GK Update 13th & 14th September’2020

1. India-US hold 2 plus 2 intersessional meeting

  • India and the United States held a bilateral 2+2 Inter-sessional meeting in virtual mode.
  • During the meeting, both sides reviewed the progress and developments in bilateral ties in defence, security, and foreign policy areas.
  • They explored opportunities for enhancing ongoing cooperation in these fields based on mutual interest. They also exchanged views about regional developments, and agreed to pursue their quest for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
  • The Indian delegation was led jointly by Ms Vani Rao, Joint Secretary (America) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Shri Somnath Ghosh, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in the Ministry of Defence.
  • The U.S. delegation was led jointly by Mr. Dean Thompson, Senior Bureau Official, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in the U.S. Department of State and Mr David Helvey, Acting Assistant Secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs in the U.S. Department of Defense.

2. Govt sets up Empowered Group of Ministers to oversee OFB’s Corporatisation

  • Central Government has constituted an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) to oversee the process of the corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is the chairman of this EGoM.
  • As part of the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) initiative, the government had announced on May 16 that it would improve the autonomy, accountability and efficiency in ordnance supplies by converting the OFB, which is a subordinate office of the defence ministry, into one or more government-owned corporate entities.

About Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM):

  • EGoM will “oversee and guide the entire process of corporatisation, including transition support and redeployment plan of employees while safeguarding their wages and retirement benefits”.
  • The ordnance factories form an integrated base for indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment.
  • Corporatization is the process of transforming state assets, government agencies, or municipal organizations into corporations.
  • The OFB has 41 factories under it to produce ordnance for the country’s armed forces.

3. PM Modi addresses the ‘Grih Pravesham’ event in MP

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed the ‘Grih Pravesham’ event in Madhya Pradesh through video conferencing.
  • Under this, 1.75 Lakh Families in Madhya Pradesh were delivered pucca houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Grameen (PMAY-G).
  • PM Modi also interacted with the beneficiaries from Dhar, Singrauli and Gwalior under PMAY-G in Madhya Pradesh. Building a house under PMAY-G takes about 125 days but during this period of Corona, it was completed in just about 45 to 60 days which is a record in itself.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana–Gramin (PMAYG), earlier known as Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), is a scheme for rural housing by the Indian Government.
  • This social welfare program was initiated to meet the objectives of the “Housing for All” scheme by the year 2022.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Governor: Anandiben Patel.

State News

4. Odisha govt launches ‘GARIMA’ scheme for sanitation workers

  • The Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik has launched a new scheme named ‘GARIMA’ which aims to ensure the economic safety and social dignity of core sanitation workers in the state.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Department, Odisha has signed a Ministry of Understanding (MoU) with not-for-profit organisation Urban Management Centre for providing the technical support to implement the scheme.
  • Around 20,000 core sanitation workers and their families with about one lakh population will benefit from the scheme.
  • GARIMA Scheme will be implemented by the state Housing and Urban Development department in all the 114 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Odisha.
  • Initially, the state government has allocated a corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for the scheme.
  • The working hours of sanitation workers will be limited to 6 hours per day.
  • The Core Sanitation workers and their family members will be covered under the health insurance scheme with regular health check-ups, housing, educational support, mobility support and mobile support.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Odisha Capital: Bhubaneswar.
  • Odisha Governor: Ganeshi Lal.

5. CARE ratings projects India’s GDP to contact between 8-8.2% in FY21

  • The Indian rating agency, CARE Ratings has projected the GDP of India to contract in the range 8 to 8.2% for 2020-21 (FY21).
  • This is more than its earlier projection of -6.4%. The decline in GDP growth by around 8 per cent would also be associated with a decline in the gross fixed capital formation.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CARE Ratings Founded: 1993.
  • CARE Ratings: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • CARE Ratings Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer: Ajay Mahajan.

6. ADB & Suguna Foods Private Limited signs $15 million deal

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed an agreement for $15 million of debt financing through the subscription of nonconvertible debentures for Suguna Foods Private Limited (Suguna).
  • The deal will help in sustaining poultry farming operations, as well as rural livelihoods and food security in India during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • With this deal, the ADB will offer essential liquidity support to Suguna’s operations and also help the company build inventory buffers and make timely payments to contract farmers and suppliers.
  • It will also encourage local lenders to support the business and help attract other medium- and long-term capital and international partners.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • President of Asian Development Bank: Masatsugu Asakawa.

7. Subhash Kamath becomes new Chairman of ASCI

  • Subhash Kamath has been elected as the chairman of the board of governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI).
  • Kamath, who was serving as ASCI vice-chairman, will replace Rohit Gupta, president, Sony Pictures Networks.
  • NS Rajan, managing director at public relations firm Ketchum Sampark P. Ltd. was elected vice-chairman and Shashidhar Sinha, chief executive, Mediabrands India Pvt. Ltd was reappointed as honorary treasurer.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Advertising Standards Council of India Founded: 1985.
  • Advertising Standards Council of India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

8. Jane Fraser named the 1st female CEO of Citigroup

  • Citigroup has named Jane Fraser as its next chief executive officer.
  • She will be the first female CEO of this major global bank. She will succeed Michael Corbat, who is retiring in February 2021.
  • Fraser has been a rising star in the financial industry, with a career that spans investment banking, wealth management, troubled mortgage workouts and strategy in Latin America.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • The headquarters of Citigroup is located in New York, United States.
  • Citigroup Established: 8 October 1998.

9. Japan’s Naomi Osaka wins US Open Tennis Tournament

  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus to clinch the Women’s Singles title in the 2020 US Open Tennis tournament.
  • This is the third Grand Slam title for the fourth seed Osaka. Osaka previously won the title at the 2018 US Open and 2019 Australian Open.
  • She is now the first Asian player to win three Grand Slam singles titles. The victory has moved up Osaka to number 3 in the world rankings.

10. Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Tuscan Grand Prix 2020

  • Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) has won the Formula One Tuscan Grand Prix 2020 held at Mugello Circuit, Italy. This was his 6th win of the season and 90th F1 win of his career.
  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came second followed by Alexander Albon (Red Bull – Thailand) at third place. The Tuscan Grand Prix (first edition) was the ninth race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship.

11. Dominic Thiem wins US Open Men’s Tennis Tournament 2020

  • Austria’s Dominic Thiem defeated Alexander Zverev to win the men’s singles title at the 2020 US Open tournament.
  • It was Thiem’s first Grand Slam title, and he becomes the first player in the Open Era to rally from two sets down in a US Open final.
  • Thiem is also the first player to capture a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Gaston Gaudio at 2004 French Open. For the first time in six years, there was a first-time Grand Slam champion at the US Open.

12. V Muraleedharan participates in 27th ASEAN regional forum

  • Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan participated in the 27th ASEAN regional forum. During the 27th ASEAN regional forum, the minister shared India’s views on maritime security, counter terrorism as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • He also stated that India will co-chair ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) workshops on port security and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional intergovernmental organisation. This organisation promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and socio-cultural integration among its members and other Asian states. It comprises of 10 Southeast Asian countries namely: Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister for External Affairs: Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

13. Hindi Diwas celebrated on 14 September

  • Hindi Diwas or Hindi Day is observed every year on 14 September to mark the popularity of Hindi as an official language of India.
  • The language was adopted under Article 343 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The first Hindi day was celebrated on 14th September 1953. Later, Pt Jawaharlal Nehru announced this day to be celebrated as Hindi Diwas in the country.
  • There are 22 Scheduled languages of India, of which, two are officially used at Union government of India level: Hindi and English. Hindi is the fourth most spoken language of the world. Hindi Divas is celebrated on 14 September because, on this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India had adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India.

14. Former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passes away

  • Former Union minister and veteran leader of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away. He was a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India and represented the Vaishali constituency of Bihar.
  • Singh had served as the Union Minister for Rural Development in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet. He was widely regarded as the brain behind the conceptualization and implementation of NREGA (National rural employment guarantee act).

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