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 Weekly Current Affairs, August 1- August 7, 2020. Visit our page regularly to get the latest informations and get updated and prepared for your exams.
1. NASA launched Preseverance Rover
National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on 30th July, 2020. The primary goal of the rover will be to search for potential signs of past microbial life, or bio-signatures on the Red Planet.
- The Rover was launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station , Florida.
- The mission is designed to better understand the geology and climate of Mars.
- The rover will test new technologies to benefit future human and robotic space exploration.
- The rover will land at a site of Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.
2. Four more States and UTs integrated to One Nation One Ration Card scheme
The Union Government has extended the One Nation One Ration Card scheme to four more states and Union Territories.
- With the integration of four new states and Union Territories – Jammu & Kashmir , Manipur, Nagaland and Uttarakhand, the scheme has been enabled in 24 states and Union Territories now.
- The ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ is a scheme in which a ration card holder can avail ration under National Food Security Act(NFSA) regardless of their location in the country.
- According to official data available, around 81 crore beneficiaries are covered under the National Food Security Act(NFSA) in all the states and Union Territories where the scheme is enabled.
3. Natasurya Phani Sarma Award Presented
On June 31, 2020 Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal presented the Natasurya Phani Sarma Award, 2020 to renowned theatre artistes Aishwarya Kakati and Bhabesh Baruah . The award comprises a man bastra,sarai, commendation and a cheque of Rs 2 lakh each.
4. NITI Aayog suggested to create Dak Bank
The NITI Aayog has recently suggested to create Dak Bank(Postal Bank) by merging the regional rural banks in order to further deepen financial inclusion in the country.
- The NITI Aayog has suggested the over 1.5 lakh post offices present in the country to make outlets for the proposed Dak Bank.
- Another suggestion put forwarded by them is to make norms easier to grant bank licenses.
- It also suggested privatisation of three banks, Bank of Maharashtra, Punjab & Sind Bank and UCO Bank.
5. IPL 2020 to be held in September
The 13th edition of IPL(Indian Premier League) will be held from 19th September 2020.
- The IPL – 2020 will start from 19th September and the final match will be played on November 10, 2020.
- The tournament will be staged in the UAE and the matches will be hosted at three venues- Abu Dhabi , Dubai and Sharjah. (However these are subject to necessary clearances from the Government of India).
- The tournament will be hosted for 53 days.
- The comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures(SOPs) are being discussed by the Governing Council of IPL and will be finalised and published in due course.
6. Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission approved
Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) Nitin Gadkari has approved the Khadi Agarbatti Aatmanirbhar Mission with a view to raise production of Agarbattis.
- The scheme was proposed by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) with an aim to generate employment and make India self-reliant in agarbatti production.
- The scheme will be launched very soon through public-private partnership which will involve small investment.
- This will create thousands of jobs once fully implemented.
- The scheme will aid the private agarbatti manufacturers to scale up production without much capital investment.
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC) will provide automatic incense sticks production and powder mixing machine to artisans by the private agarbatti producers under the scheme.
- The machines will be provided by KVIC at a subsidy of 25% and the remaining amount will be recovered in easy installments.
- The raw materisals will be provided by the business partners and the training costs of the artisan’s will be shared by KVIC and the business partners in 75:25 ratio.
7. Vidyarthi Vigyaan Manthan 2020-21 launched
Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched ‘Vidyarthi Vigyaan Manthan, 2020-21‘ on August 1, 2020.
- The initiative is launched to popularize science among students of class 6th to 11th.
- The programme will be utilized as a platform to identify the talents in the field of Science and to promote scientific acumen among the students.
- Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan, an initiative of Vijnana Bharati(VIBHA or Vigyan Bharti) is launched in collaboration with Vigyan Prasar and NCERT.
- Through the programme students are asked to participate through comprehensive writing, objective type question answers , presentations, role play activities etc.
- The Winners of Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan gets an opportunity to visit National Science Laboratories and to interact renowned scientists of the country.
8. Swach Bharat Kranti launched
The book Swach Bharat Kranti was officially launched by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Union Minister of Textiles and Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani on August 4, 2020.
About Swach Bharat Kranti
The book “Swach Bharat Revolution” edited by Parmeshwaran Iyer has been translated into Hindi and published as “Swach Bharat Kranti“.
The book consist of 35 essays by a diverse range of stakeholders and contributors to the SBM which portrays the remarkable journey of the SBM(Swach Bharat Mission).
The essays are grouped into four key sections or pillars of SBM success – political leadership, public financing, Partnerships and people’s participation.
The book consist of a foreword by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
Essays in the book are written by Amitabh Kant, Arun Jaitley, Amitabh Bachan, Akshay Kumar,Bill Gates, Ratan Tata, Sadhguru, Tavleen Singh and many others.
Swach Bharat Mission(SBM) or Swach Bharat Abhiyan also known as Clean India Mission was a country-wide campaign from 2018-2019.
The campaign was officially launched on 2 october 2014 at Rajghat in New Delhi by the PM Narendra Modi.
The objective of the mission was to eliminate open defecation and improve solid waste managenent in Urban and rural areas in India. It aimed to make India an “open-defecation free” nation by 2 October 2019.
Some other objectives of SBM were eradication of manual scavenging, generating awareness and bringing behavioural changes of sanitation practices and augmentation of capacity at local level.
SBM is regarded as India’s largest cleanliness drive till date. About three million government employees and students from all over India participated in 4043 cities, towns and villages.
The mission was accomplished by splitting it into two parts – rural and urban. ‘SBM-Gramin‘ was for rural areas and was financed and monitored by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. ‘SBM-urban‘ covered the urban areas and was overseen by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Volunteers of the mission were known as “Swachhagrahis” or “Ambassadors of cleanliness”. They promoted indoor plumbing and community approaches to sanitation at the cvillage level.
9. DD Assam Channel Launched
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javedkar launched a 24 hour dedicated channel DD Assam for the state of Assam on August 4, 2020. He launched the channel through video conferencing.
DD Assam Key Points
- The Channel is a state owned TV Channel and is being telecasted from Doordarshan Kendra, Assam.
- The owner of the Channel is Prasar Bharti.
- According to Prakash Javedkar “The Channel is a gift to people of Assam and this channel will cater to all sections of the population of Assam and will be immensely popular.”
- The Minister also said that the region has immense natural and human resource potential and the connectivity in the state has been improving steadily.
- According to the Governor of Assam Prof Jagdish Mukhi the moment of launch was a happy moment for Assam because the public broadcaster is adding a feather to its knitty with the launch of DD Assam.
- Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said “This channel will boost the growth of Assam in all spheres of human, activities, while at the same time help percolate the initiatives and programmes of the Government to grassroot.”
About Prasar Bharti
Prasar Bharti is India’s largest public broadcasting statutory autonomous body. It was set up by an act of Parliament, Prasar Bharti Act-1990 . The agency was formed on 23 November, 1997. It comprises of two media units – the Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio. The current chairperson of Prasar Bharti is Dr A. Surya Prakash.
Doordarshan is an autonomous public service broadcaster of India which was established on 15 September 1959. It is one of the two divisions of Prasar Bharati. The organisation is India’s largest broadcasting organisations in studio and transmitter infrastructure. The current CEO of Doordarshan is Shashi Sekhar Vempati.
10. Sahakar Cooptube NCDC India – launched by Union Government
The Union Agricultural Minister Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched a Youtube channel of NCDC(National Cooperative Development Corporation on August 4, 2020. The channel is named as “Sahakar Cooptube NCDC India”.
About Sahakar Cooptube NCDC
- The new Youtube Channel will act as medium to involve the youth and farmers of the country in the cooperative movement by educating them about the benefits of cooperatives.
- The Channel is aimed to boost Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan – a vision of making India self reliant in which government has taken numerous decisions like changing definitions of MSMEs, boosting scope of private participation in numerous sectors etc.
- The Channel will release guidance videos in different languages covering 18 states . The videos are believed to strenghthen and deepen the major initiatives of government to promote and form 10000 FPOs.
- It can be noted here that NCDC has a major role in forming FPOs in cooperative mode.
- The guidance videos on formation and registration of a cooperative are produced by the NCDC design studio.
- The National Cooperative Development Corporation(NCDC) is a statutory corporation under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare set up under an Act of Indian Parliament on March 13, 1963.
- The headquarter of the corporation is at New Delhi.
- The objectives of NCDC are to plan and promote programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, livestock, food stuffs, and other notified commodities and services on cooperative principles.
- NCDC has been playing an important role in creation of market linked business plan based ecosystem in agriculture and allied activities.
- The corporation has launched several programmes such as SAHAKAR-22, SAHAKAR-MITRA, SAHAKAR-PRAGYA, YUVA SAHAKAR etc.
- NCDC has a major role in forming FPOs in cooperative mode.
FPO stands for Farmers Producer Organization. It is an initiative by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare where farmers can form groups and register themselves under the Indian Companies Act. Here farmers are regarded as the producers of the agricultural pruducts.
The objective of forming such groups and registering as a company is to engage the farmer companies to procure products and sell them in a wide area of distribution. This helps the farmers to gain more as they are backed by the Minimum Support price(MSP) undertaken by Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium(SFAC).
11. India’s first Kisan Rail flagged off
The Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Narendra Sing Tomar flagged off India’s first Kisan Rail train service via video conferencing on August 7 2020. The train started its journey from Devlali in Maharashtra to Danapur in Bihar.
- With a view of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 Kisan rail has been flagged off as one of the steps taken by the government in that direction.
- The Kisan rail is the first ever multi-commodity train service which will carry different agricultural products like vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, fish etc.
- The train is equipped with frozen containers which would help the goods to be delivered in fresh condition.
- The Kisan Rail train will cater to the long-term requirement of the farmers and traders for carrying their agricultural products which are of perishable nature to distant places.
- The freight cost for Kisan Rail train service will be as per Indian Railways’ parcel tariff of normal train.
- On its journey to Danapur it will halt at several stations like Nashik Road, Khandwa, Jalgaon, Manmad, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Jabalpur, Itarsi, Manikpur, Buxar, Katni, Prayagraj, Chheoki, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar and Satna.
- Initially the train will operate on a weekly basis and it is subject to change based on user response.
- The train will cut the transport time by 15 hours and cost farmers Rs 1,000 per tonne less than ferrying their produce by road.
The proposal to use refrigerated parcel vans to carry perishable goods to distant places was first put forwarded by the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Budget session 2009-10. However it failed to take off due to some reasons.
Central Railway , Bhusawal Division is primarily an agro-based division and Nasik and its surrounding areas produces huge quantities of vegetables, fruits, milk, fish etc which are transported to areas around Patna, Allahabad, Katni, Satna among others.
As Government of India has been taking several steps to double the farmers’ income by 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced about the Kisan rail initiative in her budget speech(2020-21) envisaging to set up the Kissan rail train service through public-private parnership(PPP) mode for a cold supply chain to transport perishable goods.
Thus the announcement has been fulfilled on August 7 2020 and it is believed that the train will patronise well and will provide help to the farmers struggling to sell their produce at distant places even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
12. TikTok and WeChat banned in the US through an executive order
The President of United States of America, Donald Trump has issued an executive order on August 6 2020 to ban any kind of transactions with the owners of the Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat, starting in 45 days.
- The executive order came as US administration was stepping up to purge any kind of untrusted Chinese apps.
- Trump administration believes that Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat are significant threats to US internal security.
- In one of the order, Trump said TikTok app may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, and the US “must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security.”
- In another order , Trump said WeChat ” automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users. This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information”.
- The executive order would bar “any transaction by any person , or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with ByteDance Ltd” in an effort to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.”
- The execuive order will also ban WeChat in the US in 45 days “to the extent permitted under applicable law, any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd.”
What is an Exective Order ?
An executive order is a means of issuing federal directives in the United States. It is used by the president of the United States.
The president has broad executive and enforcement authority to determine how to enforce the law or to otherwise manage the resources and staff of the executive branch.
George Washington issued the first executive order on June 8, 1789. He addressed to the heads of the federal departments instructing them to impress him with a full precise, and distinct general idea of the affairs of the United States in their fields.
TikTok is a video sharing app owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based Internet technology Company.
WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Both TikTok and WeChat and 57 other apps were banned in India recently.