Daily Current Affairs 19 & 20 July 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Uttarakhand to generate electricity from waste
The Uttarakhand government has decided to convert waste generated in the state to electricity under an initiative titled ‘Waste to Energy’.
- Uttarakhand has received a go-ahead from the Centre to set up India’s first Ultra High Temperature Hydrolysis (UHTH) Reaction waste to energy plant at Roorkee. The project will be used to convert solid waste collected from seven major residential towns in the state into electricity.
- The privately funded plant will be able to receive, handle and process 550 metric tonnes of unsegregated municipal solid waste and commercial waste typically emanating from urban and industrial areas per day.
FM Sitharaman attends 3rd G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors Meeting
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the 3rd G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Saudi Arabian Presidency through Video Conferencing.
- The main aim of the meeting is to discuss the global economic outlook amid evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis along with other G20 Finance Track priorities for the year 2020.
- The FM discussed regarding the progress of G20 Action Plan against COVID 19. This plan laid out in detail a list of collective commitments under the heads of health response, economic response, strong and sustainable recovery and international financial coordination aimed at coordinating a committed effort on the part of the G20 countries.
Global Skills Index 2020: India stands at 34th position
According to Coursera report title ‘Global Skill Index’, Within the data science domain, India ranks at 51 globally (lagging) and 12 among APAC countries in data science overall.
- Within the data management competency, India ranks at 58 globally (only slightly better than Nigeria (0 per cent) and the Philippines (2 per cent) and 15 among APAC countries in data management skills at 3 per cent skills proficiency (lagging)”.
- Within business domain India ranks at 34 globally whereas China is at 45th position. On the other hand, in the technology domain, India and China stand at 40th and 50th position respectively.
- Only four countries display competitive skills in data science — Hong Kong (75 per cent), Singapore (73 per cent), New Zealand (59 per cent) and Australia (54 per cent).
India and Israel sign agreement to expand cooperation in cyber security
India and Israel have signed an agreement to further expand collaboration in dealing with cyber threats amid rapid digitisation due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that exposed the vulnerabilities of the virtual world.
- The MoU signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a unit of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and INCD deepens the operational cooperation between the two sides and will expand the scope of exchange of information on cyber threats in order to raise the levels of protection in the field.
BANKING & FINANCE
Nabard sanctions Rs 795 cr for infra damaged by cyclone Amphan in Bengal
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned Rs 795 crore for reconstructing infrastructure damaged by cyclone Amphan that ripped through West Bengal in May 2020.
- The state government had sought Rs 1,028 crore from Nabard for repairing impaired embankments under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
- Nabard has already provided Rs 145 crore under RIDF to the state as special liquidity support for boosting rural infrastructure in view of the Covid-19 pandemic
PSBs sanctioned loans worth Rs 19,669 cr till July 15: FM Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the Public Sector Banks have sanctioned loans worth nineteen thousand six hundred sixty nine crores till 15th of July this year.
- The loans were sanctioned for 71 MSME hubs in 27 States and UTs under the 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
- Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the government announced collateral-free loans worth three lakh crore rupees for MSMEs with turnover up to 100 crore rupees till 31st October this year. A total of 45 lakh MSMEs are expected to benefit from the scheme.
Bank of Maharashtra offers Overdraft against Fixed Deposits through Mahamobile App
Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), a premier public sector bank in the country, known for customer friendly services has launched an Overdraft facility (OD) against Fixed Deposits for its individual customers holding a SB account amidst pandemic.
- Under this OD facility, up to 90% value of FD can be availed attracting additional 2% interest rate over and above the FD rate.
- The OD facility can be availed from the comfort of home in three simple steps using Bank of Maharashtra’s Mahamobile App.
PM SVANidhi Scheme approved loans to over 48,000 street vendors so far
More than 1.54 lakh street vendors have so far applied under PM SVANidhi, a special micro-credit scheme for providing affordable loan of up to Rs 10,000 to such people, the Centre said
- In a statement, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) ministry said out of 1.54 lakh, loan applications of over 48,000 street vendors have already been sanctioned.
- This scheme targets to benefit over 50 lakh street vendors who had been vending on or before March 24 this year in urban areas, including those from surrounding peri-urban and rural areas
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
CBSE ties up with IBM to integrate AI Curriculum in 200 schools across India
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced that the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the high school curriculum for Grade XI and XII for the current academic year (2020 – 2021) has been developed in collaboration with IBM.
- The curriculum is part of CBSE’s Social Empowerment through Work Education and Action (SEWA) program. The initiative is aimed at helping students to learn AI skills for social good.
- This curriculum will be launched in around 200 schools across Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab (13 states of India).
German World Cup winner Andre Schurrle retires from football
Former Chelsea star and Borussia Dortmund forward Andre Schurrle has announced his retirement from football at the age of 29 after terminating his contract with Borussia Dortmund.
- Andre Schürrle has ended a career in which he made 207 Bundesliga appearances, 68 in the English Premier League, and saw him win the World Cup with Germany.
Lewis Hamilton wins 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton won his the eighth Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 at Hungaroring, Mogyoród, Hungary.The Mercedes driver and Michael Schumacher are now the only two men to have won eight races at a specific circuit.
- Max Verstappen (Dutch-Red Bull) was second, followed by Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes- Finland) at the third spot.
Real Madrid clinch record 34th La Liga title
Real Madrid clinch record 34th La Liga title with 2-1 win over Villarreal.
- Real Madrid have sealed their 34th La Liga title with a tenth consecutive victory in the competition, a 2-1 win over Villarreal, at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano in Madrid.
- Karim Benzema was the leading scorer for a 2-1 victory against Villarreal.
SAP appoints Kulmeet Bawa as new India MD
German software company SAP has appointed Kulmeet Bawa as president and managing director for its Indian operations from this month.
- He replaces the incumbent Deb Deep Sengupta who will take up a new assignment within the organization.
- Bawa will also guide businesses in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka apart from India to adopt a digital-first mindset and will report to Scott Russell, President of SAP Asia Pacific Japan (APJ).
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
UAE launches ‘Hope’ mission to Mars from Japan’s space center
The United Arab Emirates launched its first-ever interplanetary Hope Probe mission to Mars from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Centre.
- The Hope probe launched on an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima spaceport, and is now on a 500-million-km journey to study the planet’s weather and climate.
- The spacecraft is expected to reach Mars orbit in about 200 days from now and then begin its mission to study the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
ICAT launches automotive technology e-portal ASPIRE
International Centre of Automotive Technology (ICAT) has announced the launch of the automotive technology e-portal ASPIRE, which stands for Automotive Solutions Portal for Industry, Research and Education.
- The portal has been launched to improve the technological capability of Indian automotive sector with the help of exchange of knowledge & expertise, to make them self reliant and to enable the growth of automobile sector including overall socio-economic progress of the country.
- The portal is a part of strategy devised by the Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Government of India, under the leadership of Secretary, Heavy Industries, to promote innovation, R&D and product development in India.
IIM-K’s start-up develops a wearable device, Veli Band, to monitor social distancing
With the COVID-19 graph continuing its spike, a startup, incubated at the Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode (IIM-K), has developed a wearable hand band that helps in maintaining social distancing by sending out alarm in case of proximity with another person.
- Known as the Veli Band, the device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt.Ltd, a startup co-founded by a woman entrepreneur, mentored and funded by IIMKs business incubator and entrepreneurship development centre.
- The Veli band momentarily vibrates, plays a sound-alert, and flashes LED simultaneously, to notify the wearers that another band is within three feet, reminding them to maintain social distance.
C.S. Seshadri, a leader of Indian mathematics, passes away
C.S. Seshadri, one of the leaders of Indian mathematics in the post-Independence era, passed away late in Chennai. He was 88.
- A leader in the field of algebraic geometry, he made breakthroughs that lie at the base of many branches of this profound discipline.
- He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988 and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, USA in 2010. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2009.
Filmmaker Rajat Mukherjee passes away
Bollywood director Rajat Mukherjee passed away in Jaipur due to kidney-related issues.
- The filmmaker, known for directing films like Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya…, Love in Nepal, Road among others, was suffering from an illness for a long time, revealed actor Manoj Bajpayee. He was in his late 50s.