Current Affairs

22 October, 2020


Global Trade Value set to fall by 7-9 percent in 2020: UNCTAD Report

According to “Trade and Development Report 2020 – From Global Pandemic to Prosperity for All: Avoiding Another Lost Decade” released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Global Trade is expected to fall by 7-9% in 2020 due to the Pandemic. According to the report, Global Trade has recorded little growth in the Third Quarter.
ii.No region has been spared by an estimated 19% year-on-year plunge in World Trade in the Second Quarter of 2020 due to the Pandemic.
About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD):
Secretary-General– Mukhisa Kituyi of Kenya (7th Secretary-General)
HeadQuarters– Geneva, Switzerland

India Recorded Highest Air Pollution Exposure Globally in 2019:  3rd SOGA 2020 Report

3rd State of Global Air 2020 (SOGA 2020) report was released by United States (US)-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Project in which India recorded the highest annual average PM 2.5 concentration exposure in the world in 2019 followed by Nepal (2nd), and Niger (3rd). India is also among the top ten countries with highest ozone (O3) exposure in 2019. Qatar recorded the highest O3 exposure followed by Nepal and India.
Static Points:
i.O3 is a major respiratory irritant which is not released directly into the air but is formed in a complex chemical interaction between nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.
ii.NOx is emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) in motor vehicles, power plants, industrial boilers, and home heating systems.
iii.Volatile organic compounds are also emitted by motor vehicles, as well as by industrial activities.

18th meeting of SCO Prosecutors General Virtually Attended by India’s SG Tushar Mehta

18th meeting of Prosecutors General of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was virtually organized by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Uzbekistan from Tashkent where India was represented by Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta.During the meet, Prosecutors agreed to strengthen cooperation in preventing and combating corruption, mutual legal assistance and exchange of regulatory legal acts.It should be noted that India will host the next meeting of Prosecutors General in 2021. Also, it will host the 2020 SCO Council of Heads of Government on November 30th.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):The SCO comprises eight member states — India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
Secretariat– Beijing, China
Secretary-General– Vladimir Imamovich Norov (Uzbekistan)


Ministry of Home Affairs Amended J&K Panchayati Raj Act, 1989; DDCs will be Created

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has amended the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989 under the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 by removing a provision in Section 10 that requires payment of honorarium to panches and sarpanches (village head) in the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).The amendment also provides for the creation of District Development Councils (DDCs) in each district of J&K which will have jurisdiction over the entire district excluding areas designated as municipality or Municipal Corporation. The term of the DDCs will be 5 years.In accordance with the amendment, the accounts of the Halqa Panchayat will be audited annually by a chartered accountant. Halqa means the area comprising a village or contiguous number of villages determined by the government.
About Jammu & Kashmir (J&K):
Lieutenant Governor– Manoj Sinha
Capitals– Srinagar (Summer), Jammu (Winter)

CSIR-CMERI Develops Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Processing Facility

In an effort to address the issue of ‘Sustainable Processing of Municipal Solid Waste’, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) developedSustainable Municipal Solid Waste(MSW) Processing Facility. The CSIR-CMERI MSW Technology intends to achieve a Zero-Landfill and a Zero Waste City and envisions to develop job creation opportunities.
About CSIR-CMERI:Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute is abbreviated as CSIR-CMERI
Headquarters– Durgapur, West Bengal
Director– Prof. (Dr.) Harish Hirani

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan launches ‘CuRED’ – website for information on CSIR Partnered Clinical Trials for COVID-19

Union Minister for Science & Technology, Harsh Vardhan launched ‘CuRED’ or ‘CSIR Ushered Repurposed Drugs’ (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-CSIR) a website for providing information on Repurposed Drugs for COVID-19.The website provides information regarding clinical trials of diagnostics and devices in which CSIR is involved.
About Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
President – Prime Minister (Narendra Modi)
Director General – Shekhar C. Mande
Headquarters – New Delhi


Zenpay Solutions, RBL Bank and YAP join hands to Digitalise Salary Accounts for SMEs, MSMEs

In order to drive financial inclusion to issue salary cards to its customers across India, Zenpay Solutions partnered with RBL bank and YAP.The corporate expense and salary payment solution helps the employees(working class people who perform manual labor) who work with SMEs(Small and medium-sized enterprises) and MSME(Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) to receive digital payments through a salary account.
About Zenpay Solutions:
Founder and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Ankit Bhargava
HeadQuarters– New Delhi, India
About RBL Bank:
HeadQuarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director(MD)& CEO– Vishwavir Ahuja

Indian Bank partnered with IITMIC to Launch Credit Facility for Startups “IND Spring Board”

Indian Bank in collaboration with IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) has launched an exclusive credit facility of up to Rs 50 crore for start-ups namely “IND Spring Board”.This new model for financing start-ups was e-launched by K Ananth Krishnan, Executive Vice President (EVP) & Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in the presence of Debasish Panda, Secretary, Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.The e- launch was also attended by the Board of Directors of Indian Bank, customers of the Bank and representatives from print & electronic media.
About Indian Bank: Allahabad Bank amalgamated with Indian Bank.
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Padmaja Chunduru
Headquarter– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Tagline– Your Own Bank
About IIT Madras-Incubation Cell:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Dr Tamaswati Ghosh
Chairman– Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala and Dr Bhaskar Ramamurthi
Headquarter– Chennai, Tamil Nadu


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IRDAI sets up panel under P Umesh to Examine Need for Standard Cyber Liability Insurance

The cases of cyberattack and high-profile data breaches have increased amid COVID-19 pandemic. In order to curb this situation, on October 20, 2020, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) set up a 9-member panel under P Umesh, Consultant-Liability Insurance, to explore the possibility of a basic standard cyber liability insurance product for individuals and establishments that can manage their cyber risks.The panel will recommend the scope of the cyber liability insurance covers for the present context and for the medium term.
Other Responsibilities of Panel:
— Examining of various types of incidents involving cyber security in the recent past and possible insurance coverage strategies for those.
–Examining cyber liability insurance covers available in Indian market and in other developed jurisdictions.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairman– Dr.Subhash Chandra Khuntia
Headquarter– Hyderabad, Telangana

Seema Gupta, Director (Operations) of POWERGRID Won GOLD Stevie® Award in 17th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business

Seema Gupta, Director (Operations) of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited(POWERGRID), a PSU(Public Sector Undertaking) under Ministry of Power, Government of India has been named the winner of GOLD Stevie® Award in the Lifetime Achievement-Business category in the 17th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.The awards will be presented on December 9, 2020 during a virtual awards ceremony.
Note– The Gold Stevie winners will receive a Gold Stevie trophy.
Awards & Honours
• In 2017 she was conferred with Special Commendation Award for Outstanding Women Manager in Public Sector Enterprises by President of India.
• She was considered as the Best Contributor at the ITOMS 2018 Conference in Malaysia.
About Power Grid Corporation of India Limited(POWERGRID):
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
Chairman & Managing Director– Kandikuppa(K.) Sreekant

Bank of Ghana (BoG) won Central Bank of the Year Award 2020 in 7th Annual Central Banking Awards 2020

Central Banking organised a virtual award ceremony to honour the winner of the Annual Central Banking Awards 2020. The 2020 awards mark the 7th edition of the Annual Central Banking Awards. The award recognises the excellence in the central banking community.The Bank of Ghana (BoG) received the Central Bank of the Year Award 2020 and Ernest Addison, the governor of BoG received the award on behalf of the bank.
About Ghana:
President- Nana Akufo-Addo
Currency- Ghanaian cedi

Pravir Krishna MD of TRIFED won the CEO of the Year and Visionary Leadership award

Pravir Krishna, Managing Director(MD) of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)received the CEO of the Year and Visionary Leadership Award for his exemplary and inspirational leadership. The awards were presented at the virtual edition of National Awards for Excellence – PSU hosted by the World Human Resource Development (HRD) Congress.The TRIFED team led by Pravir Krishna won the collective award for the investment in the start-ups category.
About National Awards for Excellence – PSU:The National Awards for Excellence of the World HRD congress recognises the outstanding initiatives of the government departments, Public Sector Units (PSU) and industry leaders who play a major role to achieve self-reliant economy and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
About Pravir Krishna: Pravir Krishna, 1987 batch Indian Administrative Service(IAS) officer from Madhya Pradesh cadre served as the joint secretary in the Ministry of Shipping. He was included in the list of the 50 most influential Indians in May 2020, for his contribution towards changing the lives of the tribals.

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