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Important Current Affairs 9th April 2020

National

TRIFED to launch campaign in partnership with UNICEF for SHGs

• Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has collaborated with UNICEF for developing a digital communication strategy for promoting a digital campaign for Self Help Groups (SHGs).

Airtel Payments Bank Rolls health insurance plan in Partnership with Bharati AXA General Insurance

• Airtel Payments Bank has partnered with Bharati AXA General Insurance to launch a health insurance policy.

• Under the partnership, they have rolled out two different health insurance plans which includes:

• Bharti AXA Group Health Assure Policy

• Group Hospital Cash Policy

Summits and Mou’s

L&T signs agreement with Indian Army for advanced IT-enabled network
•  Larsen & Toubro(L&T) signs agreement with the Indian Army for setting up an advanced IT-enabled system to operate the Armed Forces network under the Network of Spectrum (NFS).
 

Banking and Economy

SIDBI to provide emergency working capital to MSMEs

• The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will facilitate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with emergency working capital of up to Rs 1 crore against their confirmed government orders.

• Under its flagship scheme called SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (Smile), SEBI has opened an additional financial window for the healthcare sector.

Sports

Englands Ben Stokes named 2020 Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World

• England’s all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the leading cricketer in the world by Wisden for the year 2019. He is the first player from England since 2005 to be named for this award.

• In Women’s category, Australia’s Ellyse Perry has been named the Wisden’s Leading Female Cricketer in the World.

Ranking

Jeff Bezos tops Forbes billionaires list “The Richest in 2020”

• Forbes has launched the 34th annual world’s billionaires list named as “The Richest in 2020”. The list titled “The Richest in 2020” has been topped by the Amazon Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

• This was 3rd time in a row that he has topped the annual world’s billionaires list released by Forbes. He has topped the list with a net worth of $113 billion.

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Important Current Affairs 8th April 2020

National

Ministry of Civil Aviation launches “Lifeline UDAN” initiative

• The Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched the initiative called “Lifeline UDAN” to help India. Under Lifeline UDAN initiative of Ministry of Civil Aviation, 132 cargo flights have been operated so far across the country to transport medical cargo including to remote and hilly areas.

• With support from Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private airlines, medical supplies of more than 184 tons have been delivered till date during lockdown period.

Essential services, medicines delivered at doorstep of patients by Swasth ke Sipahi under PMBJP

• “Swasth ke Sipahi” of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra are delivering essential services and medicines at doorstep of patients and elderly.

• Swasth ke Sipahi are providing the essential medicines at the doorsteps of patients under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) of the Government of India.

• Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra are being run under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI). The objective of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra was to provide quality and affordable healthcare to anyone in need.

MHRD declares DigiLocker as National Academic Depository

• The Ministry of Human Resource Development has designated DigiLocker as the sole National Academic Depository (NAD).

• The ministry has directed the University Grants Commission (UGC) to implement NAD as a permanent scheme within DigiLocker.

• NAD will be implemented as a permanent scheme without the levy of any user charges by DigiLocker through the Ministry of Electronics and IT.

Banking and Economy

RBI increases the number of days for which a State/ UT can be in overdraft

• The Reserve Bank of India allows State Government to tide over their cashflow mismatches (consider it as a loan) in form of Special Drawing Facility (SDF) and Normal Ways and Means Advances.

• Now RBI has increased the number of days or which a State/ UT can be in overdraft continuously as under:

• The number of days for which States/UTs can be in overdraft continuously has been increased to 21 working days from the previous 14 days.

• The number of days for which a State/ UT can be in overdraft in a quarter has been increased to 50 working days from the previous 36 days.

Super Pink Moon visible on April 7

• Super Pink Moon, the biggest supermoon of the year 2020 will be visible in the skies on April 7, 2020. The moon will be at its closest distance from Earth, which is 356,907 km away.

• The Earth, Moon and the Sun will all align, making the Moon look larger and brighter than usual. This particular moon was named ‘Super Pink Moon’.

Obituary

Kannada comic actor 'Bullet' Prakash passes away

• Kannada actor “Bullet” Prakash passed away. He was known for his comic roles and performances in films like Aithalakkadi and Aryan.

• He was named ‘Bullet’ because of his love for Royal Enfield Bullet motorbikes which he used to ride.

• He had been a part of more than 300 films and had recently signed a couple of projects in Kannada.

• He was also a member of the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2015.

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Important Current Affairs 7th April 2020

National

PM, President and MPs Salary Cut by 30% , MPLAD funds suspended for 2 years

• The Union Cabinet approved an ordinance amending the salary, allowances and pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, to reduce the allowances and pension by 30% starting April 1, 2020, for a year.

• All Members of Parliament (MPs), including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Council of Ministers, would be taking a 30 per cent salary cut.

• The cabinet also approved temporary suspension of MPLAD (Member of Parliament Local Area Development) fund scheme during 2020-21 and 2021-22, and the funds will be used for managing health services.

International

US announces $2.9 million package for India

• The United States recently announced a donation package of USD 2.9 million for India. The announcement regarding the donation was made by US Agency for International Development.

•  The aid is a part of the American Global Response Package, wherein the US is providing financial assistance of USD 174 million to over 60 countries.

Banking and Economy

Madhabi Puri Buch gets 6-month extension as WTM at SEBI

• The term of Madhabi Puri Buch as a Whole Time Member (WTM) at Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has been extended by 6 months.

• Madhabi Puri Buch is the first woman Whole Time Member (WTM) of SEBI and also the first from the private sector to be appointed as a board member in SEBI.

Sports

Kobe Bryant inducted into NBA’s Hall of Fame (Basketball)

• Late basketball player, Kobe Bryant, has been inducted into the NBA’s Hall of Fame 2020. He was an American Basketball Player.

• Kobe Bryant, 41 was killed in a helicopter crash in January 2020 in which total of 9 people died.

• A total of 9 people have been inducted into the 2020 NBA’s Hall of Fame. The other eight are: MVP Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens and Patrick Baumann.

Science and Technology

NASA to land human on moon by 2024

• US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced to land human on moon by the year 2024 under its ambitious ‘Artemis Program’.

• The NASA has been constantly working on this program to build a Artemis Base Camp.

Ranking

Tamil Nadu Tops in micro-irrigation coverage under PMKSY in 2019-20

• The Tamil Nadu state has finished on top at the all-India level for micro-irrigation coverage in the financial year 2019-20, as part of implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY).

• Karnataka is at second place with 1,41,103.56 ha area under micro-irrigation while Gujarat is at third spot with 1,08,322.00 ha under micro-irrigation.

• During 2019-20, the overall coverage of the state under micro-irrigation stood at 2,06,853.25 hectares (ha). The total area brought under micro irrigation at the all-India level in 2019-20 stands at 7,72,350.63 ha.

• PMKSY is a programme aimed at promoting the “more crop per drop” concept by focussing on water-saving technologies.

Days

World Health Day

• World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April each year since 1950, to draw worldwide attention to a specific theme of major importance to global health each year.

• The Theme of 2020 World Health Day is Support Nurses and Midwives.

• The World Health Day also marks the establishment of the World Health Organization (WHO) on 7 April 1948.

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Important Current Affairs 6th April 2020

National

Government plans to link 22000 mandis with e-NAM platform by 2022

• The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Narendra Singh Tomar has launched three new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform to enable farmers to sell their harvested produce directly from warehouse.

• Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the lead agency for implementing eNAM under the aegis of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India.

 Geo-fencing app to locate quarantine violators

• The government has tested an application named, Geo-fencing app to trigger emails and SMS alerts to an authorised government agency, if a person has jumped quarantine or has escaped from isolation, based on the person’s mobile phone’s cell tower location.

• The Centre under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885, uses powers to “fetch information” from telecom companies every 15 minutes.

Northern Railways develops PPE coverall

• The Northern Railways has developed a PPE coverall. This is in addition to the personal protective equipment coveralls and the N99 masks that have been developed by DRDO.

• The initiative is to meet the demand of these equipments and ensure proper safety and security of the healthcare workers who are in the frontline.

• With rising coronavirus cases in the country, there is a shortage of PPE kits. Hence, efforts are being made to start mass production of these products. The existing N95 mask producers have also increased their capacity and are producing about 80,000 masks per day.

Indian Railways develops low-cost ventilator prototype named “Jeevan”

• Indian Railway’s Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala, Punjab has developed a low-cost ventilator prototype named “Jeevan” that is much cheaper than regular ventilators.

• The ventilators can be put to use after it receives approvals from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

• The cost of these ventilators is expected to be Rs. 10,000 without compressors. RCF Kapurthala has developed the prototype after the government instructed the Indian Railways to explore the possibility of manufacturing ventilators.

Obituary

Former Honduras President Rafael Callejas, Disgraced by FIFAgate Scandal, Passes Away at 76

• The former President of Honduras, Rafael Callejas, has passed away of heart attack. He was 76.

• Callejas served the country from 27 January 1990 to 27 January 1994, representing the National Party of Honduras (PNH).

• He was the head of country’s football federation from 2002 to 2015 and was also accused of the vast football corruption scandal known as FIFAgate.

Appointments and Resignations

Nasscom appoints Infosys' COO Pravin Rao as chairman

• Vice-Chairperson Infosys’ chief operating officer, UB Pravin Rao, has been appointed as the new chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) for the year 2020-21. He was appointed Rekha Menon of Accenture.

• Rekha M Menon is the Chairman and Senior Managing Director, Accenture in India. Menon will be the Vice-Chairperson for Nasscom. Pravin Rao, along with President Debjani Ghosh, will help Nasscom to achieve its 2025 vision for the industry.

Days

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

• The United Nations celebrates 6th of April every year as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

• Sport has historically played an important role in all societies, be it in the form of competitive sport, physical activity or play.

• Sports also presents a natural partnership for the United Nations (UN) system.

International Day of Conscience is observed on 5 April

• International Day of Conscience is observed on 5 April.

• The day aims to promote a culture of peace with love and conscience.

• The day reminds the people to self-reflect, follow their conscience, and do the right things.

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Important Current Affairs 5th April 2020

Banking and Economy

After SBI, Govt nominates IOB for collecting donations for PM Cares Fund

• Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), has been nominated by the government for the collection of funds of PM-Cares Fund. Till now only State Bank of India was the nominated bank for the same.

• PM Cares stands for Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-Cares Fund).

• The contributions can be made by ECS, RTGS, NEFT, IMPS, cheques and demand drafts drawn in favour of PM-Cares Fund.

Summits and Mou’s

Arogya Sanjeevani Policy Cigna launched with IRDAI guidelines

• Manipal Cigna Health Insurance company has announced the launch of its Arogya Sanjeevani Policy, ManipalCigna. This standard health cover policy in line with IRDAI from one of the 29 insurers who have received the go-ahead to launch such policies in the industry.

• Every general insurance company has to launch a standard health plan and has to have an official name Arogya Sanjeevani Policy (name of insurer) for easy comparison by the buyers.

Awards

Naveen Patnaik awarded with ‘Hero to Animals Award’ by PETA India

• Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has been conferred with ‘Hero to Animals Award’ by animal rights body PETA India.

• He has been awarded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for allocating funds to feed community animals in Odisha.

Sports

World Games 2021 Postponed to avoid Clash with Tokyo Olympics

• The International World Games Association (IWGA) - the organizer of the World Games 2021 have decided to postpone the mega sporting event by nearly an year to avoid a clash with Tokyo Olympic Games.

• The 11th Edition of the World Games which had originally been planned to take place from 15–25 July 2021 have now be pushed by an year, and will be held from 7th to 17th July 2022.

• The 11th Edition of the World Games 2021 will be hosted by Birmingham, United States.

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Important Current Affairs 4th April 2020

International

Domino’s Pizza launches ‘Domino’s Essentials’ service

• Domino’s Pizza has partnered with ITC Foods to launch “Domino’s Essentials”.

Highlights of this Partnership:

• Through “Domino’s Essentials” service, everyday grocery essentials offered by ITC Foods will be delivered while leveraging the delivery infrastructure of Domino’s.

• This partnership aims to serve the community by ensuring uninterrupted supply of essential items at their doorsteps, without them having to step outside of their homes.

• The “Domino’s Essentials” service will be available for consumers via “Domino’s Essentials” section on the Domino’s app.

• Domino’s Pizza will leverage its supply chain and delivery network to deliver essential goods to the customers at their home.

Banking and Economy

Fitch Ratings cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 2% for FY21

• Fitch Ratings has cut its GDP growth forecast for India to 2% for the fiscal year 2021.

• This will be the slowest growth in India over the past 30 years.

ADB Estimates India’s GDP for FY’21 at 4 Percent; 6.2% for FY’22

• The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released its latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 for financial year 2020-21 on 3rd April 2020.

• As per ADB, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in India is likely to slow down to 4 percent in FY21 (2020-21) on the back of the current global health emergency.

• However, ADB expects the Indian economy to further strengthen to 6.2 percent in the FY22 fiscal (2021-22).

Sports

Asian Games 2022 "smart triplets" mascots unveiled in digital ceremony

• The Olympic Council of Asia has announced the official mascots of the 19th Asian Games to be held in Hangzhou in 2022. The three robots namely Congcong, Lianlian and Chenchen which are collectively known as “The Smart Triplets” will be the official mascots of the 19th Asian Games.

• The robot ‘Congcong’ represents the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City. It derives its name from the Cong jade pendant — the quintessential relic unearthed from the ruins dating back 5,000 years. ‘Lianlian’ represents the West Lake and the name signifies a lake full of lush lotus leaves. Green stands for life and nature.The third mascot is ‘Chenchen’, which represents the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

Days

International Mine Awareness Day observed globally on 4 April

• International Mine Awareness Day observed globally on 4 April every year. On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.

• It was first observed on 4 April 2006.

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Important Current Affairs 3rd April 2020

Summits and Mou’s

UN Cop26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow Postponed until 2021

• The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UN COP26), which was scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from 9 to 20 November 2020 under the presidency of the UK government, has been postponed.

• The Cop26 Climate Change Summit has now be pushed back to 2021 and the new dates for the conference would be decided in due course.

• The announcement was made by the Cop26 president-designate and UK Business and Energy Secretary Alok Sharma.

Obituary

Gurbani maestro Nirmal Singh Khalsa passes away

• Nirmal Singh Khalsa, a noted singer of Sikh 'Gurbani' hymns, passed away on April 2, 2020. He was detected with the infection just a day before his death. He was 62.

• Nirmal Singh Khalsa was a former priest at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. He was known to have the knowledge of the 31 'raags' in the Gurbani of the Guru Granth Sahib.

• He was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri in 2009 for his outstanding contribution to the field of Gurbani music.

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Important Current Affairs 2nd April 2020

National

DGCA allows cargo operations using passenger category aircraft

• The Director General of Civil Aviation on April 1, 2020 granted special permission to conduct cargo operations using passenger category aircraft.

• The decision was taken to meet the increasing demand for cargo operations for transportation of essential goods and medical equipment.

IIT Kanpur to develop low-cost portable ventilator

• the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur is developing portable ventilators which will be significantly cheaper than the ones available in the market.

• The prototype of this ventilator will be ready very soon and just after assembling, it can be used as a life support system.

• The ventilator is a very important medical equipment especially those who are old.

Banking and Economy

Nomura lowers India’s 2020 GDP growth forecast to -0.5%

• Nomura has predicted India’s GDP growth rate for the year 2020 at -0.5%. The earlier prediction was 4.5%.

• The announcement was made by Sonal Varma, MD and chief India economist at Nomura.

Centre Extends Foreign Trade Policy for One Year till March 2021

• The government has extended the existing foreign trade policy (2015-20) for one year till March 2021.

• The foreign trade policy 2015-20 was earlier valid up to March 31, 2020.

RBI sets WMA for Central Government at Rs 1,20,000 crore for first half of FY21

•    The Reserve Bank of India has fixed the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for Central Government for the first half of the financial year 2020-21 (April 2020 to September 2020) at Rs. 1,20,000 crore.
•    The Reserve Bank may trigger fresh floatation of market loans when the Government of India utilizes 75% of the WMA limit.
•    Apart from this, for State Government’s WMA, RBI has increased the WMA limit by 30 percent from the existing limit for all States/UTs. It must be noted that every state government has a different WMA limit.  The revised limits will come into force with effect from April 1, 2020 and will be valid till September 30, 2020.

Science and Technology

NASA Announces Mission SunRISE to Study Causes of Giant Solar Particle Storms
•    US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected a new mission called the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) to study how the Sun generates and releases giant space weather storms, known as solar particle storms, into planetary space.
•    SunRise is an array of six CubeSats operating as one very large radio telescope.
•    NASA has sanctioned USD 62.6 million to design, build and launch SunRISE.It will be launched after July 1, 2023.
 

Sports

2021 World Athletics Championships Being Moved to 2022

• The World Athletics has informed that the 2021 world athletics championships in Eugene, Oregon, United States, is now being shifted to 2022 to accommodate the re-arranged Tokyo Olympics.

• The world athletics championships was earlier scheduled to take place in Eugene on August 6-15, 2021. It will now take place in August 2022.

Days

World Autism Awareness Day is observed on 2 April

•    World Autism Awareness Day is observed on 2 April.
•    The day aims to recognize and celebrate the rights of persons with autism.
•    The day makes people understand, recognize, and accept people with autism.
•    This year the day is commemorated by the Department of Community Development, Abu Dhabi, the UAE.

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Important Current Affairs 1st April 2020

National

GoI extends validity of expired Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration till 30 June

• The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced an extension on the validity of documents like driving licenses, permits and registration that are expired since 1 February.

• The Ministry has directed all states and Union Territories (UT) to treat the documents as valid till 30 June.

Banking and Economy

Mega merger of 10 PSU Banks comes into effect

• The mega merger of 10 PSU banks into 4 comes into effect from April 1, 2020. As per the merger, the Oriental Bank of Commerce and the United Bank of India have now be merged with the Punjab National Bank with the latter being the Head Bank.

• In another merger, Corporation Bank and Andhra Bank are merged into Union Bank of India. The branches of the merged banks will work as the branches of Head or Anchor bank.

As per the consolidation scheme, the details of 10 state-run banks into 4 are mentioned below-

• United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce will merge into Punjab National Bank

• Syndicate Bank will merge into Canara Bank

• Allahabad Bank into Indian Bank

• Corporation and Andhra Banks will be merged in Union Bank of India

The objective behind the merger:

The major objectives of the merger are:

• To help India make a USD 5 trillion economy

• Reducing the lending cost

• Enhancing the capacity in order to increase credit

• To bring next-generation technology for the banking sector

• Banks that have strong national and international reach

• To improve the ability to raise market resources.

Government cuts Interest Rates on Small Saving Schemes

• The Central Government recently slashed the interest rates on small saving schemes such as PPF for the April-June quarter of 2020-2021.

• The Small Saving Schemes include Public Provident Fund (PPF), Kisan Vikas Patra, Senior Citizen Saving schemes (SCSS) and Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.

Obituary

Legendary historian Arjun Dev passes away

• The legendary historian and educationist, Professor Arjun Dev passed away. He was born on November 12, 1938, in Leiah, West Punjab (now in Pakistan).

•  He served as a historian at the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT).

Days

International Transgender Day of Visibility

• International Transgender Day of Visibility observed globally on 31st March every year.

• The day is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society.

Utkal Divas or Odisha Day is celebrated on 1 April

• Utkal Divas (Odisha Day) is celebrated every year on 1st April all over Odisha. Odisha Day is celebrated in the memory of the formation of the state as a separate province on 1 April 1936.

•  This year marks the 83rd Utkal Divas or the foundation day of Odisha. Odisha was born as a separate state on April 1, 1936, on a linguistic basis.

•  The state was carved out of the combined Bengal-Bihar-Orissa province.

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Important Current Affairs 31st March 2020

Summits and Mou’s

Tata Power JV starts Shuakhevi HPP in Georgia

• Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC, a Joint Venture between Tata Power, Norway’s Clean Energy Invest (CEI), and International Financial Corporation (IFC) has announced the start of commercial operation of the 178 MW Shuakhevi Hydro Power Project (Shuakhevi HPP) located in southwest Georgia.

• The project will generate around 450 GWh of clean energy to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by more than 200,000 tonnes a year.

Books and Authors

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

• 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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