August - Current Affairs - 1

Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) and SBI General Insurance Co Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) in Dharwad, Karnataka to sell general insurance products through the branches of KVG

Tata Capital Ltd(Tata Capital), the financial services arm of the Tata Group launched its new service called, 'Swift Insta Personal Loans' (SIPL) on WhatsApp. Through the new service, the existing customers can easily apply for loans and receive sanctions for personal loans (on a single platform) using TIA, a chatbot of Tata Capital on Whatsapp.

The National Commission on Population under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) submitted the Report of the Technical group on population projections July 2020, titled "Population projections for India and States 2011- 2036". India's population is expected to grow by 25%, with reference to 2011, to 1.52 billion by 2036, according to the final report of the technical group on population projections.

On 21st August, 2020, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) announced that Mahindra Group Chairman, Anand Mahindra and Adobe Chairman & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shantanu Narayen will receive the 2020 Leadership Awards for their exemplary vision and effort towards the promotion of US-India Bilateral Ties.

On August 23, 2020, China launched an advanced warship for Pakistan. This is the largest it has built for a country and also the first among the four most sophisticated naval platforms.

On 20th August, 2020 Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh launched a book on cancer - "Gastric Cancer" edited by Dr Ashok K. Vaid. He is a Noted Oncologist and was awarded Padma Shri in 2009 for his outstanding work in the field of medicine.

On August 21, 2020, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Ladies Organisation (FLO) inked a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Tourism for women empowerment through video conference. The MoU was inked in the presence of Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism (Independent Charge-IC), Prahlad Singh Patel.

On 21st August, 2020 Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan virtually launched an online system for registration and renewal of licence of gold assaying and hallmarking (A&H) centres. The online system can be accessed through the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) web portal - www.manakonline.in.

Religare Health Insurance Company, subsidiary health insurance of Religare Enterprises, has changed its name to 'Care Health Insurance' and became effective from August 19, 2020.

On August 25, 2020, the State Minister of Assam, Siddhartha Bhattacharya is to inaugurate India's longest ropeway across river Brahmaputra.

On August 21, 2020, National Sports Awards 2020 were announced by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The awards were recommended by the Selection Committee headed by Justice (Retd.) Mukundakam Sharma (former Judge of Supreme Court of India) and after due scrutiny, the Government has decided to confer awards upon the deserving sportspersons, coaches and entities under various categories.

On 24th August 2020, V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India and Sardor Umurzakov, Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan co-chaired the first National Coordination Committee Meeting.

On August 21, 2020, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (40 of 2019) the Central Government constituted the India's first 30-member National Council for Transgender Persons to advice, monitor and evaluate measures for the protection of the rights of Transgender community .

United Nations(UN)'s International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition is observed annually on 23rd August to spread the information about the historic events associated with slave trade and its consequences and to promote the tolerance and human rights.

On 23rd August, 2020 Former players Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Lisa Sthalekar(Australia) and Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan) were inducted into the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Hall of Fame of the class of 2020 in a virtual ceremony. ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history.

The Naval Commanders' Conference 2020, a biennial conference was held in New Delhi, India from August 19 to 21, 2020. Rajnath Singh, Union Defence Minister addressed the opening session of the conference. This is the 1st Naval Commanders' Conference since the institution of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

On August 23, 2020, China launched its fifth Gaofen-9 series satellite named "Gaofen-9 05" along with two smaller payloads viz. Tiantuo-5 and Duo Gongneng Shiyan Weixing through Long March-2D carrier rocket from its Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) in northwest China. This launch was the 343rd mission of the Long March rocket series and the 23rd for China in 2020.

On August 20, 2020 In New Delhi, India, M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice president of India released 2 research reports of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) namely, 'Status of Sex Ratio at Birth in India', that describes about the imbalance in the number of females and males in the population and 'Elderly Population in India: Status and Support Systems', which highlights the issues of the elderly population in the country and states some useful recommendations to improve their plight.

The Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) has joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to set up a help desk for MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) for providing information on various government safety guidelines, regulatory norms, schemes and support measures during the Covid-19 related business challenges pandemic by hosting regular webinars, consultation and interactive sessions for MSMEs.

On August 24, 2020, Government of Maharashtra and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank signed loan agreement of 500 million USD to improve service quality, safety and network capacity of suburban railway system in Mumbai.

On August 20, 2020 Indian Coast Guard Ship C-449 was commissioned in Chennai by Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam. The ship is the Forty Ninth Interceptor Boat of the series, which are indigenously built and designed by M/s Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Hazira (Surat).

The book "Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story"authored by Monika Arora, advocate, Sonali Chitalkar(political Science) and Prerna Malhotra(English) teachers at Delhi University is set to be published by Garuda Prakashan . The book was released by Bhupendra Yadav, member of parliament and national general secretary over a virtual event in the presence of BJP leader, Kapil Mishra.

The Defence Research and Development Organization has taken several initiatives to strengthen indigenous defence production under Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Recently, DRDO has included 108 systems and subsystems to achieve Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Highlights Under the new initiative, DRDO will provide support to design, develop and test the identified 108 systems.

On 23rd August 2020, The Delhi Government launched Niraman Mazdoor Registration Abhiyan for construction workers to register and utilise around 18 assistance scheme under which a mega registration campaign for construction workers will be conducted from 24th August 2020 to 11th September 2020.

The aircraft carrier, INS Viraat that served the Indian Navy for more than 30 years is to be dismantled at Alang, Gujarat. The ship was decommissioned three years back.

On August 12, 2020 Google launched 'The Anywhere School' initiative in more than 250 countries around the world. The initiative is expected to benefit millions of students who have switched to learning from home, due to the pandemic.

The Government of India has introduced a new feature, 'Open API(Application Programming Interface) Service' of Aarogya Setu, which will address the risk of COVID-19 infections and help the people, businesses and the economy to return to normalcy. It enables the organizations to check the status of Aarogya Setu and integrate it into its various Work from Home features. It was developed by Aarogya Setu team.

On August 15, 2020, the first ever Kerala State Dragonfly Festival 2020 aka "Thumbimahotsavam 2020" was launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-India State unit in collaboration with Society for Odonate Studies (SOS) and Thumbipuranam through a virtual ceremony from Kerala. Dr. Subramanian K.A. Scientist at Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Southern Regional Center, Chennai (Tamil Nadu) addressed the inaugural session.

The Karnataka Government is to build transit homes for migrant workers. The homes aim to provide better living conditions for the migrant workers. This is being launched because of the reverse migration in Karnataka amid lock down. Highlights The project is being launched with an inspiration from "Apna Ghar" project of Kerala.

The Fisheries and Animal Resources Department of the Odisha Government has launched a new scheme 'Promotion of Intensive Aquaculture through Introduction of Bio-floc Technology during the year 2020-21'.

On August 22, 2020 Water technology major Va Tech Wabag bagged the 2020 Global Water Award for its 45 million litres a day Tertiary Treatment Reverse Osmosis (TTRO) plant at Koyambedu in Chennai. The plant bagged the distinction award under the 'Wastewater project of the year' category.

The final report of the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog Task Force headed by Ramesh Chand, Niti Aayog Member(Agriculture), "Sugarcane and Sugar Industry" recommended linking of Sugarcane prices to sugar rate to maintain the financial state and stability of the industry and to clear the arrears of the sugarcane farmers.

On August 24, 2020, IT (Information Technology) services major Tech Mahindra has joined hands with NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog's Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) to support Indian women entrepreneurs.

On August 24, 2020 Multi-Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX), India's first listed, national-level, electronic exchange, launched futures trading on the country's first tradeable real-time bullion index, MCX iCOMDEX Bullion , or Bulldex. The index will track the real-time performance of the gold (1kg) and silver (30kg) futures contracts, the flagship future products on the Exchange.

ICICI Bank uses satellite data(imagery from Earth observation satellites) to assess credit worthiness of farmers. ICICI Bank has become the 1st bank in India to use such a technique to measure an array of parameters related to the land, irrigation and crop patterns and use it in combination with demographic and financial parameters to make quick lending decisions for farmers.

On 24th August 2020, Indian Air Force(IAF) Chief of the Air Staff(CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM)Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, launched the mobile application "My IAF", to provide career related information and details in IAF to the aspirants. The application was launched as a part of the 'Digital India Initiative'. It was developed in association with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

Mastercard has entered into an alliance with Goals101.ai, the leading bank-tech and Artificial Intelligence(AI) company. Through this alliance, Goals101.ai connects merchants and issuers using big data, AI and automation to create targeted and personalized offers for Bank cardholders. This helps banks to improve their communications performance and makes the banking experience more personalized, real-time and relevant for their customers.