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Current Affairs 12 September 2020

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Top 20 Current Affairs of 12 September 2020


India Post launches Five Star Villages Scheme to ensure 100% rural coverage of postal schemes

India-Post-launches-Five-Star-Villages-Schemei.In order to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas, on September 10, 2020, Union Minister of State for Communications, Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre has launched a scheme namely “Five Star Villages” along with Department of Post.
The project is initially being launched in Maharashtra and based upon the progress of the scheme, it will be implemented across the country.
ii.In this regard all postal products and services will be made available and marketed at village level.
iii.If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village gets three-star status and so on.
Static Points:
Union Minister of Communications– Ravi Shankar Prasad
Director General (Posts)– Vineet Pandey
<<Read Full News>>

Union Cabinet gives approval to increase FDI limit from 49% to 74%, National Security Clause added

Union-Cabinet-approved-the-new-FDI-policy-in-the-Defence-sectorOn September 08, 2020, the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy in Defence Sector, thereby allowing FDI through automatic approval to be increased from 49% to 74%.  
‘National Security’ clause:

The new policy has a ‘National Security’ clause as a condition, wherein any Foreign Investment in Defence Sector shall be subject to scrutiny on grounds of National Security. 
About Ministry of Defence (MoD):
Union Minister – Rajnath Singh
Minister of State (MoS) – Shripad Yesso Naik
<<Read Full News>>

Shipping Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya Launched ‘SAROD-Ports’, a Dispute Resolution MechanismUnion minister for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya launched portal SAROD-Ports Virtually

i.On September 10, 2020 Mansukh Laxmanbhai(L.) Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) launched a dispute resolution mechanism, ‘SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports) through virtual ceremony in New Delhi, India. 
ii.It was established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It consists of  members from Indian Ports Association (IPA) and Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPTTA).
To fairly resolve disputes in an affordable and timely manner; To enrich the dispute redressal mechanism with the panel of technical experts as arbitrators.
Mansukh L. Mandaviya– Rajya Sabha, Gujarat
<<Read Full News>>

Five Rafale Aircrafts inducted into ‘Golden Arrows’ Squadron of Indian Air Force Rafale aircraft formally inducted into Indian Air Force

i.On September 10, 2020 The Five Rafale Aircrafts which arrived in India on July 29, 2020 were formally inducted into the Indian Air Force at a function held at Air Force Station, Ambala (Haryana). They were inducted into the Indian Air Force’s 17 SquadronGolden Arrows’.
ii.On July 29, 2020, the first five of 36 Rafale fighter jets arrived from France and landed in Ambala, Haryana.
iii.The Rafale aircraft was given a traditional water cannon salute after the Sarva Dharma Puja. 
About France:
President – Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency – Euro
<<Read Full News>>

13th Edition of Aero India-21 to be held at Yelahanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru, Karnataka 

i.The 13th Edition of Aero India-21 will be held at Yelahanka Air Force Base, Bengaluru, Karnataka from February 3rd-7th, 2021. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Aero India 2021 website at New Delhi, marking it open for space-bookings. 
ii.The website will be a contactless online interface and will host all online services related to the event for both the exhibitors and visitors.
Point to be Noted: –
Aero India is a biennial air show and aviation exhibition held in Bengaluru. It is organised by the Defence Exhibition Organisation under the Ministry of Defence. It is Asia’s largest Aeroshow. 
About Indian Air Force (IAF):
Chief of the Air Staff – Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria
Headquarters – New Delhi 
<<Read Full News>>

India’s ‘Largest Piggery Mission’ launched in MeghalayaIndia's largest Piggery Mission launched in Meghalaya

On September 10, 2020, The state government of Meghalaya launched India’s Biggest Piggery Project with an outlay of Rs 209 Crores. It is being launched under the aegis of Meghalaya Livestock Enterprises Advancement Society (MLEADS) and funded by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC)
The main objective of the Piggery Mission is to reduce the annual import of Pork worth Rs 150 Crore and make Meghalaya self-sufficient in Pork production over the next 3 years.
About Meghalaya:
Governor – Satya Pal Malik
Capital – Shillong
<<Read Full News>>


73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region held Virtually73rd session of WHO South East Asia Region held Virtually

i.On September 9-10, 2020, the 73rd session of WHO (World Health Organization) South East Asia Region (SEAR) was hosted virtually by Thailand from Bangkok under the Chairmanship of Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Thailand .Indian side was represented by Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) along with Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare. Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Director WHO SEAR.
ii.Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, who was the Chair of the 72nd SEAR session which held in New Delhi ,addressed his part before handover the handing over the charge to the new Chair Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul
iii.This was for the first time that the entire event was held virtually due to COVID pandemic to discuss most pressing regional and global public health issues.
iv.Dr. Harsh Vardhan provided two interventions in the Ministerial Round Table Session on COVID-19 Emergency Preparation.
v.During the second and last day of the 73rd Regional Committee Session ,the declaration was signed at the end of a ministerial round table.
About WHO South East Asia Region (SEAR):
Headquarter– New Delhi
Members– 11 nations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste
<<Read Full News>>

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel participates in the 17th SCO Culture Ministers Meeting Union Minister Shri Prahlad Singh Patel virtually participates in the 17th SCO

i.On September 10, 2020 Union Minister of State (MoS) (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel virtually participated in the 17th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Culture Ministers meeting. 
ii.Discussions were held on the role and place of culture during the Global Crisis and the prospects for developing multilateral cultural cooperation within SCO. 
India supports proposal of declaring 2021 as Year of Culture:
The year 2021 will mark the 20th Anniversary year of the founding of SCO. India supported the proposal of declaring 2021 as the Year of Culture of SCO to celebrate the Anniversary. 
About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
Secretary General – Vladimir Norov (Uzbekistan)
Headquarters – Beijing, China
About Sahitya Academy
President  Chandrashekhara Kambara
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

India slips 26 spots to 105th position on 2020 Economic Freedom Index: Fraser Institute ReportIndia ranks 105th on economic freedom index

India took the 105th position in the 24th Edition of Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report by Canada’s Fraser Institute, which has been released in India in conjunction with Center for Civil Society, New Delhi-based think tank. The report is co-published by CATO Institute (America) with more than 70 think tanks around the world. 
This is the 24th edition of Economic Freedom of the World.The report is based on 2018 data. Hong Kong topped the Index with a score of 8.94, followed by Singapore (8.65) and New Zealand (8.53). This year’s publication ranks 162 countries and territories for 2018. The Report has been divided into 4 Quartiles based on the rankings.

Rank CountryScore (out of 10)
1Hong Kong8.94
3New Zealand 8.53

About Fraser Institute:
Chairman – Peter Brown 
Headquarters – Vancouver, Canada
About Centre for Civil Society:
President – Partha J Shah
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

MoS Santosh Kumar Gangwar Attended Virtual Meeting of G-20 Labour and Employment MinistersLabour-and-Employment-Shri-Santosh-Gangwar-attended-Virtual-Meeting-of-G-20

On September 10, 2020 Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State (Independent Charge- I/C) of Labour and Employment attended the G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting . The virtual meeting was held to discuss recent developments of the economic and labour market globally.Discussion was also made about COVID-19 and its impact. The declaration also lists the measures to ease the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market while discussing the efforts of the Saudi Presidency in developing the G20 Youth Roadmap 2025.
Key Info
i.In Order to find solutions to the common problems that result from the COVID-19 pandemic, Santosh Kumar Gangwar called on all the G-20 members to continue to work together.
ii.To reduce the workers’ problems, India encouraged its employers to pay their workers.
iii.For the 1st time in the G20 Forum, the indicators relating to youth have  been identified. This will help India to assess the outcomes on the progress of youth in the labour market.
iv. He also stated that adequate arrangements were made to provide temporary shelters, food and medical facilities to the migrant labourers.
Note:The 15th meeting of G20 will organize from 21-22 November 2020, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. First time that Saudi Arabia will hold the Presidency of the G20 with the theme “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All”.
About G20:
Presidency 2020– Saudi Arabia( Italian Presidency in 2021)
Members–  European Union (EU) and 19 countries including India 


ADB, ENGIE inked Rs 466-cr loan agreement for developing Raghanesda Solar Project in GujaratADB, ENGIE sign ₹466-crore loan

i.On September 10, 2020, as a part of Asian Development Bank’s  (ADB) ongoing support to India’s renewable energy sector, a long term loan agreement of Rs 4.66 billion (about $65.5 million) was inked between ADB and the ENGIE group to construct and operate a 200-megawatt alternating current solar photovoltaic-based power plant at Raghanesda Solar Park in Gujarat. 
ii.Electro Solaire Private Limited (ESPL), a special purpose vehicle owned by ENGIE, is collaborating with the Gujarat Government for its construction and has signed a power purchase agreement for 25 years with the state government.
iii.The agreement was signed by Principal Investment Specialist at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Mayank Choudhary and ENGIE group’s Head of Acquisitions, Investments, and Financial Advisory Phuntsok Wangyal.
About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Headquarters– Mandaluyong, Philippines
Membership– 68 countries
President– Masatsugu Asakawa
<<Read Full News>>

ICICI Bank Launched “iStartup 2.0”, a Comprehensive Banking Programme for StartupsICICI Bank launches 'iStartup2

On 10th September 2020, ICICI Bank launched its comprehensive banking programme for the Startups named “iStartup 2.0” which will support the requirements of the startups like regulatory assistance, analytics, staffing, acquisition and digital outreach of customers.
i.iStartup2.0, integrates all business, trade and banking requirements under a single platform using mobile and internet banking platforms.
ii.The Startup Assist, a one stop shop of iStartup 2.0 which provides services like digital marketing, staffing solutions, regulatory and tax solutions.
iii.The startups (up to 10 years old) including partnerships, private and public limited companies as well as limited liability partnerships can instantly open accounts and get account numbers since ICICI bank has integrated its API with the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs(MCA).
Banking Features:
i.It offers many industries first features like instant payment of GST, easy bulk collection & payments of funds through multiple modes, automatic bank reconciliation and inward/outward remittances among others.
ii.Access to the state-of-the-art mobile app “InstaBIZ”, for customers to complete digital banking transactions.
iii.iStartup2.0’ offers customers an eponymous Current Account which is available in three variants–Platinum, Gold and Silver– the widest range by any Bank for start-ups.

SBI to Launch ‘SAFAL’, a Loan product for Organic Cotton Growers

SBI planning to launch loan product ‘SAFAL’ for organic cotton growersC.S. Setty, Managing Director(MD) of State Bank of India(SBI) informed that SBI will launch a loan product called SAFAL(Safe and Fast Agriculture Loan) during a Fintech conference organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). SAFAL is primarily focused on organic cotton growers who do not have any credit history.
Key Info
i.A company has brought all the organic cotton growers and created a database on the basis of blockchain.
ii.Any buyer of this cotton around the world can check if the farmer is actually growing organic cotton.
iii.Through the collected data, SBI provides credit linkage facility.
Additional Info

  • SBI has more than 40 Machine Learning based models, which it uses across the spectrum for business, risk mitigation, fraud management.
  • In the last 2 years SBI had a net income creation of about Rs 1,100 crore.

Note– In addition to C.S. Setty, there are 3 other MDs in SBI namely, Dinesh Kumar Khara, Arijit Basu and Ashwani Bhatia.
About State Bank of India(SBI)
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Rajnish Kumar
Tagline– The banker to every Indian; With you all the way; Purely banking nothing else; The nation banks on us.


India’s Real GDP Growth to Contract by 9% in FY21: CRISIL

Crisil projects 9 pc GDP contraction in FY21i.On September 10, 2020 The latest report of the rating agency CRISIL projects India’s real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth to contract by 9%(-9%) in FY21(2020-2021) as COVID-19 infections are yet to peak and theG20 government is not providing adequate direct fiscal support. 
ii.Earlier in May, 2020 the rating agency projected that Indian economy will contract by 5%(-5%) in FY21.
Note- 9% contraction will be the highest since the 1950s.
About CRISIL: 
It is India’s first credit rating agency.
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO) Ashu Suyash 
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

NASSCOM Future Skills and Microsoft Launched “AI classroom series” for Students in India

Microsoft joins Nasscom to skill 10 lakh students in AI by 2021On 10th September 2020, FutureSkills, an initiative of IT-ITES (Information technology – IT enabled services) Sector Skill Council National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) partnered with Microsoft to launch Artificial Intelligence (AI) Skilling initiative “AI classroom series” to skill 10 lakh students in India by 2021 to make India a global hub for AI skilled talents and create jobs through upskilling and reskilling.
This partnership is a part of Microsoft’s initiative to help 2.5 core people across the globe to gain new digital skills to support the digital economy.
i.The “AI classroom series” commences on 21st September 2020 with multiple time slot options will provide Microsoft’s expertise in AI, machine learning and data science through live demo, hand-on workshop and assignment through self-learning, virtual instructor and mentoring.
ii.This free introductory classes for the undergraduates will provide the basics of data science, machine learning models of Azure, and cognitive services to build intelligent solutions.
iii.Access to contents and developer tools of Microsoft and GitHub will be provided to registered students.
iv.This will also manage the collaboration with various institutes and colleges to integrate cloud and AI technologies into its curriculum.
About IT-ITES Sector Skill Council NASSCOM:
NASSCOM – National Association of Software and Services Companies 
CEO– Amit Aggarwal
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh
About Microsoft:
CEO–  Satya Nadella
Headquarters– Washington, United States of America


West Bengal Government wins the WSIS Winner Prize 2020 for Sabooj Sathi Project: 8th Edition of WSIS Prizes Contest

Bengal govt bags WSIS award for its Sabuj Sathi schemeOn 7th August 2020, In the 8th Edition World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) prize contents, Sabooj Sathi online 3.0 project of West Bengal Government won the 
WSIS Winner Prize 2020 under the E-government category.
WSIS handed over the winner prize 2020 to S K Thade, principal secretary of the Backward Classes Welfare Department, government of West Bengal
Sabooj Sathi online 3.0:
i.The flagship initiative “Sabooj Sathi” was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 29th October 2015 to establish primary and upper primary schools within walking distance to reduce the dropout rates among the students, especially girls from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
ii.This scheme provided bi-cycles to the government school students of class between 9 to 12.
iii.The bicycles provided under this scheme increase the mobility of the students which resulted in the increase in the enrolment in high school by 12%.
WSIS Prizes:
The WSIS prizes is a global platform to showcase the success stories in the implementation of WSIS action lines and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
In 2017, West Bengal government project Kanyashree Prakalpa,which is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme got first place in public service and received the highest award, United Nations Public Service Award at The Hague, Netherlands.


Ministry of Finance Formed Expert Panel Headed by Rajiv Mehrishi to Assess Impacts of Waiving Loan MoratoriumFinance Ministry constitutes expert committee headed by Rajiv Mehrishi

i.On 10th September 2020, The Ministry of Finance formed a three-member expert panel headed by Rajiv Mehrishi, former comptroller and Auditor General of India to assess the impacts of the waiver of interest on the moratorium loans offered to the COVID-19 affected borrowers which ended on 31st August 2020.
ii.The RBI allowed the banks to offer a three months’ moratorium on the principal and interest payments from 1st March 2020 to support the borrowers affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Ministry of Finance:
Union Minister– Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of State– Anurag Singh Thakur
Departments– Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Expenditure, Department of Revenue, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management and Department of Financial Services.
<<Read Full News>>

UNICEF Appointed Ayushmann Khurrana as Celebrity Advocate for Children’s Rights Campaign, ‘For Every Child’UNICEF appoints Ayushmann Khurrana as celebrity advocate for children's rights campaign

United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) has appointed Bollywood Actor Ayushmann Khurrana as its celebrity advocate for children’s rights campaign, ”For Every Child”. He will work towards this initiative in India. He will support UNICEF to end violence against children, especially in the present situation- COVID-19 is increasing the risk of violence and abuse against children due to the extended lockdown and the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
General Info
Ayushmann Khurrana will join hands with former football star David Beckham, who works on this campaign globally.
It is to be noted that recently United Nations'(UN) 1st International Day to Protect Education from Attack was observed on September 9, 2020 to raise awareness about the importance of safeguarding schools as places of protection and safety for educators and students.
About United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF)
Headquarters – New York, United States of America
Executive Director – Henrietta H. Fore 


Florida University Research Team Discovered the Explosion of ‘Supernova LSQ14fmg’Research team discovers unique supernova explosion

A 37-member international research team led by Eric Hsiao, Assistant Professor of Physics in Florida State University (FSU) discovered that an unusual supernova, called Supernova LSQ14fmg was exploding. It was located one -hundred million light-years away from Earth. It is known as Type La supernova, and more particularly, a member of the ‘super-Chandrasekhar’ group. The research was published in ‘The Astrophysical Journal’. 

  • The data was collected with the Swope and du Pont telescopes at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, and the Nordic Optical Telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos in Spain.

Key Info

  • This work was part of the Carnegie Supernova Project II, a National Science Foundation-funded program to observe supernovae. 
  • The Carnegie Supernova Project has been supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Danish Agency for Science and Technology and Innovation.

About Supernova LSQ14fmg
i.Supernova LSQ14fmg gets brighter very slowly and it is also one of the brightest explosions in its class. These characteristics are unlike any other.
ii.Type La supernovae played an important role in discovery of dark energy, the name given to the unknown energy responsible for the current accelerated expansion of the universe. 
About United States of America(USA):
Florida is a state in USA
Capital– Washington, D.C.
Currency– Dollar


British Actress Diana Rigg Passed Away at 82: Starred in GOT, Avengers and James BondJames Bond, ''Avengers'' star Diana Rigg dies at 82

On 10th September 2020, Dame Diana Rigg, British who was popularly known for her recent role as Olenna Tyrell in the Game of Thrones series passed away at the age of 82 after being diagnosed with cancer in March 2020. She was born in Doncaster, Northern England.
About Diana Rigg:
i.Diana made her debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959.
ii.She starred alongside Partick Macnee in The Avengers (1965) as a secret agent Emma Peel.
iii.She starred as Tracy who became Mrs James Bond in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969).
iv.Her recent performances include the Duchess of Buccleuch in Victoria, Mrs Pumphrey in the new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small.
i.Diana Rigg won the Tony Awards for her role in Medea in 1994.
ii.She won the Primetime Emmy Awards for her role Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca in 1997.


IIT Guwahati develops self-check Kiosk: first-of-its-kind in India

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati in collaboration with Workspace Metal Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Udaipur, has developed a self-check kiosk, it has first of its kind UV-C disinfection box capable of killing viruses/bacteria present on the surfaces of luggage, bags, keys, mobiles, wallet etc.

WHO Appoints Former Health Secretary Preeti Sudan as a member of its Panel for Pandemic Preparedness

The World Health Organization’s independent panel for pandemic response has appointed India’s former health secretary Preeti Sudan as one of its 11 panel member across the Globe and the decision was made by the panel’s head, former New Zealand PM Helen Clarke and former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


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S.noCurrent Affairs 12 September 2020
1India Post launches Five Star Villages Scheme to ensure 100% rural coverage of postal schemes
2Union Cabinet gives approval to increase FDI limit from 49% to 74%, National Security Clause added
3Shipping Minister Mansukh L. Mandaviya Launched ‘SAROD-Ports’, a Dispute Resolution Mechanism
4Five Rafale Aircrafts inducted into ‘Golden Arrows’ Squadron of Indian Air Force
513th Edition of Aero India-21 to be held at Yelahanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru, Karnataka
6India’s ‘Largest Piggery Mission’ launched in Meghalaya
773rd session of WHO South East Asia Region held Virtually
8Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel participates in the 17th SCO Culture Ministers Meeting
9India slips 26 spots to 105th position on 2020 Economic Freedom Index: Fraser Institute Report
10MoS Santosh Kumar Gangwar Attended Virtual Meeting of G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers
11ADB, ENGIE inked Rs 466-cr loan agreement for developing Raghanesda Solar Project in Gujarat
12ICICI Bank Launched “iStartup 2.0”, a Comprehensive Banking Programme for Startups
13SBI to Launch ‘SAFAL’, a Loan product for Organic Cotton Growers
14India’s Real GDP Growth to Contract by 9% in FY21: CRISIL
15NASSCOM FutureSkills and Microsoft Launched “AI classroom series” to Upgrade AI Skills of 10 Lakh Students in India by 2021
16West Bengal Government wins the WSIS Winner Prize 2020 for Sabooj Sathi Project: 8th Edition of WSIS Prizes Contest
17Ministry of Finance Formed Expert Panel Headed by Rajiv Mehrishi to Assess Impacts of Waiving Loan Moratorium
18UNICEF Appointed Ayushmann Khurrana as Celebrity Advocate for Children’s Rights Campaign, ‘For Every Child’
19Florida University Research Team Discovered the Explosion of ‘Supernova LSQ14fmg’
20British Actress Diana Rigg Passed Away at 82: Starred in GOT, Avengers and James Bond
21IIT Guwahati develops first-of-its-kind self-check Kiosk
22WHO Appoints Former Health Secretary Preeti Sudan as a member of its Panel for Pandemic Preparedness