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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
World Metrology Day
- World Metrology Day is an event occurring on 20 May celebrating the International System of Units.
- The date is the anniversary of the signing of the Metre Convention in 1875.
- The World Metrology Day project is realised jointly by the BIPM and the OIML.
- The theme for World Metrology Day 2020 is Measurements for Global Trade.
- This theme was chosen to create awareness of the important role measurement plays in facilitating fair global trade.
World Bee Day
- May 20was officially named World Bee Day by the United Nations in a bid to raise awareness for the role bees play in keeping the planet healthy.
- The date was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Slovenian apiculture pioneer Anton Janša, who was born in 1734.
- The First World Bee Day was celebrated on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
- World Bee Day 2020 theme is “Save the Bees”.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Centre reduces EPFO contributions from 12 per cent to 10 per cent from May to July this year
- The Centre has notified the reduction in statutory rate of contributions from 12 per cent to 10 per cent for wage months period from May to July, 2020 for all class of establishments covered under the Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 .
- It stated, reduction in rate of EPF contributions from 12 per cent to 10 percent of basic wages and Dearness allowances is intended to benefit both 4.3 Crore employees and employers of 6.5 lakhs establishments to tide over the immediate liquidity crisis to some extent.
- As a result of reduction in statutory rate of contributions, the employee will have a higher take home pay and employers will also have their liabilities reduced by 2 per cent of wages of the employees.
- The Ministry stated, this reduction of rate of contribution is not applicable to establishments like Central and State Public Sector enterprises or any other establishment owned or controlled by or under control of the Central or State Government.
- These establishments shall continue to contribute 12 per cent of basic wages and dearness allowances. The reduced rate is also not applicable for Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana-PMGKY beneficiaries as the entire employees’ EPF contributions of 12 per cent of wages and employers’ EPF & EPS contribution of 12 per cent of wages totaling 24 per cent of the monthly wages is being contributed by the Central Government.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Sunil Barthwal : Central Provident Fund Commissioner
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Nepal to publish maps showing India’s Kalapani, Lipulekh as its territory
- The Nepal government decided to publish new maps showing Lipulekh and Kalapani, the subject of disputes with India, as part of Nepalese territory amid an escalating border row between the two countries.
- The decision to show Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani was made at a meeting of the council of ministers chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.
- Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali had decided to publish a new map of the country showing the seven provinces, 77 districts and 753 local administrative divisions, including “Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani”.
- The official map will be published soon by the land management ministry.
- Defence minister Rajnath Singh recently opened the 80-km road that ends at Lipulekh Pass. It was built so that pilgrims going to Kailash-Mansarovar can avoid dangerous high-altitude routes through Sikkim and Nepal.
- Capital– Kathmandu
- Currency– Nepalese rupee
- President– Bidhya Devi Bhandari
India gives $2 million aid to UN agency working for Palestinian refugees
- India has given $2 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency working for the welfare of Palestinian refugees in support of its core programmes and services, including education and health, amidst the coronavirus crisis.
- India had increased its annual contribution to the UNRWA from $1.25 million in 2016 to $5 million in 2019. It pledged another $5 million for 2020 which opens its way to become a member of the agency’s advisory commission, according to official sources.
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) applauded India’s financial support to keep its basic services operating, especially under the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- India’s contribution will support the agency’s “dire” financial situation due to the funding gaps that risk its core services to the Palestinian refugees in the fields of education and health.
- About 3.1 million Palestine refugees depend on health services provided by the UNRWA. At the same time, the agency’s schools educate 526,000 students every year, of which half are female.
- The agency was created in December 1949 by the UN to support the relief and human development of Palestinian refugees.
- The UNRWA definition of “refugee” covers Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 War.
- Headquarters: Amman, Jordan
- Commissioner-General: Christian Saunders
UNICEF, Airtel Africa to support children, families affected by Covid-19
- UNICEF has entered into a partnership with Airtel Africa to provide children with access to remote learning and enable access to cash assistance for their families via mobile cash transfers.
- Under this partnership, UNICEF and Airtel Africa will use mobile technology to benefit an estimated 133 million school age children currently affected by school closures in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- UNICEF and Airtel Africa’s partnership aims to benefit children and families in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
- UNICEF is partnering with Airtel Africa to deliver better outcomes for children and families affected by widespread closures.
- The partnership will also provide UNICEF with a means to facilitate vital cash assistance to alleviate financial barriers for some of the most vulnerable families across the region, including many affected by the growing socio-economic hardships resulting from suspension of income earning activities. This will help ensure families have additional resources to cope with the ongoing health and economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Headquarters: New York, United States
- Head: Henrietta H. Fore
- Founded: 11 December 1946
Estonia starts testing digital immunity passport for workplaces
- Estonia has started to test one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, created by a team including founders of global tech startups Transferwise and Bolt, seeking a safer return to workplaces following the coronavirus lockdown.
- A digital immunity passport collects testing data and enables people to share their immunity status with a third party, like an employer, using a temporary QR-code generated after digital authentication.
- Digital immunity passport aims to diminish fears and stimulate societies all over the globe to move on with their lives amidst the pandemic, stated Taavet Hinrikus, founder of Transferwise and a member of Back to Work, the non-governmental organisation developing the passport.
- Many countries and businesses are rushing to develop apps for contact-tracing.
- In addition to technology entrepreneurs, Back to Work includes local medical experts and state officials. Radisson hotels and food producer PRFoods are among the first companies that have started to test the passport.
About Estonia :
- Capital: Tallinn
- Currency: Euro
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
Canara Bank launches special gold loan biz vertical
- Bengaluru-based public sector lender Canara Bank, has launched a special gold loan business vertical.
- The pandemic is seeing the country’s socio-economic order undergo a change; managing day-to-day expenses, business continuity, health and family care are becoming challenges. The bank’s latest business vertical is aimed at helping resolve these issues and support livelihoods in the current challenging times.
- The business vertical is expected to address these needs and to provide hassle-free credit. The gold loan products are designed keeping in mind the need for a quick, hassle-free experience for customers, and at low interest cost. The loans are expected to help the customers with much-needed liquidity to revive their business activities, and bring normalcy back to their lives.
- Canara Bank has launched this special gold loan campaign till June 30 with interest rate as low as 85 per cent per annum.
- The low turnaround time (TAT) ― time taken from applying for the loan till the loan is disbursed ― and high flexibility of the loan, are the highlights of the product. The loans, which come with flexible repayment options, are payable within one to three years.
- The credit can be utilised for different purposes, such as for agriculture and allied activities, business needs, health emergencies, and personal needs, among numerous other requirements.
About Canara Bank:
- CEO: Lingam Venkat Prabhakar
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
- Tagline : Together we Can
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Flipkart ties up with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for digital motor cover
- Flipkart and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company have partnered to offer a digital motor insurance policy to customers of the e-commerce major.
- Consumers can buy this motor-insurance policy using their Flipkart app, it stated in a statement.
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance also offers mobile insurance on Flipkart
- With the introduction of motor-insurance, consumers can now get access to a much more seamless, accessible and flexible insurance solution to safeguard their vehicles.
About Bajaj Allianz General Insurance:
- CEO: Tapan Singhel
- Headquarters: Pune
Facebook launches ‘Shops’ for Facebook and Instagram
- Facebook launched Facebook shops, a new e-commerce venture to help small businesses.
- The feature allows businesses to set up storefronts on Facebook and Instagram for free.
- These will be powered by third-party eCommerce services such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Woo.
- The feature is to help small businesses amid the ongoing economic crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a recent survey conducted by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable, one-third of small businesses in the United States have stopped operations while 11 per cent expect to shut shop in the next three months if the situation remains the same.
- The social media giant earlier this month had also launched a range of new feature across platforms to help small businesses.
- Businesses are facing immense challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, and supporting them is critical to the well-being of entrepreneurs, communities and the economy, Facebook had stated.
- We’re announcing new ways for people to support and discover small businesses, along with more tools for keeping businesses informed and connected with their customers, it had stated.
- The features included a new ‘Support Small Business sticker’ for Instagram, a Businesses Nearby section for its Facebook app and upgrades on the Business Inbox in Messenger.
About Facebook :
- CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
- Headquarters: California, United States
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
J&K starts an initiative SUKOON’ – COVID-19 Beat the StressA
- In order to spread awareness about psychological impact of lockdown and measures to be adopted to overcome them, Department of Information and Public Relations, J&K has started an initiative ‘SUKOON’ – COVID-19 Beat the Stress“.
- During which psychiatrists, eminent doctors and scientists will share their knowledge on psychological health and how to keep the mind anxiety free and the measures which people can adopt to keep stress level under control. The aim is to ensure that people stay mentally fit and cope with the fears related to COVID-19 with a sound mind.
- This initiative is in line with the growing concern that COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged lockdown has resulted in tremendous stress among various sections of the society.
- Parents, care givers and children are the greatest victims of lockdown as they grapple with restricted movement and not being allowed to meet with friends and socialize. DIPR, J&K is also looking at telecasting such programmes on a daily basis to reach out to the people of the UT.
About Jammu and Kashmir:
- Capitals: Jammu (Winter), Srinagar (Summer)
- Lieutenant Governor : G. C. Murmu
Chhattisgarh to launch Rajiv Gandhi Nyay Yojana for farmers on May 21, former PM’s death anniversary
- Chhattisgarh is set to launch the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana in the state to encourage farmers to produce more crops and help them get the right price for it.
- The scheme will see a sum of Rs 5,700 crore being transferred directly to the accounts of 19 lakh farmers of the state in four instalments.
- Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will formally launch the scheme in the state through a video conference on May 21, the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, an official statement stated.
- The Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana has been launched to encourage farmers for increasing crop production in the state and provide them the right price for their produce, it stated.
- In order to encourage farmers to cultivate crops, the state government, will provide paddy and maize cultivating farmers assistance with the rate of maximum Rs 10,000 per acre in a proportionate manner from Kharif 2019 season, depending on the quantity acquired through cooperative society, the statement stated.
- Under this scheme 18,34,834 farmers will be provided Rs 1,500 crore as first instalment for paddy crop.
- Similarly, for sugarcane crop, payment of FRP amount of Rs 261 per quintal and incentive and input support, amounting to Rs 93.75 per quintal, i.e. maximum Rs 355 per quintal, will be made depending on the quantity of sugarcane purchased by the cooperative mill in the crushing year 2019-20.
- Under this, 34,637 farmers of the state will get Rs 73 crore 55 lakh in four instalments and the first instalment of this amount, Rs 18,43 crore will be transferred on May 21.
About Chhattisgarh :
- Governor: Anusuiya Uikey
- Chief minister: Bhupesh Baghel
- Capitals: Bilaspur, Raipur
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPS AND PORTALS
Union HRD Minister launches AI-powered mobile app for mock tests for JEE Main, NEET 2020
- UnionHuman Resource Development Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched a new mobile app called the ‘National Test Abhyas’.
- The App has been developed by NTA to enable candidates to take mock tests for upcoming exams such asJEE Main, NEET under the NTA’s purview.
- The app has been launched to facilitate candidates’ access to high quality mock tests in the safety and comfort of their homes since there was a demand for making up the loss to students due to closure of educational institutions and NTA’s Test-Practice Centers (TPCs) due to the continuing lockdown.
- Students across the country can use the App to access high quality tests, free of cost, in a bid to be fully prepared for the upcoming JEE, NEET and other competitive exams. The tests can be easily downloaded;
- UnionHuman Resource Development Minister- Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank
- Constituency- Haridwar, Uttarkhand.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to be appointed as WHO Executive Board chairman
- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is set to take charge as the chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board on May 22.
- Harsh Vardhan is at the forefront of India’s fight against the global pandemic and is currently addressing the coronavirus health crisis.
- Health Minister Vardhan would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.
- 194-nation World Health Assembly signed a proposal that appointed India’s nominee to the executive position. The chairman’s post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups
- Last year, the WHO’s South-East Asia group had unanimously decided to appoint India’s nominee to be elected to the executive board for a three-year term starting this May.
- Vardhan would be elected at the Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organisation on May 22.
- It is not a full-time assignment and the minister will just be required to chair the Executive Board’s meetings, an official stated.
About World Health Organization :
- Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
- Director-General: Tedros Adhanom
- Deputy Director-General : Soumya Swaminathan
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities: India’s 3-star and 5-star cities Announced
- Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MOHUA) has announced the results of the Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities.
- Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs, has informed that for the assessment year 2019-2020, a total of six cities have been certified as 5-Star (Ambikapur, Rajkot, Surat, Mysuru, Indore and Navi Mumbai), 65 cities as 3-Star and 70 cities as 1-Star.
- Puri also launched the revised protocol for the Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities at the event.
- The Star Rating Protocol was launched by the Ministry in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve Garbage Free status, and to motivate cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.
|ULB Name||Final Rating||State|
|Indore||5 Star||Madhya Pradesh|
|Navi Mumbai||5 Star||Maharashtra|
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Jaipur based company ‘Club First’ made robots to help masses
- A Jaipur based company made several types of robots to help the medical staff and masses amid coronavirus pandemic.
- ‘Club First’ have made robots which will be used for doing jobs such as sanitizing hospitals and delivering food in restaurants.
- ‘Club First’ have made India’s first service robots and named it as Sona 1.5 and Sona .5 which is a fully autonomous self navigator robot with multi floor access.
- All service robots work on same technology.
- Their designs have been differentiated depending upon their weights.
- The company is also making firefighting robot.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
Flipkart joins Vishal Mega Mart to deliver essentials at home in 26 cities
- Homegrown retailer Flipkart announced a partnership with retail store chain Vishal Mega Mart for the home delivery of essential items through a safe supply chain in 26 cities.
- A Vishal Mega Mart Essentials store has been created on the Flipkart platform.
- Consumers can order essential products like atta, rice, oil, pulses, beverages, soap, toothpaste, and other essential items from more than 365 Vishal Mega Mart stores and get them delivered at their doorstep by Flipkart as per the government guidelines across all zones (except containment zones).
- Once a consumer places an order through the Flipkart app, the delivery executives will collect the products from the nearest Vishal store and deliver it at the customer’s doorstep.
- The 26 cities are: Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, NCR -Delhi, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, Patna, Goa, Guwahati, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Bareilly, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, Aligarh, Dehradun, Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Raipur, Bilaspur and Bhubaneswar.
- It will be further scaled to over 240 cities in the next four weeks.
- HQ- Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- CEO- Kalyan Krishnamurthy
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Anil Kumble-led ICC Committee calls for ban on saliva to shine ball
- Anil Kumble-led panel ICC Cricket Committee recommended banning the use of saliva to shine the ball among several other changes to ICC regulations to mitigate the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus.
- The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field.
- The Committee also recommended that the use of technology is increased to support the appointments of a wider pool of umpires from around the world and has proposed an additional DRS review per team per innings is introduced in each format as an interim measure.
About International Cricket Council (ICC)
- Headquarters– Dubai, UAE.
- Chairman– Shashank Manohar.
- CEO- Manu Sawhney.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Veteran Musician Purushothaman passes away
- Veteran Drums player, music conductor and percussionist Purushothaman passed away.
- He was 65 years old and has been working with Isai Gnani Ilayaraja for over 40 years.
- He was a drummer basically; he used to play drums and other percussions and also used conduct the orchestra.
Spritual leader Dev Prabhakar Shastri, popularly called ‘Daddaji’ passes away
- Noted spiritual leader Dev Prabhakar Shastri, popularly called ‘Daddaji’, passed away after lung and kidney ailments. He was from Madhya Pradesh.
DAILY CA 19th MAY
- World AIDS Vaccine Day– 18th may
- Government implements Shekatkar Committee recommendations related to creating border infrastructure
- Japan launches new unit to step up defence in outer space
- Kotak Mahindra Bank launches India’s 1st zero-contact, video KYC savings account
- BSE, NSE cut annual listing fee for SMEs by 25 per cent
- FSS launches eFinclusiv AEPS 2.0
- Nabard extends 20,500-cr special liquidity facility to co-op banks, RRBs
- India Post Mumbai releases Special Postal Cover dedicated to Migrant Workers
- Karnataka launches incubator for cyber security startups in India
- US-Based General Atlantic To Buy 1.3% Stake In Jio Platforms For Rs 6,598 Crore
- Tata Consumer to acquire PepsiCo’s stake in NourishCo Beverages
- Keva Bain of Bahamas is new president of World Health Assembly
- Trump recognises 10-year-old Indian and Pakistani girls as ‘coronavirus heroes’ in the US
- India’s Chief Hydrographer Vice Admiral Vinay Badhwar wins UK award
- Ministry of Culture’s Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces hosts a webinar on ‘Revitalising Museums and Cultural Spaces’ on the International Museum Day
- Vanora Robots launches AI-powered product for hospital disinfection
- NADA provisionally suspends Savita Kumari, Ankit Shishodia for violating anti-doping rules
- Saleh Abdullah Kamel: Saudi billionaire passes away
- Marathi writer, playwright, Ratnakar Matkari, passes away
DAILY CA 20th MAY
- World Metrology Day– 20th may
- World Bee Day– 20th may
- Centre reduces EPFO contributions from 12 per cent to 10 per cent from May to July this year
- Nepal to publish maps showing India’s Kalapani, Lipulekh as its territory
- India gives $2 million aid to UN agency working for Palestinian refugees
- UNICEF, Airtel Africa to support children, families affected by Covid-19
- Estonia starts testing digital immunity passport for workplaces
- Canara Bank launches special gold loan biz vertical
- Flipkart ties up with Bajaj Allianz General Insurance for digital motor cover
- Facebook launches ‘Shops’ for Facebook and Instagram
- J&K starts an initiative SUKOON’ – COVID-19 Beat the Stress
- Chhattisgarh to launch Rajiv Gandhi Nyay Yojana for farmers on May 21, former PM’s death anniversary
- Union HRD Minister launches AI-powered mobile app for mock tests for JEE Main, NEET 2020
- Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to be appointed as WHO Executive Board chairman
- Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities: India’s 3-star and 5-star cities Announced
- Jaipur based company ‘Club First’ made robots to help masses
- Flipkart joins Vishal Mega Mart to deliver essentials at home in 26 cities
- Anil Kumble-led ICC Committee calls for ban on saliva to shine ball
- Veteran Musician Purushothaman passes away
- Spritual leader Dev Prabhakar Shastri, popularly called ‘Daddaji’ passes away