Daily Current Affairs 24 October 2020 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.
Patel Launches “Life in Miniature” Project
Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (I/C), virtually launched ‘Life in Miniature’ project, a collaboration between the National Museum, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, and Google Arts & Culture.
- Hundreds of miniature paintings from the National Museum’s collections can now be seen through the Google Arts & Culture app.
- The project uses technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality and digitisation with high-definition robotic cameras, to showcase these special works of art in a magical new way.
- The paintings selected for the project are on the themes of nature, love, celebration, faith and power.Among the collections included are Ramayana, Royal Saga and Pahari-style paintings.
Himachal’s Mandi bags top position for implementation of PMGSY
Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district has bagged top position among 30 districts of the country in successful implementation of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
- Six more districts of Himachal Pradesh have also secured position among top 30 best performing districts, which include Chamba, Shimla, Kangra, Una, Sirmour, Hamirpur and Solan.
- Himachal Pradesh has also secured second position at the national level for construction of roads under PMGSY.
Maharashtra’s Women & Child welfare dept launches initiative to fulfill nutritional requirements of lactating mothers & children
After performing the most difficult task of providing nutritional food to 74 lakh beneficiaries during Corona pandemic, Maharashtra’s Women and Child welfare department has launched a new initiative to fulfill the nutritional requirements of lactating mothers and children in the state.
- Women and Child welfare minister Yashomati Thakur inaugurated the platform ‘ TARANG SUPOSHIT MAHARASHTRACHA’ which is based on the interactive voice response system. The platform is expected to create more awareness about the nutritional requirements of women and children in the state.
- The digital platform Tarang Suposhit Maharashtracha is equipped with the facilities like a helpline, broadcast call, whatsapp chatbot etc. The number 8080809063 will give important guidance about the nutritional food, special care to pregnant women, lactating mothers and parents of the children. Short films containing the information about nutrition and also the video series showing special recipies and preparations of nutritious dishes are available on the platform.
Karnataka govt gives nod to switch implementing agency for Bhagyalakshmi scheme
The Karnataka cabinet granted approval to implement the Bhagyalakshmi scheme, which provides financial security to girl child of BPL families, through Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana of the postal department instead of LIC.
- The postal department will be the implementing agency for Bhagyalakshmi scheme, one of the flagship schemes of the Yediyurappa-led BJP government in the state. Since the interest rate offered by the LIC was way less, the state government decided to switch the agency.
- Under this scheme, a girl child belonging to below poverty line (BPL) families is eligible to receive Rs one lakh after completing 18 years of age. The scheme is aimed at elevating the status of a girl child in the family and society. Re-designing and implementing the Bhagyalakshmi scheme will not result in any loss to the beneficiary.
Third phase of National Supercomputing Mission to start in Jan next year
The third phase of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) will kickstart in January 2021, taking computing speed to around 45 petaflops.
- The NSM is rapidly boosting high power computing in the country through its various phases to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, medium, small and micro enterprises and start-ups in areas like oil exploration, flood prediction as also genomics, and drug discovery.
- The Rs 4,500 crore-National Supercomputers Mission (NSM) envisages nearly 50 supercomputers across the country in three phases.
Andhra CM Jagan launches YSR Bima insurance cover scheme
Chief Minister, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, launched the YSR Bima scheme, which would benefit 1.41 crore families by providing insurance cover.
- The state government will be paying Rs 510 crore every year as a premium, despite the central government having withdrawn from the scheme. Terming the loss of the primary bread earner as the worst nightmare for any family.
- Assuring them that the claim amount will be directly credited into their bank accounts within 15 days of the claim being made, Jagan also announced immediate assistance of Rs 10,000 to families through village and ward secretariats.
- Under this scheme, the insurance amount for accidental death and total permanent disability for people aged between 18-50 years is Rs five lakh and for those between 51-70 years is Rs three lakh. Similarly, for natural death cases (18-50 years) Rs two lakh and for partial permanent disability in an accident case (18-70 years) Rs one and a half lakhs assistance will be provided.
Uttarakhand CM Rawat launches Integrated Model Agricultural Village Scheme
Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat has inaugurated Integrated Model Agricultural Village scheme (Ekikrit Adarsh Krishi Gram Yojana) in the state in partnership with NABARD.
- Integrated Model Agricultural Village scheme is a concept which will prove to be a milestone in strengthening the economy of farmers and doubling their income.
- The chief minister said the limit for interest free loan given to farmers is being hiked to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 2 lakh .He said 10,000 people will be deployed to give impetus to water conservation efforts and reduce man-animal conflict which has become a deterrent for people wanting to take up agriculture as a means of livelihood.
After 35 years, India assumes the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International LabourOrganization
After 35 years, India has assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization, ILO.
- It marks a new chapter in the 100 years of productive relationship between India and ILO.
- Labour and Employment Secretary, Apurva Chandra, has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the ILO for the period October 2020- June 2021.
Andorra Joins IMF as its 190th Member
Andorra (officially the Principality of Andorra) has joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to become its 190th member.
- IMF’s Membership allows the Andorran government to benefit from IMF policy advice, especially as the country tackles the crisis caused by COVID-19 and can now receive an annual review or “health check” of its economy by the IMF, tap technical assistance, and access IMF lending if needed.
USAID announces $5 m to support India’s initiatives
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has introduced two new awards totalling $5 million to Catalyst Management Service’s COVID Action Collaborative (CAC) and the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence as a part of the US authorities’s help to India’s Covid-19 response.
- This financial assistance brings USAID’s COVID-19 assistance to India to over $13 million.The two-year, $3-million partnership with CAC, will profit over 10 million uncared for and susceptible people affected by the pandemic, the discharge stated.
- This can be executed by strengthening the capability of 100 native organisations, 10 native governments and 15 associations of healthcare suppliers, small retailers, and avenue distributors, and can hyperlink them with authorities and personal sector assets.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI pegs minimum NOF for housing finance companies at Rs 25 cr
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) fixed the minimum Net Owned Fund (NOF) size for housing finance companies at Rs 25 crore.
- The housing finance companies (HFCs) holding a Certificate of Registration (CoR) and having an NOF of less than Rs 25 crore will be required to achieve NOF of Rs 15 crore by March 31, 2022 and Rs 25 crore by March 31, 2023.
- The RBI further said that it would be incumbent upon such HFCs whose NOF currently stands below Rs 20 crore to submit a statutory auditor’s certificate to the central bank within a month evidencing compliance with the prescribed levels.
Mastercard partners with Atlantis to expand Digital First Program in India
Mastercard is partnering with Atlantis, a financial technology company headquartered in Singapore, to provide users with a technology solution that will enable them to enjoy a best-in-class digital banking experience.
- The Digital First Program aims to reignite users’ relationships with more meaningful experiences. Users will be able to use their cards/accounts for digital transactions within minutes of application, enabled by a fully digital online application and issuance process, including video KYC (in collaboration with Signzy).
- Cardholders will no longer need to wait to receive a physical card to begin using their cards for online shopping or at physical stores.
Saad Hariri renamed as Lebanon PM
Three-time Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was renamed to the post to create a cabinet that can lift the country out of its worst economic crisis in decades.
- Mr. Hariri, 50, made his comeback almost a year after stepping down under pressure from a protest movement demanding an overhaul of Lebanon’s political system.
- The country is under international pressure to form a crisis cabinet to address a plummeting economy made worse by COVID-19 and the blast at the Beirut port on August 4.
India-assisted Mangdechhu hydroelectric project in Bhutan wins prestigious award
India-assisted Mangdechhu hydroelectric project in Bhutan has been awarded the prestigious Brunel Medal for excellence in civil engineering by the UK-based Institute of Civil Engineers.
- The run-of-river power plant, built on the Mangdechhu River in Trongsa Dzongkhag district of central Bhutan at a cost of Rs 4,500-crore, is seen as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.
- The Mangdechhu project was funded by India through a 70 per cent loan and a 30 per cent grant.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indian Navy Missile Corvette INS Prabal launches anti-ship missile
The Indian Navy launched anti-ship missile (AShM) by its Missile Corvette INS Prabal with deadly accuracy at maximum range and sinking the target ship.
- The missile launched somewhere from the Arabian Sea homed in on its target – an old ship – and hit it with deadly accuracy at its maximum range.
NATO to set up new space centre in Germany
The North Atlantic Treaty organisation(NATO) is to setup a new Space Centre in Ramstein, Germany. The centre is to serve as a co-ordination Centre for space observation.
- The new Centre will gather information about possible threats to satellites. The centre is to be developed into a command centre of defensive measures in near future.
- The centre is being setup based on Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty organisation.
Government launches ‘e-Dharti Geo portal’
Ministry of Union Housing and Urban Affairs has recently launched the ‘e-Dharti Geo Portal’ which will integrate legacy drawings such as maps and lease plans in the management information system. It will allow the data to become geographic information system (GIS)-enabled.
- The land and development office is currently dealing with around 60,000 commercial, residential, industrial and institutional properties. It provides a property certificate and the outline map of the property.
- These details can be accessed online on the portal now.The property holder would be provided with a certificate which includes the property details such as land type, property type, date of allotment, property status, plot area, property address etc.
Indian Air Force’s first woman commissioned officer Vijayalakshmi Ramanan passes away
Wing Commander (Retd) Dr Vijayalakshmi Ramanan, the first woman commissioned officer of the Indian Air Force, has died in Bengaluru due to health complications.She was 96.
- Ramanan, a recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM),was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps on August 22, 1955 and was seconded to the Air Force with effect from the same day.
- Ramanan was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in August 1972, and honoured with the Vishist Seva Medal five years later. She had retired in February,1979.
- She was also awarded the Balfour Memorial Medal for Medicine and Prize for Surgery by the Madras University.
International Stuttering Awareness Day
The International Stuttering Awareness Day is marked every year on October 22 to increase awareness about the speech disorder that is said to affect 70 million people worldwide.
- The theme for international Stuttering Awareness Day 2020 is “Journey of Words – Resilience and Bouncing Back”.
International Snow Leopard Day
International Snow Leopard Day is observed on October 23 to raise awareness on protection of snow leopards which are endangered.
- This day was first celebrated on 2014, after the signing of the Bishkek declaration on the conservation of the snow leopards during the First Global Snow Leopard forum in Bishkek, the capital of Krygyzstan in 2013.