Weekly Current Affairs, August 22 – August 31, 2020

Weekly Current Affairs August 22 - August 31 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 Weekly Current Affairs, August 22 – August 31, 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. Rajiv Kumar appointed as Election Commisioner of India

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Rajiv Kumar, former finance secretary of India was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India on August 21, 2020. He succeeded Ashok Lavassa who joined the Asian Development Bank as its vice president.

About Rajiv Kumar

Election Commisioner of India

Rajiv Kumar, is a retired 1984 IAS officer from Jharkhand cadre.He served as the finance secretary from September 1, 2017 to February 29, 2020. Kumar is currently the Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Selection Board(PESB). He holds an LLB, B.Sc degree and a Master of Public policy and Sustainability.

Election Commission of India

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The Election Commission of India is vested with the power of superintendence, direction and control of conducting the elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies under Article 324 of the Constitution of India. The part 15 of the Indian Constitution establishes the Commission. The Election Commission of India is a three-member body, with one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners. The President of India appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners.

Appointment and Tenure of Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commissioners.

The Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners are appointed by the President of India. The tenure of their offices is six years or up to 65 years of age whichever is earlier.

It is very difficult to remove the authority of the Chief Election Commissioner once appointed by the President, as two-thirds of the Loksabha and the Rajya Sabha need to vote against him for disorderly conduct or improper actions.

Roles and Responsibilities of Election Commission of India

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  • The Election Commision supervises, directs and controls all the elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies.
  • The Election Commission of India has the prime responsibility of conducting free and fare elections all over the country.
  • The Commission issues Model Code of Conduct before each and every election for the candidates to follow.
  • The registration of the eligible political parties is regulated by the commission.
  • It lays down the rules and regulations for the elections.
  • The body prepares electoral rolls for every eligible voters of the country and issues unique id-cards.
  • The Commission allots unique election symbols to each contesting candidates or parties.
  • It appoints tribunals to resolve any disputes of doubts if arises during the conducting of elections for state legislatures and the Parliament.

2. National Sports Awards 2020 Announced

The Ministry of Sports announced the National Sports Awards 2020 on August 22, 2020.

The Government of India bestows National Sports Awards every year to recognize and reward sports persons from the country for their excellence in their respective sports.

Here are the lists of athletes who will be conferred with the National Sports Awards 2020.

3. India’s longest ropeway inaugurated

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The Assam Government has opened the longest ropeway of India over the river Brahmaputra on 24 August 2020. The length of the ropeway is 1.8 km which connects Guwahati to North Guwahati. The project is accomplished at a cost of Rs 56 crore.

Daily Current Affairs - 24 August 2020

The ropeway comprises of two cabins each of which can carry 30 passengers and the operator at a time. It takes eight minutes for the cabin to reach the other end of the ropeway from the starting end. It is expected to boost tourism in the state as the journey over the smallest river island of the world , Umananda gives a beautiful as well as breathtaking view of the river Brahmaputra.

4. Businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakhs exempted from GST

The Finance Ministry of India, on 24 August 2020 and on the first death anniversary of Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley exempted the Goods and Services Tax(GST) for businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakhs.

The announcement has been made to remember Arun Jaitley and acknowledge the key role played by him to implement GST, which will go down in history as one of the most fundamental landmark reforms in Indian taxation.

5. Karnataka Government set to build transit homes for migrant workers

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Following the footsteps of Kerela Government the Karnataka Government is all set to build transit homes for migrant workers. The idea of building such home is aimed at providing better living conditions to the migrant workers.

The Karnataka Government plans to build four transit homes in Bengaluru. Each such homes will have a capacity to accommodate 3000 persons. The homes will have kitchen where the workers can cook their own food. A nominal maintenance fee will be charged from the workers. The concept is influenced by Kerela’s ‘Apna Ghar’ Project and each such project is expected to cost Rs 50 Crore.

6. RBI released it’s annual report 2019-20

The Reserve Bank of India released its annual report 2019-20 on August 25, 2020.

Key Points

Bank Fraud – RBI in its annual report noted that Bank frauds, in value terms involving an amount of Rs 1 lakh and above have more than doubled in 2019-20 period to Rs 1.85 trillion from Rs 71,543 crore in 2018-2019 period. In volume terms the total fraud cases have jumped to 8707 in 2019-20 from 6,799 in 2018-19.

Other incomes of RBI – The other income of RBI fell by more than half to Rs 40,339 crore from Rs 86,199 crore in the previous fiscal.

Total provisions rose to Rs 73,615 crore from Rs 64 crore in the previous fiscal.

The Central Bank in it’s report stated that private consumption has been hurt by lower incomes, job losses and behavioural restraints during the pandemic and would take quite sometime to mend and regain the pre-COVID -19 momentum.

Currency Notes – In the report RBI revealed that currency notes of ₹2,000 denomination were not printed in 2019 -20 and circulation of these notes have declined over the years. On the other hand the circulation of currency notes of ₹200 and ₹500 denominations has gone up substantially.

7. MY IAF Mobile Application launched by Indian Air Force

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The Indian Air Force launched MY IAF mobile application on August 24, 2020. The mobile application is launched to provide career related information for IAF job Aspirants.

The application, developed in association with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is listed in the Google Play Store for Android mobile phones. The app will act as a single digital platform interfacing the users with the details of selection procedure, training curriculum, pay and perks etc for both officers and airmen in the IAF. It will also provide glimpses into the history and stories of valour in th IAF.

8. ASTROSAT makes rare discovery

India’s first multi-wavelength satellite observatory has made a rare discovery by detecting an extreme ultraviolet (UV) light from a galaxy called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from the Earth.

An international team of astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha, associate professor of astronomy made the discovery and published it on ‘Nature Astronomy’.

About Astrosat

Astrosat is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space telescope launched on 28 September, 2015. The satellite was launched into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 Deg to the equator using PSLV-C30 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

The Scientific Objectives of the AstroSat mission are –

  • To understand high energy processes in binary 7 star systems containing neutron stars and black holes;
  • To estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars;
  • To study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy;
  • To detech new bright X-ray sources in the sky;
  • To perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.

9. NITI Aayog released Export Preparedness Index(EPI) 2020

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NITI Aayog released the Export Preparedness Index(EPI) on 26 August, 2020.

Key Points

The Structure of the EPI includes four pillars – Policy, Business Ecosystem, Export Ecosystem and Export Performance. It also consist of 11 sub-pillars – Export Promotion Policy, Institutional Framework, Business Environment, Infrastructure, Transport Connectivity, Access to Finance, Export Infrastructure, Trade support, R&D Infrastructure, Export Diversification and Growth Orientation.

India has scored an average of 39 on the index. This shows that India holds tremendous potential towards transforming into an export-based super economy. Policy and Business Ecosystem are the two highest scoring pillars while Export Ecosystem is the least scoring pillar.

State level analysis in the EPI shows that Gujrat has topped the list with a strong display in various sub-pillars such as Export promotion Policy, Business Environment and Infrastructure. Other coastal states such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu occupied the second the third positions in the index. All the three states have performed consistently across all the pillars.

From the landlocked states, Rajasthan emerged as a top performer. The state has performed tremendously in all the pillars and sub-pillars except growth and orientation. Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir are some of the weaker states in this category

Uttarakhand and Delhi are the top-performing states amongst the Himalayan states and Union Territories respectively.

Analysing pillar wise, EPI reported that Maharashtra is the top performer in Policy Pillar while West Bengal is the least performer. In the Business Economy Pillar, Gujrat topped the list and Laskshadeep is the lowest scorer. Maharashtra again topped in the Export Ecosystem pillar and Lakshadeep was placed in the last spot. In Export Performance Pillar Mizoram topped the list and Chandigarh is the weakest state in this pillar.

10. AFSPA extended for six months in Assam

The Government of Assam has extended the Armed Forces(Special Powers) Act, 1958(AFSPA) in the state for six months with effect from August 28.

The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations, arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice if they suspect anybody of indulging in unlawful or insurgent activity. The law has been imposed in Assam since November 1990. It is renewed every six months after assessing the situation of the state.

11. World Health Organisation declares Africa Polio Free

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The World Health Organisation declared Africa polio-free on August 25, 2020.

Nigeria is the final country in Africa to eradicate Polio. No African children were claimed by polio this year or last year or the year before. The last case of wild polio was reported in 2016 from Nigeria.

Now the diseease remains only in two countries of the world – Pakistan and Afganishtan.

12. Draft Policy Framed on data privacy under NDHM

The National Health Authority has framed a Draft Health Data Policy under National Digital Mission(NDHM) and released it on August 26, 2020. The NDHM was announced by PM Modi on the 74th Independece Day celebration.

The aim of the mission is to create a national digital health ecosystem which enables timely and efficient access to inclusive, affordable, and safe healthcare to all the citizens of the country.

Key Points

  • The National Digital Health Mission(NDHM) seeks to provide a unique health ID to all the citizens in order to map their medical history.
  • All necessary data privacy measures will be put in place to safeguard the confidentiality of sensitive health related information of individuals under NDHM.
  • Any personal data will be collected only on consent from individuals and they can revoke their consent to restrict any sharing of personal data.
  • Data collected across National Digital Health Ecosystem will be stored in the Central level, the State or Union Territory level and at the health facility level.

13. National GIS-enabled Land Bank System launched

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The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal launched National GIS enabled Land Bank System for 6 states on August 27, 2020. Other states and Union Territories will be onboarded by December 2020.

The National GIS enabled Land Bank System will help investors to get real- time information about the availability of industrial land and resources. The system is being developed by integrating the Industrial Information System(IIS) with state Geographical Information System(GIS).

14. Mareika Lucas Rijneveld becomes the youngest author to win International Booker Prize

Mareika Lucas Rijneveld, a 29-year-old Dutch author becomes the youngest author to win International Booker Prize. Rijneveld won the prize of 50,000 pounds for his debut novel ‘The Discomfort of Evening‘.

The International Booker Prize for the year 2020 was announced on August 26, 2020. The award will be shared with the translator of the book Michele Hutchinson. He translated the book from Dutch to English.

About the Novel

The Novel ‘The Discomfort of Evening‘ starts with a young girl named Jas who was angry for not being allowed to accompany her brother to ice-skating. In a rage, she wishes death upon him and the wish comes true.

International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize is an international literary award hosted in the United Kindom. It was first awarded in 2005 to Albanian writer Ismail Kadare. The award is given every year to a single book in English translation, with a 50,000 pounds prize for the winning title . The award is shared equally between author and translator.

15. Assam Government raised Upper age limit for State Government Jobs

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The State Cabinet of Assam decided to raise the upper age limit for State Government Jobs in Group III and Group IV categories from 38 years to 40 years on August 27, 2020.

Other decisions taken in State Cabinet –

  • The State cabinet has approved the Assam Skill Development University Bill. The approval of the bill has paved the way for setting up of a Skill University at Mangaldai, Darrang.
  • The cabinet has also approved the Assam Heritage Protection and Preservation Bill. The Bill proposes to provide protection, preservation, conservation, maintenance restoration, development and promotion of the State heritage sites and objects – other than those declared by or under the law made by Parliament to be of national importance or those covered under the ‘Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act – 1959‘.
  • The amendment of Assam MSME Bill was approved in the same cabinet.
  • Orunodoi Scheme Approved – 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.

16. NITI Aayog launched the NDC-TIA

NITI Aayog virtually launched the India Component of the Nationally Determined Contributions – NDC- Transport Initiative for Asia – TIA on August 28, 2020.

NDC-TIA is a joint programme which is supported by the International Climate Initiative(IKI) of the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

The aim of the programme is to promote as a comprehensive approach to decarbonize transport in India, Vietnam and China. The project will support and regulate policies to promote electric vehicle charging infrastructure in India.

17. Centre issues new rules for Jammu and Kashmir Administration

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The Central Government has issued rules on August 28, 2020 for a smooth functioning of the Jammu and Kashmir administration which specifies the functions of Council of Ministers and Lieutenant Governor.

Key Points

  • The Lieutenant Governor(LG) shall, in respect of matters connected with “public order”,”police”,”All India Services” and Anti Corruption Bureau”, exercise his executive functions in his discretion under the Act.
  • The Lieutenant Governor(LG) on the advice of the chief minister shall allot the business of the government among the ministers by assigning one or more departments to a minister.
  • The council (of ministers) shall be collectively responsible for all the executive orders issued by any department in the name of the Lieutenant Governor(LG) and contracts made in the name of the president in connection with the administration of the Union Territory, whether such orders or contracts are authorised by a minister with respect to a matter pertaining to a department under his charge or as a result of discussions at a meeting of the council.
  • All communications received from the Centre, including those from the prime minister and other ministers, other than those of a routine or unimportant character, shall, as soon as possible after their receipt, be submitted by the secretary to the chief secretary, the minister in-charge, the chief minister and the LG for information.
  • Any matter, which is likely to bring the government of the Union Territory into a controversy with the Centre or a state government, shall, as soon as possible, be brought to the notice of the LG and the chief minister by the secretary concerned through the chief secretary.
  • In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and a minister with regard to any matter, the former shall endeavour by discussion within two weeks from the date of such disagreement to settle any point on which the difference of opinion has arisen.
  • Should the difference of opinion persist, the LG may direct that the matter be referred to the council, which shall consider it at its next scheduled meeting and convey its decision, but not later than 15 days from the date of such reference.
  • In case no such decision is received within 15 days from the date of such reference, the LG’s decision shall be deemed to have been accepted by the council of ministers.
  • In case of a difference of opinion between the LG and the council with regard to any matter, the former shall refer it to the Centre for the decision of the president and shall act according to that decision.

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