Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

Project Lion
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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 Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020. Visit our page regularly to get the latest informations and get updated and prepared for your exams.

Top Current Affairs of the Week

  1. Project Lion, Project Dolphin launched by PM Modi during I-Day celebration

2. The 4th session of BRICS anti-drug working group held

3. ORUNODOI Scheme by Assam Government

4. International Solar Alliance to hold World Solar Technology Summit

5. National Recruitment Agency (NRA) approved by Central Government

6. India-Israel Cultural Agreement Signed

Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

1.Project Lion, Project Dolphin launched by PM Modi during I-Day celebration

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Addressing the nation on 74th Independence day the Prime Minister of India announced about the launch of Project Lion and Project Dolphin to save the Asiatic Lions and Gangetic Dolphins along the lines of Project Tiger and Project Elephant.

Weekly Current Affairs August 15 2020

Project Lion – Key points

  • The Project Lion is to be launched to conserve Asiatic Lions and its landscape in a holistic manner.
  • The Project will entail habitat development, engage modern technologies in lion management.
  • Under the project, work on the required infrastructure for the protection and security of Indian Lions and a special type of health infrastructure will be undertaken.
  • It will help address issues of diseases among lions and its associate species through advanced world-class research and veterinary care.
  • The Lion Project will address human- wildlife conflict.
  • It will be inclusive including local communities living in the vicinity of Lion landscape .

Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

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The Asiatic Lion Conservation Project was launched by the Union Ministry of Environment for three financial year 2018 to 2021. A budget of Rs 97.85 crores was allocated for the project. The Project envisaged scientific management by involving communities in coordination with multi-sectoral agencies for disease control and veterinary care .

Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project

The Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project is an initiative of the Government of India to provide safeguards to the Asiatic lion from extinction by means of reintroduction.

Protection Status of Asiatic Lions

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The Asiatic Lions are recorded in the IUCN Red List as an endangered species. It has been listed under CITES Appendix – I and have been classified under Schedule- 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. At present Asiatic lions are found only in Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.

Project Dolphin – Key Points

  • The Project Dolphin to be launched aims at the conservation and protection of the Dolphins in rivers and oceans of the country.
  • The Project involves conservation of Dolphins and the aquatic habitat through the use of modern technology .
  • It will engage the fishermen and other ocean and river dependent population.
  • It will strive to improve the livelihood of the local communities.
  • Along with the conservation of Dolphins, the project will envisage activities which will also help in the control of pollution in the rivers and the oceans.

Status of the Dolphins

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The Gangetic Dolphins are recorded in the IUCN Red List as an endangered species. It has been listed under CITES Appendix – I and have been classified under Schedule- 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

2. The 4th session of BRICS anti-drug working group held

The 4th session of BRICS anti-drug working group was held on August 12 under the Chairmanship of Russia. The Indian side was led by the Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Rakesh Asthana. The delegation comprised of Smt. B. Radhika, Deputy Director General (Ops), NCB, Ms. Vrindaba Gohil, First Secretary (Trade), Embassy of India, Moscow, Dr. Vaibhav Tandale, Under Secretary(Multilateral Economic Relations), MEA and Shri KPS Malhotra, Deputy Director(Ops), NCB.

The 4th session of BRICS anti-drug working group – Key Points

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  • Fruitful exchange of opinions concerning the drug situation in the BRICS states, the international and regional trends of illegal trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, as well as the impact of various internal and external factors on the situation took place during the summit.
  • All the BRICS nation agreed to some common points which includes need for real-time information sharing among the member states and need to curb increased drug trafficking through maritime routes.
  • One of the key focal area of the meeting was the misuse of Darknet and other advanced technologies for drug trafficking.
  • A communique was adopted in the meeting to reaffirm the commitment of 5 member states to international anti-drug convention.

What is Darknet ?

Darknet is the deep hidden internet platform that is used for various illegal activities like exchange of pornographic material, narcotics sale, exchange of sensitive personal data of individuals by using the secret alleys of the onion router(ToR) to stay away from the surveillance of the law enforcing agencies. It is an overlay network within the internet that can be accessed with specific software, configurations or authorizations. and often uses a unique customised communication protocol.

BRICS

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BRICS is an informal group of five states comprising the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of South Africa and the People’s Republic of China. It was formed in 2009 with four states grouped as BRIC. The Republic of South Africa was inducted in 2010.

Since it’s formation, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. The first such summit was held in Yekaterinburg on 16 June 2009. Most recently the 11th BRICS summit was held on 13-14 November 2019 under the theme “Economic Growth for a Innovative Future“.

Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

3. ORUNODOI Scheme by Assam Government

The Government of Assam is going to launch “Orunodoi“, the largest Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme of Assam on October 2, 2020. Under the scheme over 19 lakh households will get a sum of Rs 830 each every month. The scheme was announced by the Finance Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma in his Budget speech 2020-21.

Objectives of the Scheme

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  • The Scheme envisages poverty eradication and socio-economic inclusion of financially vulnerable families of the state through sustained financial assistance by DBT, leveraging cash transfer on a monthly basis, so that underprivileged families are assured of minimum monthly cash flow.
  • The other objective is to minimise multiplicity of schemes and consolidate them through the DBT platform in aid of better delivery and outcomes.

What is DBT ?

DBT stands for Direct Benefit Transfer. It is a scheme to transfer the benefits and subsidies of various social welfare schemes directly in the bank account of the beneficiary.

ORUNODOI Scheme – Distribution of Target

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  • The distribution of target shall be 15,000 beneficiaries per Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC).
  • If the population of LAC exceeds 2 Lakhs then target shall be 17,000 beneficiaries per LAC.
  • For the sake of administrative convenience, for identification of beneficiaries, this target will be further divided Gaon Panchayat wise in rural areas and Village Council Development Committee (VCDC) wise in Sixth Schedule Areas etc.,
  • In urban areas, it will be divided among municipal corporation, municipalities, and town committees, Assembly segment wise.
  • Overall, the scheme will benefit 19 lakh households in the state.
  • It is possible that a Legislative Assembly Constituency falls in two districts. In this case, the number of beneficiaries for part of the LAC in one district will be proportionate to the number of voters in that district.

Scope of the Scheme

Government of Assam will provide monthly financial assistance of Rs 830 to the eligible beneficiaries for procuring medicines, pulses and sugar wherein Rs 400 per family per month is to be given to each beneficiary family for procuring medicines for taking care of their health needs, Rs 200 per family per month to provide for 50% subsidy for the 4 Kgs of pulses a family consumes in a month and Rs 80 per month per family which will effectively subsidize 50% of the monthly expenditure they will spend on the 4 Kgs of sugar that they will purchase for the house every month. Separately, Rs 150 per family per month would be provided for purchase of essential fruits and vegetables over and beyond what they grow in their homestead farms.

ORUNODOI Scheme – Eligibility Criteria

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The eligibility conditions for benefiting under this Scheme are:

  • Applicant should be a permanent resident of Assam.
  • Applicant should be presently residing in Assam.
  • Composite Household Income of the Applicant should be less than Rs. 2 Lakh per annum.
  • The beneficiary (nominated female member) should have a bank account wherein the name in the bank records should match the scheme records.
  • In case, the beneficiary does not possess a bank account then a bank account would be required to be opened prior to the date of approval of the application.
  • Priority should be given to those households which
    • Has widows, divorced female / unmarried female / separated females and any specially-abled member of the House Hold.
    • Priority will be given to poorer families whether they are covered under NFSA or not.

Who are excluded from the Scheme ?

The following households shall be automatically excluded from the
scheme:

  • Household without any female member.
  • Former and current Members of Parliament (MPs), Member of Legislative Assembly (MLAs).
  • Current Members of Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local bodies.
  • All regular serving or retired officers and employees of Central/ State Government Ministries / Offices / Departments and its field units Central or State PSEs and attached offices Autonomous Institutions under Government as well as regular employees of the Local Bodies and PSUs.
  • All regular serving employees of Cooperatives Societies registered under the Assam Co-operative Societies Act 2007 and is partially / fully funded by the Govt. of Assam or Govt. of India or any of its Ministries / Departments / Offices.
  • Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Chartered Accountants, Architects and Registered Govt. contractors.
  • Income tax payers.
  • Farmer families which own more than 15 Bighas of agricultural land.
  • Household owning a tractor.
  • Household owning four wheeler or mechanised boat. (Having two wheeler is not an exclusion criterion).
  • Household owning a refrigerator or Washing machine or Air Conditioner
  • The cut-off date for determination of eligibility of beneficiaries under the Scheme shall be 01.04.2020 and shall be considered for eligibility of benefit under the Scheme for next one year.

Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

4. International Solar Alliance to hold World Solar Technology Summit

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The International Solar Alliance is going to hold World Solar Technology Summit for the first time. The summit will be held on September 8, 2020.

Weekly Current Affairs August 15 2020

Objective of the Summit

The summit will be held to bring together scientists, engineers and member states to sit down together and think about what the challenges are in realising the dream of making energy affordable and abundant.

Key Points

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  • The World Solar Technology Summit will be held on a virtual platform due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • PM Modi is expected to deliver the inaugural address of the first World Solar Technology Summit.
  • The occasion will be graced by Ministers from member countries, High-level dignitaries from the world of Scientific Research and Development, Senior Government Functionaries, Heads of Global Corporations, Financial and Multilateral Institutions, Civil society, Foundations and Think Tanks.
  • The Key note address will be presented by Nobel Laureate Dr. M Stanley Whittingham.

About International Solar Alliance

The International Solar Alliance was set up by India and France on the sidelines of the Paris meeting on climate change which held in November 2015. The International Solar Alliance is also called International Agency for Solar Policy and Application(IASPA).

The solar alliance is an alliance of 121 countries, most of them being sunshine countries which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.

The initiative was first proposed by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in a speech at Wembley Stadium, London in November 2015.

The main objective of forming such an alliance is to work for efficeint exploitation of solar energy thereby reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

The headquarter of the International Solar Alliance is at Gurugram, Haryana. Upendra Tripathy is the present Director General of the organization.

The Government of India has allotted five acres of land to the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gawl Pahari, Gurugram, Haryana and has contributed Rs 1.75 billion to build a campus and for meeting expenditures for the first five years.

Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

5. National Recruitment Agency (NRA) approved by Central Government

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The Union Government has approved the creation of a National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct an online Common Eligibility Test for selecting candidates for majority of Central Government jobs on August 19 2020.

About National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

The proposed National Recruitment Agency (NRA) will be a machinery to conduct a common preliminary examination for various recruitment in the central government and public sector banks.

It is a part of a move to streamline the recruitment process for non-gazetted posts which will work as a single-window agency to shortlist qualifying candidates from a huge number of applicants and then forward the list to SSC, IBPS, etc to hold the mains.

Need of National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

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Every year around 25 million aspirants apply for multiple government jobs. They have to apply for each jobs separately and to separate agencies. The applicants have to pay fees to all the recruitment agencies and have to travel long distances to appear in various examinations.

These examinations become burden for the candidates as well as the agencies. The candidates loses wealth and time while appearing in each examination and the agencies face problems in meeting repetitive expenditures, law and order arrangements, selection of venues etc.

So setting up of a common platform to solve the problems of multiple examinations is expected to turn into a revolutionary solution. A candidate will be able to apply for a vacancy with the respective agency based The Common Eligibility Test (CET) score.

Benefits of National Recruitment Agency (NRA)

  1. Job aspirants do not need to apply for every recruitment examinations. They will have to apply only once and take the Common Eligibility Test(CET) for recruitment into various departments.
  2. The lengthy recruitment cycle will be reduced as some departments have decided to skip their tier-2 or second level test and go ahead with the recruitment based on CET score.
  3. The recruitment agencies will save time and expenses as no separate examinations are required to be conducted for separate jobs.
  4. There will be common syllabus for each CET levels – graduate, higher secondary and matric. This will enable the candidates to focus on the syllabus of their level and prepare for the exam instead of preparing for each of the examinations separately as per different curriculum.
  5. The move will lead to ease of selection, ease of job placement and ease of living.

Points to Know

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  • The National Recruitment Agency (NRA) was first proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2020.
  • The NRA will organise CET for the Group B and C(non-technical) at the initial stage. More examinations may be brought under it later on.
  • The Examination body will conduct a separate CET for three levels – graduate, higher secondary and matric.
  • Final selection of a candidate shall be through separate specialised tiers(II, III etc) of examinations which shall be conducted by the respective recruitment agencies.
  • The validity of the CET score will be for three years . A candidate can make as many attempts as he/she wants to clear CET subject to the upper age limit.
  • National Recruitment Agency will have representives from ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance, SSC, IBPS and RRB .
  • The central government sanctioned Rs 1,517.57 crore for setting up examination infrastructure in 117 aspirational districts.

Weekly Current Affairs, August 15 – August 21, 2020

6. India-Israel Cultural Agreement Signed

India and Israel signed a cultural agreement for the year 2020-23 to strengthen people-to-people exchanges on August 20 2020. The India-Israel Cultural Agreement was signed by Sanjeev Singla, India’s Ambassador to Israel and Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel’s Foreign Minister.

India-Israel Cultural Agreement

India-Israel Cultural Agreement – Key Points

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  • The agreement outlines a three-year programme of cooperation to further strengthen their strategic bilateral relations.
  • The agreement will contribute to the development of their relations and to raising awareness, particularly among youth, of the history and culture of the people of both countries.
  • The programme of cooperation between India and Israel is based on the cultural agreement signed between them on May 18, 1993.
  • The agreement identified some areas of cultural ties which includes the exchange of culture and art experts, performing art festivals, plastic arts, photography and design, architecture, museums and exhibitions, music, dance, dance and theatre by enabling annual visits of experts, artists, producers and curators, organising literary fests and book fairs, promoting the translation of famous works in each other’s languages and encouraging cooperation in the protection of cultural heritage and archaeology with the help of Archaeological Survey of India and Israel Antiquities Authority (IIA).
  • Other areas includes student exchanges through scholarships, devising youth exchange programmes, encouraging participation of films and film-makers in each other’s international film festivals and encouraging sports-related interaction among youth.
  • Emphasis has been given on cooperation in cinema and audio-visual with both countries working towards a co-production that was agreed upon in 2018 when Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu visited India.
  • Holding film weeks of the other side’s country in their own country will be encouraged.
  • Both the countries will jointly promote the translation of contemporary prose, poetry and other literary works into the language of the other side. They will also support the participation of poets and writers in festivals and literary events.
  • Both sides agreed to encourage direct contacts between book publishers and national libraries.

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Weelkly Current Affairs, August 8 – August 14 2020

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Weekly Current Affairs, July 22 – July 31 2020

Weekly Current Affairs, July 15 – July 21, 2020.

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