Monthly Current Affairs- August, 2020

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Current Affairs is an important section to cover if one wish to appear in any kind of competitive exams like APSC, UPSC, all state civil service exams, Railway exams, SSC, RRBs, IAS, ACS, all Government job exams, TET, CTET and different banking exams like IBPS, SBI PO, SBI Clerk , RBI etc. We have covered the latest Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020 . Visit our page regularly to get the latest informations and get updated and prepared for your exams.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

1. The Amendments to Indian Stamp Act, 1899 comes into effect

The amendments that were made to the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 through the Union Budget 2019, comes into effect from 1st July, 2020.

Key Points :

  • The amendments to Indian Stamp Act, 1899 were made for building a pan-India securities market and to facilitate ease of doing business.
  • The amendment cast an obligation on stock exchanges, depositories and authorised clearing corporations to collect stamp duty on transfer of securities like equity shares, debentures and mutual fund units.
  • Before the amendment coming into effect State governments used to impose stamp duty on financial instruments at different rates. The financial instrfuments collected stamp duty on transactions and deposit it with the state. But now stock exchanges, depositories and authorised clearing corporations will collect stamp duty on any issue, transfer or sale of a security at a uniform rate across all states.
  • State-wise stamp duty rates will be replaced with new rates prescribed under the Finance Act, 2019.

Impact

  • The rationalized and harmonized centralised collection system is expected to ensure minimize cost of collection and enhance revenue productivity.
  • The system will help to develop equity markets and equity culture across the country, ushering balanced regional development.

2. IOCL and Bangladesh’s Beximco LPG Ltd signs agreement

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The IOC Middle East FZE-subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation Limited(IOCL) and Beximco LPG Limited of Bangladesh signed an agreement on 30th June, 2020 to form a Joint Venture Company(JVC) for LPG business in Bangladesh.

Key Points :

  • The signing of agreement was virtually presided over by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • According to the agreement a 50:50 Joint Venture Company(JVC) would be formed to do LPG business in Bangladesh.
  • The JVC will set up a large LPG terminal in one of the deep water port of Bangladesh after acquiring the existing LPG assets of Beximco LPG Limited. Such terminal will facilitate to receive LPG in very large carriers. This will reduce cost of imports significantly.
  • After completing the necessary arrangements the company will intend to expand into other downstream gas and oil businesses such as LNG, lube blending plant, petrochemicals, connecting North-East India through gas pipeline etc.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

3. Shashank Manohar steps down as ICC Chairman

On July 1, 2020 Shashank Manohar stepped down as ICC Chairman after four years. Imran Khwaja from Hong Kong is set to be the interim Chairman until a successor is elected. Manohar took charge as Chairman of ICC in Nowember 2015. Sources says that Colin Graves, whose tenure as England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) chairman will end on August 3 is the potential successor of the seat.

4. Shrikant Madhav Vaidya becomes the new IOC Chairman

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On July 1 , 2020, Shrikant Madhav Vaidya took charge as the Chairman of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd(IOC).

Key Points

  • Shrikant Madhav Vaidya succeeded Sanjiv Singh who has superannuated from service on June 30.
  • He will also be the Chairman of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
  • He will also take over as the Head of Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd.
  • He will also be the Director on the Board of Petronet LNG.
  • Before elevating to the post he was the Director on the IOC Board.

5. Indra Mani Pandey appointed as India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to United Nation

The 1990 Indian Foreign Service(IFS) batch officer Indra Mani Pandey appointed as the next Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Points

  • Indra Mani Pandey will succeed Rajiv Kumar Chander who was appointed to the post on 30th May, 2017.
  • Pandey is currently serving as the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
  • In his nearly thirty years career, Pandey served in Indian Missions in Cairo, Kabul, Islamabad, Muscat, Damascus and Geneva.
  • He has also served as Joint Secretary in the Disarmament and International Security Affairs division of Ministry of External Affairs.
  • At the UN headquarter in New York India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative is T.S Tirumurti.

6. ‘2020 Great Immigrants’ Awards to Siddhartha Mukherjee and Raj Chetty

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Two renowned Indian-Americans Siddhartha Mukherjee and Raj Chetty are among the 38 immigrants honoured by a prestigious American foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York as “2020 Great Immigrants“.

About Siddhartha Mukherjee

Pulitzer Prize- winning author and oncologist Sidhartha Mukherjee born in New Delhi has authored several acclaimed books which includes the “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020
Siddhartha Mukherjee
(Source – Wikimedia)

Mukherjee is associate professor of medicine and a practising physician at New York- Presbyterian Hospital. He is also a Padma Shri award recipient of 2014. He is honoured with this award for his exceptional work during the Covid-19 Pandemic to educate the public about the virus through essays, at public forums, in media interviews and social media.

About Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty, born in New Delhi is working as William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He also directs a research lab called Opportunity Insights that aims to identify barriers to economic and social mobility and develop scalable policy solutions to overcome them. During the Covid outbreak he helped launch a resource to monitor the real-time economic impact of COVID-19 on people, businesses and communities across US.

About the Award

Carnegie Corporation honours the legacy of its founder Andrew Carnegie every July 4 when America celebrates its Independence Day. Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish immigrant who rose from poverty to become a leading industrialist. This Award is to recognize eminent group of immigrants who have made notable contributions to the progress of the American Society.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

7. New MSME ordinance approved by Assam Cabinet

The Assam Cabinet has approved a new MSME ordinance on July 2 , 2020. The ordinance is awaiting Governors consent. Once it is done it will come into force. Sources says that the ordinance is on lines of MSME ordinances of Gujrat and Rajasthan.

Key Points :

  • The new law will allow MSMEs to start projects without any approval or clearance.
  • The Individuals or Industralists who wants to establish an MSME unit will be required to present a ‘Declaration of Intent’. They can start work after receiving an acknowledgement receipt.
  • The acknowledgement receipt can be regarded as a proof of approval from the State Government and can set up the MSME unit without any approval for a period of three years.
  • The person who wish to establish a new MSME have to give an undertaking to the industry department that he shall abide with all statutory rules and regulations of Pollution Control Board, Factories Act, Labour Act before starting the project.
  • The MSME proprietor will be required to take necessary permission from the concerned authority within six months of completing the three-year term.

8. Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 launched

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A national initiative called Drug Discovery Hackathon 2020 has been launched by Union Minister for Health & Family welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan on July 2 ,2020.

Objective of Drug Discovery Hackathon

To identify drug candidates that are effective against corovavirus SARS-Cov-2 by employing a hackathon for in-silico drug discovery, followed by chemical synthesis and biological testing.

About DDH2020

DDH2020 is a joint initiative of AICTE, CSIR and supported by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor, Govt of India, NIC and MyGov. The mission of DDH2020 is to establish ‘Open Innovative Model’ for silico drug discovery against Covid-19.

The hackathon will have two major tracks-

Track 1 will primarily deal with drug design for anti Covid-19 hit/lead molecule generation.

Track-2 will deal with designing/optimizing nerw tools and algorithms which will have immense impact on expediting the process of in silico drug discovery .

The proposed Hackathon will be conducted in 3 phases of 2 months each.

9. Fit India Campaign launches ‘Fit Hai to Hit Hai India’

The Union Minister of Human Resource Development , Ramesh Pokhriyal and Union Minister of State I/C for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju launched the ‘Fit Hai to Hit Hai India’ programme under Fit India Campaign on 3rd July 2020. Olympic Silver Medalist P.V Sindhu and Indian Football team Captain Sunil Chhetri were present at the event.

About Fit Hai to Hit Hai India program

  • Fit Hai to Hit Hai India is a webiner conducted by HRD Ministry.
  • The objective of the webiner is to motivate and inspire the Nation’s school chindren and to help them to understand the need of staying fit in this pandemic situation.
  • In the sessions of the program sports stars will participate to share their experiences through out their life. They will also share some tips to remain fit.
  • The webiner will be conducted six times until 14th July, 2020.

10. The First Plasma Bank of Assam launched

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Amidst rising Covid-19 cases in Assam, the first Plasma bank to store Plasma for Covid patients has been launched at GMCH, Guwahati.

The first convalescent donor is Dr Lithikesh , a PG student of GMCH who was infected with the virus in the month of May.

As there is no definite line of treatment for Covid-19, the Health Department is trying to use the Convalescent Plasma Therapy to treat the patients of the state.

About Plasma Therapy

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

A person who have recovered from an infection contains antibodies in their blood that can fight the pathogens such as viruses, that have caused the disease. These antibodies are found in the plasma.

In the process of Plasma Therapy, plasma is separated from the blood of a recovered person and administered to another person who is currently fighting the same infection. This is called Plasma Therapy.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

11. Government promotes Indian apps through a scheme

The Union Government launched a program for Indian tech entrepreneurs and start-ups to encourage them to develop and promote indigenous world-class apps. The scheme is launched by the Ministry of Electronics and IT in partnership with NITI Aayog.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

MeitY in partnership with Atal Innovation Mission – NITI Aayog launches Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge on June, 4 2020.

Key Points

  • The initiative will identify the best Indian Apps that are already being used by citizens and have the potential to become world class apps.
  • The prize money for apps is between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 20 lakh based on the category.
  • The evaluation of the apps will be done on the basis of ease of use, robustness, security features and scalability.
  • Eight categories of app can participate in this challenge – Office Productivity & Work from Home, Social Networking, E-Learning, Entertainment, Entertainment, Health & Wellness, Business including Agritech and Fintech, News and Games.

12. NASA aims to put first woman on the moon

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) aims to put the first woman on the moon by 2024. However it can be a man also. The mission is under NASA’s Artemis program.

About Artemis Program

The objective of the program is to attempt revival of the American Space Program by putting human presence on the moon.

In the mission scientist will use the surface of the Moon as a field of study and practice living in space before stepping towards Mars. Researches will be done on how the human body reacts to the long duration of spaceflight, creation of habitats and living on surfaces foreign to humans.

The Artemis mission will be accomplished in two parts.

In the first part Artemis I will be launched without any crew. By launching Artemis I functionality of Space Rocket and Orion spacecraft together will be tested.

The second part will be a crewed mission. In the second part Artemis II will be launched with a crew. This is also a test flight before the final launch of Artemis III which will sent the first women or the next man to the Moon.

13. Dehing Patkai to be upgraded as National Park

Amidst controversy surrounding the Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve, the State Government of Assam has decided to upgrade the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary into a National Park.

About Dehing Patkai

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

The Dehing Patkai Wildlife Santuary, also known as Amazon of East, is a home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. It is located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam. It covers an area of 111.19 sq. km . The Dehing Patkai was declared a sanctuary on 13 June, 2004. It is located in a rain forest that stretches for more than 575 sq kms and extends to the districts of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Charaideu. Under Project Elephant the Wildlife Sanctuary and a part of Dehing Patkai Rainforest were declared as Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve in 1992.

The Controversy

  • Coal India Ltd was mining in the Dehing Patkai since 2003. It applied for clearance only in 2012 but got rejected.
  • In 2019, CIL applied once again for clearance of an area of 98.59 hectares. It can be noted here that CIL was already mining in an area of 73 hectares.
  • In December 2019, the Central Government gave Stage I forest clearance to the CIL for 57.20 hectares with 28 conditions that includes fines and actions against officers violating the Forest Conservation Act.
  • As the PSU was mining illegally since 2003, the Assam Forest Department slapped a penalty of Rs 43.24 crore on Coal India Ltd.
  • But on 7th April, 2020 the National Board of Wild Life(NBWL) in it’s 57th meeting of the Standing Committee recommended CIL’s proposal to legalize the illegal activities for approval provided it fulfils the 28 conditions.
  • This sparked the controversy and several protests including through social media were undertaken since April, 2020.
  • On June 4 , Gauhati High Court issued notices to the centre , state, CIL and other stakeholders after filing a suo moto case against Coal India Limited.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

14. Himachal Pradesh becomes the first state to have 100% LPG Connections

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The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jai Ram Thakur announced that his state has achieved the goal set by PM Narendra Modi during the launch of Ujjwala Yojna for proving a gas connection to every household in the country. On 6th July 2020, the CM declared that every household in his state now has a gas connection and that Himachal Pradesh is the first state to have attained this.

Key Points

  • Along with the Central scheme Ujjwala Yojana, Himachal Pradesh has another scheme called the Himachal Grihini Subidha Yojana.
  • The Himachal Grihini Subidha Yojana was launched on May, 2018.
  • The objective of the scheme is to provide LPG connection to households that are left out under the Ujjwala Yojana.
  • As many as 2,76, 243 households have been provided free gas connections under Himachal Grihini Subidha Yojana.

14. Injeti Srinivas becomes the first Chairman of IFSA

Injeti Srinivas, retired IAS officer from Odisha Cadre , 1983 batch has been appointed as the Chairman of International Financial Services Centre Authority(IFSCA) on 6th July, 2020. He will serve the post for a term of three years.

Key Points

  • The International Financial Services Centre Authority(IFSCA) was established on 27 April ,2020.
  • The Headquarter of IFSCA is to be established at Gandhinagar.
  • The IFSCA is a unified authority to regulate all financial services such as securities, deposits or contracts of Insurance, financial services, and financial institution which have been previously approved by any appropriate regulator in an IFSC.
  • The IFSCA consist of a Chairman, one member each from the regulators under IFSCA Act , 2019 and two members from the Central Government of India.

17. Haryana proposed draft Ordinance to reserve jobs in Private sectors

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Under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar the Haryana cabinet has proposed to draft an Ordinance under which 75 percent of the jobs with a salary of less than Rs 50,000 per month will be reserved for the local people of Haryana.

Key Points

  • The proposed draft Ordinance is named as ‘Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Ordinance 2020’.
  • The Ordinance will be presented before the Council of Ministers for approval in the following week.
  • After the assent of the Governor of Haryana and President of India it will come into effect.
  • The Ordinance will be applicable for all privately managed Companies, Trusts, Partnership Firms, Soceities etc that are functioning in the state of Haryana.
  • The Ordinance will have an Exemption Clause for Industries and Businesses where there are no suitable local candidates.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

18. Word’s second-largest data centre inaugurated in Panvel

The second largest Tier IV Data centre of the world has been inaugurated in Panvel near Mumbai by Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray . The centre was inaugurated by the CM virtually.

Key Points :

  • The Data centre is named ‘Yotta NM1 or NM1’
  • The NM1 Data Centre has been developed by Yotta Infrastructure Solutions LLP
  • It is the largest data centre in Asia and India.
  • It has received certification from the US based Uptime Institute as the largest Tier IV Data Centre in India and Asia and Second largest in the World.
  • Once the constrution is completed and becomes full operational it will have a total capacity of 30,000 racks and 210 MW power.

19. ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ Completed by Indian Navy

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The ‘Operation samudra Setu’ was launched by Indian Navy on 5th May 2020. It was launched as an effort to repatriate Indian Citizens from overseas.

Key Points :

  • The Operation Samudra setu last for over 55 days.
  • The Operation started on 8th May 2020 with INS Jalashwa which evacuated 698 Indian Citizens from Maldives .
  • During the Operation 3,992 Indian Citizens are brought back to their native land by the sea route.
  • A total of 4 Indian Navy Ships have streamed more than 23,000 kms to bring back the Indian Citizens during the Covid Pandemic.
  • Indian citizens were mostly evacuated from Maldives, Sri Lanka and Iran.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

20. Odisha becomes the First State of India to Use Space Technology & Artificial Intelligence to monitor Government Lands

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The Chief Minister of Odisha launched ‘BLUIS – Bhubaneshwar Land Use Intelligence System’ to monitor Government lands in Bhubaneshwar. The launch was accomplished virtually on 8th July 2020. Besides ‘BLUIS‘ the Chief Minister also launched an online application named ‘Litigation Management System’.

About BLUISH

  • BLUISH is a web and mobile based solution launched to monitor Government lands of Bhubaneshwar.
  • It is a geo-tagged repository to monitor and detect all government lands.
  • Satellite technology and artificial intelligence will be used to accomplish the task.
  • High resolution satellite images will help to safe guard the Government lands from encroachments.
  • BLUIS will alarm and guide enforcement staffs if it detects any attempt to encroach and change the use of Government land.

About Litigation Management System

The Litigation Management System is a smart technology- based solution to monitor court cases right from initiation to allotment to government advocates. The system will provide end to end communication between government officials and advocates at different stages of a case.

21. ISRO to launch Brazil’s Amazonia -1 Satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) is going to launch the Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 in August , 2020. Amazonia – 1 is the first earth observation satellite to be entirely developed by Brazil.

Key Points :

  • India and Brazil signed an agreement on 25th January for cooperation in the field of outer space.
  • ISRO will be launching the satellite as part of this agreement.
  • Amazonia – 1 will be launched using PSLV from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Operations of Amazonia – 1 will be joint with the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite Programme.
  • The Amazonia – 1 will be the first satellite to be completely operated by Brazil.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

23. Sri Lanka and Maldives becomes first two countries to eliminate Rubella and Measles

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Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

World Health Organisation(WHO) on 8th July announced that Sri Lanka and Maldives has eliminated both Rubella and Measles and became the first two countries in WHO South-East Asia Region to do this.

The announcement was made after the fifth meeting of the South-East Asia Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination.

The Committee comprises of eleven independent international experts in the fields of epidemiology, public health and virology.

A country is verified as having eliminated Rubella and Measles when no evidence of transmission of the viruses are seen for over three years in the presence of a surveillance system.

25. PM Modi Inaugurated Asia’s Largest Solar Plant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 750 MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant on 10th July, 2020. The inauguration was done through a video conferencing.

Key Points

  • The 750 MW Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Plant is the largest single-site solar power power in Asia.
  • It is located in Gurh Tehsil of Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa District.
  • The project is completed by a Joint Venture Company(JVC) named Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited(RUMSL) that was set up between Solar Energy Corporation of India(SECI) and Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikash Nigam Limited(MPUVNL) .
  • The project is worth around Rs 4000 crore.
  • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is an institutional customer of the newly launched power project. It will receive 24 percent of the power generated by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Power project.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

26. Indian Company launches World’s first reusable PPE kits

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Loxal Textile Mills, an Indian Manufacturing Company launched the first reusable PPE kit of the world on 9th July 2020.

Key Points

  • Reusable garments and face masks were also launched along with the PPE kits by the company.
  • The Loyal Textile Mills achieved this feat in collaboration with Reliance Industries Limited and Switzerland based company – HeiQ Materials AG.
  • The branding of the three products will be done as “Supera Shield’.
  • All the three products are made with the Viroblock Technology of HeiQ Materials AG.
  • Reliance Industries provided the R ELAN Fibre that inhibits bacterial and viral growth.
  • The garments and the face masks can be washed for up to 25 times and the PPE kits up to 10 times for reuse.

27. First Bamboo Industrial park in Northeast

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The Central Government will set up the first Bamboo Industrial Park in the Northeast in Dima Hasao district of Assam.

Key Points

  • The park will cover an area of 75 hectares .
  • It will develop the bamboo-based industry in the State and will contribute the to the over all economy of the State.
  • The decision to set up such a park was taken at the initiative of the DoNER ministry following direction of PM Narendra Modi.
  • It is believed that the bamboo growers of the State will be highly benefited from the park.
  • The decision of setting up a Bamboo park in the State would go a long way in realizing the goal of Atmanirbhar Assam.

28. India becomes the Second Largest Source of FDI for the United Kingdom

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The Department for International Trade(DIT) , Government of United Kingdom released the statistics for the number of Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) projects in the Financial Year 2019 -2020. As per the figure India is now the second largest source of FDI in the United Kingdom.

Key Points

  • India has invested in a total of 120 projects in the UK and created 5,429 jobs in the Financial Year 2019-20.
  • In Financial Year 2018-19 India was in the third place with investment in 106 projects that created 4858 jobs.
  • United States continues to be in the number one spot with 462 projects in United Kingdom that generated 20,131 jobs.
  • The FDI in the United States have witnessed an overall 4 percent rise in the Financial Year 2019-20 as compares to 2018-19.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

29. India’s First State-Level ‘E-Lok Adalat’ conducted

The first State Level ‘E-Lok Adalat of India was conducted by Chhattisgarh High Court on 11th July 2020. The Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court P.R. Ramachandra Menon inaugurated the first E-Lok Adalat from Chhattisgarh State’s High Court.

Key Points

  • The E-Lok Adalat was conducted through video conferencing.
  • It was conducted in 195 benches across the state of Chattisgarh.
  • A total of 3133 cases were placed before the benches.
  • Out of 3133 cases 848 cases were attended by 24 benches from the capity of Chhattisgarh.

30. Russia Becomes the First Country to Complete Human Clinical Trials for Covid -19 vaccine

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Russia’s Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epideomology and Microbiology has successfully completed the Human Clinical Trials for it’s Covid-19 vaccine and the results have proven the medication to be effective.

Key Points

  • The Gamaleya National Research Centre for Epideomology and Microbiology had received approval for clinical trials of two forms of a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by them from Russian Government on June 18, 2020.
  • The trial for the first vaccine was carried out at the Burdenko Military Hospital. The vaccine is a form of solution for intramuscular administration.
  • The trial for the second vaccine was carried out at the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. The vaccine is a form of powder for preparation of a solution for intramuscular administration.
  • The first stage of the research at Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University involved a group of 18 volunteers and the second stage involved 20 volunteers.

30. US remains India’s top trading partner

The United States continues to be India’s top trading partner in the fiscal 2019-20. It shows the increasing economic ties between India and US.

Key Points

  • The bilateral trade between the US and India stood at $88.75 billion in the fiscal 2019-20. It was $87.96 billion in 2018-19.
  • In 2018-19 the US first surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner.
  • The bilateral trade between India and China dipped to $81.87 billion in 2019-20 from $87.08 billion in 2018-19.
  • Before China UAE was the country’s top trading nation.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

31. Madhya Pradesh Tops in SVANidhi implementation

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The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan informed in a video conference with the street vendors that Madhya Pradesh has topped in Implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atma Nirbhar Nidhi so far.

Key Points

  • The Madhya Pradesh Government has sanctioned an interest-free loan of around Rs 15.50 crore to 15,500 street vendors in the State.
  • There are about 8,70,300 street vendors registered under the scheme as of 12th July 2020.
  • Pradhan Mantri Street Vendors Atma Nirbhar Nidhi(PM SVANidhi ) is a central scheme launched on 1st June 2020.
  • The objective of the scheme is to help and formalize the street vendors across the country.
  • The scheme is funded by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The beneficiaries of the scheme receives a financial assistance of Rs 10,000 in the form of interest free loan for a period of one year.
  • The interest of the loan is paid by both Central and State Government.
  • On timely repayment of the loan the street vendors will be eligible for another loan of Rs 20,000 in the next financial year under the same scheme.

32 . World’s Most Affordable COVID – 19 kit launched

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The Union Minister of Human Resources and Development Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishnak launched world’s most affordable COVID-19 Kit on July 15, 2020.

Key Points

  • The COVID-19 kit was developed by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi .
  • The COVID – 19 kit is named as ‘COROSURE’.
  • The base price of the kit is Rs 399.
  • IIT Delhi will transfer the technology to develop such kits to around 10 companies who have been granted licenses for manufacture of the kit.
  • The kit has received approval from both ICMR and DCGI .

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

33. Ashok Lavasa appointed as new Vice President of Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank appointed Ashok Lavasa as its vice president on July 15, 2020.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

Key Points

  • Ashok Lavasa is a 1980 batch retired IAS officer who was serving as the Election Commissioner.
  • He will succeed Diwakar Gupta whose terms of service will end on August 31 , 2020.
  • His premature exit as Election commissioner would only be the second in the history of Election Commission.
  • Lavassa still has over two years left in his term as Election Commissioner.
  • After his exit from Election Commission of India his colleague Suchil Chandra would be in the line of succession.

34. FIFA World Cup 2022 to be held in Qatar

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The Federation Internationale de Football announced that 2020 FIFA World Cup is to be held in Qatar.

Key Points

  • The FIFA World Cup will be the first world cup to be held in Arab World.
  • The tournament is to be held in November-December.
  • The final of the tournament is scheduled to held on December 18, 2022.

35. India-European Summit held

The 15th India-European Union Summit was held on July 15 2020 through video conferencing.

Key Points

  • The India-European Summit aims at strengthening ties between India and European Union.
  • In the summit India and European Union agreed to boost their ties in the areas of defence, trade and investment.
  • The leaders of both the sides decided to strengthen strategic partnership between India and European Union.
  • Discussions on the ongoing cooperation under “Clean Energy and Climate Partnership” took place at the summit.
  • The leaders at the summit also reinforced their cooperation in International Solar Alliance(ISA), International Platform on Sustainable Finance(IPSF) which help in environmentally sustainable investments.

36. India-Bhutan Opens New Trade Route

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India and Bhutan has opened a new trade route between Jaigaon in West Bengal and Pasakha in Bhutan. The route will serve to move industrial raw materials and goods destined for Pasakha Industrial Estate at Bhutan. It will help boost trade and commerce relationship between both the countries.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

37. India-Israel signs Cyber Security Agreements

India and Israel signed agreements to deal with cyber threats collaboratively on July 15, 2020.

Key Points

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  • The agreement was signed between Sanjeev singla, India’s Ambassador to Israel and Director General of Israels’s National Cyber Directorate.
  • The agreement also involved Indian Computer Emergency Response Team(CERT).
  • The agreement will increase the scope of exchange of Information between the countries on cyber threats.

38. India signs MoU to store petroleum reserves in the US

India and United States signed Memorandum of Understanding to store strategic reserves of Petroleum in the US on July 17, 2020.

Key Points

  • The MoU was signed through a virtual US-India Strategic Energy Partnership Ministerial that held between the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Energy Secretary of US Dan Brouillette.
  • The objective of the MoU is to begin discussions on cooperation and maintenance of strategic petroleum reserves.
  • The US-India Strategic Energy partnership aids sustainable energy development.
  • The US-India Strategic Energy partnership has helped India and Us to increase their hydrocarbon trade in the last three years.

39. Third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet held

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The third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet held on July 18, 2020. The meet was presided over by Saudi Arabia.

Key Points

  • Finance Minister Of India Nirmala Sitaraman participated in the meet.
  • In the meet, India shared global economic outlook amid evolving Corona crisis.
  • India discussed about enhancing access to opportunities for woman and youth.
  • India also discussed about international taxation agenda related to digital sector.

40. New Malware steals credit card details, password etc

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A new android malware, named BlackRock has been discovered. It has been reported that the malware steals data such as passwords, credit card details from 337 mobile application.

  • BlackRock was discovered by mobile security firm Threatfabric.
  • The malware can perform intrusive operations such as start specific apps, show custom push notification, perform SMS floods etc.
  • It is based on the leaked source code of another malware Xerxes.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

41. CIPET gets accreditation from NABL to test PPE kits

The Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering Technology(CPET) was accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing(NABL) and Calibration Laboratories to test and certify PPE kits.

Key Points

  • Personal Protective Equipment includes gloves, goggles, triple layered masks, face shield in the line of international Standards.
  • NABL accredited 8 government labs to test prototype samples of PPE on May 2020.
  • The NABL was set up under Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT).

42. Consumer Protection Act, 2019 comes into effect

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Consumer protection Act, 2019 came into effect from 20 July, 2020. The act replaced the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Key Points

  • The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 will empower the consumers and help them to protect their rights through Consumer Protection Council and Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission.
  • The act empowers the Central Consumer Protection Authority to conduct investigations on violation of consumer rights, misleading advertisements etc.
  • The Consumers Protection Act, 2019 regulates advertisements. Under this celebrities can be fined up to Rs 10 lakhs for promoting misleading products. Punitive actions can also be taken against the advertisers who creates misleading contents.
  • The act defined six major consumer rights –
    • Right to be protected against marketing goods and services that are hazardous to life and property.
    • Right to be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods and services.
    • Right to be assured of access to a variety of goods and services at competitive prices.
    • Right to seek redressal against unfair or restrictive trade practices .
    • Right to sue the celebrity for misleading endorsements.
    • Right to claim product liability action under the act on account of harm caused to consumers due to effective products.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

43. Mega Food Park inaugurated in Mizoram

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The Union Minister of Food Processing Industry Harshimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the first Mega Food Park in Mizoram on 20 July, 2020.

Key Points

  • The newly inaugurated park is expected to provide employment to 5,000 persons and to benefit 25,000 farmers in primary processings.
  • The park has been established under Maga Food Park scheme of Government of India.
  • Under the scheme a financial assistance of Rs 50,000 crores will be provided to the park.

44. India test fires “Dhruvastra” successfully

India sucessfully test fired the anti-guided missile “Dhruvastra” on July 22, 2020 at the Interim Test Range of Odisha.

Key points

  • The name of the Nag missile was “Helina” but renamed as “Dhruvastra” later on.
  • It is a third generation anti-tank guided missile system that is fired from an Advanced Light Helicopter.
  • The missile has a all-weather day and night capability.
  • It can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as explosive reactive armour.
  • The missile can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
  • It has a maximum range capability of 7 km in Lock On Before Launch(LOBL) mode.
  • The flight trials were conducted on 15th and 16th July at ITR Balasore(Odisha).

45. Greta Thunberg wins first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity

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Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist was awarded the first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity.

Key Points

  • Greta Thunberg is the first person to receive this award.
  • She was awarded the prize for the way she has been able to mobilise younger generations for the cause of climate change and her tenacious struggle to alter a status quo that persist.
  • The award carries a one million euros prize.
  • The activist donated the entire amount to project and organisations ‘fighting for a sustainable world’.
  • There were 136 nominees for the award from 43 countries across the world.

Gulbenkian Prize

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”.

Gulbenkian Prize is a series of prizes that are awarded annually by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The main Gulbenkian Prize was first awarded in 1976 as the Gulbemkian Science Prize.

46. Digantara develops India’s first in-orbit space debris monitoring and tracking

Digantara, a Space start up has developed India’s first in -orbit space debris monitoring and tracking system.

Key Points

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  • Digantara is India’s first air and space surveillance company.
  • The in -orbit space debris monitoring and tracking system works on LIDAR(Light Detection and Ranging) technology.
  • The system will provide global real-time earth surveillance by deploying a constellation of cost-efficient nano satellites in the Low Earth Orbit.
  • The new system will help international space agencies to track and map space debris.

47. Sahil Seth has been appointed as adviser for BRICS CCI

Sahil Seth, Deputy Commissioner of Mumbai Customs has been appointed as adviser of steering committee for BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).

Key Points

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  • The new post held by Sahil Seth is a purely voluntary post and does not involve in any monetary benefit.
  • The BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an organization that promotes commerce and industry in BRICS.
  • The BRICS consist of five major economies of the world – Brazil, China, India , Russia and South Africa.

48. TRIFED signs MoU with IIT, Delhi

The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) signed an agreement with IIT Delhi and Vijnana Bharati to implement Unnat Bharat Abhiyan.

Key Points

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  • The TRIFED operates under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India.
  • The IIT Delhi and TRIFED together envisages promoting tribal livelihoods and income-generating programmes.
  • The new agreement will enable the tribal forest dwellers engaged in Minor Forest Produce to access new processing technologies, mentorship transformational digital systems, product innovation and handholding.
  • The partnership will gain support from Vijanana Bharati Science Movement(VIBHA). It will reach out to all the stakeholders to converge with the focus to strengthen ‘Van Dhan’ programme of TRIFED.
  • The partnership can help enhance livelihoods through Van Dhan Vikas Kendras which were established under “Van Dhan Yojana’.

49. South Korea launched its first-ever military satellite

South Korea launched its first ever military satellite ANASIS II. The purpose of the the satellite is to defend against nuclear armed North Korea.

Key Points

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  • The military satellite ANASIS II was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US in a Falcon 9 rocket.
  • The lauch was accomplished by SpaceX of theUnited States.
  • The rocket will reach the orbit after two weeks from launch.
  • South Korea became the tenth country to have own military communication satellite.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

50. Khelo India Youth Games(4th edition) to be hosted by Haryana

The 4th Edition of Khelo India Youth Games will be hosted by Haryana. This was announced by Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Kiren Rijiju and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on 25th of July, 2020 .

Key Points

  • The fourth edition of Khelo India Youth Games has been scheduled to be conducted after Tokyo Olympics.
  • It will be held in Panchkula, Haryana.
  • Star Sports will be the official broadcaster of the 4th Khelo India Event.
  • The third Khelo India Youth Games was held from 10 January 2020 in Guwahati.

About Khelo India

  • Khelo India Youth Games was formerly known as Khelo India school Games.
  • It is a national level multidisciplinary grass-root games in India held for two categories- U-17 school students and U-21 college students.
  • The game was first held on 31st January 2018 and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
  • To accomplish the above objectives Khelo India Programme has been divided into 12 verticals –
    • Play Field Development.
    • Community Coaching Development.
    • State Level Khelo India Centres.
    • Annual sports Competitions.
    • Talent Search and Development
    • Utilization and Creation/ Upgradation of Sports Infrastructure.
    • Support to National/Regional/State Sports Academics.
    • Physical fitness of school children.
    • Sports for women.
    • Promotion of sports among people with disabilities.
    • Sports for Peace and Development.
    • Promotion of Rural and indigenous/tribal games.

51. India hands over 10 Railway Locomotives to Bangladesh

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India handed over 10 Railway Locomotives to Bangladesh on July 27, 2020. This was done as a fulfillment of the commitment to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina during her visit to India.

Key Points

  • The Railway Locomotive hand over event was conducted virtually.
  • Indian External Affairs Minister S Jai Shankar, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and their Bangladeshi counterparts took part in the ecvent.
  • This event was accomplished with a view to strengthen cross border transport infrastructure.
  • The 3300 HP WDM3D locos given to Bangladesh have a residual life of 28 Years or more.
  • These locos can attain a speed up to 120 kmph.
  • The locomotives given to Bangladesh are suitable for hauling freight as well as inter country movement.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

52. Ajay Shankar Memorial Awards to 3 entrepreneurs from North-East

Three entrepreneurs from the North-east received the prestigious Ajay Shankar Memorial Awards at the 49th Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair(IHGF) or Delhi Fair held between July 13 and 19 for best virtual booths.

Key Points

  • Ajay Shankar Memorial awards are given in memory of Late Ajay Shankar, former development commissioner, handicrafts.
  • Shantanu Sutradhar of M/S Disha Enterprise, Silchar won Ajay Shankar Memorial Golden Award.
  • Lucky Keisham of M/S Lucky Manipur Handicrafts Kauna Bags, Imphal won the Ajay Shankar Memorial Silver Award.
  • Victor Talukdar of M/s Mesmerizing Bamboo Fusion , Aizawl won the Ajay Shankar Memorial Bronze Award.
  • The 49th Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair(IHGF) was organized by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts(EPCH) which is an automous council under the Union Ministry of Textiles.
  • The Indian Handicrafts & Gifts Fair(IHGF) or the Delhi fair is among Asia’s largest gifts and handicrafts fair held bi-annually.
  • Over 1500 exhibitors took part in the virtual fair from all over the country.
  • Altogether 25 artisans and entrepreneurs from the North-east participated in the virtual fair and displayed their exquisite crafts in theme pavilion set up.

53. ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ challenge launched by DRDO

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Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has launched a contest ‘Dare to Dream 2.0’ on the death anniversary of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Key Points

  • The contest is announced to promote the Indian innovators and startups for innovations in defence and aerospace technologies.
  • The ‘Dare to Dream’ is an open challenge to promote the innovators and startups from all over the country.
  • The winners will be decided by an expert committee after due evaluation.
  • A sum of Rs 10 lakh for startups and Rs 5 lakh to individual categories will be awarded to the winners.

54. ‘Mausam Application’ launched to forecast weather

Union Minister of Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan launched a mobile application called ‘Mausam‘ on July,27 2020.

Key Points

  • The mobile application ‘mausam’ will be used to forecast weather.
  • It was designed and developed jointly by International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics(ICRISAT), Indian Metereological Development(IMD), and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology(IITM), Pune.
  • The application will provide weather forecast for about 450 Indian cities.
  • The data on the app will be updated eight times a day.
  • The app will display weather information of past 24 hours.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

55. Union Cabinet approves National Education Policy(NEP)-2020

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The Union Cabinet Approved the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020 on 29 July, 2020. The aim of the new education policy is to introduce several changes in the Indian education system- from the school to college level.

National Education Policy(NEP)-2020

Key Points

School Education

  • The 10+2 structure has been replaced with 5+3+3+4 consisting of 12 years of school and three years of Anganwadi or pre-school.
  • The split will be as follows –
    • a foundational stage(ages 3 to 8 years)
    • three years of pre-primary(ages 8 – 11 years)
    • a preparatory stage(ages 11 to 14 years)
    • a secondary stage( ages 14 to 18 years)
  • No exams will be held every year. School students will sit only for three exams- at class 3 , 5 and 8.
  • Board exams in schools will be held for class 10 and 12 but will be re-designed with an aim of holistic development. Test of actual knowledge of students will be done instead of “rote learning”.
  • National Assessment Centre- ‘PARAKH’ has been created to assess the students.
  • Home language, mother tongue or regional language will be the medium of instruction up to Class 5.
  • School curriculum will also be reduced to core concepts and there will be integration of vocational education from Class 6.
  • Report cards will be a comprehensive report on skills and capabilities instead of just marks and statements.
  • National mission will focus on basic literacy and basic numeracy.
  • Major changes have been announced in the pedagogical structure of curriculum with no rigid separation between streams; all
  • Separations between vocational and academic and curricular and extra-curricular will also be removed.

Higher Education

  • A Higher Education Council of India(HECI) will be set up to regulate higher education. The council will aim at increasing the gross enrollment ratio from 26.3 percent to 50 percent by 2035.
  • The HECI will have four independent verticals- National Higher Education Regulatory Council for regulation, General Education Council to set standards, Higher Education Grants Council for funding and National Accreditation Council for accreditation.
  • MPhil courses will be discontinued under the new policy and all the courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD level will now be interdisciplinary.
  • All higher education institutions, except legal and medical colleges, will be governed by a single regulator.
  • Common norms will be in place for private and public higher education institutions. It will also cap fees charged by educational
  • institutions.
  • Common entrance exams will be held for admission to universities and higher education institutions.
  • There will be holistic and multidisciplinary education in terms of flexiblity of subjects.
  • Other features include graded academic, administrative and financial autonomy of institutions.
  • E-courses will be developed in regional languages; virtual labs will be developed and a National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) is being created.
  • There are over 45,000 affiliated colleges in our country. Under graded autonomy, academic, administrative and financial autonomy will be given to colleges, on the basis of the status of their accreditation.

Monthly Current Affairs- August 2020

56. BRICS Environment meeting held in Russia

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The 6th BRICS Environment meeting held in Russia on 30th July, 2020. The Environment Ministers of the BRICS countries took part in the meeting through a video conferencing under the presidency of Russia.

Key Points

  • Union Environment Minister of India Prakash Javedkar represented India in the meeting.
  • He Emphasized India’s concern towards attaining Sustainable Development Goal(SDG).
  • The Minister showcased India’s great initiative towards tackling air pollution, marine litter, river cleanliness and sustainable urban management.
  • He also offered that India could provide the platform wherein all the best practices in environmental management in BRICS countries could be displayed.
  • He invited the five BRICS nations for the upcoming environment meeting which is going to be held in India in 2021.
  • The BRICS nations called for initiatives to improve the environment, promote the circular economy in the context of sustainable patterns of production and consumption to be included in national plans for economic recovery after COVID -19.
  • The BRICS countries also undertook to share experiences in developing national economic recovery programmes to keep moving towards sustainable development whilst addressing the challenges faced to tackle poverty, inequality and unemployment which have been exacerbated by the impacts of the pandemic.

57. Gandhi-King Exchange Act approved in the US congressional committee.

The Gandhi-King Exchange Act got final approval of the key congressional committee on 29th July, 2020 in the United States. It will become a law after passing through the House and Senate.

About Gandhi-King Exchange Act

  • The bill is written by American civil rights leader and lawmaker John Lewis.
  • The bill is inspired by John Lewis‘ visit to India in the year 2009 to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s trip to India in the year 1959.
  • The bill promotes the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr marking the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi.
  • The bill seeks to establish a bilateral partnership between the US and India and to strengthen ties between both the countries.
  • The bill empowers the Indian Government and the US Government to establish an annual educational forum for students from both the countries to study the work and legacies of both the great leaders.
  • The bill will establish a development training system on conflict resolution founded on the principles non-violence of Gandhi.
  • The bill asks to develop a training initiative known as Gandhi-King Global Academy.
  • The bill also formulates the establishment of the US-India Gandhi-King Development Foundation.

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Monthly Current Affairs , July – 2020

Monthly Current affairs, June-2020

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