Daily Current Affairs 19th August, 2020

Daily Current Affairs 19 August 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

Govt launches Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge – Innovate Solutions for Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge – Innovate Solutions for Aatmanirbhar Bharat. IIT Madras and Center for Development of Advance Computing have developed two microprocessors named SHAKTI (32 bit) and VEGA (64 bit) respectively using Open Source Architecture.

  • The Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge seeks to invite innovators, startups and students to use these microprocessors to develop various technology products. It is an opportunity for 100 semi-finalists to win award of one crore rupees and for 25 finalists to win one crore rupees. While top 10 teams entering the finale, will get the seed fund of two crore 30 lakh rupees and 12 months incubation support.

India Post Issued Stamps on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

India Post has released a set of five commemorative postage stamps and a miniature sheet on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. This is the third part of the series .

  • The stamps depicts following five cultural sites of India-Historic City of Ahmedabad, Churches and Convents of Goa, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Khajuraho Group of Monuments and Qutub Minar.
  • There are 38 World Heritage Sites located in India . These include 30 cultural sites, 7 natural sites and 1 mixed-criteria site. India has the sixth largest number of sites in the world.

India ranks first in number of organic farmers and ninth in terms of area under organic farming

India is home to 30% of the total organic producers and ranks first in the world in number of organic farmers and ranks ninth in terms of area under organic farming, 2.59% of the total organic cultivation area (57.8 million hectares).

  • Sikkim became the first State in the world to become fully organic and other States including Tripura and Uttarakhand have set similar targets.
  • North East India has traditionally been organic and the consumption of chemicals is far less than rest of the country. Similarly the tribal and island territories are being nurtured to continue their organic story.

Nitin Gadkari launches portal to buy groceries directly from farmers

MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari launched an online farm-to-fork service VedKrishi.com promoted by farmers for selling non-toxic farm produce.

  • The platform set-up by Nagpur-based farmer producer organization VedKrishi Farmer Producer Company will home deliver grocery products including dairy goods, vegetables, grains, and pulses, apart from pickles, juices, sauces, etc.
  • The company will connect farmers directly with consumers through the platform. Registered consumers would be able to schedule their order in advance for one year.

MPEDA opens quality control lab in Porbandar for seafood exporters

The Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) has opened a quality control laboratory in Porbandar to facilitate tests for seafood processors and exporters to confirm to product safety as per international regulatory requirements.

  • The laboratory is equipped with advanced testing instruments to analyse antibiotic residues, heavy-metals, such as cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic in seafood samples and histamine in fish like tuna and mackerel.

Lieutenant Governor inaugurates motorable bridge in Ladakh

Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R. K. Mathur inaugurated a 60- metre span double lane motorable bridge over river Indus at Choglamsar.

  • The bridge has been completed at an estimated cost of 8.21 crore rupees Daily Current Affairs 1 August 2020under Central Road Fund. The bridge connects over five major villages with Leh town.

Andhra Pradesh teams up with NPCI for digital payments in hinterlands

Andhra Pradesh government has announced teaming up with the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) and Canara Bank to empower over 15,000 village and ward secretariats with digital payments in the rural areas.

  • The initiative, aimed at providing impetus to digital payments among last-mile customers towards financial inclusion was launched by the chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, introducing UPI QR code in 15,004 village and ward secretariats.
  • The government has also designated a Digital Assistant, who will facilitate UPI payments for rural customers in the villages and transfer money to a common pool account where it is supposed to be credited.

IIT Madras retains number-one position in list of top innovative educational institutes in India

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) was adjudged as the top innovative educational institute in the country in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) ranking for the second consecutive year.

  • Around 674 Institutions had participated in the ARIIA Rankings this year compared with 496 Institutions last year. ARIIA ranking was launched last year by the Innovation Cell of the Ministry of Education in ‘Institutions of National Importance, Central Universities and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions.

Bengaluru Ranks 26th, Delhi 27th Globally in Annual Price Rise of Luxury Homes; Manila Tops Chart

According to Knight Frank report, Bengaluru and the national capital ranked 26th and 27th, respectively, globally in annual price appreciation of luxury residential properties.

  • Mumbai is at 32nd position, the consultant said in its ‘Prime Global Cities Index Q2 2020’ report.While Bengaluru and Mumbai moved up by one place each, Delhi jumped five notches as compared with the previous report of Q1, 2020.
  • The Philippines capital Manila leads the index with prime home prices rising by 14.4 per cent over the 12 months to June 2020, followed by Japan’s Tokyo (8.60 per cent) and Sweden’s Stockholm (4.40 per cent). Thailand’s capital Bangkok was the weakest-performing global city in the year to June 2020, with luxury home prices falling by 5.8 per cent.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s GDP to Contract 16.5% in April-June Quarter, Says SBI Report

State Bank of India’s research report Ecowrap expects the country’s GDP to contract by 16.5 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal.

  • Earlier in May, Ecowrap had estimated Q1 FY21 GDP contraction at over 20 per cent and now pegs it at much lower contraction of 16.5 per cent for the quarter, “though with the relevant caveats in the current uncertain scenario.
  • It said degrowth in corporate GVA has been significantly better than revenue degrowth in Q1 FY21 as far as the results of the listed companies are concerned. So far, around 1,000 listed entities have announced their results for the first quarter.
  • The results indicate more than 25 per cent decline in topline and more than 55 per cent decline in bottomline.

Bharti AXA Life, SBM Bank India enter into bancassurance partnership

Bharti AXA Life Insurance has entered into bancassurance partnership with SBM Bank India for distribution of life insurance products through the latter’s network.

  • Under this agreement, Bharti AXA Life Insurance will offer its entire suite of life insurance products, including protection, health, savings and investment plans, to the customers of SBM Private Wealth, the retail banking arm of SBM Bank India.

Flipkart and IIT Patna partner for industry focused research

Walmart-owned Flipkart has inked an agreement with IIT-Patna to help create industry-focused applied research in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML).

  • As part of the MoU, IIT-Patna will undertake a number of programmes such as joint research activities, writing research papers, organising seminars and internship/mentorship opportunities.
  • The aim behind this collaboration is to create industry-focused applied research that could help reach e-commerce more consumers and sellers.

Muthoot Finance, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance tie up to offer COVID-19 cover

Muthoot Finance has tied up with Kotak Mahindra General Insurance to offer COVID-19 insurance cover of up to Rs 1 lakh against gold loan.

  • Muthoot Finance Ayush Gold Loan is an exclusive initiative of Muthoot Group through which they will provide complimentary COVID-19 insurance cover to their eligible customers.
  • This cover however will be available only for the customers availing gold loan under the Super Loan scheme.


SPORTS

Dream11 wins IPL 2020 title sponsorship rights with bid of Rs 222 crore

Fantasy gaming platform Dream11 has won the IPL title sponsorship rights with a bid of 222 crore rupees. The deal will be valid for four and a half months, ending December 2020.

  • Dream11 will replace VIVO after the Chinese mobile phone maker suspended its deal owing to a border stand-off between India and China.
  • The company, however, had been under BCCI’s scanner after it was linked to the fake T20 league held in Punjab but was live-streamed as a game in Sri Lanka.Two education technology companies, BYJUs and Unacademy were also in the race with bids of 201 crore and 170 crore rupees respectively.


APPOINTMENTS/RESIGNS

Ashok Lavasa resigns as Election Commissioner; to join ADB as Vice President

Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa resigned from his post to join the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) as vice-president next month.

  • Mr. Lavasa has submitted his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind and has requested to be relieved by the end of this month. Last month, the ADB had announced his appointment to the post.

Satya Pal Malik appointed as Meghalaya Governor; Bhagat Singh Koshyari to take additional charge of Goa

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Satya Pal Malik as the Governor of Meghalaya. Satya Pal Malik will be replacing Tathagata Roy who completed his five-year tenure by serving as Tripura Governor for three years and the remaining in Meghalaya.

  • Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will discharge the functions of the Governor of Goa in addition to his own duties.

DBS Bank India appoints Prashant Joshi as Managing Director and Head of National Distribution

DBS Bank India announced the appointment of Prashant Joshi as Managing Director and Head of National Distribution.

  • He will report to Surojit Shome, Managing Director and CEO of DBS Bank India Limited. Joshi was earlier Chief Operating Officer, IndoStar Capital Finance.

Central Bank of India appoints Ashwini K Shukla as chief risk officer

State-run Central Bank of India said it has appointed Ashwini Kumar Shukla as its chief risk officer (CRO), effective August 3.

  • Prior to his appointment, Shukla was working as general manager (risk management department) State Bank of India.
  • The state run lender is the first one to appoint a CRO from the market.

Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Kita resigns amid military coup

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has announced his resignation amid a military coup. The dramatic development comes after more than two months of regular demonstrations calling for him to step down three years before his final term was due to end.

  • Keita, who was democratically elected and re-elected, was left with few choices after the mutinous soldiers seized weapons from the armory in the garrison town of Kati and then advanced on the capital of Bamako.


AWARDS

Indian Origin Physician Wins UK Engineering Award for Contribution in Covid-19 Fight

An Indian-origin physician Ravi Solanki is among 19 winners of the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering President’s Special Awards for Pandemic Service for exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 throughout the UK.

  • Ravi Solanki, a physician working on neurodegenerative diseases, along with Raymond Siems, an engineer working in machine learning, were awarded for their volunteer work to help build a secure and fully functioning website for a new National Health Service (NHS) charity HEROES.
  • The honours have been awarded to teams, organisations, individuals, collaborations and projects across all technical specialities, disciplines and career stages within the UK engineering community who have contributed to addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and specially commissioned silver medals will be presented to all 19 winners later this year.


OBITUARIES

Renowned climate scientist Konrad Steffen passes away

Beloved U.S.-Swiss climate scientist and glaciologist Konrad “Koni” Steffen died while doing research in Greenland. He was 68.

  • Steffen fell into a deep crevasse full of water, after snow and ice gave way beneath him while he worked near a weather station. Rescue attempts were unsuccessful, and his body was not found.
  • Steffen was the scientific director at the Swiss Polar Institute and director of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Computer scientist Russell Kirsch, who invented pixel, passes away at 91

Russell Kirsch, a computer scientist credited with inventing the pixel and scanning the world’s first digital photograph, died in Portland, Oregon. He was 91.

  • His pioneering contributions to computer science made digital imaging possible.
  • Kirsch created 172 x 172 pixel digital image of his son Walden in 1957, which became iconic, and was named one of Life magazine’s “100 Photographs That Changed the World” in 2003.


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