 to 1015 hours) from ten Akshvani Kendras.
- Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy conducted Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in Eastern Indian Ocean Region to enhance interoperability between two nations.
- Vodafone Group has won the tax case against India at the International arbitration Tribunal over retrospective tax demand of ₹20,000 crore including the capital gains tax and withholding tax.
- International Arbitration Tribunal is a Permanent Court of Arbitration established in 1899. It is headquartered in Hague, Netherlands. The organization is dedicated to resolve the dispute and facilitate arbitration between States.
- India has signed MoU on strategic water partnership to develop better water infrastructure in India with United Kingdom during virtual Water Partnership meeting
- Fourth edition of India-Japan Maritime bilateral exercise (JIMEX) began in North Arabian Sea from September 26, 2020.
- Rights group Amnesty International has halted its operations in India after alleging a “witch-hunt” by the government. What is the issue? The group said, It is being targeted over its adverse reports on alleged rights violations during the February Delhi riots and in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
- The World Bank has approved a 200 million dollar loan for Bangladesh for Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project.
- Senior officials from the Foreign Ministries of the Quad group of countries. This meeting was held during the United Nations high level week. The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) is also known as the Quad. It is an informal strategic forum that includes the United States, Japan, Australia and India. The forum was initiated in 2007 by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.
- Around 380 whales have died in a mass stranding in southern Australia. The entire pod of 460 long whales got stuck in Macquarie Harbour, Tasmania Island, Australia. It is the largest mass stranding recorded in Australia and in the world.
- The World Health Organization announced that it will roll out 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19 joining hands with its partners. This would allow the lower- and middle-income countries to fill in the testing gap with richer countries.
- India- Denmark Green Strategic Partnership: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen held a virtual bilateral summit.
- The Ministry of External Affairs recently announced that it will create a new Oceania Territorial Division having its centre at Australia. The division will integrate ASEAN divisions and the Indo-Pacific under it.
- Dept for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India has signed MoU with Danish Patent and Trademark Office, Denmark for Intellectual Property Cooperation.
- India and Israel established new sub-working group (SWG) to promote co-development and co-production of high tech weapon systems
- India and Bangladesh have agreed to set up a ‘High Level Monitoring Committee’ to regularly review the progress of implementation of projects which are being run with Line of Credit provided by India.
- Mohamed Hussein Roble took charges as the new Prime Minister of Somalia after winning Parliamentary election
- NITI Aayog and Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to support the decarbonization and energy transition agenda to accommodate cleaner and more energy. The SoI was signed by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Ambassador of the Netherlands to India.
- Mali’s transitional President Bah Ndaw has named Moctar Ouane as the new Prime minister of Mali.
REPORTS & SCHEMES
- The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has approved to set up ten plastic parks in the country under the Plastic Park scheme. The Scheme was launched in 2019. The plastic parks will be set up in Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.
- The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has presented a report titled “Construction of Toilets in Schools by CPSEs” in the Parliament. The report has pointed out that toilet construction in schools by central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) has several gaps that were constructed under the Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan. Report says, 40% of the surveyed toilets (Around 3000 toilets were surveyed out of 1.4 lakh) were found to be non- existent, partially constructed, or unused.
- 70% of the toilets did not have the running water facilities.
- 75% of the toilets were unhygienic.
- Hand washing facility was not available in 55% of the toilets.
- 27% of the school did not have separate toilets for boys and girls.
- The Comptroller and Auditor General of India submitted its report titled “Assessment and Utilisation of Locomotives and Production and Maintenance of LHB coaches in Indian Railways” on Indian Railways in the Parliament.
- As per the report, the number of diesel locos has been increased by 20% between 2012 and 2018.
- CAG highlighted that there is an increase because the Indian Railway Board failed to assess the requirement of electric locos.
- The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has increased the average body weight for Indians by 5kg in its recent report. Thus, the average weight for Indian men has been increased from the 60kg in 2010 to 65kg now. While for Indian women average weight has been increased from 50kg in 2010 to 55kg now. Along with the change in the average weight, the NIN has also revised the heights.
- The average height for Indian men is 5.8 feet (177 cm)
- And the average height for women is 5.3 feet (162 cm).
- Earlier, the average heights for men was 5.6 feet (171cm) and for women was 5 feet (152 cm).
- The definition of a reference Indian adult with respect to age has also been changed to 19-39 years. Earlier it used to be 20-39 years.
- The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the “Health in India” report. The main objective of the report was to gather quantitative data on India’s health sector. The report have highlighted on the health of religious communities across country.
- The report highlights that around 7.5% of Indians suffered from ailments.
- 6.8% suffered from ailments in the rural area while in Urban area, the numbers were high at 9.1%.
- Zoroastrians were the most susceptible to ailments. Around 31.1% of Zoroastrians were suffered from ailments as of July 2020 as per a report.
- The percentage of sick people other communities are
- Jains: 11.2%
- Sikhs: 11%
- Christians: 10.5%
- Muslims: 8.1%
- Buddhists: 8%
- Hindus: 7.2%
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has estimated India’ GDP to contract by 5.9% in the year 2020 Indian economy is projected to grow by 3.9% in the year 2021. The projection was made in its Trade and Development Report 2020. Global economy will contract by estimated 4.3% in 2020, while South Asia’s economy will contract 4.8% in 2020 and recover to 3.9% in 2021.
- Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has inaugurated new Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Gogamukh, Assam. It will be named after Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. It will facilitate agricultural education and research in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, in addition to Assam.
- The Government of India recently sanctioned 670 Electric buses and 241 charging stations under phase II of Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) Scheme.
- KRITAGYA (Krishi-Raknik-Gyan) Hackathon was launched by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICMR) under the National Agricultural Higher Education Project. It was launched with an objective to promote Farm Mechanisation specially women friendly equipment’s.
- The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) issued new guidelines that focuses on safety, immunogenicity and efficacy parameters for pharma companies who are developing COVID-19 vaccines. The DCGI said that COVID-19 vaccine candidate should have at least 50 per cent of efficacy in the Phase-III clinical trial.
- “RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020,’ will be organised by The MeitY and NITI Aayog from October 5-9, 2020. It will be a global meeting of minds to exchange ideas and chart a course for using AI for social transformation, inclusion and empowerment in Healthcare, Agriculture, Education and Smart Mobility.
- The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana -“Saubhagya” has completed three years since its inception on September 25, 2020. The scheme ensures electrification of all willing households in rural and urban areas of the country. As of June 2019, 91% of rural Indian households have received electricity access. In other words, over 2 crore 62 lakh households have been provided electricity connection under the scheme so far.
- Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has opened its third branch office in Mumbai. It already has branch offices in Chennai and Hyderabad. IREDA works under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) with registered office in New Delhi.
FINANCE AND BANKING
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed AK Dixit as the new administrator of Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 300-million-dollar loan to develop the inclusive water supply, sanitation infrastructure and services in secondary towns of Rajasthan.
- IDFC First Bank will roll out contactless debit card-based payment facility titled as ‘SafePay’ that will allow transactions of up to Rs 20,000 per day.
- Union Finance Ministry has granted permission to raise additional financial resources of Rs. 9,913 crores to five states through Open Market Borrowings (OMBs). The five states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Goa, and Tripura.
- The Reserve Bank of India released Cyber Security Vision Framework under the title ‘Technology Vision for Cyber Security’ for Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) – 2020-2023.
The framework is aimed at achieving its objectives through five pillared strategic approach:
- Governance Oversight.
- Utile Technology Investment
- Appropriate Regulation and supervision.
- Robust Collaboration.
- Developing IT and Cybersecurity Skills Set.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has chosen Life Insurance Corporation of India, General Insurance Corporation and New India Assurance Co. Ltd as Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) for 2020-21. They are being chosen on the basis of their size, market importance and interconnectedness
- The 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. This has been granted under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
- The Central Board of Direct Taxation (CBDT) has launched the faceless income tax appeals. Under the new mechanism all appeals will be finalized in a faceless manner. However, it will be barring the cases of major tax evasion, black money act, serious frauds and international tax to follow the same mechanism.
- The Bombay Stock Exchange has signed a pact with Yes Bank to empower the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) listed on the platform.
- The Reserve Bank of India has introduce a “Positive Pay System” that will come into effect from January 2021. The system will make mandatory to re-confirm key details of cheques for the payments beyond Rs 50,000. Issuer can also submit the details through internet banking, mobile app or ATM.
AWARDS & RECOGNISTION
- Kerala Tourism’s internationally-acclaimed ‘Human by Nature’ campaign won the prestigious PATA (Pacific- Asia Travel Association) Grand Award 2020 for Marketing. This gives a huge stimulus to tourism industry in the state which has been severely affected due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Veteran singer Usha Mangeshkar has been honoured with the ”Gansamradni Lata Mangeshkar” award for 2020-21. The award carries a cash prize of Rs five lakh and a citation. Usha Mangeshkar is the youngest sister of Lata Mangeshkar.
- Bollywood Actor Sonu Sood has been conferred with the prestigious SDG Special Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He has been awarded for his philanthropic work during the coronavirus induced lockdown.
- Historian and author Rana Safvi has been conferred with Yamin Hazarika award for her contribution to the syncretic culture of India
PERSON IN NEWS
- Khushi Chindaliya a 17-year Girl from Surat, Gujarat has been appointed as Regional Ambassador for India by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)- Tunza Eco-Generation.
- Former rebel military commander Ishmael Toroama has been elected as the President of Bougainville, which was an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.
- Renowned Indian Historian and author Romila Thapar has penned down a new book titled as ‘Voices of Dissent.
- Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh will be India’s first woman fighter pilot to fly the Rafale aircraft, which was formally inducted into Indian Air Force recently.
- Nation is paying homage to the revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh on his 113th birth anniversary today on September 28, 2020. Bhagat Singh was born on this day in 1907, in Banga village of Lyallpur district of undivided Punjab province.
- Rajat Sud has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of the Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) from immediate effect.
- Reserve Bank of India has roped in Amitabh Bachchan for the customer awareness campaign to prevent gullible account holders from being duped by fraudsters.
- Authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko took oath as the President of Belarus for consecutive sixth term.
- CEAT Tyres has signed Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador for two years.
- Personal computers brand Acer India has roped in actor Sonu Sood as its brand ambassador.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet appointed PD Vaghela as the new chief of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
- Veteran Indian nuclear scientist Sekhar Basu passed away due to COVID-19 in Kolkata. He was the chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
- Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi passed away due to COVID-19 at AIMS, Delhi. He is the first member of the Union Cabinet to lose his life due to coronavirus.
- Theatre and Bollywood actor Bhupesh Pandya passed away due to lung cancer in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is known for his role in Ayushmann Khurrana’s debut film ‘Vicky Donor’.
- National award-winning singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away due to COVID-19 at MGM Health Care hospital in Chennai
- Assam’s first and only woman chief minister Syeda Anwara Taimur passed away in Australia due to cardiac arrest.
- Noted economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia passed away in New Delhi due to brain cancer.
- Former Indian Army officer and Indian Cabinet Minister Jaswant Singh passes away after prolonged illness. He was one of the founding members of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
- Veteran songwriter Abhilash passed away. He was suffering from a stomach illness. He was best known for the song ‘Itni Shakti Hame Dena Daata’ from the 1986 film Ankush.
- The World Maritime Day is observed on September 24 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other international organizations. The day is celebrated on the last Thursday of the September every year. Theme for this year is Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet.
- The World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 as an annual event. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has designated year 2020 as the “Year of Tourism and Rural Development”. The day was celebrated under the theme– Tourism and Rural Development, this year.
- The 74th United Nations General Assembly in 2019 announced that 28th September 2020 would observe the International Day for Universal Access to Information. 2020 edition of the day is focusing on the right to information in the times of crisis. It is celebrated to showcase the advantages of statutory and constitutional policies in order to provide public access to information.
- World Environmental Health Day is being observed globally today on 26th September. Theme for the 2020 edition of the day is: Environmental health, a key public health intervention in disease pandemic prevention.
- World Rabies Day is observed on 28th September every year, globally. This year, the day is being celebrated under the theme ‘End Rabies: Collaborate, Vaccinate’.
- September 29 is observed as World Heart Day. It is an initiative by the World Heart Federation.
- 30th September is observed by the United Nations as International Translation Day, every year. This year the day is being observed under the theme- “Finding the words for a world in crisis”.
- Indian men’s team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and women’s squad’s mid-fielder Sanju were declared the winners of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Footballer of the Year awards 2019-20.
- Mercedes racer Valtteri Bottas (Finland) has won Formula One Russian Grand Prix 2020. This is his second win of the Formula One season 2020 held in Sochi, Russia.
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