Current Affairs 2020

Yoshihide Suga elected as Japan's new Prime Minister succeeding Shinzo Abe [16 Sep 2020]

Japan's Parliament elected Yoshihide Suga as Prime Minister on September 16, replacing long-serving leader Shinzo Abe with his right-hand man. Suga, who was chief Cabinet secretary and the top government spokesman under Abe.

Rajesh Khullar appointed executive director of World Bank [15 Sep 2020]

Senior IAS officer and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Rajesh Khullar, has been appointed executive director of the World Bank in Washington DC for three years. As executive director, Khullar will represent India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in the World Bank. The World Bank Group comprises 25 executive directors who each represent a country, or constituency of countries, are either appointed or elected to the position.

Dominic Thiem claims US Open title 2020 [14 Sep 2020]

Austria's Dominic Thiem claimed his maiden Grand Slam title with a stunning comeback to beat Germany's Alexander Zverev in US Open 2020.

Naomi Osaka clinch US Open 2020 Womens Title [14 Sep 2020]

Naomi Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title by beating Victoria Azarenka in US Open 2020 Womens Single title. Naomi Osaka is the first woman to win her first three Grand Slam finals since 2002.

Veteran Actor Paresh Rawal has been appointed as Chairman of National School of Drama Society [12 Sep 2020]

Veteran Actor Paresh Rawal has been appointed as Chairman of National School of Drama Society by President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind. Mr. Paresh Rawal has been appointed to the post of Chairman, NSD Society for four years. Mr. Rawal is an actor par excellence in both Theatre and Film. Its been almost four decades of him serving the film and theatre industry for which he has won numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994. In 2014, he was conferred with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, for his contribution to the entertainment industry. He also served as a former member of Parliament.

Citi bank appointed Jane Fraser as its next CEO, first woman in that role [11 Sep 2020]

Citigroup announced that Jane Fraser would succeed Michael Corbat as the bank's next chief executive, making Fraser the first woman to ever lead a Wall Street bank.

DRDO successfully flight tests Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle [07 Sep 2020]

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully demonstrated the hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the flight test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle (HSTDV)from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha. The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres (km), where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic Mach number. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned. The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound. The critical events like fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet demonstrated technological maturity. The scramjet engine performed in a text book manner. The parameters of launch and cruise vehicle, including scramjet engine was monitored by multiple tracking radars, electro-optical systems and Telemetry Stations. The scramjet engine worked at high dynamic pressure and at very high temperature. A Ship was also deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the performance during the cruise phase of hypersonic vehicle. All the performance parameters have indicated a resounding success of the mission.

India ranked in the top 50 nations in the Global Innovation Index [02 Sep 2020]

India has climbed 4 spots and has been ranked 48thby the World Intellectual Property Organization in the Global Innovation Index 2020 rankings. In midst of the Covid -19 pandemic, it comes as an uplifting news for India, and is a testament of its robust R&D Ecosystem. India was at the 52nd position in 2019 and was ranked 81st in the year 2015. It is a remarkable achievement to be in a league of highly innovative developed nations all over the globe. The WIPO had also accepted India as one of the leading innovation achievers of 2019 in the central and southern Asian region, as it has shown a consistent improvement in its innovation ranking for the last 5 years.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Japan for cooperation in the field of good quality textiles [02 Sep 2020]

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Textiles Committee, India and M/s Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre, Japan for improving quality and testing of Indian textiles and Clothing for the Japanese market. The MoU would enable M/s Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre, Japan in assigning Textile Committee as their cooperative Testing and Inspection service providers in the Republic of India for Textiles & Apparel products including Technical Textiles and any other products mutually agreed upon at a later date for both domestic and overseas clients/buyers.

Cabinet approves "Mission Karmayogi"- National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB) [02 Sep 2020]

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved launching of a National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building (NPCSCB)with the following institutional framework:- (i) Prime Minister's Public Human Resources (HR) Council,(ii)Capacity Building Commission.(iii) Special Purpose Vehicle for owning and operating the digital assets and the technological platform for online training,(iv)Coordination Unit headed by the Cabinet Secretary.

NPCSCB has been carefully designed to lay the foundations for capacity building for Civil Servants so that they remain entrenched in Indian Culture and sensibilities and remain connected, with their roots, while they learn from the best institutions and practices across the world. The Programme will be delivered by setting up an Integrated Government Online Training - iGOTKarmayogiPlatform.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Finland for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources [02 Sep 2020]

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources between Geological Survey of India, Ministry of Mines, the Government of the Republic of India and Geological Survey of Finland (Geologiantutkimuskeskus), Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Government of Finland. The MoU facilitates cooperation in the field of geology, training, mineral prognostication and suitability analysis, 3/4D modeling, Seismic and other Geophysical surveys finalised with the intent of reinforcing and strengthening scientific links between the two Organisations. This MoU aims to provide with a framework and a platform to promote and foster cooperation in the fields of geology, and mineral resources between the Participants for mutual economic, social and environmental benefit; and share experiences on geological data management and information dissemination to promote exploration and mining, in the areas of geology and mineral resources.

Shri Rajiv Kumar takes over as new Election Commissioner [01 Sep 2020]

Shri Rajiv Kumar assumed charge as the new Election Commissioner (EC) of India. Sh Kumar joins the Election Commission of India with Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra.

Central Government constitutes National Council for Transgender Persons [24 Aug 2020]

In exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (40 of 2019), the Central Government has constituted a National Council for Transgender Persons vide notification dated 21st August, 2020. The Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment will be Chairperson (ex-officio) and Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment will be Vice-Chairperson (ex-officio). The National Council shall perform the following functions, namely:-

  1. to advise the Central Government on the formulation of policies, programmes, legislation and projects with respect to transgender persons;
  2. to monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and programmes designed for achieving equality and full participation of transgender persons;
  3. to review and coordinate the activities of all the departments of Government and other Governmental and non-Governmental Organisations which are dealing with matters relating to transgender persons;
  4. to redress the grievances of transgender persons; and
  5. to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.

The other members of the Council include representatives of various Ministries/Departments, five representatives of transgender community, representatives of NHRC and NCW, representatives of State Governments and UTs and experts representing NGOs.

World Class State of the Art Honey Testing Lab inaugurated at Anand, Gujarat [24 Aug 2020]

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurated the ‘World Class State of Art Honey Testing Laboratory’ established by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)in Anand(Gujarat) with support of National Bee Board (NBB).

Army Sports Institute, Pune awarded with Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar 2020 [23 Aug 2020]

Army Sports Institute, Pune has been identified and awarded with “Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar 2020” by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt of India. Army Sports Institute, Pune was raised as part of Indian Army’s “Mission Olympics” programme on 01 Jul 2001. The aim was to train the vast reservoir of talent in the Army in selected seven disciplines to include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Diving, Fencing, Weightlifting and Wrestling with an ultimate aim of winning medals at Olympics. The institute draws its sportsmen from the Army as well as from young raw and proven talent in ‘Boys Sports Companies’ (8-14 years age).

ARCI scientists convert tamarind waste & cotton waste to supercapacitor electrodes [21 Aug 2020]

Tamarind seeds and cotton waste may soon be used to make low-cost supercapacitors for energy storage – thanks to the efforts of a group of Indian scientists who have used such waste biomass to develop materials for making cost-effective supercapacitor devices. This can pave the way towards affordable electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles which bank on supercapacitors significantly for their application in braking systems and start-stop cycles. Responding to the intense hunt for supercapacitor materials to meet the widespread demand for supercapacitors, Scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, have developed a couple of cost-effective electrode material for making affordable supercapacitor devices, from waste biomass like tamarind seeds and industrial cotton waste. They have converted the waste materials into highly porous carbon fibres by activation process and then utilised the porous carbon fibres to make high-performance supercapacitor electrodes. The findings of their recent work have been published in the ‘Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics.’ The electrode materials made from the biomass waste has been tested with the help of a rapid testing protocol developed by Scientists at Centre for Fuel Cell Technology, ARCI-Chennai to evaluate different porous electrode materials for their suitability in supercapacitors. The protocol involves Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and records the impedance ( a parameter used to measure the opposition that a circuit presents to a current when a voltage is applied) offered by a material under a small perturbation and the capacitance (ratio of the change in electric charge of a system to the corresponding change in its electric potential) formed by the arrangement of electrolyte ions over the electrode surface, which is called as double-layer capacitance. The ARCI scientists used it to test the pore characteristics and stability of the activated carbon material prepared from tamarind seed and its suitability for supercapacitor application.

Cabinet approves proposal for leasing out three airports - Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram [19 Aug 2020]

The Union Cabinet accorded its approval for leasing of three AAI airports namely, Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram for Operation, Management and Development to M/s Adani Enterprises Ltd, who is declared as the successful bidder in a Global Competitive Bidding conducted by the Airports Authority of India, for a period of fifty years. These projects will bring efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.

Cabinet approves setting up of National Recruitment Agency to conduct Common Eligibility Test [19 Aug 2020]

Cabinet approves creation of National Recruitment Agency (NRA), paving the way for a transformational reform in the recruitment process for central government jobs. A multi-agency body called the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will conduct a Common Eligibility Test (CET) to screen/shortlist candidates for the Group B and C (non-technical) posts. NRA will have representatives of Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance/Department of Financial Services, the SSC, RRB & IBPS. It is envisioned that the NRA would be a specialist body bringing the state-of-the-art technology and best practices to the field of Central Government recruitment.

Shri. Kishor Rungta has assumed charge as Chairman of Fertilisers Association of India, Southern Region [19 Aug 2020]

Shri. Kishor Rungta, CMD, The Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd(FACT) has assumed charge as Chairman of Fertilisers Association of India, Southern Region (FAI SR).

Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine [11 Aug 2020]

Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than two months of human testing, a move hailed by Moscow as evidence of its scientific prowess.

Shri Patanjali assumes charge as Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax [10 Aug 2020]

Senior Indian Revenue Service officer Shri. Patanjali has assumed charge as Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai. Prior to this, he was holding the post of Director General of Income Tax (Investigation Wing), Bengaluru for the state of Karnataka & Goa.

Shri Girish Chandra Murmu assumed office as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India [08 Aug 2020]

Shri Girish Chandra Murmu assumed office as the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. He belongs to Indian Administrative Service of Gujrat cadre (1985 batch). Shri Murmu succeeds Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, who demitted office on 8th August 2020. Prior to this, Shri Murmu was the first Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.

Prof. (Dr.) Pradeep Kumar Joshi takes oath as Chairman, UPSC [07 Aug 2020]

Prof. (Dr.) Pradeep Kumar Joshi, presently Member, Union Public Service Commission, took the oath of office and secrecy as Chairman, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The oath was administered by Shri Arvind Saxena, outgoing Chairman of the Commission.

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology wins first prize in Smart India Hackathon-2020 [06 Aug 2020]

Defence Institute of Advanced Technology (DIAT) Pune, an autonomous organization under the Department of Defence Research & Development, DRDO, won 1st prize in Smart India Hackathon (SIH)-2020. The SIH-2020, the 36-hour non-stop digital product building competition was a national level competition for software edition organized jointly by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) held during 1-3 August 2020 at Noida Institute of Engineering & Technology (NIET), Uttar Pradesh. The DIAT student team “Age of Ultron” which comprised of six members under the guidance of Dr. Sunita Dhavale, won the 1st Prize of Rupees 1 Lakh for solving problem statement MS331 in the category of software posed by the Madhya Pradesh Government. The team provided the solution titled “DRISHTI” for the face, expression and gesture recognition using Artificial Intelligence.

Kezang D Thongdok gets Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2020 [28 Jul 2020]

Arunachal Pradesh filmmaker Kezang D Thongdok was honoured with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2020 for Chi Lupo, a short documentary on honey hunting largely practise in the Shertukpen community in the state.

India-European Union Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation renewed for next five years (2020-2025) [25 Jul 2020]

India and European Union have renewed its Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for the next five years (2020-2025). This has been done by exchange of Note Verbale between two sides. The Agreement was initially signed in on 23 November 2001 and renewed two times in past in 2007 and 2015. This will expand the cooperation in scientific and technological research strengthen the conduct of cooperative activities in areas of common interest and application of the results of such cooperation to their economic and social benefit. Cooperative activities may take the forms of reciprocal participation of Indian research and European research entities in research, technological development, and demonstration projects under each other programme. India & the European Union agreed to renew the Agreement on Scientific cooperation for the next five years, 2020-2025, at the 15th India-EU Summit, a virtual one which was led by Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi from India’s side. The European Union delegation was headed by European Council President Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Grant of Permanent Commission to Women Officers in Indian Army [23 Jul 2020]

Ministry of Defence has issued the formal Government Sanction Letter for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to Women Officers in the Indian Army, paving the way for empowering Women Officers to shoulder larger roles in the organisation. The order specifies grant of PC to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Women Officers in all ten streams of the Indian Army i.e Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC). In anticipation, the Army Headquarters had set in motion a series of preparatory actions for conduct of the Permanent Commission Selection Board for affected Women Officers. The Selection Board will be scheduled as soon as all affected SSC Women Officers exercise their option and complete requisite documentation. The Indian Army is committed to provide equal opportunities to all personnel including Women Officers to serve the Nation.

P. C. Kandpal appointed as MD & CEO, SBI General Insurance [23 Jul 2020]

Prakash Chandra Kandpal has been appointed as the Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SBI General Insurance.

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg wins first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity [20 Jul 2020]

Young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg was awarded the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. The award carries a €1,000,000 prize and the entire amount would be donated by Thunberg to project and organisations "fighting for a sustainable world". The Gulbenkian Prize "aims to recognize people, groups of people and/or organizations from all over the world whose contributions to mitigation and adaptation to climate change stand out for its novelty, innovation, and impact".

Consumer Protection Act, 2019 comes into force [20 Jul 2020]

The Consumer Protection Act,2019 comes in to force from 20th July 2020. The Act includes establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

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Medical Council of India (MCI)

Headquarter: New Delhi Function of the Organization: The Medical Council of India was established in 1934 under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, now repealed, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications →

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