Important Weekly Current Affairs PDF Download (22nd to 31st March 2020)

Dear Readers, Here we have given the list of Important Weekly Current Affairs of 4th week March 2020. Candidates those who are preparing for Upcoming SBI Clerk 2020 and other competitive exams can make use of it.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS

World Water Day

  • World Water Day is observed annually on 22nd March to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
  • This year’s theme, ‘Water and Climate Change’, explores how water and climate change are inextricably linked

World Meteorological Day

  • World Meteorological Day is celebrated on 23rd March every year to attract attention towards weather and climate for the safety and well being of the society.
  • The theme for 2020 is ‘Climate and Water’

 Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs Day

  • Every year, March 23 is observed as Martyrs Day (Shaheed Diwas or Sarvodaya Day) to pay tribute on death anniversary of the freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru, who laid their lives for the freedom of India.

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day

  • World Tuberculosis Day, observed on 24 March each year, is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease.
  • The theme of World TB Day 2020 is “It’s TIME”

International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

  • Each year, on 24 March, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is observed. 

International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observance designated in 2007 to be marked on 25 March every year.
  • 2020 Theme: “Confronting Slavery’s Legacy of Racism Together” 

International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members

  • The International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members is observed annually on 25 March by the United Nations.

World Theatre Day

  • World Theatre Day is celebrated on 27 March. It was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute.World Theatre Day is observed to generate awareness about the importance of theatre in our life.

Earth Hour 2020

  • Every year, the Earth Hour is celebrated worldwide on the last Saturday of the March month to show support for fight against climate change and commitment towards better planet. This year falls on 28 March 2020.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL

Nation observes Janta curfew in fight against Covid-19 PTI

  • The Janta Curfew was observed on 22nd march following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to voluntarily stay indoors to check the spread of Corona virus. In his address to the nation on the 19th of this month, Mr Modi appealed for a janta curfew from 7 a.m. till 9 p.m.

Cabinet approves Production Incentive Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing PTI

  • Union Cabinet has approved financial assistance to the Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters Scheme for development of world class infrastructure along with common facilities and amenities through Electronics Manufacturing Clusters. 
  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that the government also approved Production Incentive Scheme for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing

Govt bans export of anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine

  • Government banned export of anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine and formulations made from it in the wake of COVID-19 It is aimed at ensuring sufficient availability of the medicine in the domestic market.

PM Modi allocates Rs 15,000 Cr for Healthcare Infra to combat Covid-19

  • Underlining that health services should be the only priority of state governments at this time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated the Centre has made a provision of Rs 15,000 crore to strengthen the country’s health infrastructure to tackle coronavirus.

US successfully tests hypersonic missile in bid to catch up with China and Russia

  • The United States announced it has successfully tested an unarmed prototype of a hypersonic missile, a nuclear-capable weapon that could accelerate the arms race between superpowers.
  • The Pentagon stated a test glide vehicle flew at hypersonic speeds – more than five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5 – to a designated impact point.

Indian Railways for world-class stations, First-of-its-kind form based codes being developed by IRSDC

  • PiyushGoyal-led Indian Railwaysfocuses on world-class stations, The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is developing a first-of-its-kind “Form Based Codes” for the development of railway land.

Cabinet approves MoU between Railways, Germany

  • The Union Cabinet approved a memorandum of understanding signed between India and Germany for technological cooperation in the railway sector.
  • The government in a release stated that the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister NarendraModi was apprised of a MoU signed between Ministry of Railways with DB Engineering and Consulting GMBH of Germany for technological cooperation in railways.

Election Commission allows use of indelible ink for stamping ‘home quarantined’

  • The Election Commission has allowed usage of indelible ink by health authorities for stamping ‘home quarantined’ on the hands of those suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, easing its policy of using the ink only for voting purposes.

DST sets up COVID-19 Task Force for mapping technologies

  • Department of Science and Technology (DST) has set up a COVID-19 Task Force for mapping of technologies from Research and Development labs, academic institutions, start-ups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

India proposes online platform for SAARC to jointly combat coronavirus

  • India has proposed setting up of a common electronic platform for all SAARC nations to share expertise and best practices in jointly combating the coronavirus pandemic.
  • India made the proposal at a video-conference of senior health officials of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.

Centre announces relief package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore for poor

  • Union Government has announced a package of 7 lakh crore rupees for the poor who need immediate help in the wake of COVID-19 like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated they have come up with Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan scheme to help the migrant and poor people.

AIIMS sets up Task Force to develop management protocol for COVID-19

  • All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi has set up a Task Force to develop a management protocol for COVID-19. It has also constituted several committees to respond to challenges of rising number of the infections which may emerge in the coming days.

High Level Committee chaired by Home Minister approves over Rs. 5,751 crore to eight States for calamity damage relief

  • The High Level Committee, HLC under the Chairmanship of Home Minister Amit Shah has approved additional Central assistance of over 5 thousand 7 hundred 51 crore rupees under National Disaster Response Fund, NDRF to eight States, which were affected by floods, landslides, cyclone, drought last year

DST launches nationwide exercise to map & boost Covid19 solutions with R&D, seed & scale up support

  • Rising to the National call to combat the public health crisis arising out of Covid19 pandemic, the Department of Science & Technology (DST) is synergising and consolidating various activities carried out by the Ministry of S&T and its network of autonomous institutions and scientific bodies across the country.

Govt forms 11 empowered groups to suggest measures to healthcare, minimise hardships to people during lockdown

  • Government has constituted 11 different Empowered groups to suggest measures to ramp up healthcare, put the economy back on track and reduce the misery of people as quickly as possible post 21-day lockdown imposed to contain the Coronavirus pandemic.

Modi govt launches PM CARES Fund, Donate to help India fight Covid-19

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the creation of an assistance and emergency situation relief fund where people can contribute and help in the government’s fight against coronavirus.
  • The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund will go a long way in creating a healthier India, he stated.

24×7 National Teleconsultation Centre to answer COVID-19 related queries

  • COVID-19, National Teleconsultation Centre has been launched by the Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan
  • A single IVRS number 91-9115444155 will connect to multiple telephone lines established in the Centre established in AIIMS, New Delhi.

Union Labour Ministry notifies amendment in EPF Scheme to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance by EPF members in the event of outbreak of pandemic

  • The notification permits withdrawal of upto the amount of basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or upto 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, in the event of outbreak of epidemic or pandemic.

Northern Railway makes first prototype of hospital isolation coach

  • The Northern Railway has successfully made the first prototype of hospital isolation coach for COVID-19 patients.
  • After clearance when the prototype will be finalized, 10 railway coaches per week will be converted into isolation wards for Covid-19 patients by each Zonal Railway and the same shall be placed all across India to fight against COVID -19.

Implementation of Stamp Act changes deferred by 3 months till July 1

  • The Revenue Department stated the provisions of the amended Indian Stamp Act, which was to come into force from April 1, will now be effective from July 1.
  • To rationalise and harmonise the system of levying stamp duty and help curb tax evasion, the government had through Finance Act 2019 amended the Indian Stamp Act, 1899. Certain changes were to be effective from April 1, 2020.

Be updated with Daily Current affairs News

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Home Ministry

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs or Home Ministry is a ministry of the Government of India. As the interior ministry of India, it is mainly responsible for the maintenance of internal security and domestic policy.
  • Union Minister of Home Affairs : Amit Shah.
  • Ministry executive: Ajay Kumar Bhalla, IAS, Home Secretary
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Election Commission of India

  • Formed- 1950
  • Headquarters- New Delhi
  • Chief Election Commissioner – Sunil Arora

SAARC:

  • SAARC founded: 8 December 1985
  • Headquarters of SAARC: Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Member countries of SAARC: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Department of Science and Technology (DST) :

  • The Department of Science and Technology is a department within the Ministry of Science and Technology in India.
  • Headquarters location: New Delhi
  • Founded: May 1971
  • Minister of State Harsh Vardhan is head of the department,
  • Ashutosh Sharma is its present secretary.

Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC)

  • The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation is a special purpose vehicle of the Government of India that has been designed to develop new stations and redevelop existing Indian railway stations. IRSDC is a joint venture between IRCON and RLDA with a 51:49 equity shareholding ratio respectively. IRSDC was incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 on 12 April 2012.
  • Vishvesh Chaube, Chairman
  • Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, CEO

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is an Indian government ministry charged with health policy in India. It is also responsible for all government programs relating to family planning in India. The Minister of Health and Family Welfare holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers.
  • Founded: 1976
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Officeholders: Harsh Vardhan (Minister), Faggan Singh Kulaste (Minister of State)

EPFO:

  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, is an organization tasked to assist the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund a statutory body formed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
  • Founded: 4 March 1952
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Sunil Barthwal, Central Provident Fund Commissioner

CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL

SAARC Disaster Management Centre launches website for information related to COVID- 19AIR Pics

  • The SAARC Disaster Management Centre has launched a website for information related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. The website shows the number of coronavirus cases in the member states while updating the numbers regularly. The website is covid19-sdmc.org

Bangladesh contributes Dollar 1.5 million to COVID 19 Emergency fund of SAARC

  • Bangladesh announced that it will contribute Dollar 1.5 million to the proposed Corona emergency fund for the prevention and combat of COVID-19 pandemic in the SAARC region. The idea of an emergency fund to fight COVID-19 outbreak in the region was mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his video conferencing with SAARC leaders on 15th March

Online Tawajudi service introduced to help residents overseas re-enter UAE

  • In United Arab Emirates, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation introduced a new service on its website: “Tawajudi for residents“.
  • The new service is intended for residents with valid residencies and who are outside the country. This service aims to facilitate their safe return to the UAE in emergency situations.

UK confirmed as first co-chair of India-led global climate initiative

  • The UK was confirmed as the first co-chair of the Governing Council on the India-led global Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

UN launches 2 Billion dollar response plan to fight corona

  • United Nations has launched a 2 billion dollar global humanitarian response plan to fight Corona Virus in the world’s poorest countries.
  • UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres has warned that the  pandemic is threatening the entire human race and all of us must fight back.

IMF, World Bank call for suspension of debt payments by poorest nations

  • The International Monetary Fund and World Bank called for governments to put a hold on debt payments from the world’s poorest nations so they can battle the coronavirus pandemic.

WHO begins mega trial of 4 promising drugs to cure Covid-19

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated a global mega trial of the four most promising drugs that may cure the novel coronavirus. The mega trial is called Solidarity, under which the study, testing, and development of antidote against coronavirus will be made, as per the Science Magazine report.

G20 countries pledge $ 5 trillion funds in the world economy

  • To deal with the social, economic as well the financial impacts of the COVID-19, the G20 countries have all decided to put in together $ 5 trillion funds in the world economy.
  • The leaders got together for an Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit, which came close of the heels of the recent video conference PM Modi had with the SAARC leaders to discuss the pandemic

Donald Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus bill, largest ever US stimulus

  • US President Donald Trump signed into law the historic $2 trillion rescue package to help the Americans and secure the country’s economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic that has infected nearly 100,000 people across the nation.

IMF is Launching a Tracker of Policies Governments are Taking in Response to COVID-19

  • Governments around the world are taking decisive steps to limit the human and economic impact of COVID-19. Many countries have taken extraordinary monetary and fiscal policy measures .This policy tracker summarizes the key economic responses as of March 24, 2020. The tracker is not meant for comparison across members, as policy responses vary depending on the nature of the shock and country-specific circumstances.

The US announce financial assistance of 174 million US Dollars to 64 countries including 2.9 million US Dollars to India

  • The United States has announced financial assistance of 174 million US Dollars to 64 countries including 9 million US Dollars to India to help fight the Corona virus pandemic. This is in addition to the 100 million US Dollars aid announced by the US in February.

ADB to invest $100 million into NIIF’s Fund of Funds

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) will invest $100 million equivalent into the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India’s Fund of Funds. With this investment the NIIF platform has now secured $700 million in commitments. Government of India and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are the other investors in the fund.

North Macedonia Officially Joins NATO

  • North Macedonia became NATO’s newest member with the presentation of its “instrument of accession” to the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C., NATO stated in a statement from its headquarters in Brussels.

North Korea ‘successfully’ tests ‘super-large’ multiple rocket launcher

  • The two short-range projectiles fired by North Korea were a test of a ‘super-large’ multiple rocket launcher, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reports.

United Nations urges USD 2.5 trillion as coronavirus pandemic aid to developing nations

  • The United Nations (UN) called for a USD 2.5-trillion aid package to help developing countries weather the COVID-19 pandemic, including debt cancellation and a health recoveryMarshal Plan“.

Facebook pledges $100 million to support journalism amid Covid-19 pandemic

  • Facebook announced a $100 million investment to support journalism during the global coronavirus pandemic.

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SAARC:

  • The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia. Its member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • Founded: 8 December 1985, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Headquarters: Kathmandu, Nepal

Bangladesh :

  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Currency: Bangladeshi taka
  • Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina

UAE:

  • Capital: Abu Dhabi
  • Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
  • President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

UK:

  • Prime minister: Boris Johnson
  • Capital: London
  • Currency: Pound sterling

United Nations: 

  • The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.
  • Headquarters: New York, United States
  • Founded: 24 October 1945.
  • Secretary general: AntónioGuterres

World Bank:

  • Head quarters: Washington, D.C., U.S
  • President :David Malpass
  • MD and CFO : Anshula Kant
  • Chief Economist : Penny Goldberg

IMF:

  • Managing Director :KristalinaGeorgieva
  • Chief Economist :Gita Gopinath
  • Head quarters :Washington, D.C. U.S

WHO:

  • Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Head: Tedros Adhanom
  • Founded: 7 April 1948

G20 countries:

  • The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union.
  • Leader: Salman of Saudi Arabia (2020) , Founded: 26 September 1999
  • The members of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

Germany :

  • Capital: Berlin
  • Currency: euro
  • President :Frank-Walter Steinmeier
  • Chancellor :Angela Merkel

USA:

  • Capital: Washington, D.C.
  • President: Donald Trump
  • Currency :United States dollar (USD)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

  • Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines
  • President: Masatsugu Asakawa
  • Membership: 68 countries
  • Founded: 19 December 1966

NATO:

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.
  • Chairman of the NATO Military Committee: Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach, Royal Air Force
  • Supreme Allied Commander Europe: General Tod D. Wolters, United States Air Force
  • Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium

North  Korea :

  • Capital: Pyongyang
  • Supreme leader: Kim Jong-un
  • Currency: North Korean won

United Nations Conference on Trade, Investment and Development (UNCTAD)

  • Headquarters location: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Head: Mukhisa Kituyi
  • Founded: 30 December 1964

 Facebook:

  • CEO: Mark Zuckerberg
  • Headquarters: Menlo Park, California, United States

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE

SBI opens emergency credit line to meet any liquidity mismatch for its borrowers

  • Amid businesses getting affected due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the country’s largest lender State Bank of India has opened an emergency credit line to meet any liquidity mismatch for its borrowers.
  • The additional liquidity facility Covid-19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL), will provide funds up to 200 crore rupees and will be available till June 30, SBI stated in a circular.

KVB launches prepaid wallet card in Karur

  • KarurVysya Bank has launched ‘Enkasu’, a pre-paid card in Karur. In response to the digital initiative of Government of India, the bank undertook ‘Quit Cash Movement’ in Karur – a movement to reduce the usage of cash in the district of Karur.

Centre rolls back NRI tax, restricts levy only on their income generated in India

  • The government has decided to restrict taxation only to the income generated by them from businesses in India, leaving their global income out of any levy. Moreover, taxes would need to be paid only on income of above Rs 15 lakhs.

UBS cuts India’s FY21 real GDP growth forecast to 4 per cent

  • The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdowns led a foreign brokerage to sharply cut India’s growth forecast for the next financial year starting April 1, to 4 per cent from the 1 per cent estimated earlier.
  • In a note, UBS Securities stated it expects India to clock a 8 per cent growth in FY20.

RBI extends priority sector classification for bank loans to NBFCs to FY21

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to extend priority sector classification for bank loans to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) for on-lending for FY 2020-21.
  • As per the August 2019 circular, bank credit to registered NBFCs (other than microfinance institutions) for on-lending was eligible for classification as priority sector up to March 31, 2020

IRDAI sets up panel on governance at insurers

  • The country’s insurance regulator has set up a 16-member committee to find ways to improve corporate governance systems of insurers, primarily on making key functions such as risk management and internal audits independent of each other
  • The committee will be headed by PravinKutumbe, member-finance and investment at IRDAI and has six other members from the insurance regulator besides members from the Reserve Bank of India and the Securities and Exchange Board of India along with other industry participants.

Last date for filing income tax return for FY 2018-19 extended till June 30; Debit card holders allowed to withdraw money from ATM of any bank without charges

  • The Minister announced that last date for filing of income tax return for the financial year 2018-19 has been extended till 30th June of this year.  delayed deposit of TDS will attract nine per cent interest.
  • Sitharaman stated, PAN-Aadhar linking and Vivad Se Vishwas scheme have also been extended till 30th June. She clarified that no additional payment of 10 per cent would be levied on the people who wants to take benefit of this scheme.

SBI commits 0.25% of FY20 annual profit to help fight COVID-19

  • The country’s biggest lender State Bank of India stated it will provide 25 per cent of its annual profit for 2019-20 to fight the coronavirus outbreak in India.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code threshold raised to Rs 1 crore to protect MSMEs: Finance Minister

It has declared that the minimum threshold for defaults under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) will be raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore

Jana SFB launches UPI QR-based loan instalment payment facility

  • Jana Small Finance Bank, along with National Payment Corporation of India, has launched a UPI QR-based loan instalment payment facility for its customers. The move comes at a time when banks are advising their customers to operate maximum banking services from the safe confines of their home.

Indian Bank announces special emergency loan schemes to address lockdown

  • Indian Bank announced five special emergency loan schemes for customs to cushion effect of economic slump and lockdown. It will be the second bank after State Bank of India (SBI) to come out with such schemes.
  • State-run Indian Bank has announced an additional funding facility for large corporates (MSME), retail customers, pensioners and self-help groups (SHGs) in the wake of COVID 19.

Centre approves Rs 1,340 crore to recapitalise Regional Rural Banks for next financial year

  • The Central government approved Rs 1,340 crore recapitalisation plan to help the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) meet regulatory capital requirements for the next financial year, so that they continue to provide credit to farmers, small scale industries, rural artisans and entrepreneurs hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Canara Bank offers credit support to MSMEs, corporates, agri, business entities & retail borrowers to tide over Covid-19

  • Public sector Canara Bank has launched a new loan scheme ― Canara Credit Support ― with immediate effect to support its customers to tide over the liquidity/ cash flow mismatches in the wake of disruption in business operations due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

RBI doubles the variable rate repo auction amount to Rs 50,000 cr

  • The Reserve Bank has doubled the amount of the 12-day variable rate term repo auction scheduled to Rs50,000 crore.
  • This auction was originally scheduled on March 30. But the RBI decided to advance it to March 26. The auction was advanced in view of the rapidly evolving financial conditions and taking into account the impact of disruptions caused by COVID-19.

RBI cuts repo rate by 75 basis points

  • To help the economy fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) slashed the repo rate by 75 basis points to 40 per cent from 5.15 per cent.
  • Simultaneously, the reverse repo rate has been been cut sharply by 90 basis points to 4 per cent from 90 per cent, to ensure that banks don’t passively park funds with RBI and start lending to the productive sectors of the economy.

RBI offers Rs 11,722 cr to banks through repoauction

  • The Reserve Bank of India has offered Rs 11,772 crore to banks through a 12-day variable rate repo auction. Before the auction, the RBI enhanced the amount of auction to Rs 50,000 crore from Rs 25,000 crore, announced earlier.

Andhra Bank opens Covid-19 emergency credit line

  • Andhra Bank has opened an emergency credit line by launching a new short-term loan facility. The Covid-19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL) is being offered to agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and corporates to meet temporary liquidity mismatches.

Loans and EMIs to be cheaper as SBI to cut repo rate by 75 basis points

  • State Bank of India, SBI stated that it has decided to pass on the entire 75 basis points repo rate cut announced by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • The new rates, to be effective from 1st of April, will be applicable for its borrowers availing loans based on External Benchmark-linked lending rate, EBR and Repo-Linked Lending Rate, RLLR.

Merger of 10 state-run banks into 4 to come into force from April 1: RBI

  • Reserve Bank of India has stated that the merger of 10 state-run banks into four will come into force from April 1. The branches of merging banks will operate as of the banks in which these have been amalgamated.

IDBI Bank offers uniform three-month moratorium to all borrowers

  • IDBI Bank has stated it will offer a uniform three-month moratorium on standard term loan repayments to all its borrowers.
  • Within 24 hours of an RBI announcement in this regard, the bank started sending out SMSes to borrowers informing them that it is “pleased to grant three moratorium on three instalments of your loan account up to May 31, 2020.”

ICICI Lombard, BharatPe launch COVID-19 insurance cover for shopkeepers

  • With shops selling essential goods and medicines open during the national lockdown, BharatPe and ICICI Lombard General Insurance have launched a special insurance scheme for shopkeepers.
  • This policy on a diagnosis of Covid-19 (+ve) will pay 100 per cent of the sum insured, irrespective of hospitalisation expenses, ICICI Lombard stated in a statement.

SBI raises $100 million via green bonds

  • The country’s largest lender State Bank of India stated it has raised USD 100 million green bonds, the first such bond by any state-owned bank in this fiscal. The bonds were priced at 3M Libor + 80 basis points. The lender has already two climate bond initiative certified green bonds issuances, aggregating USD 700 million.

HDFC Mutual Fund subsidiary buys 5.45 per cent SpiceJet stake from open market

  • At a time when the rating agencies and investors are skeptical about the survival of many airlines, HDFC Trustee Company Limited, a subsidiary of HDFC Mutual Fund, has bought 3.4 crore shares of domestic carrier SpiceJet from the open market, which accounts for 45 per cent stake in the private airline.

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SBI:

  • Chairperson: Rajnish Kumar
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Tagline:Pure banking, nothing else” “With you- all the way” “A bank of the common man” “The banker to every indian”

Karurvysya bank:

  • Founded :1916
  • Head quarters : karur, tamilnadu
  • N. S. Srinath (Chairman)
  • P. R. Seshadri (MD & CEO)
  • Tagline : smart way to banking

Andhra bank :

  • Headquarters: Hyderabad
  • CEO: J Packirisamy
  • Tagline :Much more to do with You in focus

UBS:

  • UBS Group AG is a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company founded and based in Switzerland. Co-headquartered in the cities of Zürich and Basel, it maintains a presence in all major financial centers as the largest Swiss banking institution in the world.
  • CEO: Sergio Ermotti
  • Headquarters: Zürich, Switzerland

Reserve Bank of India (RBI):

  • Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Formation– 1 April 1935
  • Governor– Shaktikanta Das
  • Deputy Governors– 3 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra)

IRDAI:

  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India is an autonomous, statutory body tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
  • Founded: 1999
  • Headquarters: Hyderabad
  • Chairperson: Subhash Chandra Khuntia

Jana Small Finance Bank

  • Jana Small Finance Bank is a small finance bank that commenced operations on March 28, 2018. The Reserve Bank of India issued a licence to the bank under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
  • Headquarters location: Bengaluru
  • Founded: 2006
  • Ceo: Ajay Kanwal

Indian bank:

  • Headquarters: Chennai
  • CEO: Padmaja Chunduru
  • Tagline :Your Own Bank

RRBs:

  • Regional Rural Banks were established under the provisions of an Ordinance passed on 26 September 1975 and the RRB Act 1976 to provide sufficient banking and credit facility for agriculture and other rural sectors.As a result, Five Regional Rural Banks were set up on 2 October 1975,Gandhi Jayanti. These were set up on the recommendations of The narshimham committee Working Group

Canara Bank:

  • CEO: Lingam VenkatPrabhakar
  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • Founded: 1 July 1906
  • Tagline :Together We Can

IDBI:

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • CEO: Rakesh Sharma
  • Banking for All,”Aao sochein Bada”

Bharatpe:

  • BharatPe is a QR code-based payment app for offline retailers and businesses. It allows merchants to accept UPI payments for ‘FREE’ through the BharatPe QR. Through the app, merchants can sign up instantly and start receiving the funds immediately in their bank account.
  • Owened by: NPCI

Spicejet :

  • CEO: Ajay Singh
  • Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Google launches dedicated Covid-19 search portal in India

  • Google has launched its dedicated search portal with Covid-19 related information including safety tips, important information and relevant contacts in India.

S&P estimates cost of Covid-19 for Asia-Pacific, including India, at $620 billion

  • With the Covid-19 pandemic spreading rapidly, S&P Global Ratings updated its estimate of economic loss to $620 billion for the Asia-Pacific region, which includes India. It has already lowered growth projection for India and other countries.

NBFCs seek moratorium on EMIs for at least 3 months

  • The Finance Industry Development Council (FIDC) has requested the Reserve Bank of India and the Government to announce a moratorium on EMI (equated monthly instalment) payment for at least a three months; allow restructuring of accounts that may become delinquent; and extend the period for recognition of non-performing assets (NPAs) from the current three months to six months past the due date.

In Mumbai, Reliance Industries sets up India’s first Covid-19 dedicated hospital

  • Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has set up India’s first COVID-19 dedicated hospital in Mumbai that includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross-contamination and helps control infection.
  • Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has set up a dedicated 100 bedded COVID-19 centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai for patients who test positive for COVID-19

Pune firm gets approval for first ‘Made in India’ Covid-19 testing kit

  • A Pune-based company Mylabs has received commercial approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for its Covid-19 test kit.

Microsoft, US CDC tie-up to create ‘Clara’, a COVID-19 self-screening bot

  • The S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has introduced an AI bot called ‘Clara’ to help people assess potential symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The CDC has partnered up with CDC Foundation and Microsoft Azure’s Healthcare Bot service to create Clara, the “coronavirus self-checker.” the bot is currently only available in the US on the CDC website.

ITC sets up Rs 150 crore Covid Contingency Fund

  • ITC is setting up a Contingency Fund of Rs 150 crore to address and manage the challenges arising out of the Covid-19 epidemic. This fund will be utilised primarily to provide relief to the vulnerable and most needy sections of society who have been harshly impacted by the pandemic and have faced significant disruption in their livelihoods

CRISIL, ICRA lower GDP’s growth forecast for FY21

  • Two domestic research agencies, CRISIL and ICRA, sharply lowered their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth forecast for FY21. GDP growth forecast for FY21 to 5 per cent from 5.2 per cent expected earlier. The annual GDP growth to ease from 4.4 per cent in FY20 to 4.2 per cent in FY21.

Moody’s slashes India GDP growth in 2020 to 2.5%

  • The estimate for 2020 compares to 5 per cent economic growth in 2019
  • Moody’s Investors Service slashed its estimate of India’s GDP growth during 2020 calendar year to 5 per cent, from an earlier estimate of 5.3 per cent and stated the coronavirus pandemic will cause unprecedented shock to the global economy.

SIDBI to provide loans up to Rs 50 lakh to MSEs manufacturing medical supplies to fight COVID-19

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) stated it will provide loans up to Rs 50 lakh to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) that are manufacturing medical supplies for fighting the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Alphabet to donate $800 mn in response to coronavirus outbreak

  • Alphabet Inc will donate more than $800 million (645 million pounds) in funds towards producing medical supplies used to fight COVID-19, and in ad credits to government and health organizations and businesses, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai stated

Abbott launches 5-minute Covid-19 test for use almost anywhere

  • Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as 5 minutes, and is so small and portable, it can be used in almost any health-care setting.

Nomura lowers 2020 GDP growth forecast to -0.5%

  • With nearly 75 per cent of the Indian economy in lockdown, Nomura has lowered 2020 GDP growth forecast to –5 per cent YoY from 4.5 per cent. We expect growth to slide from 4.7 per cent YoY in Q4CY19 to 3.1 per cent in Q1CY20 and fall to -6.1 per cent in Q2CY20, stated SonalVarma, MD and chief India economist at Nomura.

Ind-Ra cuts economic growth forecast for India to 3.6 pc

  • Domestic credit rating agency India Ratings (Ind-Ra) cut its FY21 growth forecast to 6 per cent amid coronavirus-related worries.

Fitch Solutions cuts India GDP growth forecast to 4.6 per cent for FY21

  • At Fitch Solutions, are revising India’s FY2020/21 (April-March) real GDP growth forecast to 6 per cent, from 5.4 per cent previously, which reflects our view for a slowdown from our FY2019/20’s estimate of 4.9 per cent,” the rating agency stated.

STATIC GK

SIDBI:

  • Headquarters location: Lucknow
  • Founded: 2 April 1990
  • Agency executive: : Mohammad Mustafa, (Chairman and Managing Director)

Alphabet:

  • Alphabet Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mountain View, California. It was created through a restructuring of Google on October 2, 2015, and became the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries
  • CEO: Sundar Pichai

Abbott

  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • CEO: Miles D. White

CRISIL:

  • CEO: Ashu Suyash
  • Headquarters: Mumbai

ICRA:

  • Headquarters: India
  • CEO: Naresh Takkar

ITC:

  • Founded: 1975
  • Headquarters: New Delhi, India
  • Gurdeep Singh (Chairman & MD)

Google :

  • CEO: Sundar Pichai
  • Founded: 4 September 1998
  • Parent organization: Alphabet Inc
  • Headquarters: California, United States

Standard  & poor’s

  • Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC is an American financial services company. It is a division of S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks, bonds, and commodities.
  • Headquarters: New York, United States
  • Founder: Henry Varnum Poor
  • Founded: 1860

RIL

  • CEO-Mukesh Ambani
  • Founded- 1973, Maharashtra

Microsoft Corporation

  • CEO- SatyaNadella
  • Founders- Bill Gates, Paul Allen

Nomura:

  • CEO: Koji Nagai
  • Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Fitch ratings:

  • Headquarters: New York City, U.S.
  • Paul Taylor, CEO of Fitch Group

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES

UP govt announces one month free food grains to poor; Rs 1,000 as compensation to daily wagers

  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced to provide one month free food grains to poor people along with Rs 1,000 as compensation to daily wage workers who have been affected due to the outbreak of deadly virus.

UP govt seeks Central Grant of Rs. 100 cr for Lucknow University & Kashi Vidyapeeth

  • The Uttar Pradesh Government has sought a Central Grant of 100 crore rupees for Lucknow University and Kashi Vidyapeeth

Rs 100-cr scheme announced to make Delhi tourism brand

  • The Delhi government announced aRs 100-crore scheme to introduce the national capital as a tourism brand to domestic and foreign tourists and create news jobs in the sector.

Scheme for triggering behavioral change launched by Delhi govt

  • The Arvind Kejriwal government announced a Rs 20 crore-scheme to trigger behavioral change and make Delhi safer for women.
  • The government also proposed “Mukhyamantri Divyangjan Punravas Sewa Yojana”, with an outlay of Rs 10 crore, to provide immediate treatment in cases of accident, stroke or any other ailment, and accident causing permanent or partial disabilities.

38th district to be formed in Tamil Nadu

  • In Tamil Nadu, a new district is going to be formed after bifurcating the Nagappattinam district.
  • The new district will be headquartered at Mayiladuthurai, in the heart of the Delta region.
  • It would be the 38th district in the state

 Recent Schemes Launched by Various States in India for COVID 19

  • Goa became first Indian state to launch a digital self-assessment test for COVID-19 to help people to identify whether they are at risk of being infected by novel coronavirus without having to physically visit a healthcare facility. The self-assessment tool called Test Yourself Goa.

Relief Packages for CORONA outbreak from different States

  • Indore, India’s cleanest city, has opted to deploy drones to sprinkle chemicals in a bid to sanitise it against the coronavirus outbreak.
  • The Indore Municipal Corporation has hired two drones from a private company, making it perhaps the first city in India to attempt to fight off the virus scare this way.

Bengal releases helpline number for children suffering from stress amid lockdown

  • Amid concerns that children might suffer from depression due to the ongoing lockdown, the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) has launched a helpline number through which psychiatrists and paediatricians would provide consultation to children for free.

Mumbai Metro Line-III gets Rs 2,480 crore loan from JICA

  • Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed an agreement with the central government to provide an official development assistance (ODA) loan of 39,928 million yen (around Rs 2,480 crore) for Mumbai Metro Line-III.

Rajasthan government hikes dearness allowance for employees, pensioners to 17 per cent

  • The Rajasthan government increased the dearness allowance for its employees to 17 per cent from the existing 12 per cent. The revised allowance will be effective from July 1, 2019, according to an order of the finance department.

Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh hospital tests serving robot

  • The Sawai Man Singh (SMS)Government Hospital in Jaipur is conducting a series of trials on a humanoid robot to check if could be pressed into service for delivering medicines and food to the COVID-19patients admitted there, helping to keep the doctors and nursing staff at a safe distance to protect them against the dreaded coronavirus

Uttar Pradesh govt to transfer Rs 611 crore in accounts of 27.15 lakh MNREGA labourers  

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will transfer 611 crore rupees in the accounts of 15 lakh MNREGA labourers. The amount will be transferred electronically to help the labourers in the situation of Lock down due to Corona Virus.

UP CM constitutes ‘Team-11’ to beat corona

  • UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set up “Team-11” comprising of as many inter-departmental committees to fight the coronavirus spread and its multi-lateral fallouts on multiple fronts ranging from ensuring medicare to victims to the supply of essentials and tackle long marches of jobless workers back home

CII Karnataka sets up task force to work with state government

  • A high-level delegation of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Karnataka, led by Chairman Sandeep Singh and Vice Chairman Ramesh Ramudarai, met Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, TM Vijay Bhaskar, and assured the support of the industry to the government in its fight against the spread of Covid-19 in the state.

Rajasthan Police start giving permit on app for movement during lockdown

  • Rajasthan police launched a mobile app to enable individuals and company employees in the state take permission for venturing out in necessary conditions.

Assam govt decides to provide Rs 1000 each to 2.78 Lakh construction workers; MP Govt transfers Rs 88 cr to accounts of registered construction workers

  • The Assam government has decided to provide 1 thousand rupees each to 2.78 lakh construction workers who had to suffer due to lockdown.

‘Modi Kitchen’ begins in Kovai, Tamil Nadu

  • A ‘Modi Kitchen’ with a capacity to serve 500 meals every day has started functioning in Kovai (Coimbatore). The kitchen, based near Cross Cut road, one of the main shopping areas of the city, has made arrangements to deliver food parcels within a radius of 10 kms too.

Himachal Pradesh govt to launch Active Case Finding Campaign for COVID 19 patients

  • Himachal Pradesh government will launch Active Case Finding Campaign for COVID 19 patients. Under this campaign, health workers would provide information regarding symptoms of Covid-19 to the people at their doorsteps.

West Bengal Govt extends insurance coverage of Care givers to COVID-19 patients to Rs 10 lakh

  • The West Bengal Government has decided to extend insurance coverage of Care givers to COVID-19 patients from 5 lakh rupees to 10 lakh rupees. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced this during an administrative review meeting with DMs and SPs through video Conferencing from Secretariat

Karnataka develops app to track home quarantined persons

  • The Karnataka government has devised a GPS coordinate-based mechanism that tracks persons under order of home quarantine and has instructed them to send selfies or photos to the monitoring team to ensure they are following the isolation norms.

STATIC GK

UP

  • Capital- Lucknow
  • Chief Minister-Yogi Adityanath
  • Governor-Anandiben Patel

Delhi

  • Chief Minister- Arvind Kejriwal
  • Governor- Anil Baijal

TN

  • Capital- Chennai
  • CM- Edappadi K Palanisamy
  • Governor- Banwarilal Purohit

West  Bengal:

  • Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar
  • Capital: Kolkata
  • Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

Rajasthan:

  • Governor: Kalraj Mishra
  • Capital: Jaipur
  • Chief minister: Ashok Gehlot

Karnataka:

  • Chief minister: B. S. Yediyurappa
  • Governor: Vajubhai Vala
  • Capital : Bengaluru

Assam

  • Capital- Dispur
  • CM- SarbanandaSonowal
  • Governor- JagdishMukhi

MP

  • Capital- Bhopal
  • CM- Shivraj Singh Chouhan
  • Governor- LaljiTandon

Himachal Pradesh:

  • Governor: Bandaru Dattatreya
  • Chief minister: Jai Ram Thakur
  • Capitals: Shimla (Summer), Dharamshala (Winter)

CURRENT AFFAIRS: ACQUISITION AND MERGERS
Cognizant acquires US-based digital marketing firm

  • Cognizant Technology Solutions announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Lev, a privately-held, digital marketing consultancy in the US.

NTPC concludes acquisition of govt’s stake in THDC, NEEPCO at Rs 11,500 cr

  • Power generating firm NTPC concluded the acquisition of Centre’s entire stake in two hydropower generating firms, THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO), at Rs 11,500 crore

Chennai Port acquires majority stake in Kamarajar Port

  • Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) acquired 67% stake of its subsidiary Kamarajar Port Ltd. (KPL) for ₹2,383 crore.
  • The KPL was promoted by the Central government holding about 67 per cent stake and Chennai Port holding the balance about 33 per cent

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 NTPC:

  • NTPC Limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities. It is a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and is promoted by the Government of India.
  • The headquarters of the company is situated at New Delhi.
  • Gurdeep Singh (Chairman & MD)

Chennai Port Trust

  • Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • Chairman– P. Raveendran

 Kamarajar Port Ltd (Ennore Port)

  • Headquarters– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • CMD– Sunil Paliwal

Cognizant :

  • CEO: Brian Humphries
  • Headquarters: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States

CURRENT AFFAIRS: FESTIVALS

Ugadi 2020

  • Ugadi marks the New Year as per Hindu calendar in parts of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. It falls in the month of Chaitra (March or April) as per the Gregorian calendar. The date usually coincides with GudiPadwa and Navreh — the Maharashtrian and Kashmiri New Year respectively.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION

Shivraj Singh Chouhan Takes Oath as MP CM for the Fourth Time

  • Senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan took oath as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for the fourth time at a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan in The 61-year-old BJP leader was sworn in by Governor Lalji Tandon

Govt constitutes high level committee of medical experts for prevention & control of COVID-19

  • The government has constituted a high level technical committee of Public Health Experts for COVID-19  to guide the prevention and control activities in the country.
  • The 21 member committee will be headed by NITI Aayog member Dr V K Paul. Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and Director General Indian Council of Medical Research are the Co-Chair.

Priyanka Chopra collaborates with WHO to spread awareness over COVID-19

  • Actor Priyanka Chopra urged followers to rely on authentic sources of information about coronavirus and arranged an Instagram live with top personnel of the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness about the pandemic.

Sumant Kathpalia takes over as IndusInd Bank MD and CEO

  • Private sector lender IndusInd Bank has stated that newly-appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sumant Kathpalia will take charge for three years.
  • He will succeed Romesh Sobti whose tenure ended a day earlier.

Walmart appoints Sameer Aggarwal as CEO for India

  • Walmart India stated it has elevated Sameer Aggarwal to the position of Chief Executive Officer, Best Price Stores, effective April 1.

Mahindra Logistics appoints V S Parthasarathy as Chairman

  • Parthasarathy is currently the Group CFO and Group CIO of Mahindra & Mahindra and will continue till March 31

IRS officers KM Prasad and SK Gupta appointed CBDT board members

  • The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment two Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers as members of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • Krishan Mohan Prasad and IRS officer Satish Kumar Gupta were appointed as CBDT members.

Yes Bank Board Of Directors Reconstituted; Administrator Prashant Kumar Named As MD & CEO

  • Prashant Kumar, the RBI-appointed administrator of the bank has been named as the new Managing Director and CEO of Yes Bank. Apart from R Gandhi and Ananth Gopalakrishnan who were appointed by the RBI, other members on the Board of Directors include Sunil Mehta as non-executive Chairman and Mahesh Krishnamurti and Atul Bhedaas non-executive Directors.
  • Meanwhile, Partha Sengupta and Swaminathan Janakiraman have been nominated by the State Bank of India on the Board of Directors

Shilpa Shetty Kundra partners with Fit India

  • Fit India, has partnered with Bollywood actor and fitness icon Shilpa Shetty Kundra to provide her premium 21-Day Weight Loss Programme, including diet tips, free of cost on the Shilpa Shetty App (SS App), during the 21-day lockdown owing to Covid-19.

BP Kanungo reappointed as RBI’s deputy governor

  • BP Kanungo was reappointed as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India.
  • His reappointment came after the Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved Kanungo’s term extension for a period of one year.

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YES Bank

  • Headquarters- Mumbai
  • CEO- Prashant Kumar
  • Tagline- Experience our Expertise.

WHO

  • Head Quarters- Geneva, Switzerland
  • Director General- Dr. TedrosAdhanom

 Indusind Bank:

  • CEO: SumantKathpalia
  • Headquarters: Pune
  • Tagline :We Make You Feel Richer

Walmart :

  • CEO: Doug McMillon
  • Founder: Sam Walton
  • headquartered Bentonville, Arkansas, USA

 Mahindra & Mahindra

  • CEO: Anand Mahindra
  • Headquarters: Mumbai

CBDT

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the apex policy-making body of the Direct Tax department. It functions under the Department of Revenue of the Ministry of Finance.
  • Chairperson– Pramod Chandra Mody

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

2020 Abel Prize to Furstenberg and Margulis

  • The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2020 toHillel Furstenberg, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel​ and Gregory Margulis, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA, “for pioneering the use of methods from probability and dynamics in group theory, number theory and combinatorics

Novelist Ruchika Tomar Wins 2020 Pen/Hemingway Award For Her Debut Novel ‘A Prayer For Travelers’

  • Critically-acclaimed debut novelist Ruchika Tomar is the winner of the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, for A Prayer for Travelers (Riverhead).

IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 goes to Zoya Akhtar for her Outstanding Contribution to World Film Tourism

  • 8th India International Film Tourism Conclave (IIFTC) honored the cult filmmaker – Zoya Akhtar with IIFTC Tourism Impact Award 2020 for her outstanding contribution to the world tourism through her cinema.

Books authored by Mirza Waheed and Santanu Das win The Hindu Prize 2019

  • The winners of The Hindu Prize for Fiction and Non-fiction for 2019 have been announced.
  • Tell Her Everything by Mirza Waheed and India, Empire, and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs by Santanu Das have been awarded the literary prize, in the fiction and non-fiction categories, respectively.

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Abel Prize

  • The Abel Prize is a Norwegian prize awarded annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. It is named after Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel and directly modeled after the Nobel Prizes. It comes with a monetary award of 7.5 million Norwegian Kroner.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE

Saudi king to chair G20 video summit on coronavirus

  • Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will chair an emergency virtual summit of G20 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, to advance the coordinated response to the novel corona virus pandemic that has claimed nearly 19,000 lives and upended life and businesses across the globe.

STATIC GK

Saudi Arabia

  • Capital- Riyadh
  • Currency- Saudi riyal

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPS AND PORTALS

ITU launches Global Network Resiliency Platform

  • The International Telecommunications Union, (ITU) is launching a “Global Network Resiliency Platform” to help protect telecoms networks during the COVID-19 crisis.

Government of India launches coronavirus tracking app Corona Kavach

  • The Government of India has launched a coronavirus risk-tracking app called ‘Corona Kavach.’ Jointly developed by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the app uses a person’s location to assess whether they are in the high risk geographical zone or not. The app is now available for download in beta  for Android phones on the Google Play Store.

IIT Bombay develops two apps to track violations by those in quarantine

  • IIT-Bombay has come up with two mobile applications that can track violations by people supposed to be in quarantine.
  • Developed by the Computer Science and Engineering department, the apps are called “Corontine” and “Safe”.

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ITU

  • Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founded-17 May 1865
  • Head- Houlin Zhao

MEITY

  • Minister of Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology- Ravi Shankar Prasad
  • Constituency- Patna Sahib, Bihar.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

  • Minister of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Sciences- Harsh Vardhan
  • Constituency- Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING

Singapore tops economic freedom index; India at 120th place

  • Singapore overtook Hong Kong as the world’s freest economy for the first time since 1995 in the latest Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Savita Chhabra, Chairperson, HRIPL authors her debut book ‘Legacy Of Learning’

  • Savita Chhabra, Chairperson, HRIPL has launched her debut book, called ‘Legacy of Learning’; which offers simplistic and relatable interpretations of the Bhagavad Gita in an attempt to connect the youth of India to the age-old, but relevant scriptures.

National Book Trust of MHRD Launches #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks initiative

  • National Book Trust of HRD Ministry, in its efforts to encourage people to read books while at home, is providing its select and best-selling titles for FREE Download as part of its initiative of #StayHomeIndiaWithBooks!. In the wake of Preventive Measures of the Government of India to contain the spread of Covid-19, and to encourage people to #StayIn and #StayHome

National Book Trust, India of MHRD to launch ‘Corona Studies Series’ books

  • National Book Trust, India,the national body for book publishing and book promotion under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, is launching a publishing series titled ‘Corona Studies Series’ to document and to provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs.

Book “The Death of Jesus” by Nobel laureate J M Coetzee

  • The book titled “The Death of Jesus” authored by Nobel laureate J M Coetzee has been released. It is the third book of the series.
  • The earlier two book were, “The Childhood of Jesus”, published in 2014 and The Schooldays of Jesus, in 2018.

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National Book Trust

  • Headquarters -New Delhi President- Govind prasad sharma

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

North Korea test fires 2 ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan

  • North Korea fired two projectiles that appeared to be short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.

Researchers in United States discover communication network in plants

  • Researchers in the United States have discovered a communication network in plants that helps them respond to a hormone involved in pest resistance. This may help develop crops that can withstand insect attacks

Scientists discover prehistoric wonder chicken

  • The oldest fossil of a modern bird yet found, dating from the age of dinosaurs, has been identified by an international team of palaeontologists.
  • The spectacular fossil, affectionately nicknamed the ‘Wonder chicken’, includes a nearly complete skull, hidden inside nondescript pieces of rock, and dates from less than one million years before the asteroid impact which eliminated all large dinosaurs.

Fins of prehistoric fish reveal origins of the human hand

  • The researchers examined a remarkably complete fossil of a fish called Elpistostegewatsoni that represents a pivotal stage in a landmark event in the history of life on Earth – the transition of fish to land vertebrates.

IIT Delhi makes anti-infection fabric to curb hospital infections

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here has developed an “infection-proof fabric” to be used at hospitals to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The development by “Fabiosys Innovations“, a start-up incubated at IIT-Delhi, comes at a time when the world is dealing with the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

ULA’s Atlas 5 launches AEHF-6 communications satellite in its first mission for U.S. Space Force

  • A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying a $1.4 billion Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force.

Facebook launches messenger chatbot to share authentic information on Covid-19

  • Social media firm Facebook stated it has launched a Messenger Chatbot to help people access authentic information about Covid-19 as well as bust myths and fake news around it. Messenger is Facebook’s direct messaging platform.

IIT Gandhinagar launches Project ‘Isaac’ to engage students in creative projects during Corona lockdown

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN) has launched Project Isaac to engage its students in creative projects to enhance their critical skills while they are confined to their homes because of Corona virus. Project Isaac is a model for academic institutions worldwide to explore ways to engage students in the midst of the pandemic.

IIT Guwahati students develop drone to sanitise large areas

  • A group of students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, has developed a drone with an automated sprayer to sanitise large areas including roads, parks and footpaths, to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE

US, UAE troops launch major exercise Native Fury

  • US Marines and UAE forces conducted the biennial exercise, named Native Fury at Abu Dhabi.
  • The exercise saw forces seize a sprawling model Mideast city, a drill conducted amid tensions with Iran and despite the new corona virus pandemic.

In a first, India, France conduct joint patrols from Reunion Island

  • India and France, For the first time, have conducted joint patrols from the Reunion Island, signalling New Delhi’s intent to engage with friendly foreign partners in expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean, focusing on the stretch between the East African coastline and the Malacca straits.

Indian Army launches ‘Operation Namaste’ to help govt fight COVID-19

  • Army Chief General MM Naravane launched ‘Operation Namaste’ to combat the spread of COVID-19

DRDO Develops Body Suit To Protect Doctors From COVID-19

  • A body suit developed by India’s premier research and development organisation DRDO can protect doctors and other health workers attending on Covid-19 patients.

STATIC GK

Indian Army:

  • Founded: 1 April 1895, India
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  • Commander-in-Chief: President Ram NathKovind
  • Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) :General Manoj MukundNaravane

 France

  • Capital– Paris
  • Currency- Euro
  • Prime Minister -Edouard Philippe
  • President- Emmanuel Macron

North Korea

  • Capital- Pyongyang
  • Currency- North Korean won
  • Prime Minister- Kim Jong-un

 Defence Research and Development Organisation

  • Headquarters -New Delhi
  • Founded- 1958
  • Chairman- Dr G. Satheesh Reddy

CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS

Canada becomes first country to withdraw from 2020 Tokyo Olympic

  • The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been thrown into further doubt after Canada became the first major country to withdraw. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has admitted for the first time that the games could be postponed.

Sunil Chhetri chosen for FIFA campaign against COVID-19

  • India football captain Sunil Chhetri has been picked by FIFA along with 28 past and present stars for world governing body’s awareness campaign to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • FIFA and the World Health Organization (WHO) have teamed up to combat the coronavirus by launching a new awareness campaign led by world-renowned footballers, who are calling on all people around the world to follow five key steps to stop the spread of the disease

Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 PTI

  • Japan’s Prime Minister and the head of the International Olympic Committee Shinzo Abe agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Games by a year in an extraordinary move, unprecedented in peacetime, as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic

Indian shot putter Navin Chikara suspended for four years for flunking dope test

  • The integrity unit of the global athletics body has suspended Indian shot putter Navin Chikara for four years for failing an out-of-competition dope test in 2018.

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International Olympic Committee:

  • President: Thomas Bach
  • Honorary President: Jacques Rogge
  • Director General: Christophe De Kepper
  • Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland

 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF):

  • Headquarters: Monaco
  • President: Sebastian Coe
  • Founded: 17 July 1912, Stockholm, Sweden

CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY

Legendary Country Singer Kenny Rogers Passes Away

  • Noted American singer-songwriter and Country music icon, Kenny Rogers, has passed away. He was 81. Rogers was a three-time Grammy winner, six-time Country Music Awards winner and a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz passes away

  • Former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz has passed away after contracting coronavirus

Noted Tamil screen writer, director and actor Visu passes away

  • Noted Tamil screen writer, director and actor Visu, who was battling kideney related ailment, died.

Former India international footballer Abdul Latif passes away

  • One of the finest footballers of the country and a widely respected coach Abdul Latif passed away.
  • Latif was a member of India’s medal winning football team of Bangkok Asian Games in 1970.
  • He won the bronze medal in the 1970 Bangkok Asian Games.

Veteran Hindi film actress Nimmi passes away

  • Nimmi, the star of 1950s and ’60s Hindi movies such as ‘Aan’, ‘Barsaat’ and ‘Deedar’, died after prolonged illness. She was 88.

Renowned chef Floyd Cardoz passes away

  • Renowned chef Floyd Cardoz, who ran the successful ‘Bombay Canteen’, ‘O Pedro’ and ‘Bombay Sweet Shop’ in Mumbai and was the magician behind New York’s ‘Tabla’, passed away due to complications from the coronavirus.

Veteran photographer Nemai Ghosh passes away

  • Veteran photographer Nemai Ghosh, who had a long association with directing great Satyajit Ray, passed away. A Padma Shri recipient, Nemai Ghosh had also penned books such as “Manik Da: Memoirs of Satyajit Ray.

Padma Vibhushan awardee Satish Gujral passes away

  • Renowned artist and architect Satish Gujral passed away at the age of 94.
  • A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of India, in 1999.

Chief of Brahma Kumaris DadiJanki passes away

  • Rajyogini Dadi Janki, the chief administrator of Brahmakumari spiritual organisation passed away.

Dadi Janki was running the international spiritual institution spanning across 140 countries

Former Union Minister & SP leader Beni Prasad Verma passes away

  • Former Union Minister and Samajwadi Party leader Beni Prasad Verma passed away in Lucknow. He was 79. Verma was born on February 11, 1941 in Sirauli in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh.

Tamil Folk Singer and Actress Paravai Muniyamma Passes Away

  • Tamil actress and folk singer Paravai Muniyamma passed away.
  • Muniyamma made her acting debut at the age of 66 with the 2003 film Dhool and featured in over 50 films. She was also awarded the Kalaimamani by the government of Tamil Nadu in 2009.

Tamil actor-doctor Sethuraman passes away

  • Young Tamil actor Sethuraman, who was also a practising dermatologist, passed away in Chennai after a cardiac arrest.

Civil Rights Icon Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery passes away

  • The Reverend Doctor Joseph Echols Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and known as the “Dean” of the American Civil Rights Movement, passed away 

German state finance minister Thomas Schafer passes away

  • Thomas Schafer passed away by committing suicide, his body was found on train tracks near Wiesbaden. Schafer had “considerable worries” over COVID-19

Air Vice Marshal Chandan Singh Rathore passes away

  • Retired Air Vice Marshal and recipient of MahaVir Chakra Chandan Singh Rathore passed away.
  • He gave major contributions as a valorous young air warrior during the Sino-India 1962 war and the 1971 Indo-Pak war and contributed towards a stronger and safer India.
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