GK Update 10 Sept’2020

1. India & Japan signs MoU on Reciprocal Provision of Supplies & Services

  • India and Japan signed an agreement concerning Reciprocal Provision of Supplies and Services between the Armed Forces of India and The Self-Defense Forces of Japan.
  • This agreement forms the enabling framework for closer cooperation between the Armed Forces of India and Japan in reciprocal provision of supplies and services while engaged in bilateral training activities, United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Humanitarian International Relief and other mutually agreed activities.
  • The agreement will also improve the interoperability between the Armed Force of India and Japan thereby further increasing the bilateral defence engagements under the Special Strategic & Global Partnership between the two countries.

2. AIM Launches Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-ANIC Initiative

  • Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, has launched the Aatmanirbhar Bharat ARISE-Atal New India Challenges.
  • The programme will spur applied research and innovation in Indian MSMEs and startups. The initiative will help identify and promote innovations necessary for boosting the MSME sector.
  • The programme will be driven by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), four ministries including Ministry of Defence; Ministry of Food Processing Industries; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with associated industries to facilitate innovative solutions to sectoral problems.
  • The programme will support deserving applied research–based innovations by providing funding support of up to Rs 50 lakh for speedy development of the proposed technology solution and/or product.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog: Amitabh Kant.

3. PM Modi to launch “Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana”

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will digitally launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.
  • Along with the scheme, the PM will also launch e-Gopala application.
  • The scheme aims to enhance fish production to 70 lakh tonnes by 2024-25. It aims to double the income of fish farmers.
  • The Prime Minister will also inaugurate one-unit fish feed mill at Madhepura, Bihar and two units of ‘Fish on Wheels’ at Patna under ‘blue revolution’. He will also interact with the beneficiaries on the occasion.
  • The scheme will reduce the post-harvest losses of fisheries sector from 20% to 25% to 10%.
  • The scheme focuses on sustainable development of fisheries in India. It is to be implemented between 2020-21 and 2024-25, doubling of incomes of fishermen and fish farmers.
  • The PMMSY is a flagship scheme for focused and sustainable development of the fisheries sector in the country with an estimated investment of Rs. 20,050 crore.

4. Andhra Pradesh CM launches ‘YSR Sampoorna Poshana’ scheme

  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has launched two nutrition schemes ‘YSR Sampoorna Poshana’ and ‘YSR Sampoorna Poshana Plus’ to provide nutritious food to pregnant women, lactating mothers and children in the state.
  • YSR Sampoorna Poshana will cover the urban and rural areas lying in plain lands while YSR Sampoorna Poshana Plus is intended to supply nutritious food exclusively in 77 Tribal areas covering 8320 Anganwadi Centres.
  • Around 30.16 lakh women/mothers and children will benefit from these two schemes.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy; Governor: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.

5. SBI to launch new loan scheme SAFAL for organic cotton growers

  • State Bank of India is planning to launch a loan product named “SAFAL” for organic cotton growers.
  • The product Safe and Fast Agriculture Loan (SAFAL) is primarily focussed on organic cotton growers who don’t have any credit history.
  • SBI will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) for this purpose.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of SBI: Rajnish Kumar.
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

6. Bank of Baroda tops EASE 2.0 Index by IBA

  • As per the EASE Banking Reforms Index 2.0, Bank of Baroda has been placed at the first spot.
  • State Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) got the 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The Indian Banking Association (IBA) makes EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) reform index.
  • The aim of this index is to bring fruitful change in the PSBs by brining in healthy competition among these PSBs and by encouraging them to learn from each other.

The Index measures the performance of the Public Sector Bank on more than 120 objective metrics based on six themes.

  • Responsible Banking
  • Customer Responsiveness
  • Credit off-take
  • Governance and HR
  • PSBs as Udyamimitra for MSMEs
  • Deepening Financial Inclusion and Digitalisation.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Banking Association CEO: Sunil Mehta.
  • Indian Banking Association Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Indian Banking Association Founded: 26 September 1946.

7. India Ratings forecasts contraction of 11.8% in FY21 GDP

  • The Indian arm of Fitch Ratings, India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has projected India’s FY21 GDP growth forecast at -11.8% as against its earlier prediction of -5.3%.
  • The rating agency estimates the economic loss in FY21 to be Rs 18.44 lakh crore. The rating agency also expects India’s GDP to rebound and grow at 9.9% year-on-year in FY22 primarily due to the weak base of FY21.
  • The Indian economy contracted by a record 23.9% in 1st (April-June) quarter of FY21, which is much higher than Ind-Ra’s forecast of 17.0% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (lockdown).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • MD & CEO of India Ratings and Research: Rohit Karan Sawhney.
  • India Ratings and Research Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

8. Paresh Rawal becomes new chairman of National School of Drama

  • Former Lok Sabha MP and Bollywood actor, Paresh Rawal have been appointed as the new chief of National School of Drama by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • In a career span of over three decades, Rawal has been acknowledged with numerous awards, including the prestigious National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1994.
  • He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution to the entertainment industry.

9. First India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue held virtually

  • The first India-France-Australia Trilateral Dialogue was held virtually.
  • The meeting was held with the objective of building on the strong bilateral relations that the three countries share with each other and synergising their respective strengths to ensure a peaceful, secure, prosperous and rules-based Indo-Pacific Region.
  • During the dialogue, the three sides discussed economic and geostrategic challenges and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and domestic responses to COVID-19.
  • The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary of India, Harsh Vardhan Shringla,  French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Secretary-General, François Delattre and  Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Secretary, Frances Adamson.
  • The three countries also had an exchange on the priorities, challenges and trends in regional and global multilateral institutions, including the best ways to strengthen and reform multilateralism.
  • Cooperation on Marine Global Commons and potential areas for practical cooperation at the trilateral and regional level were also discussed, including through regional organisations such as ASEAN, IORA and the Indian Ocean Commission.

10. ISA host World Solar Technology Summit

  • On 8th September 2020, The 1st World Solar Technology Summit was held virtually. The summit was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.
  • The main objective of the summit is to pay attention to state-of-the-art technologies and next-generation technologies. Such technologies will play an important role in making solar energy more efficiently, more than 26,000 participants from 149 nations joined the summit virtually.
  • The first World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) is organised by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) along with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), as the convenor of ISA Global Leadership Task Force on Innovation, to focus on new Technologies and Innovations in the field of Solar.
  • Nobel Laureate Dr Michael Stanley Whittingham also presented a Keynote address. He is an awardee of Nobel Prize in Chemistry (jointly with John B Goodenough & Akira Yoshino) in 2019 for the revolutionizing discovery of the lithium-ion batteries.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • International Solar Alliance Headquarters location: Gurugram.
  • International Solar Alliance Leader: Upendra Tripathy.
  • International Solar Alliance Founded: 30 November 2015.

11. World Suicide Prevention Day: 10 September

  • The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) observes World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on 10 September every year.
  • The purpose of this day is to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.  The theme for the 2020 World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.
  • The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to host World Suicide Prevention Day with various activities around the world since 2003.

12. Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Smriti Mandhana becomes brand ambassador of Playerzpot

  • The fantasy sports gaming platforms, Playerzpot has announced the signing of cricketers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Smriti Mandhana as its brand ambassadors.
  • Playerzpot is a fantasy sports gaming app that allows its users to play fantasy cricket.
  • The partnership will see the cricketers in the brand’s upcoming campaigns and promote Playerzpot through engagement activities.
  • The duo will anchor the brand with their sports charisma and help in creating a higher brand recall amongst the key target audience.
  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar is an iconic cricketer and an inspiration for the younger generation. Smriti Mandhana herself is a world-class performer and connects beautifully with sports, cricket, and even female audience.

13. Andhra Pradesh CM flags off south India’s first Kisan rail

  • The country’s second and South India’s first “Kisan Train” was flagged off from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh to Adarsh Nagar Railway Station in Delhi.
  • Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy & Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar flagged off the train, via a video link from New Delhi and Amaravati. This train, loaded with 14 parcel vans, will cover a distance of 2,150 km in 40 hours.
  • On August 7, the first Kisan Rail was flagged off between Devlali in Maharashtra and Danapur in Bihar as a weekly service, which was later made bi-weekly due to increasing demand. Now the second Kisan Rail will benefit farmers of the states coming en route.
  • Kisan Rail is being started to help in the speedy transportation of farm produce to distant places, in keeping with the goal of doubling farmers’ income. This facility will also help in increasing agricultural exports.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Railways: Piyush Goyal.
  • Chairman and CEO of Railways: VK Yadav.

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