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Important Current Affairs 21st May 2020

National

Union HRD Ministry launches new mobile app “National Test Abhyas”

• The Ministry of Human Resources Development has launched a new mobile application called “National Test Abhyas”. The application was developed by the National Testing Agency.

• The application is powered by Artificial Intelligence and therefore the students will get instant results after taking the tests. The main aim of the application is to help students during the closure of educational institutions.

Cabinet approval proposal to launch Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs & HFCs

• Union Cabinet given approval to the proposal of the Ministry of Finance to launch a new Special Liquidity Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, NBFCs and Housing Finance Companies, HFCs to improve liquidity position of the NBFCs or HFCs.

• The direct financial implication for the Government is five crore rupees, which may be the equity contribution to the Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV.

Banking and Economy

NABARD issues Rs. 20,500 crore to RRBs & co-operative banks

• The NABARD, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, has issued funds amounting Rs. 20,500 crore for the RRBs (regional rural banks) and co-operative banks for helping the farmers.

• The funding was provided under Rs. 25,000 crore refinance facility that was provided by the Reserve Bank of India to NABARD.

RBI reiterates usage of digital modes for banking transactions

•  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 20, 2020 reiterated the usage of digital modes for banking transactions.

•  The RBI stated that the use of digital payment modes has become more important with the ongoing nationwide.

•  The central bank stated that digital payment modes make it easier for people to do banking transactions while being safe at home and at any hour of the day.

Appointments and Resignations

Dilip Oommen is new President of Indian Steel Association

• Indian Steel Association (ISA) has appointed Dilip Oommen as its new President. He is presently the CEO of Arcelor Mittal Nippon Steel India. He was unanimously appointed as President for the next two years.

• He will replace Tata Steel CEO TV Narendran, who stepped down as President on May 1. Oommen is a veteran of the steel industry with more than 37 years of experience and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-K).

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to assume charge as Chairman of Executive Board of WHO

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will on May 22, 2020 take charge as the Chairman of the Executive Board of World Health Organization (WHO), succeeding incumbent Japan’s Dr. Hiroki Nakatani, who is the current Chairman of the 34-member board.

Days

International Tea Day

• International Tea Day is observed globally May 21 on the recommendation of India. The purpose of International Tea Day is to try to improve the condition of tea producers and tea workers.

• Tea producing countries make a lot of profit but the condition of the labourers working in the tea plantations is very bad. Therefore, the purpose of International Tea Day is to encourage the status of tea workers, workers’ rights, daily wages, social security, employment security, and health.

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

• World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is observed globally on 21 May every year. The purpose of the day is to deepen the understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the following goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions:

a) Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals

b) Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks

c) Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms

d) support sustainable systems of governance for culture.

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Important Current Affairs 16th May 2020

National

Finance Minister announced third Tranche of Rs.20 lakh Economic Package

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the third Tranche of Rs.20 lakh Economic Package on 15 May in New Delhi. On 12 May, Prime Minister Modi announced an Economic relief Package of Rs.20 lakh crore with an aim of making it “AtmaNirbhar” or self-reliant.

Highlights:

• GoI is to create a facilitative legal framework to enable farmers to engage with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters in a fair and transparent manner.

• Centre will formulate a law to provide adequate choices to the farmers to sell produce at an attractive price, barrier-free interstate trade, and framework for e-trading of agricultural produce. GoI will implement a Rs.500 crore scheme of infrastructure development related to integrated beekeeping development centres, collection, marketing & storage centres, post-harvest, and value addition facilities. It is expected to lead to an increase in income of 2 lakh bee-keepers.

• The National Medicinal Plants Board will bring an 800-hectare area by developing a corridor of medicinal plants along the banks of river Ganga.

• Centre allocated Rs.4000 crore for the promotion of herbal cultivation. Under this, 10,00,000 hectares will be covered in the next 2 years.

• Government has decided to amend the Essential Commodities Act. It will enable better price realization for farmers and attract investments that will lead to deregulation of prices for cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potatoes.

• Centre also announced the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs.15,000crore to support investment in dairy processing.

• Centre announced Rs.4,000crore for promotion of herbal cultivation to bring 10 lakh hectares of land under herbal growing in the next 2 years.

• A total outlay of Rs.13,343crore has been allocated for the National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis. Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for the development of marine and inland fisheries will be given Rs.20,000crore. It is expected to generate job opportunities for 55 lakh people.

• All  related deadline extensions relating to fisheries activities which are aimed to help marine and coastal farmers will be undertaken.

• Government is to introduce a Rs.10,000crores scheme for the formalization of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE).

• Government aims to create an Rs.1 lakh croreAgri-Infrastructure Fund for farm gate infrastructure for Indian farmers.

• As an additional step for agriculture during the , Centre has announced an amount more than Rs.74,300crores for Minimum Support Price purchases and Rs.18,700 crore for Kisan fund transfer.

Himachal Chief Minister inaugurates e-udyan portal

• Himachal CM inaugurated the e-udyan portal and IHSMS application developed under World Bank funded Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project for providing services of Department of Horticulture.

• The Management Information System (Integrated Horticulture Sector Management System) has been developed for all G2C services of the Horticulture Department through this portal.

Tribal Affairs Minister launches 'GOAL' programme

• Tribal Affairs Minister ArjunMunda launched the “GOAL" - Going Online As Leaders - programme during a webinar in New Delhi on May 15, 2020.

• The programme is designed to provide mentorship to tribal youth through digital mode.

• The programme aims to act as a catalyst to explore hidden talents of the tribal youth, which will help in their personal development as well as contribute to all-round upliftment of their society.

Banking and Economy

World Bank approves $1 billion social protection package for India

• The World Bank has announced $1 billion social protection package for India. This package will be linked to the programmes launched by the Government of India. Hence, it will support India’s efforts at providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households.

• The social protection package for India would be funded in two tranches in the following manner:

 First tranche will be made available as an immediate allocation of $750 million for fiscal year 2020.

 Second tranche would be remaining $250 million that would be made available for fiscal year 2021.

Federal Bank tie-up with MoneyGram for direct-to-bank deposits service

• Federal Bank Limited tie-up with MoneyGram Payment System to offer a cost-effective direct-to-bank account credit option for customers in India.

• This tie-up will help the non-resident Indians with access to modern, low cost, fast, easy and reliable ways for transferring money to India.

• Federal Bank has a 15% share of the country’s remittance market and expects that the tie-up with MoneyGram will give the business a further boost.

Ranking

International tourism to decline 60-80% in 2020

• According to the latest data of the United Nations World Tourism Organization(UNWTO) the international tourism could decline by 60-80% in 2020 when compared with 2019.

• Figures which will result in loss of USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion and places millions of livelihoods at risk and threatens to curtail the progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).

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Important Current Affairs 13th May 2020

National

Prime Minister announces Economic Package of Rs 20 Lakh Crore

• Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi addressed his countrymen and announced an Economic Package of Rs 20 Lakh crore, giving stress on land, labour, liquidity and law.

• Details of the Economic Package will be revealed very shortly by the Ministry of Finance. This package will intend to support farmers, labourers, fishermen, migrants and the industry of the country.

• The Prime Minister announced 5 pillars of a self-reliant India, which will lead the world into the 21st century:

•  Economy that will bring quantum jump, not just incremental change.

•  Infrastructure that becomes a symbol of modern India.

•  System which is technology-driven and fulfill the dreams of the 21st century and is not based on the policy of the past century.

•  Demography which is our strength and source of energy for self-reliant India.

•  Demand: Cycle of Supply and Demand to boost economy and provide the power to harness its full potential.

MSME Ministry launches CHAMPIONS Portal

•  The Ministry of MSMEs launched the CHAMPIONS portal (www.Champions.gov.in) on May 12, 2020 to assist Indian MSMEs to become national and global champions.

•  The Champions portal is a technology-driven Control Room-Cum-Management Information System. The name Champion stands for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.

•  The technology is fully integrated on a real-time basis with GOI’s main grievances portal CPGRAMS and MSME Ministry’s own other web-based mechanisms. It is based on modern ICT tools.

SwasthVayu: Non-invasive ventilator developed by CSIR-NAL

• A Non Invasive BiPAP Ventilator “SwasthVayu” has been developed by CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. The unique features of the Non Invasive BiPAP Ventilator “SwasthVayu” helps to alleviate the fear of the virus spread.

• The ventilator is basically a microcontroller-based precise closed-loop adaptive control system. It has a built-in biocompatible manifold and coupler that is 3D printed, along with HEPA filter (Highly Efficient Particulate Air Filter).

Banking and Economy

Morgan Stanley projects India GDP growth for 2020 at 0%; For 2021 at 7.7%

• American multinational investment bank, Morgan Stanley has projected India’s GDP growth for 2020 at 0% and for 2021 at 7.7%.

• For the global GDP growth, Morgan Stanley has made a projection of -3% in 2020 and 5.9% in 2021.

Awards

DW Freedom of Speech Award 2020 announced

• 17 journalists from 14 countries have been named for Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award 2020 for showing “outstanding commitment to human rights and freedom of expression in the media”.

• Indian journalist Siddharth Varadarajan is among the 17 recipients of the 2020 Freedom of Speech Award presented by German public news outlet Deutsche Welle on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day on 3rd May 2020.

Obituary

Former TT champion Manmeet Singh Walia passes away

• Former national table tennis champion Manmeet Singh Walia passed away at the age of 58 years.

• Manmeet was suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). He had represented the country at multiple international events after making his debut at the Asian Championships in 1980.

Sports

FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup to be held in February 2021

• The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on May 12, 2020 declared that the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup will now be held during February 17, 2021 - March 7, 2021 in India.

• The tournament was earlier scheduled to be held on November 2, 2020. However, the AIFF had to cancel it.

Appointments and Resignations

Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi takes charge as Secretary of New &Renewable Energy Ministry

•  Indu Shekhar Chaturvedi (IAS) assumed charge as the new Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy on May 11, 2020.

•  Chaturvedi is a 1987 Batch IAS officer from Jharkhand cadre. He will be succeeding Anand Kumar, who has become the Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.

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Important Current Affairs 12th May 2020

National

PravasiRahatMitra app launched in UP

• Uttar Pradesh Government recently launched the ‘PravasiRahatMitra’ app to help migrant workers return safely. The app has been developed by UP Revenue Department in collaboration with UNDP - United Nations Development Programme.

• The App was launched by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

NIV Pune Develops India's First Anti-body Test Kit ELISA

• India’s first indigenous antibody testing kit “ELISA” has been successfully developed by the National Institute of Virology, Pune. This antibody testing kit will help in surveillance of proportion of the population exposed to SARSCoV2 infection.

• For mass scale production of the ELISA test kits, ICMR has tied-up with ZYDUS CADILA.

HRD Minister launches Central Univ. of Odisha Helpline “Bharosa”

• Union HRD Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has launched Central University of Odisha Helpline “Bharosa”. This helpline has been launched with an objective of relieving the student community from the distress caused during the troubled time.

• All University Students of Odisha will be offered Cognitive Emotional Rehabilitation Services via this helpline.

International

WHO & UN’s Postal Agency Release Commemorative Stamp on 40th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication

• The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Postal Administration – the postal agency of UN, have released a commemorative postage stamp to mark the 40th anniversary of the eradication of smallpox on 9th May 2020.

• The stamp recognises the global solidarity in fighting smallpox and honours millions of people working together to eradicate smallpox.

Saudi Arabia triples taxes

•  Saudi Arabia announced on May 11, 2020 that it was tripling the taxes levied on basic goods, raising them to 15 percent and cutting spending on major projects by around $26 billion.

•  The Gulf Nation is reeling with the blow on its economy due to low oil prices as a result of the imposed across the world.

Science and Technology

DRDO develops “UV systems” to sanitise electronic gadgets

• DRDO’s Research Centre Imarat (RCI) lab, Hyderabad has developed an automated contactless UVC sanitisation cabinet named defence Research Ultraviolet Sanitiser (DRUVS).

• It has been designed to sanitise mobile phones, iPods, laptops, currency notes, cheque leafs, challans, passbooks, paper, envelopes, etc.

Obituary

Founding father of rock-and-roll Little Richard dies at 87

• Founding father of Rock ‘n’ roll, Little Richard passed away. His full name Richard Wayne Pennima, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986 and he picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 from the Recording Academy.

Ranking

Bengaluru airport voted as best regional airport in India & Central Asia

• Kempegowda International Airport of Bengaluru has been voted by customers as the best regional airport in India & Central Asia at the 2020 World Airport Awards.

• Bengaluru Airport has won this award for the third time in four years.

Days

International Nurses Day

• The International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, to mark the contributions and hard work of nursing staff around the world.

• The day was created by the International Council of Nurses, and is celebrated globally since January 1974.This day also marks the birth anniversary of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

• The theme of 2020 International Nurses Day is Nurses: A voice to lead – Nursing the World to Health.

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Important Current Affairs 11th May 2020

National

India starts “Mission Sagar” to assist island nations in EIO

  • The Government of India has launched Mission Sagar on 10 May 2020 as part of it’s outreach initiative towards assisting five Island nations in the Indian Ocean amidst the ongoing current situation.
  • Under the mission, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kesari has been deployed, carrying on board two medical assistance teams, essential Food Items and Medicines and Special Ayurvedic Medicines five to Island countries in the Indian Ocean. The five countries are Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros.
  • The mission is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region.

Banking and Economy

Government hikes its market borrowing to Rs 12 lakh crore from Rs 7.80 lakh crore for FY 21

  • The Finance Ministry has informed that Government has hiked its estimated gross market borrowing to Rs 12 lakh crore(additional Rs 4.2 lakh crore) from Rs 7.80 lakh crore for Financial Year(FY) 2020-21 as per the Budget Estimates(BE) so as to tackle the expected shortfall in revenue.
  • The borrowing happens by issuing dated securities and treasury bills, the purchase and sale of which is conducted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Awards

Startup India-Animal Husbandry Grand Challenge awards 

  • Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh has presented the award to the winners of “Startup India-Animal Husbandry Grand Challenge”.
  • The challenge was open for application to Startups from 11th of September, 2019 to 15th of November, 2019 on the Startup India portal – www.startupindia.gov.in. 

Days

National Technology Day

  • The National Technology Day is observed every year on May 11 since 1999 to mark the anniversary of 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests and India’s technological advancements in space.
  • It was on this day in 1998 that India successfully fired an Operation Shakti missile at the Indian Army’s Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan. The Test was led by late aerospace engineer and President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Mother’s day 2020

  • Mother’s day is celebrated on every second Sunday of May month and this year, it’s falling on 10th May 2020. Mother’s Day is widely known to salute the motherhood, to extend the influence of mothers within the society, to extend the maternal bonds to children, etc.
  • In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson declared second Sunday of May as an official holiday in the United States.
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Important Current Affairs 10th May 2020

National

ICMR, Bharat Biotech tie up to develop a fully indigenous vaccine

• The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has partnered with Bharat Biotech International Limited to develop India’s first fully indigenous vaccine. Bharat Biotech is a Hyderabad-based leading Vaccine manufacturing company.

• The Indian vaccine will be developed using the virus strain, which has been isolated at ICMR's National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. The details of the virus strain have been successfully transferred from NIV to Bharat Biotech.

Vista Equity Partners Buys 2.32% Stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 11,367 Crore

• US-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has become the third company to buy a stake in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s digital unit, Jio Platforms.

• It has bought 2.32 percent stake for Rs 11,367 crore in the company.

• This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore.

Banking and Economy

Mahindra & Mahindra launches digital sales platform ‘Own-Online’

• Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd has announced the launch of an online vehicle ownership platform named “Own-Online’.

• The portal will offer an end-to-end sales experience for prospective buyers. It will also help customers to finance, insure, exchange, accessorize, and own a Mahindra vehicle from home.

Obituary

KFH Tournament founder Pandanda Kuttappa passes away

• Founder of Kodava Family Hockey Tournament, Pandanda Kuttappa passed away. Kuttappa conceived the idea of Kodava family hockey festival in 1997.

• He was a former State Bank of India employee and an ex-first division hockey referee, Pandanda Kuttappa has bestowed the Karnataka Rajyothsava award in 2015.

Days

Nation celebrates 480th birth anniversary of MaharanaPratap

• Nation celebrates 480th birth anniversary of Maharana Pratap on 9 May. He was Born on 9 May 1540. To honour of the brave king, Maharana Pratap Jayanti is celebrated every year on 9 May.

• Pratap Singh I, popularly known as Maharana Pratap, was born to King Udai Singh II and Queen JaiwantaBai of Mewar. Udai Singh II died in 1572 in Gogunda and following his death, Maharana Pratap ascended the throne on 1 March 1572.

Books and Authors

Book titled “Fear of God” authored by Vadhan

• A book titled “Fear of God” has been authored by Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan. He is popularly known as Vadhan.

• It is a book based on the lack of respect or fear of law in India.

• This is Vadhan’s third novel after “Agniputr: When Agni First Spoke” and “Shatru”.

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Important Current Affairs 8th May 2020

National

AarogyaSetu IVRS service launched for feature phones & landline

• The AarogyaSetu IVRS service was launched recently to help people with landlines and feature phones. The IVRS is a toll-free service that can be used by people across the country by giving a missed call at 1921 number.

• Once the user gives a missed call, he or she will get a call back from officials asking for their health. The questions will be aligned with the app.

Government Launches Biggest Ever Evacuation Exercise ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to bring Indians Stranded Abroad

• The Government of India has launched its biggest ever evacuation exercises named the Vande Bharat Mission, to bring home nearly 15,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad.

• Under the mission, to be undertaken in phased manner, the government will operate 64 flights from 07 May till May 13, 2020, to repatriate its citizens from 12 countries..

Niti Aayog Launches Campaign ”Surakshit Dada-Dadi & Nana-Nani Abhiyan” to protect senior citizens

• The Government think tank NITI Aayog has launched a campaign titled ”Surakshit Dada-Dadi & Nana-Nani Abhiyan” to ensure well-being of senior citizens of the country.

• The campaign has been launched in association with Piramal Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Piramal Group.

International

Iran changes national currency from 'rial' to 'toman'

•  Iranian lawmakers voted on May 4, 2020 to change Iran’s national currency from ‘rial’ to ‘toman’. The lawmakers approved an amendment to Iran’s Monetary and Banking Act of Iran to make the change.

•  Under the amended law, the existing currency of Iran will continue to remain valid alongside "toman" for two years, during which the old coins and bills will be gradually collected to replace them with new ones.

•  The new currency is equal to 10,000 rials, marking a reduction of four zeros. The new currency has been introduced amid the sharp fall in the value of Iranian currency as a result of crippling sanctions imposed by the United States.

Banking and Economy

EU forecasts deep and uneven recession in 2020

• The European Commission recently released spring economic forecast that projects Europe’s economy to witness a record decline of 7.7 percent this year.

•  The economic projections hint at a "recession of historic proportions" in 2020 as an impact of current situation. Europe is currently facing worst ever recession since the Great Depression in 1930

Ranking

Delhi Top State in Internet Penetration Followed by Kerala: IAMAI Report

• Delhi has emerged as the top most state with the highest Internet penetration rate among all the other states of India, according to a study titled ‘Digital in India’ by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The study has been curated by Nielsen and based on IRS data.

• Delhi is followed by Kerala at second position in terms of internet penetration, means the number of internet users.

• In terms of cities, Mumbai has registered highest number of Internet users, which is estimated to be 13 million. Delhi is ranked second with 11.3 million, followed by Bengaluru (6.6 million), Kolkata (6.3 million) and Chennai (6 million) respectively.

Days

World Athletics Day 2020 observed globally on 7 May

• The World Athletics Day-2020 is observed on the 7 May. The date is subject to adjustment, the date of World Athletics Day is decided by the IAAF, however, the month stays the same as May.

• The first World Athletics Day was observed in 1996. The basic objective of World Athletics Day is to boost the participation of youths in athletics.

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Important Current Affairs 5th May 2020

National

AarogyaSetuMitr Launched for online medical consultations, ePharmacy and home lab tests

• The mobile app AarogyaSetu launched by the Government of India has been upgraded to include a new private-public partnership initiative called AarogayaSetuMitr, to provide facilities for online medical consultations, ePharmacy and home lab tests.

• Upon selecting the AarogyaSetuMitr, user will be redirected to a new website, and won’t allow access to individual data from Aarogya Setu, so its safe.

• This new app has been developed in collaboration & partnership of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister and Niti Aayog and will operate under them.

Jal Shakti Ministry launches ‘IDEAthon’

• The National Mission for Clean Ganga operating under Ministry of Jal Shakti launched “IDEAthon”.

• The event examined how the social angle of rivers can be leveraged to address the health crisis. It also discussed the lessons taught by the pandemic and came to a conclusion that more attention is required towards river management.

Ameyo launches RBI compliant video KYC engagement platform

• A customer engagement technology provider, Ameyo has launched video KYC engagement platform for the banking and finance sector.

• The newly launched platform will eliminate the businesses’ requirement of physical KYC in accordance with latest RBI guidelines issued in January 2020. It is expected to decrease the customer on boarding process from the present 5-7 days to less than 3 minutes.

US-based Silver Lake buys 1.15% stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 5,655.75 cr

• American private equity giant Silver Lake Partners has announced to buy 1.15% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 5,655.75 crore ($750 million).

• Jio Platforms, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and works on digital apps, digital ecosystems and the mobile service.

• This deal values Jio Platforms at Rs 4.90 lakh crore on equity basis and Rs 5.15 lakh crore on enterprise value basis.

Banking and Economy

RBI cancels the licence of The CKP Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai

• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of “The CKP Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai” due to non-compliance to various sections of Banking Regulation Act and RBI Act. The license has been cancelled with effect from the close of business on April 30, 2020.

• As a result “The CKP Co-operative Bank Ltd., Mumbai” is prohibited from conducting the business of ‘banking’ which includes acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits.

Obituary

Padma Shri awardee K S Nisar Ahmed passes away

Renowned Kannada poet KS Nisar Ahmed passed away. He was popularly known as “NityotsavaKavi”. He was born in Devanahalli, Karnataka on February 5, 1936. He was awarded the Pampa Award (the highest literary award in Karnataka) in 2017. He also a recipient of the Rajyotsava award in 1981 and Padma Shri in 2008.

Sports

FINA postpones 2021 world championships to May 2022

• Swimming world governing body, Federation International de Natation(FINA) rescheduled the 2021 Fukuoka aquatics world championships to May 2022 to avoid a clash with the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

•  The new dates for the aquatics world championship in the Japanese city are May 13-29, 2022.

Days

International Firefighters’ Day

The International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4 every year since 1999, to recognise and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible.

International Day of the Midwife

• Every year the, International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) celebrates the International Day of the Midwife on 5 May, since 1992, to recognise the work of midwives and raise awareness about the status of midwives for the essential care they provide to mothers and their newborns.

• The theme for 2020 International Day of the Midwife is Midwives with women: celebrate, demonstrate, mobilise, unite – our time is NOW!

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Important Current Affairs 4th May 2020

National

‘One nation, one ration card’ scheme: 5 more states & UT’s added to the initiative

• 'One nation, one ration card' scheme will help 60 crore beneficiaries to purchase subsidized food grains using their existing ration card from the fair price shops anywhere in these 17 states and UT's.

• The newly approved states/UTs under this plan are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu.

• Already this plan has been initiated in 12 states viz. Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Telangana and Tripura.

Banking and Economy

RBI permits Visa, Mastercard and NPCI for contact-free payments for any amount

•The Reserve Bank of India has permitted the country’s payment networks — Visa, Mastercard and NPCI to allow tap-and-go functionality on card payments for all purchases at retail stores and shopping centers.

•Earlier this facility was available for card payment up to amount Rs 2000. Now tap-and-go functionality will be available even for purchases made above Rs 2000.

•However, the transactions with are about Rs 2,000 shall be authenticated by PIN.

Awards

Indian-origin girl Vaneeza Rupani names NASA’s 1st Mars Helicopter

• 17-year-old, Indian-origin girl, VaneezaRupani has been honoured of naming the NASA’s 1st Mars helicopter ‘Ingenuity’. she submitted her essay into NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest.

• She has suggested the name ‘INGENUITY’ for the helicopter, which has been liked and accepted by NASA. She is a high school junior from Northport, Alabama.

Sports

Former World Snooker champion Peter Ebdon announces retirement

• Former World Snooker Champion Peter Ebdon has announced his retirement from professional snooker. He has announced his retirement after suffering from various neck and back injuries.

• Peter Ebdon was the winner of 2002 World Snooker championship when he defeated Stephen Hendry in an 18-17 final thriller.

Appointments and Resignations

Neeraj Dhawan appointed as Chief Risk Officer at Yes Bank

• Neeraj Dhawan has been appointed as the chief risk officer of Yes Bank with immediate effect.

• He will replace Ashish Agarwal and serve at the position for 3 years.

Days

World Press Freedom Day

• The World Press Freedom Day is observed on May 3 annually to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.

• The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993.The theme of World Press Freedom Day 2020 is Journalism Without Fear or Favour.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd May 2020

National

Asian Paints to make hand sanitisers

•Asian Paints, India’s largest paint maker, announced on May 1, 2020 that it will start making hand and surface sanitisers under Viroprotek brand. The sanitizers will be made available in the market from next week onwards.

•The sanitisers will be manufactured at Asian Paints’ plant in Ankleshwar, Gujarat. The company stated that it has obtained all necessary permissions from authorities.

Acquisitions and Mergers

Reliance increases its stake to 26.3% in US-based tech company SkyTran

• Reliance Strategic Business Ventures Limited(RSBVL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited(RIL), has increased its stake to 26.3% on a fully diluted basis in US-based SkyTran Incorporated(Inc), a venture-funded technology company which develops modern transport modes including personal rapid transit system.

• RIL has invested in SkyTran to play an active role in advancing solutions, especially in telecom, digital platforms and services, advanced materials, electric batteries and also to develop India’s first pod taxi prototype, a next-generation transportation system

Obituary

Veteran anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg passes away

• Veteran South African anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg passed away. He was the ally of late South African President Nelson Mandela. He played a key role in South African liberation struggle.

• He was the only white member of the African National Congress’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

Sports

FIFA launches #WeWillWin campaign to pay tribute to health workers

• Fédération International de Football Association(FIFA) has launched a campaign called “#WeWillWin”. Through this campaign FIFA tribute a special video to health workers and other professionals who ensure the society continues to function.

• Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia who is also featured among 50 past and present football stars.

Appointments and Resignations

Tarun Bajaj appointed as Economic Affairs Secretary

•Tarun Bajaj took charge as the new Economic Affairs Secretary on May 1, 2020. He has assumed charge at a time when the economy is under severe stress due to the ongoing situation.

•Tarun Bajaj is a 1988 batch IAS officer. He was previously serving as the Additional Secretary in Prime Minister's Office. He has succeeded Atanu Chakraborty, who retired on April 30, 2020.

Ajay Tirkey assumes charge as Secretary of WCD Ministry

•Ajay Tirkey has assumed charge as the Secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development. He is a 1987 batch IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre.

•He succeeds Rabindra Panwar who retired on April 30, 2020. Ajay Tirkey was earlier serving as the Special Secretary and Additional Secretary in the Ministry.

Ranking

ICC Rankings: India lose top spot to Australia in test rankings

• India has lost its top spot to Australia in ICC test rankings on May 1 and has now dropped to third. The fall in the ranking was because India’s victory in 12 test matches and just one defeat in 2016-2017 was eliminated from the annual update.

• With Australia taking the top spot, India has slipped to the 3rd spot and New Zealand has gained 2nd position in the ICC test rankings.

Days

World Tuna Day

• World Tuna Day is observed globally on 2nd May every year. This day is established by the United Nations (UN) to raise awareness about the importance of tuna fish. It is observed for the first time in 2017.

• According to the UN, an outsized number of nations worldwide depend upon tuna for both food security and nutrition. At the same time, more than 96 countries have tuna fisheries, and their capacity is constantly growing.

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